In a little while, BetAmerica Sportsbook will start using an entirely new vendor for its online sports betting product. While that may not entail much of a change in Indiana bettors’ experience, it’s a great sign for the long-term health of the Hoosier State’s legal sports betting market.
The shift signals Churchill Downs, the owner of BetAmerica, intends to compete for a solid share of several markets, including Indiana. That’s true now and in the future as well.
BetAmerica Sportsbook plans to migrate its software
Currently, Churchill Downs uses software provided by SB Tech to operate BetAmerica in multiple jurisdictions. It has a provisional agreement in place to start using Kambi software instead.
Most likely, current users of the app won’t notice much of a change. The branding and function of the platform should remain almost identical.
While Churchill Downs hasn’t provided a rationale for the move yet, two factors may have led to the decision. BetAmerica was down for multiple weeks in April, leading to a loss of revenue.
Additionally, BetAmerica has failed to gain market share so far. That’s true for IN, as BetAmerica took in just over $37,000 in wagers for May. During the same time period, DraftKings Sportsbook accepted over $20 million worth of wagers in the Hoosier State.
A connection to DraftKings might be the most prominent reason for the change. It also points to the reason why this shift is significant for the legal gambling industry in IN.
No more sharing profits with the competition
For Churchill Downs, using SB Tech represented a conflict of interest. DraftKings owns SB Tech, so essentially, BetAmerica was generating revenue for its own competition.
By shifting to Kambi, BetAmerica sidesteps that issue. Kambi provides the same software to other US sportsbooks like FanDuel, but it’s an independent company in terms of being owned by one of those operators.
The move signals Churchill Downs’ commitment to not being a minor player content to simply exist in the same markets as DraftKings and FanDuel. It suggests that Churchill Downs will spend what’s necessary to make BetAmerica a legitimate option for Indianans.
Competition among sportsbook operators is positive for bettors in several ways. First off, it applies pressure for those operators to innovate their platforms with better and more features.
It also motivates operators to try to outdo each other in terms of improved and more promotional measures like deposit bonuses and odds boosts. Finally, a competitive marketplace prevents one operator from being able to unilaterally dictate the terms of the market to consumers.
For now, that’s relegated to legal sports betting for IN consumers. Churchill Downs’ move could signal further investment in the Hoosier State in the future, however.
If IN builds it, Churchill Downs will come
Churchill Downs has also announced a preliminary agreement to start using GAN as a software provider for online casino games and online slots. To date, that activity remains illegal for IN residents and visitors.
Should that ever change, Churchill Downs will be ready to pounce with GAN’s platform. The competition for online casino dollars in the Hoosier State could be even more fierce than it is for sports wagering handle.
For now, the shift to Kambi signals the determination to make a legitimate contender out of BetAmerica Sportsbook. That determination should afford Indianans viable options for wagering on sporting events for years to come.