What challenges has 2020 posed to SIS Trading Services and how have you adapted your offering to overcome these obstacles?
We have shown our resilience to overcome the challenges that 2020 has presented. Following the shutdown of live sports across many regions, we introduced new horse and greyhound racing content from several territories for our operating partners. Understanding how to price this new content was key and we’ve worked closely with operator in-house trading teams to help them with the new style of betting activity. SIS Trading Services has performed strongly this year as we have adapted our offering, especially with greyhounds. Traders have focused more on the complete journey of greyhound pricing all the way until the-off, which has substantially improved margins for operators.
Why do current circumstances necessitate greater flexibility in the trading services you offer to customers?
It is important to be flexible in order to meet the specific requirements of each operator partner as they can differ greatly. For instance, the demand for horse and greyhound racing content continues to grow internationally and particularly in regions where previously it has not been a popular betting product, which means some operator trading teams do not hold the specialist knowledge needed to price it effectively.
Outsourcing trading services to SIS can be highly advantageous to these customers. With SIS Trading Services operators can entrust our dedicated team of specialist racing traders and receive an end-to-end solution including the most comprehensive range of markets and pricing for horse and greyhound racing. We fully appreciate too that there are operators which have built their own in-house trading teams, which is why SIS Trading Services can work just as effectively as a complementary resource, delivering high-quality real time prices on international events.
How important is offering a wide range of derivatives, particularly during this time?
Derivatives are becoming increasingly popular with overseas operators as they are very appealing to new bettors who may not be as knowledgeable on horse and greyhound racing content. SIS Trading Services compiles these derivative prices off-track, with the value of each being derived from the value of other prices or betting opportunities. Markets including match bets, odds versus evens and betting without the favourite encourages greater engagement amongst all types of bettors and helps complement traditional betting markets.
We have begun to enhance the way in which we present derivatives prices for international operators by offering greyhound prices to bettors in a casino format, such as a roulette style, making the product more appealing to a wider audience. There is a lot more to come from derivatives and we are always looking to expand our range of markets.
What role does the Trading Services team play in supporting operators who have never previously delivered racing content?
Operators new to offering horse and greyhound racing content can completely outsource their trading to SIS. Our SIS Trading Services team consists of traders who have specialist knowledge of racing and are backed by our in-house developed algorithms, to deliver quality prices. With a strong heritage of 30 years of live pictures and data collection and delivery to the global betting industry, operators can trust our trading services to provide a robust pricing product for their customers.
Esports has enjoyed a surge in popularity. How have you approached trading on SIS Competitive Gaming events to maximise the vertical’s potential?
We needed to expand our trading team to meet the increase in demand from customers for SIS Competitive Gaming, especially as the offering is 24/7. SIS Competitive Gaming features sports-themed events which appeal to current sports bettors, and the product was built specifically for sportsbooks and bettors, so from a trading perspective, there has been a natural crossover from what we previously worked on. When expanding our team, we looked for traders who had a passion for sports, not just esports. The algorithms and prices that we have created for SIS Competitive Gaming are very much based on the sports betting experience and similar to the work we do with horse and greyhound racing pricing, and we can offer the full end-to-end trading service.
Part of SIS Competitive Gaming’s appeal is that integrity is at the core of its offer, and we have developed a series of robust processes and follow ESIC’s best practice to ensure each event is fair. As a result, we spend a lot of our time liaising with integrity referees, and we are in regular contact with our operator partners to check for any trading issues to guarantee this transparency and to help ensure that margins are fully maximised.
Looking ahead to 2021, what trading trends, challenges and opportunities do you anticipate?
The demand for quick-fire, regular betting events will continue to grow amongst bettors internationally into 2021 and beyond. It is increasingly clear that providing a 24/7 offering to bettors is paramount, to ensure that bettors remain engaged at times that suit them. Horse and greyhound racing content is ideal for driving bettor engagement as it offers a high frequency of events from all around the world. As part of our racing offering, derivatives will remain a key component in broadening the wide range of markets available to appeal to a wide audience.
Esports betting will also continue to develop into a more mainstream product for operators as more bettors become familiar with the concept. We’re increasing our SIS Competitive Gaming content output to allow operators such as bet365 to offer high quality and high integrity esports events across all hours of the day.
From a trading perspective, we are in a strong position heading into 2021, to provide a comprehensive service for our operator partners worldwide. We have a team full of specialist traders to ensure that SIS offers a robust service, which is proven to drive increased margins for operators.