On May 14, 2018 the United States Supreme Court reversed their decision on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. Before this was overturned it was only legal to bet on sports in the state of Nevada. Since the decision was made to overturn it, 20 states have legalized sports gambling and another 6 states have passed bills that will take effect in the next few months. You might be curious at just how big is the sports gambling industry since its federal legalization? Well, experts estimate that over $20 billion has been bet so far and the numbers continue to grow as more stats ball legislation. As a software engineer though, why should we care about gambling? Well, this market is growing faster than ever and a huge majority of it is done online.
Wait You Can Gamble Online?
While sports gambling is exploding an overwhelming amount of it is done online. According to the state of New Jersey, 84% of all bets in 2019 were made online. This means that people are ditching the old brick and mortar sportsbooks and choosing to do their gambling from their phone and computer. This technology was almost non-existent just a few years ago and now the largest casino companies in the world are racing just to keep their foot in the door. Who would be bold enough though to go after the big casinos and think they could walk away from it? Well, that’s where DraftKings and FanDuel come into the picture.
What’s a DraftKing?
DraftKings was founded in 2012 to be a daily fantasy sports competition. Instead of betting on games themselves, you would pick players from different teams. These individual performances would be added together, then you would compete against other users' teams for prizes. While it started with just baseball it quickly grew to all major sports and became a household name for sports enthusiasts. FanDuel had a very similar start-up in the daily fantasy sports world being founded in 2009 on daily football challenges and quickly growing to all major sports. As of 2017, the two companies combined controlled 90% of the daily fantasy sports market. With such a broad user base of sports fanatics, it was easy for the companies to make the switch to full sportsbooks.
First To Market
After the Supreme Court decision to legalize sports gambling all the major casinos were racing to get their foot in the door, they were too slow though. Since FanDuel and DraftKings already had an established online presence it was easy for them to add an online sportsbook. FanDuel was first and had their serves online by mid-July. DraftKings was soon to follow launching their sportsbook in August of 2018. The big casinos we not ready to give up easily, and MGM casinos came out with their own online sportsbook in August of 2018. With all of these companies jumping into the growing sports gambling industry, how will they keep up? Well, that's where the software engineers come into play.
Build Me Something Cool
It takes lots of people to run an online sportsbook, everyone from the customer support to the line makers are all important. One of the most important jobs you may not think about though is the software engineer. They’re the ones that make the actual program you are interacting with. When trying to leave your mark on a multi-billion dollar industry, you want to make sure that your user experience is absolutely top-notch. This means not only a quick and responsive application but also one that is easy to use and very straight forward. Users hate waiting for a slow page to load especially if they’re trying to bet on live lines where every second matters. This is what sets the best companies apart, having the best software on the market. As the market continues to grow it will take more and more of the highly skilled software engineers to keep up.
How Fast Can it Grow?
Every time a new state legalizes sports gambling it seems to keep growing faster. After Colorado passed legislation in May 2020, monthly bets were already up over $200 million by September. Experts believe that the online gambling industry will continue to grow at a rate of over 15% for the next five years. This means the industry will more than double by 2025, requiring many new software engineers. So if you have a passion for sports or betting, this would be a great path to take your career.