Boris Chaikin, CEO at Soft2Bet, talks to SBC News about boosting its catalogue of esports and virtual sports titles at the first sign of disruption to live sports, using the ‘hiatus’ to apply a raft of fresh features, and how the the crisis has magnified the need for white label providers to cover non-mainstream sports alongside traditional favourites.
SBC: With the company having both a sportsbook and casino, how important is it to have product diversification within brands?
BC: Of course, a diverse product offering is essential, but now more so than ever it’s vital to provide a premium quality customer experience.
Our groundbreaking new aggregation platform, FEZbet, boasts a varied range of immersive entertainment options, from best-in-class virtual sports betting markets to over 3000 casino games from 35 of the industry’s best-known suppliers. Both diversity and quality are therefore necessary to enhance commercial performance.
SBC: Did you need to extend your range of virtual sports and esports content?
BC: We boosted our virtuals and esports catalogues immediately after the first signs of disruption to live sports. In challenging times, it’s vital to step up to the plate with an agile, dynamic and rapid response. At Soft2Bet, we’re proud to have done exactly that.
We’ve found virtuals to be particularly helpful in retaining existing customers, while esports have proved effective in attracting new audiences. Utilising the latest technology is a crucial part of appealing to the new, tech-savvy generation of players, as is demonstrated by the recent growth of the esports market.
SBC: With live sports on the sidelines, how has it impacted Soft2Bet’s own roadmap?
BC: We have used the hiatus on live sports to enhance our existing product range with a raft of fresh features and modules. Our latest B2B offering, FEZbet, is packed with innovative gamification tools as well as state-of-the-art casino, alternative sports and virtuals options. The situation is far from over, but we expect to emerge stronger.
SBC: Are you feeling any pressure from white label partners to deliver more content, and has non-traditional sports content made an impact?
BC: Keeping closely attuned to the latest industry trends was imperative to our success before the current situation, but it has now taken on a renewed importance. We offered an immersive and diverse range of sports betting markets prior to the outbreak, so in many ways the current climate has accelerated a process which had already begun.
Our portfolio spans non-mainstream sporting events such as table tennis, through to more traditional markets including football and basketball.
SBC: Will there be a big shift back to live sports, or will people stick with the casino?
BC: We anticipate a sudden increase in sportsbook activity once all of the top football leagues have resumed. This uptick will be caused by two groups – players who stopped betting altogether once mainstream sports betting markets shut, and those who shifted to another vertical (such as casino or virtuals) at that time.
Figures show that the sports betting vertical experienced a 20-25% increase in traffic as a result of the Bundesliga’s recent resumption. This would suggest that, once the rest of Europe’s most popular football leagues re-start, we can expect a major boost in sports betting markets.
SBC: What does the future hold for casino?
BC: Our sports products are likely to see significant growth when live fixtures are back up and running. As fans around the world eagerly await their team’s return to action, we expect many of them to start placing bets again when live games resume.
Nevertheless, it also remains possible for the casino sector to retain the new customers it has attracted as a result of the disruption to sport. Crucial to this will be providing the type of high-quality offering that encourages players to return.
With a plethora of thrilling games from renowned suppliers such as Microgaming, BetSoft and Play’n GO, our market leading casino suite does just that.