Sportradar’s Jacob Lopez Curciel: top tips for setting up a sportsbook

Sportradar’s Jacob Lopez Curciel: top tips for setting up a sportsbook

It’s been one year since Sportradar introduced ORAKO, it’s all-in-one sportsbook solution, providing operators worldwide with the tools they need to launch and establish a sports betting business in any regulated market. During those 12 months, Jacob Lopez Curciel, SVP, Managed Sportsbook Services at Sportradar, and his team have worked with a number of operator clients in multiple jurisdictions worldwide. 

To mark ORAKO’s first full year on the market, Curciel provides his top tips for setting up a sportsbook offering.  

Localise your offering

Betting is one of the world’s oldest pastimes and there are significant differences to be aware of market-by-market. It’s important to tailor your content to the cultural tastes and usage habits of the target market. Adapt your offering to what’s expected locally, adjusting the user experience according to regional norms, expectations, preferences and language. 

For example, engaging with a US patron differs to engaging with a punter in the UK, or a player in Spain. There are different user interface layouts, wide-ranging expectations for the user experience, as well as regional naming conventions to consider. In the UK you’ll hear punters talk about their ‘accas’ while bettors or patrons in the US talk about their ‘parlays’ – both refer to combination bets. 

US players will find teasers and round robin bet types in the betting slip, whereas in the UK system bets will be automatically offered up-front in the betting slip as soon as the number of selections increase.  

Sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) driven marketing tools can be used to achieve an in-depth knowledge of customers in the region, going as far to deliver a personalised betting experience tailored to the preferences and interests of individual players. 

Services that are highly configurable, permitting localisation of the betting offer and user experience in different markets, hold a clear competitive advantage to operators of all sizes.

Set up with a scalable platform 

It’s crucial that operators use a platform which is optimised for intense data loads and supported by an infrastructure that can scale in real time. This means that bettors will always be able to engage with their sports and place a wager regardless of an event’s popularity.

Operators should look to provide their customers with a stable and reliable solution that can handle real-time data to update betting markets instantly. The slightest delay can have a negative effect on the user experience.    

Put mobile first

In a world with some 15 billion mobile handsets in operation, it’s imperative that sportsbook operators take a ‘mobile-first’ approach when setting up their betting offering. Being ‘mobile-first’ means tailoring your business to prioritise mobile users. In the US, we see nine out of 10 bets placed using a mobile device, while on a global level that figure stands at 45%, so it’s important to get it right.   

Bettors expect the same features and functionality from a mobile offering as they do from a desktop one. Live betting markets, live streaming and dynamic content all need to be optimised for mobile and accessible to the end user anytime, anywhere to ensure a positive customer experience. 

Every engagement channel has a different relevance depending on the market – be it retail, mobile web, or native apps. Of that list, it’s the latter two that are driving expansion and penetration across all markets. That’s why operators should prioritise a mobile first strategy to deliver against their demanding business growth goals.   

Focus on in-play to grow your business 

Put quite simply, in-play betting is huge and will only continue to grow as more markets open and regulate for sports betting. To give you an idea of the size of the opportunity, we offer more than 200 in-play markets on a single soccer match and provide the marketplace with more than 25,000 betting opportunities in soccer each month. 

In-play is a natural place to wager. Bettors enjoy watching the live action unfold and the volume of real-time information they receive during a match, delivered at ultra-low latency using AI, empowers them to make  informed betting decisions in the moment,  adding an extra layer of enjoyment to a live game. As betting increasingly becomes part of the matchday, sports entertainment experience, the popularity of in-play is going to surge.

Of course, there are some territories where in-play betting is not permitted. If you’re operating in a territory that doesn’t currently allow betting in-play, then you need to be preparing for its introduction, as it’s likely to be the next big thing as the regional betting landscape develops.    

A strong in-play offering requires more than a large number of betting markets. Engagement tools like live match trackers, dynamic widgets, and live streams engage customers’ more deeply and for longer periods of time, enhancing the overall in-play betting experience.  

Outro

 In recent years, as global betting turnover has surpassed €1.4 trillion, we’ve seen a greater number of businesses enter the sports betting space looking to gain a share of our hyper-growth market. While there’s opportunity for all, the industry is not for the faint-hearted. Applying these insights to your operation will get you off to a good start and provide a solid foundation to build on.

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