After a long and hard battle, the United States’ Supreme Court has repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 that effectively banned betting on any sports in the United States. As many US states see sports betting as a prime source of tax income (considering that sports betting was done in the US for ages at offshore online bookmakers and shady organizations out of the reach of the authorities), many new sports betting firms will likely emerge, bringing the underground “industry” to light. How could a decision made in the US, where soccer (their word for association football) is by far not the most followed sport, affect the global football community, you might ask? Well, there are some ways in which it could.
Big betting groups entering the US
Major betting groups like William Hill and Betway might find their way to the US sports betting market. This has happened before – GVC Holdings’ “bwin” and “PartyPoker” brands have partnered with local gambling operators to offer New Jersey residents legal, regulated online casino and online poker services. And they will likely bring their betting opportunities and partnerships with them (you can’t expect them not to offer US-based punters the chance to bet on Premier League matches, after all)
Interest and media
The widespread availability of “soccer” bets will likely boost the US punters’ interest in soccer, as they call it. It might boost the interest not only in international association football in the US but the popularity of MLS (Major League Soccer), too – studies have shown that people who bet on sports show a bigger interest in the events they bet on than those who don’t.
As the interest in association football grows, more TV channels are likely to show interest in the broadcast rights of various international football championships like the Premier League, the Bundesliga, and such – and this translates into more revenue for the leagues and the teams themselves. After all, Arsenal and the rest of the Premier League teams all get a cut of the League’s revenues.
New sponsorship deals
With new businesses entering the lucrative US betting market (some estimates speak of a $150 billion a year US underground betting business that will come into the light), new sponsorship deals will also emerge. Last year, nine sports betting companies have signed shirt sponsorship deals with Premier League teams alone. With more players competing for the same limited space on the shirts, the money they pay for a place may grow – and this also means more cash for the teams. And more cash translates into more funds to transfer valuable players, which in turn translates into higher-quality football played in the field. And this is clearly a win for all football fans around the world.