In London at Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge, the sixth Betting on Football conference was conducted from 19-22 March. On this occasion, some of the key sports betting topics were discussed which the industry is facing now. The focus was on the impact VAR technology might have on football betting. Apart from this, there were several other issues as well like stagnation in the betting industry; the latest big data innovations and their effect in betting, etc.
What is VAR Technology?
VAR (Video Assistant Refereeing) is a new technology review system which is used apart from goal-line technology. This system has been meant to better referee decision-making, and bring more fairness into the sport. This technology has been tested and introduced around the football world.
Using this technology, the referees review the match referee’s decisions to check whether there has been a ‘clear error’ in the on-field decision. This technology can help in two ways: either at the request of match referee to review in-play events and inform his decision or as a direct intervention by the VAR team if they spot incidents which fall within their remit and which might otherwise have gone unnoticed.
VAR Progress Report
Till date, the players and fans are accepting VAR verdicts. More penalties are being awarded, and off-side decisions are fairer than ever before. Still, there are still too many instances of players surrounding referees and making ‘box’ signs to pressurize the official into reviewing play events with a hope of changing the decision.
Hopefully, it will bring more transparency to many critical decisions and help to ward off some foul plays.
The Impact of VAR on Sports Betting
It is expected that the introduction of VAR will influence the process of in-play betting. Till now this disruption has been seen in tournaments where VAR technology has been used – for instance, the Fifa World Cup, FA Cup and the Uefa Champions League. Betting bodies have reported that VAR has been deployed inconsistently in different competitions and that there is no clear information about why and when VAR interventions occur. Because of this, it has become difficult for gambling bodies to ante up their in-play betting offers.
Several discrepancies were reported when betting operators discovered that official data providers often had multiple ways of relaying data about VAR interventions. In addition, there are differences in VAR conventions and processes across different football competitions.
Premier League VAR Delay
This VAR is being introduced in the Premiership too soon. It was announced in November 2018 that the Premier League would implement VAR from the start of the 2019/20 season. But it is felt that long delays caused by VAR reviews will actually result in fans to disengage with the game situation – to the ultimate detriment of the sport.
Although there are mix review and opinion about VAR technology for football betting, with the evolving technology it is expected to play a major role in the future football betting.