Racing Data v Other Data, Part One Hundred

I was delving into different forms of betting in sports recently, and came across another item.

Esports betting is growing like a bad weed, with some expecting handles north of $20B in a few years. With that growth, the demand for data is huge,  and it's in the very nascent stages. 
  • “Esports is quite unique,” says James Watson, head of esports at Betradar. “The data is available from the games themselves, of course. But it isn’t necessarily available in real-time.
    “That’s why we have partnered with official data providers in the space,” Watson continued.” Without those partnerships, suppliers and the operators they service are relying on public data – public data that is delayed at source by the tournament organizers or game publishers.”
The pressure to deliver this data, seamlessly and efficiently is key to the sports' betting success. So, it's all hands on deck, with various providers doing the necessary R and D and investment. Other than the obvious reasons, it's a direct response to the marketplace:
  • How the player experiences the products firsthand will settle the arguments, eventually.
    Watson makes the point that the esports audience doesn’t suffer fools gladly.
There are several companies in the mix, fighting to innovate in the space.

The esports data algo and various deliverables are also not being built for a present market, they're being built to create a market. Real time betting is where it's at, and the growth of their enterprise will likely hinge on servicing this potential market.
  • The amount of data esports generates is vast. Building the models that can handle these data flows – and make use of them in the context of potential in-play betting opportunities – is a mammoth job.
Meanwhile, in racing, we've got issues related to older systems and infrastructure, monopolies on data, and a real inconsistency problem when it comes to basic things like the timing of races and run ups.

Have you tried to bet a maiden race at Delta or Evangeline lately? There's a good chance the horse will not even have his or her recent works listed. Basic, basic stuff.

Racing too depends on data, and there's a market thirsting for it. Racing could also be one of the best, in my view, real-time betting games assembled. Racing data could probably create brand new betting products for a newer world, too. It just fails to happen.

The e-sports betting community doesn't "suffer fools gladly" and this is a customer growth focus. Racing should pay heed to that advice. I believe they're leaving a lot of money on the table by not letting a data-rich betting game reach its potential.


Steve S said...

Dean, I feel like you've got it backwards - better markets will create the demand for better data. We can't even figure out live odds for WPS!

Suppose I have a live stream of real time performance data, I'm regressing speed against real-time odds, & I develop the Black-Scholes of horseracing. So what? There's no place to trade it outside of New Jersey & even there, I'd be surprised if Betfair has an API to hook a hypothetical black box up to.

Stronach & co. worried about the entry of dodgy interests & cashing a ticket by 'betting against them'? Good point. No exchange wagering for horsemen on your races.

Pull the Pocket said...

Hi Steve,

That's fair. It's a mess.

My point, I suppose, is that skin betting in esports is the current handle leader. But those who see potential for an in-running market, exposed to the world, are already building products for a potential market. They are developing for a market that really doesn't exist yet. Racing simply doesn't think like that.


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