UK betting operators are prepping the rollout of in-play horserace betting thanks to the miracles of global positioning system (GPS) technology.
On Friday, the Guardian took a break from its daily bookie-bashing to herald the imminent arrival of enhanced in-play wagering for UK racing fans. The paper claimed a “leading online bookmaker” intends to debut the product “within the next few weeks,” with the rest of the cutthroat competition expected to follow suit in short order.
Paddy Power and Bet365 are already manually offering in-race wagering markets but GPS-based betting technology can reportedly peg a nag’s exact position on the course with an average accuracy of within 0.1m (that’s roughly four inches for you imperialist diehards), all delivered with a time-lag of no more than 0.1 seconds. The app will also offer a treasure trove of post-race data to help punters make informed choices on future races.
Last month, Total Performance Data CEO Will Duff Gordon previewed the potential of big data to boost UK racing’s annual turnover by another billion pounds from the £5.64b the sport generated in 2016. Gordon claimed this could mean an extra 10% revenue riding on the hips of race betting operators.
While race betting operators may be chomping at the bit to expand their product line, the racing industry hasn’t always been so keen. Last year, Racing Australia CEO Peter McGauran was urging the nation’s politicians to ban all in-play betting, including on races, due to alleged threats to the integrity of sports and racing.
Lord knows the stagnant racing industry could use some modernizing influences – provided they don’t scare the bejeezus out of the horses – and should welcome anything that boosts bettors’ interest rather than simply demanding ever larger handouts for this sport of kings that often seems as entitled as Marie Antoinette and as incongruous as the actual monarchy.