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Industry Experts Agree: Online and Mobile Wagering is Critical to the Success of Sports Betting
July 25, 2018

Industry Experts Agree: Online and Mobile Wagering is Critical to the Success of Sports Betting

By: Jessica Feil

The recent University of Nevada Las Vegas Institute on Gaming Regulation’s Understanding Sports Betting seminar included presentations by professors from UNLV, practicing attorneys in the field, sports book operators, and regulators from the Nevada Gaming Control Board, who provided a wide range of viewpoints on the ins-and-outs of sports betting regulation. The one topic on which all presenters and attendees agreed was the importance of online and mobile wagering to the success of sports betting.

Held several times a year, the UNLV program brings together gaming industry professionals to examine all facets of sports betting regulation, using Nevada as a model. For several decades, Nevada has had a near-monopoly on sports betting in the United States. However, with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Murphy v. NCAA, many states and tribal jurisdictions are now considering the possibility of legalizing sports betting in their borders.

The two-day session covered everything from how sports books set lines, the various companies involved with operating a sports book, and the regulatory and legal requirements imposed on sports books. At the end of the two days, the group got an inside look at the storied South Point sports book, including a presentation on the history of sports betting in Nevada from the legendary bookmaker Jimmy Vaccaro.

Other seminar attendees included NFL executives, tribal gaming regulators, hedge fund managers, and local writers, all looking to learn more about the exploding sports betting business. Each brought unique insight to questions surrounding regulatory compliance, technological developments necessary, and marketing challenges that new gaming jurisdictions will face.

Presenters and attendees found consensus on the significance of online and mobile wagering for sports betting to succeed in various jurisdictions. Panelists emphasized that, despite several ongoing legal hurdles, online and mobile wagering has already been essential to the ongoing growth of sports betting in Nevada and this will carry forward to other states.

Attendees shared their own experience in other fields, such as technology and customer service, that demonstrated the essential nature of mobile access for consumers in all industries. Naturally, this will be true for sports betting as well. Much discussion, including with the management from South Point, focused on the importance of mobile wagering to provide opportunities to interact with established customers while reaching new customers to introduce them to both sports betting and gaming generally.

The UNLV class encouraged interaction between long-time professionals in sports betting and attendees that are eagerly entering the market. The seminar provided another example of how and why Nevada will serve as a model for other states launching sports betting in the near future, especially by the inclusion of mobile provisions.