As legal sports betting spreads across the US, sports fans in a growing number of states aren’t the only ones chomping at the bit for a piece of the action. A whole host of gaming companies are joining the party as well, and many more are on the way.
From household names such as MGM Resorts here in the States to international gaming giants such as Unibet, experienced gaming providers are clamoring to stake their claim in the new market. The legal sports betting in the United States opens a world of possibility, and interesting things are coming down the line for all of us.
It won’t just be the established powerhouse companies that will be moving in on the nascent sports betting industry. Many other innovative companies have already popped up with new twists on old ideas or completely novel approaches to sports betting and its related industries. Some will thrive and others will fail; but all will show us new ways of doing things that will be interesting and fun to experience.
As the industry grows increasingly competitive, so too will it grow increasingly innovative. Competition breeds innovation, and the competition is just now starting to gear up. Already, we have seen some unique new products emerge from the sports betting world. Today, let’s take a look at a few of the most interesting innovations unveiled to date.
A TV Network Dedicated to Sports Betting
That’s the goal of Vegas Stats & Information Network, better known as VSiN. The media company was launched in 2017 with an eye towards changing the sports talk landscape. VSiN has since grown from a niche outlet that streams its own content to one whose broadcasts have been picked up by sports stations in some very large markets.
VSiN CEO Brian Musberger shared some thoughts on the vision behind his concept with Front Office Sports earlier this year.
“People thought we were crazy, but now they see it’s a more intelligent form. It’s not two guys yelling at each other about who’s the best point guard of all time; there’s no utility to that. I learn stuff every day in the types of content we’re creating. What we’re talking about is thought-provoking and enlightening, not necessarily things I’d associate with sports talk.”
If that last name sounds familiar, you’re on to something. Brian is the nephew of the legendary Brett Musberger, who is one of the featured voices on VSiN.
Adventures in Live Betting
One of the more exciting developments to come from the legalization of sports betting in certain US states has been the long-awaited launch of live betting. As opposed to just betting on the outcome of a game or future event, live sports betting brings fans right into the action.
Wagers can be placed on the action as it plays out, focusing on things like a single inning or quarter of a game, for example. International Game Technology has recognized the demand. At last year’s Global Gaming Expo, the company unveiled a new product which will help fans to immerse themselves even further into live betting opportunities.
The Company will also debut the CrystalBetting™ Terminal – a slot machine-inspired hardware that applies IGT’s pedigree in land-based casinos to give players an immersive and comfortable way of enjoying the full range of in-play and pre-match wagering, live video and more.
CrystalBetting terminals basically give fans their own little sportsbook with a personal monitor, the ability to stream multiple games at a time, place in-play wagers by touching the screen, receive in-play betting suggestions tailored to what they’re watching and more. The terminals even come with privacy partitions and personal USB ports to charge electronic devices.
Stats Are On the Radar
As interest in sports betting continues to grow, the demand for stats will only become larger. Sportradar is one of the organizations on top of the demand, as explained on the company website:
“It is also the only provider entrusted to work with the US sports leagues in an official capacity to distribute sports data (NBA and NHL) around the world for betting purposes. The company monitors and delivers insights from more than 400,000 matches annually across 60 sports categories, having developed the industry’s most proficient software while setting new standards for speed and accuracy.”
In addition to the data and statistical end of things, Sportradar also recently announced big ambitions to launch a round the clock sports betting network in collaboration with SportsGrid. Sportradar senior vice president Jason Sukhraj shared some thoughts on the new offering in a recent press release.
“Sportradar is always looking to enhance the fan experience through the use of data and technology,” he said. “Collaborating with the SportsGrid executive team provides us with the platform to mesh our core competencies around betting with their programming talent and address the increasing demand for information and content geared around sports gaming.”
The type of information and analytics Sportradar has access to as a partner of the NBA and NHL will certainly make for some very interesting sports programming. Few people on the planet have access to the type of data and breadth of data as they do at Sportradar.
In-Game Predictions Contests with WinView Games
Sound too good to be true? Maybe so, but a company known as WinView Games aims to change that. The company has been a pioneer in the “game within a game” space, also known as second screen of interactive broadcasts.
The basic idea behind WinView games is fairly simple. You can other sports fans enter a contest before the start of a game that will be broadcast on TV today. Each of you will answer five predictions-style questions before the game and then tune in to answer additional questions throughout the game to earn points.
For example, you might be asked if both teams will make a three-pointer before the 10:00 minute mark. The answers to some questions are obvious, but you can even introduce a little strategy by picking a longshot answer in an effort to scoop more points. Whoever has the most points at the end of the game wins the contest and a payout.
WinView CEO Eric Vaughn put it this way in a blog post last year:
“If you watch a lot of sports, enjoy the flow of the game, and feel like you can predict what’s about to happen, then WinView is perfect for you. It’s the new way to watch live sports, win cash and talk trash. Our players consistently tell us, ‘Because of WinView, I’ve fallen back in love with basketball, baseball, what have you. Every play is amplified.’ WinView connects you to the game on TV like never before. It’s more interactive, more engaging and more fun, satisfying the competitive nature in all of us.”
Earlier this year, WinView debuted the first live in-game prediction contest during March Madness.
“March is already mad, but we’re taking the chaos and adding a new layer of fun that fans have never seen before,” Vaughn said. “After you fill out your regular bracket, that’s when the real excitement begins.”
That’s just a handful of the many companies which are looking to shake up the sports betting landscape. There is no question we’re just getting started and that some very bright people are busy right now as you read these very words coming up with new ideas we’ll be hearing all about over coming months and years.