Global Sports Continues To Take A Gamble
Over a week ago, the Super Bowl attracted what was a record amount of gambling traffic in the only place it was legal in the United States, Las Vegas. Still with the millions wagered, estimates are that the number is less than two percent of what is actually wagered in total on the game, most of it in the form of large scale illegal betting operations. With New Jersey and Delaware fighting to overturn a decades old Federal Law that prohibits sports gambling in any state outside of Nevada, the debate on whether gambling, especially online sports gambling, should be legal in the United States wages on.
Overseas, legalized gambling has been an accepted part of fandom for years. Barclays Premier League clubs rake in thousands with betting sponsors, and fans use wagering as a regular part of the game experience, especially n hand held devices. The latest innovation came this week when Bloomberg Sports, which has carved a niche in its short history helping advance the use of analytics in Major League Baseball, announced a deal with the EPL club Norwich City to provide enhanced betting analytics for their fans through a betting app that may give supporters an added edge when making their choices. The custom designed tool will provide a deep dive for the canaries matches, while also providing similar match analysis stats for virtually any game across any of Europe’s five elite soccer leagues. It is hoped by BSports that this type of custom tool will be a huge revenue generator and provide the impetus for the elite clubs of the EPL…Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United etc…to create their own custom apps for their millions of followers, all in the name of revenue and a better in-match experience. “We are delighted to enter into this new partnership with Bloomberg Sports. The match analysis that this product provides is excellent in allowing supporters to really drive down and understand everything about their team and future outcomes,” said Norwich City Head of Sales and Marketing Will Hoy in a press release Thursday. “We are very excited to join with them in this partnership which we believe our supporters will find very fun and engaging.”
Still even with the regulated stakes, the partnerships between clubs and established betting houses, the issue of impropriety still arises, with FIFA this week launching investigations into wide spread match fixing, much of which is tied to gambling. While there is no way to weed out such problems entirely…they have surfaced in American sport from time to time as well…the ability for millions to bet legally does make the fixing issue even more prevalent when it does happen.
With the investigations going on, legal sports gambling grows every year, as does the pot of money spent globally on illegal wagering. Has the time come to find ways to bring the revenue lost to illegal actions to the North American sports scene?