Scientific Games processed a ‘record volume of bets’ throughout last week’s Cheltenham Festival, reporting a ‘huge uplift’ of 53% on its OpenSports platform.
The OpenSports solution is used by a number of leading sports betting operators including William Hill, Entain’s Ladbrokes and Coral brands and Flutter Entertainment’s Paddy Power and Betfair companies.
In addition to the 53% increase in betting activity, the platform also recorded ‘100% platform stability’ throughout the weeklong racing event, with the operator’s partners.
A total of 70 million bets were placed across the different operators, an increase of over 50% on the 2020 edition of the festival, whilst total stakes also increased by 34%, with stakes for both Win and Each Way singles averaging £7.50.
Finally, total account transactions peaked at 470 million across the four days, a 44% increase on last year, and one unnamed OpenSports partner processed over 34,000 wagers per minute.
“These figures further demonstrate the power of our platform, with its scalability and reliability once again delivering high-level performance across one of the biggest sporting events,” commented Keith O’Loughlin, SVP Sportsbook at Scientific Games Digital.
“Despite the significant increase in activity, it was very much business as usual as our team and technology coped under the huge demand from bettors. Our job is to give our operator partners the confidence that they can deliver a great service and grow their business without the worry of system downtime.”
The upsurge has been attributed to a ‘demand from bettors for entertainment experiences’ during COVID-19 lockdowns, as well as a general uplift in online activity due to the closure of retail betting venues.
O’Loughlin added: “This year’s Festival saw betting behaviour evolve and more players than ever before embrace the online space. The average stake levels indicate the recreational and entertainment value of this racing event and we’re proud of the role OpenSports has played during the Festival in offering such a wide audience a truly entertaining experience.”
In addition to Scientific Games reports, it was revealed last week that the first day of the four-day long festival attracted a record audience of 1.1 million viewers, with 1.5 million tuning in to watch Rachel Blackmore win the Champions Hurdle on the highly anticipated Irish racehorse Honeysuckle.
As with the increase in online betting activity, this large viewership – the largest since records began in 2003 – has been largely accredited to the absence of spectators at the festival, in addition to the number of people working from home or on furlough schemes.