In recent years, the popularity of sports betting has exploded. While the practice was formerly illegal in many nations — and something of a fringe hobby even in those that allowed it — it has now become popular across the western world. In 2023, the industry is expected to be worth around $218 billion, according to the most recent predictions.
How did it become so popular so quickly? By constantly innovating. The global marketplace has given online sports betting software providers from all over the world access to new audiences and technical advancements (such as in-play betting and up-to-the-minute stats, to mention a few) have improved the whole experience. So, what’s next for this ever-changing industry?
The world of technology never sleeps, and neither do the desires of the next generation techies. So we never know what the future holds for sports betting. Or perhaps we do? Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) appear to be the next step ahead, which are capable of elevating sports betting to a new level of excitement and enjoyment.
Let’s take a look at expected trends of sports betting which can be seen in the near future.
Micro betting is a significant area of study that typically takes advantage of machine learning. Micro betting refers to wagering on short-duration, easy-to-follow events. While more experienced bettors and fantasy gamers may enjoy following two basketball players’ total points, assists, and rebounds, many others would rather wager on whether Michael Jordan will make his next three-point attempt.
Betting on individual at-bat outcomes in MLB games is predicted to become very popular in the near future. While this format necessitates extensive modelling and is easier to implement in a Free-to-Play or lottery model, the intuition is that the first movers to effectively thread this needle will win over a large number of new consumers in valued user bases.
Of course, Esports aren’t exactly a novel concept. In the 1940s, the first video games were released, and in the 1970s, competitions were held to determine who was the best player. However, it wasn’t until the twenty-first century that e-sports began to gain popularity. The first platforms dedicated to streaming Esports bouts appeared in 2011, and e-sports betting followed soon after.
People nowadays watch their favourite Esports players compete and wager on the success of their efforts, all from the comfort of their own homes. As the games get bigger, the tournaments get more important, and the prize pools get higher — a practice which is only going to gain in favour.
Free-to-play games (F2P)
Games and contests that are free-to-play do not require actual money to play or enter. Many firms choose to operate under this framework because acquiring a gaming licence is costly and a time-consuming process.
In fact, because most jurisdictions in the United States still prohibit the usage of mobile sports wagering software, F2P is often a more appealing option than packing up and going to London or Malta, though some people do.
Going the F2P path allows entrepreneurs to get consumers, demonstrate product-market fit, and then decide how to effectively monetize their Unique Selling Proposition.
Peer-to-peer wagering, whether through the traditional betting exchanges that are popular internationally or through some other method, is undoubtedly the wave of the future. However the path from now to then is highly unpredictable. For example, The Wire Act, enacted in 1961, forbids the sending of money or information across state borders in order to facilitate a wager. Even if both jurisdictions allow internet gambling, this forbids a customer in one state from placing a wager with a consumer in another. Furthermore, barely half of states allow P2P betting within their boundaries.
While operating intra-state liquidity pools may be an option, it is uncertain whether a lack of client education will continue to be a roadblock.
The rise of interest in competitive gaming is happening among a gambling-age (or soon-to-be gambling-age) population at the same time that casinos and, more recently, online sports betting softwares are becoming more popular than ever.
A number of firms are aiming to cash in on this trend by offering peer-to-peer wagering services that allow people to compete against one another in video games. The legislative and logistical barriers are formidable, but the user base is likely to be underserved and of very compelling value. While acceptance is gradual, scalability and the liquidity that comes with it may be a challenge.
Sustainable and enjoyable gaming
Finally, in more mature markets such as the United Kingdom and Australia, responsible gaming (which will hopefully soon be referred to entirely as sustainable gaming) is a major focus.
It hasn’t piqued the same level of curiosity in the United States, but it’s only a matter of time. In the meantime, some firms are bringing new solutions to market in this industry using sports wagering software and predictive analytics.
Virtual reality and augmented reality
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have already begun to penetrate the sports betting market, and it’s only a matter of time before they do so as well. For live matches in stadiums, there are now only a limited number of tickets available, which creates a bustling and bad atmosphere around the event.
But what if you could utilise virtual reality and augmented reality to recreate the feel of being on the field or court from the comfort of your own home? The online sports betting sector is the only one with the financial clout and motive to pull this off. As a result, you can expect virtual reality and augmented reality to play an increasingly essential role in the future.
The sports wagering industry is always changing. Whether it’s the kind of sports wagered on, how wagers are placed through personalised or white-label sports betting software, or how information is viewed, the industry will undergo significant changes in the coming years as it strives to innovate and attract new clients in droves.
Of all, most of them are merely forecasts for the future, and no one can ever know what the future holds, which is part of what makes it so fascinating. Smartphones were science fantasy 20 years ago, but now we can’t fathom life without them, and they’ve transformed sports betting.
The sports betting market is poised for explosive growth in the coming years. Technology is an important piece of the jigsaw, but it isn’t the whole picture. It will take a lot of strategic thought to correctly incorporate learnings and assets from established markets while also respecting the distinctiveness and adaptability of the sports betting scene in multiple parts of the world.
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