Online betting on sports has already reached the mainstream market of bettors in a big way. Turn on the television at half-time during a big Premier League match and all you will see is advertisements suggesting in-play bets for the second half. We Brits love a flutter on sports, whether it’s pre-match or in-play.
The UK Gambling Commission found that online betting has surpassed betting shops in becoming the most significant gambling sector in the UK, accounting for a third of all betting revenue across the nation. The remote sector generated £4.5bn between October 2015 and September 2016, with that number set to soar in the coming years as operators take an increasingly creative approach to utilising technology to engage with sports bettors in the UK and around the world.
The world of in-play betting
The evolution of in-play betting online is arguably what has taken online betting to the next level. It has changed the game in terms of providing punters and sports fans with a more engaging online betting experience, with the chance to react dynamically to events unfolding before their very eyes.
It’s not just the English Premier League that’s covered in-play either. Live data feeds come in from all over the world, covering everything from Czech football to Spanish handball matches. Better still, these data feeds bring with it all the in-play statistics a bettor could ever need to make an informed decision on their next live bet. Whether it’s a side knocking on the door with heaps of shots on target or a red card that’s changed the complexion of the match, punters are better informed than they have ever been thanks to today’s connected world.
Betting strategies are evolving
In fact, with access to more sporting data than ever before, a growing number of punters are taking their online sports betting more seriously; viewing it as a chance to make a genuine second or primary income. By taking a structured approach to their betting, online sports bettors are giving themselves greater opportunities to win consistently over the long-term. Betting strategies and techniques that have traditionally applied to classic casino games, such as the Martingale and D’Alembert strategies, are being adopted by sports bettors that are looking to curb their losses and minimise the prospects of blowing their bankroll.
Aside from strict staking plans, successful long-term online bettors are those capable of quickly managing their emotions. A losing trade doesn’t spark a tirade of risky bets in an attempt to chase losses. Meanwhile winning bettors don’t rest on their laurels and are always looking to refine their strategies and approach using up-to-date statistics.
But what does the future hold for the online betting industry? Where can the sector go next in a bid to innovate and engage further with their punters?
It is safe to say that we’re way beyond the point of mobile betting being a new phase for the industry, given that the remote sports betting sector is now one of the biggest generators of revenue. Even back in October 2013, data from Mintel found that almost a third (29%) of punters used their smartphones to bet online. Punters enjoy the fact that they can have a flutter from the comfort of their living room, bedroom or even on the toilet!
eSports betting markets
One certain growth area for online sports betting is eSports. The eSports industry is big business, in fact it’s already a behemoth and its army of fans will only grow. Newzoo predicts that eSports revenues will hit the $1.5bn mark by the turn of the next decade and already online bookmakers are creating betting markets for punters to bet on the outcomes of computer gaming competitions. In fact, reports suggest that the volume of bets on eSports is already exceeding that of golf and rugby markets.
Identifying demand for social sports betting
Another likely development is the evolution of social sports betting online. There is a growing number of online communities and websites dedicated to educating recreational punters and identifying value in the sports markets in the same way eToro does for the online financial trading industry. The basic premise of such communities is that like-minded bettors can share their free betting tips and opinions on the outcome of matches and keep track of those who rake in consistent profits in the form of an online leaderboard or dashboard. Sites such as Blogabet and WantMyBet are a portal to massage the egos of professional sports tipsters who can prove their sporting knowledge with free and paid-for sports betting picks over time. Online bookmakers with a customer-centric approach must surely be watching the growth of these communities with interest to determine how best to serve today’s digitally connected sports bettors.
Whatever the future may bring to the remote betting sector, one thing that’s for sure is that there will always be a demand out there. Providing online bookmakers adopt the ‘adapt or die’ mantra, the excitement and novelty their customers are offered will only serve to grow the sports markets further worldwide.