Sam Hill: Betgenius – Why basketball’s global expansion is netting big profits for sportsbooks

Sam Hill – Betgenius

With domestic basketball leagues underway across the globe, bookmakers are preparing for what will undoubtedly be the biggest betting season the sport has ever seen. Sam Hill Business Development Director for Betgenius details basketball’s unique intricacies, detailing to stakeholders the requirements needed to develop effective betting markets…


Over the past couple of years, we have seen basketball overtake tennis as the second most popular sport behind football in terms of global betting turnover. In response, Betgenius has significantly upped its game with a product that delivers the most comprehensive service and depth of markets. In 2018, we will cover over 37,000 matches, translating to around 4,000 matches per month during the main season, which is unparalleled in the industry.

These numbers are a reflection of the sports’ growing global fan base, notably in Eastern and Mediterranean Europe, but also of sportsbook operators’ investment in the product. Dynamic and fast-paced, basketball boasts all the physical aspects of a great spectator sport, with the added benefit of results being harder to predict than many team sports.

Combine these features with the game’s long-standing obsession with statistics and its 24/7 value proposition to sportsbooks, and it is not hard to understand its growth.

Delivering a winning product

Offering a quality basketball product presents its own challenges. The broad spectrum of events, rapid in-game action and varied standard of competition makes developing a mathematical algorithm to drive trading a unique challenge.

To improve our trading performance, at the start of the year we began building a new basketball pricing model, with our quants team trawling through decades of historical match data to deliver the best basketball product on the market.

By leveraging our historical datasets and market leading mathematical models, Betgenius is perfectly positioned to handle the expanding coverage, which may at times include some low-grade events and uncompetitive point spreads. Launched at the end of June, our new model has already proven its value by boosting our customers’ margins across the board.

Moreover, thanks to our sister company Genius Sports’ unsurpassed technology partnerships with over 200 basketball leagues around the world, where we collect and distribute official real-time data from courtside, we have access to the fastest, most accurate and reliable data on the market.

It also means we are able to offer unique and exclusive content to our partners. This includes, for example, Australian leagues, which are played during early mornings – a time where bookmakers are starving for any content to have on their site.

Technological Innovation Driving Growth

Another reason we are excited about basketball right now is the early success bookies have had with our exclusive 3×3 product. Played on a half-court, with just one hoop and games that last for 10 minutes, or until one team scores 21 points, 3×3 games are fast, closely contested and momentum can swing in a matter of seconds.

During tournaments, games come thick and fast – one game every 20 minutes – and half of all games finish with just one or two points difference.

For our partners, 3×3 has opened up huge opportunities to appeal to a younger demographic and offer an extremely engaging new live betting product. As an abridged form of the game, with less players on the court, closer score lines and a greater emphasis on attacking play, 3×3 offers a myriad of new and exciting markets, such as Race to Five, 10 or 15 Points and Next Team to Score Two Points.

With 3×3 now given Olympic sport status, operators educating themselves as to its potential and a streaming service imminent, we see 2018 as a breakthrough year for 3×3 and it will undoubtedly start delivering a material uplift on turnover.

Basketball’s success story is set to run and run, and while football will always remain at the top of the tree, investment in creating a market-leading basketball product looks like a sure-fire success for bookmakers.


Sam Hill – Business Development Director – Betgenius 

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