There is no question that technology has changed the way we live and play. And with change usually comes uncertainty, especially when it comes to sports and betting. The way we place bets, for example, is one area that has evolved largely due to technological progress.
From The Walking Deck To Mobile Bets
“Walking down the isle” of a casino no longer cuts it when it comes to placing a wager. Thanks to smartphones and the Internet, our capacity to manage remote betting accounts has increased dramatically. This means that we can now wager from almost anywhere, at any time. If we want to place a bet on a game that is being played, we can do so from the comfort of our home. The same is true for the majority of our sports activities, especially since online sportsbooks have proliferated.
As a result of all of this, betting has evolved from an activity that was previously reserved for sports clubs and other physical locations to something that can happen anytime, anywhere. This presents a bit of a challenge for those who want to enjoy the art of betting, as it means that we are now competing for sports fans’ attention with sports and games being broadcasted live around the clock. While the novelty of seeing sporting events live may still appeal to some, the convenience of being able to place a bet when and where we want may have become the deciding factor for many.
The Rise Of The eSports Betting Industry
The growth of eSports, or competitive video gaming, as a spectator sport may not be something that has traditionally engaged the attention of betting fans. After all, who really cares about the outcome of a match when you could be playing a game and having fun?
In fact, in many ways, eSports betting is a reflection of the times we live in. As the stigma that once surrounded video games as a leisure activity has faded, the appeal of being able to wager on competitive gaming has become obvious. And with the recent growth of online communities like Twitch and YouTube, where gamers can share their experiences and tricks, being able to place a wager is made especially attractive.
The rise of eSports betting may also be attributed to the increasing legitimacy that many sports and betting fans perceive it to hold. After all, how can you wager on something that is completely artificial? Even those who perceive eSports to be a form of cheating may be more inclined to participate in a “legitimate” betting market, where they know the odds are often in their favor. In a world where a computer is writing the game, how can you be certain that the outcome will be the same as what you are seeing on television?
This question, among others, will likely be answered in the affirmative when the Supreme Court of Ireland hears petitions against the practice of fixed-odds betting on sports. As it stands, the practice is legal in Ireland, but the law is being challenged on the grounds that it encourages people to gamble, which is prohibited by Irish law. Several cases have been brought against the practice, and it is expected that a decision will be made in the near future.
Where Do We Go From Here?
From a gambling perspective, 2020 was a grim year, especially for sports bettors. Not only did the Supreme Court of Ireland refuse to review the legality of fixed odds betting, but the United Kingdom’s gambling authority, the Gambling Commission, went so far as to ban sports betting altogether, citing heightened risk of addiction and problem gambling. Although the United Kingdom’s gambling regulations were last updated in 2014, the ban still stands, and there is no indication that this prohibition will be lifted any time soon.
While the near-term future may not be promising for sports bettors, the long-term outlook is far more optimistic. Thanks to new technology and the willingness of sports fans to participate in a competitive gaming scene, a new form of entertainment has emerged, and it is one that will no doubt grow in popularity in the coming years.