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 – from gladiator fights in the ancient arenas and the classics like horse and dog racing to being able to bet on thousands of different sporting and entertainment events. Likewise, the rapid development in technology and broadcasting has allowed sports betting to move from sports venues into bars, betting shops and casinos creating new social hotspots around major 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. Punters gain access to real-time odds information, are able to see changes in the odds as they happen and can compare them among different bookmakers.

One would think this would have been the highest sports betting could reach… but it was not. 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.  The impressive reality of virtual sports (i.e. virtual soccer, basketball, tennis, horse racing, dog racing and more) is appealing to more and more punters. Outside of the traditional sports, a new concept arose over recent years called eSports, presenting a new revenue opportunity for the bookmakers. The new generation (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 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 wagers 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 do you think is coming next?

Technology such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Artificial Intelligence, as well as trends such as 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?