Ahead of the 3-5 May event, we spoke to Gunter Boyks, the CEO of Digitote about why football is such an attractive sport for betting, new technology that will impact football betting and what he’s looking forward to at the conference. Digitote has development offices in Berlin, Douglas and Recklinghausen and provides system solutions for the betting industry.
SBC: Why is football such an attractive sport for betting?
Gunter: Football is the most attractive sport, full stop. Of course, you might get debate and disagreement on this from fans of other sports but the facts speak for themselves – it is globally the most watched and the most played sport. And where people have a passion for a sport, in a large part they generally believe they have the knowledge of the game.
The sport fan’s inherent desire to be right, to prove they know more than the next guy, and ultimately to beat the system is the fundamental challenge sports fans accept when they bet on sports, and when they bet on football especially.
The football fan’s enjoyment of the game is also enhanced when they have something riding on the outcome, and now, with so many markets available in all the major football events fans can constantly feel they are part of the action of the game. We now live in a global economy and this has transferred to global access to football matches anytime, anywhere. Football fans may not always understand the intricacies and merits of each team but they inherently understand the game itself, which is why fans will still bet on football matches in leagues they have no knowledge of. This constant coverage is attractive to betting and football fans alike. The TV viewership football still demands is also important to drive betting popularity.
The established relevance of second screen content together with the length of competitions, tournaments and matches means football is by far the most widely covered sport and therefore the most interesting to betting companies.
SBC: From a consumer perspective, how is football betting changing?
Gunter: I think we will see a greater shift towards a more casual gaming experience in football betting.
You will always have the highly knowledgeable fan that is looking to use his know-how to improve his chances of making the right selections. But I think the growth areas will be in areas where products introduce an entertaining and enhanced experience to the average football fan. Football, and especially Premier League, aims to be much more accessible and I think betting products will likewise begin to fit a much broader demographic.
That is why Digitote is focusing on products for the casual bettor. Our SoccerSlot betting interface for example, gives an exciting betting experience that is aimed at the casual bettor. By simplifying the process to make an accumulator bet, and by giving multiple chances to win including big prizes for a small stake, we aim to cater for this relatively untapped betting audience.
SBC: What new technology do you feel will have the biggest impact on football betting?
Gunter: I think the biggest impact will come from those companies that control both event and user data.
The sophistication in the methods of harvesting and understanding the relevance of data is accelerating rapidly. The breadth of coverage and the level of control companies have over that data present its own challenges, but I think the biggest opportunity will be for the sports betting software provider to create ways to harness that data to create products that customers want to use.
For the operator, the ability to gather, analyse and interpret customer data at the individual level and to provide highly relevant contextual offers for that individual customer represents a level of sophistication that will not only increase income opportunities, but will also provide customers a superior betting experience. The provision of tools and systems to enable operators to do this is an exciting challenge that Digitote is embracing.
SBC: What key agenda, debate or discussion do you want to hear at BOFCON 2017?
Gunter: I am personally looking forward to the market profiles track on Day 1. Digitote has been very strong in our home market (Germany) for many years. We are now actively seeking expansion into new markets and emerging markets are of interest. I’m looking forward to the discussions on Africa and Latin America in particular.
The flexibility of our sports betting solutions makes us the ideal partner for emerging markets where flexibility and speed to adapt and deploy are key requirements. At the very core of our omni-channel offering is our Xturf platform. As a proven platform for almost 30 years Xturf includes solutions for retail, internet, mobile, self-service machines and special hospitality capture and recognition systems.
Our single customer wallet capability across multiple venues and devices is open for easy integration of third party products, meaning we can quickly set up a working platform in new jurisdictions. Additionally, our managed service and white label online/mobile offering can be provided on a standalone basis to include a responsive mobile front-end with full CMS for sports, casino and virtual sports.
We envisage providing customised market relevant solutions which is why we have built our core system to be as flexible as possible.