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Bookies, Ticket Routing Algorithm and Live Betting visualisation in Retail
Sportsbook Deep Dive #1: Fine-tuning of sports betting software and algorithms
By Drazan Planinic, COO at NSoft
As an enormous sports enthusiast, I firmly believe that sports teams would be nothing without their fans, who bring more than just passion to the game. Sports betting is an integral part of the overall sports fans' experience, and with the further development of mobile technology, sports betting has become so easy, leading to the gamification of every game moment. Consequently, there is also a large community made of sports fans, casual bettors, and professional bettors who have available all of the modern technologies and, in this way, follow their favourite teams and sports results. Market trends and technologies are constantly evolving; players crave more entertainment at their fingertips. All of this has to be kept in mind when developing Sportsbook software.
Before my current role, I had been the Head of Sportsbook for a few years at NSoft.
It's worth mentioning that the further development of our Sportsbook solution focuses on achieving two goals. The first one was to ensure continuous growth and polish the existing solution to accumulate market position and competitiveness.
The second goal was to develop the Next Gen Seven Sportsbook to make a step forward against the competition.
I’m proud of our team's progress over the years, and I decided to share our most exciting Sportsbook challenges and how we resolved them to lift up the product.
Analysis of data points with the Tickets Routing Algorithm
The first challenge was our Tickets Routing Algorithm. When we made the Sportsbook Self-Managed system, a powerful software tool for bookmakers that enables full flexibility, odds, and risk management autonomy through different delivery channels, some of the questions that we had in mind were:
𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐨 𝐰𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐤𝐞𝐭 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐛𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤𝐢𝐞?;
𝐃𝐨 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐜𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐧 𝐛𝐞𝐭 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐩𝐬 𝐨𝐫 𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐲𝐞𝐫𝐬, 𝐨𝐫 𝐕𝐈𝐏 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐲𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐲? The answer is yes.;
𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐟 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐢𝐬 𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝟐𝟓 𝐛𝐞𝐭 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐩𝐬 𝐠𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐨𝐦, 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐤𝐞𝐭𝐬? 𝐖𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐨𝐦, 𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭?;
𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐟 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤𝐢𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐨𝐨 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐤𝐞𝐭𝐬 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐭 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐩, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐬𝐨 𝐛𝐮𝐬𝐲? 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐨 𝐰𝐞 𝐤𝐞𝐞𝐩 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤𝐥𝐨𝐚𝐝 𝐛𝐚𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐝?
These were all legitimate concerns and questions that we needed to address. And the final question was: 𝐒𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐜𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐝𝐮𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐧𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭, 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐤𝐞𝐭𝐬 𝐤𝐞𝐞𝐩 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐦𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐛𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐥𝐞𝐝. How to mitigate that problem?”
We solved all of those dilemmas with the implementation of the routing algorithm. Before the ticket is sent to a bookie, the dynamic algorithm takes into account a lot of data points, analyzes the info, and routes the ticket to the most suitable bookie.
Our algorithm has its flow of thought:
1. During the last period, did this bookie already receive tickets from this specific betshop? The answer to this question is a weighting data point per bookie, changing dynamically over time.
2. Did some of the bookies specifically select that betshop? The answer to this question adds another parameter to a weighting pool.
3. Did a few of them select the same bet shop?
4. How many tickets are already in the bookie’s queue? Here we have some routing thresholds preventing a ticket flood for a specific bookie.
5. Is there a bookie, or does the system work automatically? We rely on automatic rules and liability models, but they are all tuned by the bookies.
These data points (and many more) are taken into account and calculated every time the ticket is played to ensure that the best service for clients and punters is delivered.
Enhancing Live betting for the Retail channel
Sportsbook in retail is challenging because many issues are connected to handling hardware in distant locations. One must tackle printed offers and device peripherals and should consider limited requests on TVs, event IDs, and many more details. For a B2B Sportsbook provider, the complexity goes even further with issues concerning many clients, customized offers, different time zones, and different markets. On the other hand, you also have limited display space (screens available in the shops) and a limited number of bookies to handle the offer worldwide.
So, how do we deliver Live betting in retail shops on several continents, in thousands of bet shops, and with different offers but still with the same Trading team?
These are some of the challenges that we encountered:
1. The offer for retail on TVs needs to be flexible; some shops have three or more screens available for live events displayed, and some only have one.
2. Event IDs need to be short to have quick bet placement.
3. Some clients need a deep market offer with a stream in retail for one match only, but some would like to set 20 matches on one screen with top markets displayed.
4. Some clients want a turnkey solution, where they just turn the TV on, and the offer is there 24/7; others like to make the offer themselves. And then, some would like to make the offer by themselves in peak times but for the rest of the day to have it done by our team.
Luckily we came up with a solution that can solve these concerns and many more challenges we came across along the way.
1. We made different layouts for different purposes. From an option of a stream with one or two events per TV, but with many markets, to options with 10 or 20 events per TV with main markets displayed.
2. We made TV display options ranging from 1/1 (for shops with one TV) to 4/4 (for shops with four TVs), with up to 10 different display options, where each TV can display a different offer. Max offer on 10 TVs would have around 250 events simultaneously.
3. We made a provider-client toggle; if it’s on the provider side, the offer is received from us 24/7; if the client side is “on” the offer switches to the one prepared by clients’ traders, and the switch works on the fly.
4. One extra point, if a client likes the offer we made but would like to change some events or markets, it’s a Copy/Paste option that reduces the time for clients to prepare their offer.
5. While selecting the events, traders need to have a visual of how many matches will be on the screen during the day; we cannot have the option to have an empty screen.
6. Event, market, outcome, team, and tournament names must be short, translated into any language, and also, there is the option of custom names for specific clients.
7. During the event, some markets are closed (e.g. HT), so the markets are also dynamic, and they change on the screen during the match, etc.
Sports betting is the heart of any bet shop
Sports betting is more than a product. It is at the core of every operator - every bet shop. As a supplier, our value lies in the quality of answers to only one question: “How can our software improve operators’ business?”
As NSoft matured through the years, our business operations gained a global footprint, and the relationship with customers focused on their needs and building trust to gain mutual growth. Every update of features on one of our products or development of a new product category relies heavily on customer feedback and market trends.
Stay tuned for Sportsbook Deep Dive #2.
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