Renowned United Kingdom-based online gambling operator Bet365 is a step closer to offering its gaming services to the growing sports betting market in the United States. Known for offering world-class gaming service, the gaming company will be making its initial debut in the US through New Jersey and to seal the deal, it has already even gone as far as signing a lease on a piece of real estate in Marlton, New Jersey and this presumably where it will be operating from. The office space sits on a 19,000-square-foot-space at the Two Greentree Center and Bet365 will have access to it for quite some time thanks to the long-term lease.
Rumors of a possible venture into the United States emerged in 2018 when Bet365 partnered with Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, a local gambling operator – both companies signed a letter of intent as per New Jersey state gaming regulations before they were allowed to begin making plans for sports betting.
Dealing with Competition
Even though Bet365 has built quite the reputation for itself in the world of online gambling, this simply does not cut it in all gambling markets especially in cases where there are equally viable and reputable competitors trying to get a piece of the action. New Jersey is no stranger to gaming companies and already boasts of being home to a plethora of influential sportsbooks including 888Sport, Borgata, William Hill, FanDuel and DraftKings, all of which are considered to be quite good at the services they offer.
As such, penetrating the United States gaming market will certainly not be an easy task. This, however, does not mean that it is impossible. As a matter of fact, European gaming companies have been doing quite well in the United States thanks to the reliance on a mix of innovative gaming solutions as well as market-specific offerings that have resonated very well with US-based customers.
New Jersey is Just the First Stop for Bet365
Bet365 has had a lot of success back in the United Kingdom due to its prowess in finance and business and this is probably what will give the company an edge over competitors in the United Kingdom. It is already catching up with other established sports betting operators in the state and, as it turns out, its plans for the United States extend beyond New Jersey. The company is reportedly already eyeing expansion opportunities in New York, a move that is likely to be facilitated by the deal it recently signed with Empire Resorts.
Jennifer Smith, the Keystone State’s Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) Secretary has today officially kick-started the activities that mark Mars as the state’s Gambling Awareness Month. While inaugurating the event, the secretary said that the goal of the initiative is to bring various stakeholders in the gaming sector together in a bid to promote awareness with regards to problem gambling which is starting to become more prevalent as the gaming industry continues to grow. Jennifer Smith further pointed out it would be a great opportunity to highlight some of the resources that would be required for the promotion of responsible gambling among individuals.
She went on to urge individuals to keep a watchful eye over their family and friends so that they can better recognize when a recreational hobby such as sports betting or online poker evolves into a more serious problem. This way necessary interventions can be introduced earlier and the individuals can receive the treatment and assistance they need before the problem becomes unmanageable or results in irreversible harm.
This March will be the 15th anniversary of the National Gambling Awareness Month as recognized by the National Council on Problem Gambling. The theme for this year is “Awareness + Action” which reflects on the need for a more proactive approach in as far as the issue of problem gambling is concerned. The campaign’s mandate is to not only raise public awareness on the issue of problem gambling but to also push for more treatment and recovery services for victims.
In Pennsylvania, the initiative has received a significant push forward through a partnership of sorts between the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania who are jointly funding and operating the Pennsylvania Problem Gambling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426- 2537) which is available 24/7 every day of the year.
New Jersey Rolls Out Awareness Efforts as Well
In similar news, the lottery New Jersey has also recently revamped its efforts to promote awareness on problem gambling by collaborating with the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey. Just like in Pennsylvania, the state also has a dedicated call line available to people who are victims or may be at risk of gambling-related harm in the state.
Fortunately, the legalization of sports betting in the state is having a positive effect on awareness efforts. This is because, in the past, sports gamblers were reluctant to seek help since they were playing at illegal or underground bookmakers which is no longer the case as there are fully legal and regulated sportsbooks they can play at. In case they develop any issues related to gambling, they no longer have to worry about being nabbed for participating in illegal gambling activities.
The football season is getting closer and the New Jersey mobile sports betting market has gotten big enough for more offerings to take advantage it. Some of the biggest developments in this regard include moves by fantasy sports titan FanDuel and American affiliate of British bookmaker, William Hill to begin offering mobile sports betting last Saturday, marking yet another milestone for the state’s rapidly growing gambling industry.
The entry of the two operators into the sports betting market brings the number of companies offering similar betting products in New Jersey to five. Others operators who have already established offerings for the sports betting market include Draft Kings, Borgata Casino and PlaySugarHouse.com. Borgata was the first casino in New Jersey to offer sports betting in June and it has since been joined by the Bally’s Resorts, Ocean Resort, Golden Nugget and Harrah’s.
William Hill’s Subtle Entry
While FanDuel’s mobile sports betting offering in New Jersey was expected William Hill’s sports betting app was snuck into the New Jersey sports betting market at about the same time. The announcement itself was quite subtle – an email was sent to a rather small group of customers for this soft-launch period. At the moment, the sports product can only be accessed on Android online with the iOS app set to follow soon.
At first glance, the Fanduel Sportsbook is a polished and market-ready product that will certainly have no problem competing in New Jersey’s gambling space. The platform was developed entirely in-house but the operator has also gone further to borrow resources from Paddy Power Betfair, its new owner – Paddy Power Betfair acquired FanDuel last summer for a nine-figure amount.
“We’re partnered with one of the most respected brands in Europe, if not the most respected. That gives us a lot of operational [advantages] — whether it is efficient pricing, whether it is the breadth of markets, it gives us more credibility in the space,” Head of Product Nik Bonaddio commented. “Paddy Power has a world-class trading team behind it. If you look at the margins that Paddy Power has, the revenue they do on a lesser scale means that their trading department is as good as it gets. All of this runs off the same platforms that Paddy Power itself runs off of. You will see us having, if not the most efficient lines, among them.”
FanDuel has adopted a more conservative approach to the sports and contents that it books online and on mobile.
“If there’s even any chance of someone thinking an event might be fixed,” Bonaddio said, “we’re probably going to stay away from it. We’ll sacrifice some volume to ensure the consumer protections are there.”