Leigh Herdman – Algosport – Riding the wave of innovation in sports betting

Algosport only launched in 2017 but has already entered the UK and Europe, with ambitious and advanced plans for global expansion in the new year.

Leigh Herdman, founder and CEO, spoke to SBC News about the rise of his company, which offers bookmakers new bet types based around same game multiples and remains focused on next generation betting products.

SBC: You only launched in June 2017; how has the first year been for Algosport?

LH: It’s been a very busy and successful first year for us. We have achieved very good traction with our Same Game Multiples product. Our deal with Playtech BGT Sports means our product is now available in majority of high street betting shops in the UK.

We have had good feedback from the customers using our product as it’s not only been popular with their punters, but also returned very strong margins for the bookmaker.

SBC: What was the inspiration for starting Algosport?

LH: Until a few years ago there had been a real lack of innovation on the product side of sports betting. I started Algosport as I recognised that there was a lot more innovation that was possible. Fortunately, Algosport started at the same moment the industry came to embrace this new wave of innovation.

However, I do think the current focus on ‘Bet Personalisation’ is the wrong approach for these products. Take ‘Bet Builders’ for example; they are not bet personalisation per se, they are same game multiples.

A product the industry was not able to offer until the algorithms became available to process these bets. The product is still a multiple like any other. The Bet Builder product is simply plugging a gap in the bookmakers offering which punters would reasonably not expect to be there.

The correct question bookmakers and suppliers should be asking when it comes to innovation is not “What can we add?” but “What are we missing?” If a customer asks why they can’t place a bet such as a same game multiple, instead of dismissing that customer for their lack of product knowledge, the attitude should be to plug that gap because we know there will be a demand.

SBC: What are your plans for the future? What innovations are you expecting to see in sports betting in the future?

LH: We believe the Same Game Multiples product for football is going to follow the same evolution that the first trading models for football took. They will be expanded to in-play and then coverage of other sports will naturally follow. This will be our immediate focus. Longer term, we have other innovative products we are currently working on but are keeping under wraps for now! Beyond this, the industry will continue to focus on filling in the gaps of their product offering.

A good example of this kind of innovation I saw over the World Cup, which didn’t get much publicity, was the offering of tournament betting and related markets while the matches were in-play. Traditionally tournament betting is not open while a match is in-play because the state of that match can have an impact on the tournament odds.

However, with the use of automation and models some bookmakers were able to offer this safely during the World Cup. Ultimately this was another product that was filling a gap in the bookmakers offering. If you can bet on matches which are in-play, why not for the tournament?

SBC: What are you looking forward to at Betting on Sports?

LH: We enjoy the Betting on Sports conferences, not only for making new contacts and catching up with existing ones, but as a good place to learn about future trends that will affect our industry. This year, we will be showcasing some of the new product developments we have been keeping under wraps!

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