Day-2 of ‘Betting on Sports Europe – Digital 2020’ conference, began with a critical assessment of bookmakers’ commercial strategies and business models against an expanding backdrop of costly regulatory and compliance demands.
Moderating the ‘Does Mass Market Maths Still Work?’ panel, Anton Kaszubowski, Director at Greenlaw Limited, bluntly put forth that sportsbook teams appear to have been burdened with ‘proving business models, executing market strategies and differentiating products‘ – no task for the faint-hearted’.
Market-by-market if sportsbooks have reached peak saturation, what factors have become the critical components to compete in?
Marco Blume Trading Director at Pinnacle Solution acknowledged: that “We have a problem of differentiating yourself as the product is more or less the same. Most operators carry an equal offering, with a big overlap between competitors.”
“Branding and pricing are now the big areas of concentration, as the shelves are now full, and the customer can buy whatever he wants”.
Despite his stark assessment, Blume maintained that operators could breakout out of current constraints employing new product innovations -“From my perspective, there is still room. We have yet to see a bookmaker take on an Amazon.com approach and effectively build a recommendation engine. We have seen this functionality work in the games sector and should apply to our sector too.”
Betting’s market maturity has come with the further costs and constraints attached to compliance and regulatory demands – a reality that has placed additional pressure on sportsbook business models.?
However, Matt Scarrot Director of Sportsbook for BetVictor warns that “it is too easy to pin all problems on ‘compliance burdens’, acknowledging that customer care has become a true point of differentiation.
“We need to be sustainable, so we need all of our customers to bet safely. At BetVictor we own our technology platform and most of our resources have focused on making our products safer – deposit limits, loss limits, timeouts, mechanisms that did not exist 3-or-4 years ago”.
A sportsbook veteran, Scarrot welcomes that a change in mentality across the business spectrum placing customer care first – “Years back, we would never worry about where the customer came from, or focus would be on getting punter to immediately place a bet”.
“With new onboarding demands, we have to know everything about our customers and their source of funds.” – Scarrot would breakdown BetVictor objectives in which all teams carry a duty of care to monitor and safeguard customers onboarding and KYC procedures.
“At BetVictor we want to be one step ahead of the regulator, as it’s a big win for us to be where the regulations will end up, this saves us costs and makes our business more long-term efficient”.
As betting enters a new decade, Kaszubowski pondered whether the sportsbook marketplace held any room for new incumbents and how they would look to tackle a saturated landscape.
Philippe Joos Head of Product & Innovation Napoleon Sports & Casino replied that facing high competition and restrictions on player offers and promotions – operators (domestic and foreign) needed a deeper understanding of delivering localized products.
“The starting point would be to listen to the customer, who is the target and what do they want. There are still market opportunities, but you have to stimulate your players with better choice and frontend engagements”
“I believe that better gamification could help bookmakers achieve a localised product… New markets cannot be just about spending money on your brand and offering the lowest prices.”
Betting on Sports Europe – Digital is the foremost conference for senior executives from European sports betting operators, providing a forum for high-level discussions that will help to shape the future of the industry.
The fully virtual event will bring together major players from markets across the continent on a single platform, where they will share best practice for tackling the industry’s major challenges and ideas about emerging opportunities.
To register for your free ticket, click HERE.