Intertops is sponsoring Betting on Football 2017, the fourth edition of the largest international football and betting trade conference at Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge.
Ahead of the 3-5 May event, we spoke to Intertops Affiliate & Sports Betting Manager Christoph Rehm about why football is such an attractive sport for betting, how the market is changing from a consumer perspective and how betting and football stakeholders can work more effectively together.
SBC: Why is football such an attractive sport for betting?
CR: Well, as football is the number one sport on the globe, it is not really surprising that fans want to get an extra kick by (hopefully) earning some cash as they keep their fingers crossed for their team. Tradition does play a role, but the development of live football action, both through TV coverage and more recently through streaming, have given the interest a further boost.
Football provides such a wide range of wagering opportunities – not just who will win the game – and this no doubt adds to the fun. At the same time, the arrival of mobile wagering means that every fan can follow the action and place his/her bet anytime and anywhere.
The media is so full of minute details about each and every team that punters hope they have the inside track on what is going on and that this knowledge will help them place winning wagers.
SBC: From a consumer perspective, how is football betting changing?
CR: Nowadays customers can bet on football almost 24/7 as the bet offers made available by bookmakers are increasing by the day. There has also been a huge development in the number of special markets per game in recent years. Customers can bet whenever they want and wherever they are as all betting sites can be accessed from mobile devices.
The world of wagering has also undergone an amazing change of image over the last few decades. Fifty years ago it was very much the domain of the working class male population. The smoke-filled betting shop on the street corner was a far cry from the shiny world of entertainment for people from all walks of life (and both sexes) that it is today.
Television advertising and club shirt sponsorship has helped bring the business out of the shadows and into the mainstream of business today. Major bookmakers have become household names, even among people who do not actively wager, which no doubt helps increase trust and tempt small-stake punters to give it a go just for fun.
SBC: How can betting & football stakeholders work better and more effectively together?
CR: The two worlds are mutually linked with the clubs founding the basis for the excitement of wagering – no matches, no odds – but placing bets on one’s favourite team also increases the fan’s sense of thrill when each matchday comes around and further heightens interest in both the club and its results. Football is all about emotion and both sets of businesses profit from exactly that.
SBC: What new technology do you feel will have the biggest impact on football betting?
CR: Definitely live betting. Wagering in-play already accounts for much more than half of betting turnover and numbers are continuing to rise. Live betting – combined with the ability to wager on the go via smartphone or tablet – provides more thrills and emotions and that is exactly what the modern-day customer is after.
What could be better than sitting in front of your TV (or even in the ground) with your mates and proving that you are a real football expert by winning money while you watch? The sky would still appear to be the limit as technology continues to progress and makes real-time winning part of everyday life.
SBC: What key agenda, debate or discussion do you want to hear at BOFCON 2017?
CR: Day 2 is very interesting for Intertops, with marketing and media the centre of our attention. It’s a pity that the Trading & Operations module is also scheduled on Day 2. From an Intertops bet management point of view, these debates and discussions would have definitely been worth hearing.
The talks on “Challenges for the Betting Market” in the morning and those on “Betting Leaders Panel” in the afternoon would have been of particular interest.