US college students increasingly embrace sports betting
Sports betting has long been legal across the UK, but in the US the practice was strictly prohibited and only in the last couple years have some states started to open up the market and students are embracing the new world.
According to Victor Matheson, an economics professor at Holy Cross with extensive knowledge of the sports betting world, more than 75% of college students have gambled in some form during the past year. It is becoming a popular talking point and hobby for many college students.
It is little surprise that students are the ones at the forefront of the emerging US sports betting industry, as they have grown up online and have been exposed to advertising for sports betting for years despite never legally having the opportunity to partake up until recently. Previously, the best online sports betting sites did not specifically target US residents so they would not fall foul of regulations, but as states have opened up, betting firms have started to target the huge untapped US market, with students a particularly lucrative demographic. Not only are students often the ones watching and engaging more deeply with sporting occasions, but they could become lifelong customers over the next 50+ years.
Sports betting is already legal in 20 states across the US, with a handful more expected to make the practice legal over the next couple of years, and sports leagues are already starting to get in on the action. The National Football League (NFL), the grand-daddy of US sporting leagues has already signed up Caesars as fully-fledged casino partner and Sportsradar as an official data partner, and some estimates put the “betting bonus” in broadcast deals at around 50 per cent, meaning that when the NFL broadcasting deals are renegotiated in 2022 they may increase by as much as $2.5bn a year.
Meanwhile, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has signed up a variety of official betting partners, including MGM, William Hill, TheScore, and BetStars amongst others, each of which will be licensed to use the brand’s logo and other details to denote their official partner status. And all of which will make the NBA some serious additional profits that were simply not available to it until the Supreme Court struck down the ban on sports betting a couple of years ago.
Photograph by Damonify