March saw the latest instalment of SBC’s ‘Betting on Football Conference‘ where the hottest topics and opportunities from the sports betting industry were debated extensively.
One of those hot topics centred on whether economies of scale are causing market stagnation. There have been a wave of operator failures of late that has seen SunBets, 188Bet and BetBright all fall short for its customers.
These closures have thrown up numerous questions on whether the current leading sportsbook providers have become too regimented in their strategies in order to deliver on scale promises. It seems as if a good deal of operators are content with the current situation where price is the leading decision factor for sports bettors.
A big factor is that the online sportsbook industry is unlike any other in that for the majority of operators they don’t own their product offering. This is down to the fact they are beholden to their provider to deliver the bulk of their online or app product and functionality.
There are advantages to this process as it would be extremely costly for a sportsbook to generate the multitude of events or odds that a typical sportsbook offers. However, that comes at a price and it isn’t simply a financial cost.
Such a service restricts front-end display such as markets and events; there are often restrictions around bonusing and promotions; limited personalised knowledge of customer behaviour; choice of gaming and casino products; ability to create bespoke products; localise the offering; payment systems and risk management to suit their operation. It does not need to remain this way.
Exploring how the current sports betting landscape can be disrupted to allow protaganistics to differentiate is pivotal for change.
Sportsbooks are now able to take control of key elements of their product and thus create differentiation from competitors on the same platform. Nearly all sportsbook providers have an API and that enables the operator to use the API to develop specific elements of a sportsbook suited to their operation and crucially that they own.
Bettortech, a division of Bettorlogic, in conjunction with sister company SportsIt have been developing sportsbook parts for a variety of clients over the past three years. Front-end development, payments systems, odds integrations, customer databases that they own 100%, simple content management systems to control display, banners, market and events hierarchy, business intelligence systems to aid CRM and Marketing, language integration and localisation.
This approach enables small to mid-tier operators to adopt an approach whereby they can create a brand identity and strengthen their proposition in whatever way they feel gives them a competitive edge in what is often a crowded market place.
Many of these operators are expert marketers but not necessarily bookmakers and building their own products to support what they are good at and strengthen where they might be lacking gives them a real opportunity to retain and grow their customer base and thus increase profit and asset value.
In our experience, sportsbook providers have welcomed this approach as it provides an additional sales pitch for attracting new clients and frees development resource when asked for an individual service or product.
Sports betting operators need providers to deliver a cost-effective service to enter the market, but there needs to be a better way to attract customers aside from price to avoid more closures like BetBright. Bookmakers must have the tools to disrupt these traditional models and this can be achieved by giving them the power to shape their own brand through user experience and products.
Andrew Dagnall – CEO & Founder – Bettorlogic