In-play betting technology has transformed the world of online sports betting with punters now able to be more discerning about which market they spend their money on. The question is: has this breakthrough technology that computes live odds in real time come at a cost to bookmakers who have to offer this dynamic market in order to keep pace with their rivals?
In-play betting explained
Before we go any further, let’s first explain what live betting is for those who are in the dark. In times gone by, betting was only able to be done before a match started. In essence, punters would do their research before a game began and then choose the pre-match odds they thought would earn them a payout 90 minutes later. Once the first whistle went, however, their bet was locked and what would be, would be.
Then came in-play betting which gave players the chance to bet whilst the game was live owing to the fact that new odds would be calculated during every minute of the match. This, all of a sudden, revolutionized the way bettors made their decisions given that they could now assess the trend of a particular game before deciding where or who to put their money on. So instead of backing Manchester United to beat Arsenal in the lead-up to the game, they could wait to see the opening exchanges before confirming or abanding the hunch they had.
After all, anything can happen as sport is, above all, unpredictable. So let’s say there was an early red card given to Marcus Rashford, the chances of seeing the Red Devils win would naturally fall dramatically.
Good day all around 💯 pic.twitter.com/LknG7PWsDW
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) November 10, 2022
With this being the case and thanks to live betting, players would be able to successfully dodge a bullet by not backing United and instead, could opt for a certain number of goals in the match now United were a man down.
Are bookmakers losing?
At this stage, you can probably see how this gives the more discerning punters the chance to walk away with consistent profits having been able to sample a taste of the action before committing to a certain bet. So, have bookmakers shot themselves in the foot by allowing this state-of-the-art technology onto their websites?
Remarkably, the answer has to be no, given that if we go back to the part in this article about sport being unpredictable, we’ll find that the impossible still happens even after punters think they know how a game will play out. Take Leeds United’s win against Manchester City for example in April 2021, the Whites went down to ten men in the first half but hung onto record a famous 2-1 victory after scoring a late goal against the soon-to-be champions of England.
With only 10 men it looks like Leeds have won at the Etihad!
Incredible scenes. pic.twitter.com/LI24QSgt7u
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 10, 2021
Astonishing results like these are the epitome of a turn-up for the books and reinforce the idea that bookmakers are better off having this technology in place. In fact, it’s a huge selling point when trying to sign up new customers which is why they only use sportsbook software providers that can give their online platforms hundred of thousands of live events per month in order to increase revenue generation and above all, customer satisfaction.
Of course, it’s worth saying that sporting upsets can go both ways but in general, the bookmaker is, more often than not, still making profits off live betting.
In conclusion, though, the in-play market definitely does provide the best opportunity for punters to stay a few steps ahead of the bookmaker when compared to the other markets.