Twenty years ago the only live betting opportunities were on the winner of a match and you had to be in a betting office to place a bet. The betting environment has changed since the start of the century more than in the previous 100 years. The legalising of licensed premises was a big change in 1961 and the televising of races was significant. However, the basic fabric of betting on racing and sport was virtually unchanged for decades before the year 2000.
Live betting has been part of that revolution and its growth seems to have no limits. Online bookmakers now provide literally thousands of live events which increase daily and it can be a minefield for the inexperienced. Possibly the most important fact to take on board is that the live television coverage is delayed by a few seconds. Therefore, it’s unwise to make your betting decisions based on the pictures on TV. The betting companies seem to react before things happen.
Broadcasters possibly put a delay on live feeds in case there is a horrific event. The technology in use may mean the action takes a few seconds to go via satellite and appear on the screen. Betting is suspended on betting websites and a few seconds later there is a significant event. Bookmakers employ journalists to attend matches and transmit information in real time and as it happens. Companies were set up to supply bookmakers with accurate and up to date data.
If you’ve often wondered how odds can be updated for even the most obscure football matches there is an explanation. At least one data journalist goes to each match in person. He or she has a keypad and when something happens a code is entered. Betting is automatically suspended around the world when a goal is scored. The updated odds appear after a short while and the betting continues. The keypad is also used to report corners, injuries and dangerous attacks. However, a dangerous attack is defined as a team in possession in the final third.
Betting exchanges and traditional bookmakers rely on the accuracy of the information. The latest score is updated based on the combination of numbers put into the console. If the date journalist presses the wrong button a goal can be credited to the wrong team. These errors are rare but they cause bookmakers great embarrassment and upset their customers. The data journalist must get things right and there is a zero tolerance to major errors.
The journalists who go to matches to relay information are not paid a fortune. Being paid to watch matches in person seems a great job. However, the reality is somewhat different. They have to be at a stadium an hour before the match and travel time is covered by a petrol or travel allowance. The job involves huge concentration and a mistake can be costly. There are fines on a scale depending on the severity of the incorrect information. If the journalist gets the scoring team wrong the match fee goes in the form of a fine and subsequent mistakes soon lead to dismissal. From personal experience I can say the job is more trouble than its worth.