When you think of Nasdaq, your thoughts probably turn first to the stock exchange that is based in New York. It is the second biggest stock exchange globally, and under the ownership of Nasdaq Inc. But it has many other different business interests that people don’t often hear about.
The company launched Nasdaq Ventures in April 2017. Its purpose is to grow Nasdaq’s existing business interests, as well as enter into new markets. New sectors it has invested in include blockchain, data analytics and computing technology. Now it is eyeing up the nascent sports betting sector in the United States and further abroad.
Nasdaq and sports betting
Nasdaq Inc is the provider of many different forms of technology through its various business interests. It is now serving the sports betting market as it continues to grow globally.
Scott Shechtman, head of new markets for Nasdaq Inc, told Axios: “We’ve partnered with two of the world’s leaders in horse racing to dramatically change what they do in terms of a product offering.”
One of these is the Hong Kong Jockey Club, which handles a large volume of bets each year. Even with fewer than 8 million people in Hong Kong, this horse race betting operator handles more money than half of the US racing betting intake each year. The Jockey Club is a significant contributor to the Hong Kong economy, generating about 8% of the government’s tax revenue.
Adding value to the sector
A core area where Nasdaq can add value for the sports betting sector is in the collection and distribution of live in-game data. Live betting is extremely popular as people watching games like to place bets to enhance their viewing experience. They also want to try to take advantage of any potential opportunities they identify when viewing the event.
Many of the legacy online sports betting site systems cannot handle the increasing popularity of in-play betting. If they do not adopt new systems, they can open up themselves to losing either a significant amount of income, or a large chunk of their customer base.
If they cannot accurately update the odds of their markets in-play, viewers of the game can take advantage by exploiting price mismatches. And if in-play systems are not accurate or don’t offer a variety of markets, users may look elsewhere to get their in-play betting fix.
Similarity to stock exchanges
Shechtman described about how Nasdaq’s experience in the stock exchange sector makes it the ideal partner for sports betting operators to deal with such issues.
He said: “As an operator, you increasingly need more data and you need it fast, you need bets to run through your system quickly and you need to be able to handle peak times. Well, guess what? That sounds a whole lot like a stock exchange.
“So we took this technology called Longitude that was born in the financial markets and had its heritage in trading, and we re-engineered it to work for sports betting because it was based on similar principles.”
Nasdaq also has a lot of experience monitoring markets to ensure that nothing nefarious is going on. This experience can help sports betting operators, such as ensuring no suspicious betting activity is taking place. In many ways, sports betting markets mirror the systems of the stock exchanges.
More about Nasdaq
The financial services firm has a global presence. Nasdaq Inc currently owns and operates numerous stock exchanges across the world, including in New York, Western Asia, Armenia, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Sweden, Estonia, and Lithuania. It has in the past made attempts to take over the London Stock Exchange.
Nasdaq Inc. also has interests in non-stock exchange businesses. In 2013, it bought the multimedia, public relations and investor relations businesses of Thomson Reuters.