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How U.S. sportsbooks can learn from Europe’s soccer-focused betting industry

Doug Greenberg, ESPN

GIVEN THE IMMEDIATE cultural acceptance, rapid adoption in media and near ubiquity of advertisements, it’s hard to believe that American legal sports betting is only six years old.

Almost as soon as the floodgates opened, the United States proved to be an ideal breeding ground for the industry. Between major professional sports leagues and college sports programs, it makes sense that a large chunk of a highly competitive nation’s over 330 million citizens would be intrigued by wagering on sports.

Perhaps the excitement is a result of its unavailability for so long, but American sports betting owes much of its current climate to several hundred years of development across the pond.

“America managed to do 200 years of history in six years,” London-based betting industry veteran Matthew Trenhaile told ESPN.

In the United Kingdom, which hosts Saturday’s UEFA Champions League Final between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid at London’s Wembley Stadium, sports betting was never truly illegal and has, therefore, always been a part of the sporting culture.

As Europe gears up for its biggest sports betting event of the year — the continent’s equivalent of the Super Bowl — it’s easy to see what the United States’ sports betting industry can learn from Europe amidst its own growing pains.

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