Overcoming Challenges in Sports Betting with Blockchain
Since the American courts ruled in favour of legalizing sports betting in May of 2018, companies across the world have rushed to get ready for the changes to come. Sports betting will not only change the current industry but also have ripple effects across almost all sectors.
The ruling itself legalized what is estimated to be $150 billion USD worth of once-illegal betting on professional and amateur sports. Now that sports betting is on track to legalization, that revenue and potentially more could be made in this emerging industry.
While betting is traditionally tied to card games and casinos, most sports betting happens online through programs and applications. Sports betting itself is often more about skill than it is about luck.
This means that in order to fully legalize it, the process has to be as much about data as it is about betting. The focus will be on building out the software to support oddsmaking, new types of betting, and financial necessities in addition to the existing legal requirements.
Changes in the industry
No matter if you enjoy betting or not, the legalization of sports betting will probably affect you. The implementation of sports betting into our lives has the potential to be one of the most important and most visible test cases for digital transformation that we’ve seen to date.
An evolution like that requires a lot of work. Some large companies, like Bovada and William Hill, have already been successful in the field and will now have to adapt under new regulatory changes. Others are beginning to emerge, giving them the advantage of being able to both adapt and grow with the industry, and implement new technologies into their platforms faster than established organizations can.
One emerging platform called ZenSports is creating the world’s largest peer-to-peer sports betting marketplace. On the platform, anyone can create and accept bets for live sporting events with anyone else in the world. While this seems like a lofty goal, through blockchain, smart contract technologies, and cryptocurrencies they’re offering a better experience to bettors across the globe.
What makes ZenSports unique
Over 1,000 online sports betting products already exist in the marketplace, but less than 40 of them accept cryptocurrencies. Of those 40, none of them use smart contracts or peer-to-peer betting. ZenSports incorporates both crypto and blockchain technology into their platform. In doing so, ZenSports mitigates issues with outdated payment systems, limited types of bets offered, and odds stacked in favour of the sports book.
By allowing users to fund their online accounts with cryptocurrencies, the process of placing bets becomes easier and joining fees are reduced. Funds in users’ accounts are protected through smart contracts, which act as an escrow for currencies exchanged through ZenSports.
ZenSports also is unique in that theoretically users can place an almost infinite type of sports bets and set their own odds for said bets. When a user creates a bet, it then becomes available for anyone else on the platform to take. When each bet is made, a smart contract is created, locking all parties into the bet. A decentralized token economy allows bettors to self-report results and the marketplace to resolve all disputes (oracle system). This removes the need for a centralized bookmaker and properly incentivizes all parties to act in good faith. Smart contracts handle all payouts and keep track of bets so users can feel confident their funds are secure and will never be handled by a malicious third party. Because the entire process is taken care of through smart contracts and blockchain technology, users are able to manage the end-to-end betting process by themselves.
ZenSports’ decentralized sports betting network is emerging at a unique time in the market. Sports betting sits at an unusual intersection of all of the major tech trends that are driving digital transformation, including digital security, blockchain, data, predictive analytics, mobile development and more.
By incorporating these elements into a new sports betting platform in time for changing legislation, ZenSports could revolutionize online sports betting and lead the way for similar platforms to follow suit.