65 Takeaways from Betting on Sports Europe 2021

65 Takeaways from Betting on Sports Europe 2021

by Dean Rowland
Director / Head of Business Development

2 December 2021

Betting on Sports Europe 2021 descended on Stamford Bridge last week. The Receptional team were in the dug outs taking notes. Here are our 65 takeaways from eight talks across the two days.


What the block? Can blockchain technology live up to the hype?

Moderator: Becky Liggero
Speakers: Brandt Page, Kal Suurkask, Steve Billinghurst

  • There have always been questions around the traceability of where crypto currency comes from.
  • The issue is ensuring that the digital currency you are accepting is attached to a digital profile, so you know who it is coming from.
  • There are two areas of blockchain: the currency side and the application side.
  • Micropayments are going to be really big for the industry.
  • One of the first things talked about in the Isle of Man, is why gaming doesn’t have a distributed ledger.
  • Merging a database property with a ledger property allows us to get to a single source of truth, which will help build trust.
  • The biggest reaction to blockchain is around transparency.
  • 75% of businesses across all industries are considering distributed ledger.
  • Speed and cost are the most important things in blockchain right now: it is meant to be making things easier and cheaper.
  • Don’t lose sight of what goes on around the technology and focus on knowing who your customers are.


Secret of success: the business case for diversity

Moderator: Tina Thakor-Rankin
Speakers: Sophie Wood, Tina Southall, Veiko Krunberg

  • Diversity is about the numbers, but inclusion is about making it count.
  • Diversity resonates with leadership – we work with training ourselves on removing unconscious bias.
  • Diversity should not be forced but should be grown over a number of years.
  • Having role models within your business that people from all backgrounds can aspire to be is really important.
  • Diversity can sometimes feel uncomfortable, but more diverse teams bring better results: better outcomes, better thinking and more fun.
  • Find and explore common ground while celebrating your differences.
  • Quotas are the wrong way to approach diversity.
  • Building a more diverse workforce means nothing if the culture of your company isn’t going to support them.
  • It is about diversity of thought. If a leader is diverse enough in their mind – and conscious enough about the subject – then they do not need to be from a minority group themselves.
  • Younger generations are much more socially conscious as well as passionate about sustainability.


Betting and sports: 10 years from now

Moderator: John Paul-Davies
Speakers: Adam Brickell, John Millington, Steve Emberson, Tyrone Allen

  • Players’ communities and families will be key players in developing the industry in the US.
  • Gambling harm doesn’t discriminate by race or gender.
  • Players can find life at the top overwhelming, which means that they recluse and that’s when bad habits such as gambling begin.
  • 10 years ago, we didn’t understand mental health like we do now – gambling addiction will be the same. As we grow as a society, we begin to be more understanding of how complex we are as humans.
  • Players try to recreate that natural high they got from playing the game and that is where it can begin.
  • Professional athletes are four times more likely to suffer from problem gambling.


No go, other than CS:GO? Different esports betting markets in 2021

Moderator: Tom Daniels
Speakers: Aaron Speach, Endre Nesset, Marco Blume, Oliver Niner

  • The biggest three games that people bet on are League of Legends, Counter Strike Global Offence and Dota 2.
  • Coverage scales down to smaller tournaments, but the larger tournaments get the larger volume of bets.
  • The pandemic caused an increase in esports betting, as fewer physical sports tournaments were taking place and people still wanted to bet on something.
  • Despite FIFA and NBA 2k being very popular games, they are not classed as esports, and there is minimal betting on these. The game publishers make enough money on these, so don’t build in the functionality that the top three games have, such as live commentary and action replays for viewers.
  • One thing that operators need to do and are still working on, is making the odds modelling better for esports games.
  • The audience for esports betting is typically younger than other sports betting – usually 18 to 35 years old.
  • The top three games mentioned are likely to remain in the big three for the foreseeable future – others are working on catching up, but unlikely to break into the top three.


KYC and building a digital profile

Moderator: Ted Menmuir
Speakers: Paul Foster, Sandhya Singh, William Scott

  • The relationship between operators and customers has changed – a few years ago you knew little to nothing about them, now you know so much more and hold vast amounts of data on them.
  • Trust needs to be established between operators and customers. 80% of customers have refused to provide data when asked.
  • Rules and regulations are in place to ensure operators are paying out to customers when they wish to withdraw.
  • Data is still stored in spreadsheets and shared within the operators between different teams. A data protection officer is required.
  • Data can still be very siloed within teams.
  • Operators are reluctant to use KYCs, due to high-cost volumes in the way they search data. However, the risk element is not thought about – any fines for breaches will by far outweigh the cost of using the service.
  • KYCs look at six-month trends of customer spending habits. They review accounts, provide a score on the finances, then after 10 secs automatically delete the data, but keep the score on record. This score is kept and reviewed with each check.
  • These systems also help to prevent and spot fraud tools, and see where transactions come from.
  • Having systems in place helps to show regulators that you are following process, reducing the risk of being shut down.
  • Some question if banks should be able to block gaming transactions for their clients – but operators don’t want bank involvement at this level, they want to maintain control.
  • There are two key things that operators want to see from system providers:
    • the automation to go to the next level, which will make internal teams’ lives easier when it comes to responsible gambling
    • more information to be readily available, to educate the customers on the processes and why they are in place.


ParlayBay: disrupting the sports betting market with sports betting games

Speaker: William Lovqvist

  • ParlayBay offers a unique set of betting games that can be played during a sporting event.
  • The idea is to enhance excitement and participation in a live event, while following the sport.
  • You can play to build a streak of bets or correct predictions in a given timeframe, and play against other people betting on the same game.
  • Leaderboards will be used so it adds to the competition.
  • You can cash out and be placed on the leaderboard.
  • You can re-buy into a round or game if you lose (like in poker).
  • Other games will be time based. Or you continue playing until you are the last one standing and then win a bonus.
  • The platform is currently in demo and testing phase, with the expectation it will launch in Q1 2022.
  • ParlayBay is currently gaining relevant licences to be able to operate.


Assessing Euro 2020

Moderator: Marc Thomas
Speakers: Anthony Cousions, Billy Cook, Marco Blume, William Woodhams

  • Innovation as a whole within the industry is lacking – everyone is doing the same kind of offers.
  • Companies are looking into micro-granular options, like the number of sprints a certain player does in a certain time frame, to encourage more in-play betting.
  • There is more of a focus on markets around star players as opposed to teams. Ronaldo, as an example, has been bet on more times this season than any United player combined from last season.
  • Operators are trying to encourage a casino-style of betting with in-game sports betting, like the next spin of a roulette wheel.
  • Winter is not a good time for betting – there are lots of other sports going on at the same and people don’t have a lot of disposable income.
  • There is an emergence of stats betting – people are betting more on things like shots on target.
  • More people than ever are betting in play – for example, 14% on penalties and 40% on extra time.


Plotting the path of esports betting

Moderator: Sam Cooke
Speakers: Anton Janer, Bart Barden, Marek Suchar, Stuart Tilly, Thomas Rosander

  • During lockdowns, esports saw unprecedented growth, mainly in FIFA, Madden and NBA 2k – perhaps because sports fans couldn’t watch actual games.
  • The people watching are those who grew up with the rise of gaming. They watch because they can’t play anymore, due to having families etc. But they can still watch due to the ease and the enjoyable experience.
  • Before the pandemic, esports betting was non-existent. But it quickly became the most popular market. It is now back down to around the same level as darts and snooker betting.
  • Bringing a good betting experience to esports events will help. But bookies aren’t catering bonuses and content to esports bettors in the same way they are for sports bettors.
  • You should have three levels of focus: existing esports bettors, esports fans who could become bettors, and sports bettors who could become esports bettors.


This post was compiled on-the-fly, so if we’ve got anything wrong, let us know. And if you want to learn more about what we do for sports betting companies, take a look.

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