Business By The Books: Are Recession Fears Hurting Sports Betting?

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Discretionary spending for those who regularly engage in sports betting is falling for both high-value bettors and mobile sports bettors in general, according to a study from TransUnion.

The survey of 2,835 adults in November found that around 90% believe the US is either in or approaching a recession. That led the percentage of people placing mobile sports bets to fall to 11% in the fourth quarter compared to 19% in the second quarter, according to the report.

Of high-value bettors that spend $500 or more on betting in a month, 44% have cut back on discretionary spending. That is despite 82% saying they are optimistic in their household income for the next 12 months.

Nearly half of other mobile bettors, 49%, cut back discretionary spending as well. The segment that cut back the most, though, was non-bettors at 59%.

Boyd outperforms in online sports betting, iGaming

Boyd reported stronger EBITDA from online gambling for 2022 than it forecasted in the third quarter.

The casino operator is FanDuel‘s market access partner in the US. Boyd also owns 5% of FanDuel through the agreement.

Boyd CEO Keith Smith said the company expected $30 million in online gaming EBITDA on its third-quarter earnings call. But on the fourth-quarter call, Smith said online betting, casino and social gaming brought in about $40 million in EBITDA. That was boosted by $17 million EBITDA in the fourth quarter, more than double last year.

While Boyd is enjoying the fruits of its partnership with FanDuel, it will also start competing against the brand in iGaming. Boyd bought Pala Interactive for $1`70 million and plans to operate the Stardust brand on its own.

“FanDuel will continue to exist in those markets, certainly a tough competitor, but we’re – we have a large database of customers in the markets we’re going to launch in, and I think we’ll do fine,” Smith said.

GAN celebrates sports betting launch with Wynn

GAN says it installed the “largest known installation of self-service betting kiosks” in the US at Wynn‘s Encore Boston Harbor.

In-person sports betting in Massachusetts launched Jan. 31. Mobile betting is expected to go live in time for March Madness betting.

The installation beyond the WynnBET Sportsbook includes 120 kiosks available throughout the casino floor. Another 20 are located in the garage for quick access for people coming just to place bets.

NCPG issues iGaming report

Four of the seven states with legal iGaming fall “drastically short” of the National Council on Problem Gambling‘s minimum RG standards.

Landing on the NCPG naughty list were Delaware, Michigan, Nevada and West Virginia. The regulations in Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania met a majority of the 39 specific standards, though no state met every standard.

For instance, just three states have a strategy for responsible gambling in their regulations, according to the full report. The three states on the good side of the NCPG report are the only three that require operators to provide practical tips to stay within a bettor’s limits.

Betfred partners with VGK

The Vegas Golden Knights selected Nevada‘s newest sportsbook entrant, Betfred, as one of the team’s official sports betting partners.

This news came and went without much fanfare, as most of these deals do. Reaction was certainly quieter than the first announcement of this kind by the team when VGK partnered with UPickTrade in February 2021, a tout service out of Guadalajara, Mexico.

UPickTrade’s website at the time had some messages that definitely did not comply with responsible gambling practices. The website opened with a banner that said “Make a Living Off of Sports!” and claimed 6,000 clients were doing just that. It charged $89 a month for its services.

UPickTrade’s website now simply says “site not available” under its logo.

US Integrity, Odds On Compliance partner for prohibited database

Secure Sports Solutions, a joint venture between US Integrity and Odds On Compliance, plans to launch a product to track prohibited bettors across jurisdictions.

The ProhiBet product will keep a comprehensive list of individuals that are blocked from betting, which typically includes athletes, league officials and others associated with sports or regulating gambling.

Elys acquires tech partner Engage

Elys Game Technology acquired IT development and software engineering firm Engage to strengthen its sports betting offerings.

The two already worked together with Engage providing Elys with its Gameboard sportsbook tech and player account management platform.

Elys will issue Engage a little more than 3 million in shares, which is valued at $1.17 million. Those shares are locked up for three years after closing, at which time Elys holds the option to buy those shares back in cash at the same price.

Elys currently operates kiosk and restaurant betting in Washington DC and will launch kiosks in Ohio later this year.