Secure Trading 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 Secure Trading Head of International Gaming Bryan Blake 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?
BB: Football is an extremely popular sport worldwide, which is very easy to follow and with rules that are almost universally known and understood. Without the need to research and acquire intimate knowledge of the sport, it’s an easy game to bet on, and there are a multitude of options depending on how into it you are and how much knowledge you have.
You can simply bet on your team, a side that catches your interest, or any number of combination of players, goals or outcomes. This, combined with the feeling that you are yourself competing against a million fans around the world, makes it exceptionally engaging and exciting for punters.
SBC: From a consumer perspective, how is football betting changing?
BB: Developments in technology have made real-time and live betting far easier, fairer and more accessible, which has given more choice and control to the consumer. For example, there are many more options for betting during the game today than there were a couple of years ago.
With the talk of Television Match Official (TMO) or video refereeing coming into play in football, digital will be brought ever closer to the gameplay. As a result, I expect the trend of increasing choice to continue, as audiences in-turn get that bit closer to the game.
SBC: How can betting & football stakeholders work better and more effectively together?
BB: Within the industry, there is room for those in betting and those on the pitch to work better together. Match fixing is just one example of where there needs to be more effort to retain integrity both within the betting companies and the clubs themselves. Player awareness needs to be raised to the issue, and the wide-ranging consequences to foul-play.
SBC: What new technology do you feel will have the biggest impact on football betting?
BB: Once implemented, television monitoring is really going to have an effect on game decisions, and therefore on the betting industry. The referee’s initial response will no longer play such a key role, with TMO being deployed to override a wrong decision. This will help make results fairer – which is important for those with money riding on a game. Only time will tell, however, exactly the effect this will have on the popularity of football betting.
SBC: What key agenda, debate or discussion do you want to hear at BOFCON 2017?
BB: Focusing on the payments side of sports betting, I’m interested to hear how companies are preparing for the fourth Anti-Money Laundering (4 MLD) legislation this year. This directive is set to drastically change the face of the betting industry by expanding the coverage of regulations to all gaming operators, not just casino – with specific reference to online gambling.
Non-compliance will come at a hefty price – with large fines already laid out, as well as the threat of companies losing their operating licence for large offences, not to mention the reputation damage. If they haven’t already, operators taking online payments across the EU need to take urgent steps now to comply – specifically by putting in place the appropriate Know Your Customer (KYC) measures and a Money Laundering /Terrorism Financing (ML/TF) risk assessment in place.
At Secure Trading, we are interested to see how the industry is responding at the show.