Global fintech FIS has released new transactional data predicting a “surge in sports betting” in the UK ahead of the Premier League (PL) kick off.

The data was assembled using Worldpay’s eCommerce transaction data of regulated gaming clients in the UK processed over the previous two seasons; this comes after FIS acquired the payments processing technology in a multi-billion deal.

FIS uncovered – despite an overall increase in betting volumes – the average value of bets placed during last year’s season dropped by 12%.

Motie Bring, general manager, EMEA, Global Enterprise eCommerce, FIS said: “Football has always been one of the U.K.’s favourite sports for placing a bet, and this trend continues to grow apace. 

“Our data shows that punters are placing bets more often, although they are spending less on individual bets. 

“This indicates that they are turning to football betting as a fun pastime and another way to enjoy the game, rather than chasing a big win. 

“Betting on a match helps spectators feel more personally invested in the game, and people are more and more willing to place a small bet as a way of capturing this feeling.”

The opening game between UCL champions Liverpool FC and newly promoted Norwich City will see the “the biggest spike in sports betting activity” after last years opening game saw a 72% increase in online betting volumes, in comparison to the year previous.

The trend in growth appears to be a justifiable forecast since the opening day of 2018’s football season saw a 25% increase in online betting compared to the previous season.

Speed and convenience appears to be vital for a punter – with online betting totaling 97% of all bets placed during the football season.

Bring expects operators who focus on providing a “seamless end-to-end experience” for its consumers will find most success this year.

He concluded: “Sports betting is growing across the board, but the big winner is ecommerce – online is still the preferred method for placing a bet on the football anytime, anywhere.

“The challenge for operators this year will be maintaining an exceptional user experience during times of increased traffic. 

“The biggest gains will go to those who are able to provide a seamless end-to-end experience, from frictionless fund top-ups all the way to speedy payouts.”