Whether you call them the “bookies” or betting shops, bookmakers in the 21st century have striven to maintain the romanticism of entering their premises and betting on a series of races, whilst also providing an increasingly digitized world with new online tools to enjoy and improve the betting experience. Key to the success of their new creations has been the ability to enhance the engagement that the customer has with the sports they are betting on. As a result, a new type of bettor has emerged; one that is more knowledgeable and more competitive. Increasingly, players are turning their attention to multiple sports and taking advantage of free bets to increase their winnings. However, this betting scene did not appear overnight. Throughout the early stages of the 21st century, exciting innovations have diversified the market into one of entertainment and inclusion.
One modern creation is DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports). Here, fans play against each other for set amounts by successfully predicting individual moments in a match. Victory may often depend on whether a specific player scores a touchdown, or how many aces Roger Federer achieves in a Grand Slam. Whilst the concept may have arisen from Fantasy Football leagues, modern platforms like FanDuel offer players the opportunity to compete in a whole series of different competitions that provide the bettor with completely different experiences. For instance, fans can compete in tournaments with large payouts or go head-to-head with another fan in a winner-takes-all setting. The idea of competing against other fans for winnings has certainly added a more personalized string to the bookmaker’s bow as it allows those who bet regularly to compete against their peers whilst also welcoming new players to a sportsbook that provides them with plenty of information and statistics. This allows them to hit the ground running.
While the concept of live betting existed pre-internet, it was well into the 21st century before the general public became familiar with terms like ‘cash out’. Predominantly, this new type of betting was used by football fans to see if their team would recover from going a goal down or maintain a nervy lead. Like DFS, Bet In-Play increased bettor interaction and this type of betting has expanded to horse racing, cricket, basketball, baseball, American football, rugby union, rugby league, ice hockey and many others. While the idea doesn’t sound quite so ground-breaking now, there’s nothing quite like the nervous fan debating whether their original stake was a good decision or not. Bet In-play can be particularly nail-biting with American Football as, on many occasions, last minute field goals completely change the outcome of the match. Given the unpredictable nature of sport, you can be sure that fans will be totally immersed from start to finish.
Smartphone Betting Apps
Fortunately for the betting industry, Bet-In Play coincided with the smartphone revolution. From 2007 onward, the world has seen exponential development in internet speeds, allowing bookmakers apps to flourish. This technological development gave the fan in the stadium the opportunity to assess the live event in front of them and bet accordingly. Being able to bet on any live event anywhere in the world was a watershed moment for the industry and this will only get better when bookmakers begin using 5G technology and Big Data in forthcoming years.
Whilst betting has changed immensely in the last 15 years, future innovations could be equally game-changing. Given that bookmakers offer such an international array of sports to bet on, the idea of using a cryptocurrency instead of traditional dollars or euros is a particularly attractive one. Using a system like Blockchain to implement it would also allow bettors to see their entire transaction history. Perhaps even more impressive will be the introduction of virtual reality; here, the technology could be used to place bettors alongside their favorite stars or in a particular part of the pitch whilst placing their bets. Expect speed and improved interaction to remain the key pillars behind the success of online sports betting well into the 21st century as bookmakers take players into a gaming-style future full of diverse competitions.