April 20, 2024

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How Tech Reshapes Sports Betting in the US

Sports betting has evolved over the years, and in the last few decades, that evolution has certainly sped up. Online sports betting has changed the game so dramatically that it’s hard for younger generations of bettors to imagine how different things were not too long ago.

If you watch any movie about sports betting set before the 2000s, you’ll see a complicated mess of phone lines in use. This is a fairly accurate depiction. If bettors couldn’t come in to see a bookmaker, they had to call to get the odds and place their bets by phone. It wasn’t necessarily more difficult for the better, but it was a huge amount of work for the bookmaker and their team.

Technology has done a lot to change our daily lives. Sports betting is no different. As sports betting was illegal in the United States from 1992-2018, the impact of technology was immediate instead of gradual, so it is even more noticeable. 

Brief Overview of Betting in the US

Sports betting was made illegal in the US in 1992 after a series of high-profile scandals and a wave of public outcry. The act that made it illegal, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), was overturned in 2018. Instead of sports betting suddenly becoming legal everywhere across the country, this overturning gave each state the power to decide for themselves if they would legalize betting on professional and college-level sports.

New Jersey was the first state to legalize sports betting in 2019. In the years since then, many states have followed suit and legalized sports betting in some form, either in person or online. As of Oct. 2023, 35 states, including Arizona, Wyoming, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan, have legalized some form of sports betting. Alongside these states, Vermont, Nebraska, and Maine currently have betting legislation pending.

Online betting is rapidly being accepted as the future of sports betting in the country. It makes the leading sportsbooks accessible to everyone, not just people living near major cities or casinos that host a sportsbook. Online betting also makes it possible for sportsbooks to offer odds on more events and across more markets. It’s a major step forward for the betting industry, and its success is rooted in the latest technology used.

Bonuses

Welcome bonuses have become a central part of the online sports betting industry, but without the software we have, they would be impossible to orchestrate. NFL is the leading betting sport in the United States, and NFL betting promotions and bonuses are a big draw for new bettors for many sportsbooks. 

In the early days of sports betting, a bonus was an unlikely thing for a sportsbook to offer. If they did, it was something small and immediate, like a slightly better price on a wager. Today, the leading sportsbooks offer bonuses such as deposit matching, free bets, risk-free betting, and more. 

These bonuses are only possible because online sports betting apps require an account. Once an account is created online, the sportsbook can easily credit the account the required amount. It also makes it possible for the wagering requirements to be tracked by the sportsbook so that bettors can collect their winnings when possible. 

Before online accounts existed, all of this would be needed to be kept track of in person. Maintaining that much physical data for each customer simply wouldn’t have been possible for most sportsbooks.

Live Betting

Live betting is one of the newest innovations in sports betting. Live betting is also known as in-game betting, and it refers to bets placed throughout a game that’s in progress. Live betting is only possible thanks to technological advances that allow the odds to be constantly recalculated and for bets to be placed in real-time. 

Live betting isn’t available for every sport or in every state. Where it is available, it’s often for bets on things like what the score will be at halftime or how many penalties will be given in each half. For some popular sports, such as horse racing, it’s impossible to put live betting in place.

Live betting is also often paired with live streaming. A sportsbook that can offer both live betting and live streaming of games needs to have the tech capabilities to handle both, and bettors need a device that can stream without lagging while they also have a betting window open.

Enhanced Security

Sports betting and organized crime had a close relationship throughout most of the 19th and 20th centuries. Now that it’s been legalized in most of the country, corporations are involved as bookmakers, which makes it much safer and independent from that unsavory element. Technological developments have made betting online even safer. 

Whenever we enter personal or payment details online, we place ourselves at risk of theft. Security software is essential to keep us safe. Online betting apps understand that they have a duty to make their bettors feel secure while they bet and that with so much competition, any security breach could have massive consequences. 

To protect their customers, the leading betting apps all use top-of-the-line security technology. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) 128-bit encryption is the best security software available. It works by protecting the information sent by the computer at both ends of its journey — as it’s sent and received. Information is protected by having it encrypted, and encryptions are nearly impossible to break. 

When looking for a sportsbook to create an account with, it’s essential to look for this level of security software. The easiest way to check is to look for the lock icon in the address bar of the website or the app information before downloading.

AI for Oddsmaking

Creating odds has always been seen as a bit of an art with a bit of magic thrown in, but there is a lot of math involved as stats are calculated to create a likely outcome. A skilled bookmaker is also able to work on the impact of factors such as home-field advantage, weather, injuries, and player interactions. Lastly, they throw in the human element as a great bookmaker allows their gut instinct about an outcome to influence the odds that they set. 

All of this means that odds can vary wildly depending on the bookmaker, and some bookmakers can be very off-base for certain sports but very good at setting the odds for other sports. This is where AI comes in. AI algorithms remove the human element and provide more standardized odds. 

AI algorithms can also learn to perform better as they are used. This means that over time, the odds that the AI produces will become more accurate. Having more accurate odds makes the potential for an upset even more exciting. 

AI isn’t used by all sportsbooks yet, and many bettors will always feel more comfortable with a human bookmaker setting the odds. However, it is incredibly useful when used in conjunction with a human bookmaker to create the most accurate odds possible. 

By I&T Today

By I&T Today

Innovation & Tech Today features a wide variety of writers on tech, science, business, sustainability, and culture. Have an idea? Visit us here: https://innotechtoday.com/submit/

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