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Paysafe executive: 5G will increase in-play sports betting

By Iqbal Johal

The continued roll-out of 5G mobile technology will increase in-play and in-stadium mobile sports betting, according to a payment provider executive.

Global payments platform Paysafe’s research report into the gaming industry, titled ‘The Evolution of Mobile Sports Betting: Assessing the impact of 5G on the online gambling industry,' suggests 54% of players that foresee betting more frequently on mobile platforms with the arrival of 5G are likely to place more in-play bets.

The report surveyed 7,000 customers in the US, UK and Germany, which found 37% of players across the three markets prefer mobile for sports betting, ahead of 31% on computer and 26% in-store.

Speaking to Gambling Insider about the report, Paysafe Chief Business Development Officer Daniel Kornitzer said: "There’s no question 5G will increase business because there’s latent demand; people want it and until now the technology wasn’t reliable.

"If the play happens before you place your bet, it’s frustrating, but if the technology works every time and is reliable, I think the demand is going to be there and I think it’s a great opportunity for operators; it’s definitely going to grow business.

"5G is tremendous at providing mobile users with high speed and low latency. It’s part of a bigger picture; you have better and more powerful phones, edge computing and 5G – all of which combined is creating an environment where people have an appetite for mobile, in-play and in-stadium betting."

Among the key reasons for players preferring mobile is user experience, cited by 53% of players, with 55% impressed at the ability to place bets anywhere. Other findings showed 42% of those surveyed, who already place more than one bet per week, would increase their in-play betting with 5G and 21% of those players would bet on events they’re not currently betting on.

On those findings, Kornitzer explained: "The need and desire for 5G is where opportunities lie and will open up for operators.

"Right now, what is holding players back today, particularly in-play, is what if their bet doesn’t get accepted in time? What if I’m watching a football match and there’s a penalty and I want to bet on the outcome because I have a feeling the guy’s going to miss. If my bet doesn’t get accepted before he kicks it, well guess what, they can’t accept the bet once the play has happened.

"So connectivity issues and not having access is the biggest thing holding players back when it comes to in-play betting."

Kornitzer added that 41% of all players think it will be commonplace to bet in a stadium, with 31% suggesting what is preventing them from doing it today is poor connectivity. The latter figure rises to 51% for sports bettors that place more than one bet per week on average.

He went on to say: "The players are there and want to do it but sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t work, which doesn’t give you a warm feeling.

"When the technology enables in-play stadium betting, people are going to be drawn to it because it’s fun. You want to bet in-play on the outcome, whether it’s a shootout or whatever part of the game and you want to do it on the spot like impulse buying. If the connectivity isn’t there it’s like forget it, I won’t even try."

In terms of preferred payment methods, the report states that 69% of all players in the UK prefer cards, which is down to 34% in the US and 30% in Germany, while 28% in the US prefer alternative methods – direct bank transfer, digital wallet or e-cash – which rises to 37% in Germany.

Kornitzer said: "It’s interesting and I think it shows millennials and the new generation like the choice, like the breadth of offerings and being able to pick and choose what works well for them. Every country is different and I think our job is not to predict the future but rather let the market go where it wants to, or let people choose what works for them.

"You might like cards, direct transfer or e-cash, someone else might like wallets. Why not offer everything and let the markets go where they want to go? So I think our job is to give choice."

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