Dima Reiderman, BtoBet’s managing director, granted Focus Gaming News an exclusive interview to talk about the upcoming World Cup and its opportunities for bookmakers.
Exclusive interview.- The 2022 World Cup is coming and the possibilities it offers for the sports betting industry are immense.
To talk about this and the busy sports calendar that is approaching, Focus Gaming News sat down with Dima Reiderman, BtoBet’s managing director who spoke about BtoBet’s latest report regarding the World Cup and the opportunity bookmakers have to acquire players and retain their engagement post-tournament
The 2022 World Cup is just around the corner, and many believe it will mark a milestone. Why do you think this edition will be so important in terms of sports betting?
This year’s edition is taking place at what is usually the peak of the football season and other sports. You’ve got all the ongoing football leagues, the European leagues, all the domestic cups… it’s usually a very busy period from a football point of view with a high frequency of events and several competitions that are concurrent with each other. Add to that a major event such as the World Cup and you have a landscape which is augurating to be generating all-time high betting volumes.
BtoBet’s latest report focuses on key points that bookmakers should take into account ahead of the World Cup. Why are they so important?
Operators are keen to maximise the opportunity that this year’s edition will be providing from a turnover point of view. And to succeed in this operators need to look at their offering from a holistic point of view.
Operators need to ensure that they are putting at their players’ disposal an extensive pre-match and in-play content portfolio which is inclusive of a wide market offering.
Even though there are strong similarities between the pre-match and live offers, the latter should reflect a more dynamic and time-related bet offer and should not omit focused markets that cover the period beyond the traditional 90-minute match, such as bets related to extra time and penalties.
This explains the focus that bookmakers initially place on the combinability of the pre-match offer as they seek to maximise the handle across a longer period.
Another important aspect when it comes to major tournaments is the stacking of matches, with players being able to wager on three or more events per match day. One also has to keep in mind the player’s psychographics during major sports events, where the average punter wagers on more than one single event.
Bet Builders are also key in terms of the many betting opportunities and combination opportunities that they will provide to their players during in-event circumstances.
Bookmakers also need to target the gaps between the events themselves, especially by leveraging the localised markets offered by stats betting and special bets.
These tools are particularly effective when it comes to increasing the engagement of players such as in the instance of recommending bets, increasing the effectiveness of cross-selling campaigns using individual preferences, and creating unique campaigns that stand out from the crowd.
All this whilst also allowing bookmakers to create granular segmentation for punters, determining in a very short period the value of the players acquired and increasing the average revenue per user (ARPU) through a marketing strategy based on player-generated data.
The 2022 World Cup edition will take place amid a fairly tight sports calendar. However, BtoBet believes this represents a unique opportunity for bookmakers to acquire players and retain their engagement post-tournament. Why do you believe so?
The tournament will kickstart only a week and a half after the domestic season’s break, with no lull moment that usually characterises the kick-off to what is by far the greatest football tournament on a global level.
“The back-to-back action will also characterise the post- tournament phase, with domestic leagues resuming only a handful of days after the Final takes place.”
Dima Reiderman, BtoBet’s managing director.
All this without taking heed of other popular sports events, such as the ATP Finals in Turin, and the curtain closer of the Formula 1 season in Abu Dhabi, in the immediate days preceding the actual kick-off to the World Cup. Not to mention other sports fans’ favourite events, such as the Davis Cup Finals which will take place in Spain during the arch of the first week of the World Cup, from the 21st until the 27th of November.
What this does is create a unique opportunity for bookmakers to acquire players, and retain their engagement post-tournament by providing a content offering and betting products which are scalable beyond the World Cup.
Thus, by providing their players with a similar product and offering post-tournament bookmakers will seek to maintain the same player behaviour and pattern even beyond the 28-day tournament window during which the World Cup will take place.
Fraudulent player behaviour is always a major concern for operators. What are your recommendations to deal with this?
Fraudulent behaviour is always high on the priority list for bookmakers. This is more so in the case of major events characterised by the large volume of bets.
Whilst a few years back operators were more exposed to fraudulent player behaviour due to the manual procedures which were required back then, nowadays they can tap into a host of Machine Learning tools, such as BtoBet’s Player Profiling engine, that allows for real-time analysis of all the bets that are being placed immediately notifying the risk management teams of any suspicious betting patterns, stopping fraudulent betting in a timely and effective manner.
This is particularly effective in circumstances which require bookmakers to scale their operations and require an automated process to mitigate the risk exposure.
Do you think betting volumes for this edition will reach a record?
Each and every World Cup edition has registered record betting volumes and turnover. And the unique circumstances of this year’s edition all point in that direction. Bookmakers will seek to maintain the high levels of player engagement which are usually registered during the domestic leagues and cup competitions throughout the tournament itself.
“I truly expect that this year’s edition to exceed the €136bn of betting turnover that was registered for the 21 st edition of the FIFA World Cup which took place in Russia.”
Dima Reiderman, BtoBet’s managing director.
Furthermore, given the high volumes expected during the tournament, operators need to ensure that they can automatically scale their operations according to the requirements at any given moment, thus ensuring no downtime and avoiding any technological letdowns.
It’s not the first time that during major sports events operators have experienced downtime, thus having at their disposal the right technology also ensures the operations cope and manage the sheer volume that this greatest sporting event is expected to generate.