The last decade has seen a decline in the number of high street bookmaker shops which has dropped to close to half. The conceptual image of a street bookie dates back to the 1960s one, which fails to capture the imagination of the millennials in their current state.
Betting models and online casinos are making sport betting relevant among the more experienced youth today with several still enjoying the major events, which they often will attend in person. However, the shift to virtual reality indicates there is a wide scope that needs to engage the Millennials as well as the upcoming Generation Z in sports betting, that they may be unaware of or uninterested in.
The future betting shop will be replaced by a complete turn on betting experiences and is accessible through various means. A player will most likely enjoy wagering online or through apps on a wide array of sports.
In addition, with the right experience, this may be well complemented with augmented physical and virtual reality-supported betting shops where the latest Virtual Reality (VR) high tech equipment can be tried out. This equipment will allow a player to experience the event in unimaginable ways.
Although it is expected that older fans will argue that the adrenaline rush from watching a live event is a big part of the betting experience, the newer generation could define this experience in a different way. The common pull by both older and millennial punters to the thrill is where the convergence of generations could come in, even when one prefers to wager in a social place via a race tracker or via a television in a betting shop with friends, or if another opts to wear headphones and live the race.
Whichever way, there is a hopeful future for companies willing to invest in digital assets, innovations, and VR equipment.
The Current Trends
William Hill recently announced that they are working together with Unit9 to create an innovative prototype of virtual horseracing known as ‘Get in the Race’. The app experience is enhanced by combining live betting with excitement in a rich new way, which collects real-time data from the horses using GPS trackers.
The results are futuristic with players getting to view the horse from the perspective of a jockey. A player will have access to data on the racing horse including racing heart rate, stride length, remaining distance to a cove, as well as the racing position while at the same time be as though he/she is riding the horse.
Other innovations that companies are pursuing include making betting shops more exciting through the introduction of wireless VR headsets. In the case of horseracing, a player will be able to sit on top of a device that resembles a racing horse for a real physical experience. With other sports such as football and baseball, a player will use the 3D eye and ear accessories to be “physically” present in an event.
This will not only increase user experience but also draw into the tastes and needs of the millennials.