Activate research shows a sizable jump in sports betting handle in the next 5 years.

  • Activate is a management consulting firm for technology, media, sports businesses and entertainment.
  • Activate estimates that the total amount of money bet on sports in the U.S. will jump from $13 billion to $149 billion by 2023.
  • The sports betting market in New Jersey has begun to reach the levels of Nevada this year.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Activate, a strategy consulting firm for sports, entertainment, media, and technology businesses, released their annual report on Wednesday. The study, known as the Technology and Media Outlook 2020, made some bold predictions for the future of multiple industries including that of legal sports betting.

As far as the market size is concerned, the Technology and Media Outlook 2020 expects that the total sports betting handle in the US will grow from $13 billion to nearly $150 billion per year by 2023. The report noted that the projection was under the assumption that 76% of U.S. states will have legalized sports betting by then.

While this is very much a possibility, a few different factors will have to happen in order for this prediction to be accurate.

The first being that certain states have to legalize sports betting. The top three would be Florida, Texas, and California. During the 2019 legislative session, two sports betting bills were introduced in Texas. Those bills were TX HB 1275 and TX HJR61, however, both bills died in committee without much action taken on them.

While Texas has a giant sports market, especially in terms of football, the state culture is often against gambling expansion. There are no commercial casinos in the state so passing a sports betting bill would have to come through a new set of progressive lawmakers.

In Florida and in California, the barrier to legalize sports betting comes at the hands of their Native American tribes. Both states are having trouble with their tribal compacts because the tribes don’t feel as though they are getting the exclusivity to certain games that are written in their deal with the state.

Tough negotiations will have to be had in both of those states in order to find a way in which sports betting could be legalized and thrive in those markets.

The second factor that would have to be met in order for Activate’s prediction to come to fruition would be that the states that do sign sports betting into law would have to include provisions for mobile sports wagering.

In New Jersey, 80% of all sports bets made are done through a mobile device. In Pennsylvania, nearly 40% of all sports wagers were made over a mobile device and that number came only two months after online sports betting launched in the state.

Certain states such as Mississippi and New York have legalized sports betting, but only at land-based sportsbooks. While having that option has helped to draw in action from local bettors, it has not provided nearly the same revenue as other states with mobile sports betting.

The third factor would be that the total number of sports bettors in each state would rise due to its legalization and the number of bets placed by each sports bettor would increase. According to a consumer study by the American Gaming Association (AGA), that is likely to happen.

In March, the AGA found that 39% of adults in America are either current or potential future sports bettors. The study also found that 46% of current sports bettors in states that recently legalized the activity said that the legalization has caused them to bet more frequently.

With such a dramatic spike expected in the future, Activate also predicted that the sports wagering marketing will start to mirror that of financial trading.

“When fully legalized, institutional investors will participate in the sports betting market and employ sophisticated data sets and AI to gain an edge.”

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