Instant Payouts Take Center Stage as Online Sports Betting Gains Popularity

The proliferation of riskier, long-shot betting strategies may mean gamblers are more eager to get their winnings — now.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week (May 7) on the astronomical popularity of online sports betting in the U.S., where the gambling is legal following a 2018 Supreme Court case. Industry experts, however, are concerned about the growing negative returns for casual bettors as the sector places a great emphasis on parlay bets. In parlay betting, which is gaining traction among sportsbook customers, gamblers make a series of often-smaller wagers on varied outcomes as one bet. In order for the gambler to win, all outcomes wagered on must go their way. While the potential winnings are often significantly larger than a standard bet, with the longer odds come greater risks. 

Riskier bets, with gamblers having more to win (or lose), may push consumer demand even harder towards receiving these winnings as soon as possible. And as illustrated in the PYMNTS collaboration with Ingo Money, “Disbursements Satisfaction Report 2023,” instant payments as an option may already be popular. 

In the report and above chart, gaming payouts are rolled into the “Other disbursements” category. Although it is impossible to separate out gaming winnings specifically from the “other” grouping, which may also include focus group participation payouts and legal settlements, the share of instant payout popularity for the category has held steady between August 2021 and January 2023, indicating ongoing consumer interest.

When it comes to gaming payouts specifically, previous PYMNTS research indicates that 21% of surveyed consumers prefer instant payments, making it the most popular option in how customers choose to receive their winnings. 

For their part, the sector is generally aware of the importance of instant payouts for their customers, no matter what type of bet is being placed. In the December Money Mobility Tracker, “Casinos, Gambling And Gaming Platforms Bet On Instant Payments,” a DraftKings spokesperson told PYMNTS, “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 set to get even more competitive as more states legalize these platforms and parlay bets increase in popularity. Real-time payments, when it comes to keeping share of this consumer spend, for sector businesses is now all but literally “table stakes.”