Richard Thorp chairs sports betting innovation panel at EIG Berlin

FSB Technology Business Development Director Richard Thorp

FSB Technology  Business Development Director Richard Thorp will steer an  insight panel that will explore the sports betting industry’s potential future innovations at EIG Berlin.

Thorp, the Racing Post’s former Head of B2B Operations who has become the new Business Development Director of sportsbook platform provider FSB Technology, will moderate the session on how new technologies affect sports betting on Wednesday, October 22.

According to Thorp, “desktop is not getting much budget any more” and the major developments in the sector are happening in mobile. “The Paddy Power Messenger app is a decent innovation and taps into the younger market. Speed and simplicity are its key strengths,” Thorp said.

“Also, mobile products can definitely improve – the Racing Post app has been a key contributor to the business recently. The fact that it focuses on just one product and it does that really well should be food for thought.”

However, Thorp is aware that the process of convergence brings a responsibility from betting companies to ensure consumers can enjoy equally positive experiences across various platforms.

“Of course, with convergence, people should get the same good experience on mobile or desktop or by going into the betting shop, so companies need to ensure they don’t get carried away by a particular idea that ultimately doesn’t work,” he added.

Thorp is also convinced that the sports betting industry can learn from other sectors – a key theme of EiG 2014, with the ‘Outside-In’ agenda set to provide attendees with the chance to hear from leading decision-makers who can offer fresh perspectives in fields such as customer retention, behaviour and engagement.

“Looking outside the industry for ideas and how other industries move with the times is important,” Thorp added. “Most of the operators in our industry tend to wait to see whether something works before copying it.

“So who are the innovators? Should we be looking outside of the gaming industry for real innovation?

“The focus should be on simplifying the products rather than over-complicating, yet bookmakers always want to add more and more markets rather than improving the betting experience.”


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