Cheltenham Festival Drives Record Betting Volume for Scientific Games

Cheltenham Festival had a record number of bets placed during the festival’s four-day span, an increase of 53% year-over-year. In addition to a large number of bets, the festival attracted more than 1.1 million viewers as well as 1.5 million views for the Irish racehorse Honeysickle’s Champions Hurdle.

OpenSports Record-Breaking Number of Bets

During last week’s Cheltenham FestivalScientific Games processed a “record bet number” with a 53% increase on its OpenSports platform. Several leading sports betting operators, including William Hill, Entain’s Ladbrokes, the Coral brands, and Flutter’s Paddy Power and Betfair, use the OpenSports solution.

In addition, the platform has reported “100% platform stability” over the entire weekend with its operator partners.

The festival’s 2020 settlement saw a record of 70 million bets for all operators, a rise of over 50%, whilst the total stakes rose by as much as 34%, with both Win and Each Way stakes averaging were £7.50. 

Over four days of the festival, the gross account transfers have peaked at 470 million, up 44% from last year, and over 34,000 wagers were handed out every minute by an undisclosed OpenSports partner.

SVP Sportsbook at Scientific Games Digital, Keith O’Loughlin, said: “These figures further demonstrate the power of our platform, with its scalability and reliability once again delivering high-level performance across one of the biggest sporting events.”

The boom is owing to the growing demand from gamblers during the COVID-19 lockdowns and a general increase in internet activity in gambling sites due to the shutdown of retail betting venues.

O’Loughlin further added that this year the festival witnessed the growth of betting activity and the number of players using the online space. He added that the average stakes reflect the recreational and enjoyable nature of this competitive event, and Scientific Games are proud that OpenSports has played an extremely entertaining role during the festival.

Cheltenham Festival Attracts Millions of Viewers

Besides the reports from Scientific Games, it was announced last week that a record of 1.1 million viewers was drawn on the first day of this four-day festival, and as many as 1.5 million people stayed and watched Rachel Blackmore win the Champions Hurdle on the Irish racehorse Honeysuckle.

Nielsen Sports even predicted that the festival would have the highest television ratings in over a decade, citing a 250,000 rise in overall television viewing due to people working from home and furlough programs.

According to the Racing Post, the overall viewership rose by 12% over last year, with peak viewing numbers up by 7%, the best since records started in 2003.

The free-to-air broadcaster signed a deal with the Racecourse Media Group (RMG), which owns the rights to the four-day event, to allow the races further publicity.

The announcement led ITV to extend to six scheduled races per day instead of the usual 5, as well as shorten the duration between the races from 40 minutes to 35 minutes so as to be able to fit in the time frame that they had.  

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