SharpLink Gaming, a tech start-up specializing in internet betting, is developing an AI-powered personalization and recommendation engine called BetSense. The aim of this engine is to use machine learning to tailor sports betting experiences to individual users based on their interests and preferences. According to SharpLink co-founder and CEO Rob Phythian, the sports industry has been slower to adopt AI compared to other sectors like e-commerce and finance. However, he believes that integrating AI into sports betting platforms will help increase user engagement and retention.
BetSense is currently in the testing phase with sportsbook SaharaBets, with plans for a larger rollout during March Madness. Phythian explained that the biggest challenge in integrating AI into sports betting platforms is the legacy European technology used by many sportsbooks, which is not as flexible as needed. BetSense uses information from a bettor's personal account management system to personalize betting offers and provide tailored content. This includes factors such as the bettor's preferred teams, betting behavior, and betting appetite.
Phythian emphasized that personalization is crucial for retaining users on the platform. By leveraging AI, the platform can offer personalized betting offers, content, and articles related to the user's preferences. The goal is to increase the time spent on the platform by providing relevant and engaging content before and after placing bets. Phythian cited research from other industries, suggesting that personalization can lead to a 20% increase in user engagement.
He also highlighted the demand for personalization among the younger generation and the importance of retention for sportsbooks. After spending significant resources to acquire customers, sportsbooks now want to retain them, and integrating AI-powered personalization is seen as a key strategy for achieving this goal.
Overall, the integration of generative AI into sports betting platforms has the potential to revolutionize the industry by offering a more tailored and engaging experience for users. While there are challenges to overcome, such as outdated technology, the benefits of personalization and increased user retention make the investment in AI worthwhile for sportsbooks.