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Vicky Nolan

The LiveBet Philosophy: Give Customers What They Want

29 September 2000

Building an online betting site can be tricky, especially if the operator has contracted an outside company to build the software and site. The reasons behind these problems vary, as each party in the agreement views the task of creating the end product differently. Ask several operators what they believe are the most important factors and you'll receive a variety of answers, depending upon what they perceive the software should do, as well as what services are expected from the software developer. The developer, meanwhile, has a different view of what the important features are for a gambling software package and how to develop that package for the client. These often opposing viewpoints can lead to friction between the developer and the client. Such problems, however, are less likely for software developer LiveBet Online and its clients. The South African company's approach is to create sports betting software developed to the customers' specifications instead of the developers' idea of how it should operate.

"I think the most important feature of the LiveBet Online product is that it has been developed by people who have been involved in the online industry for a number of years," Spokesman Andrew Beveridge explains, "and also very closely with our initial three licensees."

Founded by a group of entrepreneurs in early 1998 and purchased by eCompany in October 1999, LiveBet Online is a relative newcomer to the interactive gambling scene. The company has already signed three licensees and is negotiating with several more. According to Beveridge, who serves as CEO of eCompany's games and gaming division, a number of factors set LiveBet Online apart from its competitors:

  • Cutting edge technology: Microsoft raves about the product since it's one of the only products worldwide to use its latest technology so comprehensively.
  • Affordabilty: There is a relatively small upfront payment, followed by a transaction fee on turnover, i.e. "We share in the risk."
  • Credibility: Management have undergone strict probity testing by a South African Gambling Board, the software will also be approved by this board, and there is the support of a significant parent company - eCompany Holdings Limited.

Beveridge adds, "We have deliberately held off marketing the product until now since we felt it more prudent to produce a highly competitive product since we aren't first to market." Instead, LiveBet Online wants to include in its target market large operators that entered the online market early and are now finding their software outdated and expensive to maintain.

LiveBet offers an online sportsbetting platform based entirely on Microsoft technology. "By producing a platform," Beveridge says, "we try to provide an end-to-end solution to the operator." As a result, an existing land-based or telephone bookmaker receives a complete e-commerce solution to operate online including: software; strategic marketing advice; marketing services; website development and maintenance; regulatory advisory services; license acquisition; network implementation and advisory services; security advisory services; payment technologies; fraud prevention; and the use of international gaming specialist advisory services.

The entire system runs off the Microsoft DNA architecture, which includes Microsoft Site Server 3.0, Microsoft SQL 7.0 and Microsoft Windows 2000 Server with the core functionality in COM+ components and Active Server Pages (ASP).

The sports betting system can handle up to 8,000 bets a minute from punters located around the world in an automated real-time betting environment. Bookmakers can access an automated system remotely, which informs them about what is going on behind the scenes, such as the number of bets being made on a particular event or what the betting ratios are. Additionally, all transactions are constantly monitored and updated to ensure proper exchange of money.

LiveBet Online employs a dedicated team of seven developers, plus has access to another 50 developers within eCompany's "Technology Group." The opportunity to call on eCompany's various specialists, e.g., networking or payment technology helps LiveBet Online keep its development costs down.

According to Beveridge, LiveBet Online is ready to prosper building sportsbetting platforms for clients. "More than 40 percent of online gaming revenues are likely to come from online sportsbooks," he says, "and considering these currently comprise only a fraction of the 1,500 plus Internet gaming sites, we plan to sell a lot of systems."

The LiveBet Philosophy: Give Customers What They Want is republished from
Vicky Nolan
Vicky Nolan