Sports betting has always been big business in the U.S., although historically it has been mainly limited to shadowy corners of off-track establishments, bookies or casinos. However, the legalization of online sportsbooks has ushered the industry into the mainstream market, with a record 20% of Americans estimated to have bet on the most recent Super Bowl. While the infrastructure of sport betting may have changed, the way gamblers prefer to get paid has not: as quickly as possible. This is such an expectation that consumers filed around 2,400 Better Business Bureau complaints in recent years against the country’s three largest sports betting providers regarding the speed of which winning withdrawal requests are satisfied.
The nature of the data means that it is impossible to pick out gaming winnings specifically from the above chart which may also include lottery payouts and legal settlements. However, the share of instant payout popularity remains remarkably the same between August 2021 and January 2023. When it comes to gaming payouts specifically, previous PYMNTS research indicates that 21% of surveyed consumers prefer instant payments, making it the most popular choice.
Online sportsbooks recognize this consumer demand and consider instant or near-instant payouts essential to their profitability. In a PYMNTS interview, DraftKings explains the importance of secure payment speed on their business model. “The speed of payments is crucial in the gambling industry. Customers want faster payouts. In fact, the speed of payments is so important that it can be a differentiator for customers choosing between gambling operators. Based on this strong desire for quick disbursements, DraftKings offers instant payment options to its customers.”
Online sportsbooks are not investing in the benefits of speedy payments for the sector alone. Stateside, Mastercard is establishing itself as a gaming payments go-to. Earlier this year, it partnered with BetMGM, the casino’s online sports betting arm, to integrate near-instant payouts through its Mastercard Send platform. They are not alone in providing payments options for these sports platforms; FinTech Ingo Money has partnered with Caesars Digital to provide near-instant payouts to players as well.
With 26 states (and Washington D.C.) having legalized online sportsbooks, the scale of sports betting is likely to continue increasing. Though the size and scope may have changed in recent years, it remains true that winners want their winnings — now.