Development of the Sports Betting Industry and Opportunities for Further Growth in Popularity

by Lily White
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Thousands and thousands of years have passed since the first cases of betting or some form of gambling. In that time, a lot has had time to change. Nevertheless, the industry still has potential for growth and even room for new changes. So what does the future hold?

Most bettors worry about the here and now. Despite the fact that studying historical trends to predict the outcome of some future event is a basic technique in betting, the same approach often limits players’ foresight by narrowing their planning horizons.

Understanding the historical development of the betting industry and the path it has taken is certainly interesting, but it does not necessarily give you an advantage in the game. Nevertheless, trying to think about it in terms of what might happen to the industry in the future can be a useful practice for any player who is serious about placing bets.

One of the key elements of finding value in the betting market is taking advantage of a factor that the bookmaker has not yet had time to consider when forming his odds, and the sooner you can predict its impact, the more you can benefit from it. This factor can be new technology in predicting the best tennis betting odds, capitalizing on investments in new markets, or even entirely new sports – you will always have the possibility of discovering an undetected advantage.

The Development of the Sports Betting Industry

Around 2300 B.C., dice began to be thrown in China. Since that time, the gambling industry has changed significantly. Simplified versions of sports betting (such as chariot races and gladiatorial fights in ancient Rome) soon evolved into a much more streamlined activity thanks to the emergence of special “betting receivers” – bookmakers.

Sports bettors are paying much more attention to the odds at which they place their bets, the amounts they can wager, and are increasingly thinking about what they can use to beat the bookmaker.

What began with horse racing soon spread to other sports such as soccer and tennis. Later on, bookmakers moved from stadiums and surrounding venues to individual betting shops, and then came the Internet: online betting was the beginning of a new era at the end of the 20th century.

Today, you can place bets on almost any sporting event, at various levels of prestige and in many different formats.

Along with the significant changes in betting procedures over time, the principles that guide people when placing bets have also changed. It is the one who manages to constantly adapt and discover opportunities before anyone else that has benefited from the fact that the world of betting is constantly evolving.

So How Is the World of Sports Betting Right Now?

Undoubtedly, the industry we are discussing is a highly competitive environment for bettors, but the betting market itself is also incredibly crowded with people trying to achieve the same goal. The principle of collective opinion tells us that this kind of market condition plays into the bookmakers’ hands because these conditions make it harder for the players.

In today’s times, it has become more difficult than ever to make consistent profits from sports betting. This is because as soon as you find a suitable way to profit, your actions will be severely restricted or your account will be closed. In addition, most bookmakers operate with margins in the 6-7% range: this means that players will have to put even more effort into finding a successful opportunity to profit from their bet.

Instead of continuing to increase the attractiveness of the odds on offer, most bookmakers prefer to invest in other areas of their business. The growth of the marketing market and the need to stand out from their competitors means that bookmakers will spend money to promote “free” bets and offers, spend huge budgets on advertising campaigns or on unnecessary features suitable only for attracting new customers.

This type of bookmakers build their business on conservative punters (they will not allow anyone they deem overly resourceful to continue placing bets), so they will obviously try to attract exactly this type of people, even though in reality punters are starting to move in a completely different way. In recent years, there has been a paradigm shift in the sports betting community that has resulted in customers becoming much more aware of all the services they receive.

Sports betting players are paying much more attention to the odds at which they place their bets, the amounts they can wager, and are increasingly thinking about what they can use to beat the bookmaker. There are vast amounts of open data that can help players make much more informed decisions, and there are also a wide variety of resources that can both provide information on betting for educational purposes and point out exactly what it takes to succeed in the long run.

What Does the Future Hold for Us?

The purpose of this article is not to predict with absolute certainty what will happen in the future and how those events can be used to gain an advantage over the bookie. It should actually encourage people to think about how many things may change in the future: those changes should not take you by surprise, because the player will only gain an advantage if it is the bookmaker and not him who is catching up.

Studying the data is far from a new technique in sports betting. Most modern players always study the available data before placing a bet (even if they do not realize it) – it can be a simple comparison of the results of two teams against each other for a 1X2 bet or the average number of team goals per match for a bet on total goals. However, as time passes, the data set to which we have access changes, and more importantly, the quality of that data changes.

Only when you compare your data will you find a potential advantage, and only when you fully simulate the situation by carefully double-checking the resulting model, then and only then will you be able to fully realize your financial benefit.

A great example of wanting to gain an advantage in advance would be to study the impact of the weather. We know that weather is an important factor for betting on baseball (as it is for many other sports). However, the first person to be able to express that influence in numbers, and then collect the data and place a nuanced bet, will also be the first person to find the benefit and increase their capital with it. After a while (when more people begin to realize its importance), the weather will become factored into the odds, and this factor will lose its importance.

A more modern example that has undergone the same fate is the expected number of goals in soccer. This metric was once used exclusively in the soccer analyst community and served as a way to measure the performance of teams. A small change made to the process of analyzing this metric and to the way the results were applied in practice allowed players to determine profitable bets in various soccer leagues (not surprisingly, this did not last long, and now all bookmakers use the expected number of goals in their prediction models).

Players should not limit their plans to the short term. Instead of trying to find an advantage for this weekend’s Premier League competition, think better about what you can change to gain an advantage in the future and what further anticipated goals might be. Of course, the advantage can be affected by one single factor or by a combination of many minor factors.

Whether it’s biometric data, tracking data, or something else related to the new wave of data analysis, the first step in capitalizing on it should be realizing the importance of its impact on your ability to form predictions for the event you’re interested in.

Only when you compare your data will you find a potential advantage, and only when you’ve fully simulated the situation by carefully double-checking the resulting model, then and only then can you fully realize your financial benefit. It is quite easy to see positive results and attribute them to your advantage detection skill, but if your analysis is based on short-term results, simple luck may just as well be involved.

Why the Principle of Betting Is Constantly Changing

The focus of this article is on the thought process that will help you achieve long-term betting success, but it’s important to keep in mind what can happen when you actually place your bet.

In addition to changes in betting in terms of regulators changing where people can place bets (the U.S. is an obvious example for this factor), there are also many relatively new phenomena that are changing the way we interact required to place a bet and even the nature of betting itself.

Cryptocurrencies have been a boom in 2020: they have proliferated so much that some bookmakers are only willing to work with certain currencies, such as bitcoin. This is another example of how things can suddenly change. Being prepared for the coming changes and thinking about what might happen should be a priority for you if you want to make money from betting.

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