As this year comes to an end, we’re beginning to look back on some of the challenges and highlights from the last 12 months – and for SUZOHAPP, one such high point has been the company’s expansion into the Canadian market.
Speaking to SBC Americas, SUZOHAPP Vice President of Sales for America Todd Sims speaks about the company’s Ontario entry, the differences between the Great White North and its cousin to the south, and the ways in which SUZOHAPP is helping retail sportsbooks to elevate the sports betting experience.
SBC: We’ve come to the end of 2022 – what would you say have been the biggest highlights for your company over the last 12 months?
TS: G2E was a big highlight for us this year as we added three new sports betting terminals to our sports betting ecosystem. We got great feedback on our seated terminal that was designed to be an inclusive and immersive sports betting experience and also have had massive interest in our latest bar top unit that includes a bill validator.
Our booth was packed from open to close of the show making this one of our best years ever! We’re excited to bring this momentum to London at ICE and to New Jersey for the SBC Summit North America next year.
SBC: SUZOHAPP recently made its entry into the Ontario market via its partnership with Great Canadian Entertainment. Why has now been the perfect time to enter the Canadian market?
TS: Ontario is the first Canadian territory to allow retail sports betting and will really be a test market for the rest of Canada to see how successful it is. Ontario has the benefit of being a bit behind the US in terms of opening their market so they were able to take the learnings and best practices from other markets and apply them right away.
Given that they were able to launch now in the fall/early winter will allow them to capitalize right away on the big sports seasons of American football, hockey, and basketball and have all the quirks of the process worked out ahead of the season closers like the Super Bowl, March Madness and the Stanley Cup. For SUZOHAPP, getting in at launch is important to set a standard of excellence in the region with our terminals and keep looking forward.
SBC: What new opportunities does this market entry present for SUZOHAPP? And how will you tweak your offering for Canada when compared to, say, the US?
TS: We’ve been very fortunate to be working with the dedication and support of the AGCO in getting our products approved for the Canadian market. The requirements take into account all of the end customer needs for Canadian consumers so we work to ensure that we not only meet, but exceed the expectations to the best of our ability.
As the US is a bit more established for legalized sports betting, we’ve been able to take the best practices and learnings from the early days and apply them to have a more refined product and process for the Canadian market.
SBC: As online sports betting continues to become the modus operandi for much of the industry, should sportsbooks be placing more emphasis upon elevating the betting experience within their retail estates? If so, how can this be done?
TS: The customer cost of acquisition and retention for online sports betting is rather high and is also fairly limiting. With retail sports betting, sportsbooks are not limited to the revenue of direct sports betting but also benefit from additional time spent on location.
By creating an environment conducive to sports betting that encompasses the full experience of the game and maximizes in-play betting will not only incur additional revenue from those in-play bets but also increases food and beverage spend, and potential to have winnings put back into that establishment should they provide additional gaming options.
Especially as we see the possibilities with micro betting on the horizon, those retail experiences are key to setting the stage for continuous betting and additional spend.
SBC: We previously spoke about SUZOHAPP’s evolution from a provider of spares and components, to a provider of complete gaming solutions. Can we expect further evolution of the company in 2023? Do you have any exciting announcements in the pipeline?
TS: After a big year like 2022, the only way we can go is up! We have many new projects in the pipeline and a few key announcements that you’ll hear from us at the beginning of the year. 2023 is going to be huge for the sports betting industry and we are here for it.
We have a forward-thinking perspective on the retail market that we believe will be essential to markets like Ohio and others that may open in the coming year and we offer tremendous value as a partner to anyone looking to get into the retail space here.