At the heart of any successful gaming platform is a database that maintains 100% uptime, scales in real time to handle millions of users, and provides users with a responsive and personalized experience across all of their devices. Customers today have little patience for delays when betting or using mobile apps. They expect to have the ability to place their bets, utilize promotions and rewards, and receive their payouts in near real-time.

This is why gaming and betting companies choose Couchbase as they move away from monolithic solutions to microservice-based architectures, focusing on building engaging, responsive, and scalable applications.

Paddy Power Betfair is one of the world’s largest global sports betting, gaming, and entertainment providers, with over 18 million customers worldwide. The company built a system for creating promotions with the goal of taking personalization and real-time experiences to the next level for over 7 million active customers. Today the platform powers three brands: Paddy Power, Betfair, and FanDuel, and it will be extended to additional brands in the near future.

Handling traffic spikes and unique market requirements

Paddy Power Betfair knew that designing an application with a better real-time experience would improve customer satisfaction and increase acquisition and retention rates. The primary challenge was that their platform regularly experienced massive traffic spikes from millions of users, especially during popular sports events. For example, their Bettor Exchange product alone generates more daily transactions than all the European stock exchanges combined.

Another challenge was operating across many markets, each with unique requirements. Different teams need to be able to control their own development, deployment, and scaling without having to coordinate their changes with the teams in the other markets.

Paddy Power Betfair previously used Oracle for their platform, but adapting it to work for object-oriented languages, high scalability, and continuous deliverability was too complicated and expensive. The company moved many applications to Cassandra and Memcached for the benefits of NoSQL, but those two databases failed to meet expectations. The company pivoted once again, and this time successfully consolidated their NoSQL on Couchbase.

Powering complex promotional interactions and customer rewards

Couchbase’s flexible NoSQL modeling has made it easier for Paddy Power to track activity – including deposits, bets, and other interactions – across the promotional platform to help provide a superior user experience. Some of the more complex interactions supported include prize ladders (increased rewards for additional bets) and the awarding of prize-drawing tickets based on participation in promotions.

For example, a single sports competition often triggers a payout to hundreds of thousands of customers in a short time. Before adopting Couchbase, a massive spike in events would overtax the processing power of the database and slow down the payouts. Now when a spike is detected, a large number of the transactions are transferred from one Couchbase data center to the other, taking advantage of all of Couchbase’s processing power at once.

Since adopting Couchbase, Paddy Power Betfair has seen improved performance, flexibility, and scalability of its NoSQL deployments while gaining the ability to process over 500K events in 3 minutes for more than 7 million active customers. The data replication features keep data integrity and performance top notch, processing over 1 million transactions per second.


Posted by Matt Spillar - Product Marketing Manager

Leave a reply