The impact of digital technology on sports betting

February 11, 2021

The impact of digital technology on sports betting


Technology has evolved the world in so many ways. We’ve gone from having these monstrous sized black and white Television sets to swish looking flat screen, curved panels on our walls that display content in 4K with HDR making colours stand out more. We’ve gone from having cellular phones the size of your head, and that could arguably be used to build a house, to now having devices that we literally use for everything in our day-to-day life like checking emails and watching our favourite shows and movies.

And one such industry that has seen technology advance its operations over the years is sports betting. It used to be that you would simply walk into a bookmaker to place bets on the football, or at a window down the horse track. If you lost, that was it, if you won, they’d give you money. It was a pretty simple time. I even remember in my early childhood you’d get people going around door-to-door doing the pools, which was like a lottery. You’d be given a list of fixtures, and mark down your results and see if they’d come in for a big payout, much like waiting for lotto numbers to come in.

But times have changed, and the industry has changed too. But how so? Well, let’s take a look.

Online Betting

One of the oldest technological advancements thanks to the creation of the internet saw your favourite bookmakers making their own websites. No longer did you have to go down to your local shop, you could sit and place bets from the comfort of your armchair. And as time has gone on, new features have been brought into play as well.

You can now bet in play, so it’s no longer a case of making a bet before an event, you can bet on things happening in real-time. Which has introduced new markets to bet on like who the next goalscorer will be or the next player to be shown a card. It really has evolved how things operate.

It has even come as far as being able to use these sites to track, and even in some circumstances, view results, as many sportsbooks actually showcase some events like South American football for example. Meaning it has created a new place to go for people to watch the sports they love, without the need of paying a cable or satellite subscription.


The next evolution from online betting was inevitable. After the introduction of smartphones, the next logical step was to expand from their online presence, and jump right into the hands of bettors. Offering them a simple way to connect to their account to place and monitor their bets from.

And best of all, you no longer had to watch the games, or even pay attention, because thanks to push notifications, your apps will let you know when significant things happen in play. A great feature if you’re missing the game at work but want to keep updated with what is going on. It literally doubles up as a real-time result tracker.

The sports themselves

It’s not all necessarily beneficial though. Another way technology has impacted sports betting companies is in the sports themselves. Take football for example, they’ve introduced the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), in order to help clear up decisions that may have something to do with offside, or where the on-pitch official has made a mistake. And whilst they are getting more decisions right than wrong, there is still a massive debate about the use of the technology and interpretation of the rules.

Many of these overturned decisions, including some wrongly so, will have affected bettors where they may have backed a certain market, thinking they’ve just won some mega money, when actually, the decision gets overturned. Now some bookmakers are more generous than others, and may make a justice payout to correct the mistakes made by VAR, but others will be reaping the rewards of the introduction of this newly instated technology.

What changes have you noticed?

So there we have three of the biggest impacts we’ve seen technology have on sports betting over the years. It’s by no means a limited list, there are numerous other changes out there as well. In fact, we’re sure you could think of some yourselves, so why don’t you let us know in the comments or on social media what changes you’ve seen happen to the industry, and whether you approve of them or not.