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The Future of Sports Betting – What to Look Out For

Posted on | May 3, 2018 | No Comments

Although online casinos and online bingo sites have become increasingly popular over the last decade, particularly since there’s been an increase in operators making a move towards mobile-friendly software platforms, the biggest success story in the online gambling industry has almost always been sports betting.

Lately, however, revenues for online sports betting have taken a worrying dip, according to gaming industry market researchers, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming. Plus, with an ever-widening number of sources now providing punters with access to sports betting statistics, and a dynamic shift towards placing bets on smartphones and tablets, it begs the question, “what is the future of sports betting”?

Better use of data

New and emerging technologies are both enticing to operators and consumers alike. The brains behind some of the UK’s top rated online sports betting sites have begun investing heavily in data analysis. With such a vast amount of information available about the modern consumer’s shopping habits, web browsing habits, and social interactions, businesses have the opportunity to better target their marketing efforts and offer their customers a more personalised experience.

Tailored marketing campaigns are likely to be well-received by sports betting customers as, according to a recent survey performed by Talend, 67% of UK gamblers say that they would be more likely to stay loyal to online bookies that offer a more personalised service. A further 72% say they feel that UK online bookmakers are not currently doing enough to offer this type of individualised service.

For online sports betting operators, tapping into such data could give them an increased advantage, and the latest developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) software could give them a better insight into customer trends, patterns, and behaviours.

Data intelligence also has the power to analyse sports betting statistics such as football scoring patterns, resulting in the operators being able to offer their customers better and more accurate odds.

Taking a more proactive approach to problem gambling

It’s not just Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) that have been blamed for the rise in problem gambling in the last few years. Due to the isolating nature of online betting, it’s easier for players’ wagering to get out of control without being detected.

However, AI software stands a better chance of identifying gambling additions through data analysis and forecasting, and could also help to flag up players who are at risk of developing an addition before it becomes a major problem.

By taking a more proactive role in preventing online gambling addiction, sports betting operators could gain a more positive public image while also helping their customers to have a more enjoyable experience by gambling responsibly.

Improved mobile platforms

Since the shift towards mobile gambling, which allows consumers to place bets on the move, online sports betting sites have taken measures to provide mobile sports betting software platforms. As the user experience on a desktop can differ considerably to that offered by a mobile device, operators will need to work harder to make their apps and web-based sites more attractive to customers.

With 80% of people aged 18 and over now owning smartphones, the potential for online gambling operators to increase their revenues in the mobile market is huge. Therefore, we expect to see significant growth in this sector as sports betting brands introduce innovative new features and additional marketing incentives to stay ahead of the competition.

Virtual reality wagers

Big names in the online gaming industry, including NetEnt and Microgaming, are already turning their attention to virtual reality so that they can offer consumers a fully immersive playing experience. While it’s easier for online operators to increase the appeal of their brands via VR casino games and slots, there’s no reason why sports betting brands can’t also hitch a ride on the virtual reality train.

In fact, companies like Bet On VR are already working on virtual sports betting app development, which they predict to be the “new sports betting phenomenon” in coming months and years. As live sporting events only occur at specific times of the day and are subject to being postponed, gamblers may become increasingly inclined to take advantage of virtual sports games which can run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. By simply putting on a VR headset, sports fans can enjoy the feeling of being in a live stadium, cheering on their favourite teams while simultaneously placing wagers.


While we’ve seen a number of emerging online casinos use gamification as a way to stand out from the crowd and attract customers (e.g. Casumo, Ikibu, and Fantasino are just a few examples), it’s not a trend that’s as easily applied to online sports betting. However, Hero Gaming’s Betser has successfully integrated gamification elements into its website to create “the first sports betting adventure”. Players can compete against their fellow players in sports leagues, and earn “balls” by placing bets with odds of 8.0 or more and “brains” by placing bets with odds of 1.25 to 7.99. Both balls and brains can be exchanged for free bets and free spins.



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