It’s no secret that sports betting is becoming more popular. Depending on where you live, you have likely seen more advertisements for online sportsbooks on TV during professional tennis matches, the NBA playoffs, or the NHL playoffs than in years past. Sports betting has exploded in popularity over recent years with more countries and regions legalizing or regulating gambling on sports. In fact, the global sports betting market is expected to be valued at $106.25 billion USD by 2025. There are many factors that have contributed to the rise of sports betting such as wider access to fast internet speeds, mobile and smartphone technology, globalization, and the previously mentioned uptick in regulation. But one trend that is seemingly overlooked among the sports betting community is the rise of cryptocurrency and along with it the rise of crypto sports betting.
What is crypto sports betting?
As the name implies, crypto sports betting is the ability for a bettor to place a wager on the outcome of a sporting event using cryptocurrency. Like traditional sportsbooks, crypto sports betting and crypto sportsbooks allow players to wager on the same events that a traditional sportsbook would, but instead of gambling in fiat currency like dollars, euros, or pounds, the player wagers in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and even Dogecoin.
Some examples of sports betting events that could be wagered on using cryptocurrency include the outcomes of a game, parlays that group multiple event outcomes together, and even live-betting or in-play betting during games and matches.
Where can a bettor participate in crypto sports betting?
Not surprisingly, most crypto sports betting takes place online. There are many websites that offer bettors the ability to bet on sports using cryptocurrency. Even some of the major online sportsbooks that let players wager in traditional fiat currency are now adding crypto sports betting solutions in their products.
And there is a good reason why traditional sportsbooks are starting to offer players crypto options. While not directly related to sports betting, the use of cryptocurrency for online gambling and online casino games is spiking. From January 2021 to December 2021, the share of bets using crypto currency jumped from 23% to just over 40%. Again, while those stats aren’t referencing crypto sports betting specifically, it’s logical for online sportsbook operators to believe that the growing trend of crypto casino gambling will spread to sports betting as well.
Why is crypto sports betting growing in popularity?
Crypto sports betting is growing in popularity thanks to the growing adoption of crypto currency in general. It’s natural that as a particular technology becomes more mainstream, different industries will try to adopt the technology in order to increase efficiency, attract new customers, and be an innovator in their fields. Blockchain and crypto currency technology are no different. As more people begin to adopt cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, it is natural for them to use that currency in new places and in new ways. Years ago you couldn’t find a place where you could legally spend your Bitcoin, but now companies like Starbucks, Whole Foods, and even Microsoft are accepting Bitcoin for some products. With the adoption of cryptocurrency going mainstream, it makes sense that crypto sports betting and gambling in crypto in general is becoming more popular.
Different types of crypto sports betting
There are many online crypto sportsbooks that allow bettors to wager in different cryptocurrencies. However, simply being able deposit in Bitcoin and withdraw in Bitcoin isn’t the only form of crypto sports betting.
There are two main ways that players can bet on sports using cryptocurrency. The first is using cryptocurrency as a payment rail. Using cryptocurrency as a payment rail means that a bettor can deposit in a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and make withdrawals in the same cryptocurrency. However, when they are placing wagers, they are not actually placing those wagers in the cryptocurrency that they deposited in. What the player is actually doing is playing with an account balance that has been credited with the value of the Bitcoin at the time of the deposit. When a player wants to withdraw, they get credited with Bitcoin that corresponds with their remaining account balance. While this form of crypto sports betting is simple and something that players want, it doesn’t satisfy the demands of the more crypto-savvy bettors.
That’s where on-chain wagering – the second type of crypto sports betting – comes into play.
When someone wants to bet on sports using cryptocurrency, technology like the white label crypto sportsbook we’ve built at Lion Gaming allows all wagers to take place on the blockchain. On-chain wagering is a truly revolutionary technology that is disrupting iGaming. It means that when a player places a bet on a sports game, a smart contract is executed and the bet is then logged on its applicable blockchain such as the Ethereum or Avalanche blockchain. After the result of the game or the line a player has wagered on, the smart contracts automatically executes payouts to either the player or the operator based on the result of the bet. It facilitates a trustless environment that ensures players won’t be cheated out of fair wins and can also help operators mitigate customers who try to cheat or commit fraudulent transactions.
For more about on-chain wagering and crypto as a payment rail and why it matters, you can view our article here which explores the differences between the two in more detail.
Start a crypto sportsbook
If you want to start a sportsbook that allows players to make bets in cryptocurrency, Lion Gaming has you covered. Our technology allows sportsbook operators to offer their players both crypto as a payment rail and on-chain wagering with our white label crypto sportsbook solutions. Start the conversation today by contacting us here or by email [email protected] to get started.