After years of anticipation, the US Supreme Court finally decided that the federal government’s ban on sports gambling was unconstitutional. The decision took place in May of 2018, effectively remanding the decision making process regarding sports betting to the state level. In the last few months, there also been enough clarification about the Wire Act of 1961 to prompt online gambling operators to request access to gamblers in states where online gambling might be legalized.
The reaction at the state level in the US has been swift and decisive. To date, at least 17 states have already legalized sports gambling with at least 12 of them are already accepting wagers. There are also six states that have legalized online and mobile casino gambling for its residents. With close to a year’s worth of results already in the books for some states, it has become very clear the US will soon become the world’s largest consumer of online gambling.
A Big Payday for European Gambling Interests
Without any relevant online gambling activity in the states in prior years, it’s not surprising there were only a couple of gambling operators that were in a position to take advantage of the growth the online gambling industry was about to experience in the US. Indeed, DraftKings and FanDuel both immediately jumped into the mix.
To date, DraftKings has taken its fantasy sports brand and turned it into one of the leading online gambling brands in America. FanDuel took another path. In mid-2018, FanDuel was acquired by Paddy Power Betfair’s operations to become known as the FanDuel Group. With the backing of a UK gambling powerhouse like Paddy’s Power, FanDuel was immediately able to go toe to toe with DraftKings as they competed for business in each successive state that legalized sports and online gambling, a trend that is expected to continue.
It doesn’t stop there for UK gambling interests. In a relatively short period of time, William Hill has become a major player in the US online gambling market. They are being joined by other large UK gambling conglomerates like bet365, Unibet and 888, all of which are actively positioning themselves for a big payday as the North America online gambling market explodes.
Not to be left out in the code, there’s a number of UK based software developers that are also seeing a drastic increase in business. Software developers like NetEnt, Microgaming, IGT, Aristocrat, Scientific Games and SB Tech are getting a chance to play a major role in the implementation of 2020 new casinos opening up in the US. Who would of imagined American gamblers would ever be getting access to the same kinds of free spins no deposit offers as UK gamblers? It’s still too early to determine what kind of an impact the gaming revenue from US online casino operators is going to have on the stock prices of the aforementioned UK gambling concerns. What is known is the early returns are more than encouraging. From one state to the next, the numbers are topping expectations and doing so much earlier than originally anticipated. For investors, eyes should be locked on the year end numbers coming out of states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Indiana. The story to be told could have a great impact on the future of UK gambling stock prices.