Bede Gaming

Bede Gaming – Sponsor Profile – #boscon2017

Bede Gaming is sponsoring Betting on Sports 2017, the second edition of the largest international sports and betting trade conference at Olympia Conference Centre in Kensington.

Ahead of the 12-15 September event, we spoke to the company’s CEO and Co-Founder Michael Brady about what he is looking forward to at #boscon2017, his perfect sporting event, and how sports and betting can work better together.

SBC: What are you looking forward to at Betting on Sports?

MB: The BOS conference has attracted an impressive who’s who of online gaming and sportsbook. I am looking forward to announcing Bede as an attractive solution for sportsbook to a new and varied audience. The event has attracted an impressive international presence and it will be good to chat to operators in markets we have yet to venture into.

Bede has significant international ambitions and a platform designed to move rapidly into new markets. I am looking forward to hearing about how operators are tackling the technical challenge of growing across all verticals beyond just sports.

SBC: What are you promoting at Betting on Sports?

MB: In my humble opinion, Bede provides the most modern and innovative platform in the market today. It is public knowledge that our clients have seen dramatic growth in gaming over the past few years. However, it is perhaps less well recognised that through our work with Kambi we have supported significant growth in sports for clients such as Rank.

Bede remains agnostic and can work with any sports technology provider. Critically, we can provide powerful backend solutions to allow an operator a single customer view across all product verticals. We are gaining good traction in sports and I am keen to build on that at BOS this year.

SBC: Where can betting work together more closely with sport?

MB: There have been plenty of positive partnerships over the year that have gone well but the one that has stood out for me in the past 12 months is one that was ended. In June, the FA suddenly ended their £4 million a year for four years deal with Ladbrokes. The contract had only been going for one year but after Joey Barton’s stinging comments after being handed an 18 month ban for betting, the FA decided they could do without Ladbrokes.

I think we will look back on this and see it as a moment when attitudes towards gambling companies’ sponsorship started to change, especially in football. I don’t see this at a club level but where a league is both the regulator and looking for a sponsor, I think it becomes increasingly hard to be able to justify taking on a sponsor who is taking bets on that league.

With sports governance such a hot topic around the world, it seems inevitable to me that leagues and cup competitions will stop being sponsored by sports betting companies. At club level, we have probably reached peak shirt advertising by betting companies in the Premier League and I think public and media perceptions of the link between betting companies and sports leagues will mean that we see some serious re-considerations of whether the relationships are entirely appropriate.

But I also suspect that the finance departments of betting operators will start to look carefully at shirt sponsorships and work out that they don’t deliver the expected CPA levels of other forms of marketing. I suspect some of the withdrawals of sponsors will be dressed up as social responsibility when the sums won’t have added up.

SBC: What sports betting partnership has stood out in the past 12 months?

MB: Data is going to be a key factor for both sports teams and betting operators in future and there is so much than can be done collaboratively between both sides. If you look at the sort of data that is going to be generated by wearables – things like detailed information about distance covered, speed travelled and competitor heart rates – this is the sort of information that can make a sport more accessible to viewers but also help create new betting markets.

You can see in horseracing that partnerships between Total Performance Data and Sky Bet are only just starting to use this data analytics to create new markets such as which horse runs fastest in the final furling of a major race.

That allows Sky bet to create a differentiated product, which is important because currently a lot of operators are offering identical betting products and the only way of standing out in the market is through bonuses, which is expensive and getting more expensive because in the UK those bonuses are now taxed. Meanwhile TPD is using the data to offer information to bettors, trainers and owners that was never out there before.

I think some sports have a distrust of sharing data, especially if it is going to be used for betting, because they think that it can create integrity issues. If anything, the more data that is available, the more it improves sports integrity but I think it will take some time for everyone to realise that. I think that is also part of a wider theme that I would like to see addressed.

Betting obviously does bring the risk of corruption of a sport but history has shown that the most effective way of catching people who cheat on sports through betting is to work with the people who are taking the bets. A lot of sports do realise this and have effective monitoring of the betting markets but there are plenty of sports that still would prefer that no-one ever bet on their sport. That’s not realistic but the more betting markets are underground and unregulated, the greater the chance is that they will be corrupted.

SBC: Describe your perfect sporting event  

MB: As a lifelong Liverpool fan, my favourite sporting event will always be any game at Anfield. I make annual pilgrimages to Cheltenham and Aintree and never fail to enjoy the wonderful hospitality of our industry. Grand Prix, NBA, Cricket at Lords, Rugby at Twickenham, Athletics at the Olympic Park, Nou Camp, Bernabeu have all been great recent highlights for which I feel very fortunate.

However, nothing would compare to the chance to watch Liverpool in the Champions League final, wherever that may be. I can only hope that will one day happen again!

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