Real-time social media has potential for bettors and operators alike

In the new world of Canadian online sports betting, social media giants like Twitter will likely have a major role to play.

A recurrent theme in the discussions around launching sports betting both prior to and since the passage of Bill C-218 has been that live, in-play offerings will be highly sought-after, particularly if the evidence of the development of the US is anything by which to judge.

During a sports game — be it hockey, basketball, soccer, whatever — the odds of the winner, the highest points scorer, and other various wagers can shift dramatically. In that climate, Twitter’s minute-by-minute nature will be valuable for fans and bettors.

“Twitter is a sports bettor’s best friend,” Conor Clarance, Head of Sports at Twitter Canada, told The Parleh. “It’s the only place where you can get an information edge.

Twitter Canada research shows that 70 per cent of sports fans agree that the site helps them keep up-to-date with what’s happening in their favourite sports, noted Conor Clarance, Head of Sport at Twitter Canada. A growing segment of this sports conversation is around sports betting, focused on tips, strategies and other essential info for fans looking to wager. Twitter users are thought to be 51 per cent more likely to have used a betting, gambling, or lottery website or app than non-users.

“Twitter is a sports bettor’s best friend,” Clarance toldThe Parleh. “It’s the only place where you can get an information edge.

For operators themselves, too, there is huge potential for promotion, advertising, and brand differential.

So far, that two-way revenue potential has been limited to OLG. Grey-market operators are allowed to have accounts, but are unable to spend advertising dollars or boost posts on the platform. That is going to dramatically change with the influx of operators getting the stamp of approval from the AGCO and iGO and joining the chase for customers.

In a climate when sportsbooks, shorn of the ability to offer lucrative sign-up bonuses or offers, are relying on things such as celebrity star power to differentiate themselves from the significant pool of competition, they will be looking for guidance around the promotion of their products on the social networking site. Meanwhile, Twitter itself will spy an opportunity to increase revenue by doing deals with operators. All of this, of course, must fall entirely within the regulations set by the AGCO and iGO.

For its own part, Twitter is certainly embracing the potential. Earlier this year, with an eye firmly on the Ontario market launch on April 4, it partnered with OLG for #OLGGamePlan, a new interactive digital sports betting series. which is Twitter’s first brand-led sports betting show in Canada and OLG’s first-ever sports programme.

Ultimately, as with most things in the gaming and betting industry, the symbiotic relationship between social media and sportsbooks will likely evolve in real-time depending on conclusions drawn from customer behaviour.

“We are excited to see what kind of innovation will happen,” added Clarance to The Parleh. “Who’ll post live odds on Twitter as soon as something happens within a game. In Ontario, you’ll have all of these brands in one place, so how do they choose to innovate and compete with each other?”

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