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OPTIMA’s Jacob Lopez: The evolving relationship between online, OTC and self service betting

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Jacob Lopez, Optima

As CEO of OPTIMA, a leading supplier of sports betting and gaming provisions, Jacob Lopez is in an optimal position to analyse how betting platforms will develop and maintain relationships between retail, digital and self-service stakeholders as consumer demands and technologies evolve. 

The Seville based supplier, which boasts partners in Europe, Asia, Africa and America, has gone from strength to strength so far in 2017 with the help of its new server-less solution.

As over the counter (OTC) betting battles to retain relevance amidst a backdrop of constantly developing online and SSBT platforms, Lopez revealed that combining online and retail products is a must, because “the online product gives 24 hour access to the product, betting on the go and instant experiences whilst retail represents the proximity, social-in-person”.

Lopez identified the connection between the two engagement channels as key to enhancing the customer experience: “Many customers prefer to initiate their journey to betting at the venues, finalising it online, whilst many others prefer initiating their journey online, finalising it at the retail outlets. We see this all around the world, so having a platform that supports all the combinations and provides flexibility to players on their own journey to consume betting services, is key.”

He went on to reveal that Optima has developed solutions for the purpose of enhancing the connection between the different engagement channels, as it not only increases the number of in-play events and markets that can be offered online but also allows in-play betting OTC with exactly the same amount and number of markets that could be offered online, without delays.

This follows on from the release of the supplier’s award-winning iSHOP solution, which allows customers to place in-play and pre-match bets and live stream events from their own mobile devices at the retail venues without having to register an account, with future aspirations to add racing to its in-play offering.

When it comes to consistency between the online and in-shop offering, Lopez mapped out how operators can maintain the same levels of liability between the various channels, stating the importance of distributing data evenly onto channels that allows operators to have exactly the same content, including the pricing and promotions available across different channels, or have different pricing and promotions per channel, depending on their business and strategy.

He commented: “It permits the operator configuring what is offered in the SSBT and what is offered OTC, what promotions apply to SSBT and OTC, or to both, having a common loyalty system across all channels, without worrying about inconsistencies, and having full, segmented and real-time control on the liability from all channels, permitting visualisation and liability management in real time, fully aggregated, or split by channel and product.

“Our Multichannel Gaming Suite has not only the best OTC systems, but also, provides state-of-the-art SSBT software that is agnostic to cabinets, and that are fully connected to the operator’s system and managed as one additional channel from the Operator’s HQ; the perfect solution to ensure operators get the maximum out of their retail estate, with the minimum cost and the maximum flexibility.”

OPTIMA’s CEO will be joined by Head of Account Management and Customer Care Marta Nikolova as speakers at this week’s TVC Bookmakers Trade Fair (26 October).

Nikolova will discuss OPTIMA’s approach to self-service betting in an environment where bookmakers demand full consistency between the OTC product and the SSBT product offering, as well as full access to liability control and risk management tools.

Meanwhile, Lopez will analyse how technology can aid retail operators in innovating the product being offered, whilst at the same time reducing operational costs and increasing the availability of the betting services to their customers.

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