InBet Games is sponsoring Betting on Football 2017, the fourth edition of the largest international football and betting trade conference at Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge.
On the day of the event (3-5 May), we spoke to InBet Games Business Development Director Pavel Korolev 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?
PK: Although there are dozens of other wildly popular sports globally, football is hands down the biggest one around. It is dramatic and dynamic, too. Betting on football provides an experience as intense as if you were actually inside the stadium bowl, and even beyond that. Complementing your favorite sport with a gambling component is the ultimate adrenaline booster. Imagine having even more than just your team’s record at stake: the stake in it is your own.
This immediately throws you into the very thick of the action. Furthermore, football is perhaps the most established and well-researched sport out there. Punters have a decades-old sense of the game, maintained by family traditions, mainstream media, and sports punditry. They have trust in the game and a profound passion for it. This also raises the bar of their expectations. Today’s punters demand a more engaging and enthralling experience than ever before. They are looking for instant gratification. The industry continues to mature and expand, with the explosion of mobile and online wagering.
SBC: From a consumer perspective, how is football betting changing?
PK: The growth of the internet and mobile devices with quick access to odds has made betting generally much more accessible on the global scale. The more general media environment follows suit: satellite and Internet-based sports television is on the rise globally, increasing interest and opportunity for both players and bookmakers.
SBC: How can betting & football stakeholders work better and more effectively together?
PK: To my opinion, there is a great potential in joining forces to tackle the rigging industry, which harms both bookmakers and those who manage, play, and watch the sport. There is a lot to be done on the both sides to promote the principles of Fair Play. Business-wise, betting and football stakeholders will benefit from joint efforts to expand marketing networks and ultimately reach even bigger numbers of football lovers across the globe and growth for the business and industry as whole.
SBC: What new technology do you feel will have the biggest impact on football betting?
PK: Due to the steady growth of the previously dormant markets in regions like Africa, mobile and online will still be the key. In order to meet the demands of the developed markets, though, the industry will have to invoke the full arsenal of cutting-edge solutions in Big Data and deep machine learning. New breakthrough services will have to emerge, bringing together diverse delivery channels such as retail, web, and mobile. A fine illustration of this vision is Café Bridge – a service that we have recently implemented, aiming at the maximum level of convergence.
SBC: What key agenda, debate or discussion do you want to hear at BOFCON 2017?
PK: As there are many important topics that will be raised during the conference. For me personally and for InBet Games the key discussions are new opportunities and potential in the LatAm, discussion on match fixing, and for sure Eastern Europe panel.
Spain and LatAm – what is the potential
Historically Latin America is the key regions for InBet Games, where our products are very well received. Reviewing the current state of these markets is of high importance for us. LatAm is now going through the point where our expertise in dealing with regulatory environment and adapting for the peculiar local conditions as we have done in Russia and CIS, will make up for a solid competitive advantage.
Keeping it clean – preventing match fixing
As I have mentioned, preventing match fixing is a hot issue today. Betting & football stakeholders should discuss and implement prevention measures, identify and combat the institutional conditions that make rigging flourish, and raise awareness of the dangers of match-fixing among the business community. A legacy of over 5 years at the helm of the betting professionals’ association in Kazakhstan, InBet Games boasts a rich experience in licensing and prevention of fraud. We definitely have substantive suggestions and tips to share.
Eastern Europe – new opportunities in the CIS
Ever-changing regulatory environment and steady growth of online betting in CIS make this region attractive for our partners from abroad. Capacity of these markets is indeed impressive, and potential for expansion is yet to be unleashed. As one of the key stakeholders in the region, InBet Games are looking forward to fruitful discussions about the opportunities and challenges of the CIS markets.