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BetStars Managing Director Zeno Ossko: Assessing the legislative and technological industry developments at #boscon2017

Ahead of Betting on Sports 2017 (12-15 September), BetStars Managing Director Zeno Ossko, part of both the ‘Marketing – Changing dynamics in strategy and planning‘ and ‘World Cup 2018 – The road to Russia‘ sessions at next month’s event, spoke to SBC News about what he’s looking forward to at #boscon2017 and what sports partnership has stood out over the last 12 months.

SBC: Why is it important for you to speak at Betting on Sports?

ZO: BetStars is an up and coming sportsbook brand. We come from a company with big expectations, both of ourselves and on the product that we offer. I’d like the chance for those in the industry and trade press to better understand where BetStars is headed as part of the wider Group.

SBC: What are you looking forward to at Betting on Sports?

ZO: Betting on Sports has a packed agenda, which reflects the challenges and opportunities that the industry currently faces. Of course, I will be keenly interested to hear what my competitive peers are doing, but mostly I’m looking to learn on two fronts: how cutting edge legislative developments and new technological developments may open new markets and opportunities.

While we know that no one is going to reveal the next big game changer out of hand, discussing and understanding market trends make sense for all. Sportsbooks have always competed against each other, but in today’s digital world our entire industry is competing for attention and digital spend against broader opposition. We meet greater success together.

SBC: Where can betting work together more closely with sport?

ZO: One of the biggest challenges that official sports organisations have is regarding integrity, which is why supporting bodies like ESSA is so vital. While there’s not a huge problem in terms of public perception in terms on match fixing currently, it could easily become a hot topic and we, the operators, should play our part in stamping out problems before they begin.

SBC: What sports betting partnership has stood out in the past 12 months?

ZO: Rather than a partnership with an individual club or association, I’d go for a partnership between a bookmaker and a sport; specifically, William Hill taking every opportunity to occupy the racing space in the UK. As well as sponsoring ITV’s new terrestrial coverage of the sport, William Hill have kept pictures in their shops and came up with a solid central promotional idea which is easy for customers to understand.

They have also cherry-picked which high profile racing events they sponsor, the most recent being the St Leger announcement (the race is Sept 16). As an overall package, it has kept them front of mind for the racing punter and stopped them experiencing some of the racing losses (both OTC and digital) experienced by some competitors.

SBC: Describe your perfect sporting event

ZO: My perfect sporting event is El Clásico, ideally with the same result as the first one I saw in Camp Nou 1989 with Barcelona beating Real Madrid 3-1. Back then Camp Nou still had a capacity of over 100,000 and I remember it being packed!

My dad took me to the stadium and I will never forget the intensity of that day and this is the reason I love live football. You can never get that same feeling at home or at the pub. I am a Barcelona fan in case you hadn’t realised…

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