Sportsbooks – the challenge of going it alone

By | July 5, 2022
Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

Launching an in-house created, quality sportsbook is not a task for the faint of heart, particularly in such a fast-moving, crowded and competitive marketplace. AllSported’s CEO, Alan Casey and Technamin’s founder and CEO, Suren Khachatryan, examine what benefits there are for some to resist the temptation to go it alone in favour of a tried and trusted solution and the wider, overall challenges.

Creating a robust, intuitive and attractive sportsbook is vital for anyone entering the marketplace or looking to expand their offering. Just how difficult is it to get right?

AC – The sheer number of moving parts makes it almost impossible to build a successful brand from the ground up without the right kind of help. Getting a new brand off the ground is expensive and entails a great deal of manpower. This staffing proposal alone can be enough to make prospective investors nervous.

As well as that, our industry’s compliance landscape is constantly shifting and keeping on top of those continual updates is a near-impossible task with every other factor that needs to be considered. Then there is payment provision to consider and all the nuances and preferences that come with it as well as optimising the look and feel of the front end. Meanwhile, operators need to engage in the ongoing negotiations for the multiple feeds for data content and pricing to make their offering attractive to end-users. It’s simply far too much to consider at any one time.

An operator on a new brand needs to be able to dedicate the bulk of their attention to getting new customers in the door. Platform providers do all the heavy lifting at the start, then down the line, when the project is stable, an operator can look to move to a better platform or even buy a licence a platform, or even buy a platform outright, but this is far from feasible to begin with.

SK – Even if we were to develop the most attractive sportsbook, it would not function without a dedicated and professional team. As a provider, that’s the first challenge we must overcome. It’s crucial to have a team of creative, innovative professionals who are enthusiastic about their tasks and are willing to dedicate themselves thoroughly to the process. Finding the right people is something we must tackle from the get-go.

Next up is the product itself. A sportsbook is a product that deals with a large amount of data on live mode, 24/7, 365 days per year, without delays. That’s why we need to consider the speed of the website as an important challenge that companies often face. At the same time, providing immediate loading and smooth operations is crucial, which is something we are able to do at Technamin.

Mathematics is at the core of everything we do, which is why sports analysis must be conducted on a high level with the most delicate calculations. This is part of what turns an ordinary sportsbook into a successful one that functions properly.

Last but not least, we must be very attentive toward safety. It is imperative that we monitor and analyse user behaviour accordingly in order to provide progress and security to the business and maintain a secure environment. These are all factors that we must keep an eye on when creating a sportsbook.

What can an experienced B2B platform provider offer any newcomers to the vertical that they can’t achieve themselves?

AC – Cost saving and time to market are the main factors. Although AllSported isn’t a platform provider, we offer everything a customer needs to launch a horse racing product. The cost of someone building out a horse racing trading team is quite significant. On top of that, they would have to get providers for data, content and pricing and then complete all those integrations.

With our help, operators can get everything in one integration and receive a tier-one calibre racing product that they don’t have to think about once it’s switched on. Through the accuracy and speed of our pricing, we’ve seen customers plug us in and immediately achieve double-digit margin percentages, which remain consistent.

SK – Starting everything from scratch would be a financial and professional challenge beyond most newcomers. On the other hand, an experienced B2B provider will have a longer and more in-depth understanding of data, which enables them to implement various AI solutions on different functions based on the data collected over years of being active in the industry.

Additionally, experienced providers have already achieved well-organised work between different departments. This is a significant advantage and a major step toward rapid development and support.

In Technamin’s case, we provide 24/7 technical and client support in case any issues occur. It is important to us that we cater to everything for our operators, and the collective industry insight of our team allows us to do so.

What benefits in terms of timescale are there for operators to consider when partnering with a provider?

AC – An expedited timescale is definitely one of the biggest advantages of a good provider. Platforms and B2B providers have already done the heavy lifting and have ready-made solutions that they can get live for an operator’s customers pretty much overnight. Operators can have the open business sign on the door from day one, or can at least be under construction and have the coming soon sign up as soon as possible. It’s a very clear-cut decision.

SK – If the provider has the proper infrastructure required to set up the product efficiently and in time, the operator will be able to scale in a shorter time frame. At Technamin, we can fully provide operators with the sportsbook in a little over a week, depending on the circumstances. As most operators are intent on entering the market faster, this is an advantage for them.

Moreover, we not only fully support the technical side of things, but we also offer consulting with risk management and promotional issues in very short time periods. We do this so the operator can hit the ground running as soon as the sportsbook is delivered.

For suppliers, what does the future hold and how can they ensure that they and their platforms remain attractive to operators?

AC – The feedback we hear the most from customers of platform providers is a desire for more flexibility. There is a feeling among operators that with platform providers, you get what you pay for and a more customisable product comes at a premium. However, even the ability to alter elements like pricing strategies isn’t a given.

We’re talking to a lot of people who would love a better solution for horse racing but have their hands tied by their providers. They’re spending huge sums on marketing and trying to acquire customers, but then they’re offering a subpar horse racing product and giving away up to 10 per cent in margin due to price latencies. So as necessary as platform providers are, new brands should choose wisely from the outset to ensure they maintain control of their offering.

SK – Technology is always progressing. On one hand, the operators’ needs must be fully covered, but it is also crucial to keep the product up to date with the latest technological developments and advancements and tweak things accordingly.

We must also ensure that there are unique and creative solutions that have not been implemented in the market, and to use these solutions as leverage for operators.

In addition to tech advancements, we also keep track of UI/UX and come up with innovative website designs that attract different markets and market segments. It’s also worth noting that one must always be open to partners’ feedback and ensure that the best service is immediately provided for them, which is what Technamin’s dedicated teams are trained to do.

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