At a time of the proliferation of the internet and smartphones worldwide, the sports betting industry is going predominantly digital. As a result, bookmakers are always on top of technological trends. Providing the worldwide player community with the best gaming experience possible is one sure way to stay competitive.
2021 is a year like no other. Uncertainty passed from the previous year due to annulment and rescheduling of many sports events across the globe forced stakeholders in the betting industry to restrategize. More than ever, betting sites have to find a way to implement or speed up the adoption of these emerging technologies to satisfy the entertainment demand of the lockdowned audience.
There are exciting trends reshaping the industry in 2021 that players should not miss out on this year and beyond.
Increased esports popularity
2020 was an unprecedented year, necessitating the postponement of sporting events and the closure of land-based casinos. The iGaming industry, like other sectors, needed to find or embrace alternatives. According to Statista, the German company specializing in market and consumer data, a year before the pandemic, the esports market was generating an impressive $950 million. Even that was threatened as many live esports tournaments could no longer.
Esports became the top virtual sports that provide the entertainment seeker with a fix via live streaming services such as Twitch. It offers gamers the opportunity to compete for huge prize pools and stake in different virtual matches and events. Deep into 2021, it is common to find esports betting markets on top sites known for traditional sports betting.
Implementation of crypto-based betting
More and more people are opting for cryptocurrency as a way of transacting on the internet. In 2021, gaming sites not supporting Bitcoin and other popular altcoins such as Doge, Litecoin, Ripple, Ethereum, etc., are missing out on a good share of the sportbetting market. One feature of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology that makes it appealing to online players is anonymity.
Another edge crypto-based betting platforms have over regular online casinos and sportsbooks that use FIAT is the lack of government and central bank interference. Even without regulation, betting with crypto on a blockchain is free from foul play. Blockchain technology employs a smart contract that reduces overhead running costs as no human intervention is needed. Players are guaranteed the safety of their transactions as well as proven provably fair outcomes.
Live streaming and in-play betting opportunities
Live streaming is another digital solution enjoying heightened interest as a result of COVID-19. After months of lockdown, many sporting events are back in full swing but with little or no spectators. However, stakeholders in the betting industry are masters of keeping the fans close due to the increased adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Betting companies are launching or improving their in-house streaming technology to keep the sports fans closer and make their services more accessible to the wider audience.
Making live streaming available on sports betting sites allows for micro betting. The innovation enables players to bet on hundreds of live in-play actions. In this type of betting, results are known or delivered in minutes or even seconds. With that, players are presented with many opportunities to wager and cash out multiple times within an event.
More data and player-tracking analysis
The competition in the sports betting sphere is ever getting stiffer. Getting the attention of players is one thing but keeping their patronage is another. As a result, it is now becoming common for sportsbooks to monitor and provide customers with notification of the head-to-head statistics, lineup, and injury updates of popular players and teams. With such information at their fingertips, sports fans get to make well-informed betting decisions.
Closely related to data is player tracking. It is a rising trend for monitoring player's metrics to keep a close tab on their health, training routines, and fitness in real-time. That insight not only helps to predict each player's performance but also helps to facilitate the whole system's performance as well. In addition, making team analysis and final predictions using player's tracking is more trustable than relying on betting tips from the sportsbooks.
Some technological contributing to changing landscape of sports betting include:
- 5G Internet
- Artificial Intelligence
- Virtual Reality
- Social media
2021 may be a year like never before, marked by a revival of the sports betting industry. The pandemic and follow-on lockdown inspire the implementation of innovations that have been in the pipeline for some time.
New-age gamers, especially, will enjoy a more digitized sporting world packed with events and ideas. Also, with a good number of significant sporting events moved from the previous year, it promised to be a prospective and opportunity-filled year.