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Sports betting tops list of things for Indian gaming industry to watch in 2020

Jan 20, 2020
By: Grant Eve

The impact of sports betting will continue to play a major role in the Indian gaming industry in 2020.

The NFL is on target to earn $2.3 billion annually from legal sports betting, according to the American Gaming Association (AGA). In addition, seven NFL teams currently have relationships with gaming operators and that number will continue to increase.

The Chickasaw Nation and WinStar Casino recently signed a deal with the Dallas Cowboys to become their official casino sponsor, the Green Bay Packers expanded their relationship with the Oneida Casino and the Buffalo Bills with Seneca Resorts and Casinos.

We can also expect to see more states to legalize sports betting. Currently, 13 states have passed full scale legalized sports betting with many more having recent bills passed or introduced to the state legislatures.  

Corruption, both internally and externally, have been raised as concerns as the sports betting market expands.

Outside of Nevada, this is “new business” for the U.S., and regulatory challenges will occur, including issues surrounding regulatory fees, Title 31/AML compliance, corruption and bribery, payment processing, identity theft (mobile betting) and banking considerations.

Fortunately, regulators have a world of experience to draw upon, gleaning intelligence from jurisdictions around the globe where sports betting has been legal for decades. With regulated markets and proper resources, corruption should be less of a concern as it was in the past where anyone could bet illegally with bookies or online out of the U.S.

You can also expect 2020 to be a busy year for accountants with the new changes related to lease accounting, GASB 87, that will be effective after Dec. 15, 2019. This new lease standard fundamentally alters lease accounting for tribal entities.

Depending on the type of leases at your facility, this could have a serious financial statement impact.

It will be important for leadership to understand possible accounting impact of changes of key stakeholders from debt covenants, operational ratios, profitability that distribution may be tied to and note disclosures. The analysis will be key and should involve compiling all your leases, establish the terms of each lease, calculate the value of the asset or liability related to the lease and review the related journal entries.


Grant Eve, CPA, CFE
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