Innovation in the betting industry remains a prominent discussion, however, since the start of the global health pandemic the topic has risen in significance to ensure that new solutions keep customers engaged.
On day two of SBC Summit Barcelona – Digital trading experts sat down to discuss what new innovations are being created for fixed odds solutions. A variety of products were discussed such as gamification of fixed odds and also the creation of social feeds, nonetheless, the topic centred around one major factor – Increasing user experience.
“Engagement is super important. We also believe in trust so many of our futures are based on transparency,” Anders Karlsen, CEO, Coolbet explained.
“I also believe that user experience is an underrated thing in our industry. Many of the operators have the same product, so I think it’s very important to focus innovation on user experience, because in the end, it’s about delivering the right content to the right users at the right time.”
Richard Hogg, the CCO of Betgames.tv, also highlighted the importance of creating correct innovations for fixed odds products, as he emphasised that the focus should always remain on keeping the casual bettor instead of tailoring to experts in the industry.
He said: “We’ve seen innovation in terms of betting markets, pricing and so forth but that has led to smart punters extracting more value out of those opportunities than the regular customer and the regular customers has lost those opportunities in some markets.
“For me, it’s about delivering a product which offers value, but it works or entices those who we want to retain as a business or to provide fun and opportunities. I look at Formula One, for example, Formula One presents itself with an enormous amount of betting opportunities, but it’s limited at the moment.
“So we have to be a bit more creative in the markets, the pricing and the customer engagement to make sure people aren’t over-stretching themselves and they are getting value from their betting opportunity.”
Innovation runs parallel to the topic of regulation with a growing emphasis on incumbents finding the correct balance to provide an engaging experience for punters within safer boundaries.
Whilst many assume gambling laws to be a restrictor for product enhancements, Betwarrior’s CEO Zeno Ossko looks at the positives and feels that regulation provides guidelines to allow innovation to occur.
Ossko commented: “Regulation provides a ground set of rules that we need to comply with and that opens up opportunities for innovation at the same time. Yes, it can be yes restricted when we compare it to the old days, but there’s plenty of opportunity within regulation as well to do things differently and to do them better than other companies.
“Responsible gaming is something that will drive innovation and product development. There’s lots to be done in that field. In terms of cost obviously if you need to comply with regulation, that always comes with an associated cost. There’s no way there’s no way around that. But generally, I think regulation provides opportunity to innovate.”
However, Thanos Rigas, the Sports Team Director of OPAP, raised concerns on regulations becoming restrictive, with regards to player engagement and the amount of information that customers will be provided.
“Is regualtion affecting innovation? Of course it does because it sets the rules. So the rules set the limits,” said Rigas. “I think that as years go by the more mature markets, the ones that they started regulating betting in the early 00’s I think they have created a relatively sensible approach. When they came later, usually they start a little bit more restrictive and then they start to loosen up things, as they realise that it’s just another type of business.”
“So what I would foresee in the future would be that there will be some problems in terms of the engagement of the customer, and how much information you’re allowed to give.”
As the panel, which was moderated by Propus Partners’ partner and founder Marc Thomas, came to an end Ossko shared his final thoughts on why the fixed odds industry needs to continue innovating.
He concluded: “We need to innovate, right? We’re competing with people’s time in a way. We’re competing with Facebook, we’re competing with Netflix, etc. So if we don’t keep working on our products at some point, we might become irrelevant, so that’s why we need to keep on pushing.”
SBC Summit Barcelona – Digital is a FREE to attend virtual conference and exhibition running from 8-11 September. To register for your free ticket or find out more please visit – https://sbcevents.com/sbc-summit-barcelona-digital/