With the upcoming World Cup generating big expectations in terms of generating record betting volumes and a perfect opportunity to drive player acquisition, retention, and engagement even in post-event circumstances 5 Star Media asked BtoBet’s Managing Director Dima Reiderman about the unique characteristics of this year’s major event, and the requirements of operators for a successful campaign.
This year’s World Cup comprises a unique format. What are you expecting from this event? What makes this major event so appealing?
The World Cup is by far the biggest sporting event on the sports calendar, and this is simply down to the fact that countries from all over the world seek to lift to the sky the highly coveted trophy. It is one of the most-watched tournaments on the planet, if not the most popular. And one constant related to such huge sporting events is the global audience. Everyone will tune in to watch their national teams, as well as following other fixtures pitching some of the more favourite countries to win the tournament. All this interest will undoubtedly generate a lot of betting volume and provides bookmakers with the perfect scenario to acquire new players, retain their loyal punters, and seek to reengage dormant accounts.
To understand the opportunity that the World Cup keeps in hold one must make reference to the betting volumes generated in the 2018 edition which was held in Russia. An analysis conducted by FIFA found that the total global betting turnover for the tournament was an estimated €136 billion, with the average match during the tournament generating an estimated global betting turnover of €2.1 billion. The final between Croatia and France generated an estimated €7.2 billion in betting turnover worldwide.
But what makes this year’s World Cup particularly appealing is that unlike any other previous editions, it will be taking place in November, commencing only a week and a half after the domestic leagues’ break, with these resuming after only eight days after the Final takes place. One also has to keep in mind the very high level of turnover that bookmakers are usually expecting during this period of the year. The European domestic leagues are in their peak, there are the domestic cups fixtures, the highly popular Champions League and Europa League are ongoing, not to mention other sports, such as Formula 1 season which will be drawing to an end, and which also attract significant engagement. So, we are looking at a period of time which bookmakers will seek to leverage, with no shortage of sports events available to build up a heightened level of player engagement throughout the World Cup and beyond.
And this scenario of a concentrated number of events in a relatively limited timeframe will result in a significant increase in the activity from irregular bettors who bet on a one-off basis purely for recreational purposes, when compared to the more regular bettors. There is a lot of activity in terms of opening of accounts, and depositing money to place bets on their national teams. And it is this boost in activity that operators want to leverage, maximising the PLVs in order to increment their turnover.
One might argue that the World Cup taking place in November will obviously impact the expected turnover from the domestic leagues, with the World Cup balancing out this lack of turnover. Nonetheless, if one were to look at the activity holistically, one should also expect an increased level of betting volumes in the subsequent months following the World Cup with a prolonged season for domestic leagues coming into effect.
How will BtoBet help its partners leverage the opportunity that the World Cup presents?
First of all as a B2B sportsbook platform and service provider we need to ensure that our partners are provided with all the prerequisite tools for them to enjoy a successful campaign from a revenue point of view. We should be asking ourselves whether our partners are provided with a wide choice of betting and supporting content. We need to ensure the stability and the scalability of our sportsbook platform. That they have the right cross-selling opportunities in place. Only after ticking all these boxes can we ensure that our partners will be optimising the opportunity that this major event provides.
We must ensure that our partners are in a position to offer a really strong offering to their players. The final in last year’s Euro demonstrates the importance of providing the players with all the markets available.
The final going all through a penalty shootout was undoubtedly great news for all those bookmakers. Thus, we need to ensure that all our partners are able to maximise their player engagement and provide additional event timeframes to leverage betting opportunities. This is even more key when considering that in-play markets for extra times and penalty shootouts make out for the largest live turnover distribution.
Then post-tournament, we must also ensure that operators are in a position to keep hold on to the players that they’ve acquired and shift their engagement to the European domestic league scene as they resume immediately after the tournament. And this is where our sportsbook tools come in very handy, allowing for real time analysis of all bets being placed, thus having a complete overview of all player behaviour, with operators leveraging this data to respond to their player preferences and reach them with dynamic, hyper-targeted content at the right time.
So our tools enable bookmakers to recommend trending and related events, and even upsell and cross-sell bets based on the individual’s demonstrated preferences, and previous betting patterns. This is key to maximise the PLV, with operators using our proprietary tools reporting significant increases in the ARPU levels.
Do you expect the betting volumes for this year’s World Cup to exceed that for the last edition?
There is a lot of expectancy for this year’s World Cup. It certainly has the potential to attract its biggest audience yet. Apart from the fact that it is the first winter World Cup in the history of the tournament and that it is going to take place spot on in the peak of the domestic football seasons, betting volumes have been consistently increasing during the past editions of the tournament. With the new markets which are now regulated and have opened up for business, and keeping in mind the continuous improvements in the content offering and personalisation of the betting experience I would expect this trend to remain unchanged, and actually pick up more pace.
Thus it’s our responsibility to put our partners in the optimal position to recruit and retain players through a stimulating betting experience, ensuring a wide selection of content, delivered via a stable sportsbook platform technology.