With NC Launch Looming, Expert Says AI Tech Is Next Frontier Of Sports Betting

We’re five years into legal US sports betting, and the industry has reached an inflection point. Markets are saturated. Some operators are ditching their sportsbooks altogether. The ones that remain face a stark reality: innovate … or die.

That means North Carolina will launch its sports betting market at a very interesting time.

One prominent expert in gaming law told NCSharp she expects the next three to five years – as the North Carolina sports betting market reaches full maturity – to grow exponentially from fresh ideas and inventive ways to acquire customers.

“Over the next 3-5 years, I can see the sports betting industry focusing on incorporating AI technology to enhance the customer experience,” said Katherine Baker, partner at Nelson Mullins and chair of the firm’s Gaming Industry Group. “I think we’ll also see more omnichannel offerings, (such as) adding media and retail elements and other fan engagement tools to sports betting platforms and tying everything back to attendance at live sporting events.”

AI technology in sports betting

Artificial intelligence already plays a role in modern sports betting.

(And no, we’re not just talking about ChatGPT giving you advice for your Same Game Parlays. More on that later.)

From a backend perspective, AI algorithms help sportsbooks personalize experiences by analyzing every minutia of bettor trends. This leads to one-of-a-kind suggestions for each bettor and a discover feed that’s tailored to each bettor.

Sorry, oddsmakers, but AI technology can generate the most accurate and up-to-the-second odds by analyzing anything and everything that could impact the outcome of a sporting event — weather, injuries, trends, etc. — in a millisecond and updating the moneyline or spread in real time. This is especially handy for live-betting odds.

And in a development that doesn’t benefit sportsbooks, there are also AI tools online that claim to give reliable picks and advice for sports bettors. ChatGPT doesn’t do this. But Sportspicker AI, from Unanimous AI, does. On its site, Sportspicker AI claims it’s “the only sports forecasting system proven to beat Vegas in rigorous academic studies.”

(For a fee, of course.)

Focusing on live sporting events

North Carolina sportsbooks may focus on attendance at live sporting events more than other states, simply because there will be retail sportsbooks at so many NC sports venues. (Meanwhile, other states, such as Massachusetts, don’t allow sportsbooks at sports stadiums and arenas.)

The NC sports betting law allows for retail sportsbooks at eight brick-and-mortar locations:

That means NC sportsbooks could have the opportunity to cross-promote their retail venues and online apps to fans of five major professional sports leagues (Panthers/NFL, Hurricanes/NHL, Hornets/NBA, Charlotte FC/MLS and NC Courage/NWSL) and, of course, NASCAR.

There’s opportunity there. Baker believes operators will try to better figure out how to seize that opportunity in the coming years.

In the meantime, explore our comprehensive guide to the latest sports betting promotions in NC, showcasing the very best NC sportsbook deals on offer.

About the Author

Matthew Bain

News Content Manager
Matthew Bain is currently the Content Manager at Catena Media’s national online lottery site, PlayiLottery. He used to be the News Content Manager at Catena Media, overseeing news content for the network’s highest-priority regional sites. With North Carolina launching sports betting in 2024, NCSharp was one of his priority sites. Prior to joining Catena Media in 2022, Matthew won 10 statewide and national journalism awards during six years as a reporter and editor for the USA TODAY Network. Matthew’s work primarily appeared in the Des Moines Register, but he was also featured in the Detroit Free Press, Indianapolis Star, Arizona Republic, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and USA TODAY. Throughout his career, Matthew’s bylines have also appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Seattle Times, and Orange County Register.