With more Sates set to legalize sports betting it poses the question – what does this mean for offshore betting companies?
Whilst they have always operated in unchartered waters and in the grey area of legislation will they still do so as more states come online.
An offshore betting company is one that operates outside US jurisdiction. These are usually based in the Bahamas or the Cayman Islands. They include brands such as Bovada and slots.lv along with many other names that have come and gone over the last few years. They’ve allowed sports bettors access to gambling sites from US soil for many years and have always evaded prosecution for their actions.
This could still be the case unless the government is prepared to really stamp down on these companies. We would expect to see pressure from the states where betting is allowed now as the operators have to pay high taxes and fees to operate. We have seen in New Jersey betting companies, such as Play Sugar House, have refused to work with affiliates and advertisers who also advertise offshore companies.
It’s unclear yet whether the likes of Bovada will pay any attention to this. They already have a large customer base who will still be playing and they have evaded the US authorities for so long now they may be confident that they can do that long term.
The one thing offshore companies will never be able to offer is betting apps on the US app store. With some states now online we are seeing app appearing in the mainstream app stores on Apple and Google Play. As new gamblers start looking for sites and apps then searches that take place on Google and the app stores will now only show the legitimate sites. This is where new gambling customers will go for their bets.
We are also seeing apps targeting users with free games appearing on app stores across the USA. These are games that do not have real money gambling involved but they are used to get players registered in states before the legislation gets passed readily. Apps like the Fox Super 6 app will allow them to target users in non-gambling states ready for when gambling comes online.
Where Offshore Company May Prevail
Currently, offshore companies are still being targetted on websites in states where gambling is not allowed. This is mainly done through a network of affiliates and betting picks websites who send customer through to theses companies. This allows them to target the whole of the USA from one site rather than multiples. It also means they don’t really follow the rules and legislations of the US and of the gambling market – you will not find any of these sites promoted on bettingapps.com!
States that never allow online gambling
As the coming months and years pan out we will find that there are some states that never allow sports betting to be done online. These will be the places that the offshore companies can still thrive. In some states where you can place your wagers in a casino but not on your phone may drive people to look for an easier option than going to the casino for a bet.
As more states come online people will start to see more gambling adverts and content through sponsorship of sports teams as well as the NBA, NFL, etc. As in some European companies, sports betting will become more of a normal thing to do and talk about. In the states where it is not allowed this may drive more interest ion where people can bet.
If you look at the legislation for betting sites in Pennsylvania, for example, they have to pay a $10,000,000 fee to operate and a high level of taxation on the bets they take as well as the money they make. This will affect the odds as they will still be looking to make a good margin on their investment.
Whereas the offshore companies will be in a position to offer better odds as they do not have these overheads and taxation to content with. This may lead to more existing customers stick with their offshore accounts.
The change in regulations in the USA will change the markets and sports betting forever, but this does not definitely mean the end for offshore wagering. It will all depend on how the UD government deal with the companies.