Sports betting across the world is undoubtedly growing, despite the reluctance of some countries to allow sports wagering to thrive in their jurisdictions. Substantial progress has been made, nonetheless, even if it could take years before this sector is globally accepted.
Still, while the issue of global acceptance continues, the sector has been booming online. Earlier this week, the Camelot Group, the operator of the National Lottery in the United Kingdom, reported £1 billion (about $1.3 billion) in digital sales across the first half of 2019. This is the first time in its decade-long history that it will be hitting this threshold.
Overall sales on the platform went up too, hitting £3.92 billion ($5.08 billion).
Undoubtedly, the company’s digital sales stole the show. Camelot said its growth in digitals could be attributed to an explosion in its mobile betting app. Per the report, sales on the mobile app rose to £749 million ($973.7 million); about 65 percent of digital transactions.
The growth of the Camelot digital sales numbers is indicative of a larger trend. The online betting space makes most business models effective, and sports betting is no different. Statista reports that the online sports betting market were valued at $45.8 billion in 2017, predicting an explosion within the next seven years. So, why is mobile sports gambling so big?
Convenience is Everything
The rise of the online gambling space has been unprecedented. In 2003, Chris Mohney, a contributor to the Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas, wrote “The Casino of the Future,” an article that provided a glimpse of what gambling could potentially look like today.
At a time when online gambling was surging (thanks in large part to the Dot Com Boom), this article was spot on. In the piece, Mohney clarified that due to the rapid change in technological advancement in the casino industry, many would have no reason to visit brick and mortar casinos anymore.
“You might not drive up to the casino in the year 2020 in your flying car, but the differences will be unmistakable. Themed properties may be unpopular in terms of new casino concepts, but as casinos become more generically interchangeable, it gets more difficult to persuade a guest to visit casino A versus casino B . . . or even worse, why a gambler shouldn’t just stay at home and gamble online.”
When you combine this convenience with the idea of placing a stake on the success of your favorite sports teams, it isn’t difficult to see why sports betting is so huge across the world.
As expected, sports companies themselves have taken full advantage of this. Ever since the Supreme Court took down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), there have been at least 11 partnerships between betting companies and professional teams/leagues. Now, die-hard fans of teams can reveal their passion for their clubs through betting.
Utilities and Relative Privacy
We also have the indirect enablement of online betting through the proliferation of wireless connections in urban centers. Wireless connections these days are particularly rampant, meaning that you could easily sit anywhere and engage in your bets without having to worry about data usage. People who fear the public reproach that comes with gambling can enjoy the privacy that comes with mobile betting, without having to go through the public scene at brick and mortar betting shops.
Mobile betting also has the advantage of being highly diverse in its offerings. Due to how online bets are structured, you’ll never run out of games to wager on, no matter your interest. You’ll always find an opportunity to bet on it. Professional sports, virtual games, e-sports, slots, crabs, what have you. These sites have them all, with access to a dedicated social scene of like-minded people that allows for everyone to mingle and even share betting tips.
Online gambling is also rather profitable for betting operators themselves. Instead of worrying about maintaining brick and mortar shops and paying for staff, the online business model helps them to save costs and keep their profits soaring.
In a bid to move their users to this online platform, several betting companies provide bonuses to those who visit their online platforms to bet. It could be a discount on stakes, bonuses on winnings, or some other bonus that betters crave. Gamblers are enticed to place wagers on their phones, while the brick and mortar stores continue to wither.
Does Mobile Affect Land-Based Casinos?
Yes, it does. But, Land-based casinos are not dead yet. Some physical casinos can thrive in certain jurisdictions due to the structure and the branding. For instance, Atlantic City and Las Vegas attracts millions of tourists yearly who fly thousands of miles to visit the city and play poker in their legendary casinos.
However, the global trend points towards mobile betting being the eventual downfall of land-based casinos. In September 2018, USA Online Casino reported that land-based casinos across the world saw steady declines in revenues, with mobile betting singled out as a reason for this.
Macau, one of the world’s top gambling hotspots, has also seen a decline, as gross gaming revenues for casinos have been shaky at best in 2019. Due to the varying gambling laws across the world, there will always be places where physical casinos will continue to thrive. In regulated markets like Denmark, for instance, land-based slot machines witnessed rising revenues, increasing almost 29.6 percent.
As long as laws governing online sports betting continue to vary, there will be places where land-based casinos and sportsbooks can thrive. However, if, by some miracle, everyone decides to give online sports betting the green light, then there’s no telling how much these businesses would be affected.
Online sports betting companies will find more ways to present exciting gambling opportunities for players. With the advent of smartwatches, the convenience just got an upgrade. The ease of placing a wager from the comfort of your home opens up a whole new world for the gambling industry.