The Most Important Betting Trends28th February 2019 / Julian
The betting industry in the UK and beyond is simultaneously slow moving and yet innovative at the same time. It is dominated by the same old bookmakers, offering the same old services and frustratingly low margin bets to a public that, by and large, laps it up.
And yet, they have to innovate to survive. You never see a poor bookmaker, sure, but you only need to see the number of mergers and acquisitions that have happened this year, and the general lack of new bookies’ and betting sites, to note that this is an industry that is rather unforgiving despite the huge revenues available.
It is expected that this year will sharpen these challenges, and yet offer plenty of opportunities too. Here’s what we expect from the next year in betting:
A trend that is becoming more and more prevalent is that online s dominating the high street in terms of consumerism. As we wander through local towns and cities we notice boarded-up shop fronts and empty stores; the truth is that many people are doing their shopping on their phones, tablets and computers: it’s easier and more convenient to our busy lives, and the enhancements in technology have made it accessible to all generations and demographics.
Anyone with elderly relatives cast your minds back ten years: the older generation could barely make a phone call on a mobile phone without dialling 999 by mistake. Today, the very same people are using Facebook daily and downloading apps, songs etc. It’s amazing how as a collective society we adapt to change.
So what does this mean for the betting industry? Clearly, the current trend for punters turning away from the bricks-and-mortar bookmakers to bet on their mobile devices is likely to continue – again, linked to the older generation becoming more au fait with the latest tech – with a conservative estimate suggesting that wagers placed on mobile could reach the £1bn mark by 2018 (http://visual.ly/mobile-gambling-trends-statistics).
Bookmakers have already tagged on to this trend – they’re not daft, after all – and so in 2017 we can expect a better mobile betting experience. Think faster apps, smoother live streaming and innovations in bet placement; we’ve already seen the rise of ‘text betting’ offered by Paddy Power and others: send them a text with your selection and you stake amount and they’ll do the rest. Well expect a further rolling out of that concept, with WhatsApp, Snapchat and even Twitter integration. In 2017, don’t be surprised if your bookmaker of choice accepts wagers by Tweet.
Let’s get social
There is a huge betting community out there on social media already, from tipsters selling their wares via Facebook and Twitter to forums and WhatsApp groups dedicated to sharing bets and ideas among punters all over the globe.
We would expect this sense of community to grow in 2017. You only have to look at the rise of games likes Candy Crush, which are largely played via social media, to see how this could be relevant to sports betting, and the continued rise of tipster leagues – where individuals offer tips using theoretical money in an attempt to win an actual cash prize for being the best – is just one aspect of that.
We envisage that a social network dedicated solely to betting will be developed and adopted by the punting fraternity. There’s nothing quite like local knowledge when it comes to wagering on international markets, e.g. knowledge of players and form in the Polish Ekstraklasa can be exchanged by a Pole with info about the Australian A-League, and that sense of comradeship can actually lead to better value betting with a higher success rate. We live in a sharing age – often over-sharing in fact, as anybody on Facebook will be aware – and this could help bettors as individuals and the community as a whole to sharpen their game.
Red, white, blue….and green?
Everybody has an opinion on Donald Trump and the US Presidential race as a whole, and putting aside any criticism or otherwise of Trump for one minute, his election could actually be good for the betting industry across the world.
He is a known advocate of betting; he owns his own chain of casinos after all, and as somebody who comes from a business background he will surely recognise the benefits of legalising gambling across the US will have on the country’s wavering economy.
It is not beyond the pale to suggest that betting in all forms could be legalised in America within the next 12 months.
What does that mean for us? Bookmakers will have new territories to explore, but we can expect US-based betting sites to be established. And as we know, Americans rarely do things by halves….
So, our recognised bookmakers would have greater competition from a new overseas threat, and they would have to up their game as a result. The upshot would be better odds, more lucrative bonuses and promotions, and an all-round ‘driving up’ of quality. And that, for the humble punter, can only be a good thing.
Streaming vs Sky Sports
For anybody who enjoys watching live sport on free-to-air TV, the continued rise of subscription packages and pay-per-view TV channels like Sky and BT Sport in the UK is a scourge of our time.
Those with an inquisitive mind and a broadband connection can access rather nefarious means of still enjoying live sport without spending a penny, but these loopholes seem to be getting fewer by the day as desperate TV networks try to protect their profits via legal action.
Hope could be on the horizon, however. The proliferation of legitimate live streaming services offered by bookmakers offers punters a new way to access ‘free’ sport (usually a wager of between 10p-50p is required), and with most of us owning smartphones these days we can all enjoy a live stream in decent quality wherever we are.
This may not be English Premier League action, but more and more sports and leagues are being signed up. Many bookmakers stream football from the Bundesliga and Eredivisie, UK and Irish horse racing, ATP Tour tennis, snooker and darts majors, T20 cricket from around the globe….and much, much more.
This is a foot in the door for the betting industry, and who knows where it may lead in the future? It’s unlikely to happen, with so much money in the industry perhaps the bookmakers will pool together their resources and buy the viewing rights for the Premier League? Stranger things have happened….
New faces, new opportunities
A bit of a techie point, but earlier in 2016 it was announced that .bet domain names would become available to purchase. These are ostensibly aimed at parties wishing to identify themselves as betting sites but without the seemingly obligatory reference to ‘bet’ in their brand name.
The betting industry is dominated by a number of major players as we know, and as such it is very difficult for new market entrants to gain a foothold. That, in itself, is an opportunity: new players in the game will have do things better to get noticed; better service, better website/app, better odds?
Uncompetitive markets that are unattractive to new businesses are bad news for ‘customers’; we just get the same old rubbish without them being challenged for supremacy. The .bet domain names could challenge the old guard as long as their products and services are relevant and innovative.
The tip is based on the personal opinion of the author. No success is guaranteed. Please gamble responsibly. 18+
* All mentioned odds were valid at the time of writing. Betting odds are subject to fluctuations. Please check the current odds with the respective bookmaker!
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