SBC News LSports: the sports betting industry finds itself at a crucial crossroad in 2023
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LSports: the sports betting industry finds itself at a crucial crossroad in 2023

With skyrocketing customer acquisition costs and a consolidated market making it difficult to differentiate from competitors, these are challenging times for sportsbooks wishing to thrive in a competitive industry. 

We spoke with Dotan Lazar, Co-Founder and CEO of LSports, alongside Chief Revenue Officer Yoav Ziv and Chief Technology Officer Avri Simon to gain insights into the current state of the sports betting industry and their views on potential developments.

SBC News LSports: the sports betting industry finds itself at a crucial crossroad in 2023SBC: Dotan, can you begin by giving us your general overview of where the sports betting industry is right now?

DL: I think the industry as a whole is at a crucial yet intriguing crossroads. In a reality where only a small percentage of users who visit bookies’ sites end up placing bets, acquiring new customers can cost thousands of dollars.

Engagement and retention, therefore, become paramount, but to achieve both, bookies need to differentiate themselves, and that’s a challenging task in an industry dominated by significant mergers and acquisitions and flooded with similar tools.”

SBC: Given that high acquisition costs and a competitive landscape is the reality, how do you see the situation unfolding?

DL: The way I see it, the big players will likely find a way to survive, but the rest will continue to struggle and face the risk of fading unless they embrace innovation and find new differentiators. Solutions to their trouble spots are already out there, so it’s all about monitoring the market trends, now and in the future, and adopting the right tools to stay relevant and competitive.”

SBC: What role does LSports play in differentiating your partners from the competition?

DL: Given all that is happening around us, we established a long-term product vision. Alongside TRADE360, LSports’ state-of-the-art sports trading system that provides bookies with exclusive game-changing capabilities and a segmented recommendation system, we offer a suite of cutting-edge and fully personalised tools. These tools effectively address the challenges of differentiation and enhance bettor engagement.

SBC News LSports: the sports betting industry finds itself at a crucial crossroad in 2023SBC: Yoav, in your role as CRO, what are the major pain points you hear about from clients?

YZ: You’ve already mentioned the unreasonable and unprecedented costs of acquiring new customers. With numbers reaching 5,000 dollars in the US, many companies that have suffered that effect are recalibrating their strategy and investing in retention.

Secondly, the prices sportsbooks pay for data are increasing, limiting them from creating a positive ROI. In addition to the fragile global economic state, bookies are pushed to seek more cost-effective solutions, hoping not to compromise on the data accuracy and latency.

SBC: Are you witnessing an increased demand for specific services or products?

YZ: To pick up on my last answer, 2023 for me is “the year of retention.” Sportsbooks are still looking for extended data coverage, new sports, leagues, and markets, but the demand for interactive engagement tools is surging. 

Users spend only three minutes on average on bookies’ sites, which drives operators and data providers to try enriching their bettors’ experience. 

SBC: “The year of retention” is an interesting statement! How does LSports address this?

YZ: With a set of betting stimulation products aimed to provide users with a modern, interactive adventure. We effectively created a ChatGPT for sports betting, which is incredible. 

We also now develop an interactive social betting tool that offers users contests and activations on real-time sporting events, adding even more excitement to the process. Both products will assist bookies in retaining users.

We know our products will go as far as our data lets them, so with a vision of being “the Google of sports betting” in mind, we have also bolstered our data collection sources by using scouts in sports venues. Along with our other sources, we hope to be the most trustworthy source for data in the market, with accuracy levels nearing 100%.

SBC News LSports: the sports betting industry finds itself at a crucial crossroad in 2023SBC: And Avri, we’ve mentioned the challenging place sportsbooks are in today’s industry. How are sports data providers affected by it?

AS: The challenges sportsbooks face are largely influenced by the surge in bettors’ demand for accurate fast-delivered data, so naturally, sports data providers are affected too. The amount of information leading sports data providers need to deal with these days is massive. 

At LSports, we’re talking dozens of terabytes from over 100 live sources, a scale comparable to what LinkedIn and Twitter encounter. There is no way of collecting this data, verifying its credibility, and configuring it to customers’ preferences in real-time without using state-of-the-art systems.

SBC: What about additional challenges?  

AS: After the data collection and processing, it’s about how well data providers utilise technology to create data-based products. I can only speak about what we do at LSports, where two of the company’s flagship products demonstrate the use of tech. 

On the data collection side, we use highly advanced computer vision methods to extract information from live videos of sporting events, which significantly increase our accuracy levels.
SBC News LSports: the sports betting industry finds itself at a crucial crossroad in 2023On the customer-facing side, Yoav mentioned SEC (Sports Expert Chat), a large language model utilising similar technology to ChatGPT, which serves as a sports advisor for bettors. It analyses bookies’ odds and provides users with data-driven tips, while offering information about the event, such as news, weather, and statistics. SEC assists operators on the engagement side in an era where users seek extensive data.

SBC: What do you think the future holds for the sports data providers’ landscape?

AS: Dotan’s earlier analysis mentioned that sportsbooks will be left behind unless they become proactive. The same applies to data providers who fail to identify trends and develop new capabilities quickly. In this pivotal technological era, I strongly believe that even the slightest setback or hesitation can have severe consequences for data providers that won’t adapt and innovate.

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