Given the uncertainty of the UK Gambling Act review, you might forgive those in the betting sector for being cautious and uneasy about any restrictions and new legislation that might be introduced.
The government’s White Paper on the matter is expected in the next few weeks, and all sorts of ghouls and gremlins – including a possible mandate for affordability checks on punters – have been mentioned in despatches.
Scepticism at home contrasts with the optimism of the sports betting market on a global scale – particularly with the increasingly-liberalised US scene now well into its stride. Even the most cautious of estimates suggests that the gambling industry in the United States could be worth at least $140 billion by 2028.
Unsurprisingly, plenty want their slice of the pie both in the US and overseas, and in a staggering week of new gambling start-ups three firms have either launched, or details of an impending roll out have emerged, in the last seven days.
A Friendly Exchange
Flutter Entertainment have cornered themselves a nice piece of the gambling market in various corners of the globe, and they are seeking to capitalise on that position with a sort of ‘creative alliance’ between two of their flagship brands.
They will try to persuade the customer base of PokerStars to give sports betting a try, and to grease the wheels they have come up with a new platform that taps into the liquidity available on the Betfair Exchange. They’ve called it….the PokerStars Exchange, naturally.
For those not in the know, a betting exchange brings together backers and layers in a single market, so you can bet on a football team or horse or lay (bet against) it – without the need for a bookmaker as a middle man. As such, punters can get their hands on better odds, for the most part.
Will it be a successful foray into sports betting from PokerStars? Only time will tell, but given that Flutter already had the infrastructure in place courtesy of Betfair, it’s kind of a no brainer to give it a try.
DAZN Giving Betting a Spin
The sports streaming service DAZN are the next cab off the rank.
The firm, which has around 15 million subscribers in the UK, is specialising in boxing PPVs at the moment, but has made plans to move into other sports in the near future.
And they will do so aided by their own sportsbook, confirmed this week with a new partnership with the Pragmatic software firm.
DAZN officials have suggested their book will be aimed at those favouring ‘recreational in-play betting’, and it will be interesting to see if they can integrate live wagering buttons on top of their live streams – that would certainly be an innovation the industry has been crying out for.
They are hoping to have the new betting platform ready for the start of the ‘2022/23 European soccer season’, which presumably means August.
Read All About It
Rupert Murdoch has already had a bash at conquering the sports betting market with Sun Bets, a brand linked to his national newspaper that crashed and burned in 2018.
But the tabloid king has dusted himself down and will try his luck again, this time in his native Australia. His outfit News Corp have apparently signed off on a deal with investors that will see the firm launch a sportsbook in Oz at some point this year.
Murdoch has brought leading Aussie bookmaker Matt Tripp on board, and they will be utilising the services of Betmakers, a local software operator, to get the project up and running.
While a formal press release has not been forthcoming, Betmakers have revealed that the new company – as yet unnamed – will focus primarily on the Australian and New Zealand market, and their CEO Todd Buckingham uttered the magic words ‘international expansion’ as well.
Could it be second time lucky for Murdoch in cracking the sports betting game?