Betting on Mobile devices has been transforming global sports wagering much faster than the regulators can react, they are flooding the industry with cash as well as potentially contributing to the corruption scandals like the world tennis, say experts and insiders.
Recently the tennis authorities had failed to deal with the widespread match-fixing that has rocked the game, and this follows similar allegations that have recently blighted cricket, football and other sports.
The ubiquity of tablets and mobile phones has helped to transform bookmakers from being operators of dingy, smoke-filled betting shops, into a multi-billion dollar, de facto tech companies who are pouring large resources into the developing of apps and complex algorithms and also marketing to a younger and broader demographics.
Scott Ferguson, who is a wagering industrial consultant, said that players gamblers no longer restricted by geography or with limited choices from one betting company. There is also wall-to-wall sport each day of the week from all over the globe which is beamed into peoples homes and on smart-phones.
Professorial gamblers and experts say that the biggest danger for mobile gambling is for it to intersect with corruption lies with the ease of fixing a one-on-one sport, such as, tennis, darts or snooker.
Sally Gainsbury, who is a senior lecturer at the Southern Cross University, has written a book on this subject, she stated that the mobile apps allowing in-game betting on individual points or on games that allow athletes to stealthily manipulate results may strike some of them as less unethical than throwing the entire match.
A Perfect Combination
Most of the major bookmakers are operating from small offshore jurisdictions, whic makes accurate predictions of the industry’s worth extremely difficult, said Ms. Gainsbury.
She continued that there is a large grey sort of offshore market, and in every country, where it's not possible for the government to be ble to regulate these sites that are based in these tiny remote jurisdictions. Which means that it is difficult to get an accurate measurement of how much people are betting because much of it is actually illegal.
Patrick Jay, who is a betting consultant who is also a former sports and football director, at Ladbrokes, has estimated that the global sports betting market is most likely to be worth about $1 trillion annually, asdn that it has doubled in size over the last five years. He is also expecting it to double again over the next five years.
The Australian government, cited a 2015 United Nations conference that Mr. Jay was a speaker, has put the figure as high as $3 trillion, and that they said about 90% was "illegal" or in contravention of the laws that regulate gambling in which the bet was placed.
These range of figures, that includes betting on sports such a football, tennis, or cricket as well as many of the less widely followed sports for instance snooker, darts or table tennis this excludes horse racing, is an illustration of the difficulty to be able to accurately value the overall market.
This growth is a result of mobile technology because of it easy of access and use it allows people to place their bets anywhere, anytime. Another aspect is the easy of people being able to deal in credit so accounts are being run all over the world.
The leading bookmakers that include bookmakers like the Betfair Group PLC, Paddy Power PLC, Ladbrokes PLC, and William Hill PLC didn’t respond to requests ot comment. It must be noted that there as not been any allegations of wrongdoing by any of the bookmakers over the World Tennis scandal.
Due to thee match fixing scandals an the boom in sports betting, countries such as Australia and others across the European Union are now in the process of reviewing the current laws which Ms. Gainsbury and experts alike say are "hopelessly outdated".
William Hill, who is an official partner of the Australian Tennis Open, has introduced a new "Bet-in-Play" feature for their Australian customers which requires them to have access to a smart-phone's microphone when the bet is placed, to comply with such laws.