orenzo Caci, Business Development and Strategic Partnerships Director at Sportradar expressed his views on this year's edition of the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, which was marked by the recent expansion of the sports betting market on a federal level. The executive delved into the company's plans in this new scenario in the US and the rest of the world.
Could you summarize Sportradar's overall performance at G2E 2018?
G2E was a really important event for us especially this year as it was one of the first large trade events since sports betting in the US was legislated. Our 360-degree betting offering provides all tools a bookmaker, large or small, needs to run their business. This includes everything from fixtures, pre-match and live odds and virtual gaming. It was good to see a number of clients, both current and potential, visit our stand to explore our virtual demonstrations and discover more ways of how we could assist. There was a number of conversations with our representatives at the event about these solutions and other current topics, including market legislation and protecting integrity, which Sportradar has had expertise in for over 20 years.
Sportradar contributed to panel talks and also showcased its Managed Trading Services offerings and turnkey solutions. What kind of feedback have you got from current and potential customers?
We have been preparing for the US betting market to open for years, so we are well placed to be able to share our expertise on betting legislation and integrity, as well as how to manage a successful bookmaker business and what tools are needed to do so.
G2E was a great chance for us to network and we were able to have a lot of conversations about this, as well as better understand the needs of our clients, which range from bookmakers to leagues and federations and state authorities.
Operators are after the best instruments and knowledge to be able to cater to new markets, like the US, and this is where our Managed Trading Services (MTS) are key. It is the only solution based on the full control of all components necessary to power a truly performing sportsbook, including the most effective risk, liability, and player management service available for sports betting operators.
What is your post-trade show follow-up plan?
We are obviously expecting even further growth in both new and established markets across the globe. For us, what will be really important is continuing to work with the relevant regulators and operators collaboratively to both understand their needs and continue to leverage the opportunities available to them, whilst helping them to manage any associated risks.
Many states are about to enter the sports betting market now that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) has been struck down. How important are mobile and online betting for this business?
It’s still early days so it will be interesting to see the degree to which each state will allow for mobile betting. Mobile and online betting are really important for the industry though as they provide even more opportunities for new and existing bookmakers, sports and leagues in terms of engagement and wider commercial factors.
Looking at the Latin American market, land-based retail gaming and betting is still dominant. It is true that online gaming is growing, the penetration is immense, especially with the ongoing development of technology. However, in that region, land-based is still big. The passion for sports in Latin America, like the US, is huge though, and with the potential of countries, like Colombia, also legalizing betting there is a huge opportunity to increase online gaming and therefore assist businesses to leverage off the benefits.
How big is the sports gambling industry?
Industry experts believe that sports gambling has the opportunity to be a $10-20 billion industry in the US and have one-third to half of the global bets come from the US.
Globally, it is hard to put a total figure on it due to the differences in how it is regulated in some parts of the world. I’d imagine the global gaming yield would be in the hundreds of billions of US dollars mark each year.
What are the challenges of the U.S. state-by-state approach on sports betting? What are the key points companies need to bear in mind o beat them?
The challenges of the state-by-state approach in the US lies in the different stances taken by each individual state. What works in one may not work in another and such differences have become apparent already amongst the states that have already legalized sports betting. This is something that operators and suppliers need to remain aware of.
Each state will pose its own challenges, and having a grasp of the politics of legislation in each state is a task in itself. Then it will come down to understanding the commercial opportunity. Having this knowledge and being able to prepare will enable companies to overcome such challenges successfully.
Which states will be next?
There are a number of different states that are currently considering passing betting legislation. Which states will be next exactly is hard to say but many have pointed to California, South Carolina and Ohio as some.
What can Latin American gaming authorities learn from the U.S.experience?
Latin America is quite fragmented as betting is legalized in some regions but others not. The US situation has shown the need to be prepared with information around the politics of such legislation, associated integrity issues and how to combat these, as well as having all the tools required to operate a bookmaking business successfully. This not only includes odds, but associated engagement and entertainment options and risk management services, all of which Betradar provide in their offering.
Will legalization lead to increased match-fixing and point-shaving scandals?
There are a number of potential challenges with any newly evolving legalized markets and yes, this does include perceived threats on integrity. However, the benefits of tax revenues, job creation, consumer protection and the overall economic impact outweigh such concerns. Still, organizations need to be proactive in arming themselves with the knowledge and tools required to combat risks.
As well as being the leading provider of technologically advanced sports data products to the betting and media industries, Sportradar is the global leader for providing betting integrity-related services to sports-governing bodies and leagues, government authorities, law enforcement agencies, as well as betting regulators. We are committed to collaborating with such organizations to help combat match-fixing and any other related threats to the sports and betting industries.
What is next for Sportradar? What can we expect?
As a big stakeholder and partner within the betting, fan engagement and cutting-edge sports technology sectors, it’s important for us to remain at the forefront of these continuously growing industries. We are committed to always remaining in touch with our clients and being one step ahead in terms of how we can tailor our solutions to meet their needs.
We have been investing in things like mobile technology, esports and virtual gaming for years now to meet the demands of today’s fans. You need to have fast and quality data to be able to do this, which is what we pride ourselves on. We are continually focused on developing innovative betting, media and consumer content.