Neale Deeley, Managing Director at Betradar, discusses the development of the company’s latest virtual offering – Basketball.
SBC: You’ve just launched your virtual basketball product. How long have you been developing it? What was the start point?
Neale Deeley: The inception of the project was over a year ago when we sketched out the punter types we wanted to appeal to and user journeys that will keep them playing. Once we had the basis of a solid betting product the hard work started with motion capture filming, data cleansing and sequence editing leading up to the end product you see today.
ND: Absolutely. All the research we have done suggests that the motivation to bet, and the experience the punter has with that bet, mirrors the real sport equivalent. This is why we spend so much time and effort to ensure that, from a betting perspective, our games feel like the real sport at every level.
SBC: Has your relationship as official data partner of FIBA, and the requisite expertise from that partnership, helped inform the development?
ND: We have drawn on a lot of the basketball experience we have within the company and our partners. Thousands of real matches have been analyzed so that we get the details right, from the relative strengths of teams in the league right down to the frequency of shot types we show graphically.
SBC: Is basketball underrated as a betting event?
ND: I’m not sure it is. Basketball is a hugely popular sport around the world and is well suited to betting. Just look at the figures in Nevada where 29% of wagers are on basketball. Underrated isn’t what you would call that.
SBC: Is there a danger of additional new virtual sports cannibalising existing virtual sports?
ND: Only in the same way adding more real sports and events has cannibalised existing sports. Overall, the evidence points to a very positive impact on revenues of adding new virtual sports. This comes from new punters who don’t find the other sports appealing and existing players who like the variety.
SBC: What is the appeal of virtual sports to punters?
ND: Virtual does what all successful new products do. It takes something that is already very popular and modifies it slightly. In the case of virtual, this modification is speed. A bet on a real football game takes a few hours from placement to settlement. In virtual it is a few minutes. Everything else is the same. Same bet markets, same sport, same odds, same results so the punter gets the experience they love just a lot quicker.