Evolution and expansion: IGT leaders outline PlaySports growth plans

Evolution and expansion: IGT leaders outline PlaySports growth plans
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On June 14, 2018, IGT was at the forefront of the historic occasion when the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J., became the first U.S. casino outside of Nevada to go live with legalized sports betting. The first sports bet at the casino was placed using the IGT PlaySports platform. 

In the three years post-PASPA, IGT has established its PlaySports technology as the leading sports betting solution in the U.S., developed key strategic partnerships with top B2C sports betting brands and cultivated an in-house team to conduct trading advisory services. Now looking towards the future, SBC Americas asked three PlaySports leaders what we can expect to see from IGT in the next few years.

Vik Shrestha, IGT PlaySports Senior Director of Business Development, said: “The U.S. presents an incredible landscape for IGT to continue our sports betting expansion at a fast rate. Our strategy thus far has been to tap into our long-standing partnerships with land-based casinos of all kinds – commercial, regional, tribal – and lotteries and other gaming venues, to establish new areas of growth for their operations. 

“Over the next three years, we will continue to see the expansion of legalized sports betting along with a push for iGaming legislation in multiple states, and we also expect to see numerous tribes venture into building their own sportsbooks. 

“IGT understands the complex regulatory hurdles tribes face when it comes to tribal compacts with states, and we provide our expertise when it comes to launching a successful sports betting operation.  

“Additionally, with Canada on the verge of legalizing single-game wagering, a lot of what we’ve learned and developed for the U.S. can be utilized in the Canadian market. We’ll continue to work with our customers in each province to explore how we can create a successful sports betting program for them. IGT’s turnkey solution is fully customizable, making it an attractive offer for all kinds of gaming venues.” 

David Poirier, IGT PlaySports Director of Product Management, shared: “We’re seeing the beginning of a maturity of the U.S. sports betting market, where having a sportsbook ‘open for business’ is no longer enough. Sports bettors are looking for more prop and in-play bets and a wider range of sports to bet on, so we have plans to expand the overall betting offers. 

“We are also looking to broaden the marketing and payment capabilities of IGT PlaySports’ Player Account Management system to include special player options such as free bets and cash out features. 

“In addition, we will introduce the exciting evolution of our award-winning CrystalBetting™ Terminal which will integrate top-performing IGT video slot, poker and table games for bettors to play slot games while still placing bets on sports.” 

Matteo Carli, IGT SVP PlaySports, added: “Over the next few years, we plan to expand our retail betting portfolio to meet the demands of this growing and critical segment. Given IGT’s pedigree in land-based gaming, we’re very familiar with our customers’ environments and uniquely positioned to help them diversify their casino floors. This is one of our key motivations for launching the expanded multi-game capabilities of our VIP retail betting solution, the CrystalBetting Terminal, later this year. 

“As David mentioned, the enhanced CrystalBetting Terminal gives players the ability to wager on comprehensive sports betting menus, as well as play table games, video poker and compelling video slot content, creating an all-encompassing experience for patrons. Giving players the option to wager on multiple games on a single cabinet can increase engagement, coin-in an entertainment value without incremental floor space investment. 

“In addition, the CrystalBetting Terminal’s new interface allows patrons to stream two sporting events at the same time if they wish. This incremental innovation was a result of critical feedback that we received from players during our research phase.

“IGT’s retail solutions including the CrystalBetting Terminal and other self-service kiosks, create a broader integration of sports betting to the casino floor. As players become more accustomed to convenience-to- play wherever they are on a casino floor, having better access to these solutions increases player engagement and drives growth for our customers.”

With lots of opportunity still on the horizon and customer agreements in its pipeline, IGT PlaySports shows no signs of slowing down.