Heath Cram: Sportradar – Building a game changer…inside look at Betradar’s Managed Trading Services (MTS)

A year since launching its ‘Managed Trading Services’ (MTS) at ICE 2016, SBC catches up with Heath Cram Director of Business Development for Sportradar AG to discuss the product latest developments amid an ever-changing sports betting market.

Cram details to SBC readers how Betradar has utilised all key corporate components and competencies to build effectively managed trading services for all betting stakeholders…

ICE 2017 delegates can hear Heath Cram discuss MTS and issues around trading and risk management with at the BetMarkets stream of the ICE VOX on Wednesday 8th at 3 pm. The panel is entitled “The Future of Trading: Innovation at the Door”.

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SBC: Hi Heath, you will be presenting Betradar MTS at ICE 2017. Firstly can you breakdown your services and how they help industry stakeholders’ business and operations?

Heath Cram: Betradar’s Managed Trading Services (MTS) is centred around a 100+ strong team of industry-experienced personnel, supported by Betradar’s own trading and risk technology, all dedicated to supporting B2C operators with the day-to-day running of their Sportsbook, in a cost-efficient manner.

With more and more market pressures such as regulation and gaming duties, we felt it was important we gave operators the option to remove the huge fixed overheads and operational expenses that come with running a Sportsbook, or at a minimum – complement their own teams with our own. The MTS setup by Betradar has been designed to give operators the same access to the extensive Betradar odds and data offering without all of the technology, people or fixed fees previously needed to support it.

So as at today, across our MTS relationships, we have clients with no trading room at all, through to clients with a full trading and risk team. The service fully flexible and so is equally well equipped to work for both start-up, or existing operators.  

SBC: Where do you feel your product best fits in betting current value chain? Is Trading no longer a core domain for betting stakeholders?

HC:  The MTS is designed to be over-arching: a service to support the entire value chain and operation. By partnering and working with a range of market leading collaborators, including various software providers, we are able to provide a truly bespoke turnkey solution to operators.

Betradar truly offers the complete value chain when it comes to data provision and the betting services to support, and that is clearly evidenced by our most recent 7-year deal with the NBA.

With regards to trading specifically, through our current foundation of having the best and biggest data – thanks to algorithms, quantitative analysis and models plus the technology focused on automation – the days of extensive manual trading or odds compilation should start moving into the rear-view mirror, leaving the management of offerings, pricing strategy and risk management as the key “trading” function.

We believe as long as you have good people, processes and technology, risk management can be done equally well (or better) by our team. Using our own quants and algorithms, own technology and risk console, and importantly – our own team of experienced people, we feel we now have the complete service that allows Betradar to be a bona fide extension of an operator’s trading room.

We believe we now have that to the standard of a Tier 1 bookmaker in our MTS team, meaning it is no longer as difficult, nor expensive for a new player or start-up Sportsbook to acquire this themselves, simply by utilising our service. 

SBC: Can you detail to SBC readers what is unique about your offering in the market, and what specific products or services are available?

HC:  The work that has been done over the last year with big data and now with over 90 operators already signed up to our MTS, this all allows us to model and price in a completely different way to the market standard. We now have the commercial ability to bear 100% of the risk, and this no longer makes sports betting a volatile or risky proposition – which I think makes it interesting for new entrants to the space, particularly from Casinos or Lotteries that perhaps may have previously been less inclined to launch the traditionally riskier Sports vertical.

Secondly, I would draw attention to our independence and platform-agnostic approach. For those wanting to benefit from our official data and get a full ITF betting package, or an NBA package in partnership with our MTS – without the license fees, premiums or surcharges – it is no problem for us to offer a selective Tennis or Basketball-only trading and risk management solution, to an operator whether they are working on their own technology, or are relying on a pre-existing platform.

At the end of the day, we have developed, over the last 2 years, our own console for risk management, that can quite painlessly be integrated to any commercial B2B, or operator’s own, sportsbook platform.We are really excited that ICE has rolled around again and we will get the chance to talk to such a broad range of operators about these developments.

SBC: How has Betradar created an optimised betting and trading service for sports betting stakeholders?

HC: The structure of a one-to-many, aggregated sportsbook, with tens of customers benefiting from the same high-quality risk management standards is at the heart of this solution.

Operators can now focus on customer-facing differentiation through their own unique promotions, offering and MTS-configurable pricing and limit strategies, leaving our MTS to take care of the day-to-day risk in customer monitoring, supervision and the management of good business (VIP) as well as bad (restricted). The MTS also enables us to provide active management of risky or suspicious matches, offering administration and management of tournaments and competitions confidence levels, all while optimising pricing thanks to the swathe of insight generated by a far bigger and more diverse pooled liquidity than any smaller book could generate on their own.

For example, it means that a large Korean baseball bet, placed by one of our operators’ customers, might be all that is needed to trigger a change in confidence levels in a match, market or price, and subsequently (indirectly) allow all of our other operators to benefit from this efficiency in odds and event management! This is far more than market average odds, and incorporates liabilities and exposure of the wider sports betting community, without sacrificing individual customer focus.

Another benefit we will realise in the future through aggregation, is one of surplus management. In the future there will be the option that allows an operator never to reject a bet or limit a customer based on liability limits or risk appetite. Nor indeed any need for the operator to turn to a corporate outlet for hedging if over-exposed. MTS is currently developing a service called Surplus Trading, which will be available in the second half of 2017. With our customer base numbers growing, more and more operators are benefitting from our guaranteed returns through our 100% risk-free guaranteed margin trading service. This offering is really challenging the status quo as its relates to legacy trading.

SBC: Why is Betradar’s independence such an important factor for supplier provision of ‘Managed Trading Services’?

HC: Two words: flexibility and control…While we appreciate the importance of giving a start-up project a turnkey option for speed to market – which we accommodate frequently! – we feel it is far more important for the longer term future of a Sportsbook project that any operators launching sports betting have a choice when it comes to preferred technology and supplier. For that reason, we work in partnership (of varying degrees and levels) with as many platforms and software providers as possible, so that we can operationally support a start-up project on a case-by-case and needs basis, rather than having a single technology out-of-the-box option, with all of that option’s inherent limitations.

So working independently, with numerous partners, we can help a sportsbook go live with an omni-channel responsive offering next month if speed is key, or launch in 6 months’ time at the start of the new football season, with a truly bespoke, customised and comprehensive multi-channel offering,depending on each client’s own priorities.

Put bluntly, there are no limitations to your trading and offering with MTS!

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Heath Cram Director Business Development – Sportradar AG

ICE 2017 delegates can hear Heath Cram discuss MTS and issues around trading and risk management with at the BetMarkets stream of the ICE VOX on Wednesday 8th at 3pm. The panel is entitled “The Future of Trading: Innovation at the Door”.

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