Guest Blog: Could iBeacons be used to communicate with sports bettors?

Guest Blog: Could iBeacons be used to communicate with sports bettors?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 Totally Gaming
Mark McGuinness explores potentially groundbreaking new technology

Mark McGuinness tells why his interest has been sparked by a new patent application that could lead to technological advances in the betting sector.


As a marketer in the digital gambling world, I endeavour to at least keep pace with technological advances through personal investigation, writes Mark McGuinness. To that end, I was curious when I heard about the tech brand known as iBeacon technology and the mighty Apple getting involved in this growth area.

My interest piqued when the US patent office released a patent application filed by Apple for an iBeacons Restaurant Ordering & Reservation System. The patent was about a unique system whereby a user of an iOS device may be offered various options / promotions from local restaurants.

The system allows for waiting times and seating availability in real time. The remote and in-restaurant ordering systems allow customers and restaurant staff to place and change food orders before you get there – so a sort of variant of just-in-time technology but for ordering food to eat.

So what are these ‘beacons’? Like many mobile users, when placing a sports bet, we always encounter issues with mobile phones. For example signal coverage problems are still common perhaps due to physical structures like a shopping centre, football stadium or poor Wi-Fi coverage/availability if more than 10 people are connected to the network!

Beacons are low-cost, low-powered transmitters that can find and notify other iOS devices of your location using the latest Blue Tooth technology. The beacons could, therefore, be used as a means to push messages to the phone device for precision or location based marketing. In fact, beacons are so popular you now have wearable beacons for live event communications and as safety alerts.

So consider large-scale sporting event like the World Cup or a London football derby between Arsenal and Chelsea, where there might be 50,000 spectators present. It’s very plausible to assume a large percentage of those fans would have iPhones with the beacon compatibility or a wearable fashion style version.

This could allow gaming operators to push betting information in real-time, based on location via the Beacon tech at a fraction of the cost of other user acquisition marketing channels. When I mean cost savings, you perhaps don't require promotional models handing out leaflets or expensive static or digital advertising hoardings that don’t engage your potential in-stadium customers.

It’s even possible to offer subscription-based or premium digital in-play betting content during the match similar to the traditional football programme to aid betting decision-making and bet placement via the beacon technology. 

iBeacons both at a smartphone device and wearable level are going to be game changers. In fact, an estimated 170-190m iOS devices are currently capable of being iBeacons!

Maybe the next time you see a promotional model for a betting company, she may not have any promotional fliers to hand out but could be a walking mobile beacon pushing gambling notifications as she brushes by you in the stadium.

About the author:

Mark McGuinness Bsc BA has more than 15 years’ experience in digital marketing director roles. He is the resident i-Gaming eSports Futurologist for Isle of Man-based Mainstream Marketing & Communications, a digital marketing agency offering business and marketing advice on i-gaming, land-based gambling and social gaming.


Compliance focus slows LeoVegas growth in third quarter


High 5 and GVC target European growth with expanded partnership


LeoVegas reshuffles marketing and communications leadership

No alternative text provided

PokerStars previews virtual reality poker experience

Gaming Products & Services Directory

The essential directory for the gaming industry