Can The Next Generation of Online Sports Betting Become More Social?

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Last Updated on July 14, 2024 by Asfa Rasheed

The next generation of sports bettors—young millennials and Gen Zs—spend an average of 10.6 hours online daily. This demographic is so conditioned to engaging with online content all the time that sports betting has to adjust in kind. An industry panel speaking at the Next.io conference early this year noted that the sector needs to “be more social, more engaged with players and more targeted to individual interests” to thrive. But can sports betting become more social? Let’s explore the possibilities.

The Internet and Social Media

Finding success in today’s crowded digital world means adapting to consumer needs. Young millennials and Gen Zs value online social interaction above all else, a fact that continues to blur the lines between mainstream and internet culture.

To capture this generation, online sports betting stakeholders like Betway must reshape betting experiences to match the entertainment needs of young bettors. This may mean:

1. Collaborating with social media influencers

2. Running viral social media campaigns

3. Venturing into fashion, music, and travel

4. Endorsing celebrity bettors and more

However, industry makers have chosen to evolve, and we should see online sports betting enter and dominate the internet and social media world in the coming years.

Virtual Online Casinos

When young millennials and Gen Zs are not consuming social media content, they inhabit virtual spaces. VR and AR continue to be popular, with over 34 million people owning a VR headset in 2024. This is why immersive spaces are where sports betting should go next.

Online casinos must build virtual betting experiences that allow bettors to inhabit betting worlds and interact with other bettors. This means going beyond live and in-game betting to VR sports betting parlors that deliver the game, stats, fan experience, and betting odds right to the bettor’s home.

Entertainment Betting and Gamification

The under-30 generation grew up on video games. They enjoy the high-end graphics, immersion, and social interaction of playing a video game with friends. When sports betting is reduced to a screen with numbers and percentages, it becomes difficult to hold the attention of a young bettor.

Online casinos can adapt to this by infusing entertainment into different aspects of sports betting. Online sports betting must become less transactional and more entertaining, with real-world rewards for players (beyond cashouts). This is best achieved through gamification. Online sportsbooks can use leaderboards, progress bars, NPCs, and other gamification techniques to immerse bettors. 

Streaming Platforms

Streaming platforms like YouTube and Twitch have millions of viewers, including young millennials and Gen Zs. This generation’s attention span has reduced rapidly over the years so the most successful content today is short, engaging, and in video format. If you are reviewing a book, it is more likely to get eyes on it as a 10-minute YouTube video than a 2-page write-up.

This appetite for engaging video content holds promise for online betting. It is what has catapulted esports and esports betting into the global arena. In addition to collaborating with popular streamers and YouTubers, sportsbooks can create dedicated YouTube accounts to engage with bettors, offering betting advice, guides, strategies, news, tips, tricks, and more.

Enjoy a More Social Betting Experience Today

The success of an industry is determined by how fast it adapts to evolving markets. As the under-30 generation transitions into the primary sports betting market, stakeholders like Betway are diversifying their marketing strategies and products to become more social. The goal is to meet these bettors where they spend the most time—on social media, streaming platforms, and virtual worlds. If the industry achieves this, we should look at a more social betting landscape in the next few years.