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OpenBet: A new era for trading

By - 7 June 2022

Ahead of his panel appearance at SBC’s Betting on Sports Europe event at Twickenham Stadium, Manos Lagopoulos, Senior Director, Managed Trading Services Europe at OpenBet, offers G3 his insight into the future of the way traders operate.

Change is inevitable, something true to almost all aspects of our industry, and trading is no exception.

With change comes many challenges to the way we operate, and one of the most notable aspects we will have to adapt to in the coming months is the forthcoming tightening of regulation around televised advertising.

The current environment represents a traditional means of communicating with customers, and a powerful one at that. We will soon be looking at a completely new battlefield, which will take time to adjust to, but will allow the industry to explore alternative marketing routes.

The industry is mature enough to explore alternative marketing routes like social media and stadium marketing. There is a lot of data available today, giving brands the opportunity to take a more segmented approach, a task made much easier through social avenues. As the data already exists, the traders that will thrive are the ones that have segmented their bases more effectively.

This, in other words, means catering to the specific needs of different audiences, from those who enjoy new forms of entertainment such as esports, as well as bettors that engage with traditional betting formats that the likes of horse racing and football offer.

Television is, and will remain, the most powerful communication tool on sports events for the foreseeable future, but there is a lot of room to grow into other channels, which also includes play-to-earn games and streaming services.

Traders will be required to adopt new approaches to differentiate product offerings as they discover how to inspect activities and subsequently change their findings. This will effectively lead to new product lines that will mean more for the market in which a trading team operates.

Should a trading team be positioned to operate in many and diverse markets, it will only allow this process to be both faster and more effective. As traders, we need to be less dependent on traditional data sources for sports betting, such as sports news sites, and move to the social media world.

This is something already observable with our Don Best offering we utilise a product called Don Best Screens, with a team dedicated to following Twitter, Facebook accounts, and so on, to get the news first. The team does not translate that into new product offerings, it uses it purely for trading and changing odds. This, to me, is a clear example of what I call proactive trading.

The name of the game is adaptability, and the modern-day trading room will have to be flexible to quickly reacting to change. Industry-leading propositions invest a lot on automation in trading, which enables traders to make better calls and allows them to focus on other, new aspects of the game.

Social media and the opening of the US market has changed the way people understand sports betting. Understanding and translating the data you can collect from social media sources into tangible trading actions is already an established practice for most trading rooms.

In a sense, trading rooms will be more outgoing than they used to be – absorbing the latest data, such as a late change in a team’s line-up, and quickly translating it into new offerings.

Modern trading is all about automation – harnessing the data available and leveraging it in a way that allows us to automate a lot of the decisions traders have to make.

By creating automation systems that instantly react to a change, trading departments will be afforded increased time to invest in accessing data from non-traditional sources and translate that into offerings.

In terms of the traders themselves, we must keep in mind that they are highly skilled people, capable of rapidly consuming large chunks of data and transforming them into decisions. The modern-day trader reads through five or six screens at a time and can make quick decisions based on the data they consume.

The way their skillset must adapt over time is towards product management and agile methodology understanding, which will be a differentiating factor when separating the good traders from the best.

The ability to understand the market’s heartbeat and translate social media inputs into trading actionable items is another important skill to have. Product management skills will be essential for very good future traders: they will be the ones able to quickly react to news, data, and immediately translate that into either a product or different odds.

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