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Ian Catchick: the UK market is the ‘perfect fit’ for Twain Sport

SBC News Ian Catchick: the UK market is the ‘perfect fit’ for Twain SportThe UK is known for its affinity for sports content, among many other things. Whether it’s football, horse racing, rugby or even Formula 1, bettors in the UK are arguably some of the greatest consumers of sports in the world.

For betting companies, this presents a whole host of opportunities to tap into new audiences – an opportunity that BetGames and Twain Sport have grabbed with both hands.

Having received multiple new licences from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) back in April, BetGames already has grand plans to deliver its Twain Sport products to licensed operators within the market.

For Ian Catchick, Chief Product and Business Development Officer at BetGames (pictured, right), the UK market was the ‘perfect match’ for Twain Sport products for two key reasons: size and sports.

He began: “Aside from the obvious market size and maturity of the UK gambling space, we’ve seen that there is a real mix between the content that we have and the companies we have partnered with. It seemed like the UK was the perfect match for us.

“We’ve got some really engaging, high quality, high frequency content that we’ve enhanced even further with our new sports vertical. We’ve also recently launched our Twain Sport products on a 24/7 basis, meaning that players can place a bet 30 times every hour for 24 hours a day.

“Our Twain Sport product seems to be something that has been particularly appealing to the UK customer, and it’s a product we believe will only grow further.”

BetGames has already established itself as a leading player within the sports content space, with a presence in multiple markets.

While the UK presents a great opportunity to expand its global footprint, Catchick explained that the company has had to take a more nuanced approach to meet the demands of UK bettors.

He continued: “In essence, the UK customer is very experienced, educated and a more mature customer versus the bettors that we see in emerging territories. But there is one thing that we know works across the world: high quality, rich content that is simple to understand and easy to play. The content shouldn’t be expensive nor time consuming for bettors either.

“From our time operating in international markets, this is something that we have learnt and applied to our strategy going forward, especially for the UK market.

“We’ve got a number of different products in our portfolio. Some of those work particularly well in some markets, and other markets prefer something slightly different. For Twain Sport, whilst we launched the basketball product first, the second product that we launched was football-themed. We have certainly seen that the appetite for this second product to be greater than basketball in markets such as the UK. I would note, however, that basketball is very popular in a number of other territories, and also has an loyal following amongst some Ulk consumers.

“But we have a big portfolio. It’s not just our sports vertical, and we will also be introducing more sports into that vertical – including our casino and game show verticals that we’re rolling out. I have every confidence that these will prove to be very popular in the UK.”

Round the clock coverage

A portion of the content that will be launched in the UK market will be pre-recorded, Catchick told SBC News. By doing this, it means that the Twain Sport content is available to its partners on a 24/7 basis. However, this hasn’t come without its own unique set of challenges.

Catchick said: “Our content is recorded, but it is high quality, live content. So, what players see are live matches. We’ve spent a long time launching Twain Sport competitive live products, and ensuring that the content was the highest possible quality.

“The big challenge for us was making sure that content is available 24 hours a day. As you can imagine, it’s quite a complex, costly operation to have live sports running around the clock.

“Effectively what we’ve done is we’ve increased the frequency of games with recordings of previously played real matches played competitively by professional athletes. We’ve simplified some of the scoring too. This has enabled us to give Twain Sport games a 24-hour schedule, where players can get in on the action from anywhere in the world, including in the UK.

“To put it in simple terms, our simplified scoring combined with high frequency, high qualitycontent makes Twain Sport the perfect product for UK bettors.”

The conversation soon turned towards the security and integrity of pre-recorded products and the benefits that this can bring to BetGames’ partners. For the Chief Product and Business Development Officer, pre-recorded content “can’t get much safer”.

He added: “For pre-recorded content, there are a number of possible outcomes for each game which are determined by an RNG. Everything is certified, the content is real. We know all of the outcomes are legitimate and there’s no way that the outcomes of a game can be influenced in any way. It’s very safe.

“From a partner perspective, it also gives them an opportunity to place their branding within our pre-recorded content – an opportunity they might not have otherwise had. It helps bridge that gap between promoting your brand and the cost of live dealers and athletes.”

The odd flutter

Providing 24/7 content is arguably something that sets Twain Sport products apart from the crowd, however Catchick drew particular attention towards the fact that offering betting products on a consistent basis must be done in a responsible manner.

By analysing Twain Sport’s presence in global markets, Catchick explained that players engaging with both T-Basket and T-Kick are often doing so in a ‘low-stake, entertainment-driven’ fashion. This recreational betting trend is arguably something that will enable Twain Sport to scale its product further.

He continued: “At BetGames, we’re very confident and proud of the products that we have created. What we offer is something that, in terms of scale, is much lower risk for bettors.

“We’ve seen that on a global level, players are tending to enjoy their sessions but aren’t spending huge amounts either – their stakes are much lower, they’re understanding what’s going on. Generally speaking, they’re just having a flutter and enjoying the content we have on offer.

“We firmly believe that with this kind of engaging, high quality content combined with the simplicity and trends of player behaviours that we’ve seen around the world, the changing regulations in the UK shouldn’t be a problem.

“Ultimately what we want to do is provide people with short-form, but engaging betting content that is very much focused on the recreational, entertainment side of gambling.”

The recreational, entertainment side of betting was pinpointed as being a top priority for BetGames and Twain Sport as it expands further into the UK.

When asked about whether the fast-paced nature of T-Kick and T-Basket presented any challenges over responsible gambling, Catchick pointed out that Twain Sport’s products are inherently designed towards low-stake bettors.

Catchick said: “If you look at BetGames and the frequency of play in the BetGames portfolio versus the majority of the live dealer portfolio, you’ll see that actually the scheduled frequency of games is much lower. We are not focussed on just getting more content out there – instead, we’re much more focussed on making that content enjoyable.

“Even with the user interface and the way in which you place your bets, we’re trying to give players a lot of time to make their bet choices and make informed betting decisions. We don’t just want them to keep flowing into the next game.

“We’re really proud of what we’re doing. For our 24/7 product, if you think about that, there’s a game taking place every two minutes compared to some traditional table games, where there may be a game taking place every 40 seconds or less. We’re not really looking to create the type of betting experience that drives high volatility and high spend.

“We want players to have an entertainment-driven experience and help people make the most of our products. Someone once said that ‘players don’t lose their shirt with BetGames’ and we want that to remain true.”

Towards the future

Looking towards what the remainder of this year holds for BetGames and Twain Sports as it makes its mark in the UK market, bettors can expect to see a number of new products from the supplier.

As Catchick highlighted, much of the content will take more of an “experiential” approach – meeting a demand seen from both partners and bettors within the UK.

He concluded: “Looking forward to the remainder of this year, we have our 24/7 product vertical. Our T-Kick and T-Basket products will go live with this. We’re also going to introduce a range of both live and pre-recorded content that sits across all three of our verticals – sports, live casino and game shows.

“We see that there is still a really strong demand for experiential content, players aren’t necessarily demanding that this is live. We’ve found our partners prefer live experiences, but in many cases, they’re concerned that this comes at a premium.

“But at BetGames, we’ve got a nice balance where we can offer a mix of live, physical content as well as pre-recorded that focuses on some of our core competencies around broadcast and streaming. Ultimately, we’re giving our partners the best value we can.”

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