Forces Driving Convergence
More people are going to Vegas than ever in history. And they are spending more than ever in history. But fewer of them are betting. Instead, they’re going to Vegas for the shows, parties, conventions, clubs and restaurants. With gaming revenue flattening, casinos are looking to innovate— and angling to attract tourists who love fantasy sports to their sportsbooks.
Fantasy has to (and will) change. Daily fantasy’s legality will be resolved by creating protections for newbies so they aren’t suckered into the games only to be slaughtered by highvolume experts. Is daily fantasy a skill? In fact, it’s so much a skill that the highly skilled have it in the bag. Your odds of winning at daily fantasy are similar to your odds of beating Steph Curry in a free throw contest.
States want the revenue. Lawmakers have woken up to the way their citizens travel out of state to gamble, and many states have licensed new casinos to keep the money in state. On top of that, illegal gambling costs the states hundreds of millions in lost tax revenue, which instead funds organized crime.
Globalization brings us into regular contact with the other model, used by many other countries: licensed sportsbooks contribute taxes that fund regulators who protect consumers and the integrity of sport.
For leagues to get a piece of the action, it has to be legal. In Europe, pro teams get significant jersey sponsorship deals from betting operators— Real Madrid was being paid $20 million a year by BWIN. In Korea, nationalized sports betting funds the country’s sports programs and even builds their stadiums. In the US, leagues get zilch.