- Since the US Supreme Court overturned the law that prohibited sports betting in 2018, online gambling has grown fast.
- Today, people don’t have to fly to Las Vegas to experience gambling because they can get all they want through their mobile phones.
- The recent move by Caesars to buy William Hill was also a plus to the online sports betting industry.
- These developments in the US come as regulators continue to restrict gambling in European countries.
The days of soldiers carrying heavy tables to play dice ended a long time ago. Today, mobile gambling is simpler.
Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Inc. this week agreed a $3.7 billion takeover of William Hill, the UK chain. Caesars isn’t a secret admirer of British bookmaking. The company wants William Hill’s precious US online sports betting operation. It may sell off the purchased company’s UK shops.
That was quite a plus. For years, US casinos seldom opened outside Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Indian tribal islands. Moreover, sports betting was unlawful. However, that has changed recently.
Gambling on sporting events, especially online, is growing fast in the US, thanks to the Supreme Court’s overturning of the law prohibiting the activity back in 2018.
Nevertheless, the William Hill deal and a rise in profits at the 888, an online gambling group, due to lockdown poker playing has revealed something more important than the end of the exceptional nature of the US.
The mobile Internet makes betting easy and removes location and time barriers. You don’t have to fly to Vegas: just let it come to you.
Professor of behavioral addiction at Nottingham Trent University Mark Griffiths says he used to bet on football only once a week at a sportsbook. He now bets several times on every game and follows at least 60 betting markets for hours. Besides, he watches four games on Sky. Mobile sports betting has changed his betting behavior.
It’s easy to dismiss betting, just as you would do some other forms of entertainment because the house gains more wins than the punter. However, a deeper look at the game shows that gambling means a lot.
Griffiths said gambling and its rituals create “a bond between the men, a bond which defines insiders and outsiders.” Online sports betting companies leverage this fact in their adverts, indirectly portraying the activity as a demonstration of “loyalty to the team, being a real man, and being brave enough to prove sporting knowledge,” Griffiths writes.
The American Gambling Association says the majority of sports punters are young, male, educated, and higher-income earners.
While European countries came early in liberalizing online sports and casino gambling, they now trail as the US expands in this field. For instance, GVC Holdings, the owner of Ladbrokes coral and Bwin, warned Thursday that new German regulations, such as deposit limits and advertising restrictions on online poker will negatively impact its profits next year.
Several other betting companies across Europe continue facing similar challenges. Meanwhile, in the US, online betting is legal, and the industry is thriving.