25 April 2023
Personalizing the betting experience with AI: Tom Waterhouse’s perspective
Tom Waterhouse of Waterhouse VC discusses the betting industry’s future with syndicate betting and artificial intelligence in his latest iGB column. Professional bettors, David Walsh and Zeljko Ranogajec’s syndicate bets around $10bn per annum on horse racing, sports betting, and lotteries. Bettors in the market must be always adjusting their betting strategies because of the competition. The large betting syndicates receive significant rebates from pari-mutuel or tote betting for providing liquidity, giving them a significant edge over other participants. New entrants struggle to compete with those who already dominate the market. The successful professional bettors, Alan Woods and Bill Benter, have been betting on racing for years. Today, syndicates have large teams of statisticians and data analysts assessing hundreds of unique factors.
In recent times, there has been a rise in the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in professional betting. This has increased the dominance of the incumbent syndicates, who can invest in the latest technologies. For example, Susquehanna International Group (SIG) has grown to around 2000 staff and $1 billion of annual revenue primarily through trading in financial markets. SIG established Dublin-based Nellie Analytics in 2017 to focus on sports betting. In 2022, SIG took a 12.8% equity stake in Pointsbet, which gave Nellie Analytics the opportunity to explore a partnership to provide sports analytics and quantitative modelling services to PointsBet.
AI can make syndicate betting more efficient and cost-effective. Bettors can place their bets faster, improving the speed of bet placement. From the bookmaker’s perspective, AI can identify new patterns and insights from betting data to make better predictions, adjust odds, and minimize their losses to professional bettors. For casual bettors, AI allows bookmakers to personalize each user’s experience according to their betting data. Betting on tennis is another niche, lucrative field for professional betting syndicates. Tom Dry’s professional betting syndicate has been focused on tennis since January 2020.