Metric Gaming’s Dave Jolly speaks on the continued importance of racing – and why a thoroughbred service is no longer just the preserve of the big boys.
As we gallop towards the big events of the Racing summer, punters in the UK and beyond will be keen to have a flutter on the sport of kings.
Whether it’s the Epsom Derby at the start of June, Royal Ascot, the Ebor Festival or Glorious Goodwood, Racing remains a staple of the British summer months.
Racing accounts for 20 percent of GGY from online wagers in the UK, according to Gambling Commission figures. That’s less than football (30 percent), but twice as much as tennis, dogs, cricket, golf and financials put together.
Racing clearly remains a key vertical for betting operators, but it’s a competitive market out there. Having recently launched its managed Horse Racing service, iGT spoke to Metric Gaming’s Head of Racing, Dave Jolly, about the new product, and the continuing appeal of the sport.
iGAMING TIMES: Is Horse Racing still relevant?
DAVID JOLLY: Very much so. It’s a huge market in the UK, in particular, as we see with the continued popularity of major races as well as the smaller events that take place each day. The appetite for Racing is proven by the growth of the 24-hour services, with Britons able to bet on cards and watch action from around the world.
One of the main reasons round-the-clock Racing is possible for UK punters is due to the fact that Racing bodies across the world are starting to package and sell their data more widely and effectively as feeds.
The breadth and depth of coverage available for non-UK meetings means operators like Metric now have the product mass to supply brands in most territories where Racing attracts mainstream interest.
iGT: How is it changing, and what challenges does it face?
DJ: Its popularity isn’t in question. However, there are concerns for operators, who must adapt to changing times.
Firstly, Racing fans are in most cases not being offered a credible selection of markets per event, compared to football, for example.
Secondly, and crucially, the escalating costs associated with Racing have resulted in it becoming increasingly difficult for operators to offer a product that is attractive to punters while still making it worth their while. As regulators become better at monetising their data, more firms will have to bear the cost of these data fees to maintain or grow the competitiveness of their product. Furthermore, while technology and marketing are also expensive, staff costs are still the largest single outlay by some distance.
iGT: How can operators make Racing cost-effective?
DJ: We believe our standalone, fully managed, end-to-end Horse Racing service will be the answer for many operators out there. By integrating our service, they can offer a Gold Cup-standard product without the staff and technology development costs.
Our standalone Golf product led the field in 2017, offering more market types across more events than any other operator whilst delivering a very healthy margin for our customers. Now we seek to bring our partners the same results for their Racing offering.
iGT: What are the main features of the Racing service?
DJ: Headed by a senior team with experience running top-tier Racing products, the specialist Trading and Analytics teams employ cutting-edge pricing, liability and customer management techniques to deliver a quality of service usually the preserve of only the most established brands.
The service offers round-the-clock Racing coverage and a comprehensive range of markets that will rival any Tier 1 operator.
Importantly, the flexibility of the system allows us to generate unique market types quickly and accurately, offering a comprehensive mix for punters. Three recent additions to our derived market range are Wincrease, EW Extra and Sub Races, which offer an enhanced price opportunity, extra places, and the ability to create sub events from the main race. They are all fully automated in creation and price management.
iGT: What is the appeal of Metric’s Racing Service for operators?
DJ: Operators across the industry are in a race to devise and deliver more dynamic and innovative products to customers, while simultaneously navigating ever stricter and more divergent regulatory hurdles across the territories they operate those products in.
Operators’ cumbersome legacy technologies are generally ill prepared to deal with these new challenges simultaneously and at a competitive pace. Metric’s technology elegantly coalesces these competing objectives to deliver top quality standalone products that are highly configurable by channel and/or territory.
iGT: How does the Racing service fit into Metric’s strategy?
DJ: Metric’s Racing service is the latest in a series of products in the pipeline designed to leverage Metric’s superior and highly adaptable technology across betting products that drive the majority of revenues for their customers.
Metric’s Racing service is underpinned by a team with considerable experience managing risk and customers for industry leading brands, providing customers a credible outlet to outsource the management of one of the most expensive and volatile elements of their business.