ritain-based betting exchange operator Smarkets has revealed its latest $5 million investment to create a traditional sportsbook that will first be launched in its home market in coming months.
“The main reason we’re building this is to go into the U.S. We estimate the market there could be worth $10 billion to $20 billion were it to be fully liberalized," Smarkets Chief Executive Officer Jason Trost stated.
The prospect of legalized sports betting in the U.S. has led Smarkets and several other British online gambling company to start paying attention to the US market. The Supreme Court is due to rule in coming months on whether to end a federal law that prohibits such gambling, with at least four states having already enacted legislation to legalize and regulate sports betting.
Trost said the company’s aim has been to take sports bets globally since he founded the business about a decade ago.
First comes the U.K., where the online sports betting market is already crowded. Smarkets won’t compile its own odds, instead drawing them from the betting exchange it has already been operating, where users can place wagers on an event and act as the bookmaker. By doing so, Trost expects to be able to offer bigger odds than traditional compilers.
“There’s a huge opportunity in terms of people wanting the best prices, but not wanting to go to the exchanges,” Trost said.