Diversity in consumer market selections is impacting the retail betting experience. John Pettit, MD for UK, Ireland, Asia and Australia at Playtech BGT Sports states that self-service betting terminals (SSBTs) content is now more important than ever before…
The retail betting sector has faced several challenges in recent years, with the digital revolution requiring operators to change strategy and adapt to an ever-evolving industry.
Today’s climate is no different, with the rise of online, and in particular, mobile betting impacting on the future of the retail betting proposition. Customer demands are greater than ever before and this has required high street bookies to rethink how they can service them best.
Over-the-counter betting remains the fulcrum of the shop experience, with a recognisable and personal touch for all customers. However, what we are increasingly seeing is customers’ betting patterns diversifying from the traditional, core products such as football coupons or racing bets generally placed with shop staff.
This is where self-service betting terminals (SSBTs) can play a key role in the acquisition of new customers, as well as retaining those who have seen how technology can improve their betting experience.
They can also provide a more participatory experience than the likes of mobile and desktop, with bettors able to navigate quickly and easily across a breadth of sports and competitions with just a few taps of the screen.
The advantages this has for operators in terms of margin and revenue generation are significant. On-screen coupon displays are designed to allow bettors to compile multiple bets across various sports and markets. This has appealed to those who are return-sensitive as opposed to price-sensitive and the effect this has on betting yield is impressive.
Likewise, with in-play taking an increasingly larger share of revenue, terminals play a key role in giving a new demographic access to live betting. Over-the-counter provisions simply cannot deal with the dynamism of live betting but SSBTs can seamlessly bridge this gap.
However, despite growing in popularity in recent years as bettors have become more familiar with Playtech BGT Sports’ software, as well as additional operator deployments, many bettors still don’t utilise their full potential.
This is an area where suppliers like ourselves and operator’s marketing teams and shop managers can work together more effectively to educate customers on how the extensive range of content available on terminals can benefit them.
For betting shops to remain relevant they must be flexible and functional, but most of all, offer an experience that complements desktop and mobile.
It remains to be seen how the revenue split between retail products will turn out in the next 12 months, but I have confidence that betting shops can only benefit from further SSBT deployment. Not only do they diversify revenues away from horse racing and pre-event football onto in-play betting and other sports such as basketball and tennis, they provide the premium betting experience that customers can see elsewhere.
The only way retail operators will continue to remain successful on the high street is to embrace the latest technology, led by customer demand. SSBTs are a prime example of this. It is this adaptability that will be key to a robust retail sector in the coming years.
John Pettit, MD for UK, Ireland, Asia & Australia at Playtech BGT