With Betradar launching its ‘Managed Trading Services (MTS)’ at ICE 2016, team SBC caught up with project/product lead Paolo Personeni (Managing Director – Betradar Trading Services) to discuss its new division as sports data provider Betradar aims to create the optimal trading system for operators and industry stakeholders.
Once thought of as an integral function for all betting operators, Personeni details to SBC readers why managed trading and outsourcing of risk can be best served outside a bookmakers core operations, as industry stakeholders are faced with tougher market conditions and user demands.
SBC: Hi Paolo, great to catch up…You have been tasked with leading Betradar’s Managed Trading Services. As a leading sports data supplier why is Betradar in the best position to offer this service?
Paolo Personeni: Well, Betradar has become the go-to provider for a range of reasons. Let’s start with our peerless distribution reach: we have commercial relationships of one sort or another with virtually any operator in the market across all continents. There is no company that has a broader base of knowledge and experience. Then there is our vertical integration: we can support every link in the value chain from fixtures to resulting, through odds and risk management. This all generates clear value in terms of product quality, cost and innovation for our clients, while the well-established reputation in all those areas serves only to underpin the credibility of our future solutions.
Thirdly there is independence: Sportradar is a fully independent B2B operator, with no direct or indirect, open or hidden, relationships with correlated B2C businesses. This has far reaching implications as Sportradar can really set up true value-driven partnerships with its clients, with no conflict of interest of any kind. We believe this is a highly valuable asset when, because of the nature of the service, there is access to player information. Fourth is coverage: our clients enjoy unrestricted access to the best sports and market coverage. And we only keep adding: whether it be through special packages such as our eSports offering, or through complementary third party content.
All this has established a reputation that Sportradar has enjoyed for 16 years now: for unparalleled and professional service. There have been innovation after innovation over those 16 years and this brings us to the Managed Trading Services, which is just the latest.
With the MTS, we cover the whole spectrum of customer needs and types with a very innovative and flexible product offer, truly tailor-made to customer requirements. Products range from Risk Sharing to Return Guaranteed (guaranteed margin), with Global or Selective Trading. On a stand-alone basis or as turnkey solution. And of course the service can be bundled together with our streaming offer to provide an even more comprehensive solution.
I am proud to be taking this service into the market and as an aside, am flattered that our own product brand name is now being used across the general market as shorthand for the product category.
SBC: Entering 2016 we have seen betting stakeholders place a higher emphasis on efficiency and intelligence. With regards to market trading and risk management how is Betradar developing intelligent tools and services?
PP: You are absolutely right: as in many other industries, clients increasingly want to do more with less , therefore combining efficiency and intelligence together are key to providing operators with a service they can trust and rely on, without any compromise when it comes to effectiveness.
The MTS operations have been designed with efficiency as one of their key propositions: built on the core of Sportradar operations, they push quality and efficiency standards to the next level. Our customers fully benefit from this as they can streamline their operational in-house needs and focus their resources on other priorities and drives.
But this is only the starting point. Then we look at the MTS from an intelligence point of view: all processes are highly automated, continuously monitored and supported by sophisticated data driven algorithms. These are developed in-house by our own Sportradar Quant and data scientists team. Their job is to regularly test and refine the trading and risk management models designed by our specialist Trading and Product Development teams to ensure that the service our operator clients rely on really is on point.
SBC: Risk management has always been viewed as a core ‘in-house’ function for bookmakers. In a fast changing technology space, can bookmakers still hold this value?
PP: I would say that the MTS is a fantastic opportunity for a whole range of bookmakers, but I do think some bookmakers will be keeping their risk management in-house. Of course there are also sportbooks who decide to focus only on distribution and marketing, and completely outsource their trading. But I think the needle is moving in the middle ground. Ultimately, every bookmaker should find its own ideal approach, which is of course dependant on history, size and cumulated experience.
But from the market research we have undertaken and on the basis of our in-market discussions, we have seen that the fast pace of innovation has made it increasingly hard for all but the largest and most sophisticated bookmaker, to keep running their trading operations as usual. Operator after operator has really welcomed the opportunity to integrate their strong and highly focused internal competences and operations with externalised risk management capabilities. Where we have signed up bookmakers, their focus has shifted from a blanket approach to one centred on their major markets and/or on customised offers (whether in terms of sports and markets). Time and resources previously set aside for these demanding operational requirements can be reassigned to better analysis, strategies and planning.
I would summarise it this way: big bookmakers will keep risk management in house, small operators will outsource as much as possible. The interesting evolution is happening in between, where more and more mid-level operators are beginning to consider and try out external risk management capabilities.
SBC: As a data supplier Betradar/Sportradar organisations are renowned for working with multiple organisations and sporting stakeholders, how have you used this unique benefit in building your trading product?
PP: Sportradar is a company that holds a unique position at the intersection of sport, betting, data and entertainment with some of the biggest brands in each of those areas working hand in hand with our offices around the world.
As you allude to, this has had a really positive impact on a range of our solutions, which can double up with each other to form unique and value-generating packages.
One of the things our Managed Trading Services can now do because of the scope of our company is help refine our award-winning Security Services even more. Anonymised information from our MTS has now given us the ability to detect suspicious market movements with even more precision than before.
We are only starting to see the impact of this added functionality but we are excited about how Sportradar, with the increased trust of the betting ecosystem, can improve its ability to support and protect the integrity of sport worldwide.
SBC: Bookmaker’s are aiming to become more intelligent, but so are players! In terms of betting risk, will wider advancements in consumer technologies benefit players or operators.
PP: Consumer technology does not generate mutually exclusive benefits. We are excited for the insight and engagement that players will be able to enjoy and we cannot wait to harness increasingly powerful and intelligent tech to bring valuable solutions and opportunities to operators.
In the area of our Managed Trading Services for example, real time analytical tools and dynamic models are going to ensure an ever better and more scientific approach to risk management for sportbooks. This will lead to less restrictions to betting behaviours, as well as more individually customized offers for players.
Everybody enjoys the benefits!
SBC: Finally how do you envision Betradar Managed Trading Services developing in the future? What are your short term and long term goals for this service?
PP: We are already proud of how refined our MTS offer is and we can see the growing demand for risk management services on the horizon. But anyone who has followed our company knows that we have never let a market-leading position curb our enthusiasm for innovation. In this area, we believe the key to continuous success will be product innovation but also ensuring that we have the full range of solutions that are bespoke and flexible. In the short term we will accelerate the pace of investment in products, services and even better operational capabilities. We are also confident that we are around from the corner from offering the market a full turnkey solution: a fully integrated offer that is capable of meeting all operator needs in one bespoke bundle. That could really change and galvanise the industry. In the medium to long term, we foresee risk management services becoming one of Sportradar main business pillars as more operators with different priorities and structures recognise us as the optimal and most responsive risk management solution developer.
Paolo Personeni – MD Betradar – Manage Trading Services