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The Future of Sports Betting

February 13, 2020

US states mobilized to capitalize on the new sports betting industry after the US Supreme Court announced its precedential decision in Murphy v. NCAA nearly two years ago. State regulations were followed closely by major entertainment companies and the leagues themselves teaming up to create platforms that allowed new levels of profit from popular sports. But the game is already changing as technology transforms the way bets are placed and who is placing them.

Media Module - Datasource Item: The Future of Sports Betting

  • Previously, bets on sporting events had to be made in person at a legal gaming facility. Now sports betting platforms that can be accessed on a phone or tablet, bringing an entirely new audience to this type of gambling, most noticeably women and millennials.
  • The speed of betting platforms and a higher level of detail in player and game data is causing an uptick in in-game betting, where fans can bet on the outcome of specific plays as opposed to the game itself. Football is one of the most popular sports for this kind of betting due to the natural pauses in the game. However, we expect this to continue expanding into other sports and types of bets as technology continues to advance.
  • Wearable technology would allow fans to base their bets and fantasy team lineups on real-time performance indicators. While this could be a boon for sports betting, it raises some serious privacy concerns for the athletes that could spill over into an athlete’s ability to negotiate a contract or endorsement deal. We expect to see state regulation around performance data as the next evolution in sports law.
  • It has been estimated that $150 billion was wagered illegally in US sports betting in 2019, with predictions that it could grow into a $400 billion market now that it is legal in some states. With that much money at stake, we can expect to see regulations continue to evolve on everything from earning avenues for college athletes to individual state rules on who can facilitate bets, and the use of technology in predicting individual performance.

Baird discussed this hot topic at the 2020 CES in Las Vegas in a heavily attended sports betting panel discussion.