SB Betting has put the early success of its self-service betting terminal (SSBT) rollout in Poland down to finding the right balance between retail and online betting.
In August, the Malta-based sports betting software provider concluded nine months of development by releasing a new two-screened SSBT for one of its Polish clients, forBET – one of just six sports betting licensees in the country operating in both the retail and online space.
The two-screened terminal, equipped with cash and coin acceptors, barcode scanner and a thermal printer, allows customers to place bets on pre-match, in-play and virtual markets.
The top screen is used to display live streams – for both real-life and virtual sports, while the bottom half is a touch screen enabling customers to monitor latest odds and place bets.
SB Betting has used this design to demonstrate its desire to boost retail returns by incorporating key aspects of the online user experience (UX), and, according to the firm’s COO Michal Glowacki, position the SSBT as a “product that finds common ground between retail betting and online play”.
This is partly because the retail vs online breakdown for bets placed has been reversed in the last 12 months, from 60-40 to 40-60. Therefore, some of the other desirable online components factored into the new SSBT UX include ease of deposit and payouts, as well as the ability to save a session – and use the deposited money later.
“The first few months since launching the SBBT have been very promising,” said Glowacki. “A futuristic design, combined with lots of betting options including a wide selection of virtuals, statistics and live match streaming, makes it a complete betting product.”
Glowacki did admit that unlike retail customers in Poland, often 50+ and not so price sensitive, SSBT punters – mostly under the age of 40, are likely to be comparing retail vs online via mobile.
Therefore, it makes sense that the SSBT strictly produces the odds you would find online, in this case with forBET, to avoid becoming something of an internal competitor for the operator.
This particular arrangement is an interesting one in that forBET has no shops, in comparison to the country’s other retail operators Fortuna, Milenium, Star-Typ Sport (STS), Totolotek and Etoto, with forBET instead focusing its presence on the placement of these SB Betting terminals in pubs and sports bars – a strategy hailed by Glowacki as the “natural way to call customers to action”.
This legal placement of terminals has attracted a lot of attention from retail slot players, who had previously been restricted to playing slots owned by government-controlled Totalizator Sportowy.
Glowacki concluded: “The SSBT from SB Betting has given this group the opportunity to feel the spirit and comparable joy to playing on monopolized slots.”
It will be interesting to plot the progress of SB Betting, and particularly its partnership with forBET, in a tricky market hindered by a 12% turnover tax on both retail and online gambling, which last year led to a spate of high profile withdrawals including William Hill, GVC and Pinnacle.