The future of sports betting will revolve around e-sports and cryptocurrency betting, as a new generation of sports fans reaches betting age over the next six or seven years. That’s the verdict according to Ultraplay, the Bulgaria-based betting technology company promoting software for cryptocurrency gaming.
Indeed, Ultraplay has been offering esports betting markets since the beginning, which the company feels gave them the edge over other esports betting operators.
Mario Ovcharov, the firm’s CEO, said their early commitment to e-sports was a significant advantage: “Basically, one of the biggest advantages that we have is that we started our esports journey pretty much before everybody else joined the wave.”
“This was in 2014, and since then, we decided that this will be one of the main focuses of our company. So we brought the product and the offering to a level that esports really deserves.”
Reflecting on the coming generations of new gamblers, Ovcharov said the video games fans of today could be of gambling age in the next few years, urging bookmakers to future-proof their offerings.
“Potentially in the next six, seven years, these people will be working adults.”
This seems to ring true. But some might say, “they would say that, wouldn’t they?” As a company with a direct commercial interest at the intersection of cryptocurrency and e-sports betting, why wouldn’t Ultraplay naturally call the future this way?
But beyond the projections, there is already growing evidence that this could well be the direction of travel.
Professional esports events are already attracting huge audiences, filling arenas with spectators as well as streaming to fans in their millions worldwide. Esports betting is already popular in some countries, with professional gamers on a level pegging with more traditional sporting heroes.
Bookies are already offering esports markets, but as Ultraplay rightly points out, many are still lagging behind in terms of the quality and depth of their offering.
On the payments front, cryptocurrency is already the payment method of choice for some gaming communities. Indeed, some of the first major cryptocurrency exchanges grew out of a demand for gamers to exchange in-game currency or assets, with the eventually ill-fated Mt. Gox exchange probably the most obvious example.
Offering faster transactions, lower fees than other digital payment methods or cash, and a secure way to send money peer-to-peer across international borders, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are already widely used for online casino gambling, and will continue to become ever more relevant in the years to come.
That’s not to diminish the core sports betting offering. Demand for betting on football, horses, tennis, boxing, golf – it isn’t going anywhere, and people will still look to bet on sports as a way of enhancing the action.
But with all the hype and buzz around crypto and esports turning into reality with each passing day, operators will need to stay one step ahead if they want to stay relevant long-term.