During last month’s Betting on Sports Europe (BOSE) event, SBC News was able to sit down with BetXS Founder and Director Colm Finlay, who delves into the increasing emergence of automation within retail betting shops.
Finlay begins by crediting events such as BOSE as key tools to connect with figureheads within the industry, new and old.
Notably, he spoke on the ‘Innovation in retail’ panel at BOSE and went into detail as to why automation is a necessary step forward for bookmakers, explaining BetXS’ business model in Ireland
“Our initial growth targets were for small villages and towns in Ireland, whereas the traditional bookmaker, their management accounts were too big and heavy so they had to move upsticks back to more urban areas,” stated Finlay.
“In these small towns it is a fully automated experience, but in higher capacity shops it may not be a fully automated experience. What I am saying to bookmakers envisioning a model similar to mine is, at least de-shackle the staff member away from the transaction. Automation is coming, definitely.”
The BetXS chief then dives into the current retail space and its heavy move towards an online approach. Finlay believes that betting is always ‘in demand’ and highlights that there may be a ‘certain fatigue’ with how accessible mobile betting has become.
“I think there is a certain fatigue of mobile betting. They want to bet but want to keep it at just one stage away from arms reach and I think that’s what retail does. It gives an overlay of discipline to lads who want to have a bet.”
The conversation then steers into responsible and safe gambling, a major priority that bookmakers must adhere to.
Finlay believes a staffless bookmaker shop gains an advantage over a more traditional staff-based outlet due to the digital aspects of those automated shops.
The BetXS founder notes that staff do not have the time to go through documents of banned or self-excluded customers, which is something that can seamlessly be achieved through facial recognition within a staffless setting.
Finlay remarks: “There’s no more powerful tool in retail betting than facial recognition cameras to quickly sift through a database of self-excluded customers to say ‘no, you cannot access this SSBT because you are on a list’.