U.S. Sports Betting's Future Includes Marketing Changes, Proactive Responsible Gambling

March 19, 2024
Top executives say improving brand affinity and strengthening responsible gaming actions will be keys to the near-term future of the U.S. sports-betting market.

Top sportsbook executives say improving brand affinity and strengthening responsible gaming actions will be keys to the near-term future of the U.S. sports-betting market.

During multiple discussions at the NEXT Gaming Summit in New York City earlier this month, leading executives from several U.S. sports-betting brands were asked what they expected the next phase of the market's evolution to look like. 

One key driver, said Fanatics Betting and Gaming CEO Matt King, will be a more proactive approach by the industry to dealing with responsible gaming issues.

“I think we as an industry need to step up and start to drive the narrative around responsible gaming more so than other things because as the newness of the industry wears off, there is a deep conversation to have about things like responsible gaming and what’s the right role of advertising,” said King, who was formerly CEO of FanDuel.

“You’re going to see more product innovation and more rationality in the industry, but then also have a discussion about how do we shape sports betting into something that amplifies the positive role it plays in sports, which is driving massive amounts of engagement, as well as bringing what was a historically illegal activity into the legal market, while also balancing and being in front of potential issues with the industry.”

Joey Levy, CEO and co-founder of Betr, said he believes the next phase of the industry will see a paradigm shift in customer acquisition and retention.

“One of my predictions for the future here is that the way real-money gaming operators pursue distribution is going to need to be fundamentally different than the way it is today,” he said. “This blunt force marketing of saying, you know, 'download FanDuel, download DraftKings, get a deposit bonus, get a risk-free entry, we're a brand that’s sort of just associated with sports betting', I don't think is going to be enough.

“I think operators will need to think a little bit more creatively with respect to creating original content that doesn't just drive brand awareness; that drives genuine brand affinity, so that the consumers have real brand loyalty with these brands, and there’s a community around it.”

Levy launched Betr with social media influencer and celebrity boxer Jake Paul as a co-founder, but he acknowledged that Paul's popularity would not be enough to sustain a model built around brand loyalty.

“We’re going to fail if we’re the Jake Paul sports-betting business,” he said of Betr. “Our vision is to incubate the next 100 Jake Pauls within Betr Media and they develop their own distinct personalities.”

BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt pushed back against more dire predictions made by others at the conference about the immediate future of the traditional casino gaming industry, specifically around suggestions that a younger generation of players do not have any willingness to gamble in a casino-like environment.

“There are no macro issues with the growth of the industry or the total addressable market,” Greenblatt said. “Ten years time, [the] next generation, you're absolutely right, the winds are blowing, the tide is turning, [but] slowly.”

Greenblatt was also asked about what role cryptocurrencies could play in the regulated online gambling industry’s future, but was more bearish on the possibilities in the short term.

“The discussion around crypto as an acceptable currency for what is already a sensitive industry and a highly regulated industry, it's a challenging part because the sentiment at least is that those who would be attracted to use crypto as a currency are not the players we want in a regulated market.”


Our premium content is available to users of our services.

To view articles, please Log-in to your account, or sign up today for full access:

Opt in to hear about webinars, events, industry and product news

To find out more about Vixio, contact us today
No items found.