Sports betting has a long history, which started as far back as ancient Rome. Roman emperors were regular sports bettors and predicting outcomes was one of their favorite pastimes, evolving into an important social activity at the sporting events.

The expansion in terms of sports, channels, and technologies over the recent centuries has helped sports betting reach literally every corner of the globe. Likewise, the rapid development of technology and broadcasting has allowed sports betting to move from sports venues into bars, betting shops and casinos creating new social hotspots around cities. Today, people can place bets anywhere and at any time. The new millennium saw the introduction of live-betting, which significantly increased the offering and shortened the cycle from a bet placed to bet resolved.

Nowadays punters do not need to wait for real sports events anymore. The state-of-the-art technology has made the creation of virtual sports possible, providing punters with a 24/7 short-cycled betting experience that feels like a real betting experience. Outside of the traditional sports, eSports, betting on professionals playing computer games, emerged a few years back, presenting a new revenue opportunity for the bookmakers. The new generation, the Millennials, are digitally native with different needs compared to the traditional sports punters. There are more than 205 million people passionate about electronic sports and bookmakers are aware of this potential market.

Sports Betting of the Future

Bookmakers are looking for new ways to get closer to their customers, increase their revenues and shorten the betting cycles. All the while, they try to avoid distracting the punter by diverting their attention away from the core activity of placing bets on their favorite sports and teams. In an attempt to improve the convenience of placing a bet, some bookmakers are introducing Chatbots as a new channel for punters to place bets and provide them with odds information, statistics as well as the option to receive notifications and simulations. In an attempt to bring betting to new customers, applications are emerging, combining classic betting with a Tinder-like match-making or advanced gamification features. These new recent developments are highly mobile-focused with a priority on user experience, the simplicity of use and convenience.

What about Blockchain?

In the recent months, many blockchain and crypto startups with a strong sports betting focus have emerged. A new initial coin offering (ICO) is happening almost every week. They promise to offer decentralised, social-betting platforms based on a blockchain and Smart Contracts, and claim that sports betting has lost its social nature and charm over the years, which is what blockchain should bring back.

What do you think is coming next? Is it new ways of betting, new channels or perhaps new engaging games?

Technology such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Artificial Intelligence, as well as trends such as the Internet of Things, give us the chance to keep reinventing sports betting.

Here’s a Challenge for you: What do you think will be the next big thing in sports betting? Apply now.