It’s likely that when designing regulations for online and mobile sports gambling, more than a couple of politicians now wish they had listened to common sense and not certain supporters.
COVID-19 has shown that iGaming and mobile gambling options are able to provide state and local governments with a much-needed source of revenue where the practise is allowed, as the demand for retail gambling continues to decline.
Legalising mobile gambling alternatives has proven to be a lifesaver for government budgets, based on recent research by H2 Gambling Capital, particularly in the US.
H2 Director David Henwood shared some insights into how mobile wagers are helping to shore up an otherwise dysfunctional market during the recently held Sports Betting USA Conference.
Overall, this year, global gambling revenue plummeted by 26 percent, with retail gambling taking a 39 percent hit. In order to put this into context, these statistics reflect the rate seen a decade ago, in terms of gross gambling revenue (GGR).
Online gambling and iGaming, however, experienced just a decrease of 7 percent over the same period, and would account for 20 percent of all gambling activity by the end of the year.
Henwood explains: “The good news is we believe [the gambling industry] will bounce back, primarily because of the phenomenal rise in the percentage share of online, which in the space of a few months has jumped from 13 percent of all gambling revenues [pre-COVID] to 19 percent – possibly reaching 20 percent by the end of the year.” This according to H2’s review, brings iGaming GGR on track to hit $1.4 billion.
Sports gambling has always been seen as a means of generating considerably higher levels of revenue and the states that have accepted the practise feel the that claim is worthwhile.
There are currently around 19 states that have regulated markets for sports gambling, with many more to be added over the next few years after the practise was recently legalised by legislation. Moreover more states will participate, and within two or three years, there could be as many as 40 included.
Just four have not approved an online portion of those who have already accepted sports gambling, and they are discovering the errors they have made. With the NBA playoffs looming this September and the NFL and college football seasons getting underway, US sports gambling operators reported $2.9 billion in aggregate handling. This reflects a 75 percent rise year-on-year and while GGR sports gambling had a 3 percent hit as the average hold grew, there is still a lot of development to come.
In fact, so much growth that the $1.4 billion in GGR anticipated for 2020 is projected to double by the end of next year. There’s nothing but more progress to come after that with GGR sports gambling conservatively hitting about $10 billion within ten years. Online operations will document a significant portion of that and those states that do not approve the segment will be able to watch only as gamblers try to pursue alternatives to brick-and-mortar solutions.