According to Bloomberg reports, US telecommunications giant Verizon is considering a move into the sports betting market
This news follows Verizon ’s 2017 purchase of Yahoo, which included its fantasy sports business. Sources say the telecommunications firm has already consulted expertise to assess the feasibility of a potential expansion, in the event of US regulatory developments.
As things stand, Nevada is the only US state that allows sports betting, but the state of New Jersey is currently challenging the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). This could potentially open up the market to more US states, and the ongoing case will likely be a major factor in Verizon’s eventual decision.
Bloomberg’s sources remain unnamed, but their coverage did feature a quote from Verizon chief financial officer Matt Ellis, outlining potential changes.
“There are some changes coming that we pay attention to; we stay close to that to see how it would affect our asset and how we may choose to respond,” Ellis said.
“I’ve not looked at anything in detail; if someone has an idea around it, I’ll look at it like any other. We are not getting ahead of ourselves there.”
According to Bloomberg’s sources, Verizon had already considered a similar expansion in the past, but balked in the face of casinos’ dominance of the market at the time.
Under PASPA, it is illegal for governmental entities to sponsor, operate, advertise, promote, licence or authorise betting, gambling or wagering schemes that are based on games played by amateur or professional athletes.
The US Supreme Court has begun preliminary proceedings on the New Jersey case, but a final decision is not likely to be handed down until June.