For the past decade, off-track betting (OTB) has been a popular way to wager on sporting events, especially horse racing. Most notably, Virgin Gaming Group International (SG) now WagerTech has transformed the way people engage in fantasy sports wagering. Most notably, WagerTech now offers a fully integrated cloud-based solution that allows for real-time wagering and reporting, all from either a mobile device or the web.
In this article, we will discuss the history of OTB, how it works, and how WagerTech has modernized the industry for fantasy sports enthusiasts.
How Do Betting Exchanges Work?
If you’re not familiar, betting exchanges are online platforms where people can bet on the outcomes of events, such as tennis matches or horse races. Betting exchanges allow for the safe and secure exchange of money and wagers, all while providing users with the entertainment experiences of sporting events.
The popularity of betting exchanges is largely thanks to the fact that they offer a safe, secure, and convenient way for people to engage in wagering. However, what is often forgotten is that betting exchanges are entirely technology-based operations. This means that they, too, can be hacked, just like any other online service. Furthermore, just like any other online operation, user data is highly susceptible to theft and unauthorized access, which can lead to significant financial losses.
The Rise In Popularity
OTB has been around since the early 1800s, when the first U.S.A. Football Association (now known as the NFL) game was played. Since that time, the leisure activity has continued to grow in popularity throughout the United States. Today, according to the OTB World website, there are more than 300,000 racing/sports books in America, with an approximate 20% market share. In Florida, where the gambling laws have been relaxed, there are approximately 50,000 books, with a 25% market share.
This trend is likely to continue. In 2019, Parley for Sports examined the U.S. gaming market and determined that there is currently a need for professionally administered fantasy sports leagues, such as those created by WagerTech, due to the fact that nearly half of all U.S. adults play some form of fantasy sports.
The Multi-Billion Dollar Business
One of the main drivers of the fantasy sports and gaming market is the financial stability it brings in its wake. As we’ve established, betting exchanges are highly profitable businesses, with revenues typically ranging from $20 million to $60 million per year. Forbes ranked the 10 most profitable sports betting companies in 2019, and 8 of them were fantasy sports/gaming companies.
The most profitable company is undoubtedly Bet365, which operates 27,000+ sports betting shops in over 150 countries. The company reported a revenue of $20.9 billion in 2018 —more than double the previous year’s revenue.
Another company worth noting is 888 Holdings, which owns and operates a network of over 11,000 casinos, including the luxury mega-casino brand, The Galaxy. 888 Holdings’ worldwide gambling revenue was $14.3 billion in 2018, up from $13.6 billion the previous year.
The growth in popularity of fantasy sports and gaming has also been attributed to the fact that it provides a unique platform for people to engage in leisure activities and competitions. As the industry has grown, so has the number of professional sports leagues that allow for fantasy leagues. Today, there are more than 600 fantasy sports leagues in existence, with more being created all the time. Many leagues, such as the Major League Baseball (MLB) Dynasty Challenge and the National Football League (NFL), also have betting slates, which allow participants to create fantasy teams and compete against other users for bragging rights.
Where Do Horse Race Results Go?
While we’re on the subject of gaming and sports, it’s important to remember that not all online betting platforms deal with horse races. For instance, you might enter a tennis match into a book, but the results of that match might not appear on the site. This is because tennis isn’t really an athletic competition, at least not in the traditional sense.
In order to access the full array of sporting events and competitions, users might have to leave the comfort of their homes and navigate to a casino or sportsbook. In some cases, they might have to search for the results of their chosen events, as the sites where they place their bets might not offer the full gamut of sports and competition events.
WagerTech is one of the largest and most successful providers of gaming and sports-related technologies in the world. The company was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in London. WagerTech provides technology solutions that allow for the remote hosting, administration, and monitoring of sporting competitions and games. These solutions enable both online and mobile wagering on sporting events and competitions, all while providing users with the security of knowing their data is protected and that their operations are being hosted on trusted and regulated servers.
One of WagerTech’s main products is Quickies, which provides real-time results, live scores, and line moves for customers who place bets on tennis, golf, and other non-racing competitions. One of the distinguishing features of Quickies is that it provides results for numerous sporting events and competitions, including those that take place outside of the United Kingdom. This is possible because Quickies is distributed across a number of servers that are physically located throughout the world, which means that no matter where a user is in the world, they will always have access to the results of their favorite competitions.
Risk Mitigation Strategies
Thanks to increased security measures and the evolution of technology, online gambling and sporting-related gambling operations have largely been able to mitigate the risks associated with participating in these activities. Nevertheless, even with these safeguards, occasional scandals do occur, resulting in significant damage and financial loss. This is why it’s important for users to be mindful of the risks involved and follow a few key strategies when it comes to online gambling and sports betting.
Educate Yourself About The Industry
One of the biggest risks associated with online gambling and sports betting is not knowing how or where to trust. As we’ve established, not all online betting sites are created equal, and it’s important for users to do their research and find a reputable site, or create one, that meets their needs.
Even if you’re confident that the site you choose is secure and reliable, it’s still important to do your research. Start by looking for reviews on websites like Trustpilot, which can help give you an idea of what other users have said about the service. Furthermore, be sure to read the fine print in websites’ terms and conditions, as well as review all email communications from the company, as they might provide additional information, such as login credentials, that could be used to compromise your account.
Watch Out For Phishbacks
Another important risk mitigation strategy is to be on the lookout for phishbacks—spoofing scams that attempt to trick users into giving up their login credentials or other personal information. These scams are usually quite sophisticated, and they can be designed to appear like a website or email from a trusted brand, such as Google or an online sportsbook, but, in fact, they are fake.
For instance, a user might receive an email that appears to be from Google, with a login link for a hidden website that is, in fact, a phishback site. These scams aim to trick users into thinking that they’re interacting with a trusted entity, when in reality, they’re giving away their personal information, which could put their account at risk.
Regular Cybersecurity Protection
Even if you take all the right steps and choose a reputable site, you might still face risks, especially if you’re using an unsecure Wi-Fi connection at the casino or other locations where financial information is being handled. These risks are largely due to the fact that hackers can simply connect to the same network and potentially access your sensitive information. Regular cybersecurity protection, such as a VPN, can help provide additional security for your personal information, as it prevents all forms of cyberattacks, including phishbacks, DNS attacks, and more. In most cases, VPNs are extremely cost-effective, with many plans offering free trials and unlimited usage.