2020 was hugely successful for BtoBet. What are the set targets for 2021?
Further consolidating our presence in those markets where we are already considered as market leaders, whilst seeking to strengthen our partner portfolio in mature and new markets must be the target we set for ourselves for this year. During 2020, despite all the challenges brought about by the novel coronavirus pandemic, we have not only continued strengthening our positions in markets, such as Africa and Latin America, announcing strategic partnerships that will reap substantial benefits for the company on the medium to long term, but we have also set out a clear vision to make a similar impact in more mature markets such as Europe, whilst setting our eyes on new opportunities.
Increasing our footprint on an international level has always been our intention from the very onset, and what the company has achieved in a relatively short period of time is testimony to the determination and talent within the company’s ranks to meet the set targets.
Furthermore, BtoBet’s acquisition by Aspire Global now puts us in the ideal position to be able to enter more complex market scenarios, such as Europe, which are highly characterised by an overwhelming level of regulation. Together we are able to meet the requirements of all operators requiring a technological partner serving the entire iGaming value chain, providing them with a cutting edge sports betting platform, and also all requirements from a content and services point of view. All this whilst adhering to the compliance requirements of the vast majority of regulated jurisdictions, keeping to a minimum the time-to-market.
Having said this, the overzealous regulation and over taxed market scenarios characterizing the European market have led to businesses turning towards the fresh, and new opportunities other emerging markets can offer them. And our strong presence in these markets, puts us at in an optimal position to assist those operators seeking to gain an advantageous position in these so-called emerging markets.
The past months have seen BtoBet very active in different markets, announcing key partnerships – such as Betfair and William Hill in Colombia, and Sports Lotteries LLC in Russia – and in the coming weeks we seek to maintain the momentum.
Any new products in the pipeline from BtoBet?
We are currently finalizing a string of new tools that are set to have a great impact for both operators and players.
The major trend today is that we live our lives on screens and this affects every aspect of our daily life. In order to stay current, especially in online gaming, you need to be disruptive. By producing a better product that incorporates the way people live, you can disrupt the space in an industry. Innovation is a constant objective of any company within the iGaming industry.
Having said that, whilst other industries especially the entertainment industry, have harnessed new technologies based on ML and AI in order to ameliorate the customer experience, the betting industry has yet to truly harness this form of disruptive technology. And this is what we have been working on for the past months… tools based on in-depth data analysis allowing operators to fully understand the different player demographics, psychographics and playing habits, ultimately enabling them to create enhanced, personalized experiences based on the individual player preferences and behaviours.
Whilst this will undoubtedly play a major role towards a player-centric UX, bookmakers will also be able to harness great benefits from the technology from an operational perspective. A primary example that comes to mind is that these tools are able to single out suspicious betting patterns and payments. And all these in an automated environment.
How disruptive was the coronavirus pandemic for the industry?
2020 was deeply marked by the global coronavirus outbreak. It has affected the industry in many ways, with many businesses – both B2C and B2B – having to re-dimension the traditional way of how they operate.
Luckily for us, we had been investing for quite some time in widening the content portfolio for all verticals, and simultaneously having had invested heavily on our platform in order to better assist those retail operators opting to start wholly or partially migrating their business to the digital channels in an interlinked environment.
Now the big question is will everything revert back to pre-Covid scenarios? In reality I don’t envision the development of widely available vaccines, which will mark the end of the pandemic, to prompt the industry to go back to the 2019 situation.
The pandemic has undoubtedly brought about a digitalisation reform, and this is reflected in all those industries which featured retail as part of their business model. Adults who have entered the digital age of wagering may shift some of their spending to more traditional forms of entertainment channels – namely retail casinos – but many of those adults will undoubtedly continue sharing their wallet with the digital channels. Does this mean that this is the end for the industry’s retail outlets? Definitely not, but I do expect the digitalisation of the industry to maintain its momentum.