Sporttrade Gets More From Nasdaq Than Financial Investment In Future Colorado Sports Betting Product

Posted By Derek Helling on September 14, 2021 - Last Updated on September 21, 2021

One of the world’s foremost stock exchanges was already behind Sporttrade Colorado. Now it is unmistakably backing the future Colorado sports betting app.

Nasdaq, which already invested in the Philadelphia-based gambling company through its Nasdaq Ventures extension, is now lending more of its expertise to battle a common enemy.

The immediate result should be integrity monitoring and regulatory compliance unsurpassed in the gambling industry. Both parties are likely hoping for more effects, though. Among those is consumer confidence leading to frequent use.

Nasdaq expands partnership with Sporttrade Colorado

Sporttrade aims to bring the first true exchange for sports betting to Colorado early next year. Users will be able to buy and sell positions in sports bets at will, just like shares on Nasdaq.

The company plans to go live in New Jersey later this year. The product should be essentially identical in all of its U.S. jurisdictions. On Tuesday, Nasdaq and Sporttrade announced a new element to their partnership that concerns the integrity of that product.

Nasdaq employs its SMARTS system as a watchdog against potential insider trading. The technology records transactions in real time and learns from patterns. It then flags any irregularities and generates reports.

The speed at which that happens allows regulators to limit the effects of any market manipulation attempts. Sporttrade will use the same system to the same end.

“Through this agreement, Sporttrade will apply exchange-grade technology in their efforts to uphold integrity in the rapidly evolving sports betting industry,” Tony Sio, head of market regulatory technology at Nasdaq, said in a news release. “Our expertise in developing and delivering surveillance technology for exchanges, regulators and new types of marketplaces outside of the traditional capital markets will support and advance Sporttrade’s efforts in building a fair, transparent and safe marketplace with robust surveillance processes.”

As Sporttrade promises a rapidly moving market, it’s crucial to have integrity monitoring that can keep up. This move checks that box and signals Sporttrade’s commitment to staying on the cutting edge of relevant technology.

Fast is the future

Regulated sports betting in the United States has truly only scratched the surface of microbetting. That’s a term for wagers placed on events that take only a matter of minutes, if not seconds, to occur. An example would be the result of an individual pitch in a Colorado Rockies game.

Bettors have begun to get a taste of what’s to come this NFL season, too. NFL NextGen Stats have made betting markets on things like the league’s fastest ball carrier for the season possible. There is potential for so much more, though.

The first-ever WNBA Commissioner’s Cup championship game incorporated several deeper statistics into the broadcast. That included measuring players’ vertical leaps and the speed at which they changed directions.

MLB’s Statcast regularly delivers many metrics, like launch angles and exit velocities, into broadcasts. While regulatory structures in places like Colorado may need adjustment to keep up, if these stats can be available for game production, the same goes for betting.

Such markets will only be available for as long as it takes sportsbooks’ systems to process them. That demands a monitoring system that can keep up. Sporttrade is doing its best to account for that right now.

While bettors won’t have to worry about market manipulation in the Colorado sports betting app, the bigger concern for Nasdaq Ventures and other investors might be whether anyone is aware that the product exists rather than whether it’s safe. At the same time, the target consumer could be altogether different.

Will Sporttrade’s tech be a strong selling point in CO?

The majority of marketing put out by the big players in Colorado sports betting focuses on big bonuses, celebrity endorsements and partnerships with the CO sports teams. It’s early, but thus far, Sporttrade hasn’t gone any of those routes in NJ.

Some of that could be forthcoming. However, Sporttrade could also opt for a play on its tech and sell itself as a marketplace for bettors who look at trading as a form of investment rather than a form of entertainment.

To such an audience, the ability to quickly buy and sell positions at desired price points should be quite appealing. Again, to such bettors, confidence in the product is paramount. For Sporttrade though, there might be a couple of issues.

First, it’s debatable how large a group of people that demographic represents. Second, there’s no guarantee that bettors hunting for the best price will find it on Sporttrade consistently. If bettors can find better prices elsewhere for the events they want to buy into, the whole model will fall apart.

The risk for Nasdaq and other investors is about how quickly it can introduce Sporttrade to Coloradans and get them comfortable with the exchange model. At this point, it’s difficult to accuse Nasdaq of not providing all it can to make the product successful.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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