Stadiums full of spectators may feel like a distant memory to most sports enthusiasts. Like most pastimes, the in-person versions are increasingly being replaced by online alternatives. For some industries this is detrimental, while others are seeing a rise. An example of the latter is online sports betting. Sports betting online has not only seen a significant surge in the past year, but doing so via mobile device is considered the future.
The path from full stadiums to solitary mobile bets is the narrative of real-life to simulation. In years past, punters were required to visit a retail betting shop to place a wager with a legitimate bookmaker. In certain markets it was possible to do this within or just outside the sports arena.
With the advent of the internet it quickly became possible to place bets online. The practice was not widespread, and was primarily an added avenue for entertainment while watching a sports event. Often betting behaviour would follow the pattern of placing a few bets before leaving for the stadium or sports bar to enjoy the game in the company of friends and fans.
Mobile betting surge
Mobile betting now allows the player to not only place bets wherever they are, but the popularity of live betting allows players to wager while a match is taking place. Technology has added convenience to our lives, and made our preferred products nearly ubiquitous in their availability.
During a year when anything ‘outside’ felt like a thing of the past, mobile devices became the world in our pockets. Without another outlet of sports entertainment, onlookers across the board have been upping the tension via mobile sports bets. Las Vegas operator SuperBook has reported that 80% of its sportsbook activity was from mobile players last year. This figure is up from 65% in 2019.
Many claim the future of sports betting is mobile-first, a common mantra in the tech world. Because players are increasingly home on their phones rather than out in the stadium, mobile betting is receiving even more attention than anticipated.
As retail betting shops are being liquidated, major operators like William Hill are investing heavily in the sophistication of their mobile platforms and betting apps. The mark of big success will be the small screen as crowd cheers turn to individual celebrations of profit or loss.