US Sports Betting Update – sportsbooks shake off recession fears to post soaring revenue figures
Sports betting revenue increased 78% year-on-year to reach $2.7 billion in the first five months of 2022, according to new figures from the American Gaming Association. The huge growth can partially be attributed to New York rolling out the country’s largest online sports betting industry in January. However, mature markets such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania have also seen a strong uptick this year, shaking off fears that the growing threat of recession would dampen demand.
Each state with legal sports wagering has now published trading figures for May. Total revenue hitting $550 million for the month, according to the AGA. That represents a 78.2% increase on May 2021. Meanwhile, online casino gaming revenue has reached $2.03 billion in the first five months of the year. Online casinos are only available in six states – Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Revenue from land-based slot machines and table games stands at $19.7 billion from January through May 2022, 13.9% ahead of the same period last year.
The AGA described March, April and May as “the three best gaming months in industry history,” with gaming revenue surpassing $5 billion each month. “As the mid-year mark approaches, the U.S. commercial gaming industry continues to maintain momentum,” it said. That is despite a challenging macroeconomic backdrop. U.S. inflation has shot up to 9.1%, the highest increase in 40 years, and the Federal Reserve has responded with quantitative tightening, pushing the S&P 500 into a bear market and increasing the specter of recession.
There is not much the AGA can do about the cost of living, but it is lobbying the federal government to crack down on offshore sportsbooks and casino sites. “Offshore gambling websites are a significant threat to consumer protections and the economic benefits legal gaming provides for communities across the country,” said AGA president and chief executive Bill Miller. “Eradicating these websites, and all forms of illegal gambling, is one of AGA’s top priorities.”
BetMGM Expands MLB Partnership
In other news, BetMGM has expanded its partnership with Major League Baseball. The operator became MLB’s first sports betting partner back in 2018, and the renewed multi-year agreement will maintain that status. It also makes MGM Rewards the title sponsor of this year's All-Star Celebrity Softball Game and presenting sponsor of the first-ever All-Star Saturday Extra Innings musical performance at Dodger Stadium. The deal also includes the presenting sponsorship of Bettor's Eye, MLB’s digital baseball show on MLB.TV with a focus on betting.
“We are thrilled to extend and expand upon our ground-breaking work with Major League Baseball,” said Lance Evans, senior vice president of Sports & Sponsorships at MGM. “We’re incredibly proud of the growth and innovation that have transformed our industries since launching our partnership four years ago, and we’re eager to continue breaking new ground and delivering world-class sports and entertainment experiences for baseball fans worldwide.”
BetMGM offers live streaming of MLB games – along with NBA and NHL games – on its mobile app and website. It also benefits from official MLB data. “Since creating this historic partnership four years ago, MGM Resorts and BetMGM have been truly collaborative and innovative business partners to Major League Baseball,” said MLB’s chief revenue officer,
Noah Garden. “With the success of Bettor;s Eye and introduction of All-Star Saturday’s Extra Innings concert, we look forward to seeing how MGM Resorts and BetMGM will continue to broaden their business with baseball.”
PointsBet Ties Up Live Streaming Deal
PointsBet has bolstered its live streaming capabilities by agreeing a deal with sports data and technology provider IMG Arena. The London-based firm offers one of the world’s largest portfolios of streaming content. The deal will allow PointsBet to show Major League Soccer games, ATP Tour matches, action from the French Open at Roland-Garros, volleyball events, Euroleague basketball, snooker, table tennis and more. It distributes more than 45,000 hours of content per year from hundreds of associations and federations.
“Our north star is in-play betting, and the ability to offer our users with on-demand streaming content to elevate live betting is paramount,” said Johnny Aitken, chief executive at PointsBet USA. “PointsBet is recognized as the home of in-play betting, and this partnership with IMG Arena solidifies our position as a leader in this space. We’re thrilled to tap into innovative concepts like this to improve the live betting experience for our users, all while bringing forth new ways to increase fan engagement throughout the year.”
PointsBet offers a huge volume of betting options – even more than the likes of BetMGM and BetRivers. It has a range of traditional, fixed odds markets – plus a “request a bet” feature if you cannot find odds on something you are interested in – along with PointsBetting, which is akin to spread betting on financial instruments. It currently operates in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. “We are excited to partner with PointsBet, one of North America’s leading and most innovative sports betting operators,” said Brian Clayton, senior sales director at IMG Arena.
Caesars Hands Out Scholarships to 22 Students
Caesars Sportsbook has awarded scholarships to 22 U.S. students to help them obtain a college degree. Each student will receive $5,000 per year for up to four years as part of the Don Carano Legacy Scholarship. Carano was a patriarch of the gambling industry in Reno. He founded Eldorado Resorts, which was renamed Caesars Entertainment after purchasing the Caesars business a couple of years ago. The scholarship is open to seniors in high school and those already enrolled at a college.
“We were incredibly impressed by the applicants for our inaugural year of the Don Carano Legacy Scholarship,” said Tom Reeg, chief executive of Caesars Entertainment. “Supporting our team members is our top priority, and that means supporting their families as well. We’re proud to launch this scholarship program and provide financial aid to these remarkable and diverse students.”