We spoke with Chris Nikolopoulos, Chief Commercial Officer at BETBY to hear his perspective. He believes the key to future sportsbook growth lies with new innovative tech such as Machine Learning and AI. Read below as Chris explains how this can be leveraged in practical terms, getting up close with the customer and ensuring your sportsbook brand grows well into the future.
Do you think the majority of operators are making best use of the new ML and AI tech available on the market? How can they take better advantage of these opportunities moving forward?
It’s becoming more and more evident that the majority of operators nowadays are shifting their focus towards software that can analyse, predict and make educated decisions. In no way does this mean that human interaction is no longer needed, but when we are talking about big data, yes ML and AI definitely help. However, I don’t think operators make the most out of it yet and in many situations that could be because of a lack of understanding or limited attention paid to the field. If operators, and indeed suppliers, want ML and AI software to be your ally, there is a need to properly invest in it, with a real R&D department and a proper data science team, which is an approach we have taken at BETBY.
What does it mean to be truly customer-focused? What are some practical examples of how a sports-book operator can get closer to their customers?
In my opinion, an operator’s first responsibility should be to make sure they know and understand their players’ behaviour and mentality. For instance, giving a free bet to a customer just before their favourite team has an important game, shows commitment and respect from the operator’s side. Providing relevant content is key. An average player has to be able to find what they are looking for in the minimum number of clicks. Creating a frontend that can showcase individualised, relevant content based on a customer’s previous activity or preferences, something close to a Netflix type homepage is also very important.
Sportsbook operators took a large hit to their revenues during last year’s lockdown. Is there any key ways that they can diversify their product portfolios to mitigate the risk of another potential ban on live sports?
I think the expected large hit was not so large after all, once people took time to take stock. Sure, there were a couple of months where there were minimal live sporting competitions as almost all major sports were shut down. That being said, the market responded quickly and effectively and has already made the transition. At BETBY for instance, we launched our BETBY. Games series during the pandemic, something that we keep expanding with more and more games and events as we see that these products are among our most successful content, even with the sporting calendar getting back to normal.
What regions around the world are showing the most growth or promise as a sportsbook market? Is this where brands hoping to expand should be concentrating most?
If we exclude the United States, which is obviously set to be the biggest regulated market in the world, I believe all emerging markets are highly interesting and this is where the growth is most likely to come from for many companies in our industry. Markets like LATAM, India, SE Asia and Africa may not be easy for European operators or providers but with the right team and the right product setup, can be extremely rewarding.
From speaking with Chris its very apparent that in order for sportsbooks to remain competitive in the market they must start to embrace new technologies as quick as possible. He believes that human interaction is still needed, but when we are talking about big data and large-scale operations, tech such as ML and AI is imperative. With so many new and exciting markets emerging around the world, the potential for expansion is great and with the right team and product setup, the rewards are almost infinite!