‘Learning about the next trends and key themes for sportsbook products’ – Will Whitehead, Commercial Director at mkodo

As SBC Summit North America is just around the corner, Will Whitehead, Commercial Director at mkodo sat down with SBC to explain his thoughts on current industry trends and what the company aims to learn about at the Meadowlands Exposition Center, New Jersey.

Particularly, Whitehead explores the growing importance of geolocation technology and how mkodo’s new GeoLocs product can help ‘easily implement and manage geolocation requirements for their apps’ and how SBC Summit North America 2022 can help put the company in touch with operators interested in geolocation tech.

 

What makes SBC Summit North America stand out as an event?

“We attended and sponsored SBC Summit North America last year now and it was a great opportunity for us to engage with those in the sports betting world across North America, sharing our knowledge and expertise around what makes a best-in-breed app, along with learning about the next trends and key themes for sportsbook products.”

What would you highlight as the biggest opportunity in the US gaming industry over the next couple of years?

“With mobile gaming now representing a much higher percentage of business for the industry, it also creates its own challenges as players can be on the move while gambling. And as states create their own individual sports betting industries, all operators will need to ensure they are striking partnerships and leveraging certified geolocation products that prevent interstate betting to stay compliant.

“Geolocation provides an exciting opportunity for iGaming and sports betting operators to leverage and ensure a fast and successful entry into new markets. mkodo’s geolocation service, GeoLocs, is the perfect example of a seamless UX in this regard. Users can very quickly verify their location directly within the app or website, eliminating the need to download a partner or companion app and go through lengthy processes to have their geographic location approved.”

What industry innovation will capture the most attention in the next 12 months?

“Geolocation is definitely a hot topic right now. Although gambling legislation and regulation differ from country to country, one thing they all have in common is a requirement for licensees to ensure that their customers are physically within their specific region, a task which is easier said than done. Not only that, but geolocation is also a crucial guideline that must be met for real money gaming (RGM) App Store submissions. This is why working with experienced and certified geolocation solution suppliers is critical. 

“Geolocation services are crucial to avoid regulatory pitfalls as operators employ a multi-jurisdictional approach and it’s an area of the industry that is often misunderstood, with many thinking it is more complex than it is. mkodo is changing that impression and making geolocation as easy to implement as other methods but with the added regulatory oversight that it provides because it is more accurate and easier to manage and understand.”

What core challenges do you help solve for your customers/partners?

“mkodo designs and develops the highest-rated mobile apps and digital UX in the iGaming industry. We exclusively help regulated iGaming and lottery operators drive engagement, attract new customers, and increase revenues, by creating customized, innovative and best-in-class mobile apps and digital UX. 

“We also offer a certified and reliable geolocation service, GeoLocs, enabling operators to easily implement and manage geolocation requirements for their apps and digital products without the need for a companion app. 

“App Gaming Framework (AGF) is another product in our suite that offers a solution for operators whose priority is speed to market. Building upon a decade of designing, developing and maintaining world-class apps in the iGaming industry, we’ve packaged our extensive app codebase into a set of structures. AGF not only provides speed to market but also a lower upfront cost and a world-class app as a result.

Who have you especially enjoyed working with over the past year?

“We were delighted to be OLG’s chosen partner for the development of their new market-leading lottery app. OLG has always been at the forefront of lottery innovations and in the current digital landscape, it is imperative that lotteries look for more ways to reach their players through interactive means. OLG’s new mobile app provides players the opportunity to conveniently purchase and play their favorite games while helping the Lottery to build more effective and direct connections with its players. 

“As one of the most sophisticated and accessible lottery apps on the market, we collaborated with Bede, OLG’s platform provider, to create a best-in-class design featuring enhanced navigation and an intuitive user interface. In addition to ticket purchasing capabilities, the newly launched app provides OLG players with an engaging mobile play experience, as well as information on current games, instant rewards for small wins, subscriptions to multiple draws, and a lottery retailer locator functionality. In addition, the app utilizes mkodo’s exclusive geo-location platform, GeoLocs, to ensure that only users within OLG’s jurisdictional boundaries can engage with the app.

“Accessibility was prioritized throughout the app’s design to ensure all OLG players, including those using assistive technologies such as voice assistance/talkback/screen readers, have the ability to utilize and enjoy all of its features. The app is compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Level AA, the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001, and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

“We are very proud to help broaden OLG’s scope of work within the digital sphere with the launch of their new mobile app and we look forward to continuing to provide the Lottery with innovative products that drive excitement among players and generate returns for the many good causes OLG supports.”

What are you hoping to learn from the conference at SBC Summit North America?

“These events are great for us to see what other operators and vendors are doing. A particular focus for us is always learning about operators’ mobile and front-end needs and how we can support their strategies. This year specifically, it will be interesting the learn more about what operators’ thoughts and plans are around geolocation, with it being such a hot topic and since our own geolocation product, GeoLocs, is certified by AGCO and GPEB.” 

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