As operators look to expand into new markets, focusing on communication can be pivotal to finding successful partnerships, according to sports betting industry experts who came together for the first SBC Webinar of 2022. 

Titled ‘New to the Game’, the panel emphasised the importance of a ‘proactive approach’ as they pinpointed the best practises for operators wanting to grow into new regions.  

For Simon Noble, Product Director of Champion Sports, finding a positive partnership starts by building up communication: “Talk to the suppliers to find out whether they’re able to cater to your market. Often at this stage, you’ll be promised the world but quite likely it’s going to be a cookie-cutter approach in terms of the software and the platform that you’re trying to licence.

“You need a very good conversation with the supplier, make sure they understand your needs and what you’re trying to accomplish.”

According to the panel, conversation as a priority needs to be accompanied by a proactive approach in finding out whether the technical capabilities of the platforms reflect what is being promised.

Joe Saumarez Smith, Chairman of Eyas Gaming, followed up by stating: “I would look at costs, there tends to be a lot of hidden costs, particularly on sports betting on sports feeds and data integrity. I’ll also look at the key metrics, particularly the lifetime value of customers because if it’s not towards the top end of what you can get in the market, that’s often down to the platform’s inability to work properly.

“You need to spend a lot of time looking under the bonnet and seeing what you’re paying for and whether they’re actually providing that already.”

Smith also suggested that experimenting with new websites is a potentially fruitful avenue when it comes to testing the abilities of providers. 

He added: “If I talk to platform providers the first thing I’ll say is ‘show me who uses your website best’ and ‘who uses your platform best’ to get some idea of how far it can be pushed. Very often you find that what they consider their best website is something that you just wouldn’t want your own company to have.”

Furthermore, members of the panel highlighted the importance of local knowledge when expanding into new markets. A potentially vital move to make would be to thoroughly investigate, see where firms have previously succeeded or failed in the region, and build a network of local contacts that can enable them to gain an insight of the market, as going unprepared is ‘a recipe for disaster’.

SBC Webinars: Entering new markets unprepared is ‘a recipe for disaster’