It’s Sports Betting Time to Shine
Beyond the technological challenges, there is a lot to unpack in the world of sports betting.
If you’ve watched sports over the last few years, you were bound to notice the plethora of ads that have been begging people to come try out sports betting. This ad from the 2020 super bowl was one of my favorites. The sports betting market is maturing faster than ever anticipated, and the pandemic has only continued to add fuel to the fire. It was all the way back in 2018 that the United States Supreme Court passed a law permitting any state to legalize sports betting at their discretion. And because of that decision, customers of sports betting have wagered more than $31 billion on sports bets, and generated about $300 million in tax revenue .
And yeah, despite the massive tax benefits, there are still so many hurdles in the way of fully legalizing sports betting. Tech companies in this space have the massive burden of complying with the regulations on both domestic and international stages.
Sports Betting Explained
Almost any professional sport has betting activities throughout the games. Beyond just picking basic winners and losers, you can bet on a variety of other possibilities that could occur. For example, you can bet on point spread, where the number of points one team is favored over the other, when the better bets over or under the total amount of points scored by both teams.
There are hundreds of different online sports books that allows customers to place wagers given that they are located in a state or jurisdiction that allows that to happen. Unsurprisingly Nevada in particular has been on the forefront of allowing sports wagers.
Blockchain Sports books
One emerging technology that can be used in sports betting is blockchain. While blockchain technology is often associated with cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, there are applications outside of the crypto world. At its core, Blockchain is a digital chain of blocks that contain an amount (typically monetary), date, and a time stamp. Blockchain is essentially a public database that takes in records and verifies that they are secure. That’s why some Sportsbooks have looked to integrate blockchain.
A chain in this instance is a wager that takes place on an online sportsbook. This ensures that fair betting is taking place and allows for transparency as compared to private databases. In order to alter any entries you would need to edit every hash for the associated chain, which would be extremely difficult.
While it might seem like an easy technology to implement, there are a lot of low level details that can make this a challenging task. But at the end of the day, you are trying to keep accurate records of who is betting and blockchain can help you do that.
Where is sports betting headed?
While the map of which states do and do not allow sports betting to occur is becoming more complete, there are still a lot of states that don’t allow it, and it’s even more complicated when you look at the foregin market. There is clearly a public want for sports betting, and there is a state incentive to legalize it because of the potential tax revenue. This, however, does not mean that the odds are in favor of it being legal everywhere. At a federal level sports betting is still illegal per the federal Wire Act, 18 U.S.C § 1084. Time will tell, but the technologic challenge of implementing and regulating this market is going to be a challenge going forward.