Why social sports betting could be the next big thing

20 March – 2018

In the past, betting has been seen as something you did on your own. Whether popping into a shop or betting online, it’s generally been a solitary activity. However, in this world of social media, social sports betting could be the next big leap forward.

Experts believe that ‘socialisation’ will be the next major innovation in sports betting. Encouraging players to share their bets with each other and to get involved with social features to keep them engaged can result in:

  • Free word-of-mouth marketing
  • Organic customer acquisition
  • Better engagement.

So, what are the ways to ‘socialise’ betting?

Sharing successes and achievements

As more and more of our lives are shared online it’s logical to think that sharing betting successes will become more common, offering a huge opportunity.

Former William Hill engineer Johnny Robb says: “The millennials and Generation Z who use using these products now have radically different mindsets towards betting. They share everything, and they’re sharing their bets in private conversations already.”

Apps such as Bet Blocks recognises key betting terminology in group chats and links the message to Oddschecker markets. If a WhatsApp group is discussing whether Aguero is likely to score, that message is turned into a direct link to the market.

BetVictor’s head of sportsbook product, Eoin Ryan, agrees that this socialisation of betting is likely to be a big growth area. He says: “I think the focus will be on building features and functionality that make it possible for customers to share their betting successes and achievements within their private social group.

“These tend to be chat groups on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger and if you can become a relevant voice in these discussions, it’s very powerful as there is a sense of recommendation from peer-to-peer.”

Turning betting into a social game

A number of casino operators have enjoyed strong growth with an approach to gaming that turns the casino itself into a game.

Brands such as Casumo and HighRoller have gamified the process of playing online, offering levels, rewards and achievements within the site itself to encourage players to engage.

Some small independent gaming operators have also been attracting customers by adding in missions and various other social features to keep players engaged.

Eoin Ryan from BetVictor adds: “With social becoming increasingly important, I believe we will start to see more gamified product developments being rolled out.”

The power of crowds

One final social innovation that has been successful is that of ‘crowd-powered bets’.

Operators such as Sky Bet and Paddy Power have been trialling bets where the more customers join in, the bigger the price gets. This approach has demonstrated the power that social media can have in generating free marketing for brands.

“Sky Bet’s Crowd-Boosted Accumulator product is interesting because it harnesses the power of ‘social’ but in a way where every single participant can feel the benefit,” Ryan adds.