Bernard Casey is a gambling industry veteran who’s senior managerial at Sky Bet, Stan James and Ladbrokes amongst others.
He’s now Chief Executive at My Club Betting, and SBC recently caught up with him to discuss the innovative approach they’re taking to personalising the betting market for customers, whilst lending a helping hand to sports clubs throughout the UK.
SBC: First of all, many thanks for talking to us Bernard. As it’s a rather unique and fascinating model, could you walk our readers through exactly what it is that My Club Betting (MCB) offers?
Bernard: Firstly, the idea of the business was born out of a discussion between two friends with regard to the lack of funding for grassroots sport, and how this was getting even scarcer.
There are an estimated 151,000 sports clubs in the UK. More than a quarter of clubs are running at a loss. Only 23% of sports clubs are managing to balance their income and expenditure to break even, and a further 28% are operating with a deficit. This leaves just under half (49%) of clubs operating with a small surplus.
MCB is a technology and marketing company that supplies sports clubs with their own customised betting and gaming service, and shares the net revenue generated by the service with them. This is all supplied free, with the site created and ready to go live within five minutes.
We also provide the clubs with an opportunity to earn free equipment and a full team kit, regardless of which grassroots sport they are involved in.
MCB has recently launched its service with Club Website to provide grassroots football-team websites with the option of an integrated betting offering, which any team can set up automatically. Through Club Website, MCB has access to a further 80,000 clubs from their current captured circa 21,500 clubs.
SBC: You entered this season after a successful summer in which you teamed up with Premier Sports to become the Official Broadcast Sponsors for the Copa America. What impact did this have?
Bernard: This was a great opportunity to spread the MCB brand and also to promote our unique USPs aimed at grassroots clubs around the summer’s biggest football tournament. The upside was seen in the number of new followers on social media, where we recorded a 97% growth, plus the number of affiliated clubs using the service grew by over 39%.
SBC: Just how important is proper investment and dedication to the provision of first rate in-play markets becoming?
Bernard: As with all technology companies, investment and partnerships with the right service providers are key, and we accepted that our current product was lacking in several areas; hence our tie-up with FSB technology.
With the vast uptake in mobile betting, (which accounts for over 60% of our total stakes), the desire and ease-of-use demanded by customers to place bets on live markets is greater than ever, so this was a major driver in the decision to tie up with FSB, as they will provide us with over 70,000 in-play markets per year for our own bespoke Sportsbook, which will be tailored for each affiliated club.
SBC: The new Sportsbook will be unleashed in the near future. Can you tell us any more about this?
Bernard: Having completed the FSB deal, this is only the beginning as we are committed to continued development of the product, so that we can further enhance our unique proposition to all grassroots sports clubs.
The aim is to provide a great user experience across all aspects of the site, allowing players to quickly get to their favourite bets, and to access fantastic promotional rewards across all key sports and some unique betting offerings.
Alongside this, we are looking to add other gaming products to compliment the Sportsbook, which will include proprietary products developed in conjunction with our partners.
SBC: With rugby alongside football as one of your areas of major focus, will you be adding to the amount of sports you cover? With the ever increasing popularity in eSports betting, this must be one attractive proposition.
Bernard: The new Sportsbook will cover all the major sports as currently provided by the major players, but as you quite rightly asked, we will provide a greater coverage of our major sports, football and rugby, and where we have partnerships with some of these clubs, such as 2015 Challenge Cup Winners Leeds Rhinos, we will offer bespoke bets and prices on all their games for their supporters.
SBC: Finally Bernard, what are your hopes and aims for the rest of the 2015/16 season?
Bernard: Obviously, firstly to get the Sportsbook up and running, continue the development of the user experience, betting markets and offers we can provide.
Secondly, to work along with all our partners such as Club Website, which has 21,500 affiliated grassroots football clubs to enable us to roll out the service, and achieve our aim of supporting more and more grassroots clubs.
Thirdly, we are building a team of high-profile brand ambassadors who are fully behind our determination to provide support to grassroots sport.
Bernard Casey – CEO – My Club Betting