SoftSwiss Sportsbook Product Owner Alexander Kamenetskyi speaks exclusively to Gambling Insider about sports betting, Euro 2020, a potential European Super League and the company's aims during such a busy period.
With so many sports betting companies, especially online, experiencing strong growth right now, how long can this growth continue?
This is a very interesting question. My opinion is that this growth will only continue and in the near future the growth dynamics will only increase. Firstly, the potential of the betting companies is still only halfway towards achieving their full potential. Young, aggressive companies are appearing on the market, which challenges the old-timers and forces them to develop. We see how this competition further drives new and interesting product solutions, ways to attract new players and retain existing ones.
Secondly, there is a tendency in establishing sports betting regulations around the world. Proper regulation by the state allows the betting industry to develop more rapidly. After all, this regulation makes the business safe and secure both for players and operators, and most importantly, profitable for the country's budget. Thirdly, the betting world is very broad. And if back in the days everyone was on the market representing separate solutions as some sort of “specialty stores” i.e. sports betting platform, an online casino, fantasy sports, etc., now turnkey solutions are becoming a “supermarket” for clients.
The operator offers an entire range of basic services. Those companies offering only online casinos or only poker services are forced to connect sports betting so that players can make bets without leaving their brand/platform. Sports betting companies started connecting casinos a long time ago. For example, B2B companies like SoftSwiss offer end-to-end solutions for different markets. Sports betting, casinos, payment systems, affiliate marketing, support teams, anti-fraud and risk management, all of these aspects allow us to provide low barriers for market entry with a safe top-quality product.
And of course, there is a winner in each of us, eager to prove themselves. It was always interesting for us to test our knowledge in sports, and that desire remains. It will be surely adjusted by new trends, like esports, which is expected to only increase the sports betting audience. And the task of the sports betting companies is to make this process entertaining, convenient and most importantly safe.
What are your expectations ahead of Euro 2020 this summer?
We expect explosive market growth – we all missed football. It's no secret that football is the king of the betting world. Such events like the Europa League and the World Cup are the best thing that can happen to make a name for yourself in the market. The Europa League affects even those who are not fond of football; it's hard not to notice this event. We are all interested in how our favorite teams will perform. How will the favourites prove themselves? Will the reigning world champion, France, be able to join Spain and Germany, who have won this trophy three times, because they were so close to it at home five years ago? Very intriguing.
Will Cristiano Ronaldo defend his title of the very last winners of Euro in 2016 with the Portuguese national team? I think we will have unique matches filled with emotions, feelings, the bitterness of defeat and the joy of victory. The pandemic has triggered a summer filled with sporting events, led of course by Euro 2020!
How do you plan to retain any new customers/traffic gained during the Euros?
I don't think we or our clients will have such a problem, especially this summer. This summer is full of sports events: Euro 2020, America's Cup, NHL and NBA playoffs, Wimbledon, the Olympic Games in Japan, the US Open, The International (Dota), golf, and all this will be accompanied by qualifications for European cups.
Quite often, the summer period was a period of decline in gaming activity, but not this time. We are confident in the quality of our product and this summer it will only allow us to improve our offer. Our product will allow you to enjoy playing not only football but also other sports.
What is SoftSwiss aiming to achieve during this busy summer of sport?
First of all, we will work to improve our product, because we believe we cannot stop developing. As soon as you stop developing your solution, you can leave the market. You cannot create an ideal product, you need to constantly adapt to the market’s needs, look for original solutions for B2B and B2C segments.
We will try to connect as many clients as possible and integrate with new platforms. This summer will allow our clients' players to appreciate the quality of Softswiss Sportsbook. We have huge plans for the summer and this year in general, but cannot give away all of it just yet. We are implementing a unique system of welcome bonuses, brand new video content feature is coming up and we’re also planning on connecting another data provider with very high-quality esports. So loads of interesting stuff ahead! Our company is growing rapidly and we are looking forward to maintaining this dynamic.
Have you launched any new sports betting products or features this year?
We now have a “magnificent 7” of newly connected clients. Five more clients are in the setup stage. Our solution allows you to quickly launch a sportsbook brand. Our solution includes all the main betting features like Quickbet, Maxstake, BetCashout, BetBuilder. For the player's convenience, we have a well-designed interface with detailed statistics, a section with game schedules and results, additional settings, and much more.
We devote a lot of time to the development of our solution to the B2C segment, which is our end-user and they should enjoy using our product. Of course, we also try to fulfill B2B needs in full so that our B2B clients get maximum comfort from working with us. For this, we offer additional support, anti-fraud and risk management services. This allows our clients to focus on attracting and retaining players.
Finally, how would a European Super League affect the sports betting industry if it ever went ahead?
Great question. If this happened, it would change the entire world of football! Top clubs have been discussing this idea for more than 10 years and now it is quite an interesting idea in terms of further development as they want to concentrate on broadcasting. Now, this is the main source of income for them. And of course, we love to watch the greats of European football fight! But will the world of football benefit from this? Maybe we love these matches for their exclusivity?
For example, Real Madrid and Juventus played together three years ago, everyone was interested in watching them confront one another. Will it be so interesting if they play every month? I don’t think there will be the same intensity. Although, I can say that it is a matter of time. The only thing is that it shouldn't run counter to UEFA and FIFA. A compromise solution must be sought that satisfies the wishes of the top clubs, the UEFA rules and the interests of the fans.
Perhaps it is worth turning our attention to the League of Nations, which offered us an interesting gradation by group. The only thing I would like to add is that the teams from the top group have about 40% of the games with the teams from the lower groups. There is something to think about and something to work with. I believe UEFA will offer a solution suitable for everyone. In general, I think bookmakers would not benefit from the creation of a Super League, because this could have a negative impact on the world of football in general. Especially for companies that only focus on football.