How has the tech revolution affected sports betting?

by Emily on March 11, 2019

in Articles

Betting on sports has become more popular than ever, which has been partly driven by the ability to be able to watch a sport on TV at the same time as placing a bet on a digital device. Punters can sit and do this in the comfort of their own home and never have to venture out into the bad weather as they used to before the introduction of smartphones and tablets.

What has changed overall?

The simplicity of placing sporting bets has helped the industry to grow, while the variety of sports you can place a wager on, the introduction of in-game betting through real-time apps and the ability to bet on a greater variety of things than just the outcome have also had an impact. Review sites have come into their own in this technological world and a bettor might find Oddschecker points them towards a £100 free bet, no deposit required, as well as the best odds on which to place it. The availability of such assistance has surely done a lot for attracting a wider range of clientele into the betting world. But massive change has come to individual sports betting, too, so it’s worth taking a look at them specifically.

Football

As probably the most popular sport across the world, fans love to watch their teams play. Their enjoyment can be enhanced by placing a bet on their team to win, draw or lose. Bets are usually based on the final match result and some people will place bets to cover a series of football games rather than just one. Each year there are the Premier League winners to bet on as well as, at other times, tournaments such as the World Championship, European championships, and various other cups.

Video assistant referees (VAR) could be game-changing, as the FIFA website explains in its discussion of the subject. The technology available will help to resolve disputes and decisions the referee is uncertain about. This won’t just impact the game itself, though. Discussions abound concerning the effect this might have on in-play betting which – having only just risen to popularity – could well decline again as a result.

e-Sports

e-Sports are big business. With local leagues and world tournaments, betting on them has gained massive popularity in the last couple of years. No one could envisage how quickly the prize pots would grow to the huge amounts they have. For example, total prize money at the 2018 International Dota 2 tournament for 2018 was in excess of £20,000,000.

The innovation of e-Sports has only been possible because of technology that has used the advances in broadcasting, blockchain and content management and distribution. In November 2018, MIT held an event, which they live streamed, where various well-respected industry leaders discussed the technologies involved and the monetisation of the e-Sports tournaments.

To start with, many of the players and teams were unknown, but as more people take an interest so the players and the standard of their abilities get more recognition. Playing and betting on e-Sports is likely to continue to grow at a fast pace and this latest addition to the sporting arena is set to rival more traditional types of sports betting.

Horse Racing

Betting on horses goes back as far as the horse racing itself. Although there are now more choices of the types of wagers you can place with horse racing, betting of some type has always been around. For many years, the betting had to be at the race track in some countries, but now you can bet in physical bookmakers or online.

However, while the whizz kids at Intel and Microsft think the horse racing industry is being too slow in embracing technology and that the sport needs to change if it is to attract a younger audience, Virtual reality says otherwise. Augmented and virtual reality are on the way in and the uses of this technology include could well engage generations that have been raised with technology as part of their everyday lives. They will supposedly digitally enhance bettors’ experiences, making race day an interactive experience for users, whether they’re at the track or not.

Formula 1

Formula 1 is the pinnacle of car racing and every year, changes to the rules and engines can make predictions difficult. Of course, there are makes of cars and drivers that people expect to be near the top when it comes to world championship points, but so many things can happen in a season that no one can be certain of the outcome until the drivers and constructors championships have been won.

Weather has always been a key factor, but the technology involved in Formula 1 is much bigger than some people realise. For instance, when there is a race in Australia, information about the driver and how the car is behaving is all sent back to the teams in another country. In the case of Mercedes, for example, that team is in England and the system allows them to make sure their drivers and the cars are all in good condition. Just a few years ago, this was not possible, but technology has advanced at such a pace that the safety of the driver and race performance can be monitored from the other side of the world.

With betting on F1, you can choose to wager on each individual race, opt for guessing who will be the world champion this year or a whole host of other outcomes. The tech described above creates so many more areas in which each team can feasibly excel, adding further layers to the excitement at the bookies.

Tennis

Several shock results in tennis during the current season have shown how unpredictable sports can be.  Spectators do not expect to see the likes of Djokovic, Federer, and Nadal lose matches to players that are not so well-known, but this is what happened more than once in 2018.

Unpredictability is the key to enjoyable gambling. The more advanced technology gets, the faster the odds can change each time a player wins or loses. And as technology gives feedback to players on how they can improve technique and fitness levels, the complexity of the betting fields increases once again. When a sport is unpredictable it can make betting on it more fun and that unpredictability is heightened when bookmakers and bettors are both responding to factors of an increasingly intricate nature.

‘Rafael Nadal’ – Carine06 via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Snooker

For many years, snooker was a very British game but now there are players from many different countries taking part and tournaments played all over the world too. And while betting on snooker games is not new, technology has brought new dimensions to the game and taken the game further afield, too.

It is estimated that the 2019 world championship final will be watched by half a billion people globally with the players competing for a top prize of £500,000. Technology has enhanced the TV viewers’ – and therefore also the bettors’ – experience as now they can see the balls from the player’s point of view, as well as potting distances and animated shots.

‘Snooker’ – Peter Huys via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

It is hard to think of a sport that you cannot bet on, as most bookmakers will take wagers on them all. With modern-day technology, it’s possible even to place bets on sports played in other countries, such as American Football, Aussie Rules football and basketball to name just a few.

History has shown that whenever there is a sporting event, people will want to bet on it. The difference is today that betting is more organised, regulated and tech-assisted than ever. This gives bettors peace of mind that they are depositing their money with reputable companies, but just as importantly, the elements it adds to the betting experience make it a whole different ball game.

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