The sports betting industry has grown in leaps and bounds from the conventional bookie to a burgeoning industry that boasts a market value of over $85 billion in 2019. With the advent of technological advances, sportsbooks have kept abreast of developments only to incorporate them into their platforms, delivering a wholly optimized package that makes betting on sports more convenient and simplified than ever before.
But it certainly doesn’t stop there; sports betting technology has also incorporated new payment methods in the form of cryptocurrency that indicates that the sports gambling industry is not averse to moving with the times.
The Evolution of the Sports Gambling Industry
The internet dramatically impacted the sports betting industry – it affected the industry’s reach, scalability, financial models, and, naturally, the market size. Sportsbooks were originally brick-and-mortar establishments, and it was quite common to find sportsbooks in certain casinos, but all of these establishments offered limited sports and betting options.
As the internet became widely-accepted and once jurisdictions tightened their sports betting regulations, effectively flushing out scam sites, the industry began to experience a boom. Countries and jurisdictions that previously prohibited sports betting became aware of sports betting trends, realizing that the industry could provide an incredible amount of tax revenue and slowly changed legislation to facilitate the entry of both land-based and online sportsbooks.
From here, sportsbooks could harness technology to deliver additional benefits to their customers, including mobile sports betting, more betting markets, more depositing and withdrawal methods as well as esports betting.
Customers now had more choices and were better informed, driving sportsbooks to vie against each other for business by offering better offers, better betting experiences, and better service. Customers flocked to sportsbook review sites to understand which sportsbooks were preferred by bettors and why.
Some sites like Safest Betting Sites provide reviews and relevant information for bettors to find trusted and reliable online sportsbooks.
Sports Betting Crypto
As previously mentioned, many countries prohibited sports betting in all of its forms, despite overwhelming evidence that the pros of sports betting outweighed the cons. Many countries continue to prohibit sportsbooks from operating, while their populations ask, ‘when will sports betting become legal?’
Many international players run into problems when their banks or credit card providers flag payments made to sportsbooks. However, several online sportsbooks circumvent this issue by allowing bettors to deposit and withdraw funds via cryptocurrencies.
The use of blockchain technology removes the need to deal with fiat currency entirely, opening up a world of convenient betting opportunities to bettors who are now taking advantage of the simplicity, safety, and anonymity cryptocurrencies offer.
Another advantage of betting with the best sports betting crypto sites is that they charge zero transaction fees, with bettors able to make unlimited free daily transactions. It’s only a matter of time before all top online sportsbooks accept this progressive financial model to increase their business reach internationally.
Mobile Sports Gambling
Another boon to online sports betting is the progression of smartphones. Online sportsbooks displayed the insight to create sports betting apps that allow bettors to bet from anywhere, anytime. Mobile sports betting now enjoy faster connectivity speeds as a result of faster mobile networks and streamlined apps. Research and reports have indicated that the global market for mobile gambling, including mobile sports betting, is worth an estimated US$79.5 billion in 2020.
Bettors now have the opportunity of experiencing all of the action associated with a full sports betting site on their phones. The best sports betting apps allow bettors to deposit, bet, and withdraw as they usually would on the sportsbook’s website. The added advantage of mobile sports betting is that a bettor need never again miss an opportunity to bet, just because they aren’t in front of a PC or laptop.
This particular type of betting will allow bettors to drill down further into a specific sporting event by predicting a live-in-play action’s outcome with the results delivered in seconds or minutes. Don’t be misled by the inclusion of the word ‘micro’; it doesn’t refer to small bets but rather small events.
For example, a bettor will potentially be able to place a bet on whether a given tennis serve will be a ‘fault’ or whether an NBA player makes his next 3PT shot or not.
Advancements in technology would allow these types of bets, although real-time technology and machine learning are required. Once micro betting becomes a reality across a large selection of sportsbooks, bettors can bet on an increasingly large amount of micro-events throughout the match or game.
Live betting has proven to be a game-changer. Technological advancements have made it possible to bet on a particular game or match live while it’s in-play. This impressive feature offers unparalleled excitement, betting flexibility, and more opportunities to make money.
Live betting gives bettors the opportunity of placing additional bets when they see that an imminent play is about to take place or if an anticipated underdog is coming out on top. This type of bet is advantageous when the bettor realizes that the bets they would have placed before the match started were likely to lose or if the pre-game bets offered no value for a bettor.
This type of bet often relies on a live stream as the match or game is either too obscure to find on mainstream media, or there’s no local coverage in a particular region or jurisdiction. This feature allows bettors to follow the action live and place live bets on the same app or site.
Live betting has become so popular that most top sportsbooks now offer numerous live betting matches every day.
Esports and Virtual Sports
Esports is a relatively new betting market, with the name itself not giving too much away in terms of what it’s all about. Esports refers to electronic sports, which is another way of saying video game tournaments played by professional teams or players.
Esports has reached impressive notoriety within the last five years and attracts live audiences and millions of fans that watch the tournaments on YouTube and Twitch.tv.
Esports betting takes this a step further by allowing bettors to bet on the outcome of this new betting industry that has made telling inroads in the gambling industry of late. As expected, there are numerous different betting types and sub-categories of eSports that offer even more betting opportunities for bettors in the know.
Virtual Sports, on the other hand, are fixed-odds electronic games that use a random number generator (RNG) to determine the outcome of a virtual event. These virtual sports are simulations of real sports such as horse racing, soccer, tennis, motor racing, and more. Think of it as a combination of sports and casino games available at virtual sports betting sites. As these virtual sports use RNG to determine the outcome, bettors have the same winning odds as casino games. Is virtual betting profitable? The simple answer is yes.
The idea of using AI or machine learning to predict the outcome of sporting events and then using these tools to place winning bets is not new. Numerous efforts have delivered two results:
- Sportsbooks already use their very own machine learning algorithms to work out odds. Therefore, if a successful algorithm sees the light of day, it will have to compete with the sportsbook’s algorithm and likely win sure bets with low payouts, which means small wins.
- Once bettors have a fair amount of success and win frequently; the sportsbook will inevitably limit their gaming.
As technology progresses, one can speculate that machine learning may find a way to outsmart the sportsbooks’ machine learning algorithms. Still, it seems unlikely as sportsbooks have more collateral to ensure they always have better software than the bettors. For now, machine-learning sports betting is speculative at best.
It’s abundantly clear that technology has a significant impact on sports betting. There are sure to be more advances that will undoubtedly turn the industry upside down, but that’s what new technology does – it disrupts the status quo and replaces it with something more advanced.
As sports betting progresses, bettors can count on more excitement, action, and betting opportunities. The future of online sports betting is sure to be around the corner, with the industry being early adopters of technological trends. The top sportsbooks are always eager to embrace new technology that gives them an advantage over their competitors. In a way, the future is already here.