October 10, 2017

Wagering on wearables – is this the future of sports betting?

By Luke Christou

Sports betting hasn’t changed all that much since the Ancient Greeks first started wagering on sporting events back in the 12th century BC.

You wager a certain amount of money on an outcome and agree on the amount that you will win if your prediction proves true.

However, while betting hasn’t changed much, the way in which we bet has drastically over the last few years.

Bettors have ditched high street betting shops in recent years in favour of technology. Likewise, wagering is no longer a guessing game. The emergence of big data and analytics tools now allows bettors to make informed decisions based on past statistics.

However, with technological advancement at the forefront of the industry’s research and development push, the way that we make decisions prior to betting could face another overhaul.

How wearables could shape the future of betting

Speaking at the Aspire-Tech Conference at the ASPIRE4SPORT Congress – an event, ran by sports research and education complex Aspire Zone, where those involved in sport can meet and discuss the industry’s future – Krishnakumar Kottekkat, Aspire Zone’s Manager of IT Strategy & Operations, suggested that betting could be enhanced by access to immediate data.

“Moving ahead, there will be more use of wearables and devices on the field where we get their vital data. It will be a data driven kind of model that we evolve for fans. Maybe they can bet on the player based on his vital stats – if he’s not fit enough, we can’t bet on him.”

It seems that this is merely an idea, rather than something that Aspire Zone is actually working on. However, it is an interesting concept.

Players would wear a device that keeps track of their vitals, such as body temperature, pulse and breathing rate. Likewise, these devices could also potentially monitor running distance and average speed.

Bettors would then be able to make judgements based on this data and wager accordingly.

For example, say a football player’s breathing seems to be out of sorts, you wouldn’t expect them to start making bursting runs towards the goal. Therefore, you would hold off betting on that player to score.

 The rise of in-play betting

Bettors were once limited to betting on games before they got underway.

However, betting based on data collected by wearables would be the latest in a long list of in-play betting features introduced in recent times.

The rise of online betting how allowed bookmakers and betting exchanges to offer punters in-play betting. This allows bettors to place bets after an event has started, or “cash out” on bets before the end of a game at reduced odds.

Likewise, this has also allowed bookmakers to increase the number of markets available to bet on during matches. There are now next goalscorer markets. There are also time sensitive markets, allowing bettors to wager on shorter periods of a match. These allows bettors to wager on outcomes depending on the actions that they have already seen.

Online and in-play betting has boosted the betting industry. It currently generates 33 percent of all gambling related profits. With the industry seemingly keen to continue innovating, wagering on wearables could be the next new way to bet.

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