Jacob Lopez Curciel is the Founder, Chairman and CEO for OPTIMA, a licensed B2B Software Developer of sports betting and gaming solutions with partners in Europe, Asia, Africa and America.
OPTIMA has been confirmed as the Platinum event sponsor for next month’s Betting on Sports, held at the Olympia Conference Centre from 12-15 September.
The company will present software platform OPTIMA MGS, while Lopez will headline the ‘After the off: Opportunities in live betting’ session, part of the Betting on Racing track on 13 September.
Ahead of #boscon2017, Lopez spoke to SBC News about what has drawn him to the debate around live betting, and where he believes horse racing customers are being under served by the industry.
SBC: Hi Jacob, great to catch up. As an industry leader in technology and platform services, what draws you to the debate around live betting and horse racing?
JL: Everyone already knows that horse racing in the UK and Republic of Ireland is a big part of the bookmakers’ revenues. As a platform supplier with a significant presence in the UK and ROI markets, we believe our contributions are important regarding the support we offer to content providers and operators to provide innovative, high performing products and tools that help operator brands, to keep their offer fresh and relevant in a competitive market.
It is crucial for an operator to have the flexibility and time to market which we take as a guiding principle for our business, but also supplying platforms that can process all the content and service critical horse racing data and services the suppliers offer, in real time and across all channels, seamlessly for the operator.
Live horse racing betting requires platforms to perform at a very high level to ensure operators are getting the maximum return on investment for the premium content and media acquired from the different suppliers in the market. Promotions and data analysis is also an essential part of creating the right user journey to deliver new products such as live horse racing betting.
At OPTIMA, we provide all angles for operators to offer the latest products in the horse racing vertical. Our platform has a mature and high-performance horse racing product with trading and pricing engine. It affords, flexibility on using multiple data suppliers amalgamated in our proprietary content integration system, providing the fastest platform in the market. It is entirely Omni-Channel integration and platform management, with an adaptive and flexible promotion system, paired with strategically established integration teams to be the first in taking new products to market.
SBC: Where do you believe that racing customers are being under served by industry services and provisions?
JL: The availability of services for racing customers is wide and considering under served, is perhaps not the correct assumption.
New technologies allow new services and products to be created, and as such, new racing products have been brought to market. Products that incorporate AI, AR, IoT, and VR, are now used in other sports to gather and process more accurate data and to present the data in the right context, at a deeper engagement level for the player, at the right time, will become the norm for horse racing.
SBC: From a data and engagement perspective, how is horse racing unique to other sports, and what are the difficulties of developing tailored products for racing consumers?
JL: As in every mature market, innovating is one of the ways to increase market share and make a differentiation between operators. The right data analysis and focus in the user journey are the keys to creating new products for operators who want to make themselves noticeable in the market. The challenges come from the fact that while horse racing has a big significance in the UK/ROI markets, there are other sports, football, tennis, which have a much wider international reach, more requests and prototypes resulting in more comprehensive offer for new products and services
SBC: From a wider stakeholder perspective, does horse racing need to be ‘reintroduced’ or ‘rethought’ to engage new consumers?
JL: Racing will be enhanced with new technologies and products that will improve the customer experience overall, as such, those new products will require launching with the right platform, a clear user journey and marketing messages that will be simple, fair and straight, and understood by such a new customer audience. Hence reintroduced, yes, rethought, as well, always without forgetting that our consumers like the traditional products available today and those must also be improved.