Malte Hegeler discusses this summer’s opportunities for sports betting

Our Head of Product Development for OddsMatrix Sportsbook reveals in GI Friday’s latest issue some of our plans for a busy summer, which include making sports betting more entertaining and integrating the lessons learned from the pandemic.

GI Friday: How is EveryMatrix preparing for the busy summer sports calendar and are there any new product developments on the horizon?

Malte Hegeler: We’re going to celebrate the long-awaited UEFA Euro 2020 by giving punters even more possibilities for entertainment. This means, for example, that we’ll keep on adding new and innovative betting markets. Take for instance Player Markets – they can be on First Player to be Booked, Player to Score in Time Range, and First Team Goal Scorer and hundreds of other markets.

We basically want to enable operators to make the betting experience as fun as the events themselves or even more entertaining. And we’ve already got in place great products that do just that. Our BonusEngine system makes it possible to add rewards and gamification to the mix. Just imagine creating a betting tournament for punters as an extra layer to the football tournament.

Then we have the BetBuilder – working particularly well for sports tournaments. Even if there are fewer events, players get more variety: they can create their own unique bets, combining selections from the same or different events.

Also, right before the two Grand Slams this summer, we are making our BetBuilder for tennis available, which will cover all the exciting tournaments, including ATP, WTA, Challenger and ITF. This is the perfect timing, as many tennis enthusiasts will be looking forward to placing bets on these tournaments.

And yes, we’ve also got an upcoming feature synched to the present day: mobile bet sharing on social media. It’s a documented fact that people want to share their experiences with friends, colleagues and the world itself – so we’ve made it easier for them to do just that when betting.

GIF: With so many tournaments this summer, which opportunities are you particularly looking to explore more?

MH: We’ve set our eyes on cross-vertical betting and built some products and features specifically for that. One specific opportunity is filling gaps like the half-time breaks in football – and we’ve got some neat classic casino games built for mobile devices that do just that. We’ve called them Slider Games, because they’re available to punters with just a finger slide on their screens, and they’re designed for short play windows.

But if you want to build even more on the possibilities of cross-product betting, then there are always reward tournaments that can mix the two. Whatever you choose, as an operator, you’re giving your punters more chances to have fun; either by helping them fill content gaps or by engaging them in fun competitions.

GIF: What are the main lessons sports betting companies have learned after the Covid-19 pandemic?

MH: We can speak from the perspective of a software provider here. Our position in the market has the advantage of giving us more understanding of what works and what doesn’t. And there are two things in particular that have helped bookmakers navigate the loss of real-life events easier.

The first one: diversified content. There is no question that traditional sports are classics that won’t go away ever – but the pandemic has exposed their vulnerabilities. You need to have a safety net and esports or virtual events are very good options. In the case of esports, even though its adoption was rushed by the pandemic, it is starting to show solid long-term potential. Esports attracts younger generations of punters and some titles, such as FIFA, have already proved their worth by breathing down the neck of important traditional sports like tennis in terms of turnover.

The second thing that had a huge impact was the flexibility of the software and the development team’s ability to regroup and accommodate the changes. Because it’s not enough to just have an idea, you also need to have the capacity to implement it, in terms of software and people infrastructure.

To give an idea of the magnitude of the required changes, let me just say that our esports services grew live coverage in just a couple of months from 1,000 to 50,000 live events. This was possible only due to our team’s dedication and tireless work, and because our software’s architecture allowed it.

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