European sportsbooks in the US

European sportsbook brands playing catch-up in the US

4 March 2020

For European gambling operators, the US sports betting industry represents a host of challenges. Predominantly, becoming recognized among more established American names, as the results of our poll indicate.

In the second of our articles based on the results of our February poll, we consider the view of European sportsbooks among American people and reflect on the most important factor when choosing an online sportsbook.

Sportsbook brands - Who are Americans aware of?

Out of the 500 respondents asked which sportsbook brands they were most aware of, 219 (19.98%) answered DraftKings, 204 (18.61%) FanDuel. FanDuel and DraftKings, in total, accounted for 38.59%.

178 (16.24%) were not aware of the sixteen sportsbooks listed.

Of the other American brands, 79 respondents (7.21%) knew of Caesars while 68 (6.20%), PlayMGM or BetMGM. 47 (4.29%) were aware of Golden Nugget, the same for Fox Bet.

44 respondents (4.01%) recognized Bet365, the first non-US sportsbook to be acknowledged in our results. The same number of respondents (44) were aware of Betfair.

37 (3.38%) knew of 888 Sport, while 34 (3.10%) recognized William Hill.

European pair, BetFred, and Unibet, two of the newest brands to enter the US market accounted for 16 (1.46%) and 12 (1.09%) of respondents, respectively.

Choosing a sportsbook - What is the most important factor?

Of the 69 respondents that, in a previous question, answered yes to having placed an online bet since PASPA was repealed in 2018, trust was the most important factor for 28 (40.58%) when choosing a sportsbook.

Payment methods were important to 17 (24.64%), while for 11 (15.94%) it was odds.

For 6 (8.70) the sports offered were important, while for 5 (7.25%) it was the sportsbook’s appearance. 2 (2.90%) respondents answered promotions and offers to the question asked.

Analysis - What did we learn about brand awareness?

Americans are more aware of sports betting brands born in the US.

Given the strength of DraftKings and FanDuel as Daily Fantasy Sports providers prior to offering legal sports betting, this is no surprise.

Nor is the awareness of well-known US casino operators, Caesars and MGM (PlayMGM/BetMGM) and Fox Bet; the Fox Sports name is synonymous with all US sports and now a sports betting brand having partnered with The Stars Group.

Equally, the European sports brands (BetFred and Unibet) both of whom are new entrants to the legal US sports betting landscape.

However, the lack of awareness for two brands with a presence in the US before sports betting became legal in 2018 - namely William Hill and 888 Sports - was somewhat surprising.


William Hill officially launched its US model in 2012. The UK company operates 100+ sports betting locations in Nevada and has launched sportsbooks in Indiana, West Virginia and Iowa since. William Hill is also a licensed sports betting provider in Mississippi and New Mexico. 888, also with its roots in the UK, became the first online gambling company to gain a US license back in 2013.

From this, it is evident non-US gambling operators face a challenge to establish themselves in the US.

Despite William Hill and 888 being active in the US long before the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of legal sports betting, Americans were far less aware of the two brands highlighted, compared with their US counterparts.

Analysis - What's most important when choosing an online sportsbook?

Americans deem ‘trust’ as the most important factor.

From this - and by also taking into account the analysis of brand awareness - one can presume that trust and awareness of a brand go hand-in-hand.

If the name is not recognizable for Americans, there’s a high probability they will opt for a brand closer to home and a name they know they can trust. Put simply, it’s the case of consumers sticking to what they know, at least while the market is still developing.

As of this moment, European sportsbooks rank behind their US counterparts, by a considerable distance. We would not have envisaged such a difference at this stage.

About the survey

The survey was conducted on February 12, 2020, using Pollfish.

  • The number of respondents was 500.
  • 100% were Americans between 21-65 years old.
  • 57% were female and 43% were male.

To make conclusions based on a sample of 500 respondents for a population exceeding 160 000 000 Americans between 21-65 years old, can seem illogical.

However, according to scientifically accepted calculations for margin of error, 500 respondents carry statistical significance within any population size.

The margin of error for a survey with 500 respondents for this population size is 4%.

Any questions about this survey? Get in touch and send an email to

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