“The House Always Wins”: Can Blockchain Make Sports Betting More Predictable?
Expanded legalized sports betting is “inevitable,” believes NBA commissioner Adam Silver. In June 2018 Americans would find out whether his prediction was correct: the US Supreme Court is expected to decide on a case that seeks to overturn a ban on gambling.
New Jersey making money moves
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), a law passed back in 1992, said any state that did not legalize sports betting by 1993 was prohibited from doing it. American players had to use foreign sites. Thousands of US friendly online sportsbooks - companies taking bets - are operating offshore.
Most of them are based in Malta, the Isle of Man, Antigua, Curacao or even native territories, such as Canadian Kahnawake. In the US, however, betting could be legally done only in Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon. But in June the Supreme Court could allow states to decide for themselves.
The case was brought out by New Jersey that has been seeking to overturn the ban for years. In 2012, the rival state challenged the federal law by authorizing sports betting. But a smart move didn’t work out: the four major professional sports leagues and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sued. Since PASPA passed, New Jersey has challenged the ban six times in courts with no success.
Many new sportsbooks coming
This year, experts believe, is going to be different: the change is in the air. At least 18 states are planning to introduce bills this year to regulate sports betting, according to the report by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming. The court’s decision might open the door to new sportsbooks in the US.
“Let’s say the Supreme Court comes back with a decision in June. New Jersey has already indicated it’s ready to move,” said Chris Grove, managing director of Eilers & Krejcik. “New Jersey could be up and running within a year.”
The big question is how to manage all these old and new sports books and ensure their security and transparency. Several Blockchain companies are already working in this area. Such platforms as BlitzPredict are hoping to make betting industry smarter and more predictable for players. The company’s ICO start is scheduled for Jan. 22.
From gambling to financial modeling
Blockchain platforms can act as sports books aggregators providing liquidity and advanced tools for users. “We are at the intersection of Blockchain and sports betting,” said Brett Richey, CEO of BlitzPredict. “We want to build tools for Blockchain prediction markets like Gnosis, Augur, and Stox, in addition to traditional sportsbooks. There is huge consumer demand for these projects.”
BlitzPredict is creating a community, where betting fans and experts could share their prediction models. Sports betting can become a financial instrument if you apply analytics and statistics. Knowing the odds will help players make informed decisions. BlitzPredict is aiming to aggregate data from prediction markets and sportsbooks to provide users with the best odds available in the market for specific events.
The online betting industry is expected to grow to over $80 bln by 2022, and there’s a lot of money out there. For now, cashing out can be a headache, taking days and sometimes weeks for funds to transfer. Cryptocurrencies could help with this issue, and new Blockchain based platforms are striving to offer tokens to facilitate transactions.
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