WATCH: US Offshore Market – the increasing importance of integrity

One of the greatest challenges that faces the newly-liberalised US market is to ensure that the industry is wholly committed to integrity. A number of operators are strengthening their integrity commitments, and that trend will likely continue.

At last year’s Betting on Sports event, a panel discussed offshore sports betting integrity in the US, and the ways in which gambling authorities can tackle corruption in the betting world.

Andrew Cochrane, Chief Commercial Officer for SBTech, discussed the transition from an unregulated to a regulated market:  “As soon as a market re-regulates or regulates for the first time, there’s clearly a shift of turnover to the newly regulated operators and essentially, the black operated market slowly diminishes.  It’s our expectation that that will definitely shrink significantly.

“I think the ability to deal with customers, new customers very quickly, very efficiently and very fairly in not only promoting responsible gaming but also, demonstrating that much, much higher level of customer experience than you might get offshore, is really going to see the death of the offshore books eventually.”

It has been suggested that US operators entering the market can learn a lot from the operators who have entered from a more established market such as that of Europe. Jake Marsh, Head of Integrity Operations at Perform, emphasised that European operators have been active in the US market for years.

He stated: “European operators are already inputting into the US environment and have been for several years. I think that’s obvious with the work of companies like Genius and Perform, we’re both working for rights holders in the US, helping protect events on US soil.

“Bringing the US an increasing level of understanding now that the market is opening up in terms of the type of bets that are going to be offered, the risk that they’re going to face.

“And almost, there’s been quite a lot of scaremongering in the press around, again, those types of new markets, particularly in play, proposition bets, interval bets, all of these sorts of things.”

Operators need to cooperate with sporting bodies to ensure that integrity is committed to. From the UK, regulatory bodies Tennis have teamed up with the Tennis Integrity Unit to combat any corruption within the sport.

Khalid Ali, Secretary General of ESSA, reaffirmed this need to promote cohesion between the two. He said: “ I think if there’s one thing that we take away and probably try and implement as soon as possible in the US, is to have that exchange and that dialogue with the sports.

“It’s not us against them, it’s us working together as one, and that’s going to be really important.

“Now, the way that the debate has already opened up, there was talk about an integrity fee etc., that’s probably slipped away now, I think, maybe, in some states it could still be there, but these are issues which will be a sticking block in terms of wanting to build those relationships.”

Obviously there is a long way to go yet before the US market becomes fully established, as more states are gradually deciding to liberalise. And how the market addresses integrity is yet to be seen. But what is likely is that there will be increased collaboration between different sports and integrity bodies.

Delegates will be discussing integrity in the USA at this year’s Betting on Sports America conference.

Held 23-25 April in New Jersey, Betting on Sports America s the largest dedicated sports betting conference & exhibition in the US. The conference boasts 175 leading industry speakers across 40 sessions, with 60 exhibitors displaying their latest products on the 61,000 sq ft exhibition floor at the Meadowlands Exposition Center.

Delegates will be treated to world class hospitality with plenty of business and networking opportunities in New Jersey (Meadowlands Racetrack) and New York (40/40 Club and Sky Room Rooftop Bar). For more information about the event, please visit