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GAFA do not bet on online gambling

The American giants of the Net are in ambush. “Google and Facebook are raking in huge advertising revenue from online gambling, and now Amazon is offering more sports via streaming; they will also sponsor more bets ”, said Rasmus Sojmark, founding director of Sports Betting Community (SBC), a London-based media and international events company focused on betting and gambling (including the SBC Summit scheduled for this year in September in Barcelona). “Given the complexity of the business, the many companies that are interested in gambling find it easier to get involved by advertising”, he continues.

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This is not the only reason which could explain the direct absence of Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon or their Chinese equivalents on this world market which nevertheless weighs 500 billion dollars (451.3 billion in 2018, excluding lotteries, according to the consulting company H2 Gambling Capital). “Online gaming has not been allowed in the United States until now. The regulation of sports betting and online casino started to be implemented, state by state, only two years ago. It is therefore quite logical that the GAFA have not yet mobilized in this sector ”, explains Humbert Michaud, director of development at Betclic.

“A matter for specialists”

Google Play has been offering third party gaming apps since August 2017 and “Only in France, Ireland and the United Kingdom, but not in the United States”, said a spokesperson for the Alphabet branch. Donald Trump, famous friend of casino owners brick-and-mortar (“Hard”), even wants to end tolerance for online gambling and revoke its ban, already provided for in the Wire Act of … 1961.

Betclic's development director thinks that “The level of effort required by the complexity of the industry and the uncertainty of the return on investment are reasons why GAFA are still not active in this sector”. Demanding regulations and heavy national taxes – real barriers to entry – put off global players. “The complexity of online gambling makes it a specialist first. The industry is already mature, and building a competitive offer and product is a slow and difficult process, “ abounds Humbert Michaud.

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