Guest post by Katie Kohler, iGaming Communications Manager at BetMGM
The BetMGM offices in Jersey City overlook the Hudson River with stunning skyline views of Manhattan. BetMGM currently is live in 27 markets including New York, which is the most populous state sports betting is legal. My view on the US sports betting market comes down to what’s now, what’s next and what’s possible.
But it’s hard not to look at how the sports betting industry got here. It’s been over five years since the Supreme Court overturned PASPA making sports betting legal outside of Nevada. The summer of 2023 featured notable exits and entrants to the sports betting industry which only serves as a reminder of the growth and challenges.
Right now, it’s a crisp autumn morning. A new college football and NFL season brings the launch of BetMGM’s next generation sports betting app. Among its various new features include enhanced wagering functionality, a free-to-enter $100k survivor pool and seamless user experience nationwide.
It’s no surprise that a majority of sports betting operators’ ad and marketing dollars are spent during football season. But perhaps the best advertisement is a solid product. An app that offers a user-friendly experience, a deep variety of betting options, and engaging promotions are some key product elements that will not only attract but retain customers. At BetMGM, I get a first-hand look at the work done across many departments and the drive to continue to make the product better.
What’s now and next. According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), sportsbook revenue in the US hit US $7.5 billion in 2022, up 75 percent on 2021. Through July 2023, sports betting revenue reached $5.46 billion, exceeding the same period in the previous year by 63 percent.
The US sports betting market continues to grow at a remarkable rate as more states come online. Most recently, Kentucky launched sports betting on September 28.
BetMGM’s parent companies – MGM Resorts and Entain – give it a unique advantage in the sports betting market. Entain’s acquisition of Angstrom has already started enhancing the BetMGM app in the popular markets of parlays and live betting.
The “now” and “next” for sports betting is building a better omni-channel experience. With BetMGM, Detroit Lions fans in Michigan can wager on the Lions, choose to play Detroit Lions-branded casino games at the award-winning BetMGM casino, all while earning MGM Rewards they can use at 20 MGM Resorts destinations across the country including MGM Grand Detroit. BetMGM also welcomed back 8-Bit Barry at the start of the NFL season. BetMGM Celebrity Ambassador and Detroit Lions legend Barry Sanders rules the virtual gridiron in this free-to-play game celebrating the nostalgia of retro football video games. Every week, BetMGM customers can select an option for Sanders to spin, juke or stiff-arm to win prizes.
Above the quest to continue to build a better product is always a focus on the customer. And when it comes to the customer, nothing is more important than their safety.
The sports betting industry’s sustainability and growth is directly related to a commitment to responsible gambling. BetMGM is proud to provide resources to help customers play responsibly including GameSense, an industry leading program. In September, BetMGM continued to display a strong commitment to RG by partnering with Kindbridge Behavioral Health to support individuals facing challenges related to problem gambling. The first-of-its-kind partnership is launching a pilot program in Colorado that will empower self-excluded players with direct access to comprehensive mental health assessments and group support services.
What’s possible? Taylor Swift showed up at Travis Kelce’s Chiefs game and drove viewership past 24 million viewers and according to Nielson, the matchup also ranked first in every female demographic. It sent Kelce jersey sales soaring and social media has since entered its Travis and Taylor era. What will this mean for sportsbooks? Watch closely to see who embraces this crossover and welcomes creative options to blend the entertainment and sports betting worlds across social media, promotions and more.
With collaboration, imagination, and a relentless pursuit to create a better experience, great innovations for an industry still in its early stages are coming.
You can bet on it.