gbet and Betdaq: Why operators should never be forced to work around supplier defects

gbet started out as the founder of the Betdaq business in 2000, but having sold Betdaq in 2013 to Ladbrokes (GVC), the proprietary gbet technology still powers the exchange.

gbet is now solely a B2B technical supplier to the sports betting industry, offering a proven player account management platform, plus sportsbook, exchange and Tote/Pari-Mutuel products to operators in Europe and the U.S.

So it’s fair to say that both gbet and Betdaq know more than most about the need for continuous uptime, particularly around the biggest sporting events, and why operators should never be forced to work around defects in their technical supplier.

We caught up with Shane McLaughlin, Managing Director of Betdaq and Conall McSorley, Business Development Director of gbet.

SBC: How important is it for an operator to have trust in the robustness of the platform before committing to marketing spend around big sporting events?

SM: It’s absolutely essential to have confidence in platform stability when signing off on marketing budgets around big events. Customers have little patience or sympathy for an unstable platform and it’s completely counterproductive to spend your marketing budget bringing customers to a platform that isn’t working properly.

You need to be able to switch off certain acquisition channels such as PPC during platform issues but you can’t switch off channels such as TV or print so you can be badly exposed. Platform stability is so important to us that after recently going through over 500 days without an unscheduled outage we started to introduce platform stability as one of the themes in our marketing message.

CM: gbet believe this is an absolute fundamental for operators and there have been a number of high profile sporting events over the last twelve months when operators have faced the frustrations of systems failure at the worst possible times.

gbet has completed 500+ days of unscheduled outage performance to Betdaq which we are very proud of. This uptime, is on a platform that is processing over 25,000 bets and settling over 450 markets a minute. There are few, if any platforms in the marketplace, that can give operators comfort that not only can they spend marketing budget in confidence, but also that customers will have a seamless experience when they arrive on the platform.

SBC: Has scalability of service often been overlooked by an operator’s desire to include the most sports, most live matches or most bet types; what’s the point if you’re not able to display all of this on a busy Saturday?

SM: The natural reaction of an operator is to offer every possible event and market despite stakes remaining condensed in a much smaller number of markets. It can act as a hygiene factor for customers so the key is to let them know that they can bet on 150 markets in a football match while placing the 5 they are likely to bet on in front of them.

gbet continue to give us absolute faith that our platform can easily sustain the number of events and markets we need to publish to be competitive, while we have no concerns about concurrent users or transaction numbers even on the busiest betting days.

CM: Operators should not be forced to make business decisions around product offering based on the limitations of their technical supplier. This runs counter to the definition of a trusted technical partner. At gbet, our commitment to the operator is that we deliver technically to allow the business to operate with confidence.  

While no supplier is immune from technical failure, and it would be wrong to suggest so given all of the necessary dependencies, gbet architects maintain and operates its platform with scalability and stability as primary objectives. When problems do occur, we pride ourselves on rapid response times and a commitment to fully diagnose and repair the underlying issue to ensure it never happens again.

SBC: How do you find the right UX balance between the ‘bread and butter’ display on a normal Saturday and catering for the ‘once a year’ Grand National or Gold Cup customer?

SM: Optimising content management in the sports betting world is like being on a never ending treadmill. You want to have really big events like a Grand National one click away on all landing and home pages but many of the customers who come in at those times aren’t very sticky and have poor lifetime value so you don’t want to upset the user journey of your regular users for a short term hit. The more you can do to personalise content for the user the better.

CM: Personalisation is a key pillar of the gbet sportsbook offering. We use data analytics technology to optimize the data analysis and reporting. This allows the operator to not only offer a customised display, but a configured display based on the customers’ previous gameplay.

As a punter, if I only bet on racing, rugby and golf, the rest of the content is to me, just clutter, making it more difficult to navigate to where I want to bet. Operators want to offer a more personalised experience to their customers; at gbet we want to facilitate that as much as possible.

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