If asked to describe the most successful advancements in online betting in recent years, an industry observer might cite the offering of more markets on a given event (in particular ‘in-play’), the roll-out of live streaming, the provision of more engaging data/stats to drive betting decisions and the addition of cash out functionality.
At least the first three of these however, would appear to have reached a form of ‘saturation’ point: the list of markets on an event can only extend so far before space constraints/logistics intervene and the player is overwhelmed and turned off; just about every sporting event, however obscure, is available to be watched by way of streaming unless the operator cannot get the relevant rights; and there is a sweet spot of providing enough betting data to inform and drive betting decisions without overloading and confusing players.
In contrast, the ‘newest’ of the four advancements described above, cash out, may have some way to go before it reaches maturity. Players have embraced cash out because it gives them an element of control over their destiny – in particular it allows them to avoid the ‘near miss’ frustration of multi-leg/accumulator betting. The feature however involves a binary ‘all or nothing’ decision – the player can either elect to ‘stick’, or can take a cash amount to exit his bet.
The logical extension of this traditional cash out is giving players the option to exit part of their bets and retaining the corresponding part. For example, a player with a cash out offer of £200 should be able to cash out 50% of the bet and bank £100, whilst playing on for 50% of the full return from the bet. Given that Colossus Bets has pioneered this exact feature through our ‘Fractional Cash-In’ option and has patent protection in this area, I am biased here, but I believe there is an inevitability that soon enough traditional cash out will be about as acceptable to online punters as offering just 4 places on the Grand National has become.
In terms of the benefits to us and our players of Fractional Cash-In, we have found that:
- The feature provides us with a second revenue stream on the player’s original bet (via the Cash-In margin), as well as reducing our payout volatility.
- It creates product ‘stickiness’, with players frequently checking their offers and banking profits in increments, before the match/pool is resolved. A player who makes at least one Cash-In transaction in a given month, whether betting with Colossus Bets directly or via one of our B2B partners, is 50% more likely to play our pools again the following month, than a player who has not made a Cash-In, in the first month.
- Cash-In improves the recycling of player returns because a bigger number of players are repeatedly banking smaller amounts rather than having just one player winning a big jackpot.
- There is probably no greater feelgood PR story than a player Cashing-In a big sum on a ticket which subsequently goes on to lose. Earlier this month a Colossus Bets player banked £93,000 by Cashing-In 90% of a £4 bet, which 90 minutes later became worthless.
Perhaps the next phase of Cash In will be in other forms of gaming and even lotteries. Picture the scene: your first five Lottery numbers have come up with £100m in play if you can get the sixth. The final ball is drawn a week later in a tv game show format and Simon Cowell is making you a Cash-In offer for your ticket of £5m. Will you Cash-In some or all of that ticket?
Bernard Marantelli – Founder & CEO – Colossus Bets