LSR: Sports broadcasts reluctance to embrace US gambling

There has been a massive influx of money and advertisement into the US gambling sector in recent months as the industry continues to experience accelerated growth. 

Yet the Legal Sports Report noticed a reluctance from sports broadcasters to fully embrace discussion about gambling and its advertisement. 

The newest edition of the LSR podcast explores the reasons behind broadcasters ‘tip toeing’ around the discussion of gambling within the US despite the prominence of the space only enhancing. 

“Is it just the lack of education? Is it pressure from the leagues not to do this? Think about the broadcasters we see on a regular basis who are willing to talk about this,” states Adam Candee. 

“The view of gambling is that it is still a very niche audience amongst sports. When you talk about a Monday Night Football audience, you’re talking about folks who only a very small segment of them are interested in gambling talk… I guess that’s tough to measure.”

The conversation then moves onto bet365 stepping into the Ontario gambling space. Ontario has been the subject of much speculation as to when it will legalise online gambling. Bet365’s newly acquired licence in Canada’s largest populated state only adds fuel to their impending acceptance of gambling. 

“They (bet365) just got a licence from the Alcohol and Gaming commission in Ontario,” says Dustin Gouker.  

“They are one of many grey market operators who have worked in Canada for a long time, this will not be new to them. I don’t think this is a path for some of those aforementioned black market operators because there are still these lines of white, grey and black. If you’re serving places that it is clearly illegal, I don’t think you’re getting into Ontario.”

The podcast also delves into the New York market, as there are suggestions that sports betting may still be able to expand in the ‘Big Apple’ without decreases in tax. 

“We’re looking at what’s happening in New York where we have nine approved sports betting operators at a 51% tax rate,” says Candee. 

“Senator Pretlow (J. Gary Pretlow) and Senator Addabbo (Joseph Addabbo Jr.) – the two senators most behind the push to legalise sports and mobile betting – have introduced mirroring bills that would by next year, upp the number of sports books in New York to 14.

“Would that then take the tax rate down in New York to 35% or a lower number? Forget about it, that’s not what is going to happen.”

LSR also tackled how US sportsbooks can prevent another Calvin Ridley case, as the Atlanta Falcons wide receiver was suspended for a year after being found to have been betting on NFL fixtures. 

There are also updates from Minnesota, Senate discussions surrounding Missouri and Maryland sports betting disparity.