Todd Sims, SUZOHAPP: driving engagement from components to complete solutions

Offering more than just an over-the-counter transaction can help land-based operators drive new betting experiences and, according to Todd Sims, SUZOHAPP’s VP for Sales, Gaming & Amusements – Americas, can enhance overall player engagement. 

Speaking to SBC Americas, Sims first began by looking at SUZOHAPP’s evolution from a trusted supplier of spares and components for the amusements sector to more of a complete solutions provider for the betting and gaming space. 

He said: “Like you say, we’re now supplying components to the gaming and amusement industries. But a few years back, we started looking at the sports betting sector. We had customers asking us to develop something that had not previously existed in sports betting. 

“So we just took it to the next level, since we were already supplying components and parts, it was somewhat of a natural fit for us just to go ahead and design the complete product. 

“We started to migrate our sports betting strategy over to the US. We saw some pretty big gaps in what customers needed, what they could use, and what was being supplied to the industry. So we really dived in and spent a lot of time focused on where the opportunity was. We were a latecomer to the sports betting field in the US. I mean, there were people already supplying what I call podium-style kiosks to the market. So we really had to think about our strategy.

“The only way for us to be competitive was for us to look at what we had, and compare that to where there is a gap in the market. So that is exactly what we did. By doing so, we’ve brought in new products well beyond the podium-style kiosks that were previously available. We’ve made these products available to the sports betting sector, retail sports betting more specifically.”

The retail betting sector is, undoubtedly, the bread and butter of the industry. So with the acceleration of online sports betting across the US, would it be fair to say that elevating the land-based experience has been placed on the back burner? For Sims, the answer is no. At least not when SUZOHAPP is involved.

But as he explained, retail sports betting has the irreplaceable benefit of being able to deliver a more personalized experience for bettors – both those with accounts, and those that wish to have the odd flutter without signing up for an account. 

To drive this enhanced experience, however, retail sportsbooks should consider deploying a range of products – terminals, over the counter point of sale systems, bartop terminals, stadium-style seating etc.

“I do think there’s been so much focus on the online space, simply because it does represent the lion’s share of revenue. Rightly so, I suppose, the focus has been on the online sector. But retail has always been of importance.

“As the old saying goes: ‘Where do you fish? Well, you fish where they are biting’. Put simply, retail is where these bettors are biting. They are there to watch a game, there is much more excitement and socialization taking place – you really get caught up in the emotion of the whole experience. This is also the time when you are most likely to place a bet.

“So having the right device there is so important. You have to remember that the retail sector is the only place where you can really be spontaneous and anonymous. There is a lot of money out there that wishes to remain anonymous – people paying in cash, but mostly it is just people just looking for a one-off bet without signing up to a sportsbook.

“With retail this is how you capture both the cash player, the spontaneous bettor but also the player that doesn’t want to sign up for an account.”

Watch the full interview here