What Will the Betting Landscape Look Like in Ten Years?

Cryptocurrency is again in the news, as the politicians are examing its regulation. This, to a lot of people, is troubling, as regulating something relatively brand new with so many unknowns can end up pretty dreadful. This warriness is due to something called Amara's Law, which states that the effects of something new and innovative (usually a technology) are overstated in the short-term, and understated in the long. Generally, early on we have no clue on what something is or might be, so tinkering with it is no bueno. 

With sports betting - which has began with a lot of regulation already - perhaps the short term will be the long term, and Amara's Law will not apply. After all, how can racing companies, established gambling entities (already with some form of regulatory capture) and others massively change when their paths are already narrowly scoped?

If that is the case, I still believe there is room for some change, and for consumers these could be positive. I'll take a crack at a couple PTPstramus predictions. Proceed with caution. 

First, remember the World Sports Exchange? It was established in the late 1990's and it was fabulous for bettors. You could trade positions in virtually anything, and it was the precursor of Trade Sports and Betfair. Currently there is very little offered in the US in this vein. It's all fixed odds and the like. 

The popularity of Predictit.org in New Zealand (especially during elections), makes me think there is room for a site like this, and I suspect it can flourish. 

Second, with investment, I wonder about the pari-mutuel pools. There is room for something using that existing infrastructure, in my view. 

Just this year I liked Hot Rod Charlie for a futures bet. I, like many of you, wait for the pools to lineup in a positively expected way before pulling the trigger. A couple of weeks after Hot Rod bottomed out at around 10 or 15-1, some Baffert horse ran off the screen, and Hot Rod closed at 55-1. 

This seems archaic with today's technology, where almost everything is updated in real time. 

Derby pools and others could be set up better, with likely investment. There's a chance, if regulation is not too cumbersome, Derby exacta and tri pools could be wagered in near real time, along with win pools. This could be done for all major races. 

In addition, the pari-mutuel pools, I would think, could be spun-off to other sports. As we saw with Olympics betting, there is more than just betting a winner. A Masters exacta and trifecta pool does not smack of too much incredulity does it? Currently one can bet straight forecasts at some books, but again, it lacks any real time feel, and the juice feels like betting a horse race in Turkey. 

I think the above two thoughts are, even in a highly regulated environment, likely at some point, no? They seem doable, and I think there would be a market for them in the US and Canada. 

Innovation and change, depending on the environment (or despite of it) is notoriously difficult to predict. Rack and pinion technology was discovered in 1810 with an enterprising man trying to move a container up a hill faster than his draft horses could. This didn't make its way into a car until the 1970's. What today's betting landscape, in North America it might be the similar. Sure there's a roadmap - in the UK and Australia companies have been working the space for 25 years with modern tech - but with such a massive market in the US, its vibrant seed and series one capital markets, it makes one wonder what's possible. 

Have a nice day everyone. 

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