The Future Of Gambling

| February 8, 2018 | Reply

We’ve seen a lot of abandoned race meetings so far this year as the weather continues to play havoc, but hopefully you’re still managing to find plenty of winners.

On 1st February we launched the new Tipster League Table as another tool to help you find the best betting advice out there…

If you haven’t taken a look yet then head over to the website now.

You can also follow me on Twitter @betwithchris for regular updates, news of new tipsters added and more.

On the review front, I am currently taking a look at Draw Doubles, Betting Mastermind, Premier Greyhound Tips and Elite Betting Syndicate – the initial reviews on these are out throughout this month.

Plus, there are updates on the reviews in the second and third month of the trial, so plenty to keep you interested.

Chris

ICE 2018 – Online gambling update

This week I attended ICE 2018 at London Excel, one of the biggest online gaming shows in the world.

Of most interest to me was the online betting zone which brought together some of the biggest names in sportsbook provision and back office support…

Below I take a look at some of the big issues that were being discussed on the day. But before we get to that, I want to share some interesting facts and figures which I obtained courtesy of Online Gambling Quarterly:

  • The operators expected to make the biggest gains in global market share in 2018 are bet365 and LeoVegas. Interestingly, Sky Bet were fourth on the list and they are very much focussing on a different segment, namely recreational punters only.
  • On average, bets placed on mobile devices account for 75% of total online revenues. In the case of Sky Bet this is as high as 90%.
  • Average betting revenue grew by 16% in quarter three of 2017 compared to a year earlier.
  • Live betting is seen as the biggest growth opportunity in the next 12 months among operators, with betting on e-sports next in line.

Choice, choice and more choice

Recent years have seen the range of bets available rise to ever more mind-boggling levels.

In one seven-day period in November 2017 there were an average of 1,945 markets offered on Premier League matches alone, the highest number by an individual bookmaker being 4,742!

For the same seven-day period there were an average of 36,229 football markets offered per bookmaker, the highest individual being 51,660.

William Hill leads the way in total markets offered across the top five European leagues plus the Champions League (all figures courtesy of Online Gambling Quarterly).

Now I don’t know about you, but picking winners in the 1X2 market for the Premier League is testing enough! With the advent of “Request A Bet” the options are now virtually boundless. So what does the future hold?

On the day I came across two very different schools of thought…

On the one hand, there are providers such as Altenar and Kambi who are looking to provide ever more flexibility and differentiation to operators. The view being that there is little in the pipeline that will change the basic offerings from bookmakers and so the breadth of markets is key to differentiating an operator.

On the flip side, InnProjekt’s latest venture is to simplify the array of betting options confronting a punter so that they can find what they want in just a few button clicks.

“Live betting is dead if it hasn’t got a pulse”

So says SBTech, who released Pulse (patent pending) at the show on Tuesday afternoon.

Pulse is designed to deliver an entirely new in-play experience, an innovation in live betting that is set to completely revolutionise the sector. It puts the player at the heart of the action, enabling bet placement on a specific outcome in a live event within a defined time period, with the potential pay-out increasing as the timeline progresses.

For example:

The player bets on a goal to be scored in the next 30 seconds.

The time window is split into three periods of 10 seconds.

The pay-out rises with each new 10-second period.

Speaking just after the unveiling, Ian Bradley, SBTech Chief Product Officer, commented: “Pulse is SBTech’s new take on live betting and appeals to players by offering them the chance to win progressively rising pay-outs. They must hold their nerve during the bet period, but the win will be that much sweeter if they hold out until the end!”

Interestingly this launch comes at a time when “live” betting is under the microscope…

Accusations of delayed pictures from racetracks, the standard delay in accepting an in-play bet as operators rely on scouts at events to update them, plus technological, commercial and integrity questions. How SBTech overcome some of these issues will be interesting going forward.

Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology

This was probably the number one topic at the show as a whole, including online casinos, gaming etc. If I’m honest it’s an area I’m still getting my head around completely, and talking to the guys at Fun Fair Technologies made me realise it’s a whole lot deeper than I even imagined!

Luckily, they have presented me with a book titled “Blockchain Fast and Simple: What It Is, How It Works, Why It Matters”. I’ll devote a future article to this once I’ve researched it a bit more – starting with the simpleton’s guide!

In essence, Blockchain has derived from the onset of cryptocurrencies and offers increased security, greater transparency, faster payments and the ability to remove the third party and associated costs in monetary transactions.

Based, in simple terms, on the need for multiple servers in a chain to register a transaction as genuine before it can be completed, it uses cryptography to ensure privacy, identity and authenticity.

Already adopted by some of the online casinos due to its ability to deliver a fairer experience for users, and by online gaming betting sites like Counter Strike, Global Offensive and League of Legends, for transacting bets, Blockchain technology is on the verge of entering the online betting world and I will keep a close eye on its progress.

Best odds, winners welcome, no account restrictions

Sounds too good to be true? Well, maybe not.

Betting agents, or betting brokers as they are now more commonly known, have been around for many years. However, in the past they have been aimed at professional punters and high rollers and have been few and far between in the UK for tax reasons.

Although many are still out of reach of all but the biggest of gamblers, there is a move towards this service being available to smaller punters who want to make an extra income from their betting without reaching the level of a pro punter.

Speaking to a representative of 3et who are based in Alderney, they have not previously had a UK gambling licence for tax, rather than regulatory or operational, reasons. A UK licence is part of their business plan for 2018 however.

Currently, brokers such as Sportmarket are the best option for smaller gamblers with a minimum deposit of £250 and a minimum stake of £25 (using their Sportmarket Pro product).

However, a word of caution here. Before committing to using a broker you should check that they are licenced to operate in the UK, what their charges are (most operate on commission from the bookmakers rather than charging the client), what their minimum deposits and stakes are and if your money is safe…

If all of these concerns can be countered then the possible advantages are a single account, access to bookmakers otherwise unavailable to you, best odds, no limits and no concern about winning consistently!

If the face fits…

Certainly an element of Big Brother on the NSoft Doo stand as a giant screen showed visitors to the stand being examined by facial recognition software!

This was a product currently in Beta testing which will allow a retail outlet or casino to identify the sex and approximate age of visitors and where they spend their time. This will then allow the placement or removal of machines, tables etc to maximise interaction with customers.

Although NSoft Doo are a betting industry software solutions provider, this piece of technology could have far wider application in retail generally.

The best of the rest

Without going in to huge amounts of detail here, some of the other hot topics on the day were increased betting on e-sports, the modernisation and rebirth of retail betting shops and regulatory reform (worldwide not just UK).

An interesting and thought-provoking day.

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