GMB - With what expectations does BtoBet start the year, after a very difficult 2020 affected by the pandemic?
Alessandro Fried - 2020 was a difficult year for the entire industry, as it had to face up to rapidly evolving market scenarios that were brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Operators had to recalibrate their business in a very short period of time. Retail betting outlets had to be closed, whilst the sports calendar disruption resulted in a vacuum of readily available content which operators could provide to their players.
Whilst cross-selling and up-selling were previously gauged as an opportunity for revenue maximisation, all of a sudden, they were a necessity. More importantly those operators who depended heavily on their retail network had to refocus their business model or risk losing their market share. And the result was a more determined drive towards the online channels.
Thankfully, having in the past invested heavily on our platform allowing for a true omnichannel environment where all channels – be it retail, or online – are seamlessly interlinked, we were able to assist all our partners in mitigating this challenging market scenario through a diversified portfolio of alternative content, which was essential from a retention point of view.
Now that the dust from the storm is starting to settle, and sports have returned on a consistent level, we can all look ahead positively for this coming year. 2021 will be an important year for BtoBet as the company further consolidates its presence in those markets where it already has a very strong presence, whilst at the same time targeting new market opportunities. We look forward to maintaining our momentum, gain a strong foothold also in the more mature markets, and partnering with renowned betting powerhouses.
What projects / ideas are you working on to launch this year?
Last year is a testimony to the company’s resilience to disruptive market scenarios, deriving primarily from the advanced technologies we provide to our partners. Constant innovation has been at the core of the company’s values since the very beginning, and each year we roll out new products which help our partners to increase their market share and revenue by maximising the Player Lifetime Value.
2021 will surely not be any different, and in fact we are looking forward to launching our new products based on in-depth data analysis allowing operators to fully understand the different player demographics, psychographics and playing habits, and ultimately enabling them to create enhanced, personalized experiences based on the individual player preferences and behaviours.
Do you imagine that the penetration of online gambling would deepen as long as the land-based sector maintains limitations of public due to the pandemic?
To have a true understanding of the impact that the pandemic would or can have on the iGaming industry one would have to broaden his view to other industries as well. A survey conducted by Netcomm Suisse, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development clearly indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed online shopping behaviours. The survey shows that following the pandemic, more than half of the respondents now shop online more frequently and rely on the internet more for a variety of things amongst which digital entertainment. This shift was especially highlighted in emerging economies where consumers have made the greatest shifts towards the online.
There is no denying that the pandemic has accelerated the shift towards a more digital world. And it is based on this new reality that the iGaming industry has to act.
Does this mean that retail is a thing of the past? Definitely not, but I do expect the digitalisation of the industry to maintain its momentum, with the changes we make now as we adapt to the new market scenarios having lasting effects on the longer term.
Do you think that for Brazil this year there will be a definitive take-off towards a regulated gambling market? Will BtoBet's presence / investment grow in the country throughout 2021?
Waldir Eustáquio Marques Jr., the undersecretary of SECAP, the Economic Ministry’s Secretariat of Evaluation, Planning, Energy and Lottery clearly indicated that Brazilian legislators are aiming to have the nation’s sports betting laws in place by July with a launch date of 2022.
This is extremely positive news since Brazil’s sports betting market is expected to be worth more than US$1 billion in revenue once the new legislation is implemented and the market begins to mature. I expect Brazil to become one of the largest regulated sports betting markets in the world in the coming years, and thus we have to act accordingly.
Last year we have already entered the market via a strategic partnership with PlayRobinHood. We expect our presence to greatly increase once the market gets regulated, having everything in place to assist large Tier 1 operators seeking to expand in the country.
Source: Exclusive GMB