After A Year In The US, Kambi Has Some Takeaways On American Bettors

Posted on October 21, 2019

If you were putting together an expert panel on sports betting in Pennsylvania, Kambi would warrant a spot.

The European bookmaker handles sports wagers in Pennsylvania for:

In June 2019, Kambi opened its US headquarters in Philadelphia to be close to clients. In neighboring New Jersey, Kambi is also the bookmaker for three NJ sportsbooks.

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Kambi’s role in sports betting

Since processing the historic first legal online bet post-PASPA, Kambi has been studying its vast network data to build an early picture of the US sports bettor. In a webinar, Kambi presented some of its key findings, including data on wagering, in-play pick-up, the differences between the online and on-property players, and the most popular sports and markets.

Kambi CCO Max Meltzer commented:
Kambi’s high-quality network of US partners gives us valuable insight into the betting habits and behaviors of US players from state-to-state. Although the webinar takes into account data to June, we are continuously monitoring the information we receive to ensure our product is as good as it can be. For instance, just looking at data over the past two months we can see that the average online stake in Pennsylvania is roughly 10% larger than in neighboring New Jersey, and despite online in Pennsylvania being launched 10 months after New Jersey, the in-game to pregame wagers ratio is roughly the same.”

Let’s take a look at Kambi’s findings about sports bettors.

Basketball is most popular for new bettors

Basketball is the most popular sport for first-time bettors. This can be attributed to the number of games. NBA (82 regular-season games) and college basketball (35 games, plus the NCAA Tournament) have longer seasons in comparison to NFL (16 regular-season games) and college football (12 games).

Following basketball in popularity are:

  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Baseball
  • Soccer

New bettors not afraid to dive into live action, futures

A quarter of new players bet in-game right away.  Players are looking for an exceptional in-play offering when choosing an operator.

Additionally, bettors spread their cash on futures markets. One out of every four bettors wagering on teams to win the NBA Championship backed more than one team.

Kambi has even seen a player back as many as 23 teams to win the NBA Finals. Bettors are looking for a dynamic futures offering that is continually updated with the appropriate prices and odds. They also take advantage of the option to cash out futures bets and open new ones.

Bettors in the US raise the stakes more than UK counterparts

US bettors stake 41% more per wager than UK players. There are a few factors that may contribute to this, such as exchange rates or pregame buy-ins. Typically, US bettors don’t bet as much in-game as UK players.

The majority of bettors wager on other sports

Sixty-nine percent of bettors wager across five sports or more. Basketball, football, baseball, and hockey aren’t the only things that interest bettors. Based on the data Kambi’s collected, they have an appetite to wager on tennis, golf, and soccer.

Basketball and football are clear favorites for sports bettors. However, they enjoy soccer and tennis as much as hockey and baseball. Here are the most popular sports among sports bettors:

  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Baseball
  • Hockey
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Boxing
  • UFC/MMA
  • Motorsports

Parlays are a popular play

The majority of US bettors have played parlays compared to the UK. Over 60% of US bettors played parlays, whereas just under 50% in the UK did. This goes against what industry experts say about US bettors only betting prematch or single wagers. Bettors want the ability to bet cross-sport or cross-player.

Betting doesn’t stop when the game starts

Two-thirds of bettors play in-game. Many experts suggested that bettors don’t wager in-game. However, it’s not the case. Kambi expects in-play wagering to grow. Over 70% of bets on tennis occur during matches. People are looking to bet outside the usual point spread and moneyline markets. They have an interest in betting on the next point in tennis or the next score in football. It presents a golden opportunity for operators to keep users engaged and in-app over the course of a game.

US bettors wager on more days than UK players. US bettors wager about every three days whereas UK bettors wager every four days. This affords operators the opportunity to have more touchpoints with bettors and attract them with more offers.

Bettors prefer kiosks to tellers

Bettors are foregoing face-to-face interaction for the familiar touchscreen. Seventy-five percent of on-property bets are placed at kiosks.

Kambi’s US Director Max Bichsel said:

“This enables them to go at their own pace and wager without the intimidation of having to interact with a teller which can be especially intimidating for a novice bettor.”

Kambi stressed that retail is still an important component in sports betting. Kiosks need to present the full offering available online for retail sportsbooks to remain competitive.

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Katie Kohler

Katie Kohler is a Philadelphia-area based award-winning journalist. She covers the Pennsylvania gambling industry with an emphasis on sports betting, online casino/poker and the lottery.

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