he National Rugby League, the major rugby league club competition in Australia and New Zealand, is considering a plan to cash in on the expanding legalized sports gambling market in the US.
Australian Rugby League Commission director Gary Weiss has been tasked with developing wagering products for the American market with a view to enticing overseas punters to gamble on the NRL, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
As domestic sports wagering became an increasingly lucrative revenue raiser for the game, in particular during the lockdown period, the NRL now believes there is potential in the US market.
The Commission is likely to consult Melbourne Storm chairman and co-owner Matt Tripp, former Sportsbet boss and BetEasy founder, who says there is potential in targeting the American market.
“Most definitely, if they handle it right they could tap into a very large and growing market that would see them generate incremental revenues from wagering that they didn’t expect to get at this time two or three years ago,” Tripp said to the previously cited news source.
Experts predict expanded wagering legalization in the US could result in an increase of more than 50% wagering income within the next five years. Sports betting is now live and legal in 28 states, plus D.C.
“Given everyone sees the US as a wagering gold rush, there is certainly an opportunity for the NRL to leverage their assets, package them up and distribute them to US wagering operators,” further said Tripp. “There is certainly going to be a play there to tap into that. I just hope they execute it well, because it’s in the best interests of the game.”
Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys agrees there is potential in the US wagering market as a real opportunity for the rugby league.
“I raised this when I first became chair, that we were going to look at the US market of sport,” he said according to The Sydney Morning Herald. “We can see extraordinary potential in it.” He further said that the league is determined to get in the market and that there are “various ways of doing it.”
V’landys updated the 16 clubs of the plan to tap into the US sports market during a conference call with their chairs and chief executives, earlier this month.