How to Make Sure You Start a Great Online Sportsbook

How do you make sure you have built the best sports betting website?

With so many available options for gambling operators who want to start an online sportsbook, it is not always easy to decide what exactly to include in order to build the best sports betting website.

In our past articles, we looked at what it means for new operators to start an online gambling business and we went further on to recommend a white label solution as a convenient way to enter this business when you do not have a gambling licence and you want to save time to reach the market and cut down on operational costs.

Now, we are here to consider what exactly makes a great sportsbook and what operators need to include in order to make sure they succeed. Though we are aware there are multiple methods to build a gaming website and various means to reach success, our experience has led us to draw a series of conclusions on what makes a great online sportsbook.

6 Elements to Consider when Building the Best Sportsbook

online sportsbook

1. Great sportsbooks have a good coverage of betting markets with a focus on live betting

A great online sportsbook requires a broad coverage of the major sports events from the main markets in the world. Since most players want to have access not only to the main events on display, gambling operators need to find ways to offer events from multiple sports, regions and continents.

The gambling website should cover popular sports, such as football, tennis, volleyball, basketball and ice hockey, but it should also go beyond and be able to deliver other sports and local sport events, according to the targeted regions.

When looking for the best online sportsbook, most Internet bettors are looking for multiple betting options as well, so it is important to offer access to the main matches available, but it is equally vital to display various betting options for the main sports competitions.

In-play betting options have been added over the last years in all sportsbooks, transforming the live gaming experiences into exciting and intensive moments.

It is very well acknowledged that punters and casual players prefer the excitement of live betting. It is the main reason for most gambling operators to include a wide range of live sports events into their platform offering. At the same time, delivering optimized “on the go” friendly content is mandatory for sportsbook operators who want to enlarge their target audience and increase their revenues.

For example, for our company, the focus on sports has always been among our main products offered to gaming operators. Additionally, we have always looked to engage in many partnerships and deals with top suppliers to create the ultimate live betting experience.

2. Great online sportsbooks are looking great

It goes without saying that having a great-looking website that attracts sports bettors of different ages and with different backgrounds is a must. Don’t you think?

It matters too if your online sportsbook has been designed to target a certain area of the world. For example, it is well-known that gaming websites created for the Asian continent are more flamboyant and provide a more colorful atmosphere than their European counterparts that try to look as “clean” as possible.

Every gambling operator in the world wishes to build his own identity and we – as a software supplier – are aware that template-based platforms are no longer adequate for gambling operators’ purposes. For this reason, we are prepared every time to customize the gambling websites we offer to our clients and deliver flexible sportsbook products with a responsive design that is compatible with all modern browsers and devices.

3. Great sportsbooks attract players with bonus programs

What are most new players looking for in new online sportsbooks? How do they decide to choose one website over another? What makes them select you?

Though this article tries to emphasize the reasons and causes players choose to place bets on one sportsbook site over a different one, the bonus management programs are an important part of the puzzle and gambling operators need to be aware that creating and maintaining them is an essential part of their overall marketing strategy.

After all, who doesn’t like free money?

As most sportsbooks offer at least 10 to 20% incentive to their new customers, there are other aggressive sports campaigns that can raise bonuses even more. At the same time, offering some kind of discounts to loyal frequent players can go a long way in improving the retention rate.

Some of the frequent loyalty programs and rewards offered by online sportsbooks are:

  • Sign up bonuses: Players obtain a sign up bonus the moment they join a gambling website. These bonuses are a very good incentive to join that website, though it is offered only once.
  • Deposit bonuses: Players obtain a bonus the moment they choose to deposit a certain sum of money. For instance, some betting websites have promotions where they offer a 150% bonus on a deposit. However, there are some terms and conditions that apply and bettors should read them before they make the deposit.
  • No deposit bonuses: The sportsbook offers free money without asking for a deposit. Though it is quite attractive to access this type of bonus, there are some limitations to players, like win caps or the need to place additional bets before collecting the money.
  • Free bets: Free bets are generally connected with the size of the deposit. For instance, in case a player deposits $40, the betting website adds another $40 for the player to use. In addition to free bets, similar bonuses may appear, such as betting on better odds and money-back specials.

4. Great sportsbooks offer customized sports content

In an attempt to stay connected to the newest industry developments, gambling operators need to invest in their gaming platforms and deliver better products and customizable online sportsbooks.

Among the main advantages of a customizable gaming website, we can count the possibility to offer a tailor-made gaming content to a certain number of players from a region of the world; and second, we can mention the option to provide a unique sports offer for customers that display a certain online behavior.

By analyzing the way players place bets (see our article on KPIs) on the website, gambling operators have the possibility to understand their needs and come forward with a personalized offer for each player.

At the same time, when we refer to a customized sports content display, we have to understand that every sportsbook is looking to have its own identity and it is important, as software suppliers, to give operators the freedom to control the user experience.

To accomplish that, operators need to have access to multiple widgets and intelligence data on their customers’ online behavior in order to reach the best decisions on how their online sportsbook should look and feel.

5. Great sportsbooks are focusing on retention

Good customer support and constant communication with your players is the key to maintaining a great percent of your customers along with you, as it well known that it’s easier to keep the acquired customers instead of hunting for new ones.

But what other steps should operators take in order to increase the retention levels?

  • Frequent Player Points (FPP): This type of loyalty program is important not only as a bonus initiative for your players, but it proves to be a great retention tool as frequent bettors feel appreciated for their loyalty. Since most sportsbooks offer some sort of retention means, it is recommended that operators should go further and offer surprise promotions and various bonuses to its long time players.
  • VIP loyalty programs: These programs are running in an ongoing manner and they are addressed towards VIP players and high spenders that place bets regularly or play on high stakes.
  • Promotions for seasonal events: Constant communication with players is maintained also by taking into account temporary or season-related events, such as a World Cup Championship or a European tournament, or by offering various promotions on festive moments, such as the Christmas or the Easter times. Players expect these types of promotions and react in a positive manner when noticing their favorite sportsbook takes them into account.
  • Notifications: Keeping an open channel with your players means that gambling websites need to have an automated system to detect and take notice of a player’s betting behavior. By using this type of data, players can be engaged into betting by sending them notifications on the sports events that are of interest for them, such as important games. (It is of course important not to abuse your players’ patience with much too frequent notifications.)
  • Betting assistance for new players: Great online sportsbooks offer not only many betting options and a large range of markets, but they reach out to new players in order to provide assistance. For instance, major sportsbooks come forward and assist football bettors with stats on their favorite teams that indicate their past evolution and interaction with other football teams. Even more, players have access to different articles and tutorials that are created to help them understand the betting options for a higher success rate.

By keeping an open communication with players and interacting with them based on their interests leads to building trust among the two parties, and this can only be a positive element of any retention efforts.

6. Great sportsbooks offer fast deposit and easy collection methods

Players need to be able to access multiple means to deposit and withdraw money. We have to underline the fact that players need reliable payment solutions, such as various credit cards, vouchers and/or manual payment methods.

These tools need to be offered by any serious gambling operator who is looking to provide the customers with the best means to deposit and receive money online.

The need for multiple methods of payment that deliver a secure environment of processing is therefore a vital element for any gambling website right now, starting with the traditional payment methods that employ credit cards and vouchers to the final integration of the bitcoin currency.

For example, our company offers a flexible payment processing platform that is integrated with more than 50 payment methods.

Why so many payment options? We believe it is necessary to make life easier for our clients’ bettors. Your customers should not lose time trying to deposit and collect money, they should be out there having fun by placing bets on sports.

As a major plus for our gaming platform, one of the chief improvements is given by a seamless wallet which provides the advantage of placing all products under one account, while all transactions reside in a single location.

How do you actually build a great sportsbook?

We have discussed until now what are the main building blocks of a great sportsbook, but we have not tackled one of the main elements in our equation: How do you actually build an online sportsbook?

So, we have to shortly present here the main choices gambling operators have to open a gaming website:

  • Build the website by themselves;
  • Hire a software company to create and deliver the gambling website for them.

Choosing to build the online sportsbook by yourself takes time and, especially for those not acquainted with the world of iGaming, it is not easy to hire a team of developers, who in turn may not be familiar with the industry of gambling.

In addition to building the platform, other challenges appear, such as the need to:

  • obtain the main leagues from the main markets;
  • access the most important global and local sport events;
  • provide diversified bet types;
  • access to a complete array of live betting options from the geographical markets;
  • hire professional teams of bookmakers, traders, agents and analysts to calculate the odds;

As you may have already noticed, it is not easy to go alone on this road. The world of gambling is complicated and a thorough understanding of this industry is more than required before an operator may choose to start an online gambling business.

Our recommendation for gambling operators, especially new ones, is to choose a platform provider that is able to cover all the technical aspects required by a new gambling website.

Finally, we believe it is equally important to enter into a business relationship with a software provider that offers a number of customization options which allow gambling operators build a great sportsbook with a unique identity in the industry.

EveryMatrix is an independent company offering award-winning software solutions to the iGaming industry, whilst working with high-profile gaming partners and payment providers. The main products include OddsMatrix, a fully-managed sportsbook providing more than 23,000 live events monthly; GamMatrix, a complete gaming and payment processing platform, and CasinoEngine, the largest aggregator on the market with more than 3,000 games from top casino vendors, such as NetNet, Scientific Games, Microgaming, Play’n’Go and many others. Our solutions can be integrated into gambling operators’ existing platforms or can be offered as standalone products, where clients can choose to operate under their own licence or use a white label from us.

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