The U.S. Sports Betting Industry Awaits Next Potential Entrants
As Bet365 continues to make gains in select states, and with the impending launch of ESPN Bet by Penn Entertainment, industry observers are now speculating on the next big players to join the competitive landscape of sports wagering in the U.S.
One such company that has been rumoured to be considering a move into sports betting is Warner Brothers Discovery. The media conglomerate already has a strong foothold in the entertainment industry, with popular brands such as Animal Planet, Cinemax, HBO, TBS, and TNT under its umbrella. The latter two networks could be leveraged for a potential entry into the sports betting market, especially considering TBS’s extensive coverage of live sports, including MLB, NHL, NBA, NCAA, and wrestling.
The NBA on TNT, currently in its 35th season, could also serve as an ideal platform for Warner Brothers Discovery to venture into sports betting, given the sport’s popularity among bettors. Additionally, the company’s control over Spanish-language broadcasting entities could further bolster its potential in the sports wagering space.
However, rumours indicate that Warner Brothers Discovery’s foray into regulated sports betting is not imminent. Sources suggest that the company may be waiting for the state of Georgia to approve sports betting, given that Atlanta is the home base for TBS and TNT. Speculations also point towards a possible partnership with another Atlanta-based company, such as Coca-Cola, to make a significant entry into the industry, potentially under a brand like BetTBS.
On the other hand, Underdog Fantasy, a privately held company that initially started as a daily fantasy sports (DFS) alternative to DraftKings and FanDuel, is also considering a move into sports betting. The company has faced regulatory challenges due to its games being perceived as too similar to traditional sports betting, resulting in market access issues in states like Michigan and New York.
Underdog is reportedly eyeing its current research staff as potential sports betting traders to minimize costs, and is looking to focus on states where it already has a strong client base, such as New Jersey, Connecticut, West Virginia, and Tennessee, to mitigate the need for extensive advertising seen by competitors like DraftKings and FanDuel.
While Warner Brothers Discovery’s potential entry into sports betting may be a few years away, Underdog Fantasy could make the move sooner, as it grapples with regulatory scrutiny and market access challenges. As the U.S. sports betting landscape continues to evolve, industry experts are eagerly anticipating the next big names to join the fray.