We all know what an impact Technology has had on the world. Just over 100 years ago, World War 1 had ended. It was trench warfare, troops on the ground fighting one another. By 1939 when World War 2 broke out, we’d moved on to planes, big battleships, and they were using advanced technology such as sonar to track enemies. Following that, we soon took off to space and set foot on the moon. It’s amazing how far the world had come in such a short time.
And even since then we’ve seen major technological developments. We’ve got from black and white TV, to many homes now having large 4K screens on their walls with HDR. We’ve seen the introduction of the internet connecting people from all over the world. We’ve seen planes break the speed of sound, the possibility of tourist travel into space and the ability to voice control everything in your home via the likes of Alexa and Google Home.
But technological advances aren’t just about new exciting innovations. They’ve also helped the world incredibly by introducing new safety measures for various industries around the globe. One such industry is sports betting. Sure we all know that you can easily access the latest NCAAB lines online for March Madness on SBR, or get live scores to your phone, but technology has had much more of an impact on it over the past few decades. So let’s take a little look.
Going back before all the technological changes and betting was very simple. You’d either head down the track or to your local sportsbook, and you’d write down what your bet was you wanted to place on a small slip. This would be passed over to a cashier, who would register your bet, and if you won, you’d go up to claim your winnings. But it was a flawed system.
It was easy to manipulate slips in the early days, and a piece of paper could be incredibly easy to lose. This means people were essentially modifying their slips and claiming for money they’d not won, or being unable to claim their money as they’d lost their slips.
The early impact of technology
Due to the flaws that were around in the early days, they needed to combat this to try and stop people taking advantage of a broken system. And technology was there to help. Sportsbooks began to use scanners to record bets people made. They would scan the slip through a machine, which would print off a copy, and save the original to a database.
This meant it was harder to modify a betting slip, and if anyone tried, it could be compared to the original on the system. Preventing people from taking advantage. It also meant if someone lost their slip, there was a record of it being placed, but you somehow had to prove it was you. If you were in a local sportsbook and you knew the staff, it may not be an issue. But otherwise you’d have to remember key details like the time the bet was placed, the amount for etc. or manage to find CCTV of you putting it on.
More needed to be done
Clearly more needed to be done, and that’s where online betting came in. It was able to record all bets online, and therefore you could no longer lose your slip and miss out on some big winnings. But technology at this point also made the industry think about safety.
Beforehand, you could bet as much as you like. You could drop all the cash you had from your paycheck and no one would batter an eyelid. But thanks to technology with online betting, they were able to identify who may be a problem gambler, and make contact to see if they needed help. But obviously some people were too proud to admit it, so with online accounts, they allowed people to set their own limits, to ensure they couldn’t spend all of their own money.
And a further step for this was the ability to self-exclude yourself, where you can ban yourself from a site. And the sportsbook sites would even stop mailing you about offers and such, because they wanted to ensure they safeguarded those who needed help, and assist them with their issues in the best ways possible. In this case, by taking away any temptations to gamble.
It didn’t stop there
Safety of their customers didn’t stop with identifying and protecting problem gamblers though. Technology was brought in to keep all customers safe. From systems to protect data and payment transactions, to software that would help prevent money laundering. The advancements over the past couple decades have truly been incredible and really have made the sports betting industry safer than ever.
Just one example of how systems try to combat money laundering for example, is to do with payment methods. Now most sportsbooks will accept multiple ways of accepting payment, whether it be by VISA Card, PayPal or some even now accept Cryptocurrencies. Well, what was stopping people paying in money one way, withdrawing it out a different way? Nothing, it was incredibly easy to put illegal money in, and withdraw it again, making it look like it was just winnings. But now, many systems have a built-in practice that if you pay by one method, you have to withdraw the same amount credited back through that channel first. It wouldn’t let you withdraw to another account. In fact, if you had never used the other account to deposit, you won’t be able to withdraw at all.
Where does the industry go next?
That is the real question isn’t it, where do we go next? Where does technology take the sports betting industry in the future? Well, as with anything that is set up to fight against crime and protect the safety of the public, there will always be people trying to get around new systems to exploit unsuspecting people. So whilst not official, technology companies will be looking at what more can be done, and pre-empting where cyber threats will come from in the future to be able to nip them in the bud before they become a major issue. I guess only time will tell what those solutions may be, but if you have any ideas, why not let us know in the comments below or on our social channels.