SBC News Market Make-up: UK bookies battle on margin control of bet builders...

Market Make-up: UK bookies battle on margin control of bet builders…

SBC News Market Make-up: UK bookies battle on margin control of bet builders...
Jake Pollard

As part Jake Pollard’s ongoing ‘Market Make-up‘ series examining European betting markets unique intricacies and dynamics for engaging audiences. Propus Partners gathered data from UK bookmakers for the Premier League weekend of 12-14 January and analysed how the country’s bookmakers offered bet builders and the margins they applied to them.

Global Prominence

 Over the last few years, ‘bet builders’, or ‘same game parlays‘, have risen to prominence across many global regions. In markets where football/soccer is popular, they have become a ‘must have’ feature within sportsbooks offerings, providing customers with exciting and engaging betting opportunities within each individual event, benefitting the operator with a high margin product.

As part of our analysis of the UK bet builder space, we discovered some interesting patterns:

  • Infinite numbers: Given the nature of the product, where all possible combinations of selections within an event simply cannot be listed due to the huge number of them, the margin that is applied is somewhat hidden. 
  • Nothing compares: Without an efficient way of comparing bet builder prices across a range of bookmakers, customers are left to accept or reject what they are offered and their choice is often based on their own perceptions of fairness.
  • When it comes to operators, Paddy Power/Betfair, bet365 and Sky Bet have the lowest margins from the sample of matches and bets analysed.
  • There is a significant range of average margins across the bookmakers within the sample, ranging from 20% to 35%. 
  • Margin applied is somewhat related to the number of selections within the bet, but not strictly so.
  • Bet builders with player markets included generally see higher margins applied.

The chart below shows the expected ‘Return to Player’ (in blue) and expected margin (in yellow) across the bets where every operator offered a price:

SBC News Market Make-up: UK bookies battle on margin control of bet builders...How was the data analysed?

We collected prices for each of the bookmakers within the sample across the five English Premier League matches that were played on the weekend of 12-14 January 2024. For each match, a sample of 10 bet builder bets were built, designed to represent a range of:

  • Number of selections
  • High and low probabilities
  • Types of markets (goals, corners, cards, players)

Then using Propus’s proprietary bet builder algorithm, the actual (marginless) probability for each bet was calculated. Multiplying this probability with the offered prices gives the expected margin and RTP values.

What does margin depend on?

As the chart below shows, the margin applied on each bet by any given bookmaker is not static. Note, where there are common prices between operators, that will likely be due to a common supplier.SBC News Market Make-up: UK bookies battle on margin control of bet builders...

 

The average margin taken across all three-selection bets within the sample, across all bookmakers, was approximately 25%. For four-selection bets, this increased to approximately 40%. However, for five and six-selection bets, margin remained at approximately 40%. 

  • From this sample, it does therefore appear that there is a correlation between number of selections and margin, however it is not as strong as it would be for standard accumulators/parlays across different events (where margin simply compounds).
  • A stronger correlation is seen when analysing margin compared to the number of ‘types’ of markets included in the bets (goals, corners, cards, player goals. For bets with just one of these ‘types’ included, margin is close to 20%, with two types it is approximately 30%, with three types it is approximately 35%, and with four types, 40%.
  • Looking at bets where a ‘player’ selection is included, the average margin is 35% compared to 30% where no player selection is included.

The final chart below shows how margin decreases as the probability of the bet increases, or put another way, for shorter odds bets, the customer is likely to receive more of their stake back over time.

SBC News Market Make-up: UK bookies battle on margin control of bet builders...

Propus will be studying the margin application methods from each bookmaker in more detail. Please reach out to the team should you like to hear more.

User Experience 

Having spent time collecting the data for this analysis, the Propus team are of a view that some of the current bet builder solutions in the UK market are yet to achieve a simple and intuitive user experience (UX), given the nuances of the product and the volume of markets included. This may go some way to explaining the popularity and importance of pre-built bet builder selections for customers.

Improvements in this area will help operators capture and retain cohorts of players that are yet to engage with the product due to its complexities.

____________________

Article is published by SBCNews in partnership with Gaming&Co.

Propus Partners is a consultancy specialising in sports betting with a specific focus on trading, trading technology, product, operations and the supplier marketplace. Propus works with operators, platforms, feed providers, regulators, data rights holders and sporting organisations. 

SBC News Market Make-up: UK bookies battle on margin control of bet builders...

 

Check Also

SBC News Laurent Lassiaz, JOA Group: French peers want to see iCasino regulated in next 18 to 24 months

Laurent Lassiaz, JOA Group: French peers want to see iCasino regulated in next 18 to 24 months

As political machinations dominate French news, Laurent Lassiaz, CEO of France’s second largest casino operator …

Etihad Stadium

bet365: Premier League season lived up to ‘Never Ordinary’ tag

As UEFA EURO 2024 kicks off in Germany, bet365’s Steve Freeth looks back at an …

SBC News SIS expands US footprint with bet365 esports deal

SIS expands US footprint with bet365 esports deal

SIS Content Services is expanding its US footprint in a deal that sees bet365 offer …