Looking back at the show business

Marc PedersenMarc Pedersen, SBC’s new affiliate correspondent, gives his insight into attending LAC and ICE 2014, from a media partner perspective.

While ICE and LAC are two very different events, catering for different audiences, there is a universal truth behind both of them – making money out of gambling.

Working for an igaming and sports betting portal – bettingexpert – our approach to the conference season differs to other businesses. We treat the ‘gaming conference season’ as a good platform for fact-finding and industry insight at the start of the year. This does not imply that our business strays from sales development or generating potential new business leads, but rather that as a team we use the content and context of both conferences to help us operationally.

As an igaming and sports betting portal, it is easier for us to take this approach as we are not directly burdened with selling a product or new services to potential clients whilst attending these conferences, although during LAC I personally concentrate a lot on business development side. This allows my team to step back and analyse what the conference exhibitors and organisers are projecting to us, and what this tells us about the state of the industry.

Wandering the conference’s floors is a vital for our educational approach, as we try to gather insight which will help us gauge where our industry is heading. We also place a high emphasis on exploring new technologies in gaming and its distribution/delivery to customers that we feel may be disruptive. As a sports betting portal that channels players to sports betting and gaming brands, we need to stay ahead of the curve. Gathering knowledge and research is therefore key to our long term success.

At ICE, mobile was the technology being pushed by all developers. Whilst speaking to many sales representatives who believed their products to be the best, eagerly pointing to new features and developments on tablet and mobile screens, many could not give in-depth details regarding mobile igaming operations and retention needed to optimise player journey and performance.

Attending the ICE conference sessions, mobile convergence was a key theme discussed. Whilst much concentration had been focused on product delivery via mobile channels, other key facets in the operational cycle had been strained by developers focus on delivering output of products. Another important factor displayed was that of mass data being generated by gaming operators and how companies would have to adapt their operations and marketing teams to tackle this issue and make it effective.

At LAC the well-established iGaming operators were all doing a good job, but it was a little disappointing that there wasn’t more innovation in terms of their physical display at LAC and in their affiliate programmes. Yet Mr Green, Leo Vegas, and ComeOn Casino, all relatively newer operators at LAC, impressed with strong products and well-structured affiliate programmes.

There was also a lot of talk dedicated to new channels being delivered to players and most operators we spoke to also discussed refinement or optimisation of players gained through new technologies.

While, as a media partner, we are glad that operators can deliver new products and inventory to players, does the industry have the right operational protocols to keep these players active? It seems to us though that operators are not paying enough attention to the possibilities APIs offer. Furthermore do they understand a player’s activity on their new products? Finding the answers to these questions will be key to industry progress.

 

Marc Pedersen is Head of Sales for Europe’s largest sports betting portal bettingexpert.com

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