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Is the Metaverse the Future for Cricket Betting

Hearing about Justin Bieber performing at a concert in the Metaverse, the first thing that probably comes to the mind of any regular cricket enthusiast is when are we going to have a cricket match organized there? The second question would with little doubt be can I place a bet on it?

So, what if the Metaverse actually is the future of cricket betting?

Location, Location, Location: Bubble or Boom

Just glancing at the sheer amounts of money that investors are rushing to pour in for real estate in the Metaverse gives us the urge to reconsider our own investment strategies, if we have any of those, of course. The virtual real estate market is functioning like any other property market with everybody focusing on “Location, Location, Location”, while no one knows if this is going to burst like a bubble or if it is a real boom.

Even the virtual realtors have become a hot thing: Metaverse Group, a pioneer among the Metaverse real estate companies, sold 50 percent of its own stock for approximately $1.7 million. The buyer, Tokens.com – a blockchain technology and decentralized finance (DeFi) company, is building a tower in Decentraland, one of the Metaverse worlds, with the hope of monetizing from leases and advertising for luxury fashion brands.

Decentraland has a limited number of 90,000 parcels of land, each measuring around 50 by 50 feet (15 by 15 meters). In the largest so-far Metaverse real estate deal, Tokens.com acquired 116 of them, all located in the fashion district, for 618,000 MANA, Decentralands own digital currency, or roughly $2.5 million. The plan is to develop the virtual land into a hub for brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry who already have a presence in the Metaverse through NFTs (non-fungible tokens).

Trying to explain the investment rush, Metaverse cofounder Michael Gord said, “As more people participate, it’s where you’re going with friends, where you’re having experiences like conferences and concerts. It’s inevitable that the metaverse will be the No. 1 social network in the world.”

The Metaverse Group deals with the sale and rental of virtual plots of land in several realms, including not only Decentraland, but also the Sandbox, Upland, Cryptovoxels, and Somnium.

“Imagine if you came to New York when it was farmland, and you had the option to get a block of SoHo,” Michael Gord explained. “If someone wants to buy a block of real estate in SoHo today, it’s priceless, it’s not on the market. That same experience is going to happen in the metaverse.”

What will Metaverse Cricket Betting be Like?

It also seems inevitable that soon regular fans of the game can get a front-row seat at a cricket match from the comfort of their couch, and being able to bet on the match seems even more inevitable. Estimates on the current size of the Indian sports betting market vary between ₹3 and ₹10 lakh crore (around $40 and $150 billion), with most of it being illegal and cash-based, and around 80 percent revolving around cricket.

Metaverse cricket betting, on the other hand, will be happening in a traceable digital environment, where finance is blockchain powered and money is cryptocurrency. Therefore, betting on cricket from the Metaverse will be able to exist only in a legal and regulated form, and will resemble more today’s online cricket betting at sites with reliable licenses such as Malta, Curaçao, or Gibraltar, and not deal with illegal bookies.

Proceeds from black-market betting are usually laundered or reinvested into other criminal activities, including trafficking of drugs, racketeering, and violence, not to mention bribes and fixing of matches. Money flows from Metaverse cricket betting will be taxed and go to public needs and welfare programs, instead of leading to the emergence of criminal syndicates like the notorious Mumbai-based D-Company.

Illegal betting leaves gamblers prone to addiction to chance and fate, while with regulated betting in the Metaverse problem gambling will be addressed and people with such vulnerabilities will have access to professional support. Protection for problem bettors will also include responsible gambling and self exclusion mechanisms, limits on deposits, monitoring for problem behavior and technological safety nets.

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