Hey there guys,
I thought today I would provide a little brain dump and talk about the newest innovations in the Sports Trading market. With things constantly changing in this ever growing business, I always have my ear to the ground looking for the latest trends.
The legal sports betting market keeps on growing in the US, and competition is ramping up.
Read on to find out what the future of sports betting will look like!
Recap of major trends for 2020
Let’s start with a brief summary of the major trends in the industry that we predicted to happen earlier this year as many of the current innovations are related to these topics.
Here’s a shortened version of what we wrote:
Live in-game betting becomes more popular
Live in-game betting has been extremely popular in Europe for years. With sports books receiving real-time data of the games and bettors now being able to wager from their mobile devices, it’s never been easier to make in-game bets. All of the big players in the US are releasing mobile applications, and the number of in-game bets available is set to rise. Besides the ever-updating live odds for the moneyline, the spread, and point total, bettors can put their money on things such as who scores the next points or which team will win the ongoing quarter, for example.
More individual player props
Individual player bets and props are set to become more popular, and the selection of such bets offered by bookmakers will be more diverse. Now more than ever, fans are interested in their favorite star players (often over teams), and putting some money down on their performances makes the in-game experience more thrilling.
US sportsbooks go into aggressive customer acquisition mode
The legal sports gambling business is still finding its footing in the US, and competition is ramping up. All of the big players will be trying to capture as much of the currently available sports betting market as they can, so expect to see a lot of marketing campaigns and sign-up deals for new customers.
The rise of eSports wagering
E-sports have become hugely popular in recent years and that popularity is set to trend in sports betting as well. According to one estimate, the amount of money wagered worldwide in e-sports could reach up to $12.9 billion this year. With the global betting market estimated to be at a total of $250 billion wagered, that $12.9 billion might seem like a surprisingly significant chunk of the whole pot.
Product innovation is happening rapidly
Until now, most sportsbooks have tried to lure in customers and compete for their share of the market by offering attractive sign up bonuses or favorable odds. But as is the case with most competitive industries, offering the best price might not be the most sustainable strategy.
Instead, many are looking into innovating their products and offering new types of user experiences to keep bettors coming back.
Let’s look at some of the most interesting new features that are popping up right now.
Micro betting on single in-game events
Just like we predicted, in-game betting is becoming more and more popular. Most mobile sportsbooks already offer a chance to bet on various results with live odds while the game is on. But many are looking to incorporate more specific betting options that should keep casual fans engaged and entertained.
For example, betting on at-bat outcomes for individual players in MLB games is expected to be a hit in the near future. One could also bet on whether or not an NBA player makes his next free throw or field goal attempt.
These developments are enabled by bookmakers signing partnerships with league data providers. While there is work to be done for bookmakers to make the user experience great and launch interesting products on this front, the underlying technology makes it all possible today.
Betting exchanges and wagering against fellow bettors
Betting exchanges where players are offering odds and wagering against each other are already popular in many parts of the world – Betfair, for example, has been extremely successful with this model in Europe.
And in the US, daily fantasy sports players are already used to going against each other in tournaments or 1-on-1 matchups with monetary stakes involved.
Many operators are looking into how similar models could be used innovatively in the US sports betting markets. In the future, we might see tournaments of players betting against each other for the outcome of a playoff series, for example.
Not all states currently allow such wagers, and cross-state bets are off the table. But since operators already have to separate their business between different states, this should be an obstacle that can be overcome.
Another concept that DFS operators have already been utilizing successfully is offering products that are free to play, with the intention of acquiring as many users as possible and converting some to start wagering on their games later.
Many startups are currently developing betting-related products with a free-to-play model, banking on being able to get users to start betting actual money later on down the line. This is especially good for entering markets where sports betting is not legal yet. Acquiring a customer base before the rest of the sportsbooks can be a big advantage before a legal market is launched.
Betting on eSports
In that trend forecast in the beginning of this article, we mentioned one estimate where it was predicted that the global eSports betting market could see up to $12.9 billion wagered annually.
Since then, things have progressed fast, and we are already on track for $13-$15 billion in eSports bets in 2020.
Sportsbooks and startups are working hard to build engaging offerings around eSports as it will most likely be the major draw for a new generation of sports bettors. In-game wagering possibilities while watching the streams will surely be extremely popular soon.
Also related to this are various attempts to allow users to wager real money on online games that they are playing against each other. Legally this territory is full of hurdles but is something to keep an eye out for.
Legal sports betting is growing fast
2020 has been a big year for legal sports betting in the US. For some of the latest developments, have a look at our recent articles:
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