Sports betting is a huge industry. It’s estimated to be worth somewhere in the region of $11.9 billion, and seems only to be growing.
One area of sports betting that seems especially popular right now is online sports betting, with a market worth around $2 billion. British bookmakers William Hill reported a 13% increase in online betting in the space of only a year, as bettors move into the digital realm.
So, there’s a lot of potential for growth here, and these numbers suggest a massive customer base. All the signs point to a prosperous and well-functioning industry. However, there are some rather big concerns.
The sportsbooks industry is not united — it’s fragmented, with little to no contact between major companies. And this causes some problems.
A fragmented industry
Sportsbooks tend not to share their predictions and stats. They set their odds independently of one another, and work separately towards the same goals.
Big entities like major sportsbooks and betting syndicates tend to rely on their own internal teams to analyze data and come up with odds.
What’s more, sports betting analysts tend not to earn the highest of salaries, and there’s a real lack of a community where analysts and enthusiasts can come together and share their ideas. This will ultimately have an effect on the quality of predictions and the accuracy of odds.
All of this makes sense on some level, it’s a way to stay ahead of the competition and gain an edge over other providers. For customers, though, it’s bad news. It means they spend a lot of time trawling through various sportsbooks, searching for the best odds available and trying to gauge which predictions are the most accurate.
The effect on bettors
With such a fractured industry, bettors are left in the dark. It’s hard to know which odds are reliable and which are way off, and users are left unclear about the overall likelihood of any given result.
The only way to gain a good idea of what the outcome will be is to compare a wide range of sportsbooks. Once again, this can be extremely time-consuming for something that for most people is just a hobby.
To make matters even worse, many of the ‘experts’ in the sports betting world aren’t even particularly good at predicting outcomes. Often, those with the biggest followings and slickest marketing teams end up having the most influence, as opposed to those making accurate predictions.
This leaves bettors at the mercy of the most well-known pundits with the loudest voices.
In the current system, people can spend huge amounts of their free time simply trying to figure out which sportsbook is going to give them the best value for money and the most reliable odds.
Fortunately, there could be a solution on the way, and it involves blockchain technology.
The blockchain solution
Blockchain technology works by storing information on a distributed ledger. This ledger can be shared with anyone; it’s publically available to anyone who downloads it. In addition to this, it shows updates in real time and is highly resistant to tampering —making the information within extremely reliable.
So how does this apply to sports betting? Well, blockchain’s design makes it a great way to consolidate a wide range of information from different sources into one decentralized network. It’s possible to gather all of the sportsbook odds and lines out there and combine them in one platform.
This is what BlitzPredict are working on. Their platform plans to integrate all of the major sportsbooks and prediction markets, so that all the current lines are aggregated in one place.
This will save bettors a whole lot of time. Hours that would otherwise be spent combing through the various sportsbooks out there to find the best and most accurate odds — that time could be spent enjoying a cold beer in front of your favorite team.
What’s more, the platform aims to build a community of sports analytics enthusiasts and experts, giving them a space to share their ideas and predictions. They’ll even be rewarded in tokens for accurate predictions to promote a more trustworthy information source.
There are lots of other ways a blockchain-based platform like BlitzPredict could change sports betting for good. It can be used to place bets using the company’s own token, and will use smart contracts with escrow to ensure secure transactions and immediate payouts — a big concern in the online betting world.
Blockchain is still in its early stages, relatively speaking, and its potential is only just becoming apparent. Sports betting is just one more area where this technology could make a big mark, and transform the way things are done.