US lottery operators could benefit from observing the way that their European counterparts do business as America continues to embrace sports betting. That was just one piece of advice delivered by Andrew Cochrane, Chief Development Officer at SBTech, during the recent Betting on Sports America conference in New Jersey.
Addressing delegates as part of a panel dedicated to lottery operators he offered: “From our perspective – if we’re going to give one tip to the lotteries – it’s to take a look at Europe, at what’s going on there. Look at the market shares of the big lotteries and see how they’re faring against the competition with the current product suite that they have.
“And what you’ll realize is that the opportunity for lotteries with very large brands and very large databases of loyal players is that if you can have an innovative product that can compete with the large online sportsbooks then I think you’ve got a fantastic opportunity.
“So I think that the message is ‘product’, absolutely. We are very much a mobile-led business so all of our investment in product goes into a mobile-first approach and I think for us it’s all about player engagement on mobile.”
Cochrane also spoke about the barriers to mobile, specifically clearing the hurdle of introducing a mobile service in states where it is illegal. “From a supplier perspective – there are a couple of examples of where we’ve worked with betting companies to essentially embrace mobile where perhaps mobile betting is not allowed due to regulations.
“One example of that would be allowing players to essentially create a bet. Go through the selections and the hard work of building the bet without having to stand in line at a counter or kiosk, doing that on an app and walking into a lottery premises or into a Seven Eleven or betting shop and just walk up to the counter with a QR code or a simple five-digit code and being able to place a bet very quickly. That’s an example of using mobile, where regulations don’t allow it, to still engage with players.”
He added: “Another example would be Mississippi where mobile betting is not allowed but potentially you’re allowed to offer it within the confines or the walls of a casino property that’s fully licensed for sports betting. So we’re working with geolocation providers who we’ve integrated into our player account management platform and essentially it allows players to download an app and place online sports bets. As long as they’re within the confines of the casino they can bet at their convenience. What we’re doing is keeping close to that demographic.”