For an industry predicated around risk, for too long sportsbook operators have taken the safe bet when it comes to platform providers. As a result it is no surprise that the sector now complains of an innovation deficit.
It is perhaps fair to say that for many years profits flowed towards sportsbooks a little too easily. As a result some have become complacent
We’ll be the first to admit that platforms are not the sexiest element of a sportsbook operation, especially when there are big budget sponsorship deals to sign with Premier League clubs. But the platform is the absolute foundation of any operation, and if you don’t get it right, it will negatively impact every part of your business – not least the bottom line.
Without naming names, some operators have become so reliant on certain platform providers that the idea of tearing things up and starting again is simply too intimidating. But crossing your fingers and hoping everything will turn out for the best is an even bigger risk.
It is very clear what’s required from a platform in modern e-commerce. Just take a look beyond the betting and gaming sector. Customers are more demanding than ever and the firms which succeed are the ones which embrace – rather than deny – disruption.
At the heart of everything is flexibility. Customers expect a sportsbook to react to their circumstances and tastes, and without a provider which allows room for manoeuvre, you will never be able to truly connect with your users.
Without the right platform in place, seemingly simple tasks like optimising the customer journey become laborious. Even basic things, like recognising what a punter likes to bet on and delivering that content quickly upon his next visit, is an alarmingly rare sight.
And now we have access to unprecedented amounts of data, it is almost criminal that more sportsbooks aren’t giving their users a customised, personal experience.
These ideas aren’t revolutionary, and operators have been talking about them for years. It is usually a bloated, unresponsive platform which prevents implementation.
There are countless other upsides from taking the adaptable approach to a platform. Just look at CRM, where casino remains light-years ahead of most sportsbook operators.
While odds compilation has been automated, most sportsbooks are still manually awarding free bets and taking hours or even days to react to customer actions.
Again, this is because these sportsbook are trapped under the weight of dated legacy platforms which lack the speed and agility to react to the wealth of opportunities offered by data.
These platforms were designed before live betting and mobile were major considerations for operators, and in a time when CRM meant one VIP manager and generic marketing shots for everyone else.
We’ve built our platform with a very different, modular approach, with lightening quick APIs which allow for a responsive take to all elements of sports betting.
The days when platform providers served as gatekeepers to the online world, keeping operators at arm’s length, have passed.
At FSB, we’ve been investing in this type of cutting-edge technology long enough to know when change is one the horizon. Now our challenge is to continue to provide the type of flexible platform which allows operators to create the customised, personal sportsbook experience their users deserve