Top Sports Betting Takeaways From SBC Digital Summit North America

Posted on July 22, 2020 - Last Updated on July 21, 2020

The SBC Digital Summit North America is officially over.

More than 100 speakers and 3,000 delegates came together online to talk about the biggest needs for the US gaming market, including casinos, iGaming and sports betting.

The conference touched on all aspects of gaming, though sports betting was naturally the hottest topic. Here are some of the biggest sports betting stories to come out of the SBC Digital Summit North America:

DC getting arena-sized sportsbook for game days?

One of the most interesting aspects of Washington DC sports betting is that the law allows sportsbooks inside arenas. That means there will be a sports betting presence at all Washington Wizards and Capitals games when the William Hill book is finished at Capital One Arena.

Zach Leonsis, senior VP of strategic initiatives at Capital One Arena owner Monumental Sports, thinks there are opportunities beyond that.

“Outside of live games we think there’s also an opportunity to flex into our arena, to potentially the lower bowl, for example,” Leonsis said. “We envision one day, post-pandemic of course, when you can get several thousand people in to watch an NFL Sunday together, or a Saturday morning Premier League match, or a big pay-per-view boxing or UFC event.”

Monumental will experiment with those types of events to find what works and for what there is demand. Leonsis mentioned the arena gets 15 million people walking around it annually.

“There’s something very special about the energy of a crowd and being together,” he added.

theScore Bet expanding to Indiana soon

Management at theScore Bet has been tight-lipped about any details concerning dates around their US expansion plans. All we know is Colorado and Indiana launches are coming at some point this year.

But CEO John Levy finally gave a little insight into the next move.

An Indiana sports betting launch is coming “probably in the next three, four, five weeks, something of that nature,” Levy said.

The timing isn’t surprising. The team pushed to get theScore Bet off the ground in time for the NFL season when it launched in New Jersey last year, so similar timing was expected for Indiana and Colorado.

During his session, Levy touted his company’s sports betting model, which pulls customers from their media app instead of paying to acquire customers.

“Sports betting is only one aspect of why people love sports,” Levy said. “And if you make it easy, and you do it in an efficient way, and you give them an interface that makes sense to them, then they’re not going to go anywhere else.”

Pinnacle CEO: looking at US sports betting market

European sportsbook Pinnacle is one of the bigger international names that hasn’t moved to the legal US market yet.

Part of the reasoning behind that could be that Pinnacle was involved in the illegal US market before. The sportsbook operated pre-UIGEA, which could bring pushback from regulators.

That doesn’t mean the company isn’t looking, CEO Paris Smith said.

“Yeah, we’re watching and learning,” she said. “There’s a lot of interesting things happening. I think for Pinnacle in particular we’re looking at what are people really wanting? We have some amazing marketing machines in the industry, proven winners to say the very least.

“[But] at the end of the day product is king. So we’re just kind of waiting to see. Obviously, there are a lot of brands that historically I think people are surprised to see that have transitioned. All those are precedent-setting. So we’re just keeping our eyes wide open.”

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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