eSport, cryptocurrency and live sports betting – they are three of the hottest topics in tech right now, and a new offering from Sony could bring all three together – right there on your PlayStation. It would represent a dramatic departure from conventional eSport betting and could also herald an exciting new use case for game consoles at a time when many are questioning their continued relevance in the 2020s.
What’s in a name?
Sony has come up with the less-than-imaginative moniker of “E-Sports Betting Platform” for its new application and filed a patent on May 13 under Patent Number US 2021/0142624. The patent describes a system whereby users can bet currency or digital assets on the outcome of eSport games with the odds automatically calculated using a machine learning algorithm.
Specifically, the patent describes: “a method that includes establishing odds for at least one future event in a computer simulation and overlaying onto at least one presentation of the computer simulation at least one user interface (UI) showing the odds and indicating the event to permit a viewer to select to bet on the future event occurring or not.”
To translate that into plain English, it envisages software that can monitor what’s happening in the current game, compare it with what’s happened before and present odds on the likelihood of different outcomes – all in real time.
Live betting from an unexpected direction
The above will immediately resonate with anyone in the habit of betting on more traditional sports like football or tennis. It is describing nothing more and nothing less than live or in-play betting, a phenomenon that is currently taking the online sports books by storm. It allows punters to keep placing bets on a game while it is being played out, and the odds shift as each team or player’s fortunes ebb and flow.
Sports bettors can’t get enough of it, and with eSport being one of the fastest growing areas of sports betting, it takes no great leap of the imagination to see that combining the two will be both popular and highly profitable.
Just add crypto
The third ingredient is Bitcoin. From the moment it appeared on the scene a little more than a decade ago, there has been a sense of Bitcoin being a solution desperately in search of a problem. Of course, there have been those who have made hideous sums of money through trading crypto – and others who have recorded similarly eye-watering losses. However, practical applications have been thin on the ground.
The online gambling industry has arguably come closer than any other to providing an ecosystem in which people can really make use of crypto. Betting on sport, or indeed casino games, online has gained mainstream appeal over recent years, but the transition of real money to and from a digital gambling account swiftly and painlessly without falling foul of anti money laundering…
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