Sports betting

Scientific Games and Smarkets reveal record betting on 2021 Grand National

| By Robert Fletcher
Scientific Games and Smarkets have announced they both experienced record levels of betting activity during the UK’s Grand National Festival showpiece horse-racing event across their respective sports wagering platforms.

The Festival ran from April 7-9, with Rachel Blackmore becoming the first female jockey to win the main Grand National race on Minella Times.

The 2020 Grand National was cancelled due to national restrictions related to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

According to Scientific Games, more than 50 million bets were placed via its OpenSports platform across the Festival, with 19 million wagers on the main Grand National race, up 60.5% from 2019 when the last edition of the race took place.

Scientific Games also said one of its OpenSports customers processed a record 57,000 peak bets per minute, which represented a 128% increase on 2019.

Total account transactions across the three days were up 55% compared to the last Grand National Festival.

OpenSports customers include Sky Betting and Gaming, Paddy Power, Betfair, Ladbrokes, Coral and William Hill, all of which SG said saw “significant increases” in betting volume.

“Over the last three years, teams across SG Digital have transformed our OpenSports technology to meet the demands of the world’s leading operators,” Scientific Games’ group chief executive for digital Jordan Levin said.

“Whether it’s the Grand National, the Big Game or the Melbourne Cup, we have a responsibility to the largest sportsbooks in every corner of the world to deliver on our promises and exceed their expectations.”

Meanwhile, betting exchange operator Smarkets set a new record in terms of betting volume, with a total of £92.8m (€107.1m/$127.6m) traded across its Smarkets and SBK platforms, up 21% on 2019.

The main Grand National race accounted for 71% of overall volume, with a total of £131m traded on the races from Thursday to Saturday, while £263m worth of bets were processed on Smarkets over the seven-day period leading up to the Festival.

Smarkets chief executive and founder Jason Trost said: “After a record-breaking Cheltenham Festival for the company, to have set a new all-time high for betting volume on a single event is another big milestone for us. The growth of both our products, but especially SBK, has been phenomenal recently.

“We have a lot of momentum as a business right now, and with a summer football tournament one of several big events coming up, I’m excited for the next few months.”

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