U.S. Affiliates Find Gamblers Eager For 'Fun' Bets

April 14, 2022
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Affiliates have said they expect their role in the young U.S. sports-betting market to grow as fatigue over TV ads mounts.

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Affiliates have said they expect their role in the young U.S. sports-betting market to grow as fatigue over TV ads mounts.

Use of online gambling affiliates is, so far, much lower than in Europe as operators compete on television, one executive said.

The betting companies themselves are chalking up huge losses as they chase market share.

Last year, DraftKings more than doubled its revenue, to $1.3bn, but it lost $1.5bn.

There has been pullback, with Wynn Resorts looking to sell its sports-betting unit and others promising to curb spending.

Any move away from “irrational” TV spending should benefit affiliates, who can master performance marketing, that is, pay for showing results, the executives said.

“People are already starting to complain, especially in places like New Jersey, about the number of ads on sports betting,” said Michael Daly, CEO of Catena Media.

“This is a very, very young market,” said Jai Maw, president of Betting Hero, part of American Affiliate. “They don’t know what over-under is, they don’t know how to build a parlay.”

“Sports betting 101 is going to work for a long time,” he said.

Maw and Daly were speaking on a panel at iGB Affiliate London Conference on Wednesday (April 13), held alongside ICE London 2022 at the ExCel Centre.

So-called prop bets, or novelty bets, are becoming popular, but Americans seem to prefer bets that are fun, such as on the color of the Gatorade at the Super Bowl, said Daly.

They like bets they can talk about with their friends, he said.

One popular but very simple in-play bet during basketball games is called “2 or 3”, Maw said.

That is, will the next basket be a two-pointer or a three-pointer?

It can be played over and over during a game, which makes it “very similar psychologically to roulette”, he said.

DraftKings has a game called “Rocket”, in which to win, a player has to bail out of a rocket before it explodes.

“It’s stupid but it works,” he said.

In the U.S., affiliates are almost uniformly paid per player acquired, rather than through revenue sharing, as is prevalent in Europe, the executives said.

So far, unlike Europe, lifetime values of players have been too hard to predict, Maw said.

There has already been consolidation among affiliates — Betting Hero, part of American Affiliate, was itself acquired last November by Canada’s FansUnite.

But start-ups looking to juice revenue rapidly in order to be sold may be disappointed, Daly said.

“Coming over, building something quick and flipping it, that’s over,” he said.

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