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5 min read
Neill Taylor

Sports betting has been around for about as long as there’s been competition. In ancient Rome, wealthy patrons placed wagers on chariot races and gladiator battles.


The legalities around it, however, vary depending on where a bet is placed. While wholesale betting is legal in the US and EU, states and countries have exercised their right to allow or prohibit sports betting as they see fit. And with online betting technology maturing at a rapid pace, betting is a mainstream activity that people engage in wherever, and however, they choose.


What’s next in the evolution of sports betting innovation? All signs could point toward microbetting, an industry on the rise that could account for $20 billion of bets by 2027. This in-play option allows sports fans to go as big (or small) as they want, adding real-time stakes and excitement to any viewing event.


What is microbetting?


Rather than focusing on a game’s outcome, microbetting involves wagering on specific moments throughout a game. One of biggest drivers of the current microbetting boom is the more of it – more options for bettors and more bets placed.


Even with the challenges that come with more bets (like data transfer, increased need for resolution), the future is bright for this sports betting subset.


“Microbetting will see huge growth in the US and by 2024 will account for over 50% of all bets placed”, Todd Kobrin, CEO at bet placement app Oddsium, told The Street. Kelly Brooks, CEO and co-founder of sports betting AI platform Quarter 4, agrees. “Microbetting engages fans as well as bettors, due to the instant satisfaction of betting on live play-by-play events”, Brooks said.


How microbetting boosts fan engagement


The best microbetting platforms will be simple and offer consumers a low-risk point of entry with a near-immediate result that can encourage greater participation.


Traditional prop bets are aimed at teams, players and games and must wait until games end for settlements. Microbetting happens in an instant, providing another level of excitement and immediacy.


Plus, fans don’t have to understand an individual sport’s rules or wait for the game to resolve.


They can bet on moments for things like:


  • Will the next at-bat in a baseball game end with a single, double, triple, home run or an out?
  • Will a bowler’s next roll be faster than 100 mph?
  • Will a basketball player make or miss their next shot?
  • Will a goal be scored in a specific time frame in a football match?
  • Will a golfer par the next hole?


The possibilities are nearly endless. There’s an immediacy to these bets that can entice fans with quicker payoffs. The faster microbets resolve, the faster fans are back in play for another bet. Winning microbets can trigger excitement and encourage a more rewarding experience than waiting for a game or match to end.


Challenges of microbetting


That’s not to say there aren’t some obstacles to deploying microbetting. At the top of the list is the technology to drive microbets at scale and resolve bets immediately. Reconciliation can no longer wait until contests are over.


Other challenges include:




Microbetting focuses on moments in sports. As such, latency becomes a significant issue in delivery. Delays can frustrate bettors and cause bets to not be placed. You also need sophisticated engines to execute microbets efficiently, start betting cycles and queue up new bets and payouts.


The immediacy of the bets and potential payouts are attractive for bettors, so the technology must be able to deliver.


Attractiveness of bets


Another challenge will be the attractiveness of the bets and the available odds. Betting whether the next batter will hit a home run may wear out quickly after a couple of losses. However, artificial intelligence in sports betting can be deployed to make bets more interesting, especially when you deploy personalisation.


Microbetting companies will have a wealth of data at their disposal about the types of bets, teams, players, outcomes and fan behaviour. A data-driven culture can help craft personalised bets that will be more attractive to fans and create a more customised experience. As such, the role of marketing operations in operational support roles will become even more crucial for sports wagering operators.




Microbets increase the complexity of the sports betting experience. While it opens up deeper, immersive betting options for fans, it requires robust technology to manage the required level of product diversification to attract the widest audience.


Microbetting necessitates a deeper, more personalised structure for player account management systems and wallets, for example.


Fraud potential


Any time you’re talking money and technology, people are trying to game the system to commit fraud or steal someone’s money. Robust cybersecurity must be a key component of any microbetting solution. Users must be confident that their money, accounts and personal information are protected.


Unfortunately, betting platforms are an attractive target for cybercriminals. Within the past year, credential stuffing compromised user accounts at DraftKings while a vendor breach exposed user data at FanDuel. There are also fake sports handicappers and fraudulent betting syndicates that are trying to grab social media users with instant bets.


Microbetting platforms will need a high level of cybersecurity and vigilance to ensure fraudulent bets and practices stay out of the stream.


Gaming addiction


Alex Russell, an associate professor at CQ University in Australia and a member of the Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory, shared his concerns about the potential for addiction. “We found that there’s a very strong link between microbetting and gambling problems”, said Russell. He notes that people can easily fall into a pattern of continuous betting or chasing losses. Continued betting makes it harder to keep track of how much money is being spent or lost.


In a survey of microbettors, more than 7 in 10 people were classified as problem gamblers, and a further 17% were classified at lower risk of problems. Just 5% did not show signs of gambling problems.


As such, platforms will need to put guardrails and regulations in place to help prevent gambling addiction due to the speed and availability of bets.


The future of sports betting


Microbetting is the future for sports betting, but it will require robust and sophisticated technology, well-architected frameworks and rock-solid processes to overcome these challenges, best serve customers’ local needs and optimise the potential.


As the betting industry faces tightening regulations and a major shift to online gaming, organisations have an opportunity to rethink their approach to customer acquisition, retention and engagement. By putting the customer at the centre of their operations and moving away from quick-win acquisition strategies, betting organisations can generate long-term customer value, design safer betting experiences and win customers’ trust – all while remaining compliant. 


For more than two decades, Endava has been redefining how people interact with technology to create applications that are safer, more engaging, responsive and efficient for players. We help companies develop the solutions – and processes – necessary to bring more engaging microbetting products to market.


Our team can help streamline operations, secure functionality and protect transactions to create platforms that are user-friendly and updated with the latest security and compliance needs so bettors can pay (and play) with peace of mind.


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