Dylan Mitchard: Betgenius – Live basketball betting a data-driven success

Dylan Mitchard – Betgenius

As turnover on in-play basketball continues to rise, Dylan Mitchard, Business Development Manager at Betgenius, looks at how further investment into data capture technology will deliver an even more engaging and profitable product for bookies…

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A regular in the top-three betting sports in key European markets, basketball’s importance to bookmakers has never been greater. The majority of our clients have seen a significant shift from pre-match to in-play on the sport, with the latter now representing in excess of 60% of turnover for many and as high as 70% for a handful.

Like football and tennis before it, basketball’s in-play betting experience is reaping the benefits of deep, lightning-fast data. Trading teams can price and manage dozens if not hundreds of split-second live markets simultaneously – giving fans an immersive live experience that complements broadened TV coverage and live streaming.

But this is also leading to a disparity in the quality of products available to punters on the market. Basketball’s sheer pace of play and frequency of scoring means that with any latency in the data, traders can’t keep up – or at least have to suspend many in-play markets. When the data is sub-standard, the match-winner market and points total risk suspensions and derivative markets are often not laid at all.

Bet settlement also suffers. With markets relating to time periods and individual plays, the demand for quick settlement does not only exist for a short burst after the final buzzer but regularly throughout the live-action, too.

Quality Control

The observant amongst you will have seen the news last week that our sister company Genius Sports announced a long-term renewal of their landmark 15-year partnership with FIBA, the world governing body of basketball.

Since 2004, our two organisations have collaborated to revolutionise the digital infrastructure of over 200 basketball leagues and federations worldwide, including the speed and accuracy with which live data is captured and distributed to media and betting operators.

Our data capture technology, LiveStats, is used by our trained basketball reporters on fixtures sanctioned by FIBA direct from courtside. In milliseconds, each data point is verified, distributed and then integrated into our trading console and the fingertips of trading partners.

The technology does not only drive low latency, sub-one-second data feeds, but ones which are accurate and rich, too. Aided by intuitive workflows, LiveStats enables up to 800 unique data points to be captured as they happen, the kind of depth needed to trade prop bets and power in-product visualisations with speed and precision.

A Win-Win Relationship

Basketball’s live betting success story is an example of how investment in high-quality betting data benefits all parties.

Trading teams get the vital, reliable and accurate product they need to do their jobs and that provides the foundations for in-game innovation and new market types; punters enjoy an uninterrupted and frictionless live betting experience; and FIBA’s member leagues receive a return for betting on their fixtures, visibility of betting markets for integrity protection and a powerful way to grow global interest in their competitions.

Thanks to the foresight of its global governing body and leagues the world over, basketball is a great example of a sport where premium live data has had a material impact on betting turnover. Data collected by official means is becoming faster and increasingly detailed, and will no doubt benefit from further machine learning-powered, automated data collections.

As this trend plays out, the gap between products underpinned by these premium feeds and those collected in unofficial capacity will only grow wider.

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Dylan Mitchard – Business Development Manager – Betgenius

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