SBTech: Understanding the demand for greater control, faster action and optimal UX

SBTech: Understanding the demand for greater control, faster action and optimal UX

Thursday, January 25, 2018 Posted by Luke Massey
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SBTech has prepared for this year’s ICE London (6-8 February) by teasing a new in-play product launch as part of its ‘Live Betting is dead’ campaign.

We caught up with the company’s Chief Product Officer Ian Bradley to discuss the drive for differentiation, feedback from Action Betting and Add2Bet, and making a move in emerging sports betting markets.

Totally Gaming: Last year for SBTech was characterised by constant expansion and a number of new strategic partnerships. What plans are in place to ensure you continue this momentum moving into 2018?

Ian Bradley: Our approach to maintaining the spectacular growth achieved in 2017 is multi-faceted, driven by the talent we’ve recruited over the past couple of years and informed by an intuitive understanding of players’ demand for greater control, faster action and optimal UX on all touchpoints.

We’re continuing to invest heavily in R&D to roll out groundbreaking new features across our international operator network. Key aspects of our delivery process have also been automated, enabling our teams to deploy solutions for both new and existing clients in a fraction of the time.

New personalised approaches with elements of gamification are the key to boosting loyalty, engagement and turnover, especially in the omni-channel arena.

Meanwhile, our fast-growing range of APIs allows our partners to take greater control of their offerings, whether by building features or even entire sites independently.

Our most exciting innovation will be revealed at ICE on Tuesday, February 6th at 2 pm on SBTech’s stand – S3-110. As undisputed leaders of the in-play betting sector, when we say that “Live Betting is Dead,” it means something very big is coming…

TG: In the final quarter of 2017, SBTech launched two new live betting features - Action Betting and Add2Bet. How has the feedback been for these features in the first couple of months of implementation?

IB: It’s too early to be able to report hard figures on betting volumes and turnover, but from speaking with clients who have rolled out Add2Bet, the feedback is very encouraging. They are describing strong take-up rates and usage patterns and are adapting their CRM systems to make optimal use of the feature.

Some of the research data we gathered prior to launching Add2Bet showed that under-35s were early adopters of the feature and that players from this age group tried the feature after seeing it just twice on average, whereas older users waited until they’d viewed it an average of five times. This shows that our newest features are reaching younger demographics interested in simple, easy-to-use products, growing our clients’ user bases while enhancing their bottom lines.

We also make a point of releasing frequent updates to our new features. This has a dual benefit: our operators can request fine-tuning of the functionality to achieve peak profitability, while configuring bet time delays to best meet their business goals.

TG: With products such as Action Betting, is there a balance to find between instant notifications being engaging and becoming invasive? How do you ensure that players are safeguarded from using it to chase losses through quick follow-up bets?

IB: It’s a very valid point that iGaming operators need to strike a fine balance between being there for the player with timely calls to action and annoying them with constant pushes. For that reason, our development teams have worked around the clock to create one of the smartest machine learning algorithms in the industry, one that’s designed to reduce the time players spend searching for specific in-play markets.

As well as offering bet types of proven interest to each player, often based on their previous successes, the Action Betting system quickly adapts to the unique rhythms of their betting. If a player places more bets during certain periods of a match, that’s when they’ll receive the most notifications. Action Betting can also be muted for a range of periods if the player wishes.

We take our commitments to responsible gaming very seriously, and provide our operators with some of the world’s leading trigger-based player protection technology.

Our predictive model monitors all aspects of a user’s gameplay to identify at-risk players who need special attention. Considering 24-hour turnover, time on site (including at unusual hours), and deposit method, size and frequency, as well as loss-chasing behaviour, our algorithms flag any deviations from the norm across all metrics.

At the end of the day, it’s in our interests to offer product features that enhance the player experience and increase operator turnover in a safe and conscientious manner.    

TG: There has been talk of SBTech unveiling its US office in early 2018. How close is that to happening, and how does that fit into the firm’s hopes and aspirations for the year?

IB: Work is well underway to open our US office, but of even greater significance is the GAN-SBTech partnership that we announced on January 15th. We were selected ahead of very strong competition and are delighted to be working with such a well-respected partner in the US. The future of the US sports betting sector depends on whether the US Supreme Court overturns PASPA, but the signs are encouraging and we will be in an excellent position if and when the case is settled in New Jersey’s favour.

As a member of the American Gaming Association’s sports betting taskforce, we have been working closely with all stakeholders towards this end. Our technology is ready and our agreement with GAN shows we have the best available product for the market.

TG: SBTech struck deals with a number of firms that led to them gaining a foothold in developing betting markets, such as South America, Cyprus and Romania. How important are these developing markets to SBTech’s global strategy?

IB: We’re very proud that SBTech is invariably the first iGaming solutions provider to enter each newly regulated market, a track record that’s down to our unrivalled experience, technological agility and deep knowledge of the requirements of regulators around the world. As more markets, including the US, move towards full regulation, our priority is to be ready to apply the lessons we’ve learned over the past 15 years, establishing ourselves as the go-to supplier in every market.  

Our long-term strategy is to confirm SBTech’s position as the leading choice for top-tier operators, state lotteries and new entrants to the sector. As such, new markets offer outstanding opportunities to demonstrate how we’re able to rapidly grow our partners’ businesses, while defining industry-best standards in each jurisdiction.

As the power of the SBTech brand grows internationally, our focus on fresh territories for expansion will remain at the heart of our plans and I look forward to making some very interesting announcements as we move forward.

Join SBTech @ ICE for the reveal of a new product that will revolutionise the sports betting industry! Register at www.sbtech.com/ice and be at the SBTech stand S3-110 at 2pm on Tuesday, Feb 6.

Watch the Live Betting is Dead video by clicking below.

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