Sports Bettors Turning to Gambling Games?

Are sporting bettors turning to online gambling games?

Betting on sports is a primary engine room for the US gambling industry, with the general public laying down bets worth more than $12bn during the 16 months to October 2019. Of that sizable figure, almost $1bn went to sportsbooks.

Legal sports betting had surged in popularity since May 2018 when the US Supreme Court paved the way for each state to establish its own rules for sports gambling. Following a “slow burn” in the months that followed, several states now have or are in the process of obtaining legal and regulated betting industries.

With a new culture of responsible and enjoyable sports betting taking hold, it is no surprise that a vast number of bettors are taking advice from the folks at and turning to online gaming to place wagers on the biggest events on the sporting calendar. They can also access a variety of exciting and engaging sports-based gambling games.

The switch has also been driven by the convenience and accessibility of online gaming. The average US household now has 11 connected devices and three or more smartphones. All of these digital touchpoints make it easier for gamers to download mobile apps and software and to log into intuitive and feature-rich websites to place wagers and play poker.

Online sports gambling has already appealed to a younger demographic for more than two decades. More than two-thirds of “core” sports bettors who have placed a sports bet online during the last 12 months are male, and almost half of them are aged between 23 and 34 years.

Lavalle University statistics professor, David Beaudoin, says he began online sports betting as a teenager in the late 90s and believes tech advances have made the hobby more engaging and relaxing as punters don’t have to venture out to access the markets and games they want to play.

He noted: “Technology facilitates sports betting, and the 18-30 demographic was raised with the internet.”

Online games are also drawing in a new generation of players who may not have considered placing a bet without the convenience of online platforms. Almost 19 million “casual” bettors laid down a wager in 2018, with the fantasy league, pool, and basic “moneyline” markets accounting for a large share of that activity. Casuals also like to play with family and friends, something that is facilitated by the connectivity of online gambling.

For more serious bettors, online gambling has changed the betting landscape by giving them more information, data, and options they have never had before. Long gone are the days when bettors went up to the counter with a slip and then had to sit back and watch events unfold without any further interaction.

Online platforms allow bettors to tap into a plethora of “in-play” markets. This “always-on” style of betting enhances the experience considerably as bettors can make calculated moves and bets during a game and do so with just a few clicks of a mouse or taps on a smartphone screen.

This new way of betting has increased the appeal of certain US sports, including basketball, where live betting is increasingly popular. Betting expert James Finn says: “You’re getting live lines in the middle of games and you can react to what’s going on in front of you. You’re not locked into the line you got before the game.”

Recent data offers conclusive evidence that sports bettors are turning to online gambling games en masse. Pennsylvania revealed in December 2019 that sports betting revenue soared 31.2% to a record $316.5m during the previous month and that a staggering 84.3% of that figure came from online gambling.

New Jersey posted similar numbers with its state record of $487.8m during November, representing a $100m hike over the previous high a year earlier. Like Pennsylvania, 84% of bets were also placed via a mobile device.

James Bigg, TheScore’s senior manager, believes “mobile is very much the future of sports betting” for another major reason. The fact that “betting formats and methods” will continue to evolve and see the most developments in trends.

Digital software and cutting edge tech like cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) will enable more sophisticated in-play markets, and methods of analyzing data and making bets will come to the fore during the next decade. Online bettors will soon have a dizzying array of betting options at their fingertips.

Sports bettors are already embracing digital platforms for all of the benefits they bring, but even more exciting advances are on the horizon with Finn stating that there is “still a lot of progress to be made.” The arrival of ultrafast 5G and augmented reality (AR), for example, will improve online experiences yet again in just a few years and entice even more bettors to turn to online games.

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