For the first time, the Sports Betting Community (SBC) hosted a Betting on Sports Conference at the 5-Star Grange Tower Bridge Hotel in London. The aim was to shed light on multiple facets of the online sports betting industry, while discussing ways to assimilate that market with emerging Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and eSports markets.
Not surprisingly, more than 800 delegates from top iGaming companies all over the world turned out for the 2-day conference that ran September 15-16. Overall, it was a phenomenal success, with several important topics receiving attention from expert panels.
Enhancing The Promotional Experience
One thing all attendees of the 2016 Betting on Sports Conference were able to agree on was the abundant need for more innovative promotional campaigns. For years now, online sports betting enthusiasts have been met with the same incentives, day in and day out, and they all relate to free and/or deposit bonuses.
Pinnacle Sports‘ Marketing Director, Harry Lang, and IBAS Managing Director Richard Hayler led a discussion on the topic of antiquated promotions and the need for diversification. While no specific solutions were provided at the seminar, it was wholly agreed upon that each brand’s marketing team needs to focus more on innovation, especially where VIP promotions are concerned.
The Big Deal About Big Data
Today’s sports betting customers have become accustomed to the digital world, and having up-to-the-minute information at their fingertips. This led another panel to lecture operators on the existing use real-time CRM models that, for the most part, have failed to keep up with the growing needs of their clients.
It was decided that operators must be able to provide more big data to customers, and increase their current range of odds to include a wider variety of in-play betting options with real-time data to help support informative decisions on the part of their customers.
Merging Sportsbooks, DFS and eSports
Online sportsbooks have been around for years. DFS sites came along more recently, followed by an immense interest in eSports betting. Thus far, these online gambling venues have remained segregated from one another, but in order for sports betting sites to truly modernize, they may have to assimilate their younger cousins into the fold.
Major DFS operators like DraftKings and FanDuel have proven indubitably successful in North American markets, where traditional online sports betting is – for the most part – illegal. Both of those companies are now licensed in the UK, and European sportsbook operators may do well to offer similar products as they become more mainstream.
As for eSports betting, this is another field that’s emerged very recently, but has witnessed phenomenal growth in such a short period of time. Punters are flocking into the market to wager on competitive video gaming, where teams of highly skilled gamers compete in tournaments on titles like Call of Duty, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2 and League of Legends.
While a traditional sports betting fan may not see these games as genuine ‘sports’, requiring no true athleticism, but rather superior reaction time combined with the agility and dexterity of one’s appendages, the Betting on Sports Conference clearly illuminated the fact that it’s a lucrative market worth tapping into.