Everything you need to know for sports betting app development

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It is an understatement to say that sports betting is becoming increasingly popular. Many new players in the market have created their own sports betting platforms to capitalize on this still-young industry.

In this guide, we’ll dive into sports betting app development. Before we kick off, keep in mind that this is not supposed to be by any means a comprehensive, technical guide on how to develop an app – rather an overview of the factors to consider when undertaking this task, with an emphasis on data. That’s because, as a leading sports data provider, OddsMatrix believes that data should be at the forefront of every healthy gambling business. 

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

What Is A Sports Betting App?

First, let’s start from the beginning and work our way up from here. In short, a sports betting app is any website, mobile, or desktop application that allows users to place bets on sports events. 

While sports betting apps will often attempt to distinguish themselves from one another aesthetically and functionality-wise, most apps share the same core features: viewing stats, placing wagers on upcoming matches, and tracking historical game data. 

How Much Does Sports Betting App Development Cost?

The costs of developing a sports betting app depend on the project’s scope and scale and the team’s seniority. 

A sports betting app with basic, industry-standard features can cost about $55,000 to build from the ground up. However, the total cost can be as low as $40,000 for a minimum viable product (MVP). MVPs can be a great starting point because they provide the minimum requirements and allow the business to test the waters. 

How To Create a Betting Website: Basic Features of Sports Betting Apps

In an increasingly competitive industry, up-and-coming betting businesses have to go beyond making it easier for users to place wagers—even with the risk-averse nature of a minimal viable product. 

Broadly, there are two areas to consider when developing a sports betting app – the user and admin sides. The user side must contain all the functionalities that allow for a seamless and intuitive user experience, from features as basic as registration and login to gaming-specific things like live betting, real-time odds, and so on. The admin side doubles as the engine and logistical center of the app – so features that allow for easy management, data analysis updates, risk management, and odds management, among other things, are a must. 

Let’s break them apart:

How to Make a Betting Website With Users In Mind

Great and mediocre apps have lived and died by their user interface. Apps have become so ubiquitous that users know at a glance whether the product is for them. If not, three minutes of frustration caused by clunky interface design is all it takes for them to switch to the competition. 

Since sports betting apps are all about user retention, you must nail the user side of your product. 

Registration and Login

Obviously, your sports betting app needs an easy-to-go-through registration and login process. Ideally, the onboarding process should start immediately after registration. 

Betting History

While it might seem like a “nice to have” type of feature,  with a betting history, users get a high degree of control and agency over their betting activity; it’s an easy way for users to track their wins, losses, and current standings. Coupled with a data aggregator that tracks their historical progress on your app, this duo of features can boost user retention and engagement by providing a framework for users to set goals and limits for their betting efforts. 

Multiple Betting Options/Betting Types 

Variety is the spice of life, as that old saying goes – and the same principle applies to betting. Along with the selection of sports and events, betting platforms need to provide betting options to stay competitive. For more details about betting types and the intricacies of modern bookmaking platforms, make sure to check out our guide

Meanwhile, let’s go through the most common betting types:

  • Moneyline. The most basic among betting types and the bread and butter of betting platforms, big and small. Bettors simply place a bet, and that’s all there is to it (at least on the surface). Take a short peak under the hood, and you’ll discover that it requires complex algorithms and odds calculation systems working constantly to interpret and sort data so that it reflects reality as closely as possible and ensures that the business doesn’t lose money. For example, OddsMatrix provides odds and data solutions designed for this exact purpose and to help bookmakers set up reliable, scaling-friendly systems
  • Totals, Over/Under. This is one of the most complex betting systems because, by design, bettors cannot predict the outcome with reasonable accuracy, even with the “institutional knowledge” they’d gathered as (semi) professional bettors. Broadly, betting on totals involves wagering on the total combined score of both teams;  betting over assumes the possibility of the teams netting a combined score higher than x number of points; betting under is the polar opposite of betting over
  • Parlays. Parlays simply aggregate multiple wagers into a single bet. Thus, the odds and total payouts are exponentially increased. The kicker is that for the bettor to win, all outcomes must be correct. For this reason, parlays are extremely lucrative for bookmakers from a business standpoint. Much like totals and over/under, parlays require complex mathematical systems and algorithms to work as intended due to the thousands of variables involved. OddsMatrix provides powerful odds calculation tools and data to help bookmakers create foolproof parlay infrastructures

Live Betting

While live betting is yet another type of betting, it deserves a separate section due to its popularity among bettors and ubiquity in the gambling industry. 

Also known as “in-play betting,” live betting is a continuous form of gambling that takes place as the game develops. Meanwhile, odds are automatically updated in the background to reflect the realities of the game. It’s essentially an “upgraded” form of betting that evolved with the advent of mobile betting. 

For this reason, live betting is obviously a must-have for every betting platform. There’s a catch: due to its live nature, in-play betting is particularly vulnerable to bad actors. To help bookies mitigate and proactively prevent these risks, OddsMatrix provides a suite of risk management tools designed to analyze player behavior, spot system vulnerabilities, and propose solutions. 

Another essential component of in-live betting is real-time odds – you just can’t have one without the other. OddsMatrix also provides the infrastructure for this in the form of odds management tools and odds feeds. With these tools, bookies can access up-to-date odds and adjust them according to player behavior and in-game events. 

Payment Options

The next item on the list is payment. To accept payments from customers, you will have to partner with a dedicated service. If you want to keep users on your platform, you have to make it very easy for them to deposit and withdraw money with just a few taps. 

Broadly, these are payment methods commonly used by sports betting platforms:

  • Credit/debit cards. The most basic payment method for online transactions, with Visa and Mastercard being the most common services
  • Prepaid cards: Some companies offer prepaid cards or vouchers that can be purchased from partnered stores
  • Bank transfers: direct transfers from another user’s account with no middleman involved
  • E-Wallets: PayPal, less commonly Skrill and Neteller, provide platforms allowing users to keep money online and make transactions
  • Mobile payments: mobile-centric bettors prefer the convenience of transferring money through mobile payment options like Apple Pay or Google Pay
  • Wire transfers: Although wire transfers are on their way out, some users resort to this payment method when transferring large amounts of money for safety and privacy reasons

Other must-have functionalities to implement on the user side:

  • Privacy & control
  • In-app deposits and withdrawals
  • Customer support
  • Live scores & updates – allows users to follow the progress of their sports bets in real-time and strategize accordingly. Plus, it adds an exciting dimension to betting

How to Make a Gambling App – Things To Consider For The Admin Side 

First, we need to define what we mean by “admin side.” 

Broadly, the admin side of a sports betting app should revolve around two concepts: management and data. In management and data, we include everything related to keping track of customer activity, building new features on top of existing infrastructure, updating and editing the app’s content, tracking and analyzing data, and many other things. 

Let’s go through them one by one:

Data Analysis & Odds Management

Data analysis features help bookmakers not only monitor user engagement levels, but also understand short and long term usage trends and identify gaps. You could discover, for example, that a certain feature (or sport/event) is underperforming, and take measures to promote it more effectively through in-app messages or promotions. 

But this is just one use case – in fact, data sits at the very heart of every successful bookmaking business. At OddsMatrix, our mission is to provide bookmakers with scalable sports data solutions and tools that are easy to manage and integrate with existing tool stacks.

For example, bookmakers can access data feeds specifically tailored to each sport and competition. Some of the features found within these sports data feeds are:

  • Up to 150 regional and international bookmakers in one feed
  • Real-time scores
  • In-depth stats, injuries, and settlements
  • Pre-live and live odds
  • Fluid odds with minimal bet suspension
  • Detailed analysis of sport-specific stats
  • Rapid settlements & high-rise alerts 
  • Advanced analytics, league standings, head-to-head comparisons

Risk Management & User Management Tools

As your operation grows, you’ll need to invest more resources and manpower into your security infrastructure. Our opinion is that the sooner bookmakers make this financial “jump” (ideally from the development stage), the better they are equipped to deal with future threats to their operation. 

In this case, by “security infrastructure,” we’re referring to tools designed specifically to tackle threats arising from betting activities. 

OddsMatrix comes with a suite of risk management tools optimized for all risk scenarios, such as:

  • Real-time data feeds. Because OddsMatrix extracts data from multiple data pools and employs leading trading experts to fact-check information, the risk of offering profit-altering unfavorable odds is severely reduced
  • Powerful financial tools that allow bookies to track and analyze financial performance in real-time
  • Player profiling is a tool used to classify and label players according to betting behavior and profitability
  • Powerful algorithms are trained to adjust betting odds and limits according to market movements, betting patterns, and player behavior
  • Detailed reports & analytics to help bookies spot patterns and trends that could lead to business losses

Basic Tech Stacks For Sports Betting App Development

In software and app development, tech stacks dictate the language, coding framework, and database used to develop the app. 

While the specifics might differ depending on the company, most betting platforms employ the same tech stacks. For starters, you might want to consider:

  • Frameworks and languages
    • Web: React, Vue.js
    • Mobile: Swift, Java Kotlin
    • Hybrid: React Native, Flutter
  • Backend
    • PHP Laravel
    • Node.js
    • Python/Django
  • Database and storage
    • MySql, PostgreSQL

Sports Betting App Development – Things to Consider

Look into Reliable Data Providers

As stated above, data sits at the core of every healthy sports betting outfit. However, good, relevant data is hard to come by, which is why an entire industry providing good-quality sports data curated to the needs of the client has sprung up to fill the gap. 

The things to look out for when choosing a sports data provider are the following:

  • Coverage. The wider the coverage in terms of sports and events, the more opportunities for the bookmakers to scale their business and grow
  • Speed. More specifically, the provider’s bet settlement performance, as low latency, is crucial for live betting data
  • Stats types. This includes live scores API, schedules, results, stats, and other functionalities such as odds APIs and historical stats
  • Data sources. The higher the number of sources, the more accurate the data is

OddsMatrix is the leading sports data provider that helps bookies make data-informed decisions by continuously investing in the best technologies and tools. Here’s a brief overview of our main features:

  • Live sports data that allows bookmakers to seamlessly integrate in-live features into their platform hassle-free
  • Market convergence and data accuracy. Our services cover a wide range of sports and events, from football, tennis, NFL, NBA and many, many others. For each sport and event, we offer comprehensive data sets fine-tuned and customized to create a frictlionless experience for both bookmakers and their clients
  • Odds feed & management. This feature is made possible by our real-time data services, as our tools allow cookies to keep a steady portofolio of sports and events and tap into new betting markets

Handle The Legal Matters

This is a tricky, difficult, but entirely necessary step that you should handle together with developing the sports betting website itself.

For starters, to legally run a sports betting platform, you will need a gaming license. This is mandatory in most countries, but before that, you might want to check a list of countries where gambling is legal in the first place

Then, you’ll need to consider jurisdiction. Some places are stricter regarding regulations and others, while others are more lax. 

The necessary documentation will depend on the jurisdiction. But, as a general rule, the large majority will ask for details regarding business models, target markets, risk management procedures, and, most importantly, responsible gaming policies. The next phase is compliance, which involves implementing safety controls such as age verification, deposit limits, self-exclusion programs, etc. The entire legal process, from kick-off to greenlight, takes about two years.

Even so, this is a mere rundown. You might have to overcome some extra hurdles to get your gaming website 100% approved and compliant.

Take Customizability and Scalability Into Account

Your sports betting website or app must be ready for the future, and customizability and scalability are two key factors here. This is because, down the line, you’ll most likely accumulate an increasingly varied suite of tools to meet business and user needs. Not just backend tools for odds tracking, customer analytics, payment processing, troubleshooting technical issues, encryption, and so on, but also tools on the user side, like customizable widgets and bonus engines. 

OddsMatrix, Your Trusted Partner in Sports Betting App Development

OddsMatrix is the leading sports betting data provider for bookmakers that create engaging betting products. If you’re looking for solutions meant to enhance the data side of your development efforts, look no further than our powerful odds and sports data solutions.