With heightened competition triggered by an influx of casinos in the United States, there is speculation that NetEntertainment gaming sites will add sports betting into their business to help them remain popular and profitable. With the casino business seemingly dipping in Las Vegas over the last few months of 2019, and Chinese enclave Macau experiencing declining numbers, NetEnt powered casinos believe that sports betting is the silver lining to help them prosper.
For years, sports betting in the US has been an afterthought for most casino operators because of the legal system's tough stance on it. Casinos purely considered sportsbooks as an extra amenity for players as sports betting gave the house a minimal edge all the same - an advantage of less than 10%. Casino operators, therefore, didn't gawk at sports betting too fondly.
Following the US Supreme Court's rulingon legalization of sports betting back in 2018, several casino operators have added sportsbooks into their works. Most casinos in the Las Vegas area, are quickly strategizing on how to tap into the proliferating market and are looking up to providers like NetEnt to make their dreams come true. Casino software developers and igaming providers like IGT gaming, Playtech, Yggdrasil, Betsoft, Nextgen Gaming, Microgaming, RTG, and Rival are already providing comprehensive coverage of sports betting to casinos and bookmakers.
So, will the US NetEnt casinos follow suit and add sports betting options anytime soon?
Before delving into NetEnt's decision to dive into the world of sports betting, it is crucial to take a look at just how big the online casino software provider is in the country and why it is a big deal for it to provide sports betting. So, how big is NetEnt in the United States?
NetEnt in the United States
The entry of the company from Sweden into the gambling industry of the United States back in 2013 was part of the company's expansion plan to tap into the North American Market. NetEnt acquired its license in New Jersey and officially started operations in the country in 2015.
Although the legal structure governing gambling was still shaky in the country, New Jersey had already defined gambling legislation, and NetEnt used the state as the entry point into the vast US casino market. NetEnt acquired its first license and a transactional waiver in New Jersey and immediately started partnering with local casinos providing them with online casino software solutions. Today, NetEnt has a permanent Casino Service Industry License which allows it to operate full-time in the market.
NetEnt first partnered with Tropicana Casinos and instantly made a name for itself. Although the company had already earned a reputation from its excellent service delivery in the European gambling industry, NetEnt brought a new dimension into the US online casino industry. It attracted several casinos and casino operators who were looking to adopt its services. The NetEnt brand and portfolio proliferated.
It has been a little over five years since NetEnt launched its services in the United States. And today, NetEnt powers some of the best online casinos in the country. Casinos like Pokerstars, Virgin Casino, Mohegan Sun Casino, Caesars Casino, Party Casino, 888 Casino, BGO Casino, Casumo Casino, Dream Vegas, Leovegas Casino, Vegas Luck Casino, Mr Green Casino, Videoslots Casino, Fun Casino, and Golden Nugget Casinos are all powered by NetEnt. The number of US casinos employing NetEnt's services is growing by the day as the existing customers are reaping big from NetEnt's platform.
How did this meteoritic rise come to be? Why did NetEnt grow tremendously in the United States? What are some of the features of NetEnt that saw it partner with so many American customers? Here are the top reasons why NetEnt found a lot of joy in the American market.
Why NetEnt Grew so Rapidly in the United States
- Popular NetEnt Games
NetEnt introduced a host of exclusive new games into the online gaming industry which players found to be fun and exciting. They also promised more winnings. NetEnt slots, in particular, brought a new lease of life to the casino industry which was stale with traditional table games. Customers were tired of the leading games casinos offered and were looking for something fun that would enhance their gaming experience.
Some of the top NetEnt games released and which players enjoy to date include top slot video games such as Starburst, variants of baccarat, blackjack, Guns n Roses slots, video poker, progressive jackpots, Gonzo's Quest, Mega Fortune, roulette, and other top casino games. And this is not the full range of NetEnt casino games offers listed by the best casinos.
- Promotions and Offers
NetEnt casinos understand the value of rewarding customers and came up with some of the best promotions and huge offers to lure players to different websites that use NetEnt’s software. From giving customers free bets, free spins upon sign up like the popular 100 welcome bonus, free spins on Starburst, awarding 20 free spins for roulette, offering 100, 200, 500 free spins for registering to specific casino games, casino 10 free spins on several slot games, matching deposits made through Skrill, PayPal, and Neteller. The unique NetEnt bonuses and promotions awarded on a variety of games earned casinos new customers and helped retain existing customers.
- Great Apps and Websites
NetEnt is not only about developing excellent casino games; their websites and mobile applications are worth attention too. Casino sites are no longer bland; the platforms have fantastic graphics with an intricate placement of a variety of features to enhance the gaming experience of players. Wagering in online casinos is not limited to casino websites on desktops; customers can play casino games through Android and iOS apps on their mobile devices.
Registration at new casinos, safe depositing of money, playing live casino games, reading terms and conditions, and instant withdrawal of funds are now effortless. Any player could do this with relative ease. The apps and casino websites have extra features like blogs for reading the latest casino news, articles with fresh casino content every month, contacts for customer support, and other options meant to optimize the user experience.
Now that we have seen why NetEnt casinos are so popular, what are the chances of these online casinos venturing into sports betting? What will be the impact of NetEnt casinos subscribing to sports betting? Is the US market ready for sports betting?
Reasons Why NetEnt Casinos Will Eventually Venture Into Sports Betting in the US
The Success of Sports Betting in Markets Outside the US
If the evolution of sports betting in the US is anything to go by, then it won't be long before we start hearing of NetEnt casinos venturing into the sports betting industry. In fact, sports betting is not all too new for NetEnt. Back in 2018, NetEnt launched an innovative widgetenabling casino players to bet on sports and play other quality live casino games simultaneously.
NetEnt launched the widget in a bid to capitalize on the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but it also served as a test of how sports betting could benefit NetEnt casinos. Casinos outside the US that adopted the trial widget reported increased revenues during the showpiece tournament. The profits from sports betting during the period supplemented the income from other regular casino games. Some operators recorded their highest earnings during the same period.
Even before the introduction of the widget, most NetEnt casinos outside the US were already incorporating sportsbooks into their business models. The profit margins from these casinos suggest that sports betting is a ripe growth frontier and a safe haven which will add value to stakeholders. NetEnt casinos, especially in Europe, are raking in billions by providing sports betting markets to UK players who love sports betting more than their American counterparts. The thing is that such casinos are not powered by NetEnt purely; they incorporate software solutions from different providers.
Following the legalization of online betting in the United States by the Supreme Court on May 14, 2018, many casinos will start to venture into the untapped industry. Different states can now regulate sports betting, and already more than seven states have opened up their borders for bookmakers and casinos to offer betting options.
Negative legislation was one of the hindrances cited by many casino operators who dreaded investing in sports betting. Now that the legal environment is better, casinos have already started giving sports betting a go in the United States.
With other casinos expanding into sports betting, NetEnt casinos in the US will be forced to also dive into the deep end to be able to compete with rival casinos and bookmakers.
Sports Betting is Huge in the US
Gone are the days when boxing, basketball, and football were the only sports Americans could gamble on for cash. The sports industry, as a whole, has grown tremendously over the last two decades and the interest in these games has also hit record numbers. With the increased interest in modern-day sports, comes a rise in the number of people willing to wager on the games and try their luck.
Soccer, in particular, has attracted lots of attention in the last decade as the United States grapple with matching the standards of soccer in other established countries like the UK, Malta, Spain, etc. Soccer betting within the nation is snowballing, and casinos are looking to tap into that market.
The sports gaming industry is already huge in the country. For example, players wagered close to $5 billion in Las Vegas' sportsbooks back in 2017. Gambling compliance office estimates that the US sports betting industry will be worth $3 bn by December 2023, which is telling in itself. The size of the criminal underworld of illegal betting is even bigger and accounts for more than $70 billion wagering on sports events offered by international casinos and bookies.
Any wise casino operator will put measures into place to ensure that sports betting is part and parcel of their business. NetEnt casinos are not an exception and will want a piece of the global sports betting pie.
Legalization of Sports Betting Will Affect the Stock Market Positively
The other reason why NetEnt casinos will hop onto the sports betting wagon is the fact that the legalization of sports betting in the country is expected to impact gambling stocks positively. Since NetEnt is listed on the stock market, they'll want their company to benefit from sports betting by offering sports betting in the US.
Other gambling stocks in the same category including IGT, MGM and Playtech have already started reaping the benefits of the legalization of sports betting, and it won't be long before NetEnt starts looking fondly at the possibility of offering the same services and goes on an adventure.
These are all speculations though, and the official word from NetEnt is yet to trickle down to the press. It is crucial to note that adopting sports betting is a sensitive subject which requires careful planning and a large amount of money. So, there’s still much room for consideration. From meeting the minimum requirements to get licenses to certifying of the licenses by the relevant bodies and laws like DMCA, it will take a lot of time before NetEnt actualizes the dream of sports bettors.
With the revenue of traditional online casinos tumbling by the day, NetEnt will eventually have to venture into sports betting to supplement their income. It will only be a matter of time, but American customers are eager for the service to be released soon.