Is amount of Red Bull consumed daily a measure of player success?
In learning about data science, I discovered that one of the biggest data sets studied is on Hong Kong’s horse racing. Betting on Hong Kong’s horse races is a $30 plus billion a year industry and gamblers look for any sort of advantage: syndicates use algorithms to place multiple bets on multiple races each day, knowing that the odds can change significantly based on the size of the bet; the racetrack odds are determined in part by the total amount of money bet on each horse. With COVID-19 limiting much of professional sports, a sport of man versus machine is becoming more popular to bettors.
E-sports betting is now a thing. What are e-sports? Professional video game tournaments where players battle head-to-head or in teams, except head-to-head means that players are social distancing in miles, not feet. Cheating, however, such as throwing a match, is a huge concern:
“Instances of cheating and match-fixing have plagued esports events of all sizes, from older, established scenes around games like Starcraft II to more recent competitions in Fortnite and League of Legends. Moreover, unlike traditional sports where a player’s intention to throw a game could be more obvious, a malicious esports player can hide to a degree behind the game’s technological components — with a player’s actions filtered through a computer and a network before becoming visible on screen — to mask anomalous behavior or utilize cheating software. When reactions measured in milliseconds can decide the outcome of an esports event, it’s harder to determine if a player is throwing a match or just having a bad day.”
Just as institutional investors like Calpers are looking towards nontraditional investments to meet their ROI goals, gamblers are looking to diversify their sources of betting.