The Rise and Rise of Social Betting - Sadok Kohen Share PDF Print E-mail
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Sport and gambling have always enjoyed a close relationship, with highlights in the sporting calendar often accompanied by headlines of punters who didn’t just enjoy their team’s win but a financial one too.

When it comes to betting within sport, there are two main reasons to do it; one is to win money, the other is to enhance the sporting experience. Placing a bet, whether it is a weekend Premier League ‘flutter’ or a season-long accumulator, doesn’t just heighten the bettor’s excitement at the outcome of the contest, it can demonstrate commitment to the team or competitor – and certainly helps the fan form a much stronger alignment with the sport in question. Social betting aims to take that sentiment a step further.

For a long time, the betting apps common for the sports fan were essentially a portable version of a betting shop – whilst there were a few variations on this theme, they were all primarily transactional. Things started to change in 2009, led by the Turkish market, when launched, its primary proposition being a social betting one. Having secured 15% of the market, achieved a €100m turnover and 800.000 users within five years of going to market, the viability of social betting was proved.

So what is Social Betting? Social and gamified products, such as the ability to chat and receive rewards in a fun way for loyalty, are primarily targeted at the average bettor, as opposed to experienced ones. These social elements allow inexperienced or uncertain users to tap into a significantly wider peer group and benefit from this community’s sport and betting knowledge. This, in turn, helps make betting more accessible and less daunting to newer users.

As today’s young people, all digital natives, reach an age where the option of betting opens up to them, they come armed with firm expectations of their social tools of choice. Having grown up in a world rich with gamification and populated with short, repetitive reward cycles, they see such assets as ‘standard issue’ rather than something new and revolutionary. Whilst social elements of betting apps may be new to an older demographic, for the younger audience these are unremarkable, inherent features.

Why is this demographic so attracted by social elements? Gamification taps into the basic desires and needs of users, specifically competition, community, achievement and status. These things ensure users remain engaged through the highs and lows of their betting experience.

Sadok Kohen is the Founder of Betbull Betbull is an open community of sports bettors who can share bets and tips, follow each other and chat, sharing the highs and lows of their betting experience. filesmonster