The first online game that allows players to bet against each other on sports events is now available for Android and Apple mobiles. It even allows groups of users to bet against other groups. Can you bet and win cash, though?
Well, no, not technically. But take a look at how social networking and informal betting happen to go hand-in-hand:
- When you bet with friends, you don’t really need the bookies, right? It’s on the honour system. And if you don’t agree, well, you’ll knock it out after the pub.
- Again, since you see friends in real life, there’s really no need for the online betting service or app to handle your cash hand-overs. That would be too removed and too cool-seeming.
- The main features needed to help you bet on sports with friends (for cash, beers or bragging rights) are really the essential game results and stats, and, tracking of who has won what. You can handle the rest.
The Side Way
Oddly, our very first social betting service — suggestively called SideBets — does not come by way of Facebook or any other established network. It is an app, this SideBets, and you and your friends can use it without an overarching authority. You are also freed from bookies, which is definitely a social benefit (and one the SideBets copy highlights for us).
Of course, SideBets is only the beginning, and it will create its own market. Its appeal is comparable to fantasy football, and its popularity appears to be gaining the same viral steam. Maybe there is something exhilarating, we might wonder, about side-tracking the laws on gambling, too. Even though gambling (let alone self-regulated gambling) is illegal, social sports betting apps for Android or iOS is obviously being used to facilitate it.
DIY Gambling, Too
Anyway, perhaps bets between friends is the very purest form of gambling. And perhaps gambling and casino games in general are going the way of social networking, since it’s always an entirely ‘social’ thing, is a natural progression. In fact, many people eagerly describe the advantages of playing online, leaving behind the bling-bling (or shabby) brick-and-mortar casinos. Even bingo has become a highly popular social game, as more and more enthusiasts prefer to make their bets on social platforms, and the number of new bingo sites in 2014 that offer social games is on the rise. You can read more about this here.
Sports betting will not be the extent of the social gambling games that will become available. In a way SideBet has done everybody who loves a good bet the favor of testing the water; but it is more of a confirmation. Gambling will probably always be popular.
The Power of Imagination
The wild thing is that people are flocking to the SideBet app and membership at about a 10% conversion rate, which requires them to buy virtual cash that’s called a ‘wad’. That’s right, the popularity of online gambling (even in this super narrow form) is so great that people will pay to pretend. On the other hand, the costs involved with using SideBet with friends may easily be chalked up as a minor fee for a major service.
The app tracks the sporting events at the heart of bets. It also keeps track of your outstanding wagers, of course, even though your friends will probably keep you well aware of them!