Thomas Molloy, Sportsbook and Trading Director at Pronet Gaming spoke to G3 on whether modern sportsbooks can thrive without a racing offering, what to consider when offering racing products in emerging markets and more.
Q. Horse racing is betting and betting is horse racing, but can modern sportsbooks thrive without a racing offering?
It depends on the market and more specifically, the appetite for racing within that market – horses for courses, you might say. Generally speaking, while you find there’s an element of racing heritage to draw on in LatAm, across Africa that is not necessarily present.
In the case of most regulated markets, racing is certainly an integral part of the sportsbook mix. On any given day, the number of events is huge and from an operator perspective it is a very attractive proposition: the margin is high and the product is sticky, offering punters a highly engaging experience that they want to come back to time and again. Finding the right partner is key and that’s what we were striving for when we teamed up with BetMakers earlier this year.
Q. What factors are considered when deciding whether to offer racing products in emerging markets?
Rights holders play a crucial role in ensuring that racing is funded properly. We are seeing a very similar movement emerge in racing to what has played out with sports rights data across other sports, often leading to litigation. As we see it, racing needs to be funded properly to become sustainable. The margin that race betting offers allows for fees to be paid back into the sport while still allowing the operator to make a healthy profit.
Q. What drives demand for racing betting outside of markets with an established appetite for the sport?
It boils down to the number of events that can be put in front of the customer, in what’s now a global sport. Racebooks very often feature races from over 20 countries, with up to 5,000 races per week. When we expanded into horse racing this year with BetMakers, we gained access to over 250,000 races every year and live streams of up to 2,500 races per week.
It also allowed us to offer SameRaceMultis, with accumulator bets able to be placed within a single race. That is a particularly attractive option for those markets where customers want to spend little with the chance of winning big.