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The Risks Operators Face With Outdated Sportsbook Technology

Providing bettors with an exceptional iGaming and sportsbetting experience depends heavily on the technology that operators use to support their business. Some of the features that players demand from the sportsbooks they use include flawless mobile betting experiences, access to traditional sports and esports, and quick deposits and withdrawals just to name a few.

There’s dozens, if not hundreds of table games providers, sportsbook providers, and casino game aggregators on the market. With so many options available, how do you know that your technology, and subsequently your operation, is equipped for success in a competitive betting landscape?

In HPL Digital Sport’s 2021 State of the Sports Betting Industry report, 31% of sports betting executives indicated that Technology/Product was the number 1 department that they wanted to strengthen if they could. Second was Marketing/Social Media at 20%, followed by Sales and Operations at 10% each.

The same report also cited Strength of Technology/Product as the top reason that makes a sportsbook operator more attractive as a potential acquisition target.

Clearly, the strength of sportsbook technology is top-of-mind for sports betting executives and operators today. But if you’re not looking to get acquired, should you even care about the strength of your technology?

The answer is a resounding YES.

As mentioned in the beginning of this article, players not only expect an operator’s technology to facilitate a flawless betting experience – they demand it. To start, let’s explore the importance of betting technology built for mobile devices and why bettors increasingly demand frictionless mobile betting experiences.

Mobile Betting

First impressions matter when it comes to the experience a player has with a sportsbook. If a player tries signing up or logging in through their mobile device and the UI isn’t responsive or built using a mobile-first design, the chances that the same player returns to your site through desktop or laptop are slim. This is especially true in parts of the world where mobile devices are used as the primary means of accessing the internet. In fact, 68% of global web traffic in in 2020 came from mobile devices. This number is even higher throughout some countries in emerging betting markets like the Indian Subcontinent, Latin America, and Africa. A growing number of people in established betting markets such as the U.S. and the U.K. are also accessing the internet through mobile devices at increasing rates.

There are some well-established sportsbook platform providers who have been around for years and years that haven’t adapted to the rapid rise of mobile-first audiences. If their technology isn’t designed for mobile betting, the impact is felt by operators who use their platform both in terms of customer acquisition and customer retention.

We’ve already touched on the customer acquisition side of things by suggesting a poor UI on mobile during the sign-up or FTD process can dissuade bettors who visit your site for the first time from a mobile device. The negative customer retention impacts are felt from those bettors whose preferences are shifting from placing bets on desktop to placing both pre-match and live bets from their mobile devices. If that bettor doesn’t get the same flawless betting experience from mobile as they do from desktop, they’ll quickly consider switching to an operator who can give them the mobile betting experience they’re looking for.

Exploring Compliance

It should go without saying that operators need to be aware of the regulatory requirements and expectations of the governmental gambling bodies in their region. Increased scrutiny from regulatory authorities around Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) puts pressure on operators to ensure that their technology stack is compliant.

The thing is, a lot has changed over the past few years. Operators who depend on legacy or outdated technology might not be aware that their provider hasn’t kept up with changing regulations in their region. Unfortunately, in many cases, the onus is on the operator to ensure they remain compliant. This is why it’s incredibly important to ensure that your platform provider is not only compliant at the time of signing, but has a strategy to remain compliant as regulations change.

New Payment Methods

The adoption of digital assets and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are disrupting the way people buy and sell goods and services. With many cryptocurrencies reaching new all-time-highs (ATHs) in 2021, the disruption of the payments industry is showing no sign of slowing down.

We’re already seeing the trend of blockchain-based gambling make its mark on the industry. It’s hard to get an exact figure, but some estimates peg the global crypto-gambling market somewhere between $150million – $250million USD annually. While these estimates show that crypto-based gambling only makes up around 4% of the online gambling market as a whole, we can expect the proportion to grow as digital asset adoption rates increase. In fact, in some emerging markets crypto gambling is the preferred form of wagering – even outpacing fiat currency. In more established markets, some operators are reporting that bettors who switch from fiat to crypto payments show no sign of switching back.

Operators are already rushing to implement crypto options in their own sportsbooks and casinos. And based on the figures above it’s not hard to see why. With the growing trend of digital asset adoption, operators who don’t offer payment methods in crypto will get left behind. For operators who haven’t seriously considered incorporating crypto payments as a deposit method to their sites, the time to start is yesterday. If your existing sportsbook provider doesn’t have crypto payment options available, or hasn’t included them into their near-term roadmap, it could be time to explore other vendors.

While it’s evident that mobile designs, up-to-date compliance, and new payment methods are essential in today’s gambling market, operators who have committed to using a technology provider that doesn’t check off all these boxes might feel stuck. They try to rationalize that the resource investment, downtime, and potential risk in switching betting technology providers isn’t worth it.

But the real risk is in NOT upgrading your technology stack. To the delight of operators around the world, there are solutions that make it simple for sportsbook and iGaming operators to remain competitive and succeed in the evolving gaming landscape. Visit our Technology Migration page to see the impact that Lion Gaming Group’s technology can have on the success of your operation.

About Lion Gaming

Lion Gaming Group develops industry-leading sportsbook and casino solutions for those who want to provide their customers with the best online betting experience across all devices.

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