The US has a long, intricate history with sports betting along with all forms of gambling. The lottery was one of the first instances of gambling in the US way back in the 1600s. They were first used to fund community projects and then helped establish and improve universities and secondary schools in America in the 1700s. However, in 1769 under ruling of the British Crown, the lottery was banned until the country gained their independence in 1783.
The rules on gambling stayed in place up until 1860. It was then that nearly all forms of gambling were made illegal due to its association with corruption at municipal, state, and federal levels. Of course, the elite needed to retain something for themselves and decided not to include Horse Racing in the ban. The famed ‘Triple Crown’ was reserved for the richest in American society before the sport expanded, with over 300 tracks being built over the next 20+ years.
The 100+ years that followed saw numerous changes of the law as the government flipped back and forth between legalization and illegalization. Most of this time was marred by the Black Sox scandal, which lived long in the memory of lawmakers whenever talk of relaxing laws on sports betting arose. The infamous incident occurred during the 1919 MLB World Series, when favourites Chicago White Sox lost to the Cincinnati Reds. It unfolded that eight White Sox players were bribed $10,000 each by a gambling syndicate to throw games and intentionally lose the series.
In the 21st century, the state of sports gambling is in a much better place. In fact, it is night and day. In 2021, there are 27 states with some form of legalized sports betting industry and many more look to be heading the same way. The legalization of betting in sports has helped lower corruption as the market is regulated, making it much safer for players. All of the US’ major sports have benefited a great deal from the increased legalization of sports betting, for example, fully regulated college basketball lines provide bettors with confidence they are using a trusted provider, while also increasing the exposure of college sport.
The US had to play catchup with the rest of the developed world where sports betting is widely available to customers. However, the speed at which digital technology has improved and the industries willingness to incorporate it means that we now offer one of the best experiences for players in the world. Here we will take a look at how that tech has changed and improved sports betting for millions of Americans.
Online sports betting is arguably the biggest step forward in the integration of technology in sports betting. Formerly, customers would have to visit their local high street bookmakers to place a bet. As these have grown in sparsity over the last decade, 21st century issues required 21st century solutions.
Now, it is available at your fingertips. With 85% of Americans now owning a smartphone, sports betting has never been more accessible. Simply open the app or google play store, download your DraftKings app, deposit and you are away. What makes it even better is that many online sportsbooks now offer even more markets than brick and mortar shops.
Cryptocurrency and the blockchain tech behind it how now infiltrated the sports betting industry. A fast, low-cost and anonymous method of depositing and withdrawing, many players are now opting to use it over fiat currency.
Its influence runs so deep in the industry that we are now seeing entire online bitcoin casinos. Whilst they operate similarly to their traditional counterparts, the difference lies in ease of transfer, zero transaction fees and anonymity for the customer transaction fees and anonymity for the customer.
Live data and betting
Online betting revolutionized the way people bet in more ways than one. Whilst it allowed players to access markets at their fingertips it also created entirely new ones. Previously, most all bets had to be placed say, before tip off time of an NBA game. You could back the moneyline, the spread, the total and possibly some player props.
As sportsbooks moved online, there was more tech incorporated into sports markets, none more so than live markets. As well as the engineers who work behind the scenes to make sure your experience runs as smoothly as possible there is a group of statisticians who are logging live stats during games and creating live odds. For example, you can now back which player will score the next touchdown during an NFL game or what the outcome of the next free throw will be.
This has made gameday an even more immersive experience as you can bet on what you are seeing in real time.
It goes without saying that if you have a poor experience when using an online sportsbook, you are far less likely to return. This is why they will have a huge network of engineers working round the clock on the user interface, servers and systems to make sure your experience runs smoothly.
Since the advent of in-play betting, this has become particularly important on gamedays, where traffic can be big and user behavior can be very erratic. So next time you are rushing to get in that next TD scorer bet on 3rd & goal, spare a thought for the people who have made it possible.