Scott Longley – Taking on the traders with tech

first_img Related Articles Scott Longley – Confusion reigns over FDC’s second betting rights deal July 14, 2020 StumbleUpon Share Scott Longley – Dispelling the myths of sports data rights… December 2, 2019 Submit Propus launches Bookies Matrix tracking all licensed bookmakers activities July 7, 2020 Share Scott Longley – Clear & Concise MediaThe battle between bookmaker and punters is a confrontation which has been at the heart of sports-betting from its very beginnings. But what is new is the technology that is being brought to bear both by the bookies and increasingly, on the other side of the trade, on the part of the punters. It is an arms race that could have profound effects on the future of the sector.________________It was the development of algorithms by sports-trading desks that truly kickstarted the tech evolution, an introduction that significantly disrupted the space. The modern online and mobile sportsbooks that we know today wouldn’t exist without this application of basic machine-learning.Yet, this is obviously only one side of the trade and as much as in the past there would be punters who would set out to beat the bookies using only their skill, judgment and a pencil, now they are employing the same technology as the bookies themselves in order to take on the books.Such is the theory. “For as long as sports-betting has existed, the punter has been trying to gain an advantage over the bookmaker, through better information, more knowledge and now better algorithms,” says Mark Israney, a partner at sports-betting consultancy Propus Partners. “For mass-market customers, this has largely been aspirational, but for some individuals and syndicates, this has been highly lucrative.”Punters now find themselves in a position to potentially compete, particularly if they employ the right technology. One such organisation is Mercurius, a sports-trading start-up which recently raised a second tranche of money to develop its own AI-based trading systems which, allied to the exchanges at Betfair, they believe can give their clients an edge.“The market is changing because it is more algo-driven,” says Fabrizio Machella, chief executive at the Milan-based firm. “The ultimate behaviour of the market is already being disrupted. There is less manual work and more bots already running all the time.”A similarly disrupted market is the financial world where the analysts are employing data-mining techniques to find an edge, sifting through non-traditional information such as satellite imagery and credit card data, or using artificial intelligence techniques such as machine-learning and natural-language processing to glean fresh insights from traditional sources such as economic data and earnings-call transcripts. “If all you’re doing is traditional fundamental analysis, it’s not enough anymore,” Joyce Chang, chair of research at JPMorgan told the Financial Times.Machella says the company got its inspiration from the world of hedge funds and the prop trading desks of the largest financial institutions. “The playground is the same and we started playing with the concepts and came up with football trading strategies.”Beat the bookMercurius is far from being the first business to look at deploying their own technology to beat the algos being used by the bookmakers. The likes of Star Lizard and SmartOdds, both respectively either owned or controlled by professional gamblers Tony Bloom and Matthew Benham, for instance, have long equipped their own trading teams with technology to spot trading opportunities.Via the further advances in tech, and particularly the explosion in computing power represented by the further implementation of cloud technologies, it means that more offerings are appearing that are offering such disruption-led bookie-bashing to more punters than ever before.“There is much more sports data becoming available and the technology means that more power can be applied to it,” says Machella.Mercurius is not only analysing prices; the team have also built programmes which look at the underlying sport and using the findings to help inform its value betting proposition. “We analyse every touch of the ball, every passage of play,” Machella adds. “We have that information. We can use this objective information to define if a price – or the odds – are interesting or not.”Such developments won’t necessarily worry the bookmakers in the short term because, as Israney points out, when it comes to the average punter the margins are working in their favour. “A two or three percent house edge gives the punter a wall that they have to climb before they can break even,” he says. It means the bookmakers, on the whole, can afford to be slightly less accurate than the other side of the trade because of this “layer of protection,” as Israney puts it.But for Mercurius, working as they do on the exchanges, it is a different game. “We haven’t chosen the easiest way to do stuff but we believe in the long-term it is more consistent,” says Machella. “The market is going to change. There is much more sports data becoming available and the technology means that more power can be applied to it.”last_img read more

(Updated) Sunday blog: Talking election, Manti Te’o, downtown development…

first_img4. True loveHere is the official Cueball definition of love. If you have a significant other who is spoon feeding you and cleaning up your messes because you’re old as hell and don’t know any better, then you have found your true love in life. Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Cueball thoughts, plus one,  for Jan. 20, 2013… 1. Election filing ends TuesdayI have no interest in giving lectures. I couldn’t care less if you vote, run for office, eat your vegetables, donate your time to community service or attend high school sporting events. You are an American and you are entitled to your life.So I’m going to make this a “suggestion.” Run for office.If you don’t like where you live and think things aren’t what they should be, do something about it. Run for office. Make a difference in the world.The filing deadline is this Tuesday at noon. If you are running for school board, file at the Sumner County Clerk’s office at the courthouse. If you are running for city council, file at the city clerk’s office of your jurisdiction.Remember, you can’t file tomorrow. The offices are closed for Martin Luther’s King Day. A list of filings can be found here.2. Signage….This came through the comments section for a Sunday Blog I wrote concerning the closing of “The Rock” restaurant a couple weeks ago. Since the story is older, not many people will see this comment, so I’m going to republish it here because it is so good…By Marsha EscandonMy husband and I were very sorry to see The Rock close, but to be honest, we were not surprised. The reason is exactly what Cue stated and that is advertising. We too kept waiting for signs to go up and none appeared. We moved to Wellington a little over 2 years ago and love it. However, one thing that has been troublesome for us has been the almost complete lack of signage. Businesses lack signs. Parks lack signs. Apartment complexes, churches, trailer parks, schools, etc. frequently have either no signs or inadequate ones. Living here has been a voyage of discovery. There is a feeling that “well, everyone knows where it is.” Well, everyone doesn’t. We encourage the City of Wellington and business owners alike to address this issue.3. Manti Te’o controversy….This week’s “media have-a-cow controversy,” concerns Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, who plays a mean game of football but obviously has trouble with women – especially the imaginary kind. I particularly like this controversy because it includes two subjects I know a lot about: journalism and being unlucky in love in my youth.I fluctuate between those who think Te’o is a complete liar and those who think he got duped.My first inclination was he was duped. Why? Because when it comes to “love,” especially to testosterone young men there are no depths to stupidity.Love is cool. And if you aren’t getting love or finding love, then there is always a love story you can tell your friends.And with this Internet thing, it gives love a whole new dimension.Had there been Internet when I was 21, I could see myself getting caught up in a long-distance relationship. I could also see myself getting duped. And I could see myself trying to cover it all up like Te’o obviously did.But here is where I differ from Mr. Te’o. I was a dork! He’s an All-America linebacker. He could have had his pick of any cheerleader on Notre Dame’s campus!And that is why I think Mr. Te’o may either be a huge con artist, a complete moron, or a psychopath. And if I was an NFL owner, he would be one player I would steer away from. 6. Shout out of the weekThis week’s shout out of the week goes to the South Haven girls, who won the SCBL tournament as a fifth seed, over Argonia.Although Sumner Newscow loves Argonia and what Dixie Brewster has achieved there, we tip our hat this week to first-year head coach Eric Adams, who has made a nice transition from Wellington eighth grade basketball coach to high school Cardinal coach. The Cardinals broke a five-year Red Raider tournament championship streak. I have a feeling Argonia-South Haven is going to become quite a rivalry. 5. An idea to revive downtown.My family took a trip to Mexico this Christmas and we discovered a promotional tool that just might work for Wellington retailers.When we were walking the tour strips, Mexican retailers would greet us at the door with an interesting proposal. If we came into their store, they would give us free tequila shots.So how about it downtown owners? I can run a great ad blog for you. “Come down to Barbara Jons or the Gold Corner or Federal Tire or wherever and we’ll do tequila shots. Our treat!”Just thinking outside the box here.last_img read more