Choosing a Sportsbook Provider: Top 20 Tips for Success in 2023

So you want to launch your sportsbook but don’t know where to start? WeAreGame will help you with our handy guide of top tips for a winning sportsbook formula in 2023.

Why Sports?

Why not?! Sports are globally popular, and sports betting and live sports go hand in hand, and betting on sports has always been a popular past-time. In our recent blog, Six Reasons Why 2023 is the Best Year to Launch Your iGaming Business, we explored why 2023 is a great year to get into iGaming. Now let’s take a closer look at sportsbooks.

Sports betting is available where other forms of gambling are not, making it a flexible option for wide-ranging customer potential. Multiple emerging markets, such as Brazil, are actively encouraging the growth of sports betting to improve the economy.

What You Need to Know About Sportsbooks

Before you begin, you’ll need to find a suitable provider and some finance to get you off the ground. With so many options available, be studious and do extensive research before settling on the ideal provider to get you up and running.

To make things easier, we’ve broken down twenty of the critical things you must look for when deciding where to take your business and handing over your hard-earned cash.

Top 20 Sportsbook Provider Tips

  1. Company History & Team Players

Don’t go for the first provider you spot after a quick internet search. There are many providers available, but they’re not all the same. Research the company well. How long have they been in business? Who are the leading team players, and what is their iGaming experience? What do they know about gambling on a broader scale? Be cautious and establish the whole picture.

  1. What’s the Data?

Use any data available on the company’s finances and business dealings. Use their skills if you have access to a market research data analyst. How successful is the company AND the platforms that the provider has created? It’s no use investing in a provider with fifty developed platforms under their belt if none make any money. You want to run a business, after all.

  1. Reliability

Don’t just look at the numbers; look at the words. Do your research. Many companies will have endorsements on their website or social media pages, but are they authentic? Search various review websites, visit their social media pages, and carefully examine the comments sections. Have they ever been nominated or won any awards? If so, which ones? No amount of research is too much research.

  1. Security & Safety

One of the most important aspects of any iGaming or gambling business is security and safety in all its guises. It is crucial to get this right. Does the company provide rigorous anti-money laundering practices? What about risk and fraud management? How about KYC and security checks? Failing to use a reputable company that doesn’t meet the required aspects could have devastating results in the future for you and your business.

  1. Customer Support

When choosing a provider, you need a company that offers outstanding customer support to their clients and, if they will provide it, to your players. You need to be able to communicate with them whenever required. You need people who speak your language and the language of your players. Players expect customer service availability 24/7 in multiple formats such as live chat, phone, email, SMS, or social media messaging. Decide what options you want available to your customers and test out the company's customer service by acting as a player to give you an idea of how well they work.

  1. Legal & Compliance Support

Another crucial aspect to look for is a reputable company with a highly trained legal and compliance team. It is essential. Don’t even think about cutting corners here. Falling foul of a cheap option could have devastating consequences. Reputable companies will have fully qualified and experienced teams to ensure all practices and procedures meet the law and regulations for your new business venture.

  1. Bespoke UX/UI Design & Tech Support

Your new platform must look appealing, be easy to use, and be compatible with multiple devices. You’ll need a provider with a talented team to develop front-end and back-end designs with excellent uptime that always runs smoothly. Your provider needs a substantial UI design team to handle the visual design aspects and a strong UX team to address the user experience. Is the platform fully scalable with flexible setting options? Obscure CTA buttons, slow-loading pages, or too many click-through options stop people from joining or returning. It’s also worth ensuring they offer technical support, should you need it.

  1. Payments & Withdrawals

You need to establish popular, safe payment and withdrawal options. Players look for several key features: high security and substantial fraud and risk management, low fees, fast transactions, and a choice of payment and withdrawal options. To get the best out of your business, widen the options available, debit and credit cards, bank transfers, e-wallets, and cryptocurrency.

  1. Managed Services

You may have a burning desire to manage and run your new platform yourself, but why tempt failure? It’s better to use the services of an experienced team with solid iGaming know-how. Any reputable provider will also offer managed services who will understand the platform best. Providers usually offer great deals to those who sign up for platform creation and managed services. Some providers also offer training to train your in-house team, which is helpful if you add a new sportsbook vertical onto an already-established platform.

  1.  Dedicated Account Manager

Not every provider offers this, but it is something that every client needs. Having your dedicated account manager to hand cuts out the middleman and saves inordinate amounts of time chasing things up. They are your first point of contact, and all communications go through them. On top of that, they know you and your business in detail because they lead all developments and oversee all changes and discussions for you. If you value your time, equip yourself with a provider that can get you a talented, dedicated account manager to stand by your side and support you through the entire process.

  1. Market Knowledge

iGaming differs from country to country and, in some countries, from state to state. Therefore, you must carefully consider your chosen market(s) before getting things up and running. Definitions of betting and gambling vary, so you must choose a provider who understands this, with an established footing and strong reputation in your chosen market(s). For example, if you opt for an emerging market like Brazil, how many platforms do they already power there? Ensure your provider knows local preferred payment and withdrawal options. 

You’ll need to consider language. Would your dedicated account manager be fluent in your language? Do they provide customer service options for players in their language? Some jurisdictions have multiple languages, which is also something to consider. They must understand your target demographic's nuances, culture, lifestyles, and passions. What works in Asia may not work in the Latam market. One size does not fit all. 

  1. Sports on Offer

Tailor your platform to the needs and tastes of your target audience. Your provider must know which sports are popular, like futsal in Brazil or cricket in India. Some sports are more globally popular, like football, while others aren’t as popular across many countries but have many fans, like American football. Big sports like ice hockey, basketball, rugby, horse racing, tennis, and golf are good options. Smaller or seasonal sports are also good to offer and can tie in well with promotions. Some platforms focus on a handful of the most popular sports, while others provide a more comprehensive range. Any reputable provider should know what will work for your market.

  1. Sports Promotions

You must consider promotions once you know what sports you want to offer. Sports know-how is of the utmost importance. Detailed knowledge of different odds and bet types is essential. Your provider must know the kinds of bets, offers, and promotions allowed and what works for each sport and demographic in your chosen locale.

  1.  Marketing, CRM, Acquisition, Engagement, & Retention

Successful platforms have successful marketing and CRM teams. The two groups work together to boost acquisition, engagement, and retention. They should all have a good understanding of the market and sports you’ve chosen. If your platform provider takes care of the promotional side, ensure they understand how to create engaging player journeys. Some platforms promote solely via email and text, while others also use SMS, push notifications, print media, video, or even good old-fashioned ‘snail mail’. A successful team will run tests to see what works best for your customers and adjust their plans accordingly.  They should be able to offer various tournaments and other promotional events to entice new customers.

  1. Extra Features & Events

Spice up your platform by opting for a provider that offers a wide range of extra features. Choose from things like pre-match and live events, real-time updates, live streaming, betting tips, or even adding extras like blogs, seasonal tournaments, competitions, and loyalty schemes. Some platforms even have merchandise. Find out from your provider what they have available and how it can work for you.

  1. Virtual Sports

Ever thought about virtual sports? Virtual sports are available for numerous sports options: virtual horse racing, football, and more. If you can bet on a sport in real life, you can bet on a virtual version. Virtual sports are great for fans whose favourite sport is short-lived. Take, for example, NFL. A virtual American football game will appeal to fans whose favourite sport is only available in real life for a few months each year. If virtual sports seem appealing, it’s worth talking to your provider about their options.

  1.  eSports

eSports is another excellent addition to think about. eSports bring in a high volume of money and customers to many platforms on the market. In April, our blog, eSports Epic Rise to Success, looked at esports' rise and vast potential. eSports have steadily grown since their inception, with legions of fans and players worldwide. Adding eSports to your repertoire will attract sports fans and also gamers. They work well alongside platforms that support cryptocurrency, as eSports fans tend to be tech heads. Many platform providers offer eSports these days, so although not essential, it is a viable option for added appeal.

  1.  Fantasy Sports

Fantasy sports have been around for decades. They're a fun and exciting way to boost engagement and retention. Companies looking to establish a platform with broader appeal should include a fantasy vertical. Fantasy has many big selling points: enjoyable, great for the brain, and social. As well as that, players enjoy learning about their chosen sport from a manager’s point of view, which could improve engagement in sportsbooks. As players return to check scores, they increase retention. Players may even try some of your sports-themed slots if you have a casino vertical. You can learn more about the benefits of fantasy in our article Expand Your iGaming Business Profit, Popularity & Potential with Fantasy.

  1.  Casino, Lottery, & More.

Why stop at sporting extras? Plenty of other verticals can also add value to your platform, some sport-related and some not. The primary big winner in iGaming is casino. Joint sportsbook and casino options are perfect for most platforms getting started. They cover almost all bases and have heaps of potential. Casinos can offer all sorts of exciting slots, like crash games and jackpot slots, on all kinds of themes, including sports-themed slots. Slots these days are so vast and varied, from classic retro three-reel offerings to feature-rich morphing reel sets.

What sort of casino would be without a live casino? Live casino table games and game shows are fun, professionally done in beautiful HD, and streamed directly to your players. It’s like sitting at a favourite brick-and-mortar casino while still relaxing at home.

Lottery is a simple vertical that drives retention and engagement. Lotteries are simple to play, with low starting costs for players and ample prize options, so they have a broad appeal. They’re also attractive to a more comprehensive range of people than other verticals. Players return to check the result and possibly try something else on your site. Great providers will have access to many big-name lotteries from around the world. You can learn more about lotteries in our two blogs, How to Create a Winning Lottery Brand and How to Grow Your Casino or Sportsbook With Lottery.

Aside from the lottery, there are other options, like scratch cards, instant win games, and, where available, Free-to-Play games (F2P). Any decent sportsbook provider will also offer casino and live casino, and almost certainly other types of fun as well. If you see your platform growing more prominent over time, It’s something to consider seriously.

  1. AI, VR, AR, & Fintech

While these may not be the first thing you think of when looking to start your sportsbook, keep in mind the future of iGaming and where you see yourself and your platform in ten years. Artificial intelligence (AI) already plays a part in many online platforms in various guises, like customer service bots. There are iGaming metaverse worlds to explore and even metaverse customer service. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are also readily available for many casino and live casino games. However, most regular sportsbooks aren’t using this yet, but it’s good to go with a forward-thinking provider open to developing their skills and services. 

Similarly, with Fintech (financial technology), although many platforms currently don’t rely solely on cryptocurrency, things are quickly taking off, so keep your options open.

What’s Left to Consider?

Are you still mulling over that big decision before taking the final plunge? Remember, you need a knowledgeable, skilled, experienced provider with solid market knowledge and digital talent, who are safe, secure, and professional, and, most importantly, knows how to create an eye-catching, winning sportsbook. To make the most of your business, you must stand out from the crowd and appeal to as many people as possible. Don’t forget; you’ll also need to secure a licence for your chosen market. Overall, the future is bright for burgeoning iGaming sportsbook businesses as long as you research and choose the right provider.

Lift Off with WeAreGame

WeAreGame offers a full spectrum of bespoke iGaming solutions, products, and services. WeAreGame specialises in emerging markets and has powered multiple platforms and sportsbooks globally. 

If you want to get into iGaming using our WeAre Platform and turnkey solution, or expand your current brand with our individual products, get in touch at: 

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