The juggernaut of online betting shows no signs of slowing, with the market volume forecast to hit $56.05 billion by the year 2018, more than doubling since 2009. This is undoubtedly thanks in large part to a shift in technology, with more and more people accessing online betting platforms via their smartphone and tablet devices. In fact, by 2018, it is estimated that mobile betting will exceed $100 billion in wagers placed.
As is the case with gambling in the “real world”, online gambling is dominated by casino and sports betting platforms thanks to their familiar games and real‐time excitement. The benefit of online betting is the relatively low barrier to entry for users; aside from the age restrictions, depending on the country in which the user is based, there is little stopping new players from joining due to their ability to play from home or on the move.
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Online Betting Platform Development
This lucrative and growing industry is awash with opportunity and revenue potential. Thanks to the growing influence of social media and the data‐driven marketing that accompanies it, it’s now easier than ever to target potential customers and coax them onto a new betting platform with highly specific offers.
So, what goes into the betting platform development process?
Essentially an online betting platform requires a customer‐facing front end, and a back end area to handle the bets and transactions. The platform should allow users to access an admin area to manage their accounts, securely deposit funds, and track games and results. There must also be mechanisms in place for customer retention, such as the ability to offer free bets, and a customer service area to deal with frequently asked questions and resolve customer issues.
To stand apart in this crowded online marketplace, a focus must be given to a user‐friendly and modern browsing experience. Today’s digital gambler expects certain features as standard, which include the following:
Channels for Players
Any successful online gambling system has been built to combine a number of platforms, ensuring a consistent user experience across a number of different brand touchpoints. This includes a modern website on both desktop and mobile devices, a smartphone app, and the ability to place bets via SMS and USSD.
Recent analysis shows 80% of Internet users use mobile devices to browse the web, so there may be a temptation to develop a betting platform solely for smartphones. However ensuring all of your users receive the same experience irrespective of the device they use to access the platform is important so as not to alienate any one element of your customer base.
iOS and Android apps provide yet another opportunity to reach mobile betting enthusiasts, and come into their own when it comes to marketing new offers through push notifications. It’s worth noting that restrictions to the presence of these apps in the Google Play Store usually means extra marketing spend to bring the apps to the attention of potential customers, owing to the fact that they need to download them directly rather than through an app store.
As with any online endeavour that asks its users to part with their hard‐earned cash, there must be a secure payment process in place. This must protect against vulnerabilities targeting:
- Custom Software
- Servers & Networks
- Payment & User Information
In order to build a successful online betting platform, there should be careful consideration given to the risks involved. Players must be confident that their credit or debit card details are stored securely and safe from malicious intent.
It goes without saying that to compete with more established betting platforms, users need to trust every aspect of the system.
In order to adhere to the wider gambling industry’s rules and regulations, site owners should encourage responsible gambling habits by providing players with a Responsible Gambling Policy, and including an option to set weekly or monthly deposit limits.
It is also imperative that underage players are prevented from signing up and gambling. This requires a robust age‐verification process to protect both the gambler and the site owner from possible penalization from the authorities.
Custom betting platform development should take into consideration the amount of customization required by the site owner. This will typically include the ability to automatically manage real‐time odds changes, track bets and payouts, and provide users with feedback to commonly asked questions.
The platform’s management system needs to allow for continual improvement and evolution, while avoiding any costly downtime which would prevent users from placing bets.
Perhaps the most important element of any online betting platform is the deposit and withdrawal process. Any vulnerabilities in this process are likely to be seized upon by criminals, and just one incident that serves to compromise your system’s security can be the end of your platform.
Therefore, taking a slapdash approach to implementing the payment process is not an option. Users expect a straightforward and easy to understand means of depositing money, while at the same time having confidence that they are undertaking a secure transaction.
To effectively meet these expectations, a payment portal that works flawlessly across any and all devices, and works with a number of third party payment methods should be implemented. It is worth noting that the portal should be compliant with PCI Security Standards.
Mobile Betting Application
Mobile apps are now dominating the way in which Internet users consume digital media. Building a dedicated mobile version of an online betting platform, or indeed a responsive version of the website, shouldn’t be overlooked, however the marketing and usability benefits of a dedicated, custom developed mobile app make it a must‐have for site owners.
Mobile app development requires a certain level of expertise, particularly when dealing with the user experience elements. Not only should developers understand how to build best practice mobile applications, they must also possess a full understanding of the online gambling industry to ensure the app is secure and able to grow and evolve with the various operating system updates.
The Future of Online Betting
The drive behind this projected growth undoubtedly lies with the rise in popularity of sports betting and online gaming, due in large part to improved Internet connectivity, increased ownership of smartphones, and amendments to regulations regarding online gambling in a number of countries.
How Ignite Can Help
At Ignite, we specialize in outsourced software development. With a number of Research & Development centers across Western Europe, we are able to provide improvements to security, functionality, and profitability for existing online betting platforms.
Our dedicated team of highly‐skilled developers can quickly identify opportunities for improvements to your betting platform or website, and implement those changes with little fuss and one eye on the bottom line. We also offer unrivalled consultation and development services to gambling startups.
We are proud to have established ourselves as experts in online gambling platforms. From initial concepts to coding & artwork, and ultimately deployment, we can help. If you believe offshore development can provide you the solution you require, contact us today.