BUSINESS

Bookmakers missing out on mini-games profit

TAGs: Boylesports, David Sargeant, Victor Chandler, Zukido

Mini-games are the way forward for bookies

Mini-games are the way forward for bookies

Online bookmakers are missing out on boosting their revenues by not including mini-games on their websites, according to Zukido’s commercial director David Sargeant.

Sargeant, whose company provides mini-games and bespoke live-betting solutions to a number of the UK’s leading bookmakers, says that bookies that overlook the inclusion of mini-games on their sites are missing out on around 30% of improved turnover.

“Mini-games add at least 25-30% to the turnover of our customers,” said Sargeant, in an interview with Calvinayre.com. “The average sports betting punter stays online for approximately seven minutes. The in-running bettor is online for an average of between 30 and 40 minutes. Our growing portfolio of mini-games helps optimize the bookies’ opportunity with the live betting punter.”

Live betting has probably been the single-most important development in sports betting over recent years with punters now able to watch matches on their computers and bet on all manner of in-running events such as which football team will score the next goal, receive the next booking, or win the next corner, or which batsman will be the next man out, or score x amount of runs in the cricket. But while operators have recognized the importance of live betting, they have not all had the same epiphany as far as slot games are concerned.

“During a football match, whenever there’s a break in the action for an injury the bookmaker can seize the moment by introducing the live betting punter to mini-games – in the same way that someone watching the football in the pub might have a quick go on the fruit machine,” explained Sargeant. “But not all bookmakers use mini-games and they are missing out on free money.”

The in-play market is also an area in which Zukido specializes, providing tailor-made live-betting products to bookmakers, such as Boylesports, who went live with their new website last week and will add Zukido’s live-betting front end any moment now, and Victor Chandler, whose bespoke web front end will be provided by Zukido and integrated into VC’s back-end management system in time for the World Cup.

VC’s application will feature across all live sports showing real time odds, live text commentary, real time statistics and affiliate tools, which will be available on all of VC’s different language sites.

“The beauty of bespoke products is that we look at the individual requirements of the bookmaker tailored to their particular customers needs,” added Sargeant, who worked at Orbis, Blue Square and Finsoft before forming Zukido three years ago with other industry specialists. “We can provide front end solutions or black box solutions, where we take care of the whole thing end-to end. We evaluate the level of sophistication of the typical user on that site and ensure that the operator gets the product that meets the needs of their typical user. Some products are simple; others a great deal richer.”

With margins becoming increasingly squeezed by the saturated online sports market the more astute bookmakers have acknowledged the need to innovate and engage the more traditional sports customer in their other products. And that, according to Sargeant, can be done with the right live-betting page.

“The idea is that you don’t just tell the punter about sports while they are on the in-running betting but you inform them of all the other offers, markets and features happening now that are available while they are on the live betting page. So punters can be alerted to upcoming poker tournaments, the next actual, or even virtual horserace that’s about to start or any other live offer or promotion.

Zukido, which means ‘breakthrough’ in Japanese, may have only been going since 2007 but it is growing rapidly despite strong competition. “All of our competitors are major players, but we are picking up market share because we are dynamic enough to create bespoke games on request and deliver tailor-made live-betting products to the exact specification of our customers.”

In other words, Zukido is living up to its name.

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