As the world continues to deal with the impact of COVID-19, BtoBet Chief Executive Officer Alessandro Fried emphasised that diversification is key for the betting and gaming industry.
Speaking with SBC ahead of next week’s SBC Digital Summit, he explained that he is particularly looking forward to hearing from leading industry experts on how they think the industry will make its comeback from the pandemic that has halted the sportsbook calendar.
What are you looking forward to at the SBC Digital Summit?
Sharing my views with leading industry experts is always something that I look forward to especially during this time where all industry conventions and events have been postponed. I especially look forward to seeing how my peers think the industry will make its comeback from this pandemic that has halted the sportsbook calendar.
What would be your biggest bit of advice for betting and gaming businesses trying to mitigate the impact of COVID-19?
Diversification is key at this moment in time, both in terms of content and also when it comes to the business model operators adhere to. From a content perspective now is the time for operators to expand other industry verticals. The provision of alternative vertical content should and must not be considered only as a solution for the immediate, but also as a long term plan.
Many experts believe that whilst the sportsbook industry will immediately pick up where it left once the sporting calendar resumes, those players who during these weeks were introduced to other content such as e-sports, virtuals, lottery, and online casino, will maintain a certain level of activity to a certain extent, thus resulting in bigger revenue.
The same thing applies for the business model. Operators, especially those who still base their operation primarily on a retail network, need to shift evermore towards the online channels. This will not only ensure a more complete betting experience, but will eventually be key in the diversification of their revenue streams.
What are you promoting at SBC Digital Summit?
We will be promoting our third generation betting platform, Neuron 3. The approach we have undertaken with Neuron 3 is to ensure a wide interconnectivity between all the channels, whether they are retail or online. One of the most innovative features, which is key for retail operators is the new retail solution that allows them to target non-registered customers through a rapid registration process in order to transform them into registered players. These registered players at the retail level can then not only benefit from special bonuses, but will be able to seamlessly follow-up their betting experience on the digital mediums.
Another innovative feature that is garnering a lot of attention is the social media betting feature, with operators now able to address today’s players’ strong tendencies to make use of the most popular social communicative platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Viber, and Telegram, for a simpler way to search and place their bets. This feature will not only allow operators to target digital native customers, and thus as a result increasing the interaction and engagement with millennials, but will also simplify the whole betting process for the players themselves who will now be able to place bets – even multiples – without the need to navigate to third party apps.
What industry innovation will capture the most attention in 2020?
I think that we are moving towards a new kind of betting, where the players are increasingly opting for a more facilitated, and holistic approach to the betting experience. Thus it will be the technology that best addresses this aspect by providing the best interconnected betting environment across all channels that will capture the most attention not only throughout this year but for the years to come.
Which operator has impressed you the most in 2020?
I would opt to say that what Megapuesta is doing in Mexico is truly admirable. In a region (LatAm) where the general consensus is that the betting experience is still lagging behind the more mature markets, Megapuesta are constantly closing this gap through the use of innovative solutions, placing their players at the core of their operations.
What sports betting partnership has stood out in the past 12 months?
Looking at the African market I would say that Editec have particularly excelled. The African market is a tricky scenario, that is still characterised by technological conundrums. Operators in Africa also need to generate large gaming volumes to reach revenue levels similar to those seen in more mature markets. Yet despite these challenging scenarios, Editec have progressively expanded their operations across the vast majority of regulated African markets, and have now bolstered their presence to 17 countries.
Which parts of the conference agenda have caught your eye?
Being very active in Latin America I am obviously inclined to say that the LatAm agenda is particularly interesting. Having the opportunity to gauge the opinions of operators and service providers in the region is very important, not only for us but also for all shareholders in the region.