Mims reports from the Sports Betting Community Digital Summit, where Coronavirus took center stage, to discuss the future of betting
On Thursday, I decided to do something that I have never done! I will tell you what that was at the conclusion of the article.
I attended my second virtual conference in the past month — The Sports Betting Community Digital Summit. Some of the top innovative minds and leaders in the Sports, Gaming and Hospitality attended and spoke. They gave their opinion on a plethora of topics included in the broad sports betting universe.
Jan Jones Blackhurst, Corporate Board Member for Caesars Entertainment, was one of the keynote speakers. She participated in a ‘fireside chat’ with Katie Lever. She gave her perspective on when she felt Las Vegas could return to the level of visitation enjoyed prior to COVID. She expressed confidently that Vegas would rebound based on the city’s track record.
Las Vegas has something that few cities in the world have —the gift of reinvention. Las Vegas has transitioned from a place that appealed solely to gamblers to a strip of hotels that catering to tourists and families. Prior to the 80’s and 90’s, there was no thought of a volcano in front of a casino or a hotel in the shape of a pyramid. Las Vegas is one of the top hotels and convention destinations in the world.
Blackhurst predicted that local and regional gaming would rebound first. Destinations where people can drive and feel more comfortable will bounce back quicker. Las Vegas could conceivably be back and thriving by the end of 2022. She indicated that resort fees and parking costs could be viewed as points of modification.
Philly‘s own and Seventy-Six Capital leader, Wayne Kimmel, gave an inspirational message to entrepreneurs to view this period as a time to come up with that idea or product that can help us transition from where we are now. He communicated a vision that challenged operators to look at ways to improve sports viewing and media presentations. He is on record as saying, “It will not just be the old-time sports bettor, it’s going to look different. What’s exciting is that at Seventy-Six Capital, what we’re all about is looking for those opportunities – looking for those entrepreneurs who are looking at the business differently and are starting to think about targeting other individuals who are not engaged today.”
David Purdum gave insight about the gambling industry from the business side for ESPN. Purdum writes for ESPN Chalk. He estimated that the sudden elimination of sports due to coronavirus will cost at least 12 billion dollars. This would include everything from the amount of money the fans spend to the loss of national television revenue. March wagers were down 76% compared to a year ago at Las Vegas Sports Books.
I almost forgot to tell you what I had never done! I enter a Zoom discussion where a panel was being moderated by Sue Schneider, a highly respected expert on internet gaming and the Community Director for SBC. I encourage anyone that has not engaged in a discussion this way to download the app to your phone. This is the new normal and not that hard to do. Let me know how it works for you.
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