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Sports betting’s future comes down to youth

Source:sites edit:casino time:2018-03-03

Posted March 2, 2018 08:35 pm

Sports betting’s future comes down to youth

By DAVID PORTER

 

Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. — As the push to legalize sports gambling in the U.S. nears a crucial Supreme Court decision, states hoping to reap a financial windfall could face another hurdle: Attracting younger players used to online fantasy sports.

The explosion in popularity of daily fantasy sports has created a generation of sports fans more attuned to gauging individual player statistics than how two teams may fare against each other, the challenge at the heart of traditional sports wagering.

Even more important, experts say, is whether states will be able to offer online sports wagering to a demographic raised on smartphones and laptops. That will depend heavily on how the Supreme Court decides New Jersey’s case, expected this spring.

“How motivated are people going to be to get in their car, drive 45 minutes, park, walk through pathways and walkways just to get to a remote corner of a casino?” asked Daniel Wallach, a Florida-based attorney considered an expert in sports gambling law.

New Jersey has challenged the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, the 1992 federal law forbidding all but Nevada and three other states from authorizing gambling on college and professional sports. Only Nevada offers betting on single games.

How the court rules will affect more than two dozen states that are pushing sports betting legislation or considering it if New Jersey is successful.

If it is legalized, one of the challenges will be capturing sports fans like Nick, an experienced daily fantasy player from Maryland who also regularly places traditional sports bets with a bookie through his smartphone or computer.

While illegal, that may still be a more attractive option than traveling to a brick-and-mortar location to place a legal bet.

“Part of the convenience now is that I can place a bet from anywhere,” said the man in his mid-20s, who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because he was talking about doing something illegal. “I probably would stay with what I have right now, with the convenience and accessibility.”

The stakes are huge. Currently, illegal sports wagering is estimated from the tens of billions of dollars annually to as high as $100 billion or more.

A survey commissioned by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association in 2016 estimated more than 57 million people participated in some form of fantasy sports, in which competitors pick rosters of players and win or lose based on how those players perform.

Noting that many hardcore daily fantasy sports players migrated from the online poker world, Chris Grove, managing director of gambling research firm Eilers and Krejcik, said serious players probably won’t shy away from traditional sports wagering.

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