IAG October 2015 - page 11

Macau’s revenuedecline.Butwithsportsbetting incasinos theWorld
Cup and other events on the sports calendar create opportunities
for promotions to encourage bettors to come toMacau and wager
legally. “In the United States casinos use the Super Bowl [the
American football championship game] as the basis for creating a
partyweekend,”Mr Klebanow says. “They invite their best players to
the property and build a weekend event around the game. Formula
One racing, football, cricket, rugby, all have large appeal inAsia and
championship games and tournaments allow the casino to create
parties built around those events.”
Mr Rittvo adds that the opening weekends of America’s
college and professional football seasons, as well as NCAA college
basketball’s championship tournament known as March Madness
bring big crowds to Las Vegas betting lounges. It’s largely a mass
market crowd that comes for theatmosphereofwatchingabiggame
onbigscreenswithother fans,makingbets, buyingdrinksandmeals
as they enjoy the scene.
Given the legal situation, Macau operators are cautious about
broaching the issue of sports betting. “The companywould certainly
evaluate the opportunity should it materialize at some point,” Las
Vegas Sands Senior Vice President for Global Communications and
Corporate Affairs Ron Reese says. The Macau government has the
ball on sportswagering. Putting sports betting licenses inplay could
unleashnewwaves of excitement on casinofloors and anew stream
of revenue. It looks like time to take a shot.
Editorat large
alsoblogs for
ongaming throughoutAsia
and wrote “Hong Kong On Air,” a novel set during the 1997 handover about TV
news, love, betrayal, highfinanceand cheap lingerie.
In Focus
(including an exclusive partnership), theNational Hockey League
and Major League Soccer, and Eilers believes it passed FanDuel
this year. Eilers estimates each privately held company has a $1
billion valuation.
Yahoo’sentry into thefield thisyearhasbeen“underwhelming,”Mr
Krejcik says. Eilers is also skeptical about Amaya/PokersStars taking
meaningfulmarket share from the top two. CBSSports joined the fray
in August, hoping to exploit DFS interest during the US professional
football season.AtaG2Epressbriefing,AmericanGamingAssociation
CEOGeoffFreeman characterizedDFS as a “gray area” in the current
regulatoryenvironment. “If it’s legal, our casinosneed tobe involved,”
Mr Freeman said, adding that casinos seeDFS “not asa threat, but as
apartnerwehope toworkwith in the future.”
GlobalMarketAdvisorsPartnerAndrewKlebanowsays, “Casinos
in the US are still trying to understand this phenomenon, how to
integrate it into their product offering andhow tomonetize it.”
“DFSplayers are not hard core gamblers, in factmost donot go
to Vegas or visit a casinomore than once a year,” Mr Krejick says,
citing an EilersDFS player survey released in July. “The number one
reasonplayers cite for participating inDFS is excitement/thrill factor
and [that it]makesgamesmore fun towatch/engaging. Very fewsaid
they do it formonetary reasons.”
DFS offerings remain largely focused on the major North
American sports—baseball, American football, basketball and
hockey, plus US soccer, NASCAR racing and mixed martial arts on
DraftKings. “It’s largely a North American centric experience right
now, but no reason for it not to take off in overseas markets,” Mr
Krejcik says.
“Fantasy sports has made a little bit of a splash in Asia,”
FootballBet.com Chairman and CEODavid Leppo says. He expects
the trend to takehold in the regionover thenext three to five years.
“If there is away to tap into some of the international basketball
leagues, soccer [football] leagues and cricket leagues, then the
markets would grow substantially,” The Innovation Group CEO
DavidRittvo says. Anddon’t forget Japanese baseball.
LeadingDFS companies
currentlyholda combined
95%market share, Eilers estimates.
“Thenumberonereasonplayers cite for
participating inDFS isexcitement/thrill
factorand [that it]makesgamesmore fun to
watch/engaging.Very few said theydo it for
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