Sports betting is one of the few areas of the gambling business that has been experiencing any growth during the past decade. Casino gambling has fallen off dramatically due to a confluence of factors including poor management, a saturated market and an aging customer base. The casino industry is living on borrowed time since the the younger generations coming up don’t gamble as much as their predecessors nor do they enjoy the same types of gambling. The companies that successfully find a product mix that resonates with the so called ‘millennial’ generation and players slightly older will survive and prosper. Those that don’t have an uphill battle for long term survival.
You can expect live betting to be a significant part of any successful product mix targeting players under the age of 40. Live betting has been a big growth area in sports betting in recent years and not only appeals to traditional sports bettors but the legion of fantasy sports enthusiasts. Esports betting should also continue its growth with the underlying sport not showing any signs of cooling off. Live betting on esports is already being offered at some sportsbooks and you can expect this to be expanded significantly going forward.
FINDING THE RIGHT MIX
On a macro level, the gambling industry isn’t completely clueless. They have some idea of what the younger generation of potential customers do like and understand the minutia of their consumer behavior. Sports betting in general should be a huge growth area but there’s one potential problem there as well—the ‘millennials’ don’t enjoy the traditional bigtime sports to the same degree as previous generations. This is one of the reasons that all of the professional sports leagues are rushing to embrace esports.
The development of the gaming industry in the next decade will be interesting since they’ve got some strong cards to work with but nothing that’s a slam dunk. Sports betting should continue to grow and live betting will be a larger component of that. Here’s some things you can expect to see in live betting’s future:
–TIGHTER INTEGRATION WITH FANTASY SPORTS: This is a no-brainer. Live betting and daily fantasy sports games go together like peanut butter and jelly. Look for live betting to introduce daily fantasy sports based bets that will give players the opportunity to change or hedge their position while the game is in progress.
–EXPANDED ESPORTS COVERAGE: The esports boom hasn’t been lost on land based and online bookmakers. In Las Vegas, several esport arenas are under construction and they’ve received regulatory approval to take action on it. Online, you can expect expanded coverage of esports with sportsbooks adding more game titles and more bet types—including live betting. Expect an ‘arms race’ of sorts with the dedicated esports betting sites putting pressure on legacy sportsbooks to stay on the cutting edge.
–MORE LIVE STREAMING, VISUALIZATION AND DATA: It’s very common for European sportsbooks to offer live streams of games. Expect that trend to reach North America as the professional leagues find ways to get a piece of the sports betting pie. The generation coming up is used to getting information online, not from television. For that reason live betting interfaces will need to include more game visualization and betting data to keep them engaged.
–A MASSIVE CHALLENGE FROM DECENTRALIZED BLOCKCHAIN PLATFORMS: An in-depth analysis of this is well beyond the purview of this article but here’s the reality of the situation—blockchain based decentralized betting platforms could change everything. There’s plenty of amazing technology already at work with even more ‘in the pipeline’ in the blockchain space. This includes a sizable number of gambling related platforms looking to disrupt esports gambling, sports betting and casino gambling. There’s any number of industry incumbent that failed to adjust to a drastically changing market landscape and paid for it—Blockbuster, Circuit City, Radio Shack, Tower Records, etc. Don’t be surprised if this type of seismic change comes to the gambling industry.