The future of in-play


Interview of Ben Simchon Chanoch, Group Betting Director, Intralot, at iGaming Business magazine

The emergence of fully automated solutions has seen in-play become a central pillar of the operator product offer, regardless of size. But is the industry already stretching the limits of possibility for live betting, and is there any value left in offering more events? Ben Simchon Chanoch of Intralot gazes into his crystal ball for iGaming Business.

Could you ever imagine the betting industry without in-play? The answer would definitely be in the negative. It is just a few years back that most of the operators offered only very few live matches per week with a limited markets offering that was primarily football-focused. Today, the same operators offer thousands of live events per month, across all the different sports.

Integrated omni-channel platforms with multi live trading tools can easily handle the increasing amount of live events as well as the huge numbers of live markets per event. The live traders on the floor don’t need more than a pair of hands in order to offer more than 10 live matches (e.g. football) at the same time to the end user.

In reality, the focus of live trading has now shifted from basic functionality to monitoring bets and analyzing users. These offer a path to increasing player numbers for any small, medium or large-scale operator.

One has to wonder though if we are now standing on the edge of the cliff. Have we stretched the limits of in-play to the max? Is there any room left for improvement? Is there any value remaining from offering more events?

“Both ‘cash out’ and ‘partial cash out’ represent prime examples of great creative ideas that keep the user entertained not only during the match, but also after they have placed their bets.”

Is it worth it?

These questions and others are frequently discussed within any betting operation, online or retail. A broader spectrum of thought is needed in order to deal with all those questions and arguments about the necessity of large scale of in-play for the betting industry.

The automated tool is one of the key elements and contributors to the major increase of live betting during the last couple of years. The integrated omni-channel platform keeps improving as we move forward, and not only does it give the operator the facilities to offer thousands of events per month, it also helps the end user get the best user experience during his betting through fast navigation, access to a huge number of markets and events, live streaming offerings and improved general betting functions that complete the live betting offer across both the retail and online environments.

Fast mobile betting enhancements have given the end user all the reasons to place their bets at all times, wherever they are. Although retail still retains its dominant position, live betting keeps growing across all interactive channels. Online betting also continues to gain ground due to its greater potential and its interactive and highly customizable nature.

One of the biggest challenges a betting operator faces besides the betting offering itself, is to keep the user entertained throughout the betting process. The latest trends imply that live betting should include entertaining and innovative characteristics, regardless of the player’s choice of device.

Operators have invested millions, and will keep investing even more in development of the live product. On the other hand though, given the fast-moving nature of the industry, operators will have to think outside of the box and more creatively with regards to developing new features related to live betting. As far as coverage is concerned, we would probably agree that the biggest sportsbook operators are already overstretching, and there simply isn’t much room for improvement for the simple reason that sometimes there just aren’t enough events to offer markets on.

Both “cash out” and “partial cash out” represent prime examples of great creative ideas that keep the user entertained not only during the match, but also after they have placed their bets. However, we are confident that operators and platform providers are closing in on the next great innovation of the user experience model.

What will in-play look like in five years?

There have been doubts expressed regarding the potential of sports coverage to increase much further, but the markets seem to continue to grow at a slow but steady pace. Live mobile betting will definitely become a central pillar of the product offer of all the major platform providers and operators, which we will offer as standard, and live streams will remain a major driver of the business. Finally, our product and offering pipeline includes a range of new live betting features, and whoever gets these next innovations right will surely be the next leader of in-play.

Download the interview here.

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