If you are an avid online betting fan, you might have noticed that many of the most popular sportsbooks also provide their users with access to a wide range of online casino games.
This is indicative of a broader industry trend in which the major players in the online gambling sector are seeking to out-maneuver their closest rivals by offering a better or more comprehensive product offering.
The result of this is that not only have we seen more market consolidation as major players in the iGaming and sports betting sectors make new acquisitions, but these platforms have also significantly expanded their product offerings.
For the average sportsbook or online casino fan, this has been a generally positive trend. Increased competition between these platforms means that players now have more choices than ever available to them in an instant.
But putting the benefits of this aside for a second, why do so many online sportsbooks also offer online casino games?
One of the most obvious reasons why this is the case, is simply because of demographic overlap between those individuals who like to gamble on sports and those who like to play casino games.
Although sports betting and online casino games rely on a completely different skill set, there is an obvious overlap between the two insofar as they are both forms of gambling. If you like one form of gambling, it is more likely that you will also like the other!
Both sports betting and online casino games involve a degree of risk. After all, that is what makes them exciting! If you enjoy one type of risk, you are also likely to enjoy the other.
Another important factor that shapes the services offered by online betting platforms, is the level of technological investment required to run them.
Although you might not have thought of it before, it requires a significant amount of technology to run an online betting platform. This is equally as true of the games themselves as it is for the backend stuff, such as the security and payment systems.
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In particular, the backend systems require a significant amount of financial investment to run, especially given the need to make sure they are fully secure. This is also true of the verification and authentication processes that online casinos must undergo.
Given that these backend processes can be used to support both online sportsbooks and online casino games, it is little surprise that online betting platforms would use them to support both online casinos and online sportsbooks.
This helps to explain why we frequently see popular online sportsbooks also offering casino games, as well as, more generally, why the online betting business is booming recently!
Legal and regulatory changes
Before online sports betting platforms became popular, most sports bets were placed in person in physical locations. Often, these locations were limited in the types of services they could offer due to licensing requirements. This made it quite rare to see a bookmaker that also had a license to provide casino games onsite.
With the rise and growing popularity of online betting platforms, however, this has all changed. It has now become relatively easy for an online sportsbook to also acquire an online casino license. This is because they are no longer tied to a physical location subject to local planning restrictions and instead deliver their services virtually.
Another interesting trend we have seen that has helped to consolidate the market in this way, is the gradual liberalization of gambling laws around the world.
America provides a particularly interesting example in this regard, as while online casinos had been operating in several states for quite some time, there were decades-old federal restrictions on sports betting.
When these restrictions on sports betting were lifted in 2018, many of the existing online casino platforms quickly added sports betting functionality.
The result of this is that many online sports books in America also provide access to full-featured online casinos!
In this sense, we can see how legal and regulatory changes in certain jurisdictions have helped to expand and consolidate the product offerings of online betting platforms.