What are you looking forward to at Betting on Football?
Betting on Football is a unique gathering place for all of the major players in the industry. As ever with these shows, they are always a great opportunity to catch up with old acquaintances and partners in the industry, as well as introduce ourselves and our products to newcomers.
But with Betting on Football and Betting on Sport, we particularly look forward to the speaking tracks which are probably the best in the industry. They are a great way to hear first-hand about what’s happening from operators and fellow suppliers.
What are you promoting at Betting on Football?
We will be talking to visitors about our modern SSBT solutions that provide customers with a convenient, digitised and cashless retail experience. We’ve also got our expansive content portfolio, ranging from our ultimate live racing and sports channels, to our market-leading suite of more than 25 virtuals, which includes some great football content.
Then there’s also our content-driving technologies, such as our streaming service which offers the thrill of live action with less than one second latency. This is a great enabler to live betting on sports including football.
What industry innovation will capture the most attention in 2019?
It’s always a dangerous thing to look into the crystal ball and try to second guess the future! But I think we will continue with the trend of operators and their suppliers making life simpler, more convenient, and increasingly tailored to their customers. Modern consumers want a seamless user experience that is personalised to them.
This has been happening in online for a while now, but we are seeing it more and more in retail too. Our SSBTs are cashless and convenient and we are providing data and picture content to our partners customised to the needs of the local audience. A lot of that is in football which, in-shop, is often far more popular on SSBTs than over the counter.
Do you expect speed of innovation to slow in the absence of a major football tournament?
No, I don’t think so. I think innovation takes place long in advance of these events and people are already working on what they want to bring to the market for the next big tournament. I also think it gives people time and space to look further afield than football.
Whilst football is a huge driver of revenue, the likes of horse and greyhound racing is equally important, particularly in retail. We are seeing more and more operators, even in countries where these sports do not have the heritage they do elsewhere, adopting the innovative betting opportunities now available.
How can betting and football stakeholders work together more effectively?
The supply of data springs to mind immediately, with rights holders helping to ensure operators and their customers have access to quick and cost-effective streams.
But compliance and the safeguarding of integrity matters is probably even more important as it is essential that everyone has faith in the sport, either from a spectator point of view or that of the bettor wagering on It.
Which parts of the conference agenda have caught your eye?
I’m excited about the data panel on Thursday afternoon which will hopefully have some good insight for delegates in the audience. But I’m also intrigued by the discussion around the future of retail at 11:20 on the first morning.
With the reduction of the maximum stakes for FOBTs there is a bit of doom and gloom around in the UK in particular. But I think retail there and elsewhere in the world has a bright future. The digitised experience, incremental revenues, and customer convenience that companies like Vermantia can bring to the party should ensure retail stays relevant to new and existing customers for years to come.