Live online betting is arguably the biggest thing that has happened to the sports betting industry since bookmakers started to go online in 1996.
Today live betting odds dominate the front pages of the top online betting sites.
This month Liverpool FC won the Premier League title, the US PGA Tour began and ended, and the 2020 Summer Olympics (that was supposed to be wrapping up) was postponed until 2021.
Despite these competitions no longer being on our televisions, there are still plenty of sports for punters to bet on this August.
From the last NRL and Super Rugby matches of the 2020 season to the delayed start of the Tour de France, and the Champions League Final in Portugal, punters from around the world will be placing millions of dollars worth of online sports bets in the next couple of weeks.
And many of these bets will be live-bets.
Before live betting
Before punters could bet on specific live match events with the click of a mouse or the tap of a finger, they had to place their bets in store, with a physical bookie.
Almost all of this betting was done ‘pre-match’ meaning that punters would place bets before a sports event started. They didn’t know if a player was going to have a bad day, or if they were even going to play at all.
Before live betting began to take hold of the sports betting industry, the range of markets offered by betting companies was also far lower than it is today.
That meant no popular live football markets like half-time score, number of goals scored, number of yellow cards and goalscorers.
The effect was that your average punter tended to stick with simple bets like head to head wagers or picking the match-winner.
Live betting today
In the late ’90s, the first bookmakers started offering options to place in-play bets over the phone. When the world got internet, bookies began to add these live betting services online.
Twenty-something years later and now almost every bookmaker in the world offers live betting markets.
Live betting allows punters access to hundreds of different odds for any given match, but it also gives bettors access to ever-changing odds.
Take an upcoming NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Canterbury Bulldogs as an example.
Live sports betting sites in New Zealand and around the world offer fixed pre-match odds for things like the Winning Team and the Total Match Points but they also a variety of in-play markets for everything from the Try Scorers to the First Team to 20 Points.
Once the match starts, the odds for these in-play markets continuously change based on how the game progresses.
If the Warriors go up early, you can expect to see their odds for the First Team to 20 Points and First Try Conversion markets to decrease drastically, while the odds for the Bulldogs to be the Winner at Half-Time or the First team to 20 Points to increase significantly.
In this example, live betting also allows punters, who might back the Bulldogs to finish strong, the option of getting better returns on a live-bet for the Bulldogs to win the match.
Alternatively, punters who want extra security might wait to see how the game starts, then back the Warriors who are leading, for lower odds but more certainty.
Additional perks of live betting
Live betting doesn’t just equate to more betting options and ever-changing odds; the number of features that live betting sites offer is growing all the time.
Live betting sites around the world offer live-streaming capabilities for punters who have funds in their betting accounts.
This access to cheap, high-quality, sports streaming is changing the way people around the world access and watch sport.
Many in-play bookmakers also have the option to cash out. The cash-out option on live bookmakers lets bettors claim their winnings, for a decreased but guaranteed payout on bets that are winning before the match has ended.
A few bookies also let punters edit their live bets.
If a bettor places a Multi bet (or Acca), they can remove individual bets, or replace them with others, while matches are still being played. When editing bets, odds will be revised, but depending on the edits, they can either increase or decrease payout totals.
Just because live-betting has changed the betting game and has made betting potentially more profitable for those who know what they’re doing, you should always place your bets with care.
It’s also important to do your research, compare live betting sites to find the best odds and never bet more than you are prepared to lose.
It’s hard to say what the next significant change in sports betting will be, and how this will impact the way we bet, but one thing’s for sure:
Live betting is here to stay.