European - American influence
Without the European continent, sports betting wouldn’t be what it is today. Sports betting has been popular in Europe dating all the way back to the middle ages. Can you just imagine Frodo laying down the ring in a wager on a game of dice? Winning it back of course. And even today, the art of sports betting remains extremely popular today across Europe. Countries like the France, Germany, Italy and of course the UK lead the way across the continent. More money is put on bets in Europe than anywhere else in the world. Betting on soccer is the most dominant sport in all of the countries there. And tennis and basketball come after that. The European sports betting market rakes in billions of dollars every year. It is engrained into the sports culture and history that they have. Whenever big competitions like the Champions League roll around it is hard to find a soccer fan who isn’t wagering on something in the games.
The joys of winning your bets and the slow sinking feeling of losing the bet are both what keeps the player coming back for more. It enhances the experience of watching the game in a similar way that participating in a fantasy league does. However, it is time for Americans to join the big boys. To leave the lineup of your fantasies behind and test your knowledge on the game actually taking place. The way that sports betting differs from fantasy leagues is that you are betting on every facet of one game rather than piecing together multiple facets from different games, among other things. Not just betting on the game but on yourself as well. European betting has not always been a smooth-running process however, and now that America has legalized the practice they can look to Europe for advice and guidance.
The magnificent industry of sports betting all began with dice games back in the European middle ages. Throughout the west bets on cock fights and bird races were extremely popular. The games had Playing cards were invented in China and made their way through Europe in around the 1300’s. For the next hundreds or years, dice and card games ruled the land. Different games and wagers all found their ways throughout Europe bringing all of the unique cultures and languages together. Casino-style gambling started becoming popular in the late 1700’s. Games like roulette, craps, lotteries and sports betting all became very popular and remain so to this day. The knowledge and history acquired from Europeans over time can help get America’s new sports betting industry flying smoothly.
One of the things American sportsbooks are already taking from the Europeans is the use of technological data in order to create odds for the players. American software companies like Kinder Group and betradar have already begun creating odds data for major companies in states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The companies help to create the most competitive odds for the players while at the same time keeping the sportsbooks profitable. A good software company and odds can make all the difference, especially since all of these American are basically starting from scratch in these markets. The players will always take the better odds, the company will come second.
The companies also come up with different types of betting options for the sportsbooks to offer. There is also the option now for online betting for the users to customize their bets allowing them to personally apply their own betting style to offers.
These have been successful in Europe for a while now and as a result many American sportsbooks are offering these from the start. There are even options for punters to amend their bets even after placing them. Live bets are nothing new, but this recent tool can allow American punters to add more to a bet, amend a current bet, or to even cash out during the game. This of course increases the level of focus needed in the game as players need to be ready to respond quickly to any new information that comes up during the game and adjust their bet accordingly.
However, the innovations and trends that come out of Europe are not without negatives. One of the biggest threats to bookmakers today is match fixing done on a mass scale.
The problem is already widespread throughout Europe, with the International Centre for Sports Security (ICSS) estimating that about $140 billion dollars is taken each year from the betting industry due to match fixing and illegal betting systems.
The main focus for American bookmakers should be to understand the problem and to start funding solutions right away. The EU has already started funding three solutions that they hope will curb the problem. Simply put, these include things like making it easier for people to anonymously speak up when they suspect that match-fixing is happening and stronger cooperation between sports associations and betting firms in identifying problems, reporting them and fixing them together. America will surely have their own unique problems and solutions, but these documented cases in Europe provide some insight for bookmakers in the states who do not want to lose money unfairly.
There is also the problem of what some would call enabling gambling addictions through over-exposure. The complaints arose across the UK due to ad placements on sports jerseys and television ads throughout a sports game viewed by all could lead to an eagerness to gamble or continue gambling long after the player should have stopped. Although the legal betting companies could argue that the point of these ads is to get more people to gamble, many argued that the because of how easy it is to access online gambling these days could lead to problem gambling on a mass scale.
In America, MGM, FanDuel and others already have sponsorships with three of the major sports leagues (MLB, NHL, NBA) and Caesars casino is partnered with the NFL.
One of the reasons for signing partnerships between casinos and the leagues is so that casinos can advertise their businesses through individual teams and players within the league. So, it is not difficult at all to imagine sponsorships from betting companies gaining exposure to fans through their favorite teams. Whether there will be a significant uproar in America over it has yet to be seen.
The business of sports betting becoming legal in America is a very exciting and lucrative opportunity for many involved. The country has long waited for its arrival. With it will come an abundance of unforeseen problems and benefits. These will of course be unique for an equally unique country like America, but there are bound to be some things that the much more experienced Europeans have already dealt with. The influence of their sports betting industry is something that has already impacted the industry in America and will continue to do so in the future. By understanding the complexities and with a little insight into European gambling, American sports betting will be a welcome industry for years to come.