LVbet is sponsoring Betting on Football 2017, the fourth edition of the largest international football and betting trade conference at Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge.
Ahead of the 3-5 May event, we spoke to LVbet COO Adrian Sidowski about why football is such an attractive sport for betting, how the market is changing from a consumer perspective and how betting and football stakeholders can work more effectively together.
SBC: Why is football such an attractive sport for betting?
AS: Perhaps the question should be “why is football such an attractive sport in general?” The answer is, of course, that it produces more passion, excitement, and commitment that pretty much any other sport in the world.
It’s a sport where, in the space of a single match, fans can experience excitement, despair and euphoria. It’s a sport in which giants can be slayed by minnows, a sport that constantly creates surprises.
Just think of the roller coast ride over the last few years for Leicester fans! This is what makes it arguably the most popular sport in the world.
SBC: From a consumer perspective, how is football betting changing?
AS: Whereas the pre-match product offered is still rather conservative, things are evolving regarding in-play betting.
Firstly, fast betting markets are increasing in popularity – those markets that are settled within five to ten minutes.
Secondly, the sheer number of in-play events is increasing dramatically. We offer games from literally all over the world: Australian U20 leagues, Vietnamese U19 League, Icelandic U19 Women Division, Russian 5th Division, Polish Regional Cup etc.
Basically, if you have a friend who plays football, the chances are that you can bet on their team.
SBC: How can betting & football stakeholders work better and more effectively together?
AS: I believe that the industry needs to focus on expanding betting integrity initiatives and programs. Match fixing and corruption in football, whilst still relatively rare, has the potential to severely damage the appeal of the sport.
Transparency and effective communications between betting and football stakeholders needs to be continually improved, to ensure integrity and customer confidence.
SBC: What new technology do you feel will have the biggest impact on football betting?
AS: We are living in an exciting era with the rapid emergency of artificial intelligence, that can effectively manage and utilise the exponentially growing volume of data produced within the sports industry. Being able to convert this data into viable and useful odds is crucial from the perspective of any operator, as is being able to effectively communicate betting options to customers using multiple platforms simultaneously – not just the operators own site, but also through social media.
Indeed, from the consumers’ point-of-view, content is crucial. The danger is very real that people get swamped with too much data, and get turned off. Being able to intelligently and automatically provide relevant and appealing content, for individual customers, is only going to get more important.
Fixtures, tables, statistics, injuries, transfer rumours, news, videos, gossips and, of course, the odds, all need to be provided in an easily digestible, and entertaining format. Emerging technology is going to be key to enabling this, because the sheer volume of data is simply too much to manage manually.
SBC: What key agenda, debate or discussion do you want to hear at BOFCON 2017?
AS: Well, basically LVbet would like to explore the points we have just covered, in more detail – but especially the theme of emerging technologies. I believe that it is essential to keep tabs on the latest emerging trends and tech developments, and we can all learn a lot from each other.
Bringing together so many great minds and talents from the industry, can only result in everyone improving their knowledge, and is bound to light the spark of inspiration in many minds.