During a briefing at the SBC Summit North America, officials from gambling companies together with professional sports leagues concurred that many of rapid-fire wagering is on the way as technology continues to advance and legalized sports wagering extends into new markets.

In this regard, the panelists at the conference said: “Imagine being able to make a bet with this level of specificity: the Yankees’ Aaron Judge will hit a home run on the fourth pitch he sees in a given at bat, which will be a curveball spinning at a certain speed.

That $5 bet could win you $5,000.

Of course, it’s incredibly unlikely to win. But it could be a part of sports betting in the very near future.”

The fastest-growing segment of in-play wagering:

In-play wagering, or wagers placed after a sporting event has started, is a recognized part of the industry that is growing rapidly. In addition, microbetting is a subdivision of it and represents a quick, intensely focused wager on the next play or even the next pitch.

Here’s an example: “In baseball, companies currently offer bets on whether each bater will get a hit, walk, be hit by a pitch, strike out or get an extra base hit, up to a home run.”

“However, it goes deeper than that; as many now allow gamblers to wager on whether the first pitch of a game, or of a particular inning, will be a ball or a strike, whether it will be put into play as an out or whether it will fall for a hit.”

In addition, wagers on the speed of the next pitch are yet to come. Furthermore, similar wagers are already secured in football, most often on whether a team’s possession will end in a touchdown, field goal, punt or turnover.

In this regard, Andrew Bimson, president and chief operating officer in North America for the data company Sportradar, said: “Microbetting is the fastest-growing segment of in-play betting. 

While comparatively small now, I estimate that microbetting could constitute $20 billion worth of bets by 2027.”

In this regard, Mark Hughes, chief product officer for PointsBet, said: “Customers are immediately engaged in the bet. You don’t have to wait very long for your bet to settle. You’re going to get more play, longer sessions. It’s going to be a really popular bet going into the future.”

Microbetting to become the preferred way for people to bet in the future:

Betr, a firm focused on micro-betting, which debuted in the Ohio and Massachusetts market, is expanding its business while promoting the concept.

Commenting on the benefits of micro-betting, Joey Levy, the company’s founder and CEO, said: “It introduces instant gratification to the sports betting experience. I believe microbetting could become the preferred way for people to bet on sports before long. I offer the hypothetical Aaron Judge bet as an example of what could be coming soon to the smart phones of gamblers around the country.”

But the rapid expansion of micro-betting worries Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, who says that “the rapid-fire nature of microbetting flies in the face of responsible gambling behavior.

“That heavy frequency is associated with gambling problems. You can get a hit of dopamine every few seconds; it’s more akin to playing a slot machine than betting on sports. People can get in this trance-like state where they just try to stay in action, and bet over and over again just to feel that same kind of high.”

In this regard, Levy, the Betr founder, said: “Companies that offer microbetting need to do it honestly, with full disclosure of risks.

“I may be one of this industry’s only executives that says the house always wins and that customers should expect to lose over the long-run. It should be a form of entertainment. We approach microbetting the same way: You allocate $20 or $50 or $100 to make $2 bets on a pitch.”

Suitable for a fast style of basketball game:

Scott Kaufman-Ross, vice president and head of fantasy and gaming for the NBA, said: “Microbetting is well suited for basketball’s rapid style of play because there are so many changes in scoring.

“Our game is so fast you could have three possessions in the span of eight seconds.”

The NBA has taken interest in one wagering market that predicts team streaks. A large number of sportsbooks currently provide so-called “race-to” wagers, in which the customer wagers on which team will be the first to score 8, 10, 15 or more points.

Additionally, those wagers are made before the game begins, but Kaufman-Ross said: “The league is interested in crafting similar betting markets during the game to let customers bet on the next sustained run of points.

“Say the (Golden State) Warriors are down 15, and then Steph (Curry) gets hot and the score is then tied — how do you build something around that? How do you make that something that happens in-game and predicts the next run?”

Kevin Fulmer, vice president of digital sports for Caesars Entertainment, confirmed that the new micro-betting technology opens a window of opportunity for gambling firms.

On that note, he said: “We know the technology is there. It’s all about sending the right bet to the right customer at the right time.”