Innovation and technology are critical components to so many businesses, certainly including the global sports betting industry. The fact that sports betting is an online and global industry makes the scalability of betting platforms incredibly important, combine that with the rise of mobile, and you’ve got constant technological developments to keep up with as an operator.
LVS is a sports betting software solutions provider, a company that has been in the business since 1992 and still going strong. Simon Ordish is the CEO of LVS and has a wealth of experience and knowledge in his niche. Ordish agreed to sit down with CalvinAyre.com and discuss the importance of innovative technology in the sports betting industry, how to manage a global business from a software perspective and share his predictions on where the future is headed for sports betting.
Becky Liggero: Simon, thank you so much for agreeing to share your expertise in the sports betting software industry. Lets start with what’s new in your world- the LVS “ABP in a BOX” was launched in May 2013, what has been the industry’s response to the product and how are things going so far?
Simon Ordish: Response has been very positive. This launch has sent the message that LVS is able to offer a fully featured sportsbook solution to customers with all budgets. ABP-in-a-BOX provides all the necessary hardware to run your sportsbook that can help customers to be up and running in the shortest possible time. To compliment ABP-in-a-BOX, we also announced a new pricing policy that is based on a monthly rental model. These announcements have created a number of enquires and one new signup so far. This shows that there are still many smaller players in the marketplace who need the right software to be able to compete.
BL: Congratulations on this innovative, new product. LVS actually has over 10 years of continuous sports betting platform development under its belt, what were some of the biggest innovations that you have seen over that time period?
SO: Bookmakers have had to understand the importance of technology in our industry – and how expensive it can be if you get it wrong. As the industry has overcome issues with scalability and performance, we are now seeing that operators are becoming increasing concerned about stability and security of their technology. We are fortunate to have built our solution on robust technologies like Oracle and Java and after working with a number of lottery operations; LVS has been forced to invest heavily in conforming to stricter rules. These enhancements benefit the private sector as well, especially as we see some operators grow through consolidation.
BL: Yes, technology is vital to the sportsbook industry, that’s for sure. What do you predict we’ll be seeing in sports betting software innovation over the next 10 years?
SO: The obvious answer in the short to medium term is to focus on mobile solutions. From a technology point of view, this is changing rapidly and it essential to choose the right approach. At LVS we have looked into writing native applications for the Android and IOS platforms, but as we see HTML5 and CSS3 advancing, we have recently embarked on a project to write a web-based sportsbook solution that feels like its native cousins. This means we can write one codebase for both platforms with a considerably reduced time to market. Furthermore, maintaining HTML is much easier than the alternatives.
Looking deeper into the future is more difficult. I suspect we will see changes in the legal landscape that will force operators to change their modus operandi. Having the right technology will still be key.
BL: LVS services operators around the globe, how do your solutions vary from European operators to Asian operators, for example?
SO: ABP was architected to service all styles of betting from the very beginning. Our technology understands “bets” and “wagers” in the same system. We offer exactly the same codebase to all operators, regardless of where they are based. Obviously they will enable or disable features based on their jurisdiction and our system supports the whole spectrum from UK-style horse racing through to Asian handicaps. We even have an Asian-style agency system inside our product.
BL: Ok, how can a single operator service multiple countries using just one platform?
SO: As consolidation continues in the industry, we are seeing leading operators working in many different countries and jurisdictions. At the same time, they are required to conform to different rules in each of these jurisdictions whilst working to tighter margins. In response to our customers’ requests, LVS has been enhancing all our tools to work simultaneously on multiple different instances of ABP even when installed in different parts of the world. This means that a single trader, for example, can manage global or individual risk from a single application on a single screen.
BL: Just one more prediction from you, Simon- when it comes to online sports betting specifically, what do you think the future holds for desktop and mobile?
SO: In the same way that the Internet was made for sports betting, we are already seeing a similar story with mobile. I wonder if one of the larger operators will ever consider a mobile-only offering.
BL: I wouldn’t be surprised, thank you so much Simon, it’s been a pleasure.