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Verizon eyes sports gambling industry

Verizon eyes sports gambling industry

The observers of the gambling industry in the United States are eyeing the US Supreme Court verdict which could legalize the sports betting. This move is said to change the landscape of sports betting.

Realizing this potential, Verizon Communications is planning to enter the multibillion-dollar market of sports betting.

The New York-based phone giant has been brainstorming and meeting experts and consultants to assess the possibilities for a sports-focused online gambling venture if the laws in US change.

The US Supreme Court is hearing a case which challenges the current federal prohibition on sports gambling and is expected to render its verdict by the end of this year.

Verizon is yet to make an official announcement on the matter indicating its reluctance to disclose any private information. Verizon has concluded in an earlier exploration that entering the business dominated by casinos would be a formidable competitive challenge.

It is striving to transform itself into a more diversified media business. It sealed a deal with Yahoo by paying $4.5 billion for its acquisition, and gambling is a tempting matter that can earn huge profits. The company boasts of being nation’s largest mobile network, with more than 100 million subscribers.

Yahoo has 1.3 billion users and it fantasy sports unit has tens of millions of fans who spend 30 billion minutes a year to manage imaginary teams and pick players, paying fees to participate in guaranteed prize pools.

Verizon has streaming rights to some National Football League and National Basketball Association games which attracts many people who are interested in betting.

Verizon announced a $25 million streaming deal with NBA, Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver where they have discussed a joint investment to develop features like quarter-by-quarter fantasy betting. NBA and Verizon feel that such contests in live games may boost fans' interest and engagement.

The US gambling market is estimated to generate $15.8 billion revenue, if fully regulated, according to research conducted by Eilers and Krejcik Gaming. It could further include 44 million customers wagering $245 billion annually which is thrice the number of the current black market for sports betting in the US.

It would be a significant push for the online betting industry if  Verizon decides to step into the gambling world.