iGaming Business magazine Sports Betting Focus 2017 - Page 2

Sports Betting Focus 2017 SPORTS BETTING’S NEW CHALLENGE What are the challenges that lie ahead for the sports betting industry in 2017 and beyond? Erik Lögdberg, the chief business development offi cer of Kambi Group, offers his perspective. The sports betting sector, like many strands of the global gambling market, has undergone considerable change in recent years, with more formats, products and competition from different providers. This signifi cant expansion has been fuelled by multiple factors, including a broad acknowledgement by sports organisations worldwide that responsible, regulated gambling has a crucial role to play in not only generating interest and funds for their activities, but also in terms of identifying wrongdoers and fraudsters. However, whilst mobile and in-play betting have offered new dimensions to punters, the appetite for more fl exible, relevant and, above, all engaging products, is greater than ever from a demanding pool of potential customers who have more choice at their fi ngertips than ever before. Erik Lögdberg, the chief business development offi cer of Kambi Group, a sportsbook supplier and B2B risk management service provider, is well aware of the challenges which lie ahead for sports-betting companies in 2017 and in the years to come. “There has of course been big growth in the whole sports betting industry with lots of companies enjoying success,” Lögdberg says. “Growth has historically been achieved by doing the fundamentals. However, partly 62 | iGamingBusiness | Issue 105 | July/August 2017 because of democratisation of sportsbook, this is no longer up to just a few companies that could afford it at the time. Now, you can more or less buy a sportsbook off the shelf and this is enabling more companies to try to attract players in new ways.” They will likely have a shorter attention span, demand transparency and be more social, but we will face more competition from other forms of entertainment to gain their attention. “The approach is going to have to shift to customer centricity and this is going to defi ne the whole of the gaming sector moving forward. Previously, we were looking at product aspects such as bet offers, limits, “I do believe in DFS in that for many players it is a more accessible way to bet on sports rather than the more traditional product and is more attractive to a younger audience” New demands According to Lögdberg, one of the greatest challenges facing companies that operate in the sector is the inevitable shift towards catering for a new type of player who has fresh demands and expectations. When and what these demands will be remains to be seen. “The end use of product is still similar to what it has always been, but we have seen changes and movement in strategies in many places where sports betting hasn’t been before,” Lögdberg says. “Everyone believes it is going to change, but it is just the question of in which direction or directions it is going to go. “There is a new type of player coming in the form of the Millennial and they will have a different view of what ‘good’ looks like. live events and paybacks, but I can see that shifting and becoming far more complex and interesting. How to deal with data and packaging to put all this together to create relevance is what’s going to be absolutely key.” Pivoting a business on the whims of an unpredictable market will prove a major obstacle for established operators, Lögdberg acknowledges. “The major challenge in this shifting landscape is to protect your existing revenue, while at the same time making yourself prepared and attractive to a new type of player, and with threats coming from left, right and centre, this is challenging,” Lögdberg adds. “The gaming management system and the core sportsbook platform need to be