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Today’s bettors aren’t as keen to visit their local betting shop and have become far more digital-focused, enjoying the convenience of placing their sports wagers online from home and when they’re out and about.
Over the next decade, as computer programs and algorithms start to play an even bigger role in the industry, the action of football betting will become increasingly digital. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what can be expected from the sports betting world in five years from now.
The online trend will accelerate
For the most part, in five years from now, the leading UK sports betting sites should continue to excel as they have been. The reason is quite simple. In the future, less and less sports betting is likely to happen at land-based betting shops.
Where the practice is currently legal, legitimate digital bookmakers are already popular with younger and tech-savvy punters who prefer to be able to place their bets in real-time anytime and anywhere, instead of visiting a bookie. This is only likely to increase in a world that is becoming vastly more digital and mobile with each passing year.
That being said, the future isn’t only online, it’s mobile. The number of smartphone users worldwide grows annually, with an estimated 2.5 billion users by 2019.
Online bookmakers will need to meet this growing demand with readily available smartphone apps compatible with all the major mobile operating systems, such as iOS, Android, Windows Phone, etc. In other words, mobile sports betting will become the norm.
Tech giants may start to dominate the sports betting world
Computer algorithms and digital applications are a key part of the evolution of the betting world. As such, some experts predict that telecommunications and data companies, like Google, Microsoft and Bloomberg, will dive into the sports betting arena.
Tech companies are already closely following the laws of sports wagering and some have even applied for patents in the betting category. In fact, Microsoft has a patent for real-time bet placing via online sites and mobile devices, and it’s not alone.
Sony, Microsoft, Reuters and Cantor Fitzgerald, a Wall Street financial firm, are also either existing holders or applicants of betting-related patents.
Betting on MLS and other sports will be legal in more US states
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of the United States opened the door for states within the country to legalize sports gambling. It is now up to the individual states to decide if they will legally allow it within their borders.
Already, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have legalised the practice and it’s estimated that in five years, 32 states are likely to make sports betting legal, including New York, California, Washington, Kentucky, Kansas, Arizona, Louisiana, etc.
As more states legalize betting on sports, this could result in a widespread and fully mature soccer betting market in America. According to research from GamblingCompliance, this would make it the largest market of this type in the world.
Once the US reaches this point, betting will have evolved in multiple ways, including the way bets are place, who is taking the bets, and what games and events are considered to be the most popular.
Sports leagues will thrive from betting and sponsorships
Gone are the days when sports leagues were sponsored by tobacco companies. Many are also cutting ties with alcohol company sponsorships in an effort to help improve and legitimize their image and avoid promoting drinking and smoking among young fans.
Now, the common trend is for leading football leagues like the Premier League to team up with bookmakers, which has been a win-win for both parties.
Football fans love betting on their favourite sport and are keen to download betting apps. In many cases, the apps they will choose are those that they recognize from the names displayed on jerseys worn by players. As mobile sports betting continues to gain in popularity, this trend is only likely to continue.
Ultimately, in five years, there is a good chance that with predictive technology gaining ground, tech giants will compete against established sportsbook operators around the world, forcing these operators to compete in new and innovative ways if they want to stay afloat and increase market share.
As football analytics become more refined with improved detailed information, which may increase with stats loving fans from the US market, a global football betting network could be the future, including global peer-to-peer betting action and an increasing number of bets made using cryptocurrencies.