Fantasy Sports Betting: The Next 'Big Thing' Thanks to Big Data

Many believe that Fantasy Sports Betting (FSB) is the next immensely popular online game, similar to the arrival of Poker a decade ago, and the incredible growth of the industry in the USA is the best proof of that.

Since betting on sporting events has been increasingly evident since the turn of the century and has become a global professional sports sector in itself, it makes sense to explore how it can merge together with FSB. Are they complementary products or is FSB a dangerous substitution product for sports betting?

The answer can be found in the impact that big data will have, in the mid to long term, on these two industries (and more specifically on sports betting). In the short term, the developmentof big data seems to be beneficial for sports betting as clients' demand for more statistics is growing quickly, since they rightfully think that it increases their odds of making money. However, there is no doubt that clients will eventually realize that big data is actually helping bookmakers to optimize the offered odds. Simply put: if big data allows bookmakers to predict sports events' outcomes, clients will start losing interest.

If you think that this scenario would never happen, please have a look at the statistics' competition that took place during the last football (soccer) World Cup in June 2014, between Baidu, Google, and Microsoft. The results were astonishing: Google lost the contest by correctly predicting the outcomes of the last 14 matches out of...15. Meanwhile, both Baidu and Microsoft had a perfect 100% accuracy score. For these big data giants, there is no doubt that the future will be read through statistics.

Big shift in Sports Betting
One can therefore predict that, in the long run, sports betting clients will massively become FS players. To reduce this risk, it seems logical that sports betting operators start offering the FS experience to their clients as soon as possible, to anticipate this potential shift. They need to rapidly have access to this new market since, as always, when a new product arrives, first movers are often the winners.

In countries like USA, Canada, and, to a lesser extent, the UK, FSB has been a cultural activity for decades. FanDuel and DraftKings have mastered the industry, allowing them to control the vast majority of the daily fantasy sports action. Converting a free player into a paying one can be done through traditional marketing efforts, such as advertising and affiliation.

In Europe, where the most popular sport is soccer, a different effort has to be made to evangelize clients who are not familiar with the concept of FS. One of the solutions to this is to make strategic partnerships with high profile professional soccer clubs and sports media. Both have large and faithful communities, and they can therefore be the perfect evangelists. One of the latest European fantasy sports firms called Oulala Games Ltd. is doing exactly that - most recently, they established a partnership with AS Monaco FC. After the launch of the monetized Business to Customer (BtoC) version of their game in August, two months later Oulala will be launching a monetized white-label product for Business to Business (BtoB) clients, specifically aimed at sports betting operators.

How is big data revolutionizing the industry?
​At the same time, big data has boosted the growth of FS: a true skill game, entirely based on the soccer players' live statistics. Adopting the peer-to-peer format (clients playing against each other), the operator does not care about the matches' outcomes. Indeed, in FS (and on the contrary to sports betting), clients are therefore competing on a level playing field. The games are powered by highly sophisticated algorithms to assess the crucial aspects of a soccer player's performance that contribute to an overall result. While most fantasy soccer sites limit themselves to 10 to 20 criteria, the guys at Oulala have developed an innovative platform that includes a total of 70 different criteria dependent on a player's position resulting in a total of 275 ways to gain or lose points. The platform is so fast that for most fans the delay time between action on the pitch being reflected on their smartphone, laptop or tablet is just 20 seconds. The main advantage of following real-time scoring on a second-screen is that it gives a whole new dimension to watching live soccer. Moreover, the live-coaching feature is another exciting aspect of fantasy soccer. It gives clients the possibility to make live substitutions and formation changes to their team, which creates the closest experience to soccer reality in addition to optimising their chances of winning.

Big data is clearly revolutionising the industry and this is just the beginning. While it may seem that European Fantasy Sports hasn't really picked up yet, since Europe is known as a historically late adopter, the future looks promising for soccer lovers who seek richer experiences than what is being offered at the moment by well established betting operators.

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Tags: analysis, betting, big, data, fantasy, football, soccer, sports, statistics, stats


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Comment by Weleyosha yesterday

In my opinion, the soccer business will never go out of business because it is the most popular game in the world and the community around it will not let it disappear, too many people are fans of the sport and it can be hard to keep track of all the action, but there are sites like Azscore that help. A few years ago no one would have thought that all of this could be in one place, but today it is a reality. So I highly recommend it to all fans. You can't beat them all.

Comment by JeremyFarmer on October 23, 2021 at 7:19am

Discipline is important when placing online bets. Do not start raising rates if you like a good result, and you also need a reliable site https://in.1xbet.com/. Likewise, if you lose a few bets, don't go out and make riskier bets to compensate. Some players keep track of all their bets in a spreadsheet, which can be a smart idea to help you understand what you are doing well and what is wrong.

Comment by Piter on October 21, 2021 at 12:39am

Choosing the best betting site can be a tough decision, if you search for betting site you will just see a list of sites and free money offers to sign up, this is to entice you into making a quick decision. Don’t rush this process as there are a lot of different factors you should consider first.

Comment by Klais Surik on July 16, 2021 at 2:26pm

I'm more of a cybersports supporter, I often bet on it and so I often try to find news about the latest events, I think it will be important. By the way I recommend you to read about AniMajor 2021 winners https://www.getinproleague.com/blog/post/psg-lgd-the-winner-of-the-... , it's easy to understand how and where cybersport is developing in our country. I hope that it will be useful and you'll be able to develop in this business too, now the future of eSports and it's necessary to know whom to look up to and such victories immediately give us to understand it.

Comment by Jesse Mostipak on June 27, 2015 at 7:22am

We're seeing a proliferation of fantasy betting in the esports sector as well, with the startups Alpha Draft and Vulcun. It's going to be fascinating to see how this plays out across industries!

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