👆 The Rise of (Social) Betting

Tap tap boom, with the swift gulp of a pint and a an impromptu decision he’s £10 down looking at a 15 team accumalator. He sends the screenshot of his picks to Tim on WhatsApp, “what do you think mate?”. Tim’s responds “Not sure about West Ham mate, super poor at home and haven’t won against City in 3 matches”. Shit.

The bookies dream, a large acca for a tasty sum. The only thing they like better? “Social gambling” aka having a drink with your mates and placing a bet because everybody else is.

But that’s as far as most bookies have taken “social” betting, it’s not social at all, it’s betting in a social environment, which is completetly different. Most bookies form of social betting is letting their customers tweet at them for a “request-a-bet”.

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and season long fantasy sports are an improvement, but it’s still not truly social. And while many of the DFS sites play on the fact it’s “fairer” and more social the chances of winning are still low, with some sources claiming that most cash is made by 1-2% of users.

That’s where we feel competing with friends comes in, not only is it more measured, convenient and ‘social’ it’s intrinsically fairer. Picture this, instead of each and everyone one of you and your friends betting against a bookmaker like Betfair or William Hill, or going aginst the “Sharks” in DFS how about if you all pooled that £10 and guaranteed that at least one of you wins? And hey, even if personally lose hopefully Tim will repay you in the form of a beer or 2 🍻

Or what about if a group of 10 friends each put £5 into the weekly contest (£50 total)? With £30 being paid in winnings each week but £20 being attributed to the “end of season” pot? By the end of season the group now has a pot of £800 to play for 💰 - that’s a nice holiday for one of your friends (or you, hopefully 🛥).

Or what about helping with problem gambling? Betting companies don’t ever truly want to tackle gambling problems head-on, why would they, it goes against their business model. The Gambling comission report that 4.2% of gamblers have bet more they can afford to lose report. When betting against friends and people you know, for an agreed limit the dynamics change considerably, not only because it’s low stakes but because friends, family and loved ones understand your financial position better than anyone else, and can provide the support and guidance needed to help make more informed betting decisions.

That’s the dream, and what we’re striving to achieve.

👨‍👨‍👦‍👦 Compete Against Friends by predicting the football matches with most goals

So here we are v0.1, the first iteration of our app and our first betting game. We toyed with a series of potential games but the most important factor was making a game inclusive and simple to play, but which had an element of skill too. We tossed around games like “last man standing” which requires a strong understanding of form, fixtures and opponents, a typical “predict the score” mini game but none of them quite fit the mold, we wanted everybodies aunts, uncle and cousin to be able to play, even if you’re not a hardcore football fan, we liken it to those office sweepstakes where everybody gets involved.

In the end we tested and settled on a super simple game of picking matches with the most goals, you have a finite number of picks and you have to pick the matches which you think will have the most goals. You make your picks and then boost your score using a single ‘banker’ bet (a match which is worth twice as much) and then watch live events and scoring unfold right there in group chat.

We want to full embrace those last minute goals which mean something, taking you from zero to hero in a split second 🙌

🤖 The future of social betting

Finally, we’ve got a strong eye on the future of social betting, and for what it’s worth here’s our top predictions for the future of betting:

Peer to peer betting will be massive, people will begin betting each other which will completely remove the need for the ‘old skool’ bookies. Bitcoin and the blockchain structure will have a huge impact on this and will allow the process of placing and settling bets to be completely decentralized, the “crowd” will decide the winner and payments will be made autonomously.

E-Sports betting will be huge, but there will be huge problems in regulating this and avoiding fraudulent activities in the early days. E-Sports athletes will rise and will commandeer large salaries just like existing sports stars, eventually regulation and decentralization (see above) will occur to fix fraud in this space.

Sports events, social and betting will begin to go hand in hand and will form habitual activities with friends. Facebook are already starting to see this with Sports Stadium, and betting with your friends is a natural extension to this.

Betting will become more common and more micro transactional, there will be less stigma associated with it and less addictive side effects because of this, betting will be fun and people will bet more often but with far less money. Virtual rewards and kudos will be just as important as economic rewards, if not more.