Instant gratification – whether you’re a bettor, operator or affiliate, you want it.
Luckily, there’s a fix, it’s called micro betting.
Not only is it in high demand now, but it’s also showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
In fact, it’s the future of sports wagering.
So, what exactly is micro betting?
The best way to explain it is, have you ever been at your favorite professional or college stadium or arena, watching your favorite team and your favorite player and think to yourself or better yet tell your buddy, what you think is about to happen next?He’s putting this one in the bleachers, he’s taking this next rush to the house, or he’s money from that spot at the top of the key
Then when it happens, you immediately think to yourself, “Damn, I wish I could’ve had money on that play.”
Well, with micro betting you can bet on that play, and the next play, and the next play.
Three years ago, Simplebet decided to make a bet on the next play too. The first bet was on itself. The second was on micro betting.
Ryan Keur, Vice President of Revenue and Trading at Simplebet
“I think we utilized micros as kind of the pillar to ultimately try to own the entire in-play experience, but really focusing on that level of granularity, and trying to solve one of the hardest challenges out there with ingesting and understanding these sort of data feeds to provide a compelling product at all moments of the game,” Ryan Keur, Vice President of Revenue and Trading at Simplebet told Casino City.
Simplebet is a B2B product development company that uses machine learning and real-time technology to make every moment of every sporting experience not only a betable opportunity, but also one that truly does matter.
For those of you possibly asking why there isn’t a Simplebet app available to place a micro bet along the likes of apps such as Intralot, DraftKings Sportsbook
, Caesars, betr and bet365, the answer is simple.
Think of the B2B company as the Great Wizard of Oz, behind the curtain.
Simplebet provides an end-to-end Application Programming Interface as well as full trading services to all of these companies that have accounted for a little bit over a $1 billion in handle over the past 20 months.
It’s a win-win for both Simplebet and the operators, who work on a rev-share deal.
“On a monthly basis, we have a settlement report with each of our operators where we settle on based on a rev share that’s been determined,” explained Keur. “We’ve been able to pretty much standardize the cost for each of our partners.”
What enabled this industry to take in that $1 billion within almost the past two years?
Again, the answer comes back to instant gratification. Sure, you could bet a full game moneyline, but then you have to wait for two to sometimes four hours for the game to end depending on the sporting event.
“You’re able to hop in and out of specific games at specific times and have that same level of gratification,” said Keur. “Our price has to be right at every single moment of every single game. We have to provide the bettors the opportunity to pop in and out, you gotta be right every single second of every single game, otherwise you’re going to get picked off by sharps.”
And who better to have behind the curtain of micro betting than the sharps of the concept itself as Simplebets’ traders only cover micros.
“It’s interesting because our traders have been so dialed in, and focused, for the better part of the now two plus years on every single pitch, every single play in a football game, on every drive, on every basket in a basketball game, that they will look at the game a little bit differently than a trader that’s maybe conditioned to trade just moneyline of an NBA game,” said Keur. “They’re really kind of looking at the devil in the details.”
And in all of those cases, the details are finite.
An example of a baseball micro bet
For example, in baseball, the Simplebet traders are dealing odds on every pitch. Will it be a ball or a strike? Will the m.p.h. on the next pitch be over 94.5 or under? They then extrapolate that out to current at bats and what the outcome of that at-bat will be, and then also out to full innings. Simplebet doesn’t even offer full game lines.
“You’re starting to see all of the main operators really starting to figure their micro betting strategy and this is becoming a category where you don’t want to be left behind, similar to same game parlays two or three years ago where everyone still seems to be still catching up to FanDuel there,” said Keur.
Speaking of FanDuel, which is not a Simplebet client, it also offers micro betting, but it refers to these wagers as “quick duration markets.” FanDuel is part of Flutter.
“A lot of quick duration betting is centered around player-based outcomes, which have become extremely popular for bettors in recent years,” said Phil Doyle, Trading Manager at FanDuel. “Quick duration markets also tend to be quickly decided and quickly settled, which we know appeals to a large percentage of our customers.”
With all of these bets one after another, one would think the bettors are satisfied, but they’re not. They want more.
As most fans do, they have their favorite players and in turn they want to bet on their favorite player. Simplebet started to see bettors asking for options such as, “Will Lebron James make or miss his next shot?” Simplebet now offers that for its operators. In fact, Simplebet created an option for all its operators where bettors can wager on all 10 starters of each NBA game at all times throughout the game.
DraftKings took the front end a step further by building out player cards so if a bettor just wants to focus on a specific player, like James, then they can just bet his player card. This allows bettors the ability to only see betting options for their favorite player rather than all players.
It’s just one of the many things that Simplebet sends through its API that is surfacing in real time to its operators that have the ability to take that data and restructure it and reformat it in a unique display.
Just like any specialty in life, if it was easy then everyone would be doing it, but it’s not and that is the benefit to Simplebet.
“We’re providing a ton of different markets throughout a lot of different games, with a specialization of a 100 people that have been at it for about five years,” said Keur. “They are really battle tested and that has allowed us to go in and work with operators, and then have direct immediate results,” said Keur.”
Simplebet’s relationship is; however, not the same with all five of its operators. There’s one that’s different for a couple of reasons, and that’s betr.
For starters one of the Miami-based operator’s co-founders is Joey Levy, who also happened to be one of the co-founders of Simplebet.
“Joey’s always had great ambitions to become an B2C company,” said Keur. “Around COVID time, Joey actually went off from Simplebet and started to found betr with the hopes and admirations of creating the best possible B2C micro betting company that could ultimately have a direct tie into the consumer. They’ve done a great job. Partnered with Jake Paul, created a media arm, so it’s been really exciting to see the growth of betr.”
The other difference between its other four operators and betr is that Simplebet controls the entire front-end experience and the bet engine itself for betr where as it only controls the backend of the other operators.
“Joey obviously had really great confidence in our tech team to build something like that out,” said Keur. “It was also one of Simplebet’s strategic missions to build out all of the components that live within a platform to ultimately go to market.”
With the market of micro betting exploding, it’s easy to see how Simplebet is not only growing in stature and footprint in part due to its relationship with bet365, which is based in the U.K., but also in its knowledge each time it rolls out the backend for an operator.
For example, since DraftKings launched before bet365, Simplebet had the advantage of seeing what bets were valued over others, such as, “Will an NFL or college football kickoff be a touchback or not?”
“We made the suggestion to bet365 that they actually have the kickoff-touchback market, appear right above their core moneyline total and spread for those 60 to 90 seconds,” said Keur. “On the Super Bowl for example, that market performed 28 times higher for bet365 compared to what it did on DraftKings where it’s kind of buried under a lot of other Simplebet related markets.”
Currently, Simplebet operators are able to offer three sports, but that equals five micro betting events as they offer NFL, college football, NBA, college basketball, and MLB. NHL and EPL are in in the pipeline for 2023.
“Micro betting tends to lend itself to the way that the U.S. sports field cadence is built on these start-stop moments, and it’s the way we’ve been conditioned to watch games,” said Keur.
Those star-stop moments; however, can vary for sports bettors based on the platform that they are watching the games. That is why latency, which is the time it takes for data to pass from one point to another on a network, is a hot button topic.
An example of a football micro bet
For example, the latency numbers from this year’s Super Bowl were literally all over the map. Depending on which tech site reported the latency, providers such as YouTube, Hulu, FuboTV, NFL Network, and DIRECTTV, were all between 50 to as much as over 70 seconds behind the actual game time. Fox Sports, which televised the Super Bowl, is the only provider to report a latency time under 30 seconds as it reported a delay of only 23.76 seconds.
“Our goal is to try and provide as much information to a user in real time as to allow them to create, educate, bet, and also to really understand the flow of the game,” said Keur. “I think you’re going to start to see some of the latency from a video perspective slowly start to get closer and closer to real time.”
Regardless if bettors want to bet on a drive and watch it play out over a 10- to 15-minute window, come in on the next play touchdown, or sit there and bet rush/pass, rush/pass over and over, there’s something in the future of micro betting for every operator and bettor.
“I think the possibilities are limitless to some degree,” said Keur. “I think you’re really going to start to see personalization come into play. You’re going to see that the depth of the offering can be so deep that I think you’re going to have the ability to see users guide maybe more of that experience. Some users would prefer to maybe have all the time frame windows.”
With all of these opportunities for bettors to continuously wager over and over for a duration of two to sometimes four hours, it’s no wonder that those in and outside of the industry are even more concerned about responsible gaming when it comes to micro betting than they are with bettors who just place a bet on the moneyline.
While Simplebet doesn’t see a user’s full bet history, it does have the capability to flag not just suspicious behavior, but out-of-character behavior, which it then provides to each of its operators to handle in a manner which it sees fit.
“It’s definitely something that we’re extremely conscious of,” Keur said. “We’ve been founded on machine learning and automation. We believe our machine learning and automation can also be used to help detect and assist our operators with both responsible gaming and integrity. Those two elements are really critical to ensuring the long-term success of micros, and in play and sports betting probably just universally.”
With such success, it begs the question whether micro betting is close to reaching its max capacity.
“Not anytime soon, which is really good,” said Keur. “We’re definitely kind of on that next tipping point of deals like micros taking that next big step in the ecosystem. I think we got a long way to go before we get to max capacity, but definitely some exciting trends in terms of the direction that the category is going.”
At the center of that ecosystem and trend, is engagement, and that’s what keeps operators and bettors a like coming back for more. Much like same game parlays skyrocketed to popularity four years ago, micro betting is bringing even more excitement to sporting events regardless if the game is a 38-35 shootout like Super Bowl LVII between Kansas City and Philadelphia, or a 65-7 dud like the College Football National Championship between top dog Georgia and TCU.
During the Super Bowl, Simplebet reported a 47% increase from last year’s Big Game as its operators took in $13 million in micro betting wagers from one million individual bets. This includes a global audience as bet365 is live in the U.K., and both Caesars and DraftKings operate in Ontario. Despite being based in Greece, Intralot’s partnership with Simplebet is only in the U.S.
With those numbers you’d think the bettors are satisfied, but they’re not. They’re telling Simplebet’s operators they want more micros and for over a longer period of time.
For instance, in the Super Bowl, bettors had the opportunity to wager during Kansas City’s last drive on each of the following moments: if Patrick Mahomes was going to throw a pass, Kelce is going to have a catch, and the drive is going to result in a field goal. But what if the bettors could have bet on all of these moments in one.
Yes, you guessed it, some bettors want to engage in same-drive parlays.
“I think that for us, micros are a huge focus and our specialization there over the last year will hopefully allow us to extend our timeframe within the games, and you know, sometimes those innings become three innings, those drives become multiple drives and quarters, so we then have the ability to make those drives even more special depending on what the users are looking for,” said Keur.
This thirst for engagement was also evident in the College Football National Championship despite the game being over well before halftime. Simplebet brought in close to $4 million in micro betting wagers from 158,000 bets, which were both significant increases from last year’s much closer Georgia 33-18 victory over Alabama.
In fact, Simplebet actually saw engagement in the second half that rivaled engagement in the first half as people particularly bet Georgia touchdown, Georgia touchdown, Georgia touchdown as well as bet on TCU to punt or turn the ball over. Then thinking maybe TCU can finally put it together against Georgia’s second or third string, they wagered on if the Horned Frogs could score a touchdown in their final drive.
It goes to show you, regardless of your team or the outcome of the game, it’s clear that micro betting allows operators and sports bettors to “continue to engage with the game in a meaningful way,” said Keur.