2020 A Game-Changing Sports Betting Year

By Ben Hamill - December 30 2020

2020 A Game-Changing Sports Betting Year

According to data published by the American Gaming Association, 28 U.S. states had by the end of 2020 either already launched a regulated sports betting market or signed into force the legislation necessary for regulation in the near future. 2020 was also a year marked by news of several new partnerships between major sports and betting brands.

Media giants Fox, Barstool Sports, and the Score have all launched branded sports books. ESPN secured a sports betting partnership with U.S. casino giant Caesars Entertainment, and CBS Sports joined the sports betting party by inking a betting-focused deal with major bookmaker/sportsbook operator William Hill U.S.

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Openness To Collaboration

Interesting also to note has been the changing dynamic in terms of the industry’s major players. FanDuel and DraftKings, who both started out daily fantasy sports operators, turned full-operation sports book and online casino games operators. Both now enjoy giant shares in New Jersey’s regulated online sports betting market – more predominantly so even than traditional casino games giants like Caesars and MGM.

It is clear that the industry has started to recognise the present – with all its challenges and twists and turns – as a significant and even unique point in time. The result has been a shift in approach as well as attitude, and a new openness to working together in a more collaborative manner to get sports betting legislation accelerated past the finish line.

Year Of The Big Leagues

New stakeholders to have joined the gambling industry include the NFL, MLB, PGA Tour, and even the NBA – all leagues initially mostly opposed to the strike-down of the ban on single-event sports bets.

Leagues have essentially gone from being in objection to sports betting to becoming active role-players in the gambling and betting industry. The number of sponsorship and promo partnerships increased exponentially across the board throughout 2020 – and it’s a new and increasingly more positive approach to cooperation that is only likely to keep on ballooning.

All industry stakeholders are currently paying close attention to how state legislatures are speeding up sports betting initiatives with a focus on the generating of additional revenue for the mitigation of economic damages caused by the global health crisis. This has already resulted in a much more accelerated rise in mobile and online betting and gambling, and is a rise fully expected to keep up the pace well into 2021 and beyond.

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