David McDowell, FSB Technology (UK) Ltd. co-founder and CEO. FSB Technology manages the sportsbook on behalf of Gentingbet and The Guardian on gowager.co.uk.
Today, sports betting is experiencing its own industrial revolution. Tasks that were done manually are rapidly being automated. Data feeds coming straight from a sporting venue, for example, were difficult to find even five years ago with many of the feeds using data collected on the sly by someone sitting in the stands. Today, sports data feeds are fast, accurate and legitimate and the increase in quality and reliability has given rise to real-time algorithmic odds compilation models being used to perform a job that previously depended upon skilled labour. And for those companies that can’t produce their own odds, specialist pricing supply services are now available to push the odds directly into your sports betting platform.
A number of sports betting traders may have lost their jobs in recent times, however the role is evolving, not disappearing. If odds compilation is being run by machines, I would still be more comfortable knowing that a skilled trader is watching over the systems. More importantly, traders are still managing risk as well as profiling good customers from bad, though even these jobs require less labour with the right tools. So, shouldn't the people who are profiling the customers also be given tools to trigger bespoke marketing offers? Traders are in the perfect position to push real-time bonuses and awards.
This brings me to CRM tools. If real-time odds compilation has been automated, why are most sportsbooks still manually awarding free bets and sending out generic promotional mailers? One sizeable bookmaker told me that it takes eight hours for a customer action to trigger any kind of response in their CRM warehouse.
Unfortunately the legacy sports betting platforms that are used by most bookmakers today were designed before CRM was well understood. These platforms were not designed for live betting, mobile user access or CRM, yet the cost (or fear) of switching to a modern platform remains prohibitive. If you are buying a modern casino platform the first thing you look at is the CRM capabilities, while in sports betting everyone seems to think it is acceptable to hire a room full of marketing staff to manually award free bets. With the right marketing tools, one person should be able to set up and manage hundreds of simultaneous campaigns, targeting specific customer segments with bespoke rewards.
It shouldn't take more than 15 people to run a modern trading floor including the marketing campaign management. There are companies that still employ hundreds of traders and marketing staff to make up for their lack of investment in modern sports betting technology, and very soon they will not be able to compete. As history tells us from the industrial revolution, once your competitors modernise you need to keep up or close shop. Soon the cost of not switching will become prohibitive.
FSB Technology was co-founded in 2008 by Sam Lawrence and David McDowell, former founder and 12 year-serving board member of listed gaming supplier GameAccount Network.