To keep up with the competition in the present day, industries need to have their finger on the pulse of change, especially when it comes to technology.
Huge advances in tech over the past decade or so have seen many industries rethink their entire corporate structure to take advantage of these changes, whilst more technophobic businesses have fallen by the wayside. The collapse of Sir Phillip Green’s Arcadia, reportedly due to the mogul’s refusal to embrace new tech, only serves as a stark reminder about the need for businesses to be flexible.
One industry that has fully welcomed new technology however is sports betting. Just 20 years ago, most people could only place a sports bet at a reputable brick and mortar bookie, but now bet providers offer state of the art apps and an online presence which are the envy of many others. In this article we examine just how technology wields such an influence over sports betting.
Before we start to examine the impact of modern tech on the sports betting market, it’s worth taking a look over sports betting history here in Blighty.
The UK is home to a flourishing and popular sports betting market, with much more liberal laws than other developed nations. Whilst betting and gaming has been popular in this country for centuries, from the days of royal horse racing meets to underground East-end cockfighting dens, sports betting was officially legalised back in the 1960s.
Since then, sports betting has ingrained itself into British culture, and there is nowhere else on the planet where punters can enjoy such varied and competitive sport betting deals. Just look at the queues outside bookies on Grand National day.
However, with the pace of technology changing the face of all industries, bookies couldn’t afford to stand still, and gradually began to expand their presence.
The online assault
Online gaming actually made its debut back in the early 90s, but it would be a few years before you’re average punter cottoned on to the trend of sports betting via the internet.
The internet has caused an explosion in the sports betting world, with bettors now able to bet on their favourite matches and players from the comfort of their own home. Many internet bookies are now household names, building much of their success on the popularity of sports betting.
With the vast majority of us carrying a smartphone around in our pockets every day, bookies can now offer sports betting via state of the art apps, which offer in-play betting, and incorporate all the best markets a bookie can offer at the press of a button, twenty four hours a day.
Although building an advanced online and mobile offering is important, leading bookmakers know that trust is the key to gaining competitive advantage and securing a loyal customer base. For punters, choosing a trusted bookmaker is important, if not essential in today’s world where misinformation is rife. That’s why the biggest players in the industry have also invested heavily in customer service technology, as well as utilising review platforms; it’s clear there’s more to technological innovation and trust than offering the best hardware.
What’s next on the horizon?
The monumental pace at which technology moves these days means that industry insiders are always looking at the best ways to incorporate new developments into their businesses. One exciting potential area is virtual reality.
VR has been threatening to break into the mainstream for a few years now, and we’re beginning to see more and more uses for it as the technology becomes adept and user friendly. For example, the rise in Esports betting, where punters wager on competitive video gaming, could incorporate VR, by letting bettors tune into a first person stream of the action.
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are another advancement reportedly set to change the world, and bookies are keen to explore the benefit of these new ways of making payment. More and more online casinos are accepting the use of cryptocurrency, with the secure and trackable payment system central to the technology offering a real advantage to punters.
Behind the scenes
Of course, technology has vastly broadened and improved the product on offer to sports bet fans, but betting companies have also used these new developments to strengthen their business.
Most sport betting providers now have an engaging and visible social media presence, helping them to engage with customers and offer real time advice and promotions. Targeted advertising has also vastly improved its capabilities in recent years.
Plaudits must be given to the way in which the sports betting industry has chosen to fully embrace tech, and in doing so, become one of the strongest performing sectors in the country.