Andrei Beu, Chief Commercial Officer at Gamingtec, says platform stability is the most critical factor for online sportsbook operators looking to boost acquisition and retention over the next 12 months of events major athletes.
The next 12 months will see some of the biggest sporting – and betting – events in the world. From the Winter Olympics to the Super Bowl to the World Cup, there will be plenty of action beyond the standard sports leagues and tournaments that take place each year.
This presents a huge opportunity for online sports betting operators to acquire new customers and also generate additional value for those who are already engaged with their brand(s).
To take advantage of this, many operators will focus their attention on multi-million dollar marketing campaigns combined with frankly insane bonuses. It’s often a no-brainer around such events, but this expense will be for naught if operators don’t master the basics.
The basis of this is of course the platform and the technology stack, which must be stable, safe and secure. If this is not the case and the players receive a bad experience, they will simply bet with a rival.
I would say the most important factor is platform stability. If a bookmaker isn’t stable, they won’t be able to handle the huge increase in betting activity – more than half the US population is expected to bet on the Super Bowl this year, for example.
Definition of platform stability:
But what exactly do we mean by platform stability? At Gamingtec, we define platform stability as having all features and functionality working properly at all times. This ensures that players can access and use the bookmaker as they expect.
Our goal is to provide 99.5% uptime, as we believe this is achievable with the current technologies we work with and the number of third parties that connect to our platform.
Of course, we – and other technology providers – need to deliver this level of stability and availability at all times and especially during major sporting events when the number of users accessing sportsbook and the volume of betting reaches peaks.
This is no small feat, especially when a platform has a number of third parties connecting to it. This can be further hampered by legacy technology, which is why some carriers and vendors are still trying to find the right balance between functionality and technology debt.
The casino is where the real volume is:
A real problem for sports betting operators can arise when they enter the online casino business. Although there are many reasons to do so – signing up new players, cross-selling to current bettors, etc. – it can put enormous pressure on a platform.
While a major sporting event can result in millions of bets in a short period of time, this is almost insignificant when you consider the number of casino transactions that take place on any given day of the week.
This is why having a strong technical foundation and platform is essential for all operators at all times and not just during major sporting events.
Technical debt is the biggest threat to stability:
Ultimately, technical debt is the biggest threat to platform stability and that’s why operators should continue to invest in their technology or work with a third-party platform provider that does. This is a major undertaking regardless of the approach used.
This means constantly developing new technologies in order to fix flaws and glitches and also improve speed and toughness. But it is important to achieve an architectural balance so that new and old can still work together while being reliable and stable.
For those running a proprietary platform, that requires a small army of developers and engineers and for those white-label platforms, that means working with the right partner from the get-go.
Whether it’s driving acquisition at a major sporting event or simply providing the best possible player experience, platform stability should be the foundation of any online sportsbook or online casino.
If not, all resources and money invested in acquisition, retention, bonuses, payouts, customer support, etc. can be in vain.
Think about it – if you try to login to a sports betting site and the login page keeps crashing, what would you do? If you’re anything like me, you’d walk away from this book and walk through the doors of one of its many rivals.