1. In a technological age, we see more land-based operators looking for new online innovative solutions, how did you manage to position BtoBet?
Throughout the years, e-commerce has steadily picked up the momentum across all industries, and the trend is set to continue, if not pick up the pace more. The iGaming industry is not immune to this scenario, and in fact has been at the forefront of the digital transformation. While retail is still predominant in many markets, especially in emerging ones such as Latin America and Africa, operators are now seeking to diversify their business models and capitalise on the online solutions. This is possible due to the ever improving technological scenario across regions on a global level, the tendency for all age groups to spend more time online, and strong year-on-year gains – especially in the emerging markets – in terms of access to financial institutions, credit and debit cards, and e-wallets.
Since its inception, BtoBet has placed this digital transformation at the core of its technological innovation.
Its Neuron 3 iGaming and sportsbook platform allows operators to focus and shape up their business model in the way they deem best. However, most importantly the interconnectivity between the retail and online channels allows operators to offer a seamless betting experience, even when changing channels. Thus the betting experience does not end when the player leaves the retail shop, but continues with the player being able to follow-up the bet placed from his smartphone, tablet or laptop.
Throughout the years, we have invested a lot of resources to come up with a betting platform that allows operators to deliver a betting ecosystem that perfectly adapts to today’s player demands, throughout all stages of the player lifecycle.
It is the direct result of a lengthy analysis of the player’s behaviour and the operator’s ability to address their needs in the minimal time-to-market.
Ultimately it’s about providing the necessary technological solutions to provide a 360° experience for the player, putting him in the position to entertain himself no matter the place, medium or channel he opts for.
2. The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a number of retail shops closing down, with operators seeking to go online. How did this affect BtoBet’s offering?
The Covid-19 has brought a new reality where operators, especially the retail ones, had to make the decision to shift their entire operations online to avoid serious financial difficulties due to them having no revenue streams.
The pandemic has seen retail operators decisively acting to expand to the digital channels. Does this mean that the brick and mortar experience will be a thing of the past? Certainly not. Retail betting shops and casinos will still continue to offer a betting and gambling experience in their own unique way once the situation gets back to normal. On the other hand, throughout these challenging times, operators – who heavily relied on their retail arm – had to seek new measures to expand to the digital channels in the shortest time-to-market to complement the retail offer. This was a way to diversify their revenue stream, while also being better placed to retain their current fold of players.
Having invested a lot in the interconnectivity of all channels, BtoBet had all the means in place to assist its partners to make this transition in an agile way. Through our new retail solution, operators are now able to target their unregistered customers and transform them into registered players through a rapid registration process, thus shifting them towards the digital. Throughout the months, we also had been expanding all of the vertical’s content, thus allowing operators to quickly activate and cross-sell new, engaging content due to the sportsbook shortfall.
3. Virtual sports/Online Casino/Lottery has seen a rise because traditional sports have been cancelled in 2020, and under which circumstance we have witnessed Esports games being the next big thing. Can you see any challenges operators might face when looking at Esports?
The halting of practically the entire sports calendar has resulted in operators looking to cross-sell other verticals in a bid to maintain their player engagement and mitigate the effects that the sportsbook shortfall would have in terms of revenue.
Virtual sports, online casinos, and lottery have seen significant increases in bet volumes, however, the exponential rise in Esports has let industry experts label it as the next big thing.
Statistics published by H2 Gambling Capital foresee the market to generate $862 million in revenue by 2024, growing its share of global betting GGR over the next five years from 1.6% in 2019 to 3.2% by 2024.
One of the main challenges related to Esports is related to the technology at hand. While this isn’t the case in some new and mature markets, such as Europe, the US, and Asia, the technological lag found in certain regions of LatAm and Africa will hamper the growth of this vertical in the regions. One must also take into consideration that one profile does not fit all. So while esports are particularly strong, and growing significantly across Europe and the US, one should expect a “learning curve” when it comes to particular regions such as LatAm and Africa.
One must also keep in mind that while players in Europe, the US, and Asia are accustomed to a high internet penetration, facing no problems in terms of connectivity, bandwidth speeds, and service costs, this scenario differs from that found in some Latin American and African countries, where internet prices are still relatively high.
Esports also faces a challenge in terms of guaranteeing the gamblers’ security. Inevitably, there have been instances where people and entities have tried to take advantage of this, with several incidents being discovered that involved match-fixing. Some cases have resulted in players betting against themselves and throwing the match to earn money from their loss. This undoubtedly has a negative effect on the perception of the audience with regard to the outcome of the matches.
4. Keeping a watchful eye on all countries, are you looking to expand your brand in a new market?
BtoBet is in a privileged position of having a strong presence in all regulated markets, especially in Latin America and Africa. Nonetheless we are always keeping an eye on the evolving regulatory scenario. Brazil is considered to be the next big thing in terms of market regulatory development. With a population exceeding 200 million people, it has great potential, and once regulated, is expected to be Latin America’s biggest market. On the other hand, there are also other interesting evolving situations, especially related to Peru, which has been working on a regulatory framework for the past years, and also Argentina, with the province of Buenos Aires recently regulating online sportsbetting.
In addition, there is no denying the huge opportunity that the African market keeps in hold. What was until a few years ago an emerging market with huge technological hindrance, is now evolving into an interesting market marked by an exponential growth in terms of technological achievement. Just like in LatAm, we are keen to maintain our growth momentum in the region.
*This interview was originally published by B-Sports Gaming.