The online bookmaker Pinnacle, known for its commitment to staying relevant and being the ‘first on the scene’, has made history by becoming the first to offer odds on drone racing.
The operator has opened a very limited market on this month’s Drone World Championships in Hawaii, with punters currently able to bet on five pilots; Luke ‘BanniUK’ Bannister, Zachary ‘A_Nub’ Thayer, Vladimir Meshcheriakov, Dino ‘GhettoDino’ Joghi and Vincent ‘VincBee’ Delcommene.
BanniUK is the favourite with odds of 1.95 at the time of writing, and Thayer next in line priced at 3.46. The aim for this event is to gauge interest in betting on drone racing and as such it has only released betting on the outright winner. There has evidently been some interest already with Bannister’s original price of 2.080 being shortened.
Pinnacle became the first major bookmaker to offer odds on esports back in 2010 and the market quickly took off; it hit its one millionth wager on esports in 2014. They are clearly testing the waters with drone racing but as Third Law Sports opined back in May this is a sport which suits gambling.
Harry Lang, Pinnacle Marketing Director, commented: “Drone Racing has come from nowhere to be ‘the next big thing’ in tech sports innovation. It’s fast paced, hugely exciting and has a low barrier of entry for new competitors. Plus the capacity of the drones to send live footage from within races makes for incredibly engaging streamed content.
“We’re happy that Pinnacle is the first bookmaker to offer our leading odds on a new sport with such huge potential.”
A drone racing trader at Pinnacle added: “When pricing the Drone Worlds it was quite exciting to delve into a new sport with such potential. What I was looking for was overall progress and possible improvement in piloting race-to-race coupled with recent wins and overall rankings. Using the information available I was able to compile our opening odds, but given the high-speed and constantly changing tracks I’m expecting plenty of action from both drone experts and fans alike.”
The sport of drone racing itself is undoubtedly well placed to thrive in a betting environment with numerous competitions and the nature of the sport itself; it’s exciting and it’s fast. It has the potential for various betting options too; Pilot X to place, Next to crash, Pilot X will crash on Gate Y, and so on and so forth.
With the sport ideally placed to view on stream, and the potential option to share your selected pilot’s viewpoint live on FPV feed, it’s one which should also appeal to many bettors who gamble as much for the thrill and adrenaline rush as they do to win or because it’s their favored sport.
For now there are a number of factors which need to be ironed out bookmakers will move in on a wider and grander scale. Note that Pinnacle entered esports in 2010 but it’s only in the past year that a number of other big operators have followed suit.
Regulation and a universally agreed upon set of rules, not to mention an accepted not-for-profit governing body to watch over the sport, are the most pressing factors. All in good time of course, so for now let’s relish the fact that a sport which was born two years ago has already grown to the extent that a major bookmaker has opened a market on it.
That is a record in itself, and we’ll give pretty low odds on drone racing breaking plenty more within the next two.