An Irish company is claiming that it is the rightful owner of the intellectual property rights for the popular option of sports bets called “cash out.”
This feature allows players to cash out on their bets before they have concluded. It is normally used in multi-selection sports bets where a few of the selections have already been successful and you want to take some winnings instead of taking a chance on your final selections.
It has been a mainstay in sports betting in recent years, with most popular sportsbooks offering this option.
Details about the IP claims
The company, Marketmaker Software Limited of Dublin, claims to possess patents for the cash out-feature. If proven, this claim could lead to significant changes in the industry.
Marketmaker is claiming to own the functionality to all of these cash-out options that sportsbooks are using, but they are not receiving any compensation for allowing them to do so.
Benefits of cashing out
The cash-out option allows a bettor to claim gains or mitigate losses. For example, the odds change during a game, making it more likely that a selection will win or lose. If a bettor fears that the result might go the wrong way, the cash-out option offers a way to realize gains or cut losses.
The size of the potential cash-out amount depends on several different factors, including the updated odds and the number of selections in the bet.
The option is seen as a major source of revenue for sportsbooks, particularly when it comes to in-play markets, which are becoming more and more popular.
According to Marketmaker: “Regarded as a key revenue and retention driver for in play sports betting worldwide, cash out currently comprises approximately 65 percent of global in play sports betting liquidity. For the US regulated market, cash-out numbers are already at 20 percent of gross revenue for some NJ-based providers.”
What happens next?
Marketmaker filed for two patents on the cash-out option in 2007. Marketmaker says: “The 2007 filed patents in Marketmaker’s portfolio cover activities related to making ‘one or more, optional divestment bet offers’ … ‘prior to the outcome of a sporting event’ in a ‘user interface identical to that which would be currently available in odds markets’ so as to ‘avoid exposure to the outcome of a sporting event.”
Therefore, the company claims that it owns the IP for early cashing-out of bets. They are now looking to enter into a partnership with operators in the US market, as well as software providers. They want to license the cash-out feature to these parties. They are already in talks with a number of these stakeholders.
The next step in the process for Marketmaker is to get a third patent grant in the next few weeks. This would be for the graphical user interface utility used for the cash-out option.
The third patent would make the company’s rights to the option much clearer. Stakeholders in the sports betting industry around the world will be watching developments closely in the coming weeks and months.