Vitaliano Casalone is the President of Inspired Italy, which has recently kicked into gear with the roll out of its virtual sports product in the country.
Vitaliano Casalone: “Sports, sports betting, and football in particular, are a big part of Italian life. Since the change in Italian legislation, to allow Virtual Sports betting, there has been universal demand from sports betting operators. Inspired’s Virtual Sports are now live in 5,000 venues with 5 major concessionaires and in a few months we will be live with 10 major Concessionaires, totaling 10,000 venues and over 20 websites with Inspired Virtual Sports.
“From Inspired’s experience in other similar sports betting markets, we are confident that Inspired’s Virtual Sports will be at least as successful as in the UK – where Virtual Sports account for 12% of all betting revenues. Based on commercial trials, Inspired’s products generate at least twice as much revenue for operators than competing products, which is why we are the partner of choice for the major Concessionaires in Italy. Inspired’s Virtual Sports are proven to increase sports book revenues because of their popularity with players and the operator tools available such as event scheduling and margin control.”
SBC: And what have been the early signs in the market?
Casalone: “Virtual Sports are already significantly increasing sports book revenues in Italy beyond our expectations, especially because of their very successful launch in the country by the operators. Most of Inspired’s operators are broadcasting an average of 500 virtual events a day in retail venues and online. Mobile websites will be coming soon and should increase revenues even more.
“Inspired’s has years of experience in the Italian VLT market – the launch of Inspired’s Virtual Sports in Italy has dramatically increased the Inspired brand with Italian players. Inspired is the word on the lips of sports betting fans in Italy. The Italian Government and the public alike have been very welcoming towards the introduction of Virtual Sports because it is a fun and entertaining activity.”
SBC: Which virtual sports do you anticipate being most popular in Italy?
Casalone: “We carried out research into the Italian sports betting market before launching our Virtual Sports and we expected Virtual Football to be the most popular Virtual Sport, because it represents 90% of the live betting revenue in Italy. Initial data has substantiated our research findings.
“Inspired’s Virtual Football is regularly being improved, as it is one of our key sports, and we’ll continue to focus on developing this product with enhanced graphics and new bet markets. We also know that trotting is a popular sport for live betting in Italy, so we have developed a new Virtual Trotting product especially for our Italian operators.
“One of Inspired’s strengths is the wide range of Virtual Sports available and the premium graphics. Rather than just relying on Virtual Football and Virtual Trotting, we have launched with a range of eight Inspired Virtual Sports: Football, Horses, Trotting, Greyhounds, Cycling, Tennis, Motor Racing, and Speedway. We will analyze the performance of the sports and continually enhance the graphics and range of bet markets on offer.
“We will also look at live sports betting trends and develop more new sports especially for Italian players. At ICE we will be launching Virtual Basketball.”