OpenBet set a new record of bets taken per minute on the Aintree Grand National at the weekend, due to higher than ever levels of customer activity, while 33-1 outsider Rule the World’s triumph boosted UK bookmakers after a disappointing Cheltenham Festival.

The sports betting platform provider handled 22m sports bets across all channels for its clients on Saturday April 9th, the day of the famous horse race. The 24-hour period is the supplier’s busiest of the year, OpenBet said.

At its peak it was processing 62,000 bets-per-minute on the day, a 27 per cent year-on-year increase from 2015. In total the company processed a total of 60.5m account transactions, up 14 per cent from the prior year.

Mobile betting also grew in popularity, with around 75 per cent of all remote bets placed via the channel, up from 63 per cent in 2015.

The company has reported its strong Grand National showing less than a week after it was acquired by NYX Gaming Group in a £270m deal, with CEO Jeremy Thompson-Hill highlighting the power and reliability of the OpenBet platform for allowing it to support such high levels of activity.

“The Grand National is a critical event for our customers,” he said. “It places huge demands on our industry and once again we have shown that OpenBet has the ability to handle the most important events seamlessly.

“I am both thrilled and proud of our performance – a peak of 62,000 bets-per-minute and total of 22 million bets in 24 hours demonstrates the vast scale of our business and the power of our technology.

“It enabled our customers to offer the quality of service and experience that players demand,” he added.

OpenBet’s service was praised by clients Gala Coral and Sky Betting & Gaming, with Keith O’Loughlin, sportsbook director of the former saying: “The day of the Grand National is by far the busiest day of the year for any bookmaker.

“We have to deliver a best-in-class player experience across all channels. Saturday was fantastic for us, and the reliability and performance of OpenBet sportsbook was a key part of that success.”

“OpenBet’s efforts over the past couple of months, and on Saturday itself, have helped us prepare for – and achieve – yet another successful Grand National result,” Gala Coral head of IT Michael Boylan added. “Expectations are always high and, once again, another flawless execution was delivered with great stability.”

Meanwhile SkyBet chief executive Richard Flint said he was delighted with how the Grand National went for his business, with the day proving to be the busiest ever for the operator.

“The OpenBet platform was a key reason for this record breaking weekend,” he noted.

Operators enjoyed a particularly successful 2016 Grand National, following the victory of the 33-1 Rule the World. Affiliate revealed that less than a month after what was described as the industry’s “worst ever” Cheltenham Festival, its experts estimated that operators made a profit of around £16.50 per person over the three days of the Aintree Festival.

Bettingexpert estimates that with more than 35m bets estimated to have been placed on the race, bookmakers earned around £75m on the Saturday alone.

“It was the result of our dreams,” Ladbrokes media relations director David Williams said. “A 33-1 winner gave us the kind of script we didn't dare hope for. Punters [had] a tough day.

"After the pain of the Cheltenham Festival we've had much the better of it at Aintree,” Williams said. “We're leaving Merseyside feeling pretty pleased with how it's panned out. The heavens opened but God looked down favourably on the bookies.”


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