It is undeniable that the upcoming legalization of sports betting in the US will have a ripple effect around the world. While it will obviously affect the current industry, it has the potential to be one of the most impactful, cross-sector digital transformations we’ve seen in decades.
Through implementing new technology like blockchain into current sports betting platforms, what we currently consider sports betting may look entirely different soon. Blockchain is becoming increasingly essential in secure online transactions. Without it, the potential for error increases exponentially.
Recently, a user of the platform FanDuel placed a bet on a football game. Anthony Prince placed a bet that should have paid him $82,000 but FanDuel refuses to pay. Why? Their software made an error by offering a +75,000 line that the Broncos were going to win the game when the correct odds were actually – 600.
According to FanDuel, a few users placed bets on these odds at the moment that the bet was available. While it was a software error that created the incorrect odds, all users, including Prince, had to place their bet through a real person.
Should he be paid out the full $82,000 he is owed? Should FanDuel honour the error that was made on their behalf? Despite it being a computer error, it had to reach a human before being placed. So whose fault is the error actually?
The company initially refused to pay the bet placed at its sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack, saying it isn’t obligated to pay for obvious errors. While the verdict of this dispute was decided to pay Anthony Prince in full, it demonstrates a concern shared by many when it comes to online betting.
Keeping bets secure and private
As seen in Prince’s plight against FanDuel, without blockchain technology, betting platforms can be prone to errors, data leaks, privacy issues and more.
However, decentralization can help mitigate these issues. Some sports betting platforms see the potential of blockchain and are beginning to use it. Leading the charge is ZenSports, a peer-to-peer sports betting marketplace backed by the ICON blockchain. In whole, ZenSports aims to become the world’s largest platform for sports betting through smart contract technology, blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
Gaining the user’s trust
ZenSports believes that having a recorded outcome of all bets placed on the blockchain network is critical to gaining players’ trust. Theoretically, other platforms could go into the backend of a platform and change the parameters of a bet to be different than what the player originally made. By using blockchain, all winning bets must be honoured.
Through ZenSports’ method, disputes of who placed what bet and its details become increasingly rare. Prince would never have to argue his case for winning $82,000 if they could simply review the details of the bet.
Additional benefits of blockchain
In addition to mitigating errors in bet placement, blockchain opens doors to other opportunities for peer-to-peer betting. ZenSports allows bettors to set the odds and parameters for almost any type of bet imaginable – a feature that would not be possible without blockchain.
Every time a user makes a bet, a smart contract is formed. By building smart contracts with predetermined rules, ZenSports eliminates the potential for human error and builds trust amongst its players. The smart contract sets the rules for how a bet is won or lost, who gets paid out, and other important details that need the kind of transparency blockchain allows.
The necessity of blockchain in online betting
With legalization on the horizon, sports betting is sure to increase online, which means more bets placed and more errors are likely to happen. Fortunately, blockchain technology is able to help mitigate errors by keeping transparent and secure records of online transactions. With the increased use of blockchain in online sports betting platforms, disputes like FanDuel’s will hopefully be a thing of the past.
ZenSports’ synchronization of blockchain, cryptocurrency and smart contracts is one example of how blockchain decreases the risk of errors and leads the way for a new future of sports betting. While current platforms may choose to spend their time and energy dealing with disputes, it’s time for new technology to take charge.