Don Best Sports 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 Don Best Managing Director Benjie Cherniak 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?
BC: Football is a global language. Billions of people globally support or follow clubs. It is easy to understand and easy to invest knowledge and opinions into wagering on events. In North America and some of our key markets in Central and Latin America, astute punters have access to information that makes it more interesting to wager on less familiar football events alongside the ‘evergreen’ top leagues. An example would be that MLS (shown locally) is a popular league to follow and wager on in countries such as Panama, Honduras and Mexico.
SBC: From a consumer perspective, how is football betting changing?
BC: From the Don Best perspective – looking at the North American and Latin American markets – we are seeing a seismic shift to in-play wagering that of course Europeans and Asians have now been long accustomed to. Similarly, there has been a marked increase in operating and technology partners who are moving to fully automated wagering across the event life-cycle – away from per head and credit/agency-type betting. The power now lies with bettors who can wager through their portable devices and their associated payment systems. We are also seeing punters in Latin America bet Asian Handicaps – something they were long unfamiliar with.
SBC: How can betting & football stakeholders work better and more effectively together?
BC: Transparency and integrity is the key. The game itself always needs to be protected in order for the offering to remain high-value to both the stakeholders and the punters. We see that where leagues operate under the fog of corruption or other dubious issues, the value to betting stakeholders decreases and the product suffers overall. We have seen leagues essentially collapse in some cases (such as in South Asia) or act as vehicles for event manipulation.
SBC: What new technology do you feel will have the biggest impact on football betting?
BC: Fully integrated, low-latency media and betting platforms are the future – especially where optimized for portable devices. As data and media rights continue to converge, the ability to bet in real-time on any event while watching that event on your phone will emerge as a widespread reality.
SBC: What key agenda, debate or discussion do you want to hear at BOFCON 2017?
BC: As a proud BOFCON panel sponsor, we are very excited to discuss and debate synergies between the global football market and the North American environment while simultaneously clarifying opinions on the legislative and commercial state of play regarding sports betting in the North American market as a whole. As for the abundance of panel options, we are especially keen to hear latest state of play in Asia, CIS, Spain, and Latin America.