Saving the global betting market from risk: a day in the life of a Sportradar trader

This article is featured on EGR.

For most people, weekdays consist of getting up at a similar time to be at their office desks at 9am for their day’s work. For sports traders, it’s a little different.

Joe, not his actual name, has already been at his desk for an hour, at least. Working for a global company that prides itself on achieving 24/7 sports coverage means sharing variously timed shifts with his fellow sports trading analysts. Worldwide, live sports matches kick-off all the time, people place numerous bets on these all the time and so the company’s traders are required to be monitoring and analysing all the time. While this may be a given, and seen as a standard profit-making service for bookmakers, for Sportradar’s traders it’s slightly more comprehensive than that.

With over 600 bookmaker clients worldwide and over 8,000 scouts collating data from in excess of 50 sports worldwide plus official data partnerships, the company has access to a lot of big data. As a Sportradar trader, Joe typically is faced with six direct computer screens in front of him providing a wide overview of the betting market in real time, which he monitors continuously throughout his eight/twelve-hour shift. It’s concentration plus. But with expert knowledge in both betting and the intricacies of his sport, and with a maths / science degree at his disposal, Joe is able to examine these markets in a way that others cannot.

As part of Sportradar’s trading and risk management solution, Managed Trading Services (MTS), Joe uses his unique knowledge-set to analyse betting behaviour anonymously and, together with machine learning and AI, is able to protect bookmaker operations. With this, he and the team have the ability to identify any suspicious activity across markets, which they can also pass on to Sportradar’s Integrity Services for further investigation where necessary.

With the support of modern and innovative risk and trading management tools and proprietary mathematical algorithms, this is more than just helping sportsbooks make money through odds pricing. There is a suggestion that a sports trader’s job may become obsolete in the future because of such technology. However, by only hiring dedicated experts like Joe, it is then the human factor, together with this innovation that ensures the subjective, unpredictable elements of sports, like the weather, last-minute team changes and player injuries, are picked up and don’t pose a risk to betting markets and operations, which they can and do.

While the tech aspect focuses on automation, accuracy and efficiency of processes, the human element is able to supervise at all times, making manual amends and raising alerts where necessary.It’s this combination of cutting-edge technology, together with the top betting and sports experts that, with access to so much data, essentially can help bookmakers and the industry as a whole manage risk more effectively.

This ultimately is one of the key goals of Sportradar’s MTS, which can be utilised by operators, no matter how large or small, across the world.Sports betting can be a winning opportunity, but without innovative trading expertise like Joe and MTS protecting the industry, bookmakers nor punters will profit.

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