888 Rolling-Out New Sports Betting Platform by End of 2020
Online betting company 888 has announced the rollout of its new sports betting platform. The company trialled the platform in Sweden and will power 70% of the company’s UK offering. 888 have confirmed that they will be introducing the company’s Spectate sportsbook to the UK market. The operator will replace 70% of its existing platform with Spectate, with the firm expecting improved load times after what it describes as a “huge effort”.
The company announced the platform change during an update on its H1 2020 financial results, explaining that they were taking a localised approach for each region that 888sport operates in. This strategy aligns with reports that 888’s goal is to become a top-tier sportsbook operator, rivalling more sports-centric operators such as bet365. The Spectate platform was originally developed by former sportsbook operator BetBright, which was founded by Marcus Brennan, Richard Brennan, Gary Hunter and Tadhg O’Toole in 2013.
Famous for its innovations, BetBright developed a “recommendation engine”, a first for the sector and this product led to them winning the “Innovation in sports betting” award at the 2018 EGR Marketing & Innovation Awards 2018. BetBright ceased trading as an operator in March last year after being bought by 888 Holdings for £15m.
The Spectate platform has already been tested in Sweden as it was used when 888 rolled out its 888sport.se domain in the Swedish market in April 2020. The operator said it was “encouraged” by the feedback it had received from customers after sports markets returned after the global lockdown. 888 have said that they also intend to introduce the platform in America during the first quarter of 2021.
The operator’s foray into the Swedish market has so far proved fruitful, even during the pandemic, revenues rose by 123%.
888 CEO Itai Pazner said that the company were very excited about the prospects in sport generally and that the migration of the platform would be a significant milestone. Talking about the benefits of using Spectate, he said:
There’s a lot of AI and personalisation, and it’s going to be a very fast and responsive product. We know how fast you are and how responsive your site is extremely critical for sports bettors.
– Itai Pazner, 888 CEO.
“We’ve made a huge effort to make it load as fast as possible, making it slick and intuitive and obviously have all the regular features that UK sports bettors are used to,” Pazner added.
Alongside the rollout of Spectate, 888’s CEO also revealed that the company’s Poker 8 app would be launched in several key European markets by the end of this year. The app has been in development for two years and was soft-launched earlier this year.
“We launched it in test mode in July; it’s still running in test mode in a few countries and on a few of the software versions and showing really, really positive responses,” Pazner said. The company also revealed that it is working on a free-to-play prediction game called ‘Upfor8’, that would be similar to Sky Bet’s ‘Super 6’ classic game. Sky Bet have enjoyed great success with the game in which players can win £250,000 by predicting six correct scores on selected football fixtures.