With so many major betting events taking place in the UK, it can become easy to overlook the possibilities provided overseas. However, as Brent Dolan, Head of Horse Racing Content at SIS reveals, the 24-hour demand for betting opportunities means that suppliers need to follow the sun and ensure round-the-clock content and delivery.
At certain points throughout the year, there are huge sporting weekends that capture the betting public’s imagination like no other. Just recently, one Saturday of sporting excellence saw Manchester United take on local rivals Manchester City, the Old Firm clash between Rangers and Celtic and, in horse racing, the highly anticipated St Leger – all within a couple of hours of each other. But, come 4pm, what then?
There’s some further football, a late kick-off perhaps. Then, further into the evening, the UK-based betting opportunities begin to dry up. Understandably, UK bettors take a huge interest in the sporting events taking place on these shores, but the demand for competitive and enjoyable betting opportunities around the clock is becoming ever more prevalent – and it’s global sport that’s providing them.
As in many other areas, from business and trade to music and entertainment, betting is now a 24-hour industry, and operators and suppliers are jostling to find the best positions.
At SIS, we provide horse racing content 364 days a year – covering international racecourses from Chile and Uruguay to the United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, Singapore, Australia and US in addition to UK, Irish, French and German racing. We’ve made a conscious decision to ensure that the best worldwide content is available and fills those all-important schedules for our customers.
Courses such as Meydan or Jebel Ali attract the best trainers, jockeys and horses from around the world, while other areas including Latin America are growing fast. Crucially, for UK bettors, some of their racing takes place at quiet times for British sport.
The move to global content is indicative of the round-the-clock demand from bettors; betting content delivery must be constant, and the less downtime operators provide their customers with the better.
It works the other way too. Operators from around the world are looking to take UK and Irish content which fills the dark spots in their schedules. We’re now finding that international demand for British and Irish horse and greyhound racing is becoming increasingly popular.
The challenge for a supplier such as SIS is to ensure that the content and data within your portfolio can be delivered anywhere, to the highest standards and with the lowest latency available.
In the past, infrastructure in developing countries hasn’t always been able to guarantee this, but that’s changing. The world is more connected than ever, and expansion of our low latency streaming platform, SIS Stream, has been borne on the back of improving broadband and internet connections worldwide.
Now, stable delivery via streaming and IPTV can reach almost any corner of the global betting world, offering a versatile, fast and future-proofed technology which is opening up new areas of growth and the ability to give new markets more content, more pricing and the same, high quality product that those in more developed markets have become used to.
Operators are seizing the chance to grow their customer base, and suppliers must be ready to deliver what they need, wherever in the world it originates from and wherever it needs to be going. Plus, there’s even more that operators can do to fill the downtimes in their schedules. Virtual racing is benefitting from the same positive impact of better technology as the flesh and bone variety, with streaming and on demand capability providing a perfect crossover product.
We’re seeing a similar international demand for products such as Virtuals Connect or SIS Infinite Games, our on-demand virtual racing offering. It’s no surprise – operators need to be able to offer their customers opportunities and entertainment, whatever minute of the day they arrive in a betting shop or on a website.
As internet and broadband capabilities continue to develop, and the global age of the betting industry continues to boom, it will become ever more important for content providers to ensure they have the best sports offering possible in their locker – and the infrastructure to deliver it effectively.