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Sports Applications Technology

The Best Innovations in Online Sports Betting of the Last Decade

February 18, 2019


Wagering on sports has been around forever, but like most areas of commerce it has experienced plenty of digital disruption with the arrival of the internet. Technological advances, market forces and other factors have combined to make betting online a vastly different experience to the traditional idea of making a bet with a bookmaker and hoping for the best.  

If you are not familiar with sports betting online, you may not be aware of how these changes have impacted the experience of the consumer. Below we take a look at some of the best innovations of the last 10 years or so.

Cash Out/Cash Out

Undoubtedly the biggest game changer in terms of putting more power into the punter’s decision-making. Cash out effectively means you are offered a part of your bet – at a loss or profit, depending on the circumstances – before the event has actually finished.

How does this work in practice? Well, let’s say you took the bet at 15/2 that the New England Patriots would win the Super Bowl in 2020 (these are real odds taken from 888’s sports betting site), and you subsequently found out that star quarter-back Tom Brady decided to retire. You may no longer fancy the Patriot’s (News - Alert) chances and want to cut your losses. You are now given the opportunity to do so.

Live Streaming and Real Time Updates

Another of the most useful tools – if used wisely – is the fact that we can watch many sports live through bookmakers’ sites. While that seems fairly run of the mill, as we all have televisions, it is particularly useful for those betting on events live in play, and for more obscure sports that wouldn’t get much coverage on mainstream television.

Again, like the cash out option, this is based around putting power in the bettor’s hands. For example, if you were betting on a soccer game live in-play, you can react to shifts in momentum, access data (as useful in sports betting as any other field) and place your bets accordingly.

Best Odds Guaranteed

Admittedly, this is something not tied in to online bookmakers alone, but it’s nonetheless become an integral part of horse racing betting. Best Odds Guaranteed is a promise that the bookmaker will pay the highest odds between the price you have taken and the starting price of the horse when the race goes off.

Once again, how does that work in practice? Let’s say we took 888sport’s odds today for the Grand National – the most famous horse race in the UK. The leading contender is last year’s winner Tiger Roll, who is priced up at 20/1. If, for whatever reason, Tiger Roll’s floated out to 30/1, 40/1 on the day of the race, you would be paid the bigger price should the horse win.

The Future

 As you can tell so far, most of the innovations are designed towards putting the control into the bettor’s hands, allowing them to adjust and react to different things. That seems to be the way forward, with online sportsbooks being driven by intense market competition to give more options to those placing bets.

The most important innovation here is the idea of tailoring your own bets, with sportsbooks allowing seeming unrelated events to be combined into one selection. It’s good news for the serious punters who may rely on stats-based outcomes, but also the causal bettors who like to have a bit of fun with their selections.