How Technology Can Build Bridges in the US Sports Betting Market

Dan Broda, Checkd Group’s Senior Product Manager, describes how app-based solutions have the
potential to play a major role in driving traffic to operators.

The opportunity for affiliates in the United States as sports betting continues to roll out is huge.
Two years ago, with sports betting in its infancy, DraftKings reported that the lifetime value of US
sports bettors was around $2,500 per customer. Since then, we have seen enormous sign-up
bonuses of thousands of dollars offered to players and talk of the large customer acquisition cost in
certain states as the biggest operators scramble for market share, against an evolving background
where a focus on responsible gambling is rightly starting to take hold.

Even as the waters calm, the potential size of the overall sports betting market remains substantial
and as an affiliate, we can play a major role in directing high-quality traffic to major operators in the
the shape of engaged would-be bettors.

We have seen in the UK how technology has helped to guide and smooth the user journey of
bettors. In providing native applications for sports bettors, affiliates can create tools and solutions
that empower the bettor to make evidence-based betting decisions that are based on key
statistics, while also incorporating a social element of being able to view popular selections that are
being made within the app.

This approach is geared toward providing users with helpful stats and tips that they can use to inform
betting decisions, enabling them to then place their bets – often completed within the app – and to
track their progress.

We believe this proven approach can also bear fruit in the US. At Checkd Group, we have an
the equivalent of our SmartAcca tool – an in-app solution that provides users with parlay selections
based on historical statistics – in development already, having placed a foothold in the market
through the establishment of our tipping site FlashPicks. If you can put eye-catching statistics in front
of people and, more importantly, link them to betting opportunities, this can act as a key to
unlocking the power of the casual bettor.

Differences

While we believe that technological solutions that have proven successful in the UK can be
transferred successfully to the US, it is also vital to understand the major differences that exist
between these markets. Having conducted extensive research prior to the launch of FlashPicks, we
found that micro-influencers have big audiences that they have established through social channels.
In the US, the power of personality exerts a strong influence and there is an added element of
authenticity involved whereby every bet is tracked along with the overall ROI. This focus on the
views and insights provided by individual tipsters is a major consideration when creating a Betting
Hub-style app for the US market.

The technology of deep linking from an affiliate to a specific selection for an operator does exist but
only with certain bookmakers. Also, with the focus very much being acquisition rather than loyalty at
this stage, the end-to-end user journey of choosing selections and placing a bet via an affiliate is still
in its infancy and will definitely evolve as the market matures.

These are still early days and affiliates entering the market are getting to grips with how to engage
with US audiences. In order for the affiliate-operator partnership to truly flourish there needs to be a
drive towards educating users. To that end, FlashPicks currently carries over a dozen betting guides, along with state-specific pages so the user is aware of the legality of that region and which operators
are licensed.

Loyal

Our goal is to build a loyal audience, just as we have achieved in the UK, and to build products that
are useful and compelling. FlashPicks has been in a stage of continual development since launching
earlier this year and the next stage is to release a native app onto the market that is fully tailored to
the US.

In the longer term, we see our growth journey following similar lines to the UK by creating products
for media partners of the kind that we delivered for Checkd Media and talkSPORT. We will also look
to again provide tech solutions to operators, as we did with SmartAcca and William Hill and Sky Bet.

US operators have spent huge amounts on top-line marketing efforts to stimulate sign-ups, but by
harnessing tech solutions to provide insight and smooth the user journey, as an affiliate we can
help deliver bettors who want to back their favourite tipsters or their own judgement. In cultivating
a loyal audience that is receptive to evidence-based betting selections, we believe we can have a big
say in shaping the future of high-margin, revenue-driving casual betting.

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