Matthew Imi, Chief Executive of Sky Racing

SBC’s Year In Review: February 2019’s big betting news

As 2019 comes to a close SBC looks through the year to highlight major news that you might have missed in the sports betting world. 

This second edition looks at February and more specifically at the data breakdown behind sports betting, the evolution of SIS’ product to meet the needs of bettors, Sky Racing’s first month of operation, and Optima’s innovation in sports betting.

Genius Sports: Power behind the Price – Why premium data should be at the heart of sports betting

Data rights may not be a subject matter that sets heart rates pumping, yet as the betting sector expands its global profile, its incumbents will face greater scrutiny with regards to sports data management, integrity and collaborations.

Through betting/data subsidiary Betgenius,  Genius Sports has developed one of the world’s fastest growing data and technology enterprises, detailing to SBC why in 2019 wider sports data dynamics are becoming a crucial component for the sector’s next evolution.

Matt Stephenson, Managing Director at Betgenius, stated: “Ultimately, sportsbooks need total confidence that the data they use to manage huge amounts of revenue is always going to be there. Our relationships with sports ensure this is the case, and that this data flow won’t suddenly be cut off when, for example, an unofficial data collector gets removed from a match. We think that’s a risk operators’ won’t and frankly cannot accept.”

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SIS: Evolving your product offer to meet bettors’ needs

As the international betting industry prepares to make its way to London for the biggest trade show of the year, you can be sure that there will be plenty of exhibitors unveiling exciting new products at the exhibition. 

From new slot games to platform enhancements, ICE London presents a fantastic opportunity for operators to discover the latest innovations to hit the marketplace. 

Evolving your product offering is imperative to stay competitive in this industry, whether you are an operator or supplier. Not only as a means to differentiate yourself, but to adapt to changing consumer needs.

Within the sports betting market, betting operators are all jostling for market share. Offering a seamless customer experience is key, and standing out in a very busy market is a key challenge for operators. 

Understanding what bettors want, and providing relevant and timely betting opportunities, is what will set operators apart from the competition. 

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Matthew Imi: Sky Racing – The first month and adapting to industry challenges

On 1 January, Sky UK launched its new channel, Sky Racing , which took Sky’s dedicated sports channel tally up to 11. 

It has been headed by the long term At the Races chief executive, Matthew Imi. SBC caught up with Imi to discuss how Sky Racing’s first month has faired, and how the industry will adapt to and overcome challenges in the next 12 months.

Imi stated: “We’re delighted with how the launch and first month has gone, particularly after a lot of hard work at Sky and from the production team. Having said that, this is just the beginning and it’s very important to us that we continue to grow and evolve from here, rolling out new production tools, improving graphics, integrating new functionality etc. 

“Highlights so far include some of the steps we’ve taken to improve the viewer experience and the positive feedback we’ve had on that is hugely rewarding. Along with the additional cameras, everything being fully HD and super slo-mo shots that have all been so well received, we’ve also made an important commitment to have at least one presenter at every UK fixture.”

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Jacob Lopez: OPTIMA – Technological innovation in the sports betting industry

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a growing part of business in the 21st century, with more and more industries integrating it into everyday solutions. In fact, gaming operators have started to base their choice of platform provider around the adoption of new technologies, including AI, which can ensure a  better quality of service for its customers.

SBC spoke to Jacob Lopez, CEO of OPTIMA, about the development of AI algorithms to help with KYC, AML and fraud control, key improvements made to its omnichannel solution, OPTIMAMGS™, and the other components of the company’s product portfolio that he is most excited about in 2019.

Lopez stated: “One of the highlights for the year at OPTIMA was signing and launching with Betfred for both online and retail operations. We also launched new operators in Sweden and Romania, all of which have seen full certification of our platforms.

“This year, we are preparing to launch three more operators in Spain. We are also launching new operators in both South Africa and Kenya, where we have completed the certification of the system and developed our customer requirements.”

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