sports betting

The chicken or the egg? The cause and effect dilemma for sports betting operators

“I can’t get on to the integration fast-track with my technology supplier unless I’ve got increased turnover, and I can’t get the turnover without the content that I need to integrate.” Does this sound familiar?

Conall McSorley, Business Development Director at gbet, is on hand to explain his take on the ’cause and effect’ dilemma that brings such frustration for operators making their way in the increasingly expensive and competitive sports betting space.

In an interview last month focused on the gbet rebrand, I discussed the ongoing challenge to allay migration concerns and alleviate specific pain points for sportsbook operators.

One of the fundamental questions that operators have to ask themselves is this: What is the compelling reason for a customer to come and use my product? If you can’t answer that question, or show that you can differentiate yourself for one of the following – pricing, product, content or functionality, then you’re probably with the wrong technology supplier.

I would encourage every operator to regularly evaluate performance across a variety of different criteria, because that’s the way core dependency relationships work. Fundamentally, the delivery of a sports betting platform and product is software as a service, and the end product is the consumer betting experience.

A key part to ongoing operator evaluation of their service provider must be a response plan to the most common warning signals. For example, if you’ve got increased acquisition costs, falling retention and lifetime value (LTV) levels, or you’re seeing your number of dormant or inactive accounts increasing, quite clearly something is wrong.

If we assume that your pricing is just as good as your competitors, but you’re still seeing this ‘KPI decay’, then the problem could well lie with your fundamental technology. What does your software supplier give you in terms of uptime, stand out functionality, speed of third party integration, or back office reporting to better understand the trends within your existing business?

Historically, best practices from other industries haven’t really been taken into the betting space, where businesses consistently review their suppliers and core dependencies, before evaluating to what extent those suppliers are actually improving their finished product.

However, I see a change towards a more pragmatic approach to this evaluation, and one in which technology suppliers are judged on merit, not simply cost, against a comparative benchmark.

With some operators, it becomes a chicken and egg type scenario, i.e. your basic content is not going to lead to acquisition and turnover growth, but if this growth is the criteria to prioritise your requirements in the eyes of the technology supplier, you’re kind of between a rock and a hard place. That kind of conversation, initiated by frustrated operators, is being had on a regular basis.

So, where does gbet come in to the equation? We’re a bespoke, tailored service that will deliver on your platform and product requirements and guarantee uptime and performance. How? Because we have built a stable, robust, modular platform with proven scalability. Why? Because that’s what you’re paying your licence fee for!

In the previous interview, we referenced the notion that operators can be resistant to change based on customer migration concerns. What I would say here, is that these operators need to pause for thought, because what’s actually happening is that their customers are migrating to one of their competitors while they’re debating changes on a software and technology level.

Put simply, it makes no business sense to stay with a supplier that isn’t matching your expectations in terms of enhancing your end product, because vanilla is not going to cut it anymore – the sports betting space is too competitive for that.

If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling further behind. The best evidence of this in sports betting comes when the market leaders roll out something new, and you see competitors bending over backwards to prioritise matching that enhancement, just to make sure that they’re keeping pace.

As soon as that happens, you have this trickle down through the industry. However, if you don’t have the commitment of your platform supplier to jump on new enhancements and you don’t enjoy the consequent acquisition/turnover boost, then you’re likely to be further down the chain for the platform supplier… and that’s the chicken and egg scenario!

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