With Betting on Sports 2019 only eight weeks away, SBC has been catching up with the event sponsors as the buildup to BOS begins.
The first stop on the road to London saw us sit down with Digitain’s director of international development, Simon Westbury, as he explained that he’s looking forward to hearing from an array of industry experts about emerging markets around the world.
What are you looking forward to at Betting on Sports?
Betting on Sports is going to be a great opportunity for us to bolster our valuable network, meeting up with existing clients and new partners. With the U.S. market continuing to unfold state-by-state, I’m looking forward to hearing what leading experts have to say about the opportunities and challenges, and where they see the industry going over the next few years. Emerging markets (from Asia, through Africa and on to Latin America) represent a key sportsbook interest for Digitain, as we bid to expand our global footprint in growth territories, against the far more mature European marketplace.
Additionally, as with all SBC events, I am looking forward to the networking aspects that perfectly complement the conference and exhibition. I am really looking forward to the C-Level networking events as they prove an invaluable opportunity to network with peers in a more relaxed environment.
What are you promoting at Betting on Sports?
Digitain’s powerful sportsbook is in the vanguard for propelling sports betting into a new era across the igaming planet. Our unique software caters to a burgeoning portfolio of operators across the globe. It provides an intuitive multi-lingual, multi-currency, customizable interface that can be easily integrated, using unique APIs, with new or existing platforms, whether you are an online or land-based operator.
At last count, our platform partnerships number in excess of 100 operators, and it’s my job as Director International Development to extend that trend with one of the most progressive and flexible sportsbooks on the market. Recent wins at Russian Gaming Week and the EGR B2B Awards already tell me we’re headed in the right direction, and the plan is to sign off in style at this year’s SBC Awards 2019.
What industry innovation will capture the most attention in 2019?
I feel that, thanks to tech gains in AI and automation, this is the year when gamification could really move from an annoying buzzword into a happy reality. When integrated into a segmentation and customer retention strategy, gamification can truly work wonders.
A gamified experience – merged with the right segmented customer – can drive players towards desired content at key times like never before. Coupled to bonus rewards, competition against other players and other social elements, and we now have a portfolio of incredibly adaptable and influential tools at our disposal. We’d like to think Digitain is perfectly placed to showcase these technological gains for peerless customer service.
Which sports betting operator has impressed you the most in 2019?
With so many operators continuously producing great results and innovation across the industry, it’s hard to differentiate between them all. However, Sky Bet have perhaps impressed the most. They constantly seem to be moving and modernising at a fast pace.
The Sky Bet interface is very easy to use – UI is something we always prioritise at Digitain – while the latest addition of ‘Group Bets’ looks to add a great social and competitive aspect to sports betting. Sky Bet have been marketed very well, too, and the use of the Sky Sports platform has allowed them to become a very recognisable and respected brand.
What sports betting partnership has stood out in the past 12 months?
For me, the ongoing partnership between Sky Bet and the English Football League really stands out. The recent survey from SBC showing that out of 27,000 people surveyed, 28% of those that gambled revealed that they exclusively bet with Sky Bet. I think the partnership also works because by partnering with the EFL as a whole Sky Bet maximise engagement with all fans. If a betting company engages with one team in a city with a number of teams, they can alienate parts of the city’s fanbase But by engaging with the league, they are able to engage with all fans in a non-partisan way.
The EFL provides growing viewing numbers and also excitement which is rarely seen outside of the Premier League. Of course, the Premier League is still the pinnacle but some of the exciting stories that have developed in this year’s EFL Championship, particularly the promotion battle between Sheffield United and Leeds, provided great levels of excitement and I was naturally delighted to see Sheffield United prevail and return to the Premier League.
If you could attend one sporting event, what would it be?
Sadly, due to work commitments, I missed the one event that I always dreamed of attending in June with Spurs in the Champions League final. However, I have always dreamed of being able to watch the England Test team abroad be that in Cape Town or following a tour in the Caribbean. Although the scenery at the Newlands is amazing, I think the ability to follow England in the Caribbean just pips it. Although, West Indian cricket is not as strong as it once was, the atmosphere at the matches and the ability to spend time in the Caribbean would be a dream come true.
I think the highlight for me this year will be seeing Sheffield United back in the Premier League. Having been around the club for the last four years, I understand all the hard work that has gone in behind the scenes and to see past colleagues have the chance to perform at the pinnacle is fantastic. I look forward to bringing colleagues from Digitain to experience the fantastic atmosphere that the fans at Bramall Lane create. Obviously, Digitain has just opened an office in Sheffield, so it is a great time to be around Sheffield and the new premises really underscore the City of Sheffield’s emergence as a leading city for driving business and innovation. Both on and off the football pitch!
Which parts of the conference agenda have caught your eye?
As we discussed earlier, I can’t wait to tackle both the challenges and opportunities on the agenda across all emerging markets with other senior industry peers. It’s great to think through the processes and plans of action with some of the brightest minds in the business. Which is why conferences like BOS represent such pivotal stops for Digitain on the tradeshow circuit.
#boscon, held 17-20 September at Olympia London, is the world’s leading sports betting industry event, with this year’s conference set to boast 300 leading industry speakers across 50 sessions, with 120 exhibitors displaying their latest products.
Delegates will be treated to world-class hospitality with plenty of business and networking opportunities at some of London’s most iconic venues including the Natural History Museum. For more information about the event, please visit the Betting on Sports website.