LeoVegas extended its offering by launching a sportsbook to run alongside its online casino business last week. The launch follows an agreement with platform provider Kambi that was announced as agreed in January. The sportsbook is available to players in the UK, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Canada.
Johan Styren, the operator’s CEO, spoke to Gambling Insider about the new vertical available to its customers, and made the point that a fast loading speed will be integral to its growth in the market.
How challenging do you expect cutting through into the sports-betting market to be?
It is a very competitive market with quite large challenges to cut through. We knew what we were getting ourselves into and yet we went for it because we strongly believe that our product is uniquely positioned to succeed. What I mean is that we are confident that our mobile-first DNA really matches what the sports-betting market is all about. We feel that LeoVegas Sport is positioned to provide the ultimate mobile-gaming experience and take mobile sports betting to the next level.
Gone are the days where you only bet on sporting events days in advance. Today we bet in real time as the match or the race unfolds and that’s why mobile betting is becoming ever so dominant. Thanks to our mobile-first approach we have managed to build a native mobile platform that is extremely fast and easy in terms of navigation and speed.
What can you do to make your sportsbook offering innovative and unique?
Customers are looking for an ever-quicker way to turn around their bets so a lot of the focus will be on quick-action bets. Just as we focus on speed in reaching the sportsbook, we also focus a lot on quick betting markets.
As stated, we built our sportsbook with a mobile-first approach and thus we were able to make use of our existing technology and platform to truly provide innovative and unique features in terms of navigation and speed.
We’ve done a study on a 3G network whereby we compared the speeds of LeoVegas Sport and those of three competitors. The results are truly striking – LeoVegas Sport thumps the loading speed and transactional time of any other competitor by a significant advantage. For example, when we compared the time required to go to the deposit page and back to the sport page, LeoVegas Sport needed five seconds whilst the rest ranged between 27 and 35 seconds – that’s a lot of waiting time. If customers are looking at betting on things that unfold during a match or a sporting event, are they willing to wait for half a minute when they can have the job done in just five seconds?
How are you planning to compete with other sportsbook brands at this year’s Euro 2016 tournament?
It’s definitely not an easy task as everyone is investing a lot of resources into this – both in the run-up as well as during the actual tournament. We obviously launched LeoVegas Sport to coincide with the run-up to the Euro 2016 tournament and this has drawn considerable attention to our new offering.
We will therefore be building on that momentum and be rolling out a number of promotions and campaigns with the aim of being in people’s minds when they place their first bet for the tournament. Right now, we have probably one of the biggest VIP packages where we’re giving away tickets to the Euro 2016 to either watch your favourite team or the final.
What methods will you employ to cross-sell the product to your existing casino customer base?
We’ve been thinking about this from the very start and therefore ensured that we build a good product for cross-selling. The new LeoVegas Sport is built in a way that integrates with our casino products so that customers can browse seamlessly between our products.
We’re proud to have achieved this and believe that it’s one of our unique selling points that distinguishes us from the competition. The next challenge is how to handle cross-sell from a CRM level but we’ve realised that the key is to understand the customer and that’s why we are putting a lot of effort into data.
How do you see generated revenue from the sportsbook comparing with the generated revenue from your casino offering in the short and long-term future?
In the short term, we look at our sportsbook as a great acquisition and retention tool. We now have a reason to talk to the sports-betting community about something that they are really passionate about. For the retention part, we are now able to keep customers on our platform for all their bets – be it casino, live casino or sports.
In the long term, LeoVegas Sport can become a relatively good revenue driver. We did not launch a sportsbook just to have one - we launched it because we see a huge opportunity for further growth. Sports betting is big business and with our mobile-first approach we are confident that LeoVegas will be the preferred brand for many sports enthusiasts.