1. What significant products are you launching in 2018? (i.e. your racing product)
The bets which we have ready to deliver fit into three categories. First, we will offer a daily multi-leg win bet which will be based around picking the winner of every race on the day’s feature card. On a Saturday we may move it to a cross-card bet to take in the terrestrial TV races. Second, on each card every day we will offer a multi-leg place bet requiring players to pick a horse to be placed in the first six races on the card. Third, we’ll offer a number of correct order ‘fecta’ bets, requiring players to pick the first 4 or 5 in order in a select number of races. The Pick 5 correct order bet will regularly provide a £1m+ guarantee and will be offered on a feature Saturday race to begin with, before being extended to midweek Festivals and then potentially offered on a daily basis. These pools will all be provided with the standard Colossus features: significant minimum guaranteed prize pools; leg-by-leg Cash Out and crowdfunded Syndicate tickets. We have spent a lot of time working on the design and presentation of the pools and we think they will provide a properly modernised experience for players.These pools will all be provided with the standard Colossus features: significant minimum guaranteed prize pools; leg-by-leg Cash Out and crowdfunded Syndicate tickets. We have spent a lot of time working on the design and presentation of the pools and we think they will provide a properly modernised experience for players.
2. What are the advantages of partnering with britbet?
The most obvious advantage is that britbet is owned by a consortium of nearly all of the UK’s racetracks. That means the tracks will have a direct stake in the success of the pools we are offering. The tracks bring with them a large portion of the sport’s marketing and media assets and with attendances at UK racetracks in the region of 5 million annually, this will provide exposure for our pools to a captive and targeted audience.Working with britbet also means that each of us has one less competitor from July. We had intended to launch racing pools on the Colossus network in any event but once we started talking to britbet the synergies in joining forces became clear. Our combined package is also a more compelling proposition for prospective B2B partners than would be a standalone offering from either Colossus or britbet.Finally, being associated with a consortium which comprises what is effectively the British racing industry is beneficial to Colossus from a reputational point of view as we grow our network of international B2B partners.
3. How will this (and any other) product bring innovation to the racing industry?
Pool betting on racing globally is largely afforded monopoly protection. The justification for this is that it provides a key source of funding for the sport, but one consequence is that innovation is generally secondary to maintaining monopoly status. The on-course pools betting experience today is largely the same as it was before the arrival of the internet and all the disruption and innovation that technology has brought to every other form of betting.In simple terms pool betting, which is so heavily associated with racing, has fallen behind and in its current guise it will soon become of historical interest only. All of this provides us with an opening to innovate and modernise. I believe life-changing guaranteed prizes with the engagement provided by Cash Out and Syndicates will make racing pools relevant to punters who have become accustomed to high quality fixed odds and exchange betting products.I also expect that the racetracks will take the opportunity which comes with a new pool betting operation to upgrade not only the on-course pools betting experience, but also the presentation and communication of the experience.
4. Where is the racing side of the betting industry going? Do you have any specific examples in how your approach and product offering has changed over the past few years?
It is clear that horse racing is a key product for any operator seeking to win or retain market share in the UK. Every UK-facing operator invests in a portfolio of sponsorship within the sport as well as absorbing Levy, data and picture costs that do not apply to taking bets on other sports. So racing as a product remains core.I think free-to-play racing competitions will become an increasingly popular way for operators to acquire and retain customers. Colossus is increasingly being asked by our operator partners to provide free-to-play access points to our pools and I expect this to be especially popular for racing given that the sport provides such a variety of year round content. Skybet has led the way here with their Super6 football game and have recently taken on sponsorship of the ITV7 racing competition, but to be blunt I think the format of both of these games is tired and will not work for operators seeking to replicate what Skybet has done.In terms of how the Colossus product has evolved I think the introduction of Colossus Syndicates last year has been our most important innovation since our launch. Given the expert nature of horseracing analysis I expect this feature to be more compelling on racing than it is (for example) on football. I foresee experts and well-respected pundits establishing a following as Syndicate Captains and our Captains’ Leaderboard will maximise transparency and give players a clear form guide as to which Syndicate Captains are worth following.