Thanks to the recent announcement from Italy’s Customs and Monopolies (Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli) Italian horseracing fans are set for an exciting summer.
For many years the country’s regulator has enforced protectionist policies to safeguard revenues around its own racing. Strict rules have ensured a focus on a schedule of Italian events and a limited number of international ones via the national horseracing programme, Palinsesto Nazionale. But these are set to be relaxed in July for the first time in the nation’s history, with no restrictions on screening content from abroad.
This will transform the way Italian bettors engage with global horseracing. While previously any international racing event broadcast by Italian bookmakers would have to conform to the established time slots, customers will soon be able to enjoy the best of live racing from around the world at any time of day – from Santa Anita in California to Ellerslie in New Zealand – with every racetrack in between.
Not only is this excellent news for the consumer who wishes to bet on racing from around the world, it also offers a world of opportunities for the sportsbooks themselves.
The ability to expand their offering beyond the traditional fixtures could be a major boost for customer acquisition and retention. It is also especially timely given the Italian government’s ban on advertising by gaming companies coming into force on July 14th. Any restrictions on promotion can now be mitigated by the expansion of content acting as a marketing tool in its own right. As we have seen in other markets, live racing data and pictures from across the world’s race tracks adds excitement and offers a new betting experience.
When an operator puts a television on the wall of its shops, they’ve already crossed over into the world of entertainment. Alongside this, the ability to now offer the world’s daily racing events on tap as part of this entertainment, complemented with bespoke data and content, will present an entirely new betting experience – the likes of which the Italian betting market is yet to see.
At Vermantia we’re now rolling that out with the launch of the A-TV channel, Italy’s first national horse racing channel with a global racing proposition. Delivering over 85,000 premium live racing events annually from the best tracks in the world, including UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India and the USA. The whole offering is customized to each operator’s requirements, from bet markets to scheduling, graphics and layout – ensuring no two services will look or feel the same.
The next challenge for Italian bookmakers will be to capitalise on this opportunity. With a wealth of data and content at their fingertips, they must now present it in a way that entices the consumer to try it out. We can speak about this from both our experience in the Italian market, having already had great success supplying the biggest Italian betting operators, and our long-standing experience providing live horse racing internationally. We appreciate that there are local requirements, so we localise the service by customising the design and content as well as offering an adaptive data feed for faster deployment. We provide also professional live commentary and race cards in the Italian language.
Put together, the Italian market is about to play host to a wealth of new betting opportunities, offering an entirely new world of entertainment for their customers. The real sweet spot for customer engagement whether in retail or online, is good quality data, readily available betting market and live pictures. How operators capitalise on this, as well as manage this new wealth of content to ensure they capture the attention of their customers is up to them – but choosing the right content and data supplier will be essential. Done right, and this will ensure a welcome boost to the Italian market.