Ahead of next week’s Betting on Sports Conference- (#boscon2017), Matt Stephenson new Managing Director of Betgenius speaks to SBC on his firm’s journey from sports data supplier to servicing all of the betting industry’s key components.
Leading Betgenius industry operations, which have placed a deep emphasis on innovation, expanding client data capacities and bridging operational knowledge gaps, Betgenius has built one of the most effective and efficient industry services portfolios…
SBC: Hi Matt, great to catch-up. In 2017 Betgenius has placed a significant emphasis on bringing new products to industry trading provisions. Why has Betgenius undertaken this approach to refreshing betting industry dynamics?
Matt Stephenson: Sportsbook trading is always evolving, driven by external factors such as customer demands and behaviours, as well as internal factors like operational costs and advances in technology.
Our market-leading outsourced trading product has helped operators address the latter for well over a decade. However, more recently we have begun to put all this experience, along with our historical data and trading algorithms, to use in other areas. This is about helping operators offer engaging betting products to their customers, and driving up turnover and profits in the process.
Most of this product development is focused on giving punters greater control over their betting options and journey, a move we believe is fundamental to the relationships bookies have with their customers.
SBC: As a technology specialist, where does Betgenius feel that current betting operators are being underserved by legacy systems?
MS: In terms of scalable sportsbook platform solutions, operators have been limited in terms of choice for a number of years. Having moved into this space just last year, Betgenius has the major benefit of being able to assess the marketplace, discover what operators really need, and create a solution which not only meets those needs but also addresses the emerging trends in technology and consumer behaviour.
There are two main areas where we will stand out from the competition. The first is to give operators genuine flexibility and customisation when it comes to the platform they integrate. The guiding principle to all our products is that they can be tailored to meet a bookmaker’s specific needs – and with our sportsbook platform that includes everything from risk management and CRM to data feeds and bet management.
Our other key point of difference is around how bookies view and engage with their customers. Betgenius is in a completely unique position in this respect thanks to our digital marketing credentials which we have built up through working with well over 100 online betting and gaming operators. This includes running the number one ad server in the betting and gaming sector.
What this means is we can roll out a fully automated, fully personalised experience basing decisions on many different data points, from an individual’s trading activity, P&L and revealed interests. This unique personal data is then combined with the sporting calendar to transform the customer journey with little need for manual intervention.
SBC: Founded in 2001, Betgenius now services all key components of betting’s operational value chain. How has Betgenius managed to develop competencies to serve all levels of industry stakeholders?
MS: Having been a trusted supplier to licensed bookmakers for well over a decade, we have extremely strong relationships in the sector and that allows us to keep ahead of the curve when it comes to delivering value. We like to work in close partnership with our clients to understand their needs, rather than just assuming everyone thinks and acts the same.
Also, being across both the marketing and trading functions for so long gives us a more complete view of the betting sector than arguably any other supplier. This is invaluable when planning our product strategy.
SBC: Following mass industry consolidation in 2015/16, we are witnessing a period in which bookmakers are placing an even higher emphasis on operational efficiency, be it savings or margin control. How do Betgenius provisions and systems help operators achieve those goals?
MS: Our products and services are all designed to vastly improve operational efficiency and to drive profitability. Running a comprehensive sportsbook is an increasingly expensive and time-consuming business and by outsourcing part or all of the trading function to us – but still retaining as much control over the pricing strategy as desired – our partners can accumulate massive overhead savings.
Some partners rightly want to keep a proportion of trading in-house, for example, the top tiers of professional football or sports where they have a particular edge, but it’s a no brainer to outsource much of it.
SBC: At BOSCON2017 Betgenius will be showcasing products and services to a number of new industry stakeholders. What should industry newcomers learn about the betting industry in 2017?
MS: A major trend, which has emerged over the past couple of years, is about giving punters more control over what they bet on and how they do it. It is a trend that we have been tracking and are now actively driving by bringing several new and innovative products to market.
BetBuilder is a perfect example. The fully-automated product takes single event accumulators – itself a major trend in sports betting – to the next level, by enabling punters to instantly build accumulators made up of dozens of different player, team and event markets within the same event.
By combining a slick interface with instant pricing driven by machine learning, it gives maximum flexibility for customers and operators alike, as well as having a significant impact on revenue.
Matt Stephenson – Managing Director – Betgenius
Stephenson will be joined in a #boscon2017 ‘Betting on Data’ track session by Enetpulse Managing Director Simon Skarsholm and Andrew Ashenden, EVP Betting at Perform Group. ‘How live data is pushing back the boundaries for in-play betting’ will assess live betting’s dependence on live data, and whether the industry has fully exploited an explosion in the data available.