Soft2Bet: turning regulatory challenges into new opportunities

Soft2Bet: turning regulatory challenges into new opportunities

David Yatom Hay, Soft2Bet's General Counsel,The last year has been a busy one for Soft2Bet, with the igaming and sportsbook solution provider entering several new markets in the first half of the year alone. 

But according to David Yatom Hay (pictured, right), Soft2Bet’s General Counsel, this is just the tip of the iceberg, with big plans already in motion to pursue new, promising opportunities around the world.

He began: “2023 has been a transformative year for Soft2Bet, marked by strategic expansions and a deepened commitment to our global audience. Starting with Romania, our recent licensing achievement is a testament to our dedication to offering top-tier services in regulated markets. 

“This licence enables us to bring our state-of-the-art products and services to the Romanian audience, further strengthening our European foothold.”

The entry into the Greek market, Yatom told SBC News, was another “significant milestone” for the company as it enabled Soft2Bet to expand both its B2B and B2C presence.

When quizzed on why this market was primed for expansion, Yatom explained that the country’s gaming regulations, combined with a savvy player base, made it the perfect choice for Soft2Bet.

He continued: “The Greek market, with its consistent growth, presented an ideal landscape for our entry. With this licence, we’re now equipped to operate both a casino and sportsbook, catering to a wide range of player preferences. 

“Our gamification features, which have received acclaim in other regions, are set to enhance the gaming experience for our Greek clientele. Furthermore, our commitment to responsible gambling ensures that we provide a secure and enjoyable environment for all our players in the region.”

A commitment to compliance

Regulation was a defining factor in the decision to enter both Greece and Romania for Soft2Bet. 

And while regulation may sometimes stir up feelings of anxiety, the company was confident that the legislative landscape in both of these markets would be a clear indication of its commitment to compliance.

“Our approach to market selection is multifaceted and rooted in a deep understanding of the igaming landscape,” Yatom said. “One of our primary considerations is always the regulatory environment. We give precedence to regions with a clear and stable regulatory framework. 

“Securing licences, as we did in Romania and Greece, not only underscores our commitment to compliance but also lays a solid foundation for our operations.

“Equally important is assessing the market’s potential and its growth trajectory. For instance, when we looked at the emerging igaming scene in certain regions, we recognised immense opportunities aligned with our strengths and offerings.”

Focusing on regulated markets can also give igaming companies the opportunity to demonstrate their adaptability and commitment to responsible gaming practices, according to Yatom.

Soft2Bet’s General Counsel continued: “First and foremost, it’s essential to have a proactive approach. Instead of merely reacting to regulatory changes, we at Soft2Bet believe in staying informed and anticipating shifts. 

“This involves closely monitoring regulatory bodies, engaging in industry forums, and maintaining open channels of communication with regulators.

“A significant part of our success in navigating this landscape is our amazing compliance team. Their expertise and dedication ensure that we’re always aligned with the latest regulations. Additionally, we believe in the value of local insights, so we constantly collaborate with the best local experts to guide us in each region we operate in.”

To stay ahead of the curve on regulatory developments, Yatom shared that Soft2Bet utilises a combination of “continuous learning” and “fostering strong relationships”. This, they explained, ensures that player safety and overall experience is at the forefront of any market entry.

“At Soft2Bet, we view regulatory changes not as hurdles but as opportunities to reaffirm our commitment to responsible and innovative gaming,” he added.

Understanding the nuances

A key challenge that Soft2Bet identified when entering new global markets was the ways in which it catered to different player demographics. 

It goes without saying that players in different countries will have different preferences when it comes to sports betting and casino. But from an operational standpoint, it can be quite tricky to keep up to date with changing player demands. 

Yatom commented: “Now, entering a market is one thing, but truly resonating with the audience is another. That’s where understanding cultural nuances and player preferences comes into play. 

“We’re passionate about tailoring our offerings, ensuring they align with the unique tastes and preferences of players, whether they’re in Latin America or any other region.”

Understanding these nuances in player preferences is increasingly important as Soft2Bet continues to grow its global footprint. Without that ‘boots on the ground’ knowledge, it would be increasingly difficult to engage with bettors and, more importantly, retain them in the long term. 

Yatom added: “Understanding cultural nuances and player preferences is also vital. As we expand globally, we ensure our offerings resonate with local audiences. This not only enhances the player experience but also aligns with regional regulations and standards.

“Another key aspect is flexibility. Our industry is dynamic, and the ability to pivot and adapt to new regulations quickly is crucial. This means having agile operational processes in place and fostering a company culture that embraces change.

“The competitive landscape is also a crucial factor. In markets teeming with both domestic and international operators, our focus isn’t just on making an entry but on carving a niche for ourselves. We aim to differentiate through unique offerings and features that enhance the player experience.”

Creating a shared vision

The conversation soon turned towards the need to embrace transparent regulations, and the ways in which this can enable the igaming industry to pursue a shared vision across economics, investment and regulation. 

For Yatom, this shared vision is integral to the igaming industry’s development. They said: “Creating a shared vision across economics, investment, and regulation is pivotal for the igaming industry. At the heart of this vision is a clear regulatory framework. 

“By embracing transparent regulations, as we’ve done in regions like Romania and Greece, we lay the groundwork for a trusted environment. This trust is essential, not just for operators like us but also for players who engage with our platforms.”

From an economic standpoint, the General Counsel underlined that the igaming industry is capable of making significant contributions to local economies – whether that be through jobs or tax contributions.

He said: “Economically, it’s about more than just numbers. It’s about understanding the pulse of a market, recognising its potential, and tailoring our offerings to resonate with local audiences. 

“When we align our services with cultural nuances, we’re not only ensuring our economic contributions are impactful but also fostering a sustainable igaming ecosystem.

“Investment-wise, our approach is strategic. We don’t just aim to enter markets; we aim to thrive. This means differentiating ourselves, especially in competitive landscapes, and ensuring our investments elevate the industry standard.”

To achieve this, the industry needs to collaborate considerably more. Yatom explained that there should be open dialogues between all stakeholders across the industry – be it regulators, operators, or players, this collaboration and consistent conversation between different parties is essential.

He added: “It’s through these conversations that challenges are addressed and a shared vision is crafted. At Soft2Bet, our robust marketing partnerships and our commitment to these dialogues underscore our belief that, together, the industry can create a vision that benefits everyone involved.”

SBC News Soft2Bet: turning regulatory challenges into new opportunities

Innovation, personalisation, gamification

The words ‘innovation’, ‘personalisation’ and ‘gamification’ have become increasingly popular when discussing the igaming industry. 

And while it might sound that terms such as these are often used as buzzwords, you could argue that these are three of the core principles that igaming companies need to succeed in an increasingly competitive sector.

For Soft2Bet, one such example of innovation has been the launch of its casino city-builder, which it plans to expand even further in the coming months. Yatom said: “We plan to further develop it and introduce the same concept into the sports vertical. 

“We strongly believe this will bring increased retention and player value as it is something that players have never seen before. Becoming successful in a regulated market is not an easy task nowadays, but this new product will give us a competitive advantage.”

Among the competitive advantages that Soft2Bet is counting on is its ability to create an elevated player experience. 

To achieve this, the company also plans to roll out further gamification, customisation and localisation features – something it believes will not only boost engagement, but also help operators to retain their player base.

“Gamification involves incorporating game-like elements into non-game contexts, such as online casinos and sports betting platforms,” Yatom told SBC News. 

“By adding features like challenges, missions, leaderboards, and rewards, gamification makes the overall experience more interactive and entertaining. It taps into players’ intrinsic motivation to achieve goals, compete, and earn rewards, thereby increasing their engagement and loyalty to the platform.

“Customisation allows players to personalise their gaming experience according to their preferences. This can include choosing avatars, themes, colours and even adjusting game settings. 

“By offering customisation options, platforms can create a sense of ownership and comfort for players, making them feel more connected to the experience. Customisation also enables players to tailor their interactions to suit their skill level and interests, contributing to a more satisfying experience.”

Soft2Bet will continue to localise its platform by carrying out small tweaks to cater to different cultural and language preferences for players in different markets. Soft2Bet’s General Counsel noted that by focusing on these small details, players are more likely to trust the firm.

“Combining these elements creates a holistic and immersive player experience, which ultimately leads to increased player retention, higher levels of customer satisfaction, and improved brand loyalty. Players are more likely to spend more time and money on platforms that provide them with enjoyable, tailored, and culturally sensitive experiences.”

What’s next?

With a large number of market entries already under its belt, you might be thinking that Soft2Bet has plans to take it a little slower in the second half of the year. And you would be wrong. 

Instead, the firm has big plans to expand its global footprint even further – this time, into North and Latin America.

Yatom shared: “Moving beyond Europe, North America is indeed a pivotal region for us. Our imminent entry into the Canadian market, particularly in Ontario, is something we’re incredibly excited about. The potential of the Canadian gaming market is vast, and we’re gearing up to introduce our diverse game offerings to Canadian players by year-end.

“Our global vision doesn’t stop there. Latin America is on our radar, with countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia offering promising opportunities. We’re keen to tap into the burgeoning online gaming industry in LatAm, and our strategy involves tailoring our offerings to resonate with the unique preferences of players in this region.

“Lastly, the United States is a market we’re closely watching. Its state-by-state regulatory approach presents challenges, but the potential rewards are immense. We’re actively engaging in discussions and exploring partnerships to navigate the US regulatory landscape and make a significant entry into this lucrative market.

“At the heart of all our decisions is our overarching vision to expand our global footprint. While we have significant efforts underway in specific regions, our gaze is set on a broader horizon. We’re always on the lookout, evaluating potential markets, both within and outside Europe, with an ambition to grow our licence portfolio.

“Challenges are a given in any market, be it regulatory nuances or market saturation. But at Soft2Bet, we view these challenges as opportunities waiting to be harnessed. We’re proactive, always exploring partnerships and innovative strategies to navigate these challenges and turn them into avenues for growth.”

As we approach SBC Summit Barcelona, which takes place from 19-21 September, Soft2Bet outlined what it plans to showcase at the conference.

Delegates visiting stand SB36 can expect to hear about the company’s casino and sportsbook platform, as well as its range of products, including Player Account Management, Content Management System, Payment Gateway, Fully Managed Services, Affiliate Management System, Retail Solutions, and Marketing Services. 

Yatom believes that these products will act as a testament to Soft2Bet’s overarching focus on gamification, localisation and customisation. 

Soft2Bet will be exhibiting at SBC Summit Barcelona, which takes place from 19-21 September at Fira Barcelona Montjuïc. Pop by stand SB36 to find out more about their sports betting and casino offering.

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