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SBC Webinars: Third-party providers as drivers of innovation

Technological innovation can sometimes end up in stalemate when it comes to sports betting products – something contrary to the constant push by operators to bring the lever higher with trading solutions so that they can acquire a new breed of sports betting end users. 

Brands often decide that the best approach going forward is to develop their offerings in-house, but this could bring a number of hurdles along with it. This is where third-party providers can swoop in and help operators get back on the right track through fostering innovation by thinking outside the box. 

The latest from SBC Webinars, sponsored by Algosport, looks at the opportunities for both established and challenger companies when it comes to outsourcing and the breath of fresh air it can bring to large in-house development teams, who are often already overrun with other business priorities. 

Firing off the discussion, moderator Marc Thomas, who is an industry consultant, asked his fellow panellists about their views on the current sports betting technology landscape. 

Leigh Herdman, Founder and CEO of Algosport, responded: “One of the big problems we’ve got when it comes to innovation is that it’s extremely far behind where it could be. Where we are as an industry, we should be very much further than we actually are. That was my motivation for setting up Algosport.”

Herdman’s comments were followed by those of Jonathan Powers – Founder and Managing Director of Voxbet – who agreed with Algosport’s CEO by saying: “Innovation is slow, and when it does happen is copied. They’re all the same. There’s nobody differentiating.”

There was however a “glimpse of light” in the words of Jeevan Jeyaratnam, COO of Abelson Odds, who added: “Innovation is difficult. There is a reason why the industry is slow to pick things up. 

“But there are some examples of operators or products leading the charge. An example is Adam Wilson and Splash Tech – a really different type of thing, really thought out. It is an example of a small niche supplier trying something new.”

Staying on the topic, Thomas then followed up with a question about the main challenges that the sports betting and the wider gambling industry face now and in the future. 

Jeyaratnam then shared: “A number of operators struggle with implementing new products. For a supplier, getting on to an operator’s roadmap is the biggest hurdle.

“You can have a great product, getting on to a roadmap that’s gonna be full for 12-36 months is a real problem and that can cause a lot of pain for third-party suppliers who don’t have the bandwidth to continue operating without revenue.

“From a positive point of view, a third-party is likely to have more chances to solve many of the problems that your in-house supplier may not have thought of.”

Powers then built on Jeyaratnam’s words by saying: “From an innovation products perspective I’d say integration. From an external supplier point of view, I do agree with Jeevan that people are spread very thin in operators and that’s why I think there is a role to use highly-specialised providers. 

“Strategically, instead of looking at the next product they want to build in-house, they need to look at their platform and how to make it more accessible so that they can deploy the product fast.”

Herdman added: “In the near term, we are likely to see lots of innovation within operators’ trading rooms, with automation of manual tasks increasing, although end user customers may not notice this directly. Longer term it will all be about personalisation and enhancements to navigation.”

To watch the full webinar and more, click here.

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