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Sportradar exec Jake Williams on the sports betting landscape

Sportradar exec Jake Williams sports betting
Sportradar

Data is everything when it comes to sports betting and as the legal industry in the United States evolves over the next few years, Sportradar has positioned itself to be at the forefront of the market.

Something as simple as Googling, “Phillies Mets score” or getting up-to-the-second stats on your phone – Sportradar does the legwork. The company, which is based in Switzerland, is now also providing sports betting services to other companies that may be looking to jump into the sports betting fray.

In recent months, SportRadar has signed partnerships with FanDuel (with a goal of bringing live streams of sporting events to FanDuel Sportsbook’s betting app), the NBA, NHL, FOX Sports, NASCAR and MGM GVC.

It’s an exciting time for the company for sure, with so many states in the U.S. closing in on legal sports betting.

“We’re still in the infancy stage of legal sports betting in the U.S. but I think within six years you’ll be looking at 75 percent of the entire population in the country being able to bet from their phones, at the bar, and at restaurants,” Jake Williams, Sportradar’s Vice President of Legal and Regulatory Affairs, told MetroBet this week.

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As far as his take on where things currently stand with sports betting in the Philly – New York – New Jersey area, Williams says that he is “optimistically skeptical” that sports betting at retail locations will be available in the state of New York by the end of the year. The online aspect in Pennsylvania has been frustrating for consumers for sure, but Williams says that it’s not as simple as flipping a switch.

“To have a sportsbook up and running, to have to go through the rigorous testing of each app, to make sure people are only betting within state lines, to make sure you’re able to authenticate each person betting with a driver’s license or the last four digits of your social security number, it’s a lot. It’s not an easy task,” Williams told MetroBet. “New Jersey was an outlier. They had most everything set up even before the [May 2018 Supreme Court] ruling.”

 

The bettor vs. the non-bettor

Williams says that people who bet on sports and people who don’t bet on sports are different consumers when it comes to watching a sporting event on TV.

“What we’ve found in similar markets to the U.S. is that the betting fan who watches streams on a sportsbook platform on their PC or phone, they’re only watching four or five minutes of a stream,” Williams told MetroBet. “They’ll make in-game bets and once that bet is satisfied – like which team will get to 20 points first in an NBA game – they’ll close their computer and move onto another bet or something else entirely. It’s different than the guy who’s watching an NFL Sunday on his couch for three or four hours. There’s some overlap when it comes to the consumption of watching sports between the bettor and the non-bettor, but with the vast majority of sports bettors it involves prop markets with quick turnovers, 3-5 minutes.”

 

Online vs. retail

One worry in Philadelphia is that when online is finally introduced that the physical sportsbook locations will take a hit. Not so, says Williams.

“If you look at the numbers in New Jersey, everyone just looks at the massive outlier of online to retail,” Williams said. “But when you look at [FanDuel’s location at the Meadowlands], they get so much foot traffic. I don’t think online and retail collides with each other. I think they complement one another, actually. Like someone may bet on their phone or laptop 80 percent of the time, but during March Madness or an NFL Sunday it’s more fun to have the real sportsbook experience. It’s positive on both sides, I think.”

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