Leeds Digital City: Numbers game hits jackpot at Euro 2016 with Sky

Richard Flint. PIC: James Hardisty
Richard Flint. PIC: James Hardisty
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In the last edition of Digital City, I argued that we needed to shout louder about the Leeds tech sector.

Since then, a group of investors and analysts, from as far afield as Stockholm, were invited for a three-day tour to explore the digital sector and its investment potential.

We hosted the delegation here at Sky Betting & Gaming in Leeds as England faced Iceland last month in what was one of the most important fixtures of the Euro 2016 football tournament.

149 bets per second were placed with us during that one game alone.

On the night of the Euros final, when France faced Portugal, we were busier still, reaching 198 bets per second just before kick-off.

To put this into context, Amazon claimed on their busiest ever day in the UK, known as ‘Black Friday’ (the day representing the point in the year when retailers start to turn a profit, going from the red into the black) they were selling 64 items a second.

So Sky Betting & Gaming was handling over three times as many transactions, on technology that has come a long way from a peak capacity of just 14 bets per second in 2012.

The tech teams that make this happen and keep our platform secure and stable are all based in Yorkshire.

We have a highly skilled workforce and our surroundings, transport networks, digital connectivity and location, make our county an attractive place in which to live and build a tech career, for graduates through to the most skilled individuals.

Telling the tech story at events like the one we hosted recently is hugely important.

We also need to make sure the new government knows about this too.

Richard Flint, chief executive, Sky Betting & Gaming.