Turn-Key, Hybrid, White Label or Custom Platform Development for Sportsbook

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I am often asked the question of whether one should use an ‘off the shelf’ white label sports betting, a turn-key sportsbook development approach or should one take a hybrid or custom design and development approach. I have most recently been asked this question by iGaming operators seeking to move into the African and Latin American Markets.

My answer to this question starts with a question. “How much do you value the experiences your customers will have when engaging with your brands?”

Naturally, most operators will say they value the experiences of their customers a great deal – almost everyone recognizes the benefits of good customer experiences. Note that I use the plural here – there are many experiences to be had when interacting with a Sports betting or Casino Operator – from being on the receiving end of an online (or offline) campaign to signing up, to depositing funds, to finding and enjoying the right content (be it a sports event or a casino game), to withdrawing your winnings. The list of experience touch-points is a long one.

What are the typical differences between ‘White Label, Turn-Key, Hybrid or Custom Sportsbetting Platform’?

The table below serves to highlight a few key differences between typical white label, hybrid, turn-key sports betting platform development with that of a fully customized approach to sportsbook development. It is important to note that the product and services offerings of platform providers vara great deal and there are different features and attributes available on the market. So, with that caveat, here are some of the most common differences. 

  White Label    Sports Betting Solution  Turn-Key Sports
Betting Solution 

 

Hybrid Sportsbook

Solution 

 

Custom Sportsbook

Platform  

 

Definition  Economical ‘off the shelf’ solutions designed to launch quickly but with limited flexibility. 

 

 

A ‘self’ owned solution provided by a 3rd party with increased levels of customization compared to White Label Solutions  A self-owned solution with, for example a Player Account Module provided by a 3rd party with everything else customized – high levels of flexibility and control of the user experience  Self-owned completely bespoke solution with the ultimate in terms of system flexibility, scalability and personalization of user experiences. 
Licenses and Compliance 

 

Platform provider responsible for license and reporting. Limited to jurisdictions that provider has in place. 

 

Operator responsible for own licenses and compliance reporting.  Usually, Operator already has license in place and performs reporting. Freedom to apply for any jurisdictions.  Operator has licenses and carries out reporting to regulators. Freedom to apply for any jurisdictions. 
Level of Customization  Extremely limited levels of customization due to constraints of provider software & system. 

 

Limited by available templates and features of 3rd party CMS system.  High level of customization across all customer facing channels, native apps, responsive web, kiosk.  Front end.  Constraints will depend upon areas of the system that are not owned by the Operator and that are provided by a 3rd party.  Highest levels of personalization and customization with full ownership of user data both structured and contextual data. Ability to offer true 1:1 level of personalization along with unique innovative offerings.  

Personalization available via integration with Symphony Graphyte AI SaaS service. 

Data Feeds  All data feeds and commercial agreements in place with 3rd party provider who provides these to Operator. 

 

Selection of common data feed from 3rd party provider. Commercial agreements are between operator and feed provider.  Operator owns relationships with feed providers and has choice of which feeds to integrate.  Operator owns relationships with feed providers and can choose which feed to integrate. 

 

Features Set  Sportsbook Feature Set is set by 3rd party provider. 

 

 

Sportsbook Feature Set is set by 3rd party provider.  Sportsbook Feature Set can be rolled out for different brands/geographical regions and devices limited by parts of the system operated by 3rd party.  Fully Customized Sportsbook Feature Sets and content for each user across multiple devices.  “The Netflix of Sports betting”. 
Revenue share   Typically, in range of 40% for ‘operator’ 60% to platform provider  Typically, in range of 84%-90% for ‘operator’ and 10%-16% for platform provider Replaced by monthly fees for 3rd party system areas with new feature development either in-house or with development partners.  No revenue share. Billed only solution dev and for on-going system maintenance or ongoing new feature innovation and build. 
Geographical Location constraints  Geographical Location constraints 

 

Geographical Location constraints, front end may not be optimized for some locations  Freedom to deliver exceptional experiences in any jurisdiction subject to having a license in place  Freedom to deliver exceptional experiences in any jurisdiction subject to having a license in place 

 

Payment Integrations  Limited to those offered by the platform provider 

 

Limited to those offered by the Platform Provider 
Freedom to add additional payment providers – risk of constraints due to, for example, not owning player account management module
Full custom allows for choice of multiple payment providers for each brand/jurisdiction 
Trading and Risk management 

 

 

Trading & Risk Management Tools are confined to those features offered by the platform Provider. Risk can be managed by white label own team.  Management functions are covered by Platform Provider. 

 

Option to be managed by operators own team. Full customized tools can be developed to meet growth needs.   Managed by operators own team. Fully customized tools can be developed to meet growth needs. 

 

Consider Geographical Areas

the role of Geo-targeting in sports betting platform development

 

Almost all ‘white label’ or off-the-shelf offerings will require significant amounts of software customization and configuration before launch. Let’s take the African market as an example. 

At Symphony Solutions, we are currently working with a large operator that is keen to offer an excellent online experience for its customers. They operate in a large number of African countries. Each with its own unique culture, its own set of rules, regulations, taxes, languages and preferences for content. 

The vast majority of customers in Africa will be accessing your sportsbook and casino via a low-end Android mobile phone using a much slower network than that of your European customers. 2G and 3G is common. 5G is but a distant dream. 

Yomi Kazeem of Quartz Africa reported that by 2025 it is projected that 5G usage will only account for 3% of the total mobile connections in Africa and that 58% will still be using 3G in 2025. 

At Symphony Solutions, we recognize the impact that this has on the online experience and are working closely with our client to ensure that the mobile experience for their African customers is optimized for these slower mobile networks. 

User Experience & Content Strategy

specifics of sports betting platform development and launch

Speed and efficiency alone will not ensure that your customers are delighted. The content needs to be relevant; the user experience touchpoints need to deliver on the needs and expectations of the audience. Having to swipe and scroll through sports and games that are of no interest to find the ones you want will not create a memorable experience. Making sure your African customers can place accumulator bets easily is important as this is a very popular bet type in the region. Having researched and clearly articulated content strategy is important.  Do this for each country you plan to launch in and ensure that your marketing department is closely engaged in the planning and delivery and not just the pre-launch activities. 

The benefits of creating a flexible and intuitive user interface and serving and manage content via an efficient and easy-to-use content management system are not to be underestimated. Our teams have been designing and developing content management systems for many years from nimble open-source systems suitable for smaller businesses right the way through to large enterprise-level content management systems designed to address the specific multiple or ‘omnichannel’ needs of the iGaming sector. 

In order to best address the diverse needs of a continent as vast as Africa, we leverage our experience in producing bespoke solutions. We work with new operators and with existing operators to help them reimagine their products to create new increased levels of value. Typically, this means customizing what was once a turn-key or a white label solution in order to provide the experience their customers expect. In short, we acknowledge that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work well in iGaming and that providing an innovative and enjoyable customer experience is key. 

Finally, do ensure that you capture feedback from your customers, use insights to drive product development, and be sure you are aware of cutting igaming industry trends.

Contact us if you would like to find out more about our customer-focused bespoke iGaming Solutions. 

Eduardo Dos Remedios
About the Author

Eduardo Dos Remedios

VP Symphony iGaming Solutions
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