Benjie Cherniak: the evolution of in-play wagering in the US

The in-play wagering market has ‘plenty of green grass ahead’ despite significant evolution since the repeal of PASPA, according to Benjie Cherniak, Principal of Avenue H Capital.

Speaking to SBC Media at SBC Summit North America last year, Cherniak reflected on his appearance on a panel titled ‘Innovating the In-Play Experience’, noting that there is plenty of scope for growth in the space in the US, given that just 40% of sports wagering revenue comes from in-play wagers. 

He remarked: “It’s talking about the evolution of in-play wagering. I think back to a bit of a history lesson I spoke about on the panel about what this looked like in 2006/07 when in-play was just getting going versus what it looks like today and how much the user experience has evolved.

“Yet we’re still at relatively early days in the US market with the PASPA repeal being only three years ago. There’s plenty of green grass and runway ahead of us in the US space, both in existing states and states that are yet to open up as it pertains to increased activity on the in-play wagering side and new products to support it.”

Cherniak was asked to detail his key takeaways from the panel, and he honed in on the notion of the future evolution of in-play wagering, noting that innovation is driving the space forward. 

He noted that improving technology can help release new products within the in-play space but also enhance existing ones, with the introduction of data being key for that innovation. 

“It’s still early days as it pertains to what the in-play experience will look like,” Cherniak added. “Now we’re beginning to see an increase of player props in-play and micro-markets in-play, so it’s still the tip of the iceberg. I think some of the takeaways are that as the data improves and as it becomes more coherent, then that will deliver an improved product deliverable.

“I think another trend we’re going to see is as we see improved streaming video, that will lend itself to a single-screen experience and these are things I think we will see in the years ahead that will enhance the in-play offerings.”