When the odds came out for the game between Duke and the University of Virginia in January, it was, Bloomberg reports, a seismic event at the Action Network’s offices in New York.
The staff at the digital media startup had been waiting for days to find out who was favored to win the matchup between two of college basketball’s best teams. On Friday, when oddsmakers favored Duke by four points, pandemonium broke out. Reporters and editors scrambled to publish stories—and place bets of their own.
Action Network Inc. was founded on the premise that this mania, long relegated to Las Vegas casinos and black-market-barroom sportsbooks, is about to find its way into the American mainstream. Last May the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federal law that had confined legal sportsbooks to Nevada.
Since then seven more states have begun to allow betting, and a couple of dozen others are considering it. Bipartisan support is building around a plan to allow sports wagering in Louisiana casinos, too, but a host of issues have yet to be hashed out and it will likely be more than a year before the first bet is placed here. Louisiana lawmakers are expected to take up sports betting legislation in the session that begins April 8.
Nationwide, operators’ revenue could reach $6.5 billion by 2023, according to researcher Eilers & Krejcik Gaming. Bettors in New Jersey, where legalization arrived last June, are already wagering almost $400 million every month. Action Network doesn’t take wagers. Instead, it’s
looking to become the go-to source of information for sports bettors through a subscription-based service offering news, data, and analytical tools.
“There are more and more people who might not have been inclined to bet who are now trying to figure out what it all means,” says Chad Millman, who left a job as an editorial director at ESPN to become head of media at Action Network. Read the full story.