“Expanding our partnership with bet365, the largest sports betting brand in the world, demonstrates our commitment to delivering the most innovative and compelling products for our customers,” said Mark Locke, CEO of Genius Sports, in a statement. “Across thousands of events a year, including top-tier competitions such as the Premier League and NFL, we will provide bet365 with the highest quality content and first-of-its-kind betting experience to power immersive and real-time betting markets for millions of customers worldwide.”
Genius and the Mid-American Conference (MAC) announced a deal earlier this year that gives data providers – and their sportsbook partners – more information for betting. Though nearly all legal US sports betting jurisdictions restrict or ban individual player prop bets at the college level, the deal gives more opportunities for team-level bets on college football and basketball, two of the other most wagered-upon sports in the US.
MAC football games are best known to American sports bettors for midweek “MACtion,” letting teams in the conference have a de facto national audience while not competing against larger conferences that play most of their games on Saturdays.
For bet365, the deal would give the sportsbook more US betting options than ever. One of the biggest names in global gaming, bet365 is also projected as one of if not the highest-grossing regulated online sportsbooks in Ontario.
After launching in New Jersey not long after the Supreme Court struck down the federal wagering ban in 2018, bet365 has only had one additional launch, in Colorado. The two states each have more than 20 live operators, the most of any US jurisdictions, and bet365 has not come close to the market share of US leaders FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM and Caesars in either jurisdiction.
Genius CEO Mark Locke: “Expanding our partnership with bet365, the largest sports betting brand in the world, demonstrates our commitment to delivering the most innovative and compelling products for our customers.”
Bet365 is set to launch in Virginia as early as this year. It is also expected to launch in Ohio as early as Jan. 1, 2023, the first time the company will be prepared to go live in a US jurisdiction at the same time as its major competitors.
The company is also expected to pursue licensure in Maryland and Massachusetts with launches in both possible by next year. There are also more than a dozen additional online sports betting states where bet365 would have the potential for market access.
Industry stakeholders laud Bet365 for its already extensive array of betting offerings as well as its interface and underlying tech platform. One of the most lucrative privately held companies in the United Kingdom, bet365 also has the financial resources to launch an extensive marketing campaign.
The company’s reluctance to spend much on marketing in the US helps explain its continued market share struggles. While it’s a household name in many western European companies as well as Canada, most Americans – even bettors – are unfamiliar with the brand.
In Ohio, the company has marketed extensively for home games for MLB’s Cleveland Guardians, which are partnering with the sportsbook for a sports betting license in the state. The other most notable ad push has been at Yankee Stadium in New York, though bet365 does not have a license in the state.
A bolstered data deal – particularly for the NFL and college sports – is another asset bet365 can deploy as it begins to grow its US footprint. Though it may be years away (if ever) from nearing the massive market shares of the current US leaders, its financial and technological resources leave it as one of the likeliest sportsbook operators capable of shaking up the American sports betting status quo.