Weekly Column: Sports Betting and Data

In his capacity as a Columnist for California Sports Lawyer®, Founder Jeremy Evans has written a column about the potential of sports betting in California through the lens of data and engagement.  

You can read the full column below.

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If one were to ask a California voter if they supported sports betting ballot initiatives political scientists might say that both Propositions 26 and 27 are unlikely to pass in November 2022. It is somewhat surprising because the tax dollars from such sports betting could help pay for infrastructure and schooling programs. In some sense, it seems more reasonable to tax things like sales on marijuana, alcohol, cigarettes, and sports betting because they are either bad for your health and/or dangerous if used in large quantities, sometimes both, or maybe just because they might addiction-based activities. Although, health professionals do subscribe marijuana to some patients for health and/or paid relief benefits.

The paid lobbying dollars against the aforementioned sports betting propositions has clearly tipped the scales against such passage. Is voting against such law wise? Could the propositions have been written more clearly to help voters understand the economic impact and legal reasoning? Likely yes to both questions.

One thing is certain, sports as an industry continues to expand and even with the prospect of failure on the ballot, sports betting is here to stay, for now. The NCAA and Big East Conference are considering expanding March Madness from 68 to 90 teams. Fox and News Corp. are considering a second merger with a focus on sports betting technology and data to increase revenue. The College Football Playoff is already expanding and will command several billion dollars in television broadcast contracts. Saudi Arabia continues its march into sports of purchasing rights and establishing investment.

The continued growth of streaming and distribution platforms (particularly ad-based platforms) will further provide avenues to establish revenue and visibility for sports betting. Netflix actually (albeit, a non-sports content platform) added 2.4 million subscribers in the last quarter. According to Nielsen, streaming continues its accension in homes across the globe with the differences between older and younger users lessening. In general, people love content and studios will have a tough time keeping up—thus the continued room for growth in gaming, sports, and re-runs.

As discussed in previous weeks, data and analytics are at the forefront or should at least be considered in business decision-making. Data and analytics teach streamers and sports teams alike that sports betting increases engagement on platforms. Data and analytics also teach that mobile phones are increasingly used to consume content. Therefore, streamers and sports team should look for opportunities that streamline mobile-use, data, betting, and platforms. Obviously safeguards and regulation in any of these areas to protect against addiction, abuse, and access to minors will be essential for implementation. Whether California voters eventually support a sports betting vision in the state is yet to be seen, however.

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About Jeremy M. Evans:  

Jeremy M. Evans is the Chief Entrepreneur Officer, Founder & Managing Attorney at California Sports Lawyer®, representing entertainment, media, and sports clientele in contractual, intellectual property, and dealmaking matters. Evans is an award-winning attorney and industry leader based in Los Angeles and Newport Beach. He can be reached at Jeremy@CSLlegal.com. www.CSLlegal.com.

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Jeremy M. Evans is the Founder of California Sports Lawyer® and serves as Senior Counsel at Klinedinst PC, representing entertainment, media, and sports clients in California.