Fortunately, 2020 is over. While there have been some notable upsurges in the games industry, perhaps most notably the continued growth in the industry, most of us would probably like to forget about the past year.
With great optimism we are on the way to the year 2021. A covid vaccine on the horizon should have a positive effect on the return to normal or at least a new normal. With a little luck in the second half of the year, the hotel industry can bring its recovery into full swing.
While there are likely to be dozens of articles to see in the coming year, I’ve identified five things in Sports Betting that I’ll be looking at:
The First Circuit, Joe Biden and the Wire Act
It was already in June Court of First Instance heard oral submissions on an appeal from the New Hampshire District Court in terms of the scope of Wire Act. There were a few components to the case, but the main issue that many took note of was whether a 2018 Justice Department opinion that the 1961 Law applies to non-sports gaming activities was actually a correct interpretation.
The 2018 opinion replaced the guidance from the same agency (the Office of Legal Counsel) that concluded that the law only applies to sports betting.
In the time between the oral arguments and now, one of the judges who heard the case passed away. This can shift the timeframe for the decision. The other factor worth watching is like that Joe Biden The administration is looking at this case – will we actually see an opinion or will the Biden Justice Department abandon the case before a decision is made public?
The future presidential administration may be interested in returning to the previous guidelines. After all, the 2011 statement that the Wire Act only applies to sports betting was drafted while Biden was vice president. Biden has also previously said that he would restore the 2011 opinion, although we don’t know where this issue is on his list of immediate priorities.
University sports and gambling offers
While 2020 wasn’t the first year for deals between NCAA Schools and Gambling Companies, the Deal Between PointsBet and the University of Colorado attracted a lot of attention. The Australian company and the university signed a five-year contract back in September, making it the first NCAA school outside of Nevada to partner with a gaming provider.
The deal is unlikely to be the last. As universities look for new ways to invest money in their tight budgets, gaming providers could forge attractive partnerships.
Contrary to some rhetoric, it is important to the integrity of college sports that bookmakers and sports departments work together and promote an environment where integrity-related information is the order of the day. In 2021, a number of other universities will likely become partners with operators.
Expansion and regulatory changes
The third item on my 2021 list is likely a wish list for many across the continent. That’s right: continent.
Ontario (as well as all Canada) appears to be the first major jurisdiction to add sports betting for a game in the New Year. However, Canadian sports betting is not the only jurisdiction that could see expansion, especially as states begin to assess the full extent of budget deficits.
While many of the states that haven’t faced significant obstacles to expansion have already launched sports betting, even messier jurisdictions seem to be conducting a real soul quest.
The other related area that is likely to receive attention is with jurisdictions which are looking at some of their most controversial regulations. There are two that come to mind right away that may be re-examined in some countries.
The first is to remove betting bans on state college teams. An invoice was presented in October New Jersey that would do just that in the Garden state.
Elsewhere, it’s worth watching to see if states like it Illinois will revise the regulations to allow remote registration without a pandemic. Even Nevada, which has long required personal registration, was considering changing regulations that would allow remote registration for sports betting accounts.
Problem playing, still a problem
Another area to watch and hopefully improve in 2021 is problem gambling. There is new research suggesting the pandemic could present new challenges for those trying to overcome the addiction.
It is also likely that as sports betting and iGaming continue to expand across the country, more resources will be needed for already underfunded programs to raise awareness and address gambling. The UK recently looked at evidence suggesting that over 2.7% of adults could be problem gamblers.
The US is unlikely to be immune, and with gambling becoming increasingly accepted across the country, it has never been better to devote more resources to awareness and treatment programs.
SPACs, IPOs and mergers will follow
DraftKings become a listed company through a special purpose vehicle (SPAC) or a blank check company was one of the biggest industry news of the year. The SPAC craze will largely continue, but also especially in the gaming industry.
Genius sport It is slated to go public in the first quarter of 2021 via a SPAC deal and rumors of other privately owned companies.
As the industry continues to mature, it is likely that not only will more privately owned companies try to go public through either a SPAC or the more traditional IPO, but that some companies will also try to expand their market footprint through mergers and acquisitions.