Technological advancements have continued to improve not only people’s lives but also help industries stay competitive. This situation couldn’t be different from sports betting, particularly in iGaming or online gambling.
2024 is another banner year for technological improvements in sports betting. It’s poised to develop digitally further, adapt current technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), and continue to make significant legislative progress in areas where it’s yet a norm.
Here are some trends in sports betting to look out for in 2024:
A report from KT Group stated that AI and machine learning would continuously affect the sports betting sector. First, both will be used in odds analysis and predictive models. AI and machine learning can automatically process extensive data sets, covering historical match outcomes and real-time player statistics.
This analytical capability enables AI and machine learning to generate more accurate predictions that help bettors make more informed betting decisions. Take FanDuel NHL odds, for example. FanDuel, one of the leading sportsbooks in the United States and other countries, has used AI to optimize and enrich these odds and their other content further, providing more value for hockey bettors and fans.
Second, AI and machine learning can also generate personalized betting experiences. They can learn a bettor’s betting preferences and patterns and offer tailored betting decisions based on the bettor’s historical choices and risk inclinations.
However, KT Group notes that although AI and machine learning helps bettors, sportsbooks, and even the players themselves, they come with potential risks. Examples of these constraints are ethical concerns related to AI-driven systems and the impact of unforeseen events on AI algorithm’s predictive accuracy.
AI Solutions for Player Protection
As mentioned, AI-driven algorithms can analyze data on player behavior. These don’t only help players make better-informed betting decisions but also help detect patterns that indicate players’ risky or compulsive gambling. Once they identify unusual or potentially harmful behaviors, they proactively flag players and inform operators. Overall, this helps prevent underage gambling, protect vulnerable players, and avoid gambling addiction.
Additionally, AI-driven algorithms can suggest personalized feedback to players. They can inform players about their bad gambling behaviors, encouraging them to have better self-awareness and self-regulation while playing.
One example of this is suggesting cooling-off periods. These encourage players to take breaks, which helps them prevent the escalation of risky gambling. Another example of this is deposit limits. AI suggests them based on a player’s behavior and risk profile so that they can manage their spending well.
Gone were the days when cryptocurrencies (or crypto in short) were just speculative-only assets. One latest Bitcoin casino statistics showed that around 60% of all Bitcoin transactions in 2023 are gambling-related. This implies the rising popularity of crypto gambling these days. In fact, its market size is now priced at $250 million out of the $93 billion worth iGaming industry.
Many factors drive gamblers to opt for cryptocurrency. Above all is cryptocurrencies’ efficient transactions. Compared to traditional gambling payment methods, crypto enables players to enjoy near-instant withdrawals and deposits at lower transaction fees seamlessly.
Additionally, crypto provides enhanced security and a fair gambling process despite allowing anonymity. This is because crypto gambling is based on smart contracts. These digital contracts are used to define a game’s regulations, which include the game’s rules and odds of winning. They’re publically stored on blockchains, allowing anyone to view them anytime.
What makes smart contracts great is that once set, they can’t be changed. In other words, players will feel at ease and secure since the rules won’t change once they start playing. In contrast, traditional gambling players often don’t know a traditional game’s algorithms and their odds of winning or losing. This often causes them to get manipulated and fall for scams.
Another fast-growing trend that will likely impact the gambling industry’s future is microbetting, also called flash betting or lightning betting. It’s a new form of online betting that enables players to bet on a game or event’s specific “short-term” outcomes, typically at very low stakes. It provides them with instant gratification without losing a lot of money.
Several sportsbooks and online betting platforms have taken advantage of this microbetting trend. They included them in their services based on real-time or interactive live streaming, typically at minimal latency for a smoother interaction. However, micro bets are still different from traditional in-play bets.
Specifically, microbets are compact wagers rapidly placed on immediate outcomes within a game or event’s larger context and based on real-time video streaming. For example, they’re wagered on the next score that’s about to take place in five seconds. Note that this can’t be done if the latency is more than one second. Hence, smooth interaction only happens with unnoticeable latency.
Tribal Gaming Litigation
In the United States, states like Michigan, Florida, and Washington are trying to involve tribes in online sports betting and iGaming, both legally and practically. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) of 1988 has made this difficult since it didn’t anticipate the possibility of tribes providing products to outsiders not living on tribal land through digital technology.
Michigan made it through commercial agreements. However, it was not an easy road for Florida, where the litigation over tribal-state gaming compacts has wound through the Supreme Court from federal court. In Washington, on the other hand, the commercial card room operator Maverick Gaming is taking advantage of IGRA to create a “discriminatory tribal gaming monopoly.”
Many politicians have said their takes on this. For example, Justice Brett Kavanaugh expressed his concerns, stating that a state law promoting tribal gaming exclusivity wouldn’t adhere to Equal Protection considerations. Additionally, Counsel Ted Olso is at the forefront of repelling the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which allows sports betting in states.
These developments in sports betting are just a few among many. There are still other trends that aren’t mentioned here, as well as upcoming ones that will be about to transform the industry. After all, it’s unknown what the future will be and the changes that come with it. Hence, stay tuned for the latest trends!