Exclusive interview with Kambi’s Senior Director, US and North America, David Bretnitz

"A significant trend in the wider sports betting market is the quality of the in-game offering"

Kambi’s Senior Director, US and North America, David Bretnitz.
Reading time 5:30 min
On Day 1 of G2E 2021, Yogonet spoke to David Bretnitz, who gave a clear insight on the new trends in the market with new products such as "NFL Game Parlays", which will be showcased at the company's stand 2230 from October 4-7 at the Venetian Expo. He assessed the acquisition of data odds provider Abios, and explained how the company intends to grow in markets such as Latin America, in countries including Argentina, Peru, Colombia and more.

What products and services is Kambi planning to showcase and focus on at G2E Las Vegas? What are the attendants going to find at the company's booth this year?

Kambi is excited to have the opportunity to showcase our market-leading online and on-property solutions at G2E, not least our kiosks, Bring Your Own Device technology and innovative in-game betting capabilities. However, one of the main products we will be showcasing is our enhanced NFL Game Parlays product, launched for the start of the new season in September. 

The next natural step in parlay betting, it provides bettors with the opportunity to combine main and player prop bets within a single game and across multiple games for the first time, offering true odds-on-demand. This ability to combine main and prop bets across different games is unique to Kambi, and the offering provides our partners’ customers with the most expansive potential for bet combination in the industry.

What really sets Kambi’s Game Parlays offering apart from those of other leading sportsbooks is how it has been built into the core of the sportsbook product. Similar products offered by other sportsbooks are often separate from the main sportsbook, a technical hurdle for players which disrupts the flow of the user experience. We knew that we needed to deliver an integrated and intuitive experience for our partners and their customers alike to get the most from the product. 

The fact that we have built the technical infrastructure required as part of the existing sportsbook, rather than bolted on a third-party product, means that we will be able to continually iterate and add further product features in the future.

During the opening weeks of the NFL season, Game Parlays have already proven immensely popular with players with approximately 40% of NFL bettors engaging with the product. Furthermore, approximately 35% of Game Parlay bets were placed across more than one game – something our competitors don’t currently offer.

What are the company's key objectives and expectations for the G2E expo? What does this long-awaited return to in-person events mean for Kambi, and especially to Las Vegas in the framework of such a prestigious event? 

We’re delighted to be back to safely attending in-person events, having also attended September’s SBC Summit in Barcelona

G2E is always a fantastic event, offering the industry an opportunity to come together and share ideas in a fantastic setting. We’ll have a team on hand at booth 2230 to walk delegates from across the gaming industry through the technology and expertise that have established Kambi as the industry’s trusted provider of sports betting technology. 

What are the main demands from sportsbook operators and also sports bettors today? Which wagering behaviours and trending betting types are you seeing these days, and how are you working to analyze them and permanently adapt your products to them, considering the new technologies, sports offerings and digital habits?

Alongside the desire for odds on demand I mentioned above, a significant trend in the wider sports betting market, and the key battleground where business is being won and lost, is the quality of the in-game offering. An increasingly crucial part of this is having a wide selection of instant markets – that is to say markets where bets are placed and settled swiftly, including ‘next point winner’ in tennis or ‘result of current drive’ in football. Kambi pioneered both of those markets, and interest in our wider range of instant offers is growing significantly. For example, in the last NFL season Kambi saw a three-fold increase in handle from instants as a percentage of total in-game handle compared to the previous season.

The power and complexity under the hood required to present a comprehensive range of instant markets in a seamless manner to the bettor, with low delays, cannot be overstated, and nor can the expertise this requires in proprietary pricing. The growing popularity of instant betting clearly illustrates the need for a best-in-class sportsbook, underpinned by proven, high-performance technology in meeting the demands of the modern player.

After the acquisition of data odds provider Abios, which changes and new offerings can we expect in the company’s esports betting business? What are the challenges within that industry? Are there plans to continue expanding in the field which share do you think it could have in your business in the medium term? Is there any other gaming/gambling vertical or trend you are watching closely for potential expansion into?

We are delighted to have brought Abios on board and into the Kambi Group. It’s an excellent cultural fit and comes at a time when the opportunities in the esports sector are growing rapidly, with ever more companies sitting up and taking notice. 

Our two companies’ skillsets and technology complement each other very well, and one of our long-term goals will be to integrate the two operations and technologies into a betting and trading product. Bringing Abios’ esports and data expertise together with Kambi’s trading and algorithmic experience will help us to create an even stronger offering across both pre-game and in-game. The opportunities the combination unlocks are immense, and we are excited to be working closely with Abios’ excellent and growing team. 

Kambi has partnered up with Argentina-based Casino Magic sportsbook, and has also secured deals to operate in Peru and Bahamas. How would you assess those operations so far in terms of performance and feedback?

Kambi’s strategy is to partner with market leaders, or those businesses that have the potential to achieve a position of market leadership, with the Kambi sportsbook as a crucial component of their strategy. We have built up impressive commercial momentum in the Americas thanks to the quality of our core product and the skill and efficiency of our compliance and integration teams.

Both launching sports betting with Kambi for the first time, Casino Magic is already a leading casino operator in Argentina, while Olimpo.bet have major ambitions in Peru. At the forefront of the market in the Bahamas, Island Luck sought to upgrade their sportsbook from their incumbent supplier through Kambi. What this illustrates is that Kambi has become the go-to sports betting provider for all manner of operators, be they wanting to launch sports betting for the first time or take their sportsbook offering to the next level.   

What are the next steps in the Latin American expansion project? Is Brazil encompassed in the company's plans, and under which kind of business model? What are the trends in the territory? How can LatAm emerging markets help improve the developed ones around the world?

There are positive steps towards regulation being taken in a number of markets across Latin America, and nowhere more so than in Brazil, which has the potential to become one of the largest sports betting markets in the world on the passage of regulation. 

We are always assessing opportunities in newly regulated markets, and Kambi has clear pedigree in the region, powering Colombia’s two market leaders in BetPlay and RushBet, while we also work with other ambitious Latin America-facing brands including Casino Magic and BetWarrior. In terms of how Latin American markets can help to improve the offering in markets elsewhere, from a Kambi perspective every player interaction or bet with our network of more than 30 partners benefits each of Kambi’s partners, whether they took the informative bet themselves or not. The insights and deep network data we leverage from every market our sportsbook is active in help us to further develop our platform and provide a basis on which all of our partners can realise their potential.

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