An Inside Look At Sportsbet’s Market-Leading Tech Stack 

Sportsbet is a company built on tech. We focus on high-performance, scalable products that offer rich and seamless interactions with our brand, and keep us ahead in an industry that’s evolving at pace. Our tech stack grows constantly as we innovate, reimagine, ramp up and deliver on bigger and better experiences for our customers. We’ve always got our eyes on the future.

The team that powers our tech evolution is incredibly passionate and inspiring. Below, they’re sharing some first-hand insights into our amazing tech stack and the kind of exciting projects on the table at Sportsbet.

Jonathan Doguet, Software Developer

Describe the tech stack you use in your team?

Being a member of the Customer Experience and Enabling Services platform team exposes us to a VERY wide variety of fun and interesting tech, from top to bottom of our frontend stacks.

We continuously face new and interesting problems to solve, whether that be in our React/React native/Android frontend codebases, our Javascript, Typescript, Java OR Kotlin supporting services or even in our enormous AWS infrastructure where we follow best practices (such as having infrastructure as code!) Recently we have also been diving into event-driven development using Kafka.

We are all driven to provide the best experience to our customers and that applies to all areas of our stack!

Tell us about a project you've worked on, and the tech involved with making it a success

A giant project I was involved in was the re-platforming of our mobile web platform, followed closely by our native iOS app. This project, in short, was awesome.

We had multiple cross functional teams all surging ahead to the same end goal. Setting an initial foundation for the platform, we were able to completely rebuild our front-end web app using React and accompanying libraries.

A pivotal part of this project was the engineering meeting where engineers would share reusable components they had built, discuss difficult technical issues being faced and potential solutions, as well as general coding standards and new ways of doing things. These sharing sessions were invaluable and it was always fun catching up with the engineering cohort as a whole to share knowledge between teams. That really drove our capability forward. 

The banter in these meetings, as well as on Slack was always a great laugh, with some of those jokes still ongoing! All of this obviously carried forward when we migrated our native iOS app to React Native and further grew all of our skill sets together.

What impact have you seen the tech at Sportsbet make on real customers?

When we modernised our iOS/web front-ends to use React/React Native, we instantly saw a boost in code reuse. This led to faster development times, as well as a general uplift of code quality and approachability. In turn, this translated to fewer customer-impacting bugs, and to customers receiving new features at an increased pace.

But this was only a small step in the journey. Alongside all of this, we focused on continuous integration and continuous deployment by working to improve our deployment pipelines and cutting-edge blue/green service deployments. All of this means we’re able to deploy at any time (even during the busiest part of the day) to improve the customer experience, without impacting any customers currently using the app.

Why does the tech stack at Sportsbet stand out from other companies?

At Sportsbet, we are not afraid to embrace new trends and be at the forefront of emerging tech. This to me is the winning differentiator.

Not being content with the status-quo, we continuously challenge ourselves and our peers to push forward and be thinking about the next big thing. I'm sure all engineers can agree that playing with and learning new tech is always fun, and being able to apply that in your day job is just fantastic. This is why I love working at Sportsbet.

Aditi Thakkar, Senior Software Engineer 

Describe the tech stack you use in your team?

In my team, the majority of work we do is front-end. We use ReactJS, which is an open-source JavaScript Library that gives a better and faster performance, React Native, React Hooks, Redux, Typescript and Jest for unit testing. To develop the services in the back-end, we use a lot of Node.js and AWS services.

Tell us about a project you've worked on, and the tech involved with making it a success.

I’ve worked on many exciting projects but I’ll tell you about a recent one: Streaming Navigation and Filtering for web and iOS. This feature allows the user to customise their preferences of racing codes and jurisdictions and gives them more race and status information. 

For this project, we used React.js in a really powerful way. It has allowed us to utilise a high percentage of shared code base across platforms, specifically with React Native. This brings the performance very close to a pure native app, with a rich user interface enabled by an easier API and a strong community component.

For the back-end API, we used AWS Lambda for faster development with serverless architecture, including automatic scaling that plays an important role in major events. DynamoDB automatically scales tables up and down to adjust for capacity and maintain performance.

What impact have you seen the tech at Sportsbet make on real customers?

We always put the customer first. Every customer feature is only released after significant load, E2E, performance and PVT testing. To enable these features, developers need to quickly deploy their code, which is tested and can be rolled back if a bug is introduced. 

This is no easy feat. Sportsbet has developed a very sophisticated Continuous Integration & Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipeline for providing an effective mechanism to deploy cloud applications.

Why does the tech stack at Sportsbet stand out from other companies?

Sportsbet focuses on delivering high-quality/performance and scalable products to customers, along with rich user interface applications across different platforms. We use tech that helps to scale the environment and design our systems mainly on serverless technology. This reduces maintenance and increases speed to market.

Our latest tech stack improves efficiency, simplifies processes and defines how the different parts of the organisation fit together to deliver the best product to the customer.

Andy Camera, Head of Platform - CX & Enabling Services

Tell us about a project you've worked on, and the tech involved with making it a success.

In 2017, Sportsbet officially embarked on a bold new journey – taking the disparate front-end clients that required new features/development to be repeated three times (on desktop web, mobile web and iOS native) and replacing them with the holy grail of a single universal customer-facing platform, and the many benefits that come with it.

This was led by a strategic vision of supercharged delivery by sharing most of the business logic/infrastructure/automated testing between platforms, whilst retaining our best-in-class user experiences tailored to each platform!

Fast-forward to 2021, and we’ve been enjoying the fruits of those labours for years now. Powered by React/React Native, Typescript and microservices architecture, not only do we deliver at pace, but the consistency of our codebase and tooling also means that engineers are able to work in a whole range of new areas with very little ramp-up time!

What impact have you seen the tech at Sportsbet make on real customers?

Whilst the reasons for it aren't always apparent for our customers, they are routinely surprised and delighted by the significant investment we’ve made into our platforms and tech stack evolution.

Shubhangi Muralidhar, Enablement Manager

Describe the decision-making process behind investing in tech at Sportsbet?

I have led a couple of projects to enable Sportsbet to evaluate Build vs Buy decisions, facilitate the buying process and help the business and technology teams assess new vendor tools.

In an integration world, where external third-party vendor products are often bundled up together, it becomes fit for purpose to ensure that the future state solution stack aligns and integrates seamlessly with Sportsbet systems. 

With that in mind, we ask ourselves: are there any native integrations to use or do we build a custom integration? And most importantly, would this integration withstand scalability? These considerations have been key factors to success at Sportsbet.  

Tell us about a project you've worked on, and the tech involved with making it a success.

Two years ago, Sportsbet was seeking to implement a payment gateway integration that would support our payment ecosystem and ensure fast and secure payments to customers.

In partnership with a new Payment Service Provider (PSP), we implemented a distributed reactive payment system designed to keep customers card data safe and secure. This was achieved via implementing a design that would support scheme tokenisation offered by providers like MasterCard and Visa. Instead of storing sensitive data PSP can store scheme tokens and significantly reduce risk.

For us, this involved: a) integration of the Payment Gateway API that would enable Sportsbet’s system to achieve Eventual Consistency of Payment Transaction Status; and b) alert during failures and providing a mechanism to establish a relationship between Token service providers and the banks. 

Given the complex payment ecosystem value chain, it was critical that ultimately, when a customer adds a card to the Sportsbet wallet, the card details are tokenised, secured and the payment transaction is completed successfully end-to-end. Ensuring the integration was done right and that information was flowing correctly between different points of the value chain was  a big win for the business and for our customers.

What impact have you seen the tech at Sportsbet make on real customers?

We take our customer promise seriously. Convenience, ease of use through self service and speed are all things that our tech at Sportsbet has facilitated for our customers.

As a digital business, we are constantly innovating in tech to enable various parts of the business through cutting-edge solutions. This spans fintech, martech, automation, safe gambling and so many other areas.

Any new initiative that involves new technology or perhaps integrating external vendor products are thoroughly vetted to ensure that our platforms are fit to scale and the experience to our customers continues to be seamless.

Why does the tech stack at Sportsbet stand out from other companies?

At Sportsbet, we have a strong focus on understanding the customer journey, alongside the technologies that would add value and success to the business. For example, when we are looking at evaluating a new vendor product, we closely assess alignment with future state architecture, but more importantly, we look at how we could break down our stack into the functions or business capability areas the technology provides.

We use a combination of tools to visually collaborate and envision our tech stack, and assess maturity and evolution opportunities through immersive sessions with relevant stakeholders.  This cross-team collaboration to go after key customer outcomes is a stand out at Sportsbet. 

Andy White, Head of Data

Describe the tech stack you use in your team?

We have been driving a cloud-first strategy at Sportsbet for a few years now, going all in on AWS. In the data space specifically, we are currently in the midst of a modernisation project to refresh and consolidate our stack – evolving from more traditional approaches into cloud native patterns and technologies.

The initial focus of this work is embracing streaming data sources (Kafka) and adopting a lakehouse style architecture, which further integrates and extends our existing serverless data lake (S3, Databricks Delta, Glue) and analytics platforms (Redshift RA3). To do the heavy lifting, we are developing an elastic compute layer based on Spark, using Databricks and EMR, that can rapidly scale in line with our data volumes/latency requirements. To facilitate discoverability and governance of data, we are rolling out a Data Catalogue based on Amundsen.

We also support quite a mature data science capability, which leverages Databricks for development, and a home-grown CICD Jenkins pipeline for deploying automated training and scoring models.

Tell us about a project you've worked on, and the tech involved with making it a success.

Sportsbet has gone through phenomenal growth in data volumes over the past 12 - 24 months. The integration of the BetEasy customer base into Sportsbet last year, combined with our high rates of natural growth and the acquisition of retail customers during prolonged periods of venue closures, has led to 200% growth in the amount of data we process in peak periods.

With this rate of increase in data, along with more users and increasingly complex use cases, it quickly became clear that our core data platform was approaching the end of its life. Through the Data Modernisation project, and supported by AWS, we have implemented an infinitely scalable and componentised compute framework (Spark on EMR / Databricks) that allows us to find the right balance between cost and performance at an individual pipeline level. It also provides the flexibility to seamlessly adopt new technologies and services as the need arises.

What impact have you seen the tech at Sportsbet make on real customers?

Our customer focus is something we are really proud of at Sportsbet, with ‘Customer First and Last’ being one of our core values. One of the largest areas of impact we have within Data is in supporting our Responsible Gambling team in helping keep our punters safe.

From a tech perspective, this involves running machine learning models to help identify people who may be vulnerable. It allows us to intervene early and offer support before our products are used for more than entertainment.

We also provide a 360-degree view of relevant data points in near real time, so that our Customer Operations and RG teams can have informed conversations with our customers and better respond to their individual needs.

Why does the tech stack at Sportsbet stand out from other companies?

Sportsbet has a great culture of empowering our people to give things a crack, and allowing teams to make their own decisions on how to approach problems in their space.

Our exec team demonstrates a strong understanding of the return in Investment offered by tech projects, and offers great support in delivering our strategies in this space. We run regular company-wide Hackathons (often spanning a number of days, turning ideas into prototypes), and partnered AWS build labs to provide opportunities for our employees to broaden their technical skills. I believe this further underlines Sportsbet’s commitment to growing technical skill sets throughout the company. As a result, Sportsbet is generally on the cutting-edge and constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

Another key differentiator is our global presence – the tech capability within the Flutter group reaches five thousand people worldwide. Through this, we are able to form strategic partnerships with key vendors such as AWS and Databricks, and leverage our R&D effort across teams.

Menglai Qin, Software Engineer 

Describe the tech stack you use in your team?

We use AWS for almost everything, and ReactJS + Redux, with TypeScript, for our web and iOS front-end applications. We also work on 40+ microservices that were built in NodeJS, Java or Kotlin. Recently, we introduced Apache Kafka as well. 

Tell us about a project you've worked on, and the tech involved with making it a success.

Recently we have been working on a feed integration project, which is purely back-end focused. We have started to use a Kafka streaming platform to push all integration as event-driven, instead of doing POST requests. This not only leads to better performance, but also increases fault tolerance during feed data integration and transmission.

What impact have you seen the tech at Sportsbet make on real customers?

We’re consistently improving and evolving our tech to provide faster and better experiences to our customers. They are assured a world-class betting experience even during major event days, like Grand Finals or Melbourne Cup. On high-traffic volume days like these, our systems remain solid, and year on year.

Why does the tech stack at Sportsbet stand out from other companies?

Our mindset is to continuously reflect, learn and improve – we’re not afraid to make mistakes because we all support each other. With our tech stack at Sportsbet, we are always challenging the status quo and innovating.