- Reports from multiple industry sources suggest that the 2021 Grand National horse racing festival was the biggest ever UK online sports betting event.
- New York listed technology supplier Scientific Games processed a record 50 million bets during the three day event.
- UK retail bookmakers were closed during the 2021 Grand National due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
Heading into the Grand National weekend a number of industry players and observers predicted that it would be the biggest ever UK online sports betting event. Now that the three day horse racing festival is in the books there’s every indication that it lived up to expectations.
Scientific Games (NASDAQ: SGMS) is a company that supplies technology solutions to every phase of the gaming industry from slots to sports betting. Their main headquarters is in Las Vegas though the company has offices and employees on six continents. Their OpenSports sports betting platform was put to the test over Grand National weekend and according to a press release from the company passed with flying colors. In the UK, Scientific Gaming has a number of clients using the Open Sports system including Sky Betting and Gaming, Paddy Power, Betfair, Ladbrokes, Coral and William Hill. All of the listed bookmakers experienced a significant increase in volume from the 2019 Grand National. The 2020 Grand National was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The numbers provided by Scientific Games are staggering–during the three day Grand National event they processed 50 million bets through their Open Sports platform. Other key data points from their press release:
- Over 50 million bets were placed through OpenSports
- Over 19 million bets were placed on the Grand National race itself – up 60.5% vs 2019
- OpenSports delivered 100% platform stability and uptime
- One OpenSports customer processed over 57,000 peak bets per minute
- Total account transactions across the three days were up 55% compared to 2019
Jordan Levin, Group CEO, Digital for Scientific Games, says his company has focused on making their technology dependable and accessible to a worldwide client base:
“Over the last three years, teams across SG Digital have transformed our OpenSports technology to meet the demands of the world’s leading operators. Whether it’s the Grand National, the Big Game or the Melbourne Cup, we have a responsibility to the largest sportsbooks in every corner of the world to deliver on our promises and exceed their expectations.”
Keith O’Loughlin, SVP Sports at Scientific Games, suggests that his company is able to combine a long standing reputation for reliable operation with cutting edge technology:
“At the outset of our transformation process, two key paths were identified. Firstly, our 25-year reputation for stability and reliability were absolutely non-negotiable. Secondly, we set about completely modernizing our technology by shifting services to the cloud and using cutting-edge frameworks like React and Python for our artificial intelligence needs. Combining these ingredients with over 900 dedicated sports technologists, our customer deployment pipeline is now second to none.”
“That’s what makes this Grand National performance even more outstanding. The sheer volume of new deployments our teams are delivering in parallel. Three years ago, we were integrating one or two new customers a year. This year, we’re on track to deploy forty across some of the world’s most profitable markets. A huge credit to our global team and the long-term partnership approach we continue to build with market leaders.”
Scientific Games has approximately 9,500 employees worldwide.
At the time of publication, James Murphy has a long position in SGMS.