2022 saw Australia’s sports betting market transformed by the break-up of Tabcorp Holdings and regulatory consensus agreed on wagering laws/standards settled across Australia’s six states. As Australian wagering enters its next evolution, Todd Buckingham, CEO of BetMakers seeks to take full advantage of changes, backing new sportsbook venture BETR and expanding the Global Tote to revitalise racing markets.
SBC: Hi Todd, great to catch up. Can you detail to SBC audiences why 2022 has been such a transformative year for BetMakers and the development of its product portfolio?
Todd Buckingham (CEO @ BetMakers): BetMakers has grown significantly in the last 12 months, and along with this growth has come the operational requirements to support this growth. This includes growing to a workforce that now exceeds 500 staff globally.
We have successfully rolled out our bookmaking platform and trading solution, growing from 6 to 24 customers.
Finally, we deployed a new tier 1 technology platform for the launch of BETR in what is being regarded as the most successful launch in the Australian market, onboarding more than 300,000 customers in the first 4 weeks of launch.
SBC: Focusing on Australia, how has the market been disrupted by the break-up of Tabcorp’s lottery and sportsbook units?
TB: There was a real consolidation in the Australian market a few years ago when Stars and Flutter merged which created just a few key players in the market. Since then, there has been an influx of new operators with unique offerings that have started to have a material impact in the Australian market.
Tabcorp has been required to innovate and move with the times and the demerger has given them the ability to do just that. Management are doing a pretty decent job however this is costly and they need to get results in a tough competitive market.
Some of the innovation we are seeing out of Australia, driven by this competitive landscape, is the best globally and is transitioning across to other markets.
SBC: As a technology incumbent, you have partnered with Matt Tripp’s new BETR venture. What will this brand bring to the Australian market?
TB: Matt Tripp is the pioneer of online wagering in Australia having started and exited from two scaled operations in the Australian market.
BETR has an experienced management and leadership team with a proven track record of scaling Tier 1 betting brands. I expect that they will look to utilize their media partnership with Newscorp Australia for a tighter integration of wagering content and media assets.
Over the medium term they will look to bring new products, ideas and user experience to the market and leverage these media assets to promote, engage and understand the new age punter.
SBC: Despite regulatory reforms, Australia still maintains fragmented betting laws. How has this impacted the state of play in the market and products available to wagering consumers?
TB: The Australian market is well established and mature and while there are some differences in each of the states, it is for all purposes similar.
This model is proving to be a very sustainable one where operators can make a margin and industry stakeholders can benefit from wagering while government and regulators can protect consumers. It’s a very good jurisdiction to measure yourself and compete.
SBC: Of note, can you explain why a high-performance racebook is such a desired property for BETR and other Australian sportsbooks?
TB: The always-on nature of racing is important – especially given Australia does not have any iGaming or true in-play sports betting. The combination of high frequency and high margin means it is the number one product for every successful wagering business.
The Australian wagering landscape is an incredibly competitive one and that starts with the racebook. The depth of racing content is matched by an array of markets that need to be presented in a seamless way for punters.
SBC: You took control of the Global Tote in 2021, how has BetMakers innovated the racing product to appeal to wider wagering audiences.
TB: The first thing we did was rebrand the division as Global Tote – which is exactly what it is and what our plans for pari-mutuel wagering will involve. Global liquidity, and large scale partners from all around the world working together to drive industry returns and create a more stable funding model.
SBC: Beyond Europe and Australia, can BetMakers expand the Global Tote for US and Latin American markets?
TB: Global Tote already has a strong presence and existing base of quality racetrack partners in both the US and Latin American markets. We are seeing the need for these tracks to evolve their offering to keep up with the changing needs of consumers and present their products in ways to attract a new customer base. This is where BetMakers is really excited to deploy our technology solutions and grow with the opportunity.
SBC: Looking forward to 2023, why should all betting technology stakeholders be monitoring BetMakers development closely?
TB: We have an exciting year upcoming with our new products branching into new markets and existing agreements coming to fruition such as; Platform and Managed Trading Service offering growing into new markets, the launch of our Quantum tote system in Norway, the further roll out of customers betting through our Global Tote hub and the emergence of BETR in the Australian market as a serious Tier One operator.
Todd Buckingham – CEO – BetMakers Technolgy