Sports Bettors Want More Funding Options


As an operator of a US online sportsbook, you have a lot of experience in understanding how and why your customers bet. As a global leader in branded payments, we at Blackhawk Network are interested in how those bets are funded. That’s why we decided to take a deep dive into the way bettors think, especially in terms of their attitudes towards sports betting and payment preferences.

As you know, sportsbooks still have funding issues to overcome. There’s an increasing number of consumers who are concerned about using and storing credit card, debit card and ACH credentials with sports betting operators. You have to provide new customers multiple options in order to enable the highest percentage to make their first deposits. Plus, while more than 70% of American households have at least one credit card (per the US Census Bureau), many issuers will decline gambling transactions—even legal ones.

Everything is pointing to sportsbooks having to provide alternative funding options. According to Worldpay’s 2018 Global Payments Report, by 2022, nearly half of all online transactions will be made using alternative payment methods. Generation Z consumers, especially, expect to be able to use their preferred payment method. And if you don’t provide that method, they might very well take their sports betting dollars elsewhere.

Adding a cash-based alternative to fund sports bets can ensure first time bettors are able to make a secure, successful deposit, while also providing an important option to increase business and build loyalty from regular bettors.

To help sports betting operators understand how to attract and retain more customers, here are the key insights from our research findings (2019 Sports Betting Report, conducted by Leger for Blackhawk Network).


Insight 1: A majority of bettors want different payment options

Sportsbooks may assume that bettors are satisfied with their funding options. But our research reveals that 89% of your customers have at least one serious concern with how their online accounts are funded today. These concerns are primarily focused around privacy and security.

Insight 2: No one needs to know about their sports betting activities

Many sports bettors would prefer to keep their online betting activities out of the spotlight. Their main concern is privacy, but they’re also concerned with maintaining anonymity.

  • 69% of respondents don’t want to provide more personal information than is required to set up an account
  • 49% don’t want gaming sites to be listed on their credit card or bank statements
  • 39% are concerned that their spouse, partner or family could discover how much money they’re betting on sports
  • 37% are worried that their betting activities could be discovered by a spouse, partner or family member

Insight 3: Online financial security is a concern

Like any eCommerce activity, sports bettors are concerned about using credit, debit cards and ACH online.

  • 66% are concerned about potential security risks when they use credit/debit or ACH to place bets
  • 51% don’t want to store their personal credit/debit or banking details on an online sports betting site

Insight 4: Cash is the preferred way to fund their accounts

Even though options for funding sportsbook accounts with cash are limited, cash is clearly the preferred method for many would-be bettors.

  • 73% of online bettors say it’s important to use cash to fund their online sports betting accounts
  • 57% would prefer to fund all of their betting with cash

In order to address the sportsbook’s issues and the bettors’ preference for cash, discretion and security, Blackhawk Network has developed a new multi-branded sports betting payment gift card—Game On.

Purchased in-store with cash, debit or credit cards, or online, Game On gift cards give bettors the anonymous funding option they’ve been looking for in the very familiar, easy-to-use format of a gift card. Plus, Game On cards can be used to fund any of the participating sports betting operators shown on the card.

The same Leger/Blackhawk Network study also examined consumer attitudes towards Game On cards. It seems Game On can easily meet the consumers’ need for a private, secure funding method.

  • 85% purchase interest among online sports bettors
  • 79% agree that this solution would alleviate their concerns with current funding options

The research is clear. Thanks to Blackhawk Network’s technology, extensive US network and retail touchpoints, sports bettors are now able to more easily, securely and comfortably fund their sportsbook accounts. And sportsbook operators have another way to attract a new and more loyal audience.

In addition, Game On brings your brand to places where your customers shop every day—grocery stores, big box retailers and eCommerce stores, across Blackhawk Network’s extensive physical and online network.

Ready to talk with Blackhawk Network?