Like an industry across the world right now, to keep pace with their competition, they need to have their finger on the pulse when it comes to advancements in technology.
As a result, the past decade has seen many companies left behind in their respective industries, with innovative thinkers driving forward and coming to the top of their sectors. Many companies have had to totally rethink their strategies, while others have just embraced those changes and seen profitable results as a consequence.
For many high street entrepreneurs, technology has been something they have tried to resist. It is reportedly one of the reasons for the collapse of Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group, which includes the likes of Top Man and Top Shop in the UK.
Sports Betting Tech
However, while some industries have been slow in making the necessary changes in the modern world, one industry that has been quick to react is that of the sports betting world. New technology has been key to its huge growth in recent years and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.
Around the turn of the Millenium, the only way to place a bet on sports was by visiting your local betting shop on the high street or attending a horse racing fixture where bookmakers were available at their boards. Now though, sports betting operators offer a full range of sports betting apps, online with a dedicated online presence that includes state-of-the-art websites, social media pages, and even TV channels.
For many other industries, they are the trendsetters when it comes to an all-inclusive approach to technology, which is why we are going to take a look at why the sports betting world is advancing quicker than any other we know.
Sports Betting in the UK
Before we dive into the technological advancements that are taking place in the sports betting industry right now, it’s important to know how the market started and how it became so popular in the UK.
For starters, gambling on sport has long been a part of British history, and as a result, the country has much more liberal laws than many other similar nations, such as the US. For centuries, people have been interested in betting in the UK, and from the days of royal horse battles to underground East-end cockfighting dens, betting has been a big part of the culture, despite sports betting only being fully legalized in the 1960s.
That allowed for an increase in betting shops, which still currently play a huge role in the UK. On days like Grand National day, you’ll see huge queues in your local high street betting shop, as ‘once-a-year’ punters place their bets for what is described as the biggest horse race in the world.
As things have progressed and technology has evolved, betting on sports has become a regular activity for people across the country. Many betting companies are battling to get customers by offering a range of sports betting promotion deals.
Each bookmaker offers different odds to punters on a range of sports, with the likes of ‘money back to SP favorite’ or a ‘free bet if your horse falls’, being just some of the promotions that are now part of everyday betting activity on horse racing in the UK.
The Rise of Online
As we’ve just mentioned, the online world has had a major effect on gambling within the UK. Although it came into the industry in the 1990s, it wasn’t until a good few years later that it really started to be used regularly by betting customers.
The obvious benefit for both bookmakers and punters is that you can now place a bet on a sporting match, race, or event from the comfort of your own home. That has made betting become much more mainstream, and for the customers that may have felt uncomfortable going into a betting shop, it now makes the industry seem like a much more welcoming environment.
The bookies have cottoned on to that as well, with many becoming household names thanks to their sports sponsorships which are then beamed into people’s homes when matches are on TV. Currently, the majority of the teams in the Premier League are sponsored by gambling-related companies, while the Championship, League One, and League Two are sponsored by sports betting firm, SkyBet and is known as the SkyBet EFL.
With sport being so intense these days, bookies can keep up to speed with the number of events and fixtures through their sports betting apps, which customers can download onto their smartphones or tablets.
Bookies then aren’t restricted to the opening times of a physical betting shop and can offer odds to their customers’ fingertips whenever the action requires it. This has created a real interest in in-play betting, which gives the bookmakers the ability to offer live odds while a match is in progress.
What’s Next For The Sports Betting Industry?
As is the case for many industries, the relevance of online technology will go anywhere soon. Our reliance on mobile tech and the internet is only growing stronger, and there are already signs of how that could impact the sports betting industry in the future.
Virtual reality has already been launched onto the world stage, but it has yet to become a mainstream product for most people massively. However, 2020 created a real boom for eSports betting across the world, which is where punters can bet on the outcome of a gaming event.
The likelihood is that these types of games will soon be offering a VR experience which means rather than viewers watching a game through a TV or computer screen, they’ll be watching it through a virtual reality headset.
Another likely advancement is that of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Some bookmakers already include this in the payment methods for deposits and withdrawals. Still, as it continues to develop and have more of an effect on everyday spending, it’s like to play a big role in how gambling companies work in the future.