The more than $1 billion in 2020 revenue is projected to grow sixfold by 2023, according to a study by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, a research and consulting firm. If all 50 states permit sports betting, revenues will surpass $19 billion annually, the study projects.
Multibillion-dollar industries will beget multibillion-dollar marketing as bookmakers, media companies and tech entrepreneurs have rushed in to claim their place in the market.
Check your Twitter and Instagram feeds, count the commercials and pay attention to the betting content now incorporated into pregame broadcast shows of all sports. On TNT’s N.B.A. broadcasts, America can go up against Charles Barkley in a proposition bet on, say, whether LeBron James or Giannis Antetokounmpo will score more points.
“Sports betting now is like water and finding its way into everything, especially now when operators are trying to attract new customers,” said Chris Grove, a partner at Eilers & Krejcik. “In a mature market like the United Kingdom, a mid-tier bookmaker will spend about 40 cents of every dollar acquiring and retaining new customers. Here we’re seeing a 100 percent or more spend on each buck.”
Last year, bookmakers spent more than $200 million on television advertising alone, according to the advertising information company MediaRadar, and since mid-June of 2020 they have increased their television spending by 82 percent over the previous year. Sports gaming executives have said they expect to double that amount on advertising and promotions by year’s end, as betting operations move closer to opening in five more states — Washington, North Carolina, Louisiana, Maryland, and South Dakota.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, who is banking on the State Legislature to approve mobile sports betting this spring, has said it could bring hundreds of millions of dollars into state coffers as New York is facing a multi-billion-dollar deficit. Despite his enthusiasm, Cuomo said he wanted the state to have tight control over the betting platforms, likening sports gambling to the state-run lottery.
“This is not a moneymaker for private interests to collect just more tax revenue,” he said. “We want the actual revenue from sports betting.”