With 2024 under way, US reg tech provider Compliable explores how the betting and gaming landscape might evolve after another solid year of growth for the industry.
After seeing a flurry of US states legalise sports betting over the last five years, 2024 looks likely to be a quiet year for the opening of new jurisdictions.
A natural slowdown is to be expected with more than half of the 50 states now allowing betting and gaming in some shape or form. The ‘easier’ states went first with remaining ones having particularly thorny issues to navigate, including a more cautious view on gambling and tribal opposition.
Added to these hurdles is the fact that 2024 is an election year, lowering the chances of state legislatures prioritising sports betting or iGaming next year as the country deals with more significant political matters.
Although North Carolina and Vermont are set to launch this year based on laws being passed in 2023, 2024 could potentially become the first year since the repeal of PASPA without any new states legalising betting and gaming.
A lack of new states opening up does not however mean that the industry will be static next year. Operators can put more effort into the markets where they already live and focus on improving their products and offerings. There will also continue to be a refined approach and evolution of regulatory requirements and obligations in the different live states as is always the case when we see markets mature. Part of this will inevitably be heightened attention from regulators around responsible gaming (RG) and we can expect to see new measures around player protection which has already been evidenced by newly introduced marketing restrictions in some states such as New York.
This hugely important subject should be front of mind for all operators and lessons can be learned from jurisdictions where betting and gaming have been legal and regulated for years.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), a hot topic of 2023, may play a more pertinent role in driving RG initiatives next year if the technology further improves. From a reg tech perspective, AI could be a great tool to help companies within the space to stay compliant and manage their operations in multiple jurisdictions.
The final big issue that could raise a few eyebrows in 2024 is the continued debate around Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and whether it is considered gambling rather than a game of skill. Numerous regulators have expressed their disapproval of the vertical, sending cease and desist letters to DFS operators with a provision to terminate activities or apply for a sports betting licence.
We will now have to see how DFS operators react, and if they will hang up their offerings and take the same direction as DraftKings and FanDuel. With the duo now established as giants within the sports betting space, the efforts could well be worth it!
Despite looking at a quiet year ahead in terms of a further roll out of legalisation, there will no doubt be a lot of interesting developments in the exciting North American market. One thing we know for sure is that the industry never rests on its laurels and 2024 will be no different.
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