In a May, the United States Supreme Court struck down a 1992 court ruling, making sports gambling legal overnight. The ruling sent stock shares for casinos and gaming companies soaring. But it also paved the way for a new technology. Blockchain based sports books are now grabbing a share of the action.
There are three primary ways that blockchain based sports books will impact the sports gaming industry.
Ease of Access
Smartphone technology makes it possible for you to carry a sports book in your pocket. It sounds cliché, but just a year ago sports bets were taken legally at just a handful of places in the United States—most of them in Nevada. With blockchain, setting odds and executing a smart contract takes a matter of seconds. And it is done from anywhere in the world with a connection to the internet.
Sports books don’t care who you bet on. They just want to make sure they set odds that split the betting equally on the two teams competing. Why? Because the “book” makes money on the “juice”—the amount you pay for the privilege of placing a bet. It is not uncommon for juice to be as much as 10% of your bet. And it is an amount you pay whether you win or not. With blockchain, the smart contract registers the transaction between bettor and book. That means blockchain based sports books can offer their services for cents on the dollar compared to brick and mortar books.
Cutting Out the Middle Man
Blockchain makes it possible for bettors to completely avoid the book. Its secure and immutable nature, eliminates the need for a middle man to verify and facilitate a bet. The landscape is rich for a no-fee sports book to pop up on the blockchain. The only fees bettors will pay is the mining fee for whatever coin the platform runs on.
While there are already a few blockchain based sports books out there (notably Seattle-based Unikrn, which just received approval from regulators on the Isle of Man to offer esports betting, adding to similar offerings in the UK and Australia; and FansUnite, an Ethereum based platform based in Canada that offers a more traditional sports book feel and white labeling for other books), there will undoubtedly be hundreds more popping up in the months to come.