Gambling in the US vs Europe
The gambling sectors in the United States and Europe are very different from one another. In the US, each state has different gambling laws, with some having very limited offerings. Europe takes a much more relaxed approach to gambling.
You will find wide-ranging gambling operations in most European countries. While some of these nations may have government monopolies, they all usually offer online gambling of some type.
The gambling sector across the US is starting to lose its conservative nature when it comes to gambling. The federal ban on sports betting is no longer in place and many states now allow casinos and online gambling platforms.
This is only going to increase on a state-by-state basis as time goes on. As the gambling sector in the US grows, they can learn a lot of important lessons from their European counterparts.
Positives of legal gambling
The negatives of offering legal gambling are obvious. Problem gambling will likely rise and may lead to negative societal costs. However, the prevention and treatment of gambling addiction now receive more funding than ever. People are quicker to notice the signs when they know someone who may be struggling with their gambling.
There are many positives to the US opening up their gambling sector. When gambling is illegal, a substantial black market opens up for gambling. The size of the illegal sports betting market in the US before legalization was estimated at about $150bn (£118.5bn) a year.
That is clearly a huge sum of money being collected by nefarious individuals and groups. The government doesn’t collect any taxes on it, consumers are not properly protected, and it is funding criminal organizations.
Legalizing and regulating gambling largely kills off the black market. More funds go toward government programs through taxes, those who place bets are better protected, and money is kept away from criminal enterprises.
The black market in Europe for gambling is almost non-existent because people satisfy their gambling urges through regulated parties. This is certainly an approach the US could copy.
The leading gambling operators in Europe do a good job of driving interest. They captivate the minds of their customers and potential customers with their advertising efforts. None more so than Paddy Power.
The Irish bookmaker, now the main owner of FanDuel in the US, has constantly pushed the edge (and sometimes gone over it) in its advertising efforts. Through publicity stunts, the company has attracted a wide audience.
The advertising efforts of gambling companies in the US appear to be a bit meek and meager. Some of this may have to do with certain media partners not wanting to rock the boat too much with gambling advertising. However, the advent of social media has proven to be a great gateway for brands to get their message to the world in a captivating and humorous way that may not be possible through traditional media.
If US gambling companies took an easier-going and fun approach to their marketing and advertising efforts, they could possibly significantly differentiate themselves from their competitors and drive more interest in the sector as a whole.