OPTIMA’S Jacob Lopez: The flexibility to support new front-end functionality

Cash out functionality, feed unification and bet builders are just three of the key components of the modern day sportsbook.

OPTIMA CEO Jacob Lopez talks moving with the market in 2018, why differentiation has become a buzzword for the company, and how the technology behind its beefed up sportsbook stood up to the performance challenge presented by this year’s football World Cup.

SBC: Can you outline some of the key improvements made to the OPTIMA sportsbook solution?

JL: OPTIMAMGS Sportsbook has recently been subjected to a new fully responsive frontend, using latest technologies and providing unparalleled flexibility to bookmakers. A new content delivery API based on web-sockets fully developed in house by OPTIMA.

Apart from technology delivery, we have made available new functionalities like bet suggestion facilities, fast markets, fully fleshed pool betting, jackpots and edit bet functionality, as well as full and partial cash out for all sports and markets and automatic pre-match / in-play mapping even between different suppliers to allow for an improved cash-out experience to end users.

There is also a feed unification application, allowing operators to form their own content catalogue using the best content suppliers, Bet Builder (aka Suggest a bet or Pick your punt) and new bet types making our platform the most comprehensive in terms of available betting opportunities, while new trading tool functionalities help traders to do their work more efficiently with more control through new bet interception and management functionality.

Amongst other notable new aspects to the platform are virtual content integration from Kiron, Golden Race and Sportradar, the possibility to fully outsource part or the entire risk management function by using the TradeGate™ two way service, reporting facilities from real time to deep data mining and in-line analytics, and a promotions engine that allows operators to define their own promotions, selection criteria and initiate automated triggering without developmental assistance.

SBC: How important is the ability for a supplier to modify cash out formulas depending on the requirements of the operator?

JL: For a supplier like us, a full scalable, turn-key egaming and sports betting platform solution is a must to give to our partner the ability to personalize their product to the maximum level. Each operator in its own market has its own challenges, so having the ability to modify cash out formulas and not only margin or commission, is just one of the hundreds of ready-to-personalise features available.

SBC: Are you seeing a tendency from operators to go fully automated through OPTIMA’s Automated Trading Tool, or utilise the flexibility to create supplementary markets?

JL: The more competition, the more OPTIMAMGS™ powered operators shine in the market. Currently, the operation is normally setup with four or five different feed suppliers, each of them more or less specialized. Traders will then personalize with our platform; everything from odds to offers to incremental markets, created automatically using our Hermes trading tool, or even manually using our event and content management – both for pre-match or in-play content.

SBC: Differentiation has become a buzzword for OPTIMA’s sportsbook approach; how vital is differentiation, not just for setting promotions, but also for setting price modelling, pricing per channel, pricing per region and in-play presentation for each bookmaker?

JL: Differentiation and innovation as well. With OPTIMAMGS™ operators can use their own fine-tuned models, new markets, pricing per region by channel and of course not just an in-play presentation for bookmakers, who each have their own individual roadmap.

This comes with unparalleled flexibility, permitting releases as often as twice a month; changes are not limited to frontend or in-play, they can range from backend tool changes to frontend designs, streaming integrations, alerting tools, personalized and normalized live trackers and scoreboards that are part of the platform and not from third parties.

SBC: Request a bet functionality has quickly become a mainstay of an operator’s sports betting provision; how quickly and effectively was OPTIMA able to embrace this concept?

JL: OPTIMA delivered Request a Bet functionality back in Q2 2018. Since it has been live, it has been delivering a good margin to the operators that are using it. In line with the OPTIMA strategy to not only innovate, but also react to innovations provided by other suppliers, we worked fast to ensure that our operators demanding this functionality had the service in time for the World Cup.

SBC: The World Cup in Russia took its rightful place as one of the highlights of the sports betting calendar, both in terms of frequency and volume; how did the OPTIMA sportsbook stand up to this performance challenge?

JL: The OPTIMA sportsbook sailed through it; our operators did not have a single platform incident during the World Cup. Events such as this, as well as the Grand National and Cheltenham Festival, put the system under stress but the technology continues to shine, year after year. When operators require performance, stability and quality of product, but want to have the most stable and balanced cost for both capex and opex investment, OPTIMAMGS™ is the platform to work with.

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