Amidst a plethora of exciting and engaging football storylines, the FIFA World Cup in Russia is ready to provide an unrivalled opportunity for global betting operators.
Claus Rasmussen, CEO for leading platform provider SB Betting Software, explained his company’s focus on developing a robust bonus and loyalty system, and why allowing clients such as Europebet and forBET to combine multiple bonuses will drive them to success at this summer’s eagerly anticipated tournament.
SBC: We’d like to begin by inviting you to briefly describe what it is you do, and what role SB Betting has to play in the sports betting and gaming industries?
Claus Rasmussen: Currently I hold the role of Chief Executive Officer, I set the general strategy and direction in which SB Betting is going as well as create and maintain strategic partnerships with other companies in the industry. SB Betting has unique roles in the sports betting and gaming industries – we are the bridge that connects the gaming operators with companies offering gaming products which gives the former additional exposure in various markets all over the world and the latter high quality products for their players.
In addition to that we are a springboard for new operators who are looking for bespoke software to differentiate themselves from existing competition and for established operators who either want to promote their brand in new market like Africa or Europe or are looking for software that gives them a lot of customisation to choose from – which is crucial these days when there are hundreds of similarly looking online and retail operators across the world. With over 8 years of experience as a software provider and over 20 years on sports betting market in general we have a lot of experience and ideas to share with our clients.
SBC: Can you expand on your work with existing clients, including your commitment to servicing those signed in 2018?
CR: At the moment we work with over 20 different clients, mostly from Europe and Africa. They are different in size of their operations as we have big operators like Europebet (part of Betsson Group), forBET and PremierBet (part of Editec) and offer regular betting online but also in retail shops, via mobile applications, betting terminals and USSD technology. Our oldest clients have been with us since 2011 thus making us one of the pioneers in the African sports betting market. It has been a busy year for us so far due to World Cup in Russia. We have helped two new clients to launch their operations already and we plan to double this number before the start of World Cup. Of course we are not forgetting about our current partners as we have new website layouts and new betting features ready for the most important sports betting event this year.
SBC: What has been your approach to the emerging African market? Which countries hold the greatest attraction for SB Betting?
CR: African market is absolutely unique. In most of the countries the sports betting revolves around retail shops where people meet to discuss the sports, the bets they place and watch their favourite teams playing. They can spend whole day like this which confirms the famous quote that soccer isn’t like a religion in Africa, it is bigger than religion – and we have experienced it firsthand numerous times.
The people in African market are very passionate which poses a lot of challenge for us as a software company. We have to constantly look for innovations to ensure that the betting experience is as seamless as possible and to offer as many betting options as possible. Currently we are present in over a dozen of African countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania to name few but we are always open for new opportunities that can offer different challenges related to either betting customs or technological obstacles but also different rewards.
SBC: How important is your presence in Eastern Europe, particularly in countries such as Poland, Georgia and Ukraine, ahead of this summer’s World Cup?
CR: The fact that this summer’s World Cup is in Russia makes us concentrating especially on our mobile solutions. Even if Georgia and Ukraine do not participate in World Cup this time, a lot of their citizens will be travelling to Russia to watch the matches live at the stadium, pub or designated fan zones.
This leaves them to place bets from their online accounts using smartphones, tablets or laptops and we want to make the betting experience to be as smooth as possible so they can place their bets quickly and enjoy the match. And if they can’t watch it for some reason we also want to give them as much information about the World Cup as possible by integrating live event trackers and statistics centres.
SBC: Can you disclose any of the unique custom features you are developing for clients?
CR: This year we have been focusing a lot on the general aspect of risk management. For months we have been gathering feedback from our clients in terms of player segregation, liability limits, monitoring of betting patterns to develop new tools that will help them in their daily work. Also as the competition between operators is rising and a simple first deposit bonus is no longer attractive to the players, we have developed a robust bonus/loyalty system where the client can virtually set any bonus conditions, allow combining multiple bonuses and create various loyalty programs both long-term and event specific.