29 January 2020 | Russell Karp
Building Sports Betting Solutions: Tech Opportunities and Challenges in the US Market
The spread of legalized sports betting across the US feels like a modern-day gold rush. There are now thirteen states where gambling on sporting events is allowed, with others expected to jump on board in the very near future. Predictions that 70% of all states will allow widespread sports wagering by 2024 illustrates the high likelihood that the majority of US citizens will have access to gambling on events in their state within the next few years.
It’s an exhilarating time in the software industry, as technology giants and startups race to build the most robust and effective solutions to secure a piece of the lucrative and rapidly-expanding sports gambling market. As the wealth of opportunities grows, several technology challenges exist. And the winners may prove to be the companies who can overcome these technical obstacles to rise to the top of the sports betting software development competition.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of placing money on your favorite team and watching them win the game! But as you start to dream about what you’ll spend your winnings on, the last thing you want is to be stuck waiting to collect your earnings.
Historically, online gamblers had to wait two or three days for their winnings to appear in their accounts, or sometimes never receiving payment. One of the results of this delay was a lack of true engagement with gamblers and, more importantly, insufficient platforms that could handle these transactions in a timely and safe manner. The resulting lag between the sports event and the payout often caused annoyance and interfered with developing loyalty to an online betting company.
Instant access to sports betting winnings is a game-changer, making it the biggest trend in payment software development. Gamblers who gain immediate access to their earnings are much more likely to keep betting that money on other events, as well as becoming loyal to a particular betting site. To enhance the experience and add a bit of creativity, payment solutions such as reloadable cards could also be connected to merchant rewards and loyalty features, with potential partnerships developing between wagering companies and restaurant chains or other retail outlets to enable gamblers to spend money from their cards on other products or services.
Fraud Detection and Cybersecurity
As the sports gambling market flourishes, the potential for fraud increases exponentially. One of the concerns is money launderers, who are very likely to attempt to involve themselves in legalized sports betting with illegitimate intentions. Unfortunately, the world of sports is particularly susceptible to money laundering because revenue is derived from a wide range of sources, such as ticket sales, broadcasting rights fees, sponsorship payments, concessions at events, and more.
The advanced algorithms present in today’s sportsbooks can potentially be exploited by hackers who attempt to temporarily manipulate the formulas to their advantage. Therefore, this vulnerability must be carefully considered by software developers to reduce the chances of this type of attack.
Hacked accounts are another source of concern, as the potential for the spread of fraudulent analytics, such as reports of fake injuries or team trades, carries the risk of allowing hackers to manipulate the bets of legitimate gamblers. Let’s not forget the role of social media in spreading news whether true or false.
While some of the responsibility for maintaining integrity in sports lies with governing organizations, teams, and those who manage events, secure technology solutions are another essential piece of the puzzle to ensure a fair and safe gambling environment for sports fans.
Data Management and Protection
Data is king in the sports betting market. Gamblers require quick and reliable statistics at all times, and only the betting operators who can make this data easily accessible to consumers will be able to remain competitive.
One of the many challenges facing betting operators in the US is finding methods to bring gamblers away from using offshore sites to choose legitimate, US-based platforms to place their bets instead. If American companies fail to provide an equal or better environment than offshore sites for accessing data, many gamblers will decide to keep using offshore platforms. Furthermore, US operators must ensure a high level of security and protection of all data to entice offshore bettors to use legitimate, American-based options to gamble.
Here’s the thing: you can develop the most robust online sports betting platform in the world, but if it’s confusing to use, your chances of success are virtually non-existent. Consumers expect intuitive websites and apps, and if they encounter any difficulties, most people will move on to another option. It is therefore essential to develop an ideal user experience to gain loyalty. At the same time, an easy-to-use interface may not be enough to rise to the top, as tech innovations that provide benefits to gamblers are another important consideration for solution developers.
Some of the primary keys to creating a successful user experience are ensuring that the platform is intuitive in design, includes security features without being overly restrictive, offers clear payment and payout options, and ideally makes the user feel like they’re enjoying a personalized experience while also being part of a larger community of like-minded sports fans.
Engaging users is always a challenge for software developers. When it comes to sports betting, the same holds true. However, there are some general guidelines that can increase engagement potential in this rapidly-expanding market. Push notifications can be a wonderful tool, but they have to be managed effectively. By partnering with online ticket vendors, sports gambling platforms can include notifications about upcoming events that users are likely to be interested in based on their betting history. The personalization of such notifications increases fan engagement dramatically, while the addition of contests is another fantastic method for keeping the eyes of gamblers on a website or app, even when they’re not placing a bet.
The future of the sports betting market in the US couldn’t be brighter. At the same time, technology is at the center of it all, and the developers who create innovative platforms that are secure, engaging, and easy-to-use will be the ones who take home the big win.
Are any of these issues facing your company? If so, please contact the author to discuss how DataArt can help.