Speaking ahead of Betting on Sports America, Rob Bone of sportsbook provider Amelco talks about the US market a year on from PASPA and the need for operators to take an Americanized approach to succeed in a market very different from the rest of the world.
SBC Americas: How would you assess the first 12 months for Amelco US post-PASPA? Can you outline some of the most successful and challenging aspects?
Rob Bone: Our initial commercial pursuits in the US have been eye opening. There is an awful lot of confusion at the customer level regarding the various groups that would comprise a turn-key sportsbook offering, as well as the overall strategic approach that each have in pursuing retail and online / mobile solutions.
Much of the past year has been spent learning on the ground as we operate, so we are spending a lot of time and energy in gathering product requirements that will ensure that our technology offerings are specifically catered to US sports wagering operations.
The potential in the US is of course huge, but US sportsbook operations are going to require a very focused and “Americanized” approach. The market here is very different in many ways from what is common in the UK, Europe and other more mature sports wagering markets around the globe, and operators would do well to keep this in mind.
SBCA: What does the state-by-state legislation mean for those targeting multi-state sportsbook rollouts? Can only the biggest companies meet this regulatory challenge?
RB: The regulatory challenges in dealing with different states are notable, but all of this can be managed with the right technology provider and mind-set.
When it comes to sportsbook, there are of course definitely advantages in scale but with the right platform behind you, size becomes less relevant in meeting regulatory requirements. In our case, based on our many years of experience in operating sportsbook solutions across the globe, we have been laser focused in working with GLI, NJDGE, and other regulatory bodies to ensure our knowledge of the US market is fully integrated into our technology.
Our Amelco Trading System (ATS) system is constantly upgraded with this in mind, and has specific features that allow our customer partners to configure operations to the specific guidelines of each jurisdiction, and has been integral to their rollout across multiple states.
SBCA: Where should the US business be focusing its efforts given uncertainty over the Wire Act? Is there a case for it to be rewritten in light of its antiquity?
RB: We have been active in seeking out various perspectives on this topic and have been given a good sense of comfort that the DOJ did not intend for the Wire Act to apply to casinos or lottery entities. As to rewriting it – I think that would require careful assessment from the US DOJ, but of course it was never created to envision the state of the market today.
However, we do believe that much of the debate over the Wire-Act can be mitigated regardless, with modular architecture solutions based on a “hub and spoke” network design philosophy. We have various architecture approaches to ensure that the bet is initiated on-site.
SBCA: What is your main message going to be at BOSA? And what do you hope delegates take away from your session?
RB: Our main message is “we are here” and ready to demonstrate our capabilities in offering omni-channel sportsbook solutions.
While Amelco USA currently has limited brand awareness in the US market, our technology and industry understanding rivals any of the main sports wagering organizations that are typically referenced – particularly when it comes to rolling out multi-channel operations across multiple jurisdictions.
Just as in our work the rest of the world over, we are extremely passionate about sports wagering and are heavily investing in various innovations that will help usher in a whole new approach, the highlights of which I’ll be sure to talk about.