Endre Nesset, Director of Sports for Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) breaks down delivering a two-year project, launching GiG’s new sportsbook platform.
Highlighting increased operator-to-consumer demands, Nesset details to SBC that GiG’s sportsbook platform had to develop as an ‘anything is possible’ proposition, beating the expectations set by ‘one-size fits all’ solutions.
SBC: Hi Endre, can you detail to SBC readers the development of GiG’s new sportsbook platform, from its initial concept, planning, through to its launch?
Endre Nesset: The project was conceived because, like many of our peers, we were not satisfied with the flexibility offered to us by the previous system. So we decided to build something great of our own, creating a new platform from scratch, using the latest technology and making it future-proof.
The project kicked off in January 2017 with a team of 15 people from our sports tech team. Today we are close to 100.
Since Gaming Innovation Group occupies a unique position, being both a platform supplier and an operator, we’ve used this experience to create an optimal sportsbook for operators who need to compete with the best. It’s been a long journey and it’s very rare for a new sportsbook platform to be created from the first line of code upwards, but we’ve done it. We’re delighted with the results and excited about what the future holds for us and our customers.
SBC: As an industry technology and leadership veteran, how has sportsbook platform development evolved? In 2018, what do operators want and what have suppliers delivered to date?
EN: Operators are no longer prepared to take a ‘one-size fits all’ approach. Every operator deserves the freedom they need – freedom such as being able to choose their odds with unlimited flexibility and without restrictive dependencies. Platform and sportsbook providers need to understand that the power now sits fully with the operator.
SBC: From your perspective, what should be the core functions of a sportsbook platform, as more operators seek greater flexibility and choice in inventory and data provisions?
EN: Sportsbook platforms need to offer an ‘anything is possible’ solution, so we want to leave all doors open for the operators. We’re doing this right now, launching our odds aggregator where operators have the freedom to offer a unique end-user experience powered by GiG sports betting services.
SBC: From an operational perspective, is it wise to launch new sports betting platform during a World Cup period, when a bookmaker has to cope with various multiple player and market demands?
EN: It was a great time to launch for us, thoroughly testing the product in the most demanding sporting event out there. Even though we launched our new sportsbook with our in-house operator Rizk.com just the day before the World Cup kicked off, we had tested our proprietary outright feeds, and everything looked good.
The outright markets performed well and we’re thrilled with how our odds feed performed margin-wise. It was a real experience for the team – we were very confident we had a strong product, and now the future looks bright.
SBC: Can you give SBC readers further insight on GiG’s ‘never suspend’ betting markets?
EN: We implemented ‘never suspend’ in our outright models for the main outrights for the World Cup where we were pricing this up proprietarily. The idea was to have all the markets open, similar to a live betting event, such as the tournament winner market. It was cool to see how it works, especially when you get to the knockout stages, when one favourite gets knocked out on a Monday and the other favourite is not playing until the Friday. We stayed open throughout because we’re confident in our models – if you want to be a force to be reckoned with then you have to take a stand.
This is exactly what we did and in some cases, we saw a lot of action because we were out of sync with the market. We believe strongly in our models, enabling us to play it this way. It all worked out very well for us.
SBC: Finally, as a team, you have delivered a 2-year project for GiG’s enterprise, what does this platform represent for GiG’s long-term business?
EN: We are putting a lot of effort into sports as it’s the biggest vertical in iGaming. To offer a state-of-the-art sportsbook is one of our key focus areas where we see good potential for growth… You’ll see more from GiG’s sports betting services in months and years to come!
Endre Nesset – Director of Sports – Gaming Innovation Group (GiG)
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