Kambi Group is a European giant, spun off by the Unibet company and they have quietly been taking over the market for setting odds in the United States.
That lack of competition, even as 11 states -and counting- are now participating in the sports betting market is likely costing you money.
The truth is, there are many casinos and name brands operating in these states where you can place bets, either in person or online. At the same time, there are just a small handful of companies who are actually setting the lines and providing them to those establishments.
One way for a bettor, especially an experienced one to create more opportunities for profits is in shopping for the best line. The way the process goes, is for gamblers to look at each of the books operating in their state in order to find the best one to place their bet. When you can find a way to put up money on a favorite for a payoff or can find better odds for the underdog then that is the equivalent of putting money in your bank.
When there is only one oddsmaker setting the lines, or perhaps two, that essentially means just about all the sportsbooks are equal and there is no point in shopping around.
And that is how Kambi could be costing you.
Take New Jersey for example. Their market has exploded in just over a year. They even outpaced Nevada for total revenues in the month of May. At the same time, many of the sportsbooks, including DraftKings, 888 Sport and SugarHouse are all using Kambi-powered odds.
In neighboring Pennsylvania, online betting just launched last month. Initially, Parx Sportsbook, Bet Rivers and SugarHouse were the only operators, and you guessed it, they are all powered by KAmbi.
There is some choice now as FanDuel does use a different service and they just launched last week and they also are a top choice in New Jersey.
That monopolistic trend seems to be growing with news last week that Penn National Gaming is set to ramp up their sports betting offerings. With that announcement came the news of the various partners they had inked to operate their sportsbooks in as many as 19 states. But all of those lines will be set by Kambi.
Kambi officials have fought back against the perception that the fix is in as they are clear to point out that operators in each establishment are able to tweak the lines to meet their own needs. It’s just that none of them have yet.
Considering how the legal market is not only fighting amongst one another, but the black market as well, that lack of competition for the best lines is going to add to the challenge of beating out overseas suppliers. It’s an easy way for those more established businesses to hold onto their long-serving clients.
You can bet that is not how legislators envisioned the market evolving.