From cash out to edit-my-bet – technology driving sportsbook innovation

From cash out to edit-my-bet – technology driving sportsbook innovation

Friday, June 2, 2017 Posted by James Walker

Cash out betting has been a game-changer for sportsbooks, and innovation in the field is set to continue over the coming months, as operators look to expand their market share.

At this year’s Betting On Football conference, which took place in London last month, four leading industry experts discussed the ongoing importance of cash out betting, and what the future has in store for punters.

“It’s not an exaggeration to say that, for sportsbooks, cash out has been single biggest innovation over the last five years,” said Eoin Ryan, head of sportsbook for BetVictor.

“First of all, operators’ best customers tend to use this product. They see it as a very friendly feature, and it gives them huge control over the bet. From our point of view, it’s good for margin.

“It’s a battleground in terms of product innovation, and we see it as something that we will be investing in over the medium term. The possibilities for innovation in that space are huge.”

According to Ryan, bet edit features are also on track for further growth over the coming years. “Bet edit is another form of cash out,” he stated. “It allows people to keep some skin in the game when the bet is looking like it’s dead.

“For an operator, this keeps the customer engaged for longer, and I think it’s going to be a feature that everyone will have to adopt. Ladbrokes and bet365 have it, and I’m sure SkyBet will be looking at it, too.

“In terms of future innovation and where the product goes, we are probably going to see a level of personalisation and automation. These are going to be the big areas.”

Bernard Marantelli, CEO, Colossus Bets, agreed that there is a demand for personalisation when it comes to cash out, but he said innovation in the field is likely to be defined by incremental – rather than game-changing – developments.

“I think people want personalisation,” he said. “I think there will be some automation when you place the bet, but I don’t think that will be as big as you might think. Some of the automation that a few firms have looked at are a bit too complicated.

“In terms of the next innovation, I think edit-my-bet was a good step, but I think the next steps will be smaller, and the overall product will be the same.”

Tom Warburton, head of sportsbook products for Betgenius, said operators could tap further growth in the cash out market by pushing for innovations at the front end of the bet.

“If you consider all the functionality that is being brought in, it’s all currently happening at the ‘sharp end’ – the actual settlement end of the bet, as the bet is ending its lifecycle,” he said. “We actually aren’t seeing any innovation at the front, on the placement of the bet.

“What we might see in the future is some innovations around bet placement, whereby punters can automate that part of the bet. We’re definitely lacking some innovation in the early stage of the bet.”

Andrew Wright, head of football trading at SkyBet, said cash out has grown to a point whereby punters now expect the service as standard. And looking ahead, he stated that new elements, such as bet request, are set to grow in size and scope.

“Bet request was born in the social world, with customers coming in wanting weird and wonderful things,” said Wright. “It really transformed into an accumulator of everything you can bet on in a single match.

“This is very much becoming a battleground. I think what we’ll see is a continued move towards giving customers more control to bet on what they want, rather than the operators dictating the markets.”

Totally Gaming says: Technology continues to drive innovation in the sports betting market. Cash out is now ubiquitous across the industry, but it originally presented some operators with difficulties – particularly in terms of scalability. New options, such as bet request, are giving punters even more control, but if this necessitates a continued shift towards automation, operators must strive to maintain a seamless and friendly user experience.

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