One of the more interesting developments in the industry over the past few months is the emergence of crowd betting. Crowd betting, as the name suggests, is when a group of people bet collectively rather than individually and by doing so, get something they otherwise wouldn’t have.

A few months ago Skybet launched a crowdboosted accumulator feature – where the odds for selected acca get boosted, depending on how many people place a bet on it.

Last week, over 40,000 of their customers placed a bet on the “Crowdboost” treble of Man Utd, Man City and Everton all to win. The original odds were 4/1 but Sky boosted the odds to 9/2 > 5/1 and finally 6/1 when certain thresholds were reached.

In a sign of how big Skybet are now,  they probably had a £1m+ liability on a promotional market like this, and what might seem like bookmaking hari kari to many, clearly makes good sense for the Leeds-based company on many levels. The bet lost too…but that’s by the by..

Last week, the ever-innovative Colossus Bets launched their syndicate feature, allowing customers to pool their money into a single syndicate and shoot for some of the 7 figure prizes that are on offer.

One of the problems Colossus likely faced was that it was quite difficult to “get a squeeze” playing their big pool games, due to the high cost of placing a permutation with reasonable cover across the legs of the bet. I found this myself as a customer of theirs and quickly started to feel like a small perm had no chance of even getting past leg 1 or 2. I would imagine plenty of others have too. Syndicates really will help them to keep customers active and engaged and it will encourage people to get their mates to join up and participate in a bet with them. I’m already planning  a syndicate with a few colleagues, none of whom are existing Colossus Bets members.

It got me thinking that both of these crowd betting innovations might just be the first examples of social betting that actually works in gambling. Perhaps there are some niche social betting successes out there but by and large, hundreds of millions have been spent and, ultimately, wasted, trying to develop social betting features. None have worked because betting by itself isn’t a very social pursuit and gamblers are generally a private, inward looking lot.

Both of these features do work though, because they give the punter a real benefit of betting as a group, or “socially”.

In the case of Skybet it’s a value proposition; everyone likes 6/1 about a 4/1 shot and you and your mates on WhatsApp are going to be watching these big games and talking about how your tenner accas are going anyway. Why not all get in on the act and get value for your money? In the case of Colossus Bets, it’s the power of the crowd giving you a feeling that you have a real shot at a life changer; something I never really felt when I bet on my own there.

These innovations could mark the start of a new wave of social betting features, where private social betting between the people you’re already taking to in your chat groups, sees you all winning on a value-basis, before a ball is kicked.

Crowdbetting could just be the social application that really works in betting.