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IN-DEPTH 13 June 2016
Broadening the sports betting footprint
Innovative retail products are needed to convert sports fans into regular players, says Intralot sportsbook product manager Emmanouil Lagopoulos
By Emmanouil Lagopoulos

It is widely accepted that sport events are a social phenomenon and the sports industry is a market of billion customers.

Sports betting though, merely addresses a fraction of that vast pool of sport fans and that is very much attributed to the fact that the industry continuously invests in satisfying the needs of a very specific player segment. Converting those casual players into sports bettors is the challenge the industry should be taking on more aggressively through retail innovation.

The upcoming European Football Championship is an ideal opportunity for operators to engage with the football fan base, due to the regularity of important matches and the increased viewing figures international tournament football generates.

But to reach out to the general football-loving public in a meaningful way it is imperative you offer them a fun mechanism to bet on sports without feeling intimidated in the way many casual punters do by traditional retail sports betting.

Intralot’s latest product TapnBet is a new and simple way of participating in sports betting. Without altering betting principles and the game’s core structure, TapnBet aims to subdue the refraining factors preventing participation in the game. Many fans want to play for entertainment but are intimidated by the complexity of the games currently on offer, TapnBet makes it possible to enjoy the thrill of betting safely whilst maintaining all responsible gaming principles. Ease of use and speed are TapnBet’s structural values, without compromising the fun factor of betting.

Several market surveys suggest that most of the people who have never placed a bet, or who have only placed a couple of bets in the past, cite the complexity of fixed odds betting as a key factor preventing them from participating in this activity. Sports betting, as we know it today, can be time consuming, confusing, and discouraging to new players, with an increasingly complex and vast selection of bets to choose from. The need for a fast, easy and fun bet placement experience was the driving force behind the creation of TapnBet.

TapnBet allows operators to offer easy-to-play sports betting in a wide range of physical venues, such as stadiums, retail shops, pubs, grocery markets and, airports. Intralot’s existing series of innovative self-service terminals aided the product development process of TapnBet by providing all the necessary functionalities and capacities to support the new betting concept, which can be placed in a series of locations, including but not limited to retail shops.

Ease of use is of key essence for this new type of betting product. Recreational players do not want to invest time in their betting activity. Mobile devices have greatly affected the way players interact with technology and a touch screen interface is a necessity when talking about user friendliness.

Resources must be focused on developing a fresh, player oriented UI/UX design for the players. TapnBet’s design fully accomplishes its purpose. Placing a wager with TapnBet becomes as simple as deciding the stakes and tapping on the desired selection on the screen.

Complexity, frequently attributed to sports betting, is the second challenge TapnBet seeks to confront. Instead of expanding the betting line-up even further, operators could offer a selected set of events and markets based on popularity and geographic interest.

An extensive list of factors, including geo-location, is taken into consideration by the intelligent content management system to determine and serve the preselected bet slips. This makes it easier for occasional players to navigate through a pre-sorted list of events than to fight their way through hundreds of events and markets in an effort to submit a quick bet.

Sports betting players are yearning for new products and features, while operators are looking for new ways to expand their client base. Thinking outside of the box is what is required to draw in that huge pool of sports fans, especially during those sporting events where the volume of spectators is especially large. Products such as TapnBet transform sports betting to a remarkably simple act, appealing to recreational players and regular sports betting punters.

Emmanouil Lagopoulos is a sportsbook product manager for Intralot
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