The introduction of VAR on top European Leagues has elicited different views from football fans and pundits worldwide. The pundits usually cite examples in which a VAR decision at Champions League games led to a dramatic outcome. Punters on sports betting sites have also felt the VAR’s heat when controversial decisions have affected their betting.
What Is VAR?
VAR is an abbreviation for Virtual Assistant Refereeing. It is a system that is used alongside the goal-line technology to improve referee decision-making during matches. Although the technology was brought in to enhance fairness in sports, it has been received with mixed reactions from critical stakeholders. One notable group that has been affected by VAR decisions is football betting fans.
Impact of the VAR on Sports Betting
Many sportsbooks have lamented that VAR technology has had a considerable impact on the in-play betting process. To date, disruptions have occurred in the FA Cup, World Cup, and the UEFA Champions League.
One of the betting operators’ complaints is that the VAR decisions are so inconsistent that they cannot tell when or why the interventions might occur during a match. As a result, they are unable to price their live betting offers for their clients efficiently. To make matters worse for the betting operators, some lose clients who feel disgruntled with certain decisions.
In-Bet Play Winnings Are Delayed
On some sports betting platforms, punters cannot withdraw their in-play winnings until the match is over. The reasoning behind this decision is that they had previously paid punters their in-play winnings, but the results got overturned by a VAR decision. A good example is the Match between Manchester United and Brighton. A VAR decision caused some drama after the referee recalled the players back to the pitch for Bruno Fernandes to score a winning penalty. If bookmakers had presumed that the final result was as it was when the match ended and paid its punters based on that. After the goal, things were different as United won in a controversial manner.
Discrepancies in the VAR Technology
The betting companies also complained that data providers were offering information on the VAR interventions differently. In their complaints, they also claim that there were differences in how the VAR was used across multiple football tournaments. According to the betting providers, these discrepancies usually leave them at a disadvantage and also affect their relationships with their clients.
Suppose you take into consideration the state of in-play betting since the introduction of the VAR technology. In that case, it is safe to conclude that the technology will significantly impact the future of football betting. However, as things stand, the football betting industry stakeholders cannot rightly judge the magnitude of the impact going forward. Therefore, it will be wise to closely monitor the technology’s effect for at least two more seasons. As time goes by, things might stabilize, and they will start seeing more consistent VAR decisions that one can use to make a proper judgment.