Digital technology has completely changed the face of the sports betting industry, with mobile gambling now accounting for around one-third of all money staked globally. By 2020 it is estimated that digital technology will be responsible for more than half of all sports betting online.
The sports betting industry have always been swift in using the improved connectivity provided by digital technology to broaden their business. Since 1996, online sports betting has grown year on year, which has led to a change in the perception of sports betting in that it is now considered a mainstream leisure activity in the general population.
Early days in the digital sports betting industry
In the early days of digital sports betting, it was poker and bingo that were the quickest to go online, being both easy to replicate and because they are both already popular offline. The internet made both these games available at any time of day or night, encouraging play either at no cost or with very low stakes, bringing in novice players.
Broadband growth and security
Later, when broadband offered reliable and widespread connection, the sports betting industry began to roll out high-class casino style experiences for a better playing experience for their clients. Like many industries that developed extensive business online, gaining the trust of clients was paramount. It is for this reason that sports betting companies have always invested heavily in extremely secure websites, since their reputations depend upon the integrity of their sites. With growing awareness of the security offered by all the major sports betting operators, more people have become willing to play online.
Mobile technology has been pivotal in bringing sports betting into the mainstream. Every aspect of the industry has been revolutionised, from casual slots players to in-play sports betting, since anyone can play any time, any place across a myriad of sporting fixtures. Add to this the high-quality performance of smartphones and constant connectivity and the growth figures are understandable.
The take up of free and money play betting via mobile devices has doubled year-on-year since 2011. This is a global trend, with South America and Eastern Europe growing at the fastest rates.
The growth in the use of smartphones has seen further modifications in digital technology for sports betting with technology configured to be played directly on mobile devices, giving an easier, more convenient way to bet, rather than trying to use a desktop version on a small screen.
Most sports betting companies now allow their customers to top up their balances securely by text. Virtual reality has been the most recent leap forward in the last year. Game development companies have already implemented this technology into games and it is expected that high growth will come in this area over the next few years. The sports betting industry is already researching the power of modern smartphones to run virtual reality applications and how this can be harnessed by the industry.