It’s Derby Week. What can future sports betting operators learn from horse racing?
1. Horse racing is a mature business, and will inform many aspects of post-PASPA sports betting in the US.
As the Supreme Court considers Murphy v. NCAA, it’s worth the time for casino operators to take a look at horse racing as they think about getting a head start on sports betting.
Two important reasons that the ponies inform the future of sports betting:
- Horse Racing is nearly nationwide; operators can take bets in 30+ US states.
- Operators (and regulators) have a sensible online model in place.
2017 US Horse Racing by the Numbers
2. With an established database of wagerers, track operators are well-positioned to capitalize on regulated sports betting.
A few things we know to be true: there’s a strong overlap of racing bettors and sports bettors and horse racing is essentially flat.
One strong data point comparison exists for racing vs. sports betting: in Nevada, sports betting handle is roughly 20 times greater than racing.
3. Like Sports, racing has ‘Sign Post’ events that transcend standard interest in the event.
The Kentucky Derby is the biggest event of all, but the Preakness, Belmont Stakes and Breeder’s Cup all command significant TV audiences and betting action.
More importantly, these big events create significant opportunities for new customer acquisition.
So, how can current and future Sports Betting operators capitalize on horse racing today?
- Host live events on Big Race Days. (many properties do this already like Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun).
- Capture email addresses from ‘Unknown Patrons’ at live events AND from social media/websites with free-to-play games.
- Manage the betting event life lifecycle with pre-race and afterglow marketing campaigns.
Getting started today will be the difference between finishing in the money, or not.