We spoke to Keith O’Loughlin, SVP – Sportsbook at SG Digital – the digital division of Scientific Games confirmed as a ‘Headline Sponsor’ for this month’s Betting on Football conference.
Ahead of the event, which takes place at Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge from 19-22 March, we asked him about SG Digital’s #bofcon exhibition plans, what parts of the conference agenda have caught his eye, and whether he thinks the speed of this innovation will slow in the absence of a major football tournament.
SBC: What are you looking forward to at Betting on Football?
KOL: The sports betting industry is evolving consistently, and football has been at the front and center of this change. The sport has been a driver of many industry innovations including betting-in-play.
With that, SBC’s Betting on Football attracts the real leaders of the industry who are keen to see where this industry is heading and who want to play a part in driving exciting sports betting player experiences in the future.
An opportunity to witness the culmination of years of innovation and hard work is a unique rush, and that’s what Betting on Football represents.
To put it simply, Betting on Football is an opportunity to take it all in and see first-hand the strides that industry stakeholders are making in creating innovative experiences for our players.
SBC: What are you promoting at Betting on Football?
KOL: We’ve amped up our award-winning sportsbook solution to better serve the needs of our partners. Our acquisition of Don Best Sports and the addition of our Sportsbook Operations team in Gibraltar have significantly improved our world-class proposition with marketing services and day-to-day sportsbook management.
We can now offer a full suite of sports betting solutions with one seamless install, and we’re excited to show attendees how it all works together.
SBC: What industry innovation will capture the most attention in 2019?
KOL: Betting has evolved over the years from transaction to an experience. The industry’s journey, which started with traders writing prices on the wall, is moving to largely automated, algorithm-driven models. At Scientific Games, we are looking ahead to a future for sports betting where a majority of bets placed will be created uniquely.
The unrestricted opportunity to ‘build a bet,’ however varied this might be, is what the future betting experience looks like both from an online app and retail perspective – a future which will bring about a complete rethink around risk management.
SBC: Do you expect the speed of innovation to slow in the absence of a major football tournament?
KOL: Not at all – in fact, I think it leaves the industry open to more innovation than ever before. When the World Cup happens, everything else comes to a stop. Customers want their products live and stable, and we remain laser-focused on that. Between tournaments, though, we can ramp up R&D so the best and brightest advancements are polished by the time the next one hits.
SBC: How can betting and football stakeholders work together more effectively?
KOL: Betting and football naturally go hand in hand. They both engage emotionally with sports fans in a unique way. Executing an aligned gamified strategy to offer end to end experiences to the audience is key for the future success. The best way for betting and football stakeholders to work together is through collaboration driving common interests.
When sporting stakeholders simply charge a tax or fee to betting companies, it’s not a very favourable model. It can be far more effective with both stakeholders working in partnership to create value that drives revenue for both.
SBC: Which parts of the conference agenda have caught your eye?
KOL: Actually, I am looking forward to the Marketing sessions this year. The industry is ripe with innovation, but that’s just one small part of the equation. If you have a winning product, you have to position it deftly to reach new punters and keep loyal ones engaged. I’m excited to hear experts give their view on the topic during a time of such rapid expansion.
Betting on Football, held from 19-22 March, is the only trade conference that brings together decision makers from international operators to address the recent issues and opportunities in the sports betting industry.
Stamford Bridge provides the perfect setting for 200 expert speakers across 40 sessions, including high level business and networking opportunities for key suppliers, top affiliates and sports clubs & organisations to meet with the operators.
For tickets and more information about the event, please visit the Betting on Football website.