Sports Betting Among Top Gaming Trends Going Into 2022

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Sports Betting Among Top Gaming Trends Going Into 2022
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The nationwide growth in sports betting is among the Top 10 gaming trends for 2022, according to a gaming industry publication.

In its December issue, Global Gaming Business magazine notes that sports teams and leagues that once shied away from any form of gambling “have developed a newfound love for the industry.”

One reason for this newfound affinity is that sports bettors are inclined to watch games until the final horn sounds.

“Several studies have linked sports wagering to increased propensity for game viewership and increased duration,” the GGB article states. "In other words, when you’ve got a bet on the game, you are more likely to watch, and watch until the end.”

The increased viewership translates into higher value for on-air ads, “which in turn means that teams can charge more for the broadcast rights,” the magazine notes.

Sports betting began to proliferate after the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 gave states the ability to open up wagering within their borders. Across the country, sports betting is operational in 29 states and Washington, D.C. It is legal but not yet operational in Nebraska and Maryland.

Last week, sports betting was operational in 30 states. However, the Seminole Hard Rock Sportsbook app in Florida has been shut down, at least temporarily, in a legal dispute.

Sports Teams Align with Online Bookmakers

GGB Magazine notes that sports franchises have further embraced the trend toward wagering by allowing sportsbooks inside arenas.

Earlier this year, William Hill, a wagering company owned by Nevada-based Caesars Entertainment, opened the sportsbook inside Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., home of the NBA’s Wizards and NHL’s Capitals.

This was the first-ever sportsbook in any sports arena or stadium. Since then, a BetRivers Lounge sportsbook opened at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, where the NHL’s Penguins play their home games.

More alliances like these are on the way, according to GGB magazine.

“Arizona took this a step further in 2021, when legislation passed that allotted 20 sports betting licenses in total, 10 reserved for tribes and 10 reserved specifically for professional teams and leagues,” according to the magazine.

The Arizona Cardinals (NFL), Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB), and Phoenix Suns (NBA) are among teams forming sports betting affiliations.

Bettors on the East Coast are in store for the same kind of alliances.

“Sports team partnerships were called out specifically in the New York sports betting license applications, and we can expect to see these partnerships expand in scope over time,” the magazine notes.

Growth in Esports

Sports betting ranked fifth in the Top 10 trends going into the new year.

Others include the No. 1-ranked trend, an industry-wide effort to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Also included on the list is the second-ranked trend, a surge in esports betting.

“Esports has been one of the fastest-growing forms of media in recent years due to the increasing popularity of online games and broadcasting technologies,” the magazine reported. “In 2021, esports were watched by more than 474 million people. Six years ago, that number was only 70 million.”

Rounding out the list is the No. 10 trend, an “employment crisis” dubbed the “Great Resignation,” which left hotel-casinos seeking to replace large numbers of workers who quit when COVID-19 spiked last year.

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