Kambi Group Plc Chief Operating Officer (COO) Jonas Jansson believes instant markets could help operators differentiate in a clustered sports betting market. Jansson details to SBC readers what new instant dynamics can be brought to market…
There can be little doubt, live betting is the sportsbook battleground of the moment, and is likely to be for some time.
That’s not to say pre-match is the poor relation – far from it. I can only talk from a Kambi perspective, but our pre-match offer continues to grow and improve, which is reflected in our strong customer revenue growth.
However, in-play is where the majority of the betting action takes place and is where customers are increasingly won or lost. As a result, the ones left standing in this live battle will be those who can offer their players a compelling, thrilling and differentiated in-play experience.
The next stage
In-play has evolved from players simply being able to bet on the match odds during play, to wagering on the next team or player to score, to cashing out open bets, to the latest iteration – Instant Betting, betting on events to take place during a very short timeframe.
While Kambi launched its Instant concept a few years ago, when we used the 2014 FIFA World Cup as a springboard to grow the product, it’s only been over the past 12-24 months that the product’s really gained real traction among the betting public, and is now a major driver of in-play growth.
I’d like to think we’ve been ahead of the curve with our Instant Betting offer at Kambi, expanding the markets beyond football into other sports such as tennis, boxing and cricket, a move which has helped our customers differentiate themselves from their competitors.
For instance, Kambi-powered operators were alone in offering Instant Betting markets during the recent Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor fight, an event which, as it turned out, perfectly illustrated the potential and appeal of Instant offers.
Our in-play data showed that, while the outright win markets dominated the betting during the early stages of the bout, once Mayweather took hold of the fight in the mid-to-late rounds and his odds prohibitively shortened, the Instant Betting markets sprung into life to fill a betting void.
In short, instant betting has the ability to keep the tills ringing even when a contest looks as good as over, which is also why they also work so well for tennis. We’ve all seen betting interest dwindle once a player has taken a commanding lead in a match, but that no longer needs to be the case.
Through a blend of official data providers, sophisticated models, automated trading functions and highly skilled traders, players can now bet in-play, stroke-by-stoke, on the outcome of the current point, for instance.
Furthermore, the rapid nature of Instant Betting has the ability to satisfy the ever-growing consumer demand for instant gratification. This opens up the market for sports betting, with players no longer needing to wait long periods to see their bets come to a conclusion.
Through Instant markets, sports betting has become increasingly attractive to those who prefer to ‘snack’ on gambling products. Thanks to smartphones, players can bet when travelling or while they wait for their kettle to boil. Previously, this type of short-burst play was limited to gaming products.
As we have seen from the success of slots and social games, there’s a huge market of players willing to spend €10, €20 or €100 in return for five or 10 minutes’ worth of entertainment, and Instant Betting ensures operators are able to satisfy this demand.
To make the most of this opportunity, Kambi empowers operators to build their own Instant Betting experiences on top of our sportsbook core. Most recently, Mr Green launched a new a new casino-sportsbook hybrid, with our Instant Betting product a core focus of its innovative concept.
By focusing customer acquisition and cross-sell on Instant Betting offers, heritage casino brands have an opportunity to differentiate themselves from established sports betting brands and carve out a valuable niche in what is a competitive, yet largely homogenised sportsbook market.
Some may be reading this and thinking ‘well if Instant Betting is so great why isn’t everyone offering it?’ Which is a valid question, as not all suppliers or operators are offering Instant bets to their customers.
This is, in large part, due to the difficulty involved in delivering the offer. Instant Betting is a complex product due to the obvious risk, data and latency concerns. And, as a product, it can only work if the markets are constantly available to bet, even during difficult match situations.
So to offer instant betting, you have to ensure you do so with the consumer in mind. From a player perspective, there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to place a bet due to constant suspensions or long countdown/live delay times. They’ll simply go somewhere else.
Invest in official data. Invest in technology. Invest in traders. Invest in algorithms and models. And invest in risk processes. That is exactly what we have done here at Kambi. Instant Betting has the potential to reshape in-play, and operators with a quality product will likely gain an important edge in the in-play war.
Jonas Jansson -Kambi Group – Chief Operating Officer