CrustLab: Why apps can elevate the social element of betting

In the last few years, we’ve seen a considerable shift towards the online betting space as more operators try to deliver round-the-clock betting experiences for players. That growth in the online space has gone hand-in-hand with the rise of social gambling applications.

Essentially, social gambling apps are an amalgamation of social media, betting and sports. They can act as a new means for players to create a ‘community’ with other bettors by sharing their bets, tips and opinions within a dedicated app that also allows them to place their bets. 

So what are the key differences between traditional and social betting? 

First of all, it’s worth mentioning that social betting allows punters to bet on anything – there is no restriction to the world of sport – which enables operators to tap into a whole new audience of bettors.

As social media enables people to connect from all over the world, so too should betting applications. There is a growing opportunity for betting apps, through the integration of social media features, to enable players to interact with one another, share tips and become much more ‘sociable’.

The rise in social gambling apps

Cast your mind back to the launch of Sky Bet’s Request-A-Bet. Initially starting out on Twitter on a Friday afternoon, bettors could send in requests for prices on any weekend markets that took their fancy. A short time later, Request-A-Bet was a firm fixture in the week’s betting calendar.

Fast forward to 2021 and there are more and more social gambling apps popping up all of the time. With constant advances in mobile technologies, this growth is unlikely to slow down any time soon. 

By creating dedicated mobile apps, punters can marry their betting activities with social media features, thus creating new, interactive, peer-to-peer betting experiences accessible via their mobile devices.

What are the typical features? – 

From a player perspective, the social element of betting can help foster a sense of community, making it possible for bettors to interact with one another by sharing tips, bets, statistics and insights on particular events. 

Similar to the likes of Twitter, bettors can also use betting apps to make new friends, follow sports and gambling experts to hear their opinion or even ask other users for tips and opinions. The experience should not wholly be limited to the act of placing a bet.

From an operator perspective, betting operators can pique the interest of their players by establishing a content-hub – creating bespoke, engaging short-form content such as videos, articles and different promotions. This can be complemented by the provision of live streaming and chat functions, both of which help elevate the fan experience even further.

How can this affect your business?

Apps give bookies the chance to also remain engaged with the betting community during live events with updated scores, live comment feeds for peer to peer betting interaction and even expert insights from their own trader teams. Adding in these features can create a happy bettor. As they say, a happy customer makes a loyal customer.

Nowadays, it is extremely hard to find a person not existing in the social media world, making it easier for the operators and game providers to promote their product, especially when a mobile app includes some social gambling features.

With this in mind, tapping into the burgeoning opportunities of adding social elements to the overall betting experience can generate a whole new potential for growth – especially for those bookmakers who are hoping to establish relationships with millenials and Gen-Z.

Things to consider

Social media users are exposed to gambling content. One has to also mention the social environments for gamblers and gamers, for example discussion forums. Such an environment creates a closed look where bettors could play, share the results and generate a higher traffic to your application. This is definitely a beneficial aspect but also something that creates an additional risk.

If you are looking at new opportunities in the betting app space, one feature that must be high on your priority list is prevalent responsible gambling tools. 

Social features for gambling apps can run the risk of creating both social and financial pressures, which could result in players potentially betting larger sums than they can afford just to outdo their peers. 

Entities like the Gambling Commission monitor the market, and the key operators make sure that all the circumstances presented in the delivered games does not lead on to more harmful behaviors. So like any traditional gambling app, responsible gambling messaging must take front and centre – creating both a fun and responsible experience.

The next big thing?

At a time when betting is becoming increasingly accessible thanks to more advanced mobile technology and speedier internet, now seems like a great opportunity for bookmarks to integrate social features into their current betting apps.

Creating an app that players can use to access streaming, betting and that social experience could really elevate the engagement around sport and betting – both on an individual and group level.