The sports betting industry appears to be in a good place right now. It’s predicted to grow at a CAGR of 8.62% until 2022, and has millions of devoted customers throughout the world.

For companies in the space, things are going well. But for customers and betting enthusiasts the situation isn’t so great.

The industry is rife with flaws that make the customer experience less enjoyable and rewarding than it could be. Anyone with an interest in sports betting will be all too aware of these issues, and it’s tempting to think they might never go away.

However, there are solutions, and blockchain technology could be the way to make the sportsbook industry more user-friendly for everyone.

The problems with sportsbooks

Right now, sportsbooks aren’t incredibly efficient. Cashouts can take days, leaving bettors waiting much longer than they’d like before they get to see their winnings. In addition to that, there’s often a limit on how much of their winnings bettors can withdraw at one time.

Minimum withdrawals by wire transfer are extremely high, and all this comes with extra fees. The simple process of taking out your winnings can be time-consuming, riddled with issues, and expensive.

What’s more, if something goes wrong and a sportsbook collapses, bettors may have to accept that their money is gone forever.

Sports betting is also a fragmented industry. Big companies have their own analytics teams, and they don’t share research. That means there’s no co-operation between data scientists and there can be big disparities between the odds of different sportsbooks. It’s hard to find all the information on odds in one place.

To make matters worse, the industry is full of so-called experts who claim to have had amazing results and great insight into betting. Unfortunately, many of these people are lying and have no way of backing up their outlandish promises.

In these cases, pundits with large platforms and good marketing have far greater reach than people with real, data-driven insights and an analytical approach to making predictions. That means it can be a challenge for bettors to find useful advice, without sifting through a whole lot of hype and bluster.

In the face of these problems, bettors have found their own solutions, although these aren’t exactly perfect.

The current solutions

To find the best odds and get a general idea of what different sportsbooks are offering, bettors are currently forced to spend hours trawling through various different providers and comparing. This time-consuming activity can turn what is supposed to be a fun hobby into a mind-numbing chore.

To get insights about how to place their bets and predictions for results, many bettors turn to online forums and communities. These are spaces where people can come together and share their ideas, and help guide others towards a decision.

Unfortunately, as mentioned above, these forums and networks are often filled with people trying to push their own agendas and position themselves as experts. They’re generally lacking in any scientific analysis, and data-driven approaches to predicting results are rare.

It all seems a little hopeless, but there is a lot of room for improvement. Blockchain technology is one way to transform the sportsbooks industry and make it better for everyone involved.

The blockchain solution

Blockchain technology is well-suited to building decentralized networks. In the world of sports betting, that could mean creating a community where people can share information from different sportsbooks, along with their own analysis and predictions.

It would mark a move away from centralized betting companies controlling the entire market. A blockchain-based platform could combine all the different odds, aggregating them and giving users an immediate idea of what each provider is offering.

That’s what companies like BlitzPredict are trying to do. They believe there’s a real demand for a community in the sports betting world where data insights and scientific analysis are really appreciated. Instead of listening to loud pundits and self-proclaimed betting geniuses, users can draw on the evidence-based predictions of analysts.

Another neat aspect of blockchain that applies to sports betting is the use of smart contracts. These could be used to automatically execute wagers once certain conditions have been met, allowing users to automate their bets and save time. They can also help ensure safer payments and quicker payouts.

Sports betting is, at its heart, about data. It’s about analysing the information and using that to build predictive models. Unfortunately, the space right now has little to offer customers in the way of places to discuss the scientific side of betting.

By using blockchain to bring people together, it’ll be possible to combine betting enthusiasts with data buffs. It will save time, build better communities, and help move towards a more evidence-based way of betting.