Great technology and a stand-out user experience are two factors that are the foundation for any successful betting company. But finding a technology partner that is reliable and can help your business scale is easier said than done.
This is where Evgen Belousov, CEO of GR8 Tech, believes his company can bring something new to the table.
Speaking at SBC Summit Barcelona, Belousov sat down with SBC Media to take stock of some of the events from this year, including the launch of new products and his biggest milestones from 2023.
Belousov began by sharing his view that while 2023 has been a jam-packed year for GR8 Tech, his biggest highlights have largely stemmed from the creation of new products.
He said: “The biggest highlight from 2023 has actually been in terms of product. There are so many product propositions from different companies within the gambling industry, but we believe that our products are delivering unparalleled quality.
“The GR8 Sportsbook delivers great margins for our partners. In terms of product, it is flexible, easy to operate, and we’re making constant improvements based on our partners’ feedback. This will help provide better profitability for our partners, which, we believe, will be hugely beneficial for them.”
GR8 Tech(nology) and GR8 solutions
The launch of GR8 Sportsbook, and most recently GR8 Casino, comes after various bits of feedback from the company’s clients who were looking to scale their existing businesses. In many cases, this has been casino operators looking to add a sportsbook offering.
Belousov continued: “We launched GR8 Sportsbook and GR8 Casino as standalone products largely due to requests from our clients. There are some companies that may have their roots within the casino space but might be eyeing up opportunities within sports betting. But often, they may require more expertise in the sports betting space before they integrate a sportsbook into their portfolio.
“At GR8 Tech, we have great expertise in sports. We have a large trading team and different AI and machine learning capabilities within our GR8 Sportsbook product. We really are experts in this space. We realise that there is also a gap in the market to support gambling operators looking to expand their reach into other verticals, especially for casino companies looking to tap into the world of sports.”
It was important for the CEO to not just roll out these two products and deliver something that could be found from another supplier. Instead, Belousov noted that GR8 Tech developed these two products with its clients’ long-term ambitions in mind.
One of the biggest requests that GR8 Tech receives from its partners is the creation of a product that is not only cost-effective but is also easy to integrate into their existing offering.
He commented: “If I analyse the main trends over the last few months, we’ve seen that there are certain requests that our partners make. The first is related to affordability. A lot of companies are eyeing up new sportsbook or casino products.
“But the costs of integrating these products, plus the costs of acquiring new players, can eat into their potential profits. So, our partners want a casino or sportsbook product from a reliable partner who understands how they can make their business profitable.
“GR8 Sportsbook features a strong risk management team, understanding of the local sports, different tournaments, and events that can be added to the sportsbook. So we’re creating a much more localised experience. We’re here to help our new and existing clients with any questions that they might have.
“From the other point of view, there is a point when every operator wants to have a flexible team to operate their business. We have a good understanding of what tools need to be developed and integrated to make sure this happens. We are currently working on making the operation of the business for the operator as smooth and as affordable as possible.”
Evgen Belousov explained that by creating a more bespoke, holistic solution, GR8 Tech can support its partners in achieving profitability and scalability.
“Based on our conversations with operators and other industry stakeholders, we see that we’re ahead of the curve for technology trends. We’ve found that many large-scale betting companies are so focused on their existing business model that they’re not exactly flexible regarding new technologies or investing in innovation. With that in mind, these companies cannot change features as quickly as we can.
“We don’t just want to offer bog-standard additional features. We want to deliver bespoke solutions. Ultimately, we are helping our partners to create a profitable business. We help manage the risks to help them achieve this,” Belousov continued.
“This is why I think our GR8 Sportsbook is proving to be so popular. It is well positioned, it is a dedicated sports betting product, and we are ready to roll this out to our new and existing partners.
“One of the benefits of using our casino aggregation model is that all of the providers’ games are readily available in one place. So, if someone wants to access a full portfolio of games from a number of different suppliers, they can use our aggregation solution to do this. It’s essentially a one-stop shop.”
As part of the one-stop shop, Belousov explained that GR8 Tech has made a conscious effort to add a range of player engagement features into its products, including gamification, bonus mechanics, and CRM systems.
A key consideration that must be made when integrating these products is the intricacies of legislation. To ensure that the products are flexible enough to meet ever-changing regulatory requirements, Belousov walked us through the architecture of GR8 Tech’s widget and model-based system.
“In terms of regulation, from our perspective, the most complicated question is how to effectively localise your offering from a technology perspective and how to make that compliant with differing legislative requirements. Our widget and model-based architecture is designed to allow you to make custom changes for whatever requirements each market has.”
More technology-focused trends
As the name suggests, GR8 Tech places significant focus on the development of, you guessed it, technology. So it should be no surprise that Belousov believes the biggest trend for this year is going to come in the form of technological developments.
However, he did draw SBC’s attention toward three main areas that he believes have dominated conversations at industry events over the past 12 months: taxation, regulation, and safer gambling.
He noted that one of the industry’s biggest challenges over the next few months is ensuring that regulations benefit everyone – from the players to the regulators. To achieve this, there needs to be effective collaboration between stakeholders.
This wasn’t the only trend, however. Instead, Belousov urged operators and suppliers to consider new ways of disruption, which he is confident will lead to the industry’s long-term progression.
Belousov added: “We also need to consider the evolution of the igaming industry itself. At the moment, you could argue that the industry is quite flat – it’s the same operators, same data, same suppliers. But for the industry to progress even further, we need disruption. Something has to happen.
“One way that I think we can achieve that is by shifting towards being a form of entertainment. We’re seeing some headway in this regard – gamification, bonuses, new games, etc. But this, I believe, will be the next step in the industry’s evolution.”
Looking forward to 2024 and beyond, Belousov suggested that there will be more product developments on the horizon – although he was reticent about the details.
“You can expect some new announcements relating to our products, although the specifics of that need to be kept close to our chest for now.
“What we can tell you is that there will be one or two product launches related to sports in 2024, plus some announcements around tools for operators. So keep your eye out for those!”