The development of new technologies fuels innovation across all industries as developers and designers identify new ways to utilize fresh tech in their verticals and bring something unique (and therefore valuable) to the end-user. The global online sports betting industry is no exception and is in fact one of the areas that could transform most dramatically as a result of exciting new technologies being implemented over the coming years.
The development of online sports betting to date has, naturally, moved in step with the expansion of the internet. As connectivity has become increasingly affordable, reliable, and high quality, so have online sports betting platforms become more prevalent, easy to use, and profitable for operators.
Many online sports betting markets are already very mature, such as in various European countries including the UK where online sports betting companies began to establish operations shortly after the turn of the century. Other countries such as the USA and Canada have a huge potential for growth in this area that, for various reasons, is only now starting to be seriously tapped. For example, the 2018 decision by the US Supreme Court to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act has blown the online sports betting doors wide open in the US, with a flurry of online operators and cluster companies now seeking and securing licenses to provide sports betting services across numerous states.
These operators will all be looking for unique selling points to make them stand out from the crowd. Given there’s only so much you can do to make the actual prices offered more attractive, new technologies are a rich seam for these operators to mine to create innovative experiences for sports bettors.
Wearable tech is one possible avenue for development, with some solutions close to, or already in a functional stage and others a little further away from widespread adoption by punters. One example of wearable tech that could revolutionize the sports betting experience is devices (such as glasses or goggles) that provide possibilities for augmented or virtual realities (AR or VR).
Various companies are well on the way to developing these technologies for use in the online gambling and casino space, such as XR Casino which is currently developing what it says is the first-ever cross-technology platform for VR, AR, and mixed reality (MR) gaming. Using various compatible devices, you’ll be able to scan your playing area, set up a gaming experience and sit at a virtual table with other live players from all over the world.
While XR Casino seems to be more focused on casino gaming, for now, it’s easy to see how this sort of thing could be implemented by sports betting companies. Can’t get a ticket at Anfield for a Premier League match? No worries, sign in to your UK bookie of choice and they’ll put you pitchside using VR technology. Can’t get a ticket for the Habs game? Again, no worries as the top betting sites Canada has to offer will be able to put you center ice at the Bell Centre and deliver customized live odds and betting opportunities directly to your AR device via a HUD.
Smartwatches are another piece of wearable tech that could be effectively utilized to improve the sports betting experience. Again, it’s easy to see how smartwatches can be used in the casino space – they are often literally the shape of a roulette wheel – but there are also conceivable ways to create unique experiences in sports betting, too. For example, betting sites could use data gathered by a smartwatch to deliver tailored bet options to your device if your heart rate rises during key points in a match.
Of course, all of these innovations should be implemented in front of a backdrop of player protection. In fact, in both major and emerging markets, it’s unlikely that the use of new technologies would be signed off on by the relevant authorities without clear safeguarding processes built-in. New technologies provide better opportunities to implement responsible gambling procedures, too, for example through improved data analytics and risk management approaches.
Online sports betting has grown exponentially over the last two decades thanks to incredible developments in technologies of various types. Sports betting and new tech will continue to be inextricably linked in the future, and that’s a good thing not only for the creation of new sports betting experiences but also for improved player protection.