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Sports Betting Stakeholders

This is an excerpt from Business of Sports Betting epub, The by Becky Harris,John T. Holden & Gil B. Fried.

There are many stakeholders in the sports betting industry.

  • State legislatures are responsible for legalizing various forms of gambling.
  • Gaming regulators are charged with the oversight of gambling operations within their jurisdiction.
  • Sportsbook operators and businesses offer wagering products.
  • Professional and collegiate sports organizations recruit athletes and establish competitions and tournaments.
  • Athletes compete in the games and tournaments on which wagers are placed.
  • Members of the public benefit from sports and the taxes generated from gambling.
  • Gamblers themselves place the wagers and are the reason sports betting businesses are established.

How these stakeholders have come together, are coming together, and might come together in the future is what makes the sports betting industry so exciting. It is also interesting to watch how state legislatures approach the legalization of sports betting. No two jurisdictions are alike. Some jurisdictions actively seek to legalize sports betting, whereas others seem to shun legal regulated sports wagering entirely. The gaming industry seems to continually reinvent itself in interesting ways as new opportunities present themselves.

With the arrival of sports betting, different sports betting verticals have and continue to emerge. Each business has a specific target market or segment of customers it caters to. A business vertical is a specific industry or market that focuses on a particular niche. With the introduction of new verticals come new stakeholders. Some new verticals in the sports betting space include data analysis companies, sports integrity companies, and media companies. New participants and verticals introduce new participants into the sports betting ecosystem and cause shifts in stakeholder interests.

Stakeholders tend to have

  • an interest (generally financial but could be social, mental health, etc.) in a particular industry, such as gambling or sports wagering;
  • responsibility for a particular area of the industry, such as integrity, player protection, regulation, and so on; or
  • the ability to exercise influence over the industry by creating new laws, suggesting ways to improve integrity, or advocating for protections for vulnerable populations such as collegiate athletes or people with challenges related to problem gambling.

As state efforts to legalize and regulate sports betting continue, the number of stakeholders is poised to increase. For example, prior to 2018 there was only one state, Nevada, with full-scale legal regulated sports wagering. Now, instead of the United States having one regulatory approach, it has 38 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, each with its own unique regulatory structure. In addition to an increase in regulatory stakeholders, there has been a significant rise in the number of sportsbook operators. As these operators try to penetrate the new market, advertisements are exploding across the United States, more people are placing wagers, there is more discussion around responsible and problem gambling, and there is a greater need for vendors and suppliers.

The sports betting industry is dynamic and subject to constant change. Knowing who the stakeholders are and which issues matter most to them is critical. It is imperative that stakeholder groups collaborate as challenges and concerns arise that might affect the integrity of sporting events. As the industry grows, it will transform and innovate. New opportunities and products will emerge. As more states continue to legalize and regulate sports wagering, the number of novel stakeholders will increase, the types of stakeholders will become more diverse, and the influence different groups of stakeholders wield will ebb and flow as public policy priorities change. Such is the typical experience in emerging industries.

More Excerpts From Business of Sports Betting epub