Traditional thought on how best to operate a trading team and price up events is being replaced by innovative new approaches, says VSODDS.BET founder Dalius Dabashinskas – and the benefits are already becoming clear.
Trading teams have become something of a forgotten component for the modern sportsbook.
During a time when sports betting is booming globally and expanding into new regions, most of the focus is placed on product, brand and marketing.
This is a real shame, because the trading team should be at the heart of any strong sportsbook, and empowering it can help operators gain a key competitive advantage over their rivals.
Finding a balance
The secret to any world-class trading operation is in finding the correct balance between managing risk and offering value to players.
Of course, all sportsbooks want to provide customers with odds that are enticing enough to persuade someone to place a bet.
But at the same time there are countless factors to consider around risk and liability. The result of this, at least in recent years, has been for operators to play it safe.
They take a look at what others are doing, keep close tabs on the betting exchanges, and then price up within a very narrow range. Look up the odds across 50+ operators for any major event and you will be hard pushed to spot any variation at all.
The result for customers is a bland, generic offering across the park.
In a marketplace saturated with brands that struggle to differentiate from each other, this is a missed opportunity.
At VSODDS.BET, we are taking a very different approach to odds and pricing.
We have built a trading team and armed it with algorithmic support that we are so confident in, we consistently price up events in a vastly different way to all other operators.
This could be viewed as a high-risk strategy. We leave ourselves open to arbitrage chasers, and by regularly offering best odds on major events, it is possible we could get hit for a large loss.
Standing out from the crowd
However, we are more than happy to back our team, and we believe the benefits outweigh the risks.
Indeed, we balance this risk by viewing odds as part of a greater whole.
By differentiating on price, we save costs on marketing and bonusing, because we are able to attract customers looking for something genuinely unique.
Even those looking for arb opportunities are welcome; we price up events as we see them, and are ready to stand behind those prices.
The power of differentiating on price and odds has been underestimated by operators for too long. A substantial section of sports bettors place odds at the top of their list of priorities.
Just as different brands, marketing and bonusing appeals to different groups of customers, so do different pricing and trading models.
Placing odds and pricing at the front and centre of the VSODDS.BET experience is already paying dividends.
We are seeing huge uptake from customers around the world. What began with a focus on soccer has now expanded into other sports.
Our trading team now regularly works through the night to cover major US sports, including the NBA.
But furthermore, we are also seeing interest from more niche offerings. European basketball and handball are two sports where our pricing model is attracting greater volumes of wagers than would be expected by an operator following the broader market.
What this shows is that there is still plenty of growth to be hand in the sportsbook sector, aside from entering new jurisdictions such as the United States.
I foresee a future when the global sportsbook market begins to fragment. In recent years, consolidation has been the key industry trend, with maturing markets forcing a wave of M&A activity and the emergence of a handful of ‘super operators’.
But with new local markets regulating and opening up, there will be increased opportunities for smaller operators to grab market share by offering something unique.
Rather than entering the unsustainable race to the bottom on bonusing, taking a close look at pricing and trading will prove a better option in many cases.
Customers are calling out for a return to a model that places the odds at the heart of everything. After all, this is the very core of what a sports bet is.