Sports Betting Operator Issue 08 Volume 5

Page 1

Derek Stevens and Circa Sports beat the odds




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This November (2023), Las Vegas will be hosting Formula One’s Grand Prix, predicted to be the most significant sporting event in the city’s history. Many expect the F1 event to exceed even the upcoming Super Bowl which will be held at Allegiant Stadium in February (2024).

Welcome to the 8th edition of Sports Betting Operator Magazine, a leading voice in the B2B sports betting market. The excitement level here in Las Vegas for these two events at the highest level. These events will surely be a test on the city’s hospitality sector, as well as the traffic grid.

David McKee’s article “A Full Speed” does well in covering the history of the Las Vegas Grand Prix. Though Sin City hosted the F1 event in 1981 and 1982, expectations are much greater for this year’s event. David’s story is a valuable read.

When covering sports and sports wagering in Las Vegas, the downtown Circa Resort is always first to mind.

David McKee follows on with a story about Circa and it’s owner, Derek Stevens. His dreams and vision lead to this amazing property that has helped revitalize the Vegas downtown. The article “Loaded For Bear” discusses the CIrca’s sports betting, their work with responsible gambling, and even how they’re preparing for the upcoming Grand Prix.

Progressing from Circa’s discussion on Responsible Gaming, SBO moves into an article on “Getting it Right”, and how responsible-gaming messaging is at the bedrock of the industry’s approach to the American market. David McKee connects with directors at both Fanduel and the American Gaming Association to discuss getting the RG message across, along with the general industry response.

SBO has a conversation with Matt Primeaux, President of Hard Rock Digital regarding the upcoming Super Bowl (Feb 2024). “Between a Hard Rock and a Super Bowl” discusses the pattern and volume of betting as the iconic annual game approaches. Having the game in Las Vegas for the first time will be both a challenge and an event well worth experiencing.

The State of Ohio had recently introduced sports betting, and has run into several issues relating to miscalculations and unforced errors. As the article’s headline indicates, it has been a bumpy road for sports betting in Ohio, which has made the start a very risky and costly endeavor for several sports betting companies.

We welcome our readers to connect with our advertisers, certainly leaders within the sports betting industry. We also welcome you to connect with SBO, the leading B2B publication in the industry.

RIGHT: Bill Healey, Editor, Sports Betting Operator


VOLUME 004 - ISSUE 008


Publisher – Peter White

Editor in Chief – David McKee

Managing Editor – Bill Healey

Editor EMEA – Damien Connelly

International Editor – Victor H Royer

Designer – Stewart Hyde

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Editorial Policy: The views and opinions expressed in Sports Betting Operator remain principally the views of contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or publishers.

The publishers wish to avoid inaccuracies and, whilst every precaution has been taken to ensure that information contained in this publication is accurate, no liability is accepted by the editor or publishers for errors or omissions, however caused.

Unless otherwise stated, articles appearing in this publication remain the copyright of the publishers and may not be reproduced in any form without the publisher’s written consent.

Printed in the UK by Severn Print Ltd.


Formula One Grand Prix racing is coming to Las Vegas


Circa Sports offers something for every fan and fanatic


Responsible-gaming messaging is at the bedrock of the industry’s approach to the U.S. market


Sports betting’s launch in one U.S. state underscores some inherent pitfalls


A conversation with Matt Primeaux, president of Hard Rock Digital


Bill Healey chats with Chief Commercial Officer Steve Rogers about new products


SuzoHapp’s ITV-9000 is designed for the era of light staffing and selfservice


Entain data reveals the British Grand Prix as the ultimate F1 spectacle for fans


A groundbreaking study highlights dramatic growth in women’s sports

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Formula One grand-prix racing is coming to Las Vegas; let the festivities begin.

It’s still months until the Las Vegas Grand Prix is held but the winner is already obvious: the hospitality industry. One Wall Street boffin after another has proclaimed Formula One racing to be the big-ticket item in Sin City this year or next … yes, even bigger than Super Bowl 2024, to be held at Allegiant Stadium. Formula One, meanwhile, revs its engines on Nov. 16-18 and promises to be a lucrative yearly tradition for the entertainment business.

For the race itself, most of the Las Vegas Strip will be converted into one giant straightaway, from The Venetian Resort and Treasure Island (see map) to Planet Hollywood. From there, the course takes a hard left on Harmon Avenue, wraps around Virgin Hotel Las Vegas and the newly constructed

“paddock zone” in Virgin’s back yard. Heading north on the Koval Lane back stretch, racers will slingshot around the MSG Sphere and pass Wynn Las Vegas on their way back to Venetian, 50 times around. May the best driver win.

A long, winding road

This isn’t Las Vegas’ first dance with Formula One. Such races were held in 1981 and 1982, but the spectacle didn’t stick. Organizers are clearly hoping that the 2023 iteration is different, especially in a Vegas that no longer relies upon gambling as its primary source of revenue. The Grand Prix will return in 2025, and again and again through 2032, having been green-lit by the Clark County Commission.

The third Grand Prix of the 2023 racing circuit (after Miami and the


United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas), the Vegas one will traverse a temporary, street-hugging track. Not only will this be the first season with three Grand Prix events in the U.S., the Las Vegas tourney will be the 1,10th race in World Championship history. While Grand Prix racing (particularly to viewers of the eponymous film) is synonymous with the casino town of Monte Carlo, why let Monaco have all the fun?

The 14-corner racecourse will offer many more thrills than the old days, when racing was confined to the Caesars Palace parking lot. Bringing Formula One back to Las Vegas was the brainwave of promoters Emily Prazer and Chloe Targett-Adams. As they prowled the Las Vegas Strip, it struck them as the perfect venue for Formula One action.

That was in 2019. Several years would pass before the idea came to fruition, largely because Formula One was fixated upon its Miami event, which bowed last year. But during the Covid-19 pandemic, as Formula One looked to patch together a viable series of races, Las Vegas started looking more and more attractive.

Enter race-franchise owner Liberty Media, which took it upon itself to cut through Clark County red tape and sell Sin City on the idea of Formula One excitement. CEO Renée Wilm lobbied the local powers that be over an extended period of time, wearing down resistance. It didn’t hurt that Liberty was a major player in U.S. sports (owning the Atlanta Braves baseball team) and radio.

Once she had the community’s go ahead, Wilm began planning, headquartered in a Wynn Las Vegas suite. A forested, 39-acre plot of land was purchased and cleared. This would become the site of the Las Vegas Grand Prix’s permanent paddock. She survived the dropout of concert organizer Live

Nation. Originally intended to be a copresenter of the race, Live Nation has fallen back into its accustomed role of providing concerts and parties.

That wasn’t all. The racecourse had to be excavated and resurfaced with a special, two-inch racing surface, something for which the county is expected to pony up an additional $40 million. The repaving project is anticipated to have a mid-September finish, leaving just enough time to get the course ready for the turbulence of race tires.

A citywide extravaganza is being teed up for Formula One weekend, headlined by local resident attractions Blue Man Group and the many troupes of Cirque du Soleil. Vegas-synonymous chef Wolfgang Puck will also be curating the culinary offerings for select grandstands. 7 FEATURE: GRAND PRIX

A luxurious experience

Seeing the spectacle won’t come cheap. Pack some krugerrand: A threeday pass will set you back as much as $10,000. However, in return for that lavish outlay, you’re promised treatment fit for a king. The key grandstand offerings break down as follows:

The Paddock Club. Even at 15 grand a pop, this select preserve has already sold out. In addition to exclusive access to the club itself, patrons are assured access to the opening ceremonies, concierge service, transportation (never to be undervalued in Las Vegas) and a “commemorative ticket box,” just for starters. Meanwhile, above the Main Grandstand you will find a…

Skybox. This will set you back a mere 10 grand. Occupants are promised “prime views of the start and finish line.” In a nod to the city’s history, the Skybox will be fitted out in styles designed to be reminiscent of the Rat Pack era. Live music and speciality cocktails will also be on tap, as will a dedicated service manager. Unlike other grandstands, your ticket to the Skybox gives you four-day access.

Koval Hospitality Zone Grandstand

Priced at $8,000, this experience is bifurcated between the Neon and Legacy zones. The first emphasizes partying, with live entertainment and “over-the-top” cocktails available to patrons. Legacy occupants get to meet Formula One legends in the flesh and will enjoy a prime view of the track, as this box puts the emphasis on the race proper, along with “unique and interactive activations.” Some gaming companies freely admit they’re still getting their Grand Prix ducks in a row. Such would include Caesars Entertainment, which recently announced viewing areas that include…

Club Paris ($5,500). Alexxa’s, Beer Park and Chateau Nightclub & Gardens at Paris-Las Vegas will be unified to create this experience, right at the heart of the racecourse. Your three-day ticket covers all food and drink, including special “action stations” serving premium, favorite dishes from Alexxa’s. The trackside terrace of Beer Park offers interactive games, food trucks, street food, beer, wine and cocktails. And inside Chateau Nightclub you’ll find disc jockeys spinning platters, as well as a custom-made lounge wherein you can enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres and desserts.

Heinken House ($8,000). From the defunct Neon nightclub has arisen


this tribute to the famous Dutch beer. Racing takes a back seat to nightclubbing, as DJs do their thing and assembled party animals shake their collective booty. In addition to premium cocktails and interactive premium food stations, Heineken products will be at the forefront. Oh yes, the three-story Heineken House is promised to provide breathtaking terrace views of the Koval Straightaway.

Club SI ($7,000). It wouldn’t be a major-league sporting event without Sports Illustrated. The magazine and lifestyle brand is sponsoring “immersive” entertainment that includes celebrity guest appearances, popular DJ performances and panels. There will be not one but two VIP areas from which to view the race, as well as premium cocktails, “top-shelf” appetizers and food stations for the lucky elite.

Something for every budget

Prices drop dramatically at the Main Grandstand, which costs $2,500 over four days. What’s more, non-alcohol drinks are free and you’ll have assigned seating overlooking the East Harmon Zone. Who says you can’t get a bargain in Vegas anymore?

Not quite so much of a bargain is the East Harmon Zone Grandstand—$2,500 for only three days. But patrons also get free food and non-alcoholic drink, as well as assigned seating at a prime corner of the raceway. Similar amenities and benefits are on offer at the MSG Sphere Zone Grandstands, whose price tapers down to $2,000 for three days. Ditto the West Harmon Zone Grandstands, which have the same value proposition at $1,500 a head.

There’s even something for the Great Unwashed, namely General Admission, which goes for only $500 for three days. Get into shape: It’s standing-room

only, with a view of the MSG Sphere Zone. At least the booze-free drinks and food are comped.

Going above and beyond in extravagance, there is the Wynn Grid Club, which offers the only five-day tickets. Details are a bit vague at this point, but your money buys you a year-round Club membership as well as admission to the opening ceremonies, comped “all-inclusive” (read: alcoholic) F&B, and the coveted commemorative ticket box.

With all that party-hearty entertainment on tap, we hope that the actual Formula One race won’t be an afterthought for spectators. But if it is, given the copious F&B, as well as the musical diversions onstage, thoroughly booty-shaken visitors will be forgiven if the three days in November are one high-speed blur. 9


Circa Sports offers something for every brand of fan and fanatic.

Downtown Las Vegas’ Circa casino-resort is a dream given form. Where others saw blight – two outmoded, neglected casinos and a Strip club – Derek Stevens saw opportunity, as well as the first truly modern casino in downtown in decades. Part of his vision was one of the biggest, most dramatic sports books seen in Sin City. The Circa book rises three stories and encompasses offerings for just about every stripe of sports fan.

Nor did Stevens stop there. He augmented the sports book with Stadium Swim, a complex of swimming pools and relaxation areas dominated by … well, the term large-screen TVs seems pitifully inadequate to describe

the billboards that Stadium Swim offers. Stevens’ ambitions didn’t end with Circa. Seeing a branding opportunity, he branched off Circa Sports, a terrestrial and online chain of books. Starting with three Stevens-owned casinos – Circa, The D and the Golden Gate – it soon encompassed three affiliates who preferred to ally with Stevens rather than launch books of their own. From Nevada it leapfrogged to Colorado, to Iowa and now to Illinois, where Circa Sports will plant its flag first at Full House Resorts’ temporary casino in Waukegan and eventually in the permanent American Place.

To get a handle on the burgeoning Circa Sports empire, we sat down with Director of Operations Jeff Benson late on a Friday afternoon. News of


DraftKings’ attempt to take Fanatics out of the bidding for U.S. ownership of PointsBet had just broken, which only added spice to a no-holds-barred conversation …

When was Circa Sports spun off as a distinct brand and what was the vision behind it?

We launched June 1 of 2019. We were our own brand. We were probably the first independent line in Nevada in maybe 10 0r 15 years. As we’ve grown we’ve added a total of six properties here in Nevada. We’ve expanded to Iowa and Colorado in a strictly mobile setting. Then obviously we look forward to our Illinois expansion later this summer or early this fall, in both a retail and mobile capacity. That’s kind

of what our growth path looks like here at Circa Sports.

What goals do the Stevens brothers have for Circa at this time? Anything beyond what you’ve just outlined?

For us, we’re taking the long approach. We don’t have to be in every state and every market right away. We’re being thoughtful and purposeful in terms of the places that we go into. Our goal is to bring sports betting the way it should be to as many people as possible in this country. We hope to be in all 50 states at some point. But we’re working on our own tech stack. We’re growing organically and just trying to get people to understand our brand and the other things that distinguish ourselves versus some of the cookiecutter operators out there.

Could you elaborate on what “sports betting the way it should be” means for you guys?

A lot of people who work here bet. We just want to treat people the way that we would want to be treated if we walked into a sports book. So we try to be as organic and transparent as possible, whether that’s what our hold on each specific market is, what


we’re going to take in that market – just how we operate. Then basically try to get people down as much as possible. Obviously it’s hard to get down at a lot of these more-recreational books, so for us, having big limits, welcoming winners and utilizing their information to help make our lines sharper, those are some of the core competencies that we focus on and how we differentiate ourselves versus others in the industry.

Circa made its name in sports betting with its signature book in Las Vegas. Could you describe it for readers who haven’t seen it? It’s quite impressive. Circa is the first new hotel and casino in downtown Las Vegas in 40 years. It’s a billion-dollar property. What we try to focus on is attraction-based viewing. Whether you think about the world’s largest three-story sports book or the world’s largest pool amphitheater at Stadium Swim, for us we have two of

the best venues to which you can come and get a first-in-class experience in terms of watching games and feeling the electricity, atmosphere and energy, akin to being at the stadium. When think about those venues, whether it’s the sports book or Stadium Swim, you have the best-in-class odds on sports, the best-in-class TVs and it’s just a firstclass, one-of-a-kind experience that you don’t typically see at other places because they don’t hold the sports book in as high regard as we do. For us, we center everything around sports. We built the sports book so big we had to build a casino around it.

In an era in which mobile betting is predominant, what is the importance of having such a book?

People still like going to games, going to sports books. People like being around other people, cheering and rooting on their bets. It’s the next best thing if you can’t go to the game. You’re not going to find a bigger screen in the world. The energy and electricity and the atmosphere, it allows us to bring people in to see our hotel and casino, and it really drives handle and volume for us. Other places may not get that because they don’t put such an emphasis into their physical book. Mobile continues to grow and will continue but, especially for us here in Nevada and hopefully in Illinois, we believe having these retail books will help people to get to know us. It provides a first-class viewing experience for people who want to watch the game and follow their bets.

What is the arrangement between the Circa flagship and satellite books like Tuscany or The Pass?

For us in our downtown properties like The D, Golden Gate and Circa, Derek Stevens – who is the owner – he owns those casinos, whereas at the other

ABOVE: Derek Stevens

places, the satellite properties that you alluded to, we don’t own the casinos, we just operate the sports books. It allows us to expand our footprint, get to know more customers and service more people just by running those satellite books at those satellite properties. That’s a model that’s pretty popular out here in Nevada. Obviously, when we expand into these other states we’re utilizing certain casinos for skins or licenses. We’ll be partnering with Full House Resorts out in Illinois when we launch.

In the case of Full House, what can we expect of the book at The Temporary at American Place and what will the eventual, full book at American Place be like?

At The Temporary we’ll have three windows. We’ll have a huge kiosk wall with 15-plus kiosks. We’ll have a book that has 25 to 30 TVs. We’ll have people who can bet on the kiosks 24/7, on the mobile app 24/7. We’ll have people at the counter a good enough time to where the retail book is going to be a core component of what we do. We’ll be like that for a couple of years while the main, flagship casino is being built. The hope is when the flagship casino is built, we will have a book that represents 85 to 90 percent of what we have here in Circa, minus maybe a tiny bit of seating.

How would you compare the Nevada, Colorado and Illinois licensing processes?

Illinois has been quite a lengthy process.

Nevada still requires in-person registration to open a mobile-wagering account. Where does Circa stand on this issue?

Ideally, people are able to sign up remotely. That would be better for everybody involved. We try to target

states—when we look to expand outside of Nevada—that have favorable remote funding and registration components, as opposed to having to physically go into the book.

I’m sure you are following the bidding war over PointsBet. As operators either consolidate or withdraw from the market altogether, what opportunities does this present for Circa?

We’re playing the long game. There’s a lot of operators in this space who have, quite frankly, no clue what they’re doing. When you alluded to that bidding war, it’s one company that knows nothing about sports betting trying to buy another company that knows even less about sports betting. For us, we’re going to continue to do the things that we do well, the things that separate us from those in the industry. Consolidation is coming. It’s not good for the player because they’ll have fewer unique operators to bet into. But five, 10, 15 years down the line you’re going to have less operators than you have now and a lot of the Momand-Pop shops will be bought up by some of the bigger players. 13 FEATURE: CIRCA SPORTS
ABOVE: Jeff Benson

The sports betting market has grown rapidly in America. What are we learning as this happens?

That we’re still in the first inning and most people have no clue what they’re doing. We have a long way to go.

When you look from a state-by-state perspective, the rules and regulations, and the user experience from one state to the next is very inconsistent.

When you have so many people with their hands in the cookie jar and a lot of people talking who have never been in the industry before … there’s a lot of problems in the industry. People thought legalization was going to change a lot of that stuff. I’m not confident that legalization has made things a ton better.

What safeguards are in place to ensure that Circa’s books don’t have the same kind of scandals that are occurring in, for instance, Ohio?

When you look places where they come out and say ‘We have a can’tlose parlay’ that can lose, you have a

lot of people doing a lot of things and they don’t really know the industry or the consequences that come with their behavior or the things that they do and say. We have a lot of guys who’ve been in the industry a long time, who have a lot of experience. Responsible gaming, doing things the right way and sports betting the way it should be are things that are important. We just have a different tune and a different approach than a lot of these recreational books. That’s why we’re looked at differently.

What kind of responsible-gaming messaging is Circa putting out?

It’s different in each state with respect to what the operators and regulators want to see. Responsible gaming is something that’s particularly important to us and the way that we operate. We don’t do a ton of ‘risk-free’ bets, ‘can’t-lose’ parlays, deposit bonuses and matches. We don’t have any brand ambassadors or people who go on these shows and tout picks, so we just try to stick the basics and what we know. We let some of the other operators do some of the more chintzy kind of things that we alluded to. Responsible gaming is extremely important to us. We follow what each jurisdiction wants to see, and it’s first and foremost, and at the front of everything we do.

For those who haven’t seen it, what is Circa’s marketing like?

We have the best in class customer service, the lowest hold on future markets, the best pricing, the highest limits. We’re a shop where winners play and everyone’s welcome.

There’s a lot of controversy now about the volume of marketing. Where does Circa stand?

The amount of marketing out there as it relates to these same-game parlays,


these operators jamming stuff down customers’ throats is pretty disgusting. I like tweet occasionally and do some stuff like that. But you’re not going to see us run mainstream commercials and do a lot of what the DraftKings and FanDuels do. It’s a pretty different take over here.

On the lighter side, what have been the best sporting events for Circa other than the obvious ones (Super Bowl, March Madness)?

Football is king, whether you talk about the NFL or college football. The fall months are going to be the best months. People love football, obviously. When you get to the playoffs, the NBA finals and the Stanley Cup—particularly with the Las Vegas Golden Knights—those are things that generate a lot of interest. Then you have one-off events, whether you think about the Kentucky Derby and stuff like that. You have people coming out and signing up for our contests. There’s different ways we go about generating business and excitement outside of the Super Bowl and March Madness, which are probably the two biggest times of the year.

What types of bets do customers favor most: single-game, propositions or parlays?

Major markets, sides, totals, money lines. That’s predominantly where we’re going to find most of our volume and handle, just because we take the biggest limits.

And what events are you looking forward to the most, as we pass the midpoint of the year?

Obviously once you turn the page and get through NBA and hockey you have a couple of months where it’s pretty slow. Then as we get into pre-season

football, that’s when things really gear up. We put a ton of effort and energy into our contests. Everybody’s going to be ready for football.

What do you have in store when the Las Vegas Grand Prix comes to town? We’ll have some activations at the book, up at Stadium Swim, at Legacy Club. We’ll try to get as many people in the doors at Circa as possible and I imagine we’ll have an expanded F1 menu as we’d have for a traditional F1 race. It’ll be exciting to see people gravitating to F1 in Vegas. As we’ve seen with the Knights and the Aces, having March Madness in town and getting the Super Bowl next year, it’s nice to get some big events in town, and really drive tourism.

Finally, Las Vegas gets the Super Bowl next year. How are you preparing? We’ve got the world’s largest threestory sports book, the world’s largest pool amphitheater. I’d imagine you’d have every seat in the sports book sold, every table sold, every hotel room sold. Vegas is such a party town anyway and having the Super Bowl in town for the first time is only going to elevate that to the nth degree.

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Responsible-gaming messaging is at the bedrock of the industry’s approach to the U.S. market.

It’s spreading like wildfire. Sports betting, that is. It’s presently legal and active in 33 U.S. states, and three more are soon to follow. The year is young, as are legislative sessions, in which legalized sports betting is on the docket from coast to coast.

Along with this rapid growth come growing pains. In Ohio, both DraftKings and Barstool Sports have

been fined for marketing to underage players. These and other infractions led Problem Gambling Network of Ohio Executive Director Derek Longmeier to tell TV station NBC4, “We need to make sure that the fines are at a level that it’s not just a cost of doing business.”

Regardless of the age of the market itself, problem gambling is always a concern. A poll of 1,699 players who 19 FEATURE: RESPONSIBLE GAMING

have used responsible-gaming (RG) tools, conducted by Super Casino Sites, found that 49.7 percent were sports bettors. Of all respondents, 73 percent deemed the RG methods available to them either highly or at least somewhat effective.

“This industry is brand new and we’re attracting new customers, not just new sports bettors but people that have been betting on sports as long as there have been sports to bet on,” says Cait DeBaun, vice president for strategic communications and responsibility for the American Gaming


“Our research shows that 90 percent of customers are casual gamblers that enjoy it as entertainment, set a budget and stick to it. The sports-betting audience is seeing the continued growth of responsibility. Eighty-one percent of past-year sports bettors say the industry is committed to promoting responsible gaming and preventing problem gambling.”

Estimates of the prevalence of disordered gambling amongst sports bettors vary wildly. An Ohio newspaper put it at one in four. DeBaun, citing research from the International Center for Responsible Gaming, places it in the vicinity of two to three percent. Of course, as AGA founder Frank Fahrenkopf liked to say, one problem gambler is one too many.

Going against the grain

A company that follows a Fahrenkopfian model is New Yorkbased FanDuel, the leading provider of sports betting in most North American states where it is legal. Says Vice President of Communications Chris Jones, “We also work in partnership with Keith Whyte at the National Council of Problem Gambling. We are a member of the American Gaming Association. We serve on all of their responsible-gaming committees and we are a signatory to their ‘Have a Game Plan’ campaign, which we support, which has run both visually and in-venue.”

One particularly striking innovation made by FanDuel was its mode of operation in Ontario, where sports betting only recently went legal (and where consumers are already reported to be wearying of the monsoon of marketing). As Jones notes, being a first mover—especially in the initial 10 days of operation—is critical. As he puts it, “You probably have Uber on

LEFT: Craig Carton

your phone or you have Lyft. You don’t use both. Winning that customer early is very important.

“So we took the very wonderful decision track that, when we launched into Ontario, rather than flood the airwaves with promotional offers or traditional marketing we launched with nothing but responsible-gaming creative. Nothing for the first five days but we still saw strong success in the Ontario market. We want the customer to know that they can trust our product, our system and ultimately trust that we have their best interests at heart all the time.”

A broad response

FanDuel may be one signatory to the AGA’s code of conduct but there are many others, as DeBaun proudly notes. She lists online sports betting providers like DraftKings, casino companies such as MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts, tribal casinos starting with Hard Rock International, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, as well as suppliers Aristocrat, Konami, Light & Wonder, etc., not counting the payment processors and financial institutions that have come aboard.

“As sports betting has expanded,” DeBaun resumes, “one of the AGA’s top priorities has been ensuring that the entire ecosystem understands their responsibility and we’re really successful in doing that through the ‘Have a Game Plan’ campaign and not only bring our members to the table with a common message but also leagues like MLB, the NHL, NASCAR, the PGA Tour, and team owners like Monumental Sports and MSG Group, and media like NESN and VISN who have joined the campaign because they appreciate that everyone has a responsibility, and want to elevate a message to advocate better.”

It’s not just a question of advocacy but of responding to a need. As Helen James of Super Casino Sites writes, citing Whyte’s research, “sports bettors are more likely to report recurrent risk behaviors, especially when placing wagers several times per week. Consequently, such punters are more likely to take advantage of the responsible gambling tools available to them.”

FanDuel has a multi-pronged approach for nipping problem gambling in the bud. Safer-gaming tools are built into its platform and, Jones says, “we encourage customers to use them right at the outset of when they verify and become a customer.” These include deposit ceilings, time limits and wager constraints. The Super Casino Sites study found that a plurality of punters (28.6 percent) employed deposit limits, while bet limits were popular with 24 percent and time limits with only 21.6 percent. 21
ABOVE: Cait DeBaun of the American Gaming Association

Resumes Jones, “We never want our customers to be wagering outside of their personal budget. We also want customers to be playing within their means. We certainly don’t their account to be anything other than a form of entertainment. This is supposed to be a fun and entertaining way of enjoying the game or event in more of an enhanced way but we don’t want that taking you away from friends or family.” The company also sends RG messages to customers (“You haven’t set a limit”) during the first 30 days of their life cycle with FanDuel, “a gentle way to remind customers to balance and maintain a proper level of play.”

Getting the message across

The sheer size of FanDuel’s operation is reflected in the scale of its escalations team, 200 compliancestaffers strong. In addition to monitoring problematic play, these officers also look out for non-RG issues, including money laundering. But its core purpose, as Jones puts it, is to keep an eye peeled for danger signs from players: “The escalations team will monitor the chat function inside our app and if a customer is signaling that maybe they are struggling or they say something even offhanded such as ‘If this guy doesn’t make this kick I might kill myself,’ they certainly act, escalate, reach out to that customer with a wellness check if it’s warranted. In a lot of instances, we will exit them from the platform.”

Two RG ambassadors are employed by FanDuel. Both are intimately familiar with problem-gambling issues. One is Craig Carton, an FS1 broadcaster who also has the highestrated radio show of WFAN in New York City. “He went to jail for his issues with problem gambling,” Jones says bluntly. “He reports to Amy Howe, our CEO, directly, and he brings a personal face and a humanized voice to the issues of problem gambling.”

Also punching the RG heavy bag for FanDuel is boxer Amanda Serrano. “She holds two different titles,” Jones says of the Puerto Rican pugilist. “She’s the first woman to ever headline a boxing match at Madison Square Garden, sold out. She’s also a responsible-gaming ambassador because a member of her family has struggled with gambling addiction. So she brings a unique sense of advocacy, because she’s an athlete herself, because she’s a woman and because she’s bilingual.”

Both Carton and Serrano are active on FanDuel’s RG College Tour, as

LEFT: Amanda Serrano

the company continues putting its money where its mouth is. The tour recently swung through Fordham University, Sacred Heart University and Manhattanville College, before taking a summer recess. It will resume in the autumn when, not coincidentally, sports betting fires up again in earnest.

Whereas FanDuel often takes the micro-approach of trying to engage with individual bettors, the AGA is engaged on a macro level, making sure that RG messaging is done on a large scale. DeBaun cites the generosity of companies like DraftKings, FanDuel’s main competitor, which invested $1.6 million in grants to local problemgambling groups in 2022.

“We’re partnering and funding with resources that help customers to bet responsibly but also have additional resources available. Finally, we’re funding independent research into the prevalence and impact of sports betting,” DeBaun says. “The work that the AGA does on a daily basis is vital to the long-term success of our marketplace.”

She adds that she will be particularly excited to see the results of research currently being conducted at Kentucky’s Bowling Green University. Its academics are looking into the prevalence of sports betting and what its impact has been on public health, research partly bankrolled with AGA grant money.

Education begins at home

DeBaun expounds that “a thriving casino-gaming industry is absolutely dependent on proactive player education, ensuring that those who need help have it. You see that in what the industry has done and how we’ve expanded our investment and commitment to responsible gaming over the last decade. Looking to the


future, we’re always looking for ways to raise the bar. We’ve made good progress but there’s more we can do and that starts with making sure that how we look at responsible gaming today aligns with the market of today.”

One way in which FanDuel does that is to have an annual ‘Play Well Day’ in which all employees, top to bottom, must participate. The company ties it to yearly compensation, with all bonuses pegged to the amount of Play Well participation. “In addition, new employees have 30 days to complete the training or they’ll have an issue with their compensation,” Jones reports. “Whether you’re an assistant, a technologist, a marketing person or one of the traders themselves, everyone in the company from the CEO down to an intern has to take the training.”

As for ‘Play Well Day’ itself, “it’s a full day where don’t work in the traditional sense. The entire day is a series of speaking engagements. We had all our partners in, talking about the importance of responsible gaming and how we’re building this as a thread throughout our entire culture. It is to remind all 3,000 employees that this is a non-negotiable part of the business and we have to take a day out of the year to really remind ourselves that we are building a sustainable business. The way to do that is always to put customer protection at the forefront.”

Or, as DeBaun concludes, “We’ve seen tremendous change in the U.S. in the availability of legal gaming. You know, getting this right is not only the right thing to do but it’s key to our long-term success.” 23
Sports Betting Operator provides new product and technology features and the latest Sports Betting News, keeping Online gambling companies up to date with the fastest growing Gambling Sector in the world. SPORTS BETTING OPERATOR Subscribe to... • Sports Betting Operator • Casino Life • Casino Life Ukraine • Bingo Life By registering your email at by clicking the Subscribe tab SPORTS BETTING OPERATOR VOLUME 003 ISSUE 004 OPINIONS • FEATURES • EVENTS • INTERVIEWS DEVELOPING THE FUTURE Image: Courtesy of Ethan Kaminsky CASINO The magazine for the owners and management of international casinos AGUA CALIENTE CASINOS WELCOMES THE WORLD WININGBIG INBINGO Bingo Spring 2021 - Issue 32 LIFE The longest-running European and International bingo trade magazine GOOD TIMES, BAD TIMES IN BINGO Banging Bingo Times Ahead New Bingo 3апорука стабільності та якості Storm International Випуск CASINO UKRAINE Журнал для власників та менеджменту міжнародних казино 24


Sports betting’s launch in one U.S. state underscores some inherent pitfalls.

Sports betting hadn’t even been incepted in Ohio when there was trouble.

Penn Entertainment subsidiary Barstool Sports, a company with the reputation for pushing the envelope, had the poor judgment to broadcast its Barstool College Football Show (which promotes betting) from the University of Toledo. That was in contravention of a state law that forbids marketing sports betting to college students.

ABOVE: Governor of Ohio, Mike DeWine

You can’t gamble in Ohio if you’re under 21. “During the show, the [state gaming] commission said Barstool advertised its sportsbook by promoting pre-registration with its own cash bonuses and with ‘mycash’ which could be used at Penn’s casinos,” reported the Akron BeaconJournal

This miscalculation will cost Penn $250,000 in fines, and the company will have to give all its employees a crash course in the do’s and don’ts of 25 FEATURE: OHIO SPORTS BETTING

Ohio sports betting and the promotion thereof. Penn intends to comply.

Penn got off light compared to PartyUp, an online sports betting provider (OSB) that applied for licensure in the Buckeye State. Instead, it got a kick in the rump. It was rejected, with the commission citing past, unlawful marketing to U.S. customers. This left Jack Cleveland casino without a sports-betting partner, having failed to properly vet its provider of choice. By contrast, European OSB providers bet365 and Tipico had kept their noses clean, and were rewarded with Ohio licenses ($1 million upfront and $250,000 to renew).

DraftKings tests patience

Then there was in-your-face operator DraftKings, which hadn’t taken its first bet before it was dinged by regulators to the tune of $350,000, two days before the January 1, 2023 launch date. What hath DraftKings wrought? It had

sent promotional mailers to 2,500 underage Ohioans back in November.

By this point the Ohio Casino Control Commission was clearly losing its patience. “The Commission has been very clear about the rules and standards for sports gaming advertising with industry, and are disappointed with the lack of compliance we have seen despite reminders,” fumed OCCC Executive Director Matthew Schuler. “While we do not take administrative action lightly, DraftKings’ conduct in this case warrants the Commission’s intervention to ensure the integrity of sports gaming.”

Scarcely had betting gone live than the Jan. 2 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills, rife with playoff implications, was postponed indefinitely due to the on-field collapse and near-death of Bills safety Damar Hamlin. Since this tilt was supposed to be “an absolute massive game here in southern Ohio,” according to one OSB provider, books are liable to take a shellacking.

Not all the news was bad. “I think I can say it was probably our most successful launch to date,” Betfred USA COO Bryan Bennett told the Cincinnati Enquirer. Betfred is the Bengals’ OSB partner. Official estimates for the Ohio market are for it to engender almost $3.4 billion in revenues per year, on $8 billion in annual handle (per with taxes to the state reaching $24 million in a year and half.

However, as casino tax hauls have been just a fraction of what was projected ($2.7 billion actual revenues across 10 years against a forecast of $7.1 billion, tops) there are skeptics. But if the numbers prove true, Ohio would become the United States’ secondlargest market for sports betting, behind New York State.

LEFT AND RIGHT: Disgraced former baseball player Pete Rose places Ohio’s ceremonial first sports wager

Boffo opening day

Punters were repeatedly queuing up at Hard Rock Cincinnati’s sports book, where disgraced baseball great Pete Rose placed the state’s first wager, picking the Cincinnati Reds to win the World Series. FanDuel executive Karol Corcoran told a newspaper that “We expect Ohio to be one of our biggest states and the early indicators suggest that that’s going to be the case.” Although legalized sports betting has been in the works for over a year, only 16 operators cleared the regulatory bar in time to take New Year’s bets.

There is no shortage of Buckeye State betting options, with a few exceptions, such as “statistical actions of coaches, officials, or referees.” Also forbidden are wagers on “inherently objectionable outcomes,” such as the Hamlin injury—or even the duration of the national anthem at the Super Bowl. Sports below the collegiate level are also off-limits.

Even though the vast majority of wagering is going to take place online, if recent history is any guide, Ohio is providing one of the largest number of retail sports-book licenses: 40, including in sports stadiums themselves. In addition, the provision of sports-betting kiosks means that at least 311 retailers (such as AJ’s Franklin Tavern, Zeppe’s Tavern & Pizzeria and even the neighborhood grocery store or bowling alley) will soon be taking your action, if they’re not already.

The downside of kiosk-based wagering is that it is restricted to point spreads, over/unders, four-leg (or fewer) parlays and money lines. The revenue generated will be taxed at 10 percent. Most of that will go to supporting school sports, with a tiny fraction (two percent of the total) dedicated to problem-gambling programs. (“One in four sports bettors were considered problem gamblers

or at risk of developing a gambling disorder as recently as 2017, according to a survey by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services,” reported

In comparison to Ohio’s problematic start, Maryland came out of the chute just before Thanksgiving like gangbusters. Outdoing neighboring Virginia’s launch, the Free State logged $26 million in eight days. Handle was $186 million. FanDuel bested DraftKings, $11 million to $9.5 million, while BetMGM nabbed $4 million, and Caesars Sportsbook and Barstool both failed to crack the $1 million threshold in revenue.

However books threw all that away and more, flinging $64 million worth of promotions at players. Promo expenditures were $29.5 million for FanDuel, $26.5 million for DraftKings, $6 million for BetMGM, and (again) less than a million apiece for the two alsorans, although they still spent more than they made. Even if it is ostensibly successful, the business model for OSB in the U.S. remains open to debate. 27 FEATURE: OHIO SPORTS BETTING


Few days in the year are holier to Americans than Super Bowl Sunday. It’s the culmination of months of National League Football action and weeks of intense playoff rivalry. This year saw the rare and muchanticipated matchup between the two highest-seeded teams in the playoffs, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs won but the real victors were sports books.

If NFL football is a high-stakes game, it takes on a newer and wider meaning every year as legalized sports betting continues to spread across the U.S. Ever since the overturning of the Bradley Act in 2018, casino-based sports betting has been on the march and Hard Rock International hasn’t been left by the wayside. Although constitutionally prohibited from taking wagers in its home state of Florida, Hard Rock is in some the biggest U.S. sports-betting


markets, particularly New Jersey and newly legitimized Ohio, where its sports book opened last Jan. 1.

To get an idea of the scope of the Super Bowl phenomenon, we sat down with Hard Rock Digital President Matt Primeaux in February. Our conversation is as follows …

How much Super Bowl action have you seen to date across all your sports books?

We’re really looking forward to Super Bowl Sunday and what promises to be a great game between the two best teams from the regular season. Everyone loves upsets but as a fan it’s always fun when you have the top teams playing for a title. It’s an exciting matchup, and we’re seeing a flurry of betting action on the Super Bowl both on mobile and at our retail locations.

Is the volume of betting at the Cincinnati sports book adversely affected by the Cincinnati Bengals’ exclusion from the Super Bowl?

Since the New Years launch of sports betting in Ohio, we’ve seen local fans backing their teams and this was certainly true with the Bengals, especially during their playoff run. In Ohio, roughly 90 percent of bets were backing the Bengals during their playoff games. It was a tough end to the Bengals’ season, but there’s always going to be a great deal of interest in the Super Bowl in Ohio – especially the first with legal sports betting – and the Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati is expecting a great crowd for their Big Game Watch Party.

How much do you expect wagering to ramp up between now and the actual game?

With an extra week between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl, you have a rush of

initial bets, and then there’s a brief lull during the bye week. Starting Sunday, we expect the volume to gradually increase each day as excitement builds and then really intensify during the last few hours prior to kickoff. It used to end there but live betting during the game is now a large part of our business, so the wagering really doesn’t stop until the final whistle.

What is the volume of prop bets like and what are some examples of props you’re offering?

It’s been fun to see all these bets come in! So many sports bettors have a background in fantasy football and that familiarity with player stats has fueled the popularity of prop bets. We’re proud to offer thousands of prop bets for every NFL game but this is the Super Bowl and of course, we’ll have a few additional markets. First and anytime touchdown scorers, and Same Game Parlays continue to be our most popular prop bets. We also have something fun on our app where you can pit two players’ head-to-head and wager on who will 29

have the most of almost any stat like receiving yards or touchdowns.

We’ve also added hundreds of markets for the Super Bowl and, depending on your local regulations, you can bet on the color of the coach’s Gatorade bath, the coin toss, the results of coach’s challenges or something we like to call the Octopus – whether a player will score a touchdown and a two-point conversion on the same possession.

With whom does Hard Rock partner to offer sports betting?

Through its investment in Hard Rock Digital and our sports book platform, Hard Rock has shown its commitment to being a major player in the sports betting space. It would have been easy to partner with a provider or simply white-label a platform. Instead we’ve built out a product team in Austin, invested in infrastructure and created a unique product from the ground up. The introduction of our new platform last year demonstrated our development and commitment to the sports betting

space, along with our recent expansion to five additional states on mobile and opening three retail Hard Rock Sportsbook locations. We’re looking forward to introducing an iCasino product and continued expansion to new markets in 2023.

How heavy are the promotional offers that are going out to prospective players?

We pride ourselves on offering fun, innovative promotions rather than just simply handing out transactional ‘free money’ to our players. Our focus is on creating unique experiences within our product, like our Mystery Wheel, which gamifies the signup process and offers up to five chances to win $5,000 in bonus bets as a welcome to new players, and daily promotions and boosts that are personalized to our players’ interests. Hard Rock Sportsbook has a number of promotions for the Super Bowl, including my favorite one where we’re offering a hedge against a competitor’s celebrity [Rob Gronkowski] field goal kick. We’re encouraging our players to Fade the Field and Hedge with Hard Rock!



Bill Healey chats with Chief Commercial Officer Steve Rogers about new game products

Can you provide readers an overview of Inspired Entertainment’s recently launched Re-Play eSports™’ and the incorporation of Counter-Strike?

The popularity of eSports has risen exponentially over the last few years, as players who have grown up with online video games seek new gaming opportunities. Re-Play eSports™ is an innovative, new product that provides a betting-focused game using eSports footage. Counter-Strike

is an iconic game with a cult following that will also attract an ever-growing fanbase — it’s a classic that spans generations. We’re excited to be able to use our knowledge and proficiency in virtual gaming to provide a dynamic, new experience for bettors and eSports fans. The game will offer players the chance to bet on familiar eSports markets such as Round Winner, First Kill in the Round and Total Kills in the Round. Additional bet markets such as Round Outcome, which allows bettors to predict the 33 FEATURE: INSPIRED ENTERTAINMENT

number of players still alive at the end of the round, will offer a range of prices.

It’s described as a fusion of virtual sports and eSports. What are Re-Play eSports’ main features and what do you see as its key innovations? Inspired’s expertise lies in creating exceptional and true-to-life, highfrequency, virtual sports events that are constantly available and fully regulated. With CS:GO, players recognize it from the outset. Through our partnership with GRID we get the exclusive CS:GO footage, including the little nuances of exactly what the maps look like, and the strategies of the players and teams. Our challenge was creating a three-minute event out of a game that is usually much longer, with multiple rounds played over different maps. Our three-minute event is a single-round game, which lets us show a full round rather than just highlights. Although kills are a huge part of the eSports game, players also like to see the player and teams moving into position, and the strategies involved. We were able to incorporate those factors into our game. We’ve created a product that meets the needs of the modern gaming and gambling world. Overall, this new product overcomes a number of key challenges with live eSports events – no streaming lag, no data-availability concerns, available 24/7/365 and fully certified against all relevant gambling standards.

What has been the reaction to the release of Re-Play eSports?

It’s been unbelievable. We’ve had a lot of interest from our existing clients, as well as attention from new and prospective clients. We shared a short, social-media teaser video a week before we announced



our partnership with GRID, which started to build enthusiasm and anticipation. On the day of the official announcement, the response was forceful and immediate. For us, as well as for our clients, it’s always exciting to be part of something that’s new. Our latest product will tap into a new market, and will attract and appeal to a different demographic. Everyone can see the huge potential with this product. It offers many exciting possibilities, and we’re delighted to be at the forefront and leading the way.

How do you see growth in the years ahead for the virtual sports betting sector? Can we expect to see a lot more investment from Inspired Entertainment in both this sector and the eSports market in the years ahead?

Definitely. The fusion of virtual sports and eSports makes perfect sense to us, and while we are very excited about this initial product, we’re already working on future projects. The virtual sports betting sector has grown constantly ever since the creation of the vertical more than 20 years ago. While the addition of RePlay eSports™ is the latest addition to our portfolio, we are always upgrading our more traditional titles of virtual sports, races, and numbers games to ensure we’re creating products that are up-to-date and tie into the latest sports betting trends. CS:GO will definitely not be the first and last title that we bring within our portfolio.

Can you tell us more about the exclusive involvement with CS:GO’s global tournament – The Champion of Champions Tour?

Re-Play eSports™ will showcase footage taken exclusively from

OPPOSITE: Chief Commercial Officer, Steve Rogers

CS:GO’s global tournament – The Champion of Champions Tour, which includes professional and international teams from across the globe. We will offer Re-Play eSports™ to new and existing customers via Inspired’s virtual sports book and VPP platforms, with GRID providing official in-game data and video feeds to support them. Re-Play eSports™ will be officially launched later this year. As the CS:GO tournament is happening now, we will constantly be receiving new footage to update our product library regularly. We will receive approximately two years of CS:GO footage in all, meaning the game will remain fresh, and able to evolve and adapt. The events will last up to a minute and will be available every three minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Are player engagement and interactivity the keys to a game’s success?

Yes, to a great extent, and we see that in how Inspired’s virtual sports products, and eSports attract and engage viewers, and players globally. Inspired’s Re-Play eSports™ adds that extra layer of engagement with eSports by offering a range of bets on high-frequency, fast-paced events based on games with which players are already familiar. 35


SuzoHapp’s ITV-9000 is designed for the era of light staffing and self-service

SUZOHAPP has recently introduced the ITV-9000, a new instant-ticket-vending machine for lottery operators. The ITV-9000 has a very flexible platform and different dispenser options (up to 20 dispensers).

“We can make different sizes, all with the 32-inch, full HD Elo touch monitor for product selection and advertising display, and a software platform which links all machines online” says Tim Kennedy, vice president of sales for Europe. In addition to product selection, the ITV-9000’s large monitor can display any kind of multimedia and promotional content, to deliver engaging lottery player experiences for any retail environment.

“As retail moves towards selfservice and staffing becomes more difficult, we believe the solution is to automate the purchase process with a scratch ticket dispenser” says Kennedy. “We have worked with our partner Microhard to develop this new machine and we are extremely proud of this result. The ITV-9000 has lots of potential in the lottery market, but also in the promotional space in a casino or other clubs. We are sure that this new solution will increase lottery revenue streams by attracting new lottery players in retail installations”. 37 FEATURE: SUZOHAPP
RIGHT: ITV9000 lottery ticket machine


Entain data reveals British Grand Prix as the ultimate F1 spectacle for fans

As the highly anticipated 2023 British Grand Prix approaches, Entain, the global sports betting, gaming and interactive entertainment group, reveals that Silverstone took the crown of being the most exciting race of the 2022 season, receiving over seven percent of every Formula 1 (F1) race bet from last year. The findings are based on the total number of online bets by Entain customers from each race in the 2022 F1 season.

Looking ahead to this year’s race, anticipation is running high. While Verstappen’s dominance continues to divide the F1 world, other drivers have also shown impressive performances. Alongside Sir Lewis Hamilton, eyes are now on Lando Norris - who battled near the front of the pack in Austria last week - and fellow Brits George Russell and Alex Albon, who have the opportunity to create moments of excitement for home fans in the stands this weekend.

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According to Entain data, the top five most exciting races and drivers backed to win them in 2022 were as follows:

GP Great Britain: This unique race garnered the highest percentage of online bets, representing seven percent of the total online bets placed during the season. The British Grand Prix at Silverstone has consistently been a fan favourite, renowned for its rich history, iconic circuit, and passionate spectators. Hamilton fans blew the other drivers out of the water as over 27 percent of online bets on the race were on the seven-time world champion to take the trophy in the 2022 British Grand Prix.

GP Saudi Arabia: The inaugural race in Saudi Arabia captivated F1 fans and accounted for six percent of the total online bets placed. The allure of a new street circuit and a first F1 event in Saudi Arabia clearly grabbed attention. Hamilton’s loyal fan base continued to back him, amounting for 20 percent of overall online bets.

GP Bahrain: The excitement generated by the Bahrain Grand Prix was evident, as it accounted for six percent of the total online bets. As the first race of the season, the circuit has ample opportunities for overtaking, accompanied by unique challenges for the drivers navigating the unpredictable winds and racing under floodlights. Hamilton fans come out in force to kick off the season, where he amounted for 26 percent of total online bets, in front of rival Max Verstappen (over 19 percent).

GP Monaco: The iconic street circuit of Monaco accounted for six percent of the total online bets, solidifying its status as a fan-favourite event. The narrow streets, challenging corners, and glamorous atmosphere create a unique and captivating spectacle that captures the

imagination of fans worldwide. Despite local lad Charles Leclerc taking part, Verstappen received the most online bets to win the race (21 percent).

GP Italy: The Italian Grand Prix rounded off the top five, representing six percent of the total online bets placed and showcasing the passion for F1 in Italy. The legendary Monza circuit is known for its high-speed straights and passionate tifosi, which always guarantee thrilling races and intense rivalries. Verstappen also topped the leader board for Monza, with 27 percent of online bets backing him to win.

Silverstone delivered the epitome of racing excitement on a global scale in 2022, captivating the attention of bettors worldwide. However, the data also reveals an extraordinary surge of patriotism among fans. Delving into the preferences of UK F1 fans, over a third of them of them placed their unwavering faith in Sir Lewis Hamilton to cross the checkered flag first and take the highest step on the podium.

With the introduction of more sprint races and F1’s inaugural race in the home of entertainment, Las Vegas, F1 fans have even more moments of excitement to look forward to. How will these reflect 2023’s most popular and most-bet-on races?

Dominic Grounsell, chief commercial officer of Entain comments: “The 2022 F1 season was packed with exhilarating races. Silverstone’s position as the most exciting race is a testament to the unique blend of history, intensity and passionate support that makes the British Grand Prix an unmissable event for fans worldwide.”



A grounbreaking study highlights the dramatic growth in women’s sports

The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA), All-In Diversity Project (AIDP), Entain, Flutter and Stats Perform today launched a groundbreaking study on women’s sports and women in sports betting, “Breaking Barriers: Assessing Women’s Sports, Betting and Integrity Challenges.”

The study, conducted by the German Sport University Cologne, and launched at IGaming Business Live! in Amsterdam, analyzes the economic development of five women’s sports: soccer, tennis, basketball, cricket and volleyball. For the very first time, it analyzes the size and characteristics of the women’s sports betting market and examines the potential vulnerability of women’s sports to match-fixing.

Khalid Ali, CEO of IBIA, said: “We are about to witness the best-attended and most-watched women’s World Cup in history, and where soccer leads other women’s sports are rapidly following. The dramatic growth of women’s sports is a hugely positive development – for fans, the sports and athletes themselves, and also for the betting market. It is creating very significant and untapped opportunities for sports betting. However, with increased growth comes an increased responsibility for ensuring we get ahead of the game when it comes to sports integrity and the fight against match-fixing in women’s sport. There is no room for complacency.”

The study confirms that the dramatic increase in women’s sport has been accompanied by a similar growth in betting. Soccer is leading the way in terms of the number of people betting and placing bets on women’s sport, with an annual market growth rate of approximately 20 percent since 2020. This is followed by tennis, basketball, cricket, with growth rates of over 10 percent during the period 2017-2022.

It also analyzes the particular characteristics of female bettors. Over the last few years the percentage of female bettors in women’s sports has consistently risen across all five sports analyzed, with annual growth rates of up to 10 percent, while the total number of women betting on women’s soccer has more than doubled.

The total volume of bets placed on women’s sports has grown more among women than men, highlighting potential untapped opportunities.


Grainne Hurst, group director of corporate affairs at Entain stated: “Entain is delighted to fund and support the publication of today’s study, which is an important step in increasing our understanding of developing trends within women’s sport. We are proud to already support aspiring female athletes through our multi-year partnership with SportsAid and our Pitching In initiative, and we will continue to work with organizations to promote fairness and integrity in all sports competitions.”

Alex Rice, chief commercial officer at Stats Perform also said: “Stats Perform has a history and commitment to investing in women’s sports, and enabling rightsholders and teams to grow their fan, commercial, and on-field potential. Understanding women’s sports fans is key to achieving this, so we’re proud to have helped with this important research.”

Whilst corruption exists in women’s sport, the study found that it is significantly lower than in men’s sports. However, the experience of men’s sport has shown that sports betting can be the subject of criminals who defraud regulated operators by manipulating matches and exploiting vulnerabilities of sports and athletes.

The study makes a series of recommendations to strengthen the fight against match-fixing in women’s sport, including:

• Strengthening monitoring and enhancing cooperation between sports governing bodies, betting operators, and law enforcement agencies.

• Develop targeted and tailored education and communication programs for athletes, coaches, and support staff to raise awareness about the risks of corruption and match-fixing, and help create and reinforce a culture of integrity.

• Promote fair wages and economic transparency in women’s sports to reduce the risk of corruption and match-fixing.

Ian Devlin, sports integrity manager at Flutter said: “We are seeing the popularity of women’s sport continuing to grow, with last summer’s European Championship the biggest women’s event for Flutter by volume and a seminal moment for many of our European brands. This has created a higher demand from us to offer more sports, with more markets relating to women’s events, starting with the upcoming FIFA World Cup. However, as women’s sports continue to grow, so does the risk of participants being approached by individuals seeking to profit from sports-related corruption. This is an area that Flutter takes very seriously, with our Betting Integrity team working closely with both sport’s governing and trade bodies, such as the IBIA, to ensure that we, and the markets we offer, uphold the very highest level of sporting integrity.”

Christina Thakor-Rankin, co-founder, All-in Diversity, continued: “This study wants to be the beginning of a conversation with the betting industry on how it addresses women’s sports. By understanding what this new and rapidly evolving landscape looks like we put ourselves in the best possible position to keep customers, sports betting operators, athletes and sport safe for all.”

Additionally, a key next step is to increase the data available and conduct further research and analysis on women’s sports and betting. This will help deepen the understanding of the match-fixing dynamics in women’s sports and will allow to develop approaches to sports integrity which are tailored to the particular circumstances of women’s sports.

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