Sports betting in the United States is an incredibly large industry, despite the fact that most is done illegally. However, Americans aren’t shy about their love affair with gambling – even if there’s nothing more than beer at stake. Naturally, the social aspect of gambling has collided with social media and led to a handful of betting-inspired apps and networks.
The convergence of social media and sports betting is a comfortable one. While government bodies still aren’t ready to legalize sports betting in most parts of the country, people tend to find ways around the law. In terms of popularity, betting is at an all-time high, particularly in the NFL where handicapping picks and predicting outcomes has become a huge industry.
Understanding the pervasiveness of sports betting – and the social aspect of casual betting – entrepreneurs and developers are attempting to hone in on this potentially profitable niche by developing apps and networks. For a better idea of what’s happening in this space, check out the following:
Favourit was first launched in Australia as a social sports betting platform, but has since expanded to welcome international players from the United States and other countries. The network – which can be accessed online or via the free iOS app – lets sports fans wager real cash or play with virtual dollars until they get the hang of things. The network is backed by some of the top betting agencies in the world, including Paddy Power and Sportsbet.com.au, and requires a member account with one of these sites to bet real currency.
BettingExpert is a true sports betting social network. You can’t actually place bets directly on or through the network, but are connected to leading experts and other casual betters from around the world. It’s sort of like the Facebook for sports betting. Users can find experts they like, follow them, and access daily tips. Users can also track their own performances and enter friendly competitions with their peers.
YouBetMe is a really interesting concept that’s gained popularity over the past few months. It’s a social gambling app that allows users to bet on anything they want with whoever they want across the world. Whether you want to place a friendly wager on the Super Bowl or a backyard football game, the app allows users to create and play for anything. The only downside is that bets cannot be directly monetized in the platform. You’ll have to chase down your friends for that.
While it was designed with the intentions of creating an online betting community, Gamblino takes a unique approach. The app actually hosts real competitions with real prizes and cash rewards for users, which is completely different from other networks and apps. But what’s really neat about the app is that users can create their own custom wager pools for friends and peers.
While SideBet doesn’t really offer anything unique when compared to the other four apps and networks on the list, it’s worth including. The app is available on Android and iOS and serves the purpose of an interactive wagering service with social elements. Users can wager with friends, track their stats, and trash-talk the competition via the built-in chat feature.
Looking to the Future
The sports betting industry is an interesting one. While it’s largely underground, the products, services – and now networks – surrounding the business are quite public. As the industry moves closer to inevitable legalization across the country, it’ll be fascinating to keep an eye on the apps and networks mentioned in this article to see what directions they choose to take.