Following a heavily sports driven year and with another packed schedule on the horizon in 2022, bet builders have proven to be a lucrative product for bookmakers.
Speaking at the Stats Perform-sponsored Bet Builder 2.0 panel discussion at this year’s Betting on Sports Europe (BOSE) event, three leading industry experts shared their views on the development and implementation of the product.
Speaking on the enduring popularity of bet builders for sports fans, James McKay, Sportsbook Director at Virgin Bet, argued that the product appeals to a wide range of bettors.
These customers include ‘skilled customers’ who have substantial knowledge and so like to create their own bets, the ‘passionate customer’ who has a keen interest in a certain sport and the ‘big win customer’ who relishes the prospect of the large payout bet builder’s can offer.
Relating to his previous experience at William Hill, McKay noted that the brand’s ‘Your Odds’ Twitter policy “had so much resource in terms of pricing up and the manning of the social element of the product, which was huge, and so therefore we had to make sure we had this product where customers could choose whatever they wanted.
He concluded: “In terms of the most attractive to the customer, when you look at the pre-build ones and where they are shown, it’s like how a supermarket attracts you to the sweet aisle.
“It’s more popular because we give them a hell of a lot more airtime in the key areas of our sites, but obviously it’s a different customer who can be up-selled from the one thing that they have come for, but it’s much more important for us as a company.”
Meanwhile, Chris McKenzie, Sportsbook Commercial Director at 888 Holdings, discussed development of bet builders. For the Director, it is more in the interest of betting companies to leverage the services of third party developers for their bet builder offering, pointing to his fellow panelist Ryan Coombs’ company SportCast, where the latter is Managing Director.
In the long-term an ideal objective would be for bookmakers to have full control over their own bet builder products, McKenzie argued, but in the short term there are a number of hurdles – most notably compliance challenges.
He continued: “The short answer is yes, but as we all know building your own sportsbook platform is hard. There are huge compliance issues to be aware of. I think I can speak for Virgin Bet as well when I say that you are going into more territoires with hugely complicated compliance, so that almost stagnates innovation from an internal platform perspective.
“There are third parties out there that can solve that problem for us with a relatively short integration period. It comes down to priorities. Would I sit there and look at whether we can build a Bet Builder internally? The answer is yes, but do I want to spend three years building that to then not concentrate on other fairly commercial savvy parts of our business? No I wouldn’t.”
Lastly, Nick Cockerill, Stats Perform’s VP Betting Product, shared his view that the betting industry is ‘relatively guilty’ of thinking in value in trading terms, whilst for punters in the wider mass market, entertainment leads the way.
“Most of the customers that are betting on sports are not super keen punters. They’ll bet a couple times during the week and once on Saturday football, and to them its entertainment.
“What we see as the massive growth area in bet builders is generally props and stats markets, because it creates different value for the customer. Stats markets tend to persist longer through a match.
“If you bet on traditional markets your value can dissipate after two minutes, if you bet on 2-0 and the other team scores a goal that’s it, you’ve lost your value. Whereas props and stats markets persist through the match. We need to rethink how we think as an industry on the value of entertainment, not as price driven.”
To watch more panels from BOSE, click here