Note: This article is based on Variety Intelligence Platform’s special report “Sports Gambling & Media,” available exclusively to subscribers.

Online sports betting keeps growing in popularity, and with more and more states opening up to the practice, it can be expected to continue to get larger throughout 2023. 

It is for that reason that a multitude of gambling services have launched services — see VIP+’s report for maps showing which states the 16 most distributed are active in — in a bid to get as big a slice as possible of the growing industry

Of these services, DraftKings and FanDuel stand head and shoulders above the competition in terms of total usage, with over half of the sports gamblers surveyed exclusively for Variety Intelligence Platform by CRG Global saying they had used the services in the past month. 

This is interesting given that the pair are not traditional sportsbooks like MGM, Caesars and Wynn, who lag behind them. But the two brands have strength in fantasy sports leagues offering cash prizes — very close to sports gambling — and have been able to translate that to dominate online sportsbooks. 

FanDuel and DraftKings are also the services used most often to bet, according to the VIP+/CRG Global poll. Almost half of the gamblers surveyed said they used DraftKings in the past month, with two in five using FanDuel and one in five BetMGM. Refer to the full report to see how these sportsbooks rank among users on overall satisfaction, recommendation and satisfaction with promotions and odds offered. 

In terms of bets placed, the VIP+/CRG Global poll found that straight bets (single wagers placed before a game begins) were the most popular among gamblers, with in-game bets edging out the different types of parlays. Note that in the full special report, this information is broken out by generation, together with the average amounts wagered and the mean number of bets placed in a week. 

With the amount wagered in 2022 set to be double that in 2021 (see this explanation for how amounts wagered are not the same as the total being spent on gambling), it is easy to see why competition is so fierce among sportsbooks. Already, some like Fubo Sportsbook, have closed.  

Meanwhile, with the VIP+/CRG Global poll finding that sports betting improves media engagement, FanDuel is preparing to launch a cable network and DraftKings has experimented with sports-themed FAST channels (albeit only on Sling TV’s free service). Expect to see more sportsbooks launch channels, more likely FAST ones given the low setup costs, to try and drive engagement and usage up. 

Read Variety Intelligence Platform’s other excerpts from the “Sports Gambling & Media” report: 

The NFL Is the Most Popular Sport to Bet On 

U.S. Online Sports Betting Breaks Record in 2022 

How Sports Betting Is Improving Engagement With Televised Games 

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