US online market needs image and awareness lift finds Leadstar


There is still work to be done on both the image and public awareness of legal sports betting in the US found Leadstar Media, an affiliate company now licensed and fully operational in both New Jersey (NJ) and Indiana. 

The Stockholm-based company, which boasts 12 years’ experience in the industry, has an active position in 16 gambling markets around the world.

However, Eskil Kvarnström, CEO and co-founder of Leadstar Media, said that his sights are firmly set on the ‘burgeoning’ US market, adding that being fully operational in NJ and Indiana is just “the first step for our expansion in the US”.

He shared: “We know that with all our experience in the industry we can be the best betting affiliation business in the US.”

The company has already launched two products specifically for the US audience. The first was UnitedGamblers, a site that ranks and reviews online sportsbooks and casinos in the US, before the second, BettingScanner, quickly followed to provide up-to-date information on the status of sports betting state-by-state. 

“It was important for us to have everything ready before we got licensed,” said Jacob Ljunggren, Product Director at Leadstar Media. “With our wealth of experience, we could already bring value to our customers by helping them manoeuvre the complicated situation at the moment.”

The Garden State is home to the largest number of online sportsbooks in the US, and now routinely rivals Nevada for sports betting handle and revenues.

“NJ has been a frontrunner since 2018 but Indiana is catching up; it’s an exciting market with loads of potential,” Ljunggren added. “The Hoosier state is now home to five sportsbooks – FanDuel, DraftKings, PointsBet, BetRivers and BetMGM.”

Leadstar’s BettingScanner recently completed a survey on how the American public views online gambling. It was produced in collaboration with research company Pollfish, and every respondent was an American over 21 years of age.

The survey revealed some expected outcomes, including that DraftKings (44%) and FanDuel (41%) currently enjoy the highest level of brand awareness. 

“This is down to their history as fantasy sports operators,” explained Ljunggren. “As the market matures, other brands will start to gain some ground.”

However, it also revealed that 59% of Americans were unaware that the federal ban on sports betting had been lifted – more than 18 months after the event.

Perhaps more surprising is that this lack of awareness is not confined to states yet to legalize sports betting. In fact, in states where online sports betting has been legal since 2018, such as NJ and Pennsylvania, 36% had missed this federal law change.

Finally, it also found that Americans view owning a gun (six in 10) as more morally acceptable than gambling online or using single-use plastics (four in 10).

Ljunggren said: “Online gambling is relatively new to the US, so it comes as no surprise that there is a level of reticence towards the industry. However, we were surprised to see how it compares to other habits such as owning a gun or drinking alcohol.”