SBC News Kambi’s David Jacquet: AI on a long journey to relieving friction in sports betting  

Kambi’s David Jacquet: AI on a long journey to relieving friction in sports betting  

David Jacquet, SVP of Analytics at Kambi Group, has presented an eye-opening look at how AI technology will reshape all components of sports betting, from its pricing of markets and data capture/modelling, to its consumer proposition.

In his day-to-day role, Jacquet, a seasoned sportsbook ‘quant and cryptologist’, leads the development of Kambi’s algorithmic trading products to enhance the technology group’s sportsbooks solution for its global clientele, utilising a multitude of AI tools.

Speaking on Day-2 of the Kambi Festival of Sportsbook, Jacquet provided a deep dive on AI advancements within sports betting. He explained: “We believe that true innovation reveals and relieves its users from frictions. People become accustomed to a certain product and its habits, but then suddenly a new entity delivers an innovation that reveals a friction that was previously hidden. 

“The best example of this is the remote control. Before it was invented everyone would walk to the TV and change channels manually, that friction ended once the remote control was invented.

“We’re not selling TVs, but we believe that a similar development will happen in the sports betting market due to AI.”

From a product perspective, AI innovations raise multiple questions about which exact frictions will be revealed in the current offerings from bookmakers, be it odds compilation, market prices, event outcomes, or the speed and accuracy of predictions.

SBC News Kambi’s David Jacquet: AI on a long journey to relieving friction in sports betting  
David Jacquet – Kambi

Jacquet noted: “At Kambi, we believe that the changes in the product will simply become a new standard. We are undertaking a significant effort to enhance our capabilities and meet new challenges.”

Thus, from a technology perspective, Kambi is not sidetracked by predicting AI’s market impacts. Jacquet underlined: “Whenever there are disruptive changes to a market, it does not imply that big players will be removed or strengthened… the most important element is that we recognise the changes that are happening.”

AI disruptions point towards the industry transitioning from its “second-to-third generation of sportsbook trading”. This trend follows previous transformative shifts in the sports betting paradigm, as second-generation innovations were led by the development of mobile, live betting, and bet-builder products during the period of 2010 to 2020.

A new generational transformation implies that the current sportsbook products and services environment will transform its operating model from “machine-assisted human trading to human-assisted machine trading”.

SBC News Kambi’s David Jacquet: AI on a long journey to relieving friction in sports betting  

As it stands in 2023, sports betting “requires some form of a leap” to fully transition into its third generation. For this to happen, Jacquet believes that the sophistication of data gathering will be key.

Reflecting on the current status of the sportsbook, it’s recognised that “the second generation of trading has worked for quite a long period of time.” However, it has generated an abundance of data that is yet to be used effectively.

“You can get coordinates of players, where they are on the pitch, how long they’ve been running, and where the ball is,” Jacquet noted on live data capture. “Yet, to input this data into a system, which may alter probabilities, proves to be too much information that we may want to price, causing systems to default to zero.”

Though embracing the transition to “human-assisted machine trading”, in his concluding remarks, Jacquet underscored betting’s ever-evolving relationship with sports and how its irrationality and unpredictability will impact outcomes.

“Don’t try this at home… Though it sounds impossible, we input into game probabilities matching 10 x 200 different bet types – which provide 10 x 200,000 different combinations that we could reference in just one game.

“There are only 10 to the power of 84 atoms in the observable universe… even if there were one universe for every atom, the probabilities would still be below what can be calculated in one game.”

AI will be transformative, yet it will not be the conclusive solution for the betting industry’s frictions.

Click here to fully watch the Revolutionising Sports Betting: How AI Is Enhancing The Sports Betting Experience session.

Kambi Festival of Sportsbook

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