The addressable market for online betting is set to explode, but challenges abound as the industry tries to go after offshore gamblers.
That was the key takeaway from a CES keynote panel discussion on the future of online betting. As it stands the handle, or total money being bet in the industry is poised to grow to anywhere from $80 billion to $500 billion. But how the industry gets there is still up for debate.
Online gambling to explode
"There are so many hurdles that stand in the way of $500 billion," said Sara Slane founder of Slane Advisory.
She pointed to the inability to offer mobile gaming in the U.S. and the fact that you can't offer gambling over the Internet on the federal level as barriers to growth. And that's even while all states see big dollar signs when it comes to offering gambling in their states.
In order to reach that handle size, the panelists noted they have to convert a higher percentage of illegal betters who can do it easily and seamlessly offshore. Slane pointed to the log on and verification processes as two examples.
Consumers have to go through a lot of hoops in the U.S. so that the betting platform doesn't run afoul of anti-money laundering and know your customers' rules. She noted that the federal government doesn't seem to want to go after the illegal gambling market and in order to see the handle grow some of those restrictions need to be overcome.
A Better gambling experience in the cards?
Another way to grow the handle? Panelists pointed to providing a better gambling experience, a user interface that is on par with the marquee apps and robust security to protect the data of customers. Combine all that and online betting could explode in the years to come.