Safety and protection

Safety and protection

The betting industry meets at Betting on Sports Europe, in November, 9 – 11, in London

Attention is high again on the world of betting, with Betting on Sports Europe, scheduled from 9th to 11th November at Stamford Bridge in London.

What are the news and the main features of this event?

Dennis Algreen, Sbc’s marketing director, stresses: “It’s great for us to be back in London and staging the first major gambling industry conference and exhibition in the Uk since February 2020. Betting on Sports Europe is now the largest dedicated sports betting event on the calendar and more than 2,000 delegates are set to join us at Stamford Bridge, the home of Uefa Champions League holders Chelsea Fc. 

As with every Sbc event, an extensive conference with a topical agenda and high-level speaker line-up will be the centrepiece. Running alongside that will be an exhibition featuring 30 leading suppliers showcasing their latest innovations, and a programme of evening networking events in stylish London venues, including a closing party in the magnificent setting of the Natural History Museum”. 

What are the main subjects that will be addressed?

“The conference has six tracks, which between them tackle the key issues the betting industry faces. On the first day of the event, we have a Leadership track that will feature C-level insights on technology, financial management, corporate stewardship, diversity, and trading room practices. Then, issues around payments technology and compliance, and at the innovation required to improve the player experience in both retail and online environments will be studied.

The “Betting Around Europe” track on day two will examine developments in markets including Italy, Germany, the Uk, and the Netherlands, while the “Marketing and Affiliation” content features sessions about partnerships with sports clubs, brand building, and the role of affiliates. 

A “Future of Sports Betting” track will shed light on the changing face of football and horse racing markets, look at what operators need from data suppliers to continue to develop in-play products, and assess the esports opportunity. It will conclude with the “Sports Betting Hall of Fame” panel – a Q&A with some of the industry’s biggest names”. 

What are the opportunities in this market?

“There are obviously opportunities emerging in countries with newly-regulated markets, such as the Netherlands, Ukraine and Germany. But while they all have potential, it is early days and it remains to be seen how well operators will be able to perform within the regulation and taxation regimes. 

Perhaps the biggest opportunity lies in the use of the latest technology to develop new products and improved iterations of existing ones. In-play and bet builders were both game changers for the industry, and there is definitely room for another big new product. 

There is also a lucrative opportunity for operators that can find the right mix of product and experience to attract the 21-30 audience. They tend to consume sports in a different way to older players, often focusing on clips rather than full matches, and many are more interested in esports and boxing matches featuring YouTubers than they are in the Serie A title race or a Tyson Fury fight.  Any company that develops a sportsbook experience that can compete with the attractions of Netflix, social media and video games for that generation will be on to a winner”.

How has Covid affected the gaming industry?

“Put simply, it was a financial disaster for the retail sector and its workers, but served to demonstrate the full potential of online. That was seen particularly clearly in Italy. 

It’ll be interesting to see whether the change in player behaviour seen during the shutdowns will turn into a long-term trend. There hasn’t been enough time since the re-opening of retail sites in most European markets to assess that, but the early evidence suggests that many punters missed the social element of the betting shop and have returned”.
How can we start again?

“People who enjoyed having a bet on their favourite football team, on the weekend’s big race or the televised boxing card before Covid will still enjoy having a bet. So it’s not so much a question of starting again as of honing the customer experience to take account of what we’ve learned about player tastes and behaviour during the lockdowns. For the retail sector, that is likely to mean more investment in digitising betting shops and creating environments that are more welcoming, social spaces. 

It is crucial that everyone focuses on safer gambling provision and how both improved procedures and technology can enhance player protection. A lot of the regulatory and reputational problems faced by the industry stem directly from the issue of problem gambling, so from both a moral and a business perspective, it is vital that progress is made”.