As quickly as the US sports betting market sprang into life, it has now ground to a halt. This, of course, is down to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic rather than regulatory pushback, but this puts operators across a number of states under huge pressure.
The forces driving the review of the 2005 Gambling Act mean the resulting changes will be far deeper than former shadow culture secretary Tom Watson’s description of the law as “analogue legislation not fit for the digital age” suggests.
The US sports betting market has largely been driven by incumbents and established brands, with many taking the view that the high regulatory costs present too large a hurdle for new challengers to jump. Bet.Works proves that isn’t the case.
There’s no sugar coating the fact: 2019 was an incredibly difficult year for the gambling industry. The sector has a long way to go if it is to restore the trust of lawmakers and the general public across a number of territories. However, this should be viewed as an opportunity. The current climate creates scope for significant structural changes, which can ensure a sustainable sector going forward. For this reason the overarching theme of the magazine is: where next?
End-of-year issues traditionally reflect the broader seasonal wind down, but iGB is rounding off 2019 with its strongest content line-up of the year. What started out as our people edition centred around the Salary Survey and Most Influential Women now also includes a series of articles driven by November’s Responsible Gambling Week.
While much recent analysis of igaming in African markets has focused on the barriers of poor payments and internet penetration, the main story has been of explosive sports betting-led growth and relatively open access.
This issue we take stock of the biggest news featured in iGB during the first half of the year. Regulatory restrictions and advertising crackdowns dominate and show no sign of abating as the industry battles increasingly hostile public and political perceptions across Europe.