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OpenBet SG Digital – Finding the brightest minds to drive product innovation

OpenBet SG Digital is sponsoring Betting on Football 2018, the fifth edition of the largest international football and betting trade conference at Stamford Bridge.

Ahead of the 20-23 March event, we spoke to Keith O’Loughlin, SVP of Sportsbook and Platforms at SG Digital, about what he is looking forward to at #bofcon2018, which innovation he expects to capture the most attention in 2018, and who he is backing to lift the World Cup trophy in Russia.

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

KOL: Betting on Football has become one of the main events on the iGaming calendar. It continues to grow in standing and relevance, and this year’s event is of natural significance with the World Cup in Russia just a few months away.

I’m looking forward to hearing about U.S. regulation and product innovation. The potential overturning of PASPA from New Jersey’s challenge and the subsequent availability of sports betting in New Jersey could prove catalytic to legislative change across many states, and SG Digital is primed to take full advantage with the world-renowned OpenBet™ sportsbook.

Betting on Football is also the perfect platform to find out how innovation is shaping the future of football betting, and I’m keen to see how others have been creative to improve the landscape.

SBC: What are you promoting at Betting on Football?

KOL: OpenBet is already renowned as a trusted sportsbook solution and is one of the founder members of the UK online sports betting landscape. We are the supplier of choice for major leading operators in the UK and beyond and we celebrate the success of these partnerships. However, we remain keen to ensure our partners maintain their leading position and benefit from innovation that keeps them ahead of the market.

OpenBet is now enabled to offer turnkey solutions which combines its full-enterprise resilient platform with a full range of online, mobile, retail and SSBT solutions that includes cutting edge front-ends developed with intuitive user experience insights. This, in addition to our newly launched Managed Trading Services, is a compelling and convenient package for customers. Operators will benefit from the widest range of events and markets in the industry coupled with full risk management capabilities and a fast time to market.

Our journey to productization is enhancing every aspect of our leading products and services, which is why we have also unveiled a new tech hub in Poland and are scaling our product development and operations teams across Chicago and Montreal to find the brightest, creative minds who can drive this innovation throughout our product portfolio.

SBC: What industry innovation will capture the most attention in 2018?

KOL: We anticipate this will be the year when a trend towards personalisation finally brings tangible results. The movement has been coming for a while, but with intuitive, automated technologies in place, the industry is readying itself to match the demand with user experiences consistent with punters’ experiences across diverse consumer industries. There is also an expected shift with customers taking more control over and creating their own bets.

Innovation can also arrive in the regulatory world. Entry into the US market represents a key focus for SG Digital this year, and if the Supreme Court rules in favour of eliminating PASPA, we will benefit from a proven model coupled with entertaining features to meet the requirements of the emerging market.

Now that the acquisition of NYX Gaming Group by Scientific Games is complete, and the new SG Digital division established, OpenBet can focus on delivering an even stronger proposition to customers ahead of the US market opening up.

SBC: How can your company help to improve the customer experience ahead of the World Cup?

KOL: In-play betting is a key driver for revenues in the sports betting space, and this year’s World Cup will be no different, particularly as the time difference will have little impact for those active in the European market, compared to four years ago when the tournament was held in Brazil. We are working closely with our partners to introduce new features that create engaging user experiences.

Crucial to making this experience as seamless as possible for the end user is the ability to place bets without encountering any technical issues at peak times. The OpenBet sportsbook boasts a proven track record for delivering a scalable and reliable performance with unrivalled speed during major sporting events and we fully expect this to be the case during the summer’s biggest tournament.

SBC: Who are you backing to win the tournament, and why?

KOL: I’m prepared to look past the usual suspects you mention, and I might take a punt on Belgium carving their name on the World Cup trophy for the first time. While many teams appear to be priced on accumulated national reputation, the Red Devils appear to be priced on towering individual ability.

I think big name players such as Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku will strike fear into the hearts of any rival defence, and they are now a few years wiser after lowly Wales knocked them out of Euro 2016 at the quarter-final stage.

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