How Legal Sports Betting is Changing the Fan Experience

How Legal Sports Betting is Changing the Fan Experience

Until now, so much of the focus when it comes to legalized sports betting has been location-based. Where are sports betting legal? Which states are on the verge of making it legal? Why isn't it legal everywhere? Will it eventually be legal everywhere? Beyond those questions is what happens after legalized sports betting actually gets implemented. Inevitably, it changes the professional sports experience. And that's never been more clear than it is now.

Tackling the impact of legalized sports betting in the United States is getting easier by the day. Not only are more and more states joining the fray, but partnerships with leagues are starting to become commonplace. From MLB to the NFL, legalized sports betting is now both embedded in the states and the sports themselves. Put another way: It is everywhere.

Breaking down how legal sports betting is changing the fan and pro sports experience is an especially salient process now. With the United States loosening the restrictions placed upon citizens during the global coronavirus pandemic, it has allowed entire visions and operations to actualize themselves.

The summer of 2021, in essence, has been one of the milestones for legalized sports betting, illustrating all the different ways it can be utilized.

The Sports Experience with Legalized Betting

There is no branch of sports left untouched by the legalized betting movement. Everything from how fans attend games to how they watch them to how the media is covering them has changed forever.

Here are some of the most important benchmarks to date as the result of this shift.

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Partnerships Between Sports Leagues and Betting Companies

Legal sports betting has opened the door for leagues and teams to get in bed with the companies behind sportsbooks themselves. There will be more partnerships that span from minor relationships to major, groundbreaking ties.

The most recent example of this shifting dynamic: The Superdome, which is one of America's most iconic sports and entertainment venues and home to the New Orleans Saints of the NFL, will now be named after Caesars Entertainment.

No, this is not the first deal of its kind. But it is unique in scope and scale. And more such sponsorships are bound to follow given how much companies like Caesars are willing to pony up for naming rights.

On-Site Sports Betting at Stadiums and Arenas

This year, the United States' first in-arena sportsbook opened up in Washington D.C. at Capital One Arena, which is home to the Washington Wizards of the NBA and Washington Capitals of the NHL. While still an exception across the sports landscape, this on-site setup is merely the first of its kind.

More in-arena sportsbooks are soon scheduled to follow. Phoenix and Chicago are the next cities up, and there are expected to be many additional locations by the end of 2022.

At some point, this will invariably become common practice. Fans will be able to leave their seats to place bets and claim winnings at the cashier or virtual kiosks. Arenas are also bound to run mobile-app specials as well, just like they do in soccer stadiums located around England.

Impact of Sports Betting on Broadcasts

Get ready to see a change in how you watch your favorite team from the comfort of your own home. There are about to be sports-betting branded segments and networks galore.

One of the biggest dominoes in this industry has already fallen. Most fox sports regional networks are now under the Bally's Sports umbrella. And yes, it's that Bally's, the betting operator is known for its reach in Vegas and Atlantic City, among other places. 

On top of that, you will even see sports betting providers joining forces with entire leagues.

The DraftKings app, for instance, is already offering betting-themed broadcasts and streams of MLB games in their mobile app. Though this might be an extreme relationship even by the industry's changing standards, don't be surprised if you see similar partnerships prop up with the NFL, NHL, and NBA.

Increase of Sports-Betting Advertisements

While certain networks and streaming services—namely YouTube–continue to ban sports-betting ads, most places are caving to the movement.

Television networks will be running sports-betting ads during NFL games for the 2021 season, and such advertisements are already an industry-standard during NBA contests. Granted, it looks like these promotions will be capped. The NFL, for instance, is capping TV networks at six sports-betting ad spots per game.

Still, that's quite a lot of revenue the NFL is opening up for its TV partners. By extension, we should expect to see richer broadcast-rights deals brokered in the future.

Oh, you'll also want to be on the lookout for promo codes and specials whenever you're tuning into a game. There are going to be plenty of special offers that come from this influx of sports-betting commercials.

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Accessible Sports-Betting Advice

Free sports-betting advice has always been a gray area. Until recently, the best voices and strategies were usually behind a paywall. Everything you got for free either lacked a certain context or feature, or it was just plain inferior. That is gradually changing.

Many services will still be behind paywalls. But as legalized sports betting becomes more of a regularity in the United States, it is being baked into mainstream coverage. Some of the top sports media personalities have already left big-time companies like ESPN and CBS to join sports betting-centric services that offer free gambling advice and analysis. Some are even working for casinos directly.

Mainstream sports companies have countered by ingraining more betting segments into their own coverage. It is not uncommon to see ESPN or CBS run sponsored clips by domestic sportsbooks or analyze real-time games and futures odds.

Don't expect this trend to slow. If anything, bank on sports betting eventually becoming the main beat for sports networks and personalities. The landscape we're living in demands it.

Check out this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all your sports betting:

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