The times of entering a saloon or even physical casino and playing mechanical games are more and more in the past, and gambling these days is ruled by algorithms that add an extra layer of sophistication to both punters and bookies.
It is case to say that data is changing gambling and everything around it.
Sports betting has been one of the areas with immense growth, renewing the interest of gamblers, but attracting also traders from investment banks, as behind the scenes of sports betting we have machine-learning algorithms that are now a part of this multi-billion business.
As an example, Wimbledon 2017 – a tennis event – saw approximately $1.3 billion on bets, just from Paddy Power Betfair. Both finance and technology professionals are being attracted to the gambling industry to work on quantitative methods to take the industry to a whole new level.
Trends and tactics
These quantitative methods started to be applied in the United States, when it was discovered that data from college competitions could be used to find out trends and tactics, similarly to what happens with recruiting players based on data analysis.
This same formula was applied to football, golf and tennis by betting companies to fine-tune their odds, something that has been happened for a few years now. Changing parameters in a spreadsheet manually, one event at a time, gave place to an automatic feature, making more and more matches available for live betting.
Impressively enough, live or in-play betting accounts today for over 60% of the total money wagered, a clear outcome of the quantitative methods refinement. Putting this is another words, self-learning algorithms can digest huge amounts of data and constantly compute the accurate odds for the most diverse events.
How many aces are going to be scored in a tennis tournament or match? Who is going to score on a football match? How many corners will a match have? You name it, it’s possible to bet on anything in-play, and algorithms and powerful computing are behind this new gambling world.
The former situation when betting operators had to stop the market to adjust the odds is now a part of the past, and with it also the frustration of those betting online. Now it’s possible to manage several events simultaneously with minimal down-times.
Not only the gambling operators have evolved though. The sophistication of bookies was followed by those making the bets, creating models also based on quantitative betting, statistics adopted and refined by gamblers to improve their results.
Online betting is, these days, more and more dominated by computer statistics based on quantitative trading, making gambling similar to financial exchanges and their models.
This is the new world of gambling where luck might no longer be a part of, something that doesn’t seem to be driving gamblers away, quite the opposite, as just since 2013 the number of online gambling accounts just in the United Kingdom has increased ten times.