By: Hayley Davison, MLG Contributor
This piece is part of a collaboration with MLG Blockchain Consulting, a leading global blockchain development and consulting firm headquartered in Toronto, Canada, with a distributed team across North America, Europe and Asia that is focused on building next generation applications using blockchain and smart contract technology.
The legality of sports betting has long been contested both in the US and across the globe. But with the May 14th ruling in favour of legalizing sports betting in the US, things are about to change.
Whether you enjoy betting or not, the legalization of sports betting will probably affect you in some way or another. Coupled with the enhanced digital technology of today, sports betting will look completely different than how it looked twenty, ten, or even five years ago.
The industry as it is today
The sports betting industry currently generates about US $120B in revenues. With the loosened legislation around sports betting in the US and innovations in the industry, it is predicted that within five years the industry will generate between $300B and $400B annually.
Over the years, gambling has evolved significantly. With the rise of the internet, one can place a bet online, from a mobile phone, without visiting a casino. Now, with the development of blockchain and smart contracts, the gambling industry is undergoing another major shift.
One of the most significant digital transformations has come from the implementation of blockchain in sports betting. Due to its secure, decentralized design, blockchain opens doors in the realm of sports betting that was a mere idea in the past.
How blockchain is changing sports betting… for the better
Through the implementation of the blockchain, the payment methods can be simplified down to sending funds through your digital wallet, placing bets digitally, and then easily be paid out by sending funds back to your digital wallet.
Blockchain’s decentralized ledger also enables safer transactions and creates trust due to its transparent nature. Sports bettors no longer need to go through unreliable third parties to place bets or transfer funds. The open transparency also mitigates the risk of betting houses from setting up their users to fail. The decentralized technology offers a type of digital transparency between platforms and users that never existed before.
Which betting platforms are using blockchain?
Many betting platforms, both established and emerging, are beginning to implement blockchain into their design. While some are succeeding, less than 40 platforms accept cryptocurrencies and none of them use smart contracts or peer-to-peer betting.
With the evolving adoption of blockchain technology, sports betting is about to undergo a major transformation.
ZenSports is an emerging peer-to-peer sports betting marketplace that utilizes blockchain technology and enables users to create and accept sports bets without a centralized bookmaker. ZenSports aims to become the world’s largest platform for sports betting through smart contract technology, blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
While outdated payment systems result in additional fees and delays for bettors, using cryptocurrencies to fund betting on ZenSports reduces almost all of that start-up hassle. ZenSports also allows bettors to set the odds and parameters for almost any type of bet imaginable – a feature that would never have been possible without blockchain. Every time one of these bets is made, a smart contract is formed. 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.
Disputes within the platform are settled through its own tokenized economy. Bettors are penalized for self-reporting incorrect information and users who vote with the majority on disputed results are rewarded. Through this method, users feel a deeper sense of connection with the marketplace and help to keep their peers accountable.
The unique features of ZenSports allow users to self-manage the entire end-to-end betting process. Through secure, decentralized data storage, blockchain enables platforms like ZenSports to offer bettors flexibility and transparency to make their bets.
Whether it is peer-to-peer betting, betting using cryptocurrencies, or being involved in the betting process from beginning to end, it is undeniable blockchain will have a notable effect on the sports betting industry as a whole.
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