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January 2, 2019

10 Bold Predictions For US Sports Betting In 2019

Chops January 2, 2019
10 Bold Predictions

It’s safe to say that 2018 was about as good of a year for sports betting in the U.S. as it could get (Assuming you like sports betting, which if you’re reading this site, it is a safe assumption.).

Can 2019 be better?

Here are 10 bold predictions for the new year. In short, expect more of what made 2018 great.

10. No less than nine states pass sports betting legislation

Why not start with one of the biggest ones?

Of all the states that have introduced sports betting bills, no less than nine will pass legislation in 2019. New York, Massachusetts, and Kentucky (via a Churchill Downs push) will lead the way, and these states should follow.

9. But California won’t be one of them

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 147 times, shame on me.

Whoever can finally get the competing California gaming interests to get on the same page needs to work on Palestinian-Israeli relations. The online poker push in California had many starts and stops thanks to card rooms, tribes, tracks and operators never getting on the same page.

The sports betting revenue pie exceeds online poker’s revenue greatly, and there’s real progress being made in the state legislature, but don’t expect California to pass a bill until 2020.

8. The next non-golf, made-for-betting event will be esports

The Match provided the template. Where can it go from there?

All sorts of fun and exciting places, but we predict there will be a smart casino in Nevada or Pennsylvania looking to attract younger customers who will create an esports betting event.

They’ll partner with an esports team, draw large viewing from a live stream and draw bettors in-house for real-time wagering on their mobile device.

7. ‘In-stadia’ betting gains momentum

On that note, “in-stadia” betting will gain steam. It won’t just be from whatever smart casino employs in-stadia betting for their esports event.

Las Vegas has shown the way, with the Knights and Lights bringing mobile betting into the arena/pitch.

As other states pass sports betting bills, teams will recognize the enormous potential for fan engagement with in-stadia betting. This won’t be a revenue mover for teams, necessarily, but will provide fans with new content and ways to interact during games.

6. Fiat-to-crypto onboarding solved

The single biggest impediment to crypto adoption on gambling platforms is the fiat-to-crypto onboarding process. There’s a bridge needed for the gap between gambling and crypto enthusiasts.

This issue will be solved in 2019, paving the way for holders to fund gaming accounts with cryptocurrency on a broader scale and more extensive adoption.

Our #1 Sportsbook Choice.

5. The NCAA takes a hardline stance

If there’s one potential glaring monkey wrench to trip up sports betting in the U.S., it’s in the college ranks.

The NCAA is rightfully concerned. While professional athletes have too much at stake, in most cases, to be persuaded in bribes or providing confidential information, that’s not the case with unpaid student-athletes.

Expect the NCAA to draw a line in the sand on this issue…

4. … and propose some form of revenue sharing

The model to use gambling as a means of subsidizing education isn’t new. The state of Georgia has used lottery proceeds to fund college scholarships going back to the early ’90s. While the NCAA should take a hardline stance, expect discussions around positive use of sports betting proceeds to further educational opportunities (via scholarships) this year.

3. But don’t expect athlete compensation to be discussed

OK; this isn’t very bold. But that’s not happening.

2. The NFL gets on the integrity fee wagon

The NFL is consistently progressive in making changes and adapting. That has not been the case when it comes to sports betting, as the NBA and Adam Silver have been real advocates and drivers there.

However, that will begin to change in 2019.

The NFL is ruthless in its efficiency in squeezing a dollar out of any and every opportunity, and it’s not going to let the sports betting rocket ship go into orbit without taking a seat in the cockpit with the other leagues. Look for the NFL to push for the most apparent monetization play, integrity fees, in 2019.

1. New Jersey eclipses Nevada in total wagers

We’re going super bold on the last one, as New Jersey has a ways to go still, but hear this out.

New Jersey has a unique pocket of singularly owning the northeast. The northeast is a sports fanatic hotbed, and the total population around New Jersey (when including just New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland and Delaware) is approximately 39.5 million. That equals the approximate 39 million visitors to Las Vegas a year.


What Will Bettors Look For When Choosing A Sportsbook In 2019 And Beyond?

Marc Meltzer January 2, 2019
Sportsbooks 2019

Toward the end of 2018, SuperBook USA, the national brand for the Las Vegas SuperBook at the Westgate, asked bettors what they look for when choosing a sportsbook. As the look and feel of sportsbooks change across the country, this is probably a good time to ask what was once a simple question.

When TheLines spoke with Jay Kornegay, from the Las Vegas SuperBook, in August, he said that “the size and scope of each new superbook will be based on regulations and what the partner property has to offer.” Answering this tweet could help to shape future sportsbooks around the country, but there’s no guarantee.

Building sportsbooks around the US

Many of the sportsbooks opening around the country are repurposed venues that previously existed as something else. While some casinos like Borgata, in New Jersey, are building new sportsbooks for the future, other casinos are happy with the less than spectacular space they already have.

To be fair, all sportsbooks can be good, but it takes a lot to make a great sportsbook. The traditional style of the world’s largest sportsbook at the Westgate may be one person’s favorite; meanwhile, Caesars Entertainment is testing The Book at The Linq to be its sportsbook model for its casinos all over the country.

What matters most when choosing a sportsbook?

Let’s take a look at some features to consider when choosing a sportsbook. Everyone has different preferences so some of these will matter more than others.

  • Size: Do you prefer a large sportsbook or a more cozy room?
  • Screens: Are lots of HDTVs sufficient or do you prefer theater-sized screens?
  • Seating: Sportsbooks are now offering a variety of seating including lounge chairs, couches, banquet chairs and bar stools.
  • VIP: What if nicer seats require a minimum on spending or cost money to reserve? The Fan Cave concept at The Linq seems popular for some but the minimum requirement can be a turnoff.
  • Horse racing: Does betting on the ponies matter? New sportsbooks in Las Vegas and around the country aren’t showing daily horse racing.
  • Odds: Every bettor wants the best odds but are you willing to give up a few cents on a line for a more comfortable experience?
  • Limits: Maximum bet limits matter to experienced sports bettors who may make their living betting sports.
  • Betting menu: Do you need a lot of in-play and pre-game betting option or are the basics enough?
  • Tech/Mobile/Kiosks: Do the most technologically advanced amenities matter when choosing a sportsbook? There’s no human interaction when using a smartphone or kiosk to place bets. That’s a bonus for many bettors.
  • Food: Do you need a sportsbook that also serves food? Are nearby take-out restaurants important?
  • Bar: Must the sportsbook include a bar or is cocktail service enough?
  • Prices: Convenience of food and drink is one thing but prices are another? Will you pay a little more for the ability to eat and drink inside of a sportsbook? Not all sportsbooks offer deals on their drinks and/or food.
  • Drink tickets: Will you bet at a sportsbook that doesn’t offer complimentary drink tickets with wagers?
  • More than sports: Do you want a sportsbook that offers non-sports betting gambling options as well? Some sportsbooks offer video poker and others have table games for those need to do more than one thing at a time.
  • Smoking: Will you visit or stay away from a sportsbook that doesn’t allow smoking? Some cigar smokers need a stogie while watching their games.

There’s sort of a design battle happening between sportsbooks. Traditional sportsbooks seem to be fine with most fans. The casinos around the country have something else in mind. The old school sportsbooks typically only generate revenue from betting. The casinos and racetracks are using the sportsbook to sell food and drink in addition to taking wagers.

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