Yahoo has jumped onto the highly lucrative gambling industry by launching a betting product of its own.
Yahoo’s vice president of publisher products, Kenneth Fuchs, spoke to the media about its long overdue betting service called Yahoo Sports Daily Fantasy.
Yahoo’s latest initiative couldn’t have come at a better time since the internet behemoth is facing stalled advertising revenues.
There is a lot of money in the fantasy sports business, which is worth an estimated $15 billion in the United States alone, thanks to the 32 million Americans who take part in it.
The Yahoo sports betting service will be available via a mobile app and users can use it to place wagers on the performance of professional athletes.
People can participate in daily fantasy sports betting individually or in groups. Daily fantasy sports is a new and fast growing segment of the industry and it is currently worth $2.6 billion per year.
This segment is expected to grow steadily every year and reach $14.4 billion within five years!
Yahoo also seeks to increase its presence on mobile phones and other mobile devices with the help of this new product.
The sports betting service is targeted towards the 18 to 34-year-old demographic, which has immense spending power.
Yahoo is expected to earn 10% from each bet placed using its app. It will initially offer betting on football and baseball, but will then offer hockey and basketball as well.
The service will focus on the United States initially, but there are also plans to roll it out internationally.
The fantasy sports betting industry has been expanding at a rapid pace and there is a whole lot of demand for it in the United States where sports betting is illegal in most states as of now.
The US citizens have been banned from betting on sports ever since the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act came into effect in 2006.
The power sports leagues in the US are with the federal government on this contentious issue, but a few states have challenged the law in court.
Then again, a few other states, viz. Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana and Washington have local laws that make sports betting illegal.
Both the US government and the sports lobbies do not have any issues with wagering on fantasy sports because they consider it to be a game of skill and not chance.
This is because the outcome of the game will not depend on any particular game or an individual player. T
he biggest names in the fantasy sports business are FanDuel and DraftKings. As a matter of fact, DraftKings has recently entered into a highly lucrative deal with the NFL.
Yahoo has been manoeuvring towards increasing its presence in sports and the first indication of this was the surprise announcement that it had bought exclusive rights from NFL to live stream the Buffalo Bills-Jacksonville Jaguars match scheduled for October in London.
The Yahoo gambling platform wasn’t particularly appreciated by industry watchers simply because it looked and felt like all the other products in the market.
Even so, there’s a lot of interest to see where Yahoo can go with this product!