Sports Betting Focus March 2022

Editors Letter

As we head to press for this issue of Gambling Insider’s Sports Betting Focus, the roars of the Cheltenham Festival are so raucous they can be heard all the way over in New York. At the same time, sportsbooks in the Empire State are so busy taking bets on March Madness, the American Gaming Association has projected over $3bn in legal wagers during the NCAA college basketball tournament in the US.

Certainly, at this time of year, sports betting is the talk of the industry. And it’s fascinating to see how horseracing bettors and bookmakers alike have fared at Cheltenham. Likewise, operators in key US states like New York, where just under $4bn in sports wagers have been placed within two months of mobile sports betting being legalised. During both Cheltenham and New York’s launch, free bets galore were handed out and seemingly no expense spared by operators’ marketing departments.

Yet long-term questions can be asked across both sides of the Atlantic Ocean here. Will next year’s Cheltenham Festival offer the same experience if the UK’s upcoming Gambling Act review offers new restrictions to British bettors? And can US sports betting operators sustain splashing out on such lavish advertising and new customer offers? Caesars Entertainment’s curtailing of its advertising in New York – and the immediate loss of market share that followed - suggests otherwise.

Amid all these discussions, however, one salient fact will always remain constant in sports betting: that the football World Cup guarantees huge betting volumes around the globe. It won’t just be in the UK or US that sports bettors flock in their droves to a retail outlet (but far more likely their sportsbook app of choice) this November, including in what the industry terms emerging markets, such as Brazil, Argentina and Nigeria.

And that’s why we’ve dedicated this issue’s cover story to previewing the biggest event in world football, featuring interviews with Pronet Gaming CEO Alex Leese, Betsson Group CEO Jesper Svensson and Digitain Founder Vardges Vardanyan.

In most years, of course, a November World Cup would be dismissed by our readers as a typo. But it is not most years – and this winter’s showpiece event in Qatar has created distinct talking points among our interviewees.

How will the new timing affect betting volumes? Which regions will be most lucrative? And will results favour the bookie or the punter? Read this and more in our in-depth interviews, as the Sports Betting Focus zones in on some of sports betting’s foremost executives.

In the Magazine

Shining the spotlight on esports

Sporting Solutions’ Business Development Director Julien Boinet shines the spotlight on esports in the wider sports betting industry.

World Cup 2022: A betting boost for the long term

Betsson Group CEO Jesper Svensson speaks with Tim Poole about the prospects of sportsbook success at the 2022 World Cup.

Making the most of a winter World Cup

Pronet Gaming CEO Alex Leese predicts how betting levels will be impacted by a winter World Cup, and how trading will differ from other major football tournaments, in conversation with Peter Lynch.

Growing since Italia ‘90

Digitain Founder Vardges Vardanyan completes our World Cup hat-trick, as he discusses the sports betting supplier’s expectations for this November’s showpiece event with Gambling Insider.

Roundtable: Virtual sports

Gambling Insider speaks to Playtech’s Virtual Sports Director, Richard Andrew, Inspired Entertainment’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) – Virtual Sports, Steve Rogers, and Leap Gaming’s CEO Yariv Lissauer.

In focus: BetConstruct

BetConstruct is a global iGaming and betting software provider. The company provides transparent access to innovative tools and unique all-inclusive services, offering its partners an unparalleled opportunity to succeed.

In focus: Sporting Solutions

Andy Wright, CEO of Sporting Group, the market leading supplier to the global sports betting industry, discusses what makes Sporting Solutions, the Group’s B2B division, a pioneering provider of software services.

In focus: Digitain

Supplier Digitain talks through its latest products ahead of ICE London, and an exciting few months for the company.

In focus: Introducing Enteractive

Mikael Hansson, Enteractive Co-Founder and CEO, discusses the specialities of the player retention company.

In focus: IQ Soft

We speak to Nerses Khachatryan, Founder and CEO at IQ Soft.

In focus: Pronet Gaming

By Alex Leese, CEO at Pronet Gaming

In focus: Sportradar

We speak with Werner Becher, Sportradar's CEO EMEA & LATAM.

In focus: Altenar

A through the looking-glass discussion with Altenar COO Dinos Stranomitis on how to choose a sportsbook software provider.

In focus: BtoBet

Evolving the sportsbook platform according to operators’ needs and feedback.

In focus: DS Virtual Gaming

We speak with Araksi Sargsyan, Head Of Business Development at DS Virtual Gaming.

In focus: Inspired Entertainment

Inspired offers an expanding portfolio of content, technology, hardware and services for regulated gaming, betting, lottery, social and leisure operators across land-based and mobile channels worldwide.

The US view: Amelco

Brandon Walker, Head of Amelco USA, speaks to Gambling Insider about the firm’s US operator clients... and maybe one day Netflix or Amazon?

In focus: Sportingtech

By Victoria Bonner, CMO, Sportingtech