New patents to bring augmented reality to sports betting, fuel addiction

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Augmented Reality (AR) commonly uses goggles or mobile devices to superimpose computer-generated images onto the user’s actual surroundings.

Pokémon GO is one of the earliest AR example of integrating virtual world into the real-world environment through the player’s mobile device camera, allowing them to interact with and capture Pokémon as if they were present in the physical world.

Now this technology is coming to disrupt betting and gambling world. A research paper released earlier this year by researchers at University of Bristol identified three patents that aims to add AR features to betting sector.

In a sports betting context, this would probably involve aiming the goggles or phone at a live sporting event both on TV or at the stadium and having real-time betting opportunities shown in your field of vision as the event unfolds says researchers from University of Bristol.

For example, AR could provide real-time statistics, odds, and player information when users point their devices at a live sports event. This immersive technology has the potential to make the betting experience more engaging and dynamic.

Further, three more patents aim to introduce competitive in-play sports bets between players rather than against bookmakers. These patents involve people joining online tournaments, and competing for rewards based on entry fees and wager pools. Leaderboards track bettor rankings, and players can communicate with each other in a similar fashion to poker.

Researchers now fear these innovations can fuel addiction and disengaging from immersive AR session would be more difficult for gambling addicts.

Even in regions where sports betting is prohibited by law (like India), individuals continue to access betting platforms and AR could only make addiction more prevalent if regulations don’t catch up with evolving technology.

Sports betting is expected to witness ever  expanding network of negative consequences that are presently unforeseen and challenging to fully grasp, thereby keeping policy makers in the coming years.