Over the past year, the prospects of expanded legalized sports betting in the U.S. have gone from a “maybe” in 3 to 5 years to “when, not if,” particularly because of the Supreme Court’s decision to hear New Jersey’s appeal in its longstanding fight to legalize the practice within its borders.
This means that the conversation is shifting away from the legalese of how a repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act might be undertaken and what the new regulatory framework might look like to the granular of how casino and gaming operators should be preparing themselves for this new paradigm.
Such will be the topic of a webinar, entitled “Sports Betting: Opportunities In and Out of Nevada,” to be held on August 9th as part of The Innovation Group’s Emerging Leaders of Gaming series.
Panelists will include Dan Kustelski, co-founder and chief executive at Chalkline Sports; Will Green, senior director of research at the American Gaming Association and Dan Shapiro, vice president of strategy and business development at William Hill US.
In particular, the program will focus on the market potential and what casinos and sportsbooks need to be doing ahead of time to lay the groundwork for a successful sports betting rollout across their properties.
“Obviously, everyone is trying to figure out when this might become legal,” said Kustelski. “More importantly, we need to ask the question: When it does become legal, what do we do?”
The potential market for legalized sports betting is sizable enough to both attract new players and further monetize existing ones, and if rolled out correctly, a robust sports betting operation can prove a valuable addition to a company’s customer database.
“As an operator who integrated a sports book into a large casino group in South Africa, I see a tremendous opportunity for U.S. operators to leverage sports betting to expand loyalty programs, use online products to drive retail revenues, and, most importantly, drive profits through coordinated cross-channel marketing,” said Kustelski.
The time is now to start thinking through the potentially sticky logistical and operational questions so that sports betting can be deployed in a way that builds market share and a competitive edge.
Do you contract out your sportsbook operations to a third party, like William Hill, or do you keep it in-house? How do you integrate sports betting software into your existing systems? How do you incorporate sports betting into your existing loyalty program?
“The first thing we did was integrate loyalty program points so you could earn on sports betting and earn in casinos,” Kustelski said of his experience in South Africa. “That was a complicated process, but once we got it right, it was huge.”
While there remains a degree of nervousness surrounding the potential busting of Nevada’s sports betting monopoly, Kustelski insists that operators should see the forest for the trees and see this as an opportunity to further monetize customers when they aren’t physically in Nevada.
“If I were a casino group in Nevada, I would be pretty excited about the opportunity to increase my revenues. I would be figuring out a national rollout and implementation,” he said.