Last week the EGR Awards celebrated its milestone 20th Anniversary at the JW Marriott located on London’s prestigious Park Lane. On the night, the Betsson team were out in full force to join in the celebrations and hopefully pick up some awards as they had a host of exciting nominations.
As expected, Betsson were victorious on the night, picking up two of the most coveted awards, In-Play Product of the Year and Best Diversity & Inclusion Model.
These categories are so important because both topics are key elements to the future success of the Sportsbook and wider iGaming industry in general.
We caught up with Roderick Spiteri Schillig, Head of Communications at Betsson Group to find out more about how the business was able to excel in these areas and more importantly, what role do these aspects play in the future success of our industry.
Betsson was awarded for In-Play product of the year. Why is this product vertical so important to the future growth of the Sportsbook market?
“In-play betting has nowadays become one of the most popular forms of gaming – getting this part of the offering right is crucial and we are therefore extremely proud to have been awarded as the Best in-Play Sports Operator of the Year at the EGR Operator Awards 2022. In-play is an integral part of Betsson’s sports betting operations. In all of our major territories, live betting accounts for more than 50% of turnover and in some cases around 70%. Football leads the way by some margin in terms of popularity, followed by tennis, basketball, ice hockey, volleyball and esports. Tennis, volleyball and table tennis are the sports which have the highest ratio of live turnover compared with pre-match turnover. The numbers are all expected to increase in the coming years.
“What is also important is that at Betsson Group we appreciate that from a player protection perspective, with the potential for increased activity, there is a heightened requirement for responsible and safe gambling monitoring, as well as proactive intervention where there are signs of risk. Overall, in-play betting is enjoyed regularly and safely by the vast majority of bettors.”
Betsson also won the award for best Diversity and Inclusion model. What is it about your D&I strategy that separates you from other operators and what can the rest of the industry learn from this to help improve D&I standards across the board?
“When it comes to diversity and inclusion, we are always striving to do better. We operate within the iGaming industry and similar to the tech sector at large, the industry tends to be homogenous, and male-dominated. Getting the numbers right is not an easy task but the most difficult part is making sure that employees feel included in a genuine way. This requires daily and continuous effort from management and their teams alike.
“Our top suggestion to all other companies is to stay open and embrace change and work together, as cliche as it may sound. Appreciate the differences and build on them to create a culture of acceptance where ideas and creativity can be unleashed. We are extremely pleased to see professionals from other operators, affiliate companies and others joining the conferences that we organise about D&I – the more knowledge we share and the more we network with one another, the better we all get in leading our industry as a truly inclusive and equal one.”
Apart from the prestigious EGR Award, what are some of the positive results you’ve seen internally as a direct outcome of your company D&I strategy?
“Back in 2018, when we started actively working on D&I, we realised that the first element that required focus was the company culture – we wanted to change this and ensure that our leaders could and should be the driving force behind the changes. We were open for our teams and indeed the company as a whole to help us in executing the changes we wanted to do and making them a success. We have built an inclusive company culture where people can feel psychologically safe to express their opinions and, if needed, also challenge each other. Only when people truly feel like they belong to something and are included in the team, that they can realise their full potential.
“At Betsson, we believe that diversity is necessary for running a successful business in a sustainable way for the long term. To achieve this, we constantly need to stay ahead of the curve not only with our product offering but also in terms of talent. Besides being incredibly talented in their fields of specialisation, our Betssonites have different backgrounds, experiences, and personalities – all of which enrich the end product that we offer to customers. It is indeed when all of that comes together that the magic happens. In my opinion without diversity, there is no innovation, and without inclusion, there is no diversity. The more we spread the message, the quicker it becomes reality for us all.”
Betsson’s EGR awards are a clear indication of the positive direction they, and hopefully, the rest of the industry, are moving in.
Sportsbook products are the bedrock of online gaming and smart, experience-enhancing features such as In-Play will be the key drivers of growth in the future. So it’s no surprise that Betsson have chosen to focus their efforts on this.
At the same time, creating an increasingly diverse and inclusive environment is now a priority for companies across the globe, regardless of industry. Its encouraging to see operators like Betsson, leading the way and setting a strong example for the rest of the industry to follow!