Gambling Under The Microscope

Can science improve the gambling product?

microscope, scienceIn gambling we have two distinct types of offerings, games of chance and games of skill and a scientific look at these are highly recommended for more effective product design, writes Leon Smuts.

Understanding the psychology of gambling and basic human nature and how to apply this in product and concept design are key elements in producing a successful new acquisition product. Very little has however been done to utilise a knowledge of these aspects to best effect, especially in the racing industry where it could make all the difference.

Games of chance

Analysing the key aspects, we need to understand why people get involved in games of chance knowing that the odds are heavily stacked against them in these offerings. Two things stand out as a common denominator in these types of games, really attractive prize money and a very affordable ticket or spin of the reel. The fact that the odds are normally in the millions to one has seldom stopped anyone from trying and points to our irrational thinking when presented with a life changing opportunity. We find it way too easy to convince ourselves that a bit of luck could change our lives forever.

Games of skill should theoretically be a lot more popular than any game of chance as the odds of winning becomes progressively more favourable as an individual’s level of skill improves. Normally these games have less attractive prize money or odds than games of chance, but offer the opportunity of regular dividends to those involved in the game. On the downside a much bigger and less affordable playing stake is mostly required for poker tournaments or handicapping tournaments in racing for a chance of winning significant prize money.

Games of skill

Football, game of skill

Games of skill are very rewarding

Ever wondered why games of skill are so popular? It has a lot to do with the competitive nature of human beings which is evident in every facet of life. Winning is not only financially rewarding but it offers recognition and acknowledgement to players, which is something that is quite inspirational and important to us as a species. Any game will benefit from a format aimed at making more players competitive and actively involved in extended play.

This is one reason why fantasy sports games are already so well supported and growing in popularity all the time. There is something about making progress on a leader board or heading the standings or residing in the upper echelon of players that are very satisfying to us as humans as is the further incentive of not wanting to finish last or at the bottom of the leader board.

Superbru is well on the way to 900 000 active players, just think what similar numbers could do for racing.


microscope, science

Science can help create successful racing products

What has all of this got to do with product development and more specifically racing based products? The answer is pretty much everything, as these elements are essentially the DNA of successful offerings, where the right design incorporating all of the above would ensure the successful promotion of racing to a significantly bigger and growing group of potential players.

My research suggests that a competitive, skill-based product with life changing prize money and easy affordability will be an extremely effective marketing tool for racing.

Isn’t it time for operators to show a commitment and a belief in the sports’ ability to bounce back by targeting a new, more sustainable market with an alternative local racing offering specifically designed for early and perpetual impact?

You would have to be blind or wilfully apathetic not to see the potential of this type of product in the overall promotion of racing. Betting operators should spend some clever money on the right projects rather than supporting half-hearted efforts that are guaranteed to produce disappointing results.

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