The world of gambling in the United States was turned on its head when the state of New Jersey was not only daring enough to openly challenge a US Supreme Court ruling, but won its case, leading to the long-awaited opportunity for each US state to legalize online gambling on an individual basis.
That was back in 2018 and naturally, New Jersey was the first to jump on the sports betting bandwagon, closely followed by several other more liberal states. Whilst some were largely driven by pressure from a veritable army of sports fans, others were seeing the lucrative tax income that could be harvested down the line.
Meanwhile in the UK, the online sports betting market was positively booming, with almost every major UK bookmaker wasting no time in moving its terrestrial products seamlessly to online betting, in addition to maintaining huge chains of High Street betting shops.
It is those betting shops that have always held a huge level of fascination for US visitors. Indeed, the experience of walking in and legally placing a bet has been likened to that of entering an Amsterdam coffee shop by some.
With no legal constraints imposed on the UK sports betting industry, bookmakers have had decades to perfect their craft and are considered to be the best in the world. A fact that did not go unnoticed by some of the massive US gambling brands.
As more US states came round to the idea of legalizing sports betting, the biggest of the US brands were quickly becoming established in all of them. But many had a background as casino operators – and, as we found in our bookmaker reviews, inevitably they had some difficulty in providing a service to match their UK counterparts.
In the meantime, with the US becoming a whole new playing field, a number of the top UK bookmakers began expanding to the US market. And it is no surprise that they were easily able to surpass their US rivals and grab a big chunk of the action, much to the dismay of many struggling US sportsbooks.
Let’s face it, US companies are much more comfortable with domination than they are playing second fiddle. So, their logical comeback was to form partnerships with the UK brands already operating in the United States, or to simply buy them out.
A feeding frenzy ensued, leading to collaborations between Entain and the mighty MGM Resorts, Flutter formed a close association with top US betting site FanDuel and most recently, gambling news was eagerly reporting the $25 million purchase of William Hill by 888 Holdings. We’re sure those won’t be the last of many such empowering moves in the near future.
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