The need for a quality sportsbook
Dima Reiderman, Managing Director, BtoBet.
The World Cup is just a few weeks away from kick-off. A sporting event considered by many as the greatest of its kind on a global level due to the huge following it generates from all over the world, it’s no wonder that bookmakers are targeting this four week timeframe to maximise their player acquisition, retention and engagement campaigns to achieve record volumes and turnover.
However, this is also an event which provides bookmakers with innumerable challenges from a technological point of view. Challenges that might well impact the set goals for this tournament. I would emphasise that what really matters during such major events is for bookmakers to have the assurance and the peace of mind needed in terms of having a reliable sportsbook solution that will not result in any downtime. And thus, it’s a must for bookmakers to tick all the boxes in terms of scalability, capacity and quick response time.
Without any form of doubt, the World Cup is expected to generate peak loads in terms of player traffic, especially during key matches that take place during the entire tournament window. And it is within these traffic spikes, when there are thousands of concurrent visits and transactions taking place, that scalability is a determining factor. Today’s leading sportsbook providers, including BtoBet, base their infrastructure on cloud technology, thus assuring the sportsbook’s availability and automatically scaling up or down to maintain the platform’s intended performance.
At the same time one must keep in mind that sports betting deals with a huge volume of data which is being generated from events resulting in constant odds changes. And whilst the odds changes happen on both pre-match and live offerings, the requirement for low latency is especially true when it comes to in-play betting. We are talking about an ever-changing domain of data requiring real-time updates, and players place in-play bets according to the instances that are taking place on the field during a sports event.
Sports betting deals with a huge volume of data which is being generated from events, like the World Cup, resulting in constant odds changes. And this is especially true when it comes to in-play betting. Needless to say, it’s an ever changing domain of data which requires real-time updates.
Thus, delays on the sportsbook platform will directly impact the betting experience. Let alone that in-play odds are also heavily reliant on players having access to real-time updates of statistics during live games.
Furthermore, in what is perhaps the key factor for a sportsbook’s success, operators must make certain that their platform is robust from a capacity point of view. One has to understand that driving acquisition during major sports events is one of the main goals for any bookmaker, and we see many operators investing huge amounts of money to run marketing campaigns and giving away significant bonuses during this time. But this expense will be for nothing if operators do not get the basics right and their betting platform does not have enough computational capacity to deal with the influx of new fans and placed bets.
It goes without saying that players expect to access a sportsbook and wager whenever they deem fit. And this is especially true for those major events which are characterised by a large volume of bets, and which can possibly put the platform under immense pressure. Last year’s Super Bowl, where bettors looking to make last-minute bets on leading bookmaker portals were met with an error message, is a clear indication of the repercussions that downtime could have.
It goes without saying that players expect to access a sportsbook and wager whenever they deem fit. And this is especially true for those major events which are characterised by a large volume of bets.
Besides a vast volume of daily transactions from online bets, operators will face additional spikes of betting activity during these major events, with this culmination of transactions possibly putting the platform under immense pressure.
And whilst operators target major sports events to drive their acquisition campaigns, their intention will not succeed if their betting platform is not robust enough to deal with the influx of new fans and bets places.
Revenue loss, players jumping ship to another brand to place their wagers, and ultimately brand reputation are ultimately at stake.
LEVERAGING DATA IS A MUST
We are living in an era where the leveraging of data is quintessential. Where the average internet user is nowadays familiar to some degree of personalisation in his daily interactions… from the less enjoyable retargeting marketing campaigns serving you with a banner from a product you viewed a few days ago, to the more intricate personalisation of Spotify’s and Netflix’s recommendations just to mention a few. Nonetheless the question beckons… how much is the sports betting industry leveraging the hidden value of data?
Fact is that the vast majority of the industry is still some way behind the technology of Machine Learning and its application.
Sooner rather than later bookmakers need to evaluate the Machine Learning capabilities of their platform and address pressing questions such as:
- How to create granular segmentation for sports bettors
- How to assess and understand in a very short time the value of players acquired
- How to analyse and address their player activity in a timely and effective manner
- How to improve the margin using the data generated by the players
- How to know what their future punters like to bet on
- And, how to use this data to minimise their risk exposure.
It’s by answering these questions, and having at their disposal cutting-edge tools such as the proprietary tools we have developed over time through significant investment, that operators can understand how they could maximise their turnover, how to improve their player acquisition and retention plans, and how to eventually heighten their player engagement.
Essentially one must keep in mind the daily business challenges which are any bookmaker has to face, and how Machine Learning tools can help solve them.
It’s only by having the right tools at their disposal that operators can tap into innumerable data access points on a real time basis that allows them to have a complete overview of all the bets being placed, of having a holistic understanding of all player behaviour from the moment they make their first deposit thus allowing them to identify those High Value Players as early as possible, and of identifying suspicious betting patterns and stop fraudulent betting in a timely and effective manner.