The new year is often about kicking things off with resolutions of things you plan to do in the next 12 months. SUZOHAPP is starting 2023 with all cylinders firing from the jump though. There are plans to add more, but what the company accomplished in the back half of 2022 has set them up for success in ‘23.
Vice President Sales, Gaming & Amusement – Americas for SUZOHAPP Todd Sims took some time during the holidays to discuss the company’s latest accomplishments and what he sees on the horizon for North American sports betting this year.
“‘22 was really the first year that we unveiled our entire sports betting hardware lineup and got real installs up and running and live, and we grew that part of our business by leaps and bounds, and really have set the stage for 23 to be much, much larger,” Sims reflected.
That included a huge deployment in Ontario, Canada through Great Canadian Entertainment and other partners.
“We’re learning a lot, certainly,” Sims said about the podium kiosk activation in Canada. “We also had the first installation and go lives of our tabletop device, which now is a full bar top. So we’ve evolved that product and now includes a bill acceptor. I believe it’s the first bar tops in Canada. As you may know, Canada does not allow the drop-in poker machines that we see in a lot of other markets, particularly the US, so it’s a perfect opportunity for us to put a bar-top sports betting kiosk in Canada.”
Sims noted what many others in the industry have stated, which is that “the bloom is off the rose for sports betting.” Accordingly, operators and suppliers alike are looking to less traditional avenues to bring new customers into the fold. He added SUZOHAPP saw the shift from online to retail coming.
“We all go to sports bars, we get caught up in the emotion we’re watching the games, particularly right now with the World Cup. You’ve got a bunch of people getting excited about soccer, who maybe are necessarily excited about soccer in the US, but you get in there and you start watching the game and a bar and it’s fun. It’s exciting. And so that’s when it’s easiest to get that sports fan and transition them into a bettor because they can put a spontaneous and anonymous $20 bill into a kiosk and bet on a game.
“And so now we’ve just transitioned that fan into a bettor and that’s our golden opportunity and that’s our software partners’ golden opportunity to capture that fan, get them to sign up for an account, get them transitioned over to the mobile side.”
Kiosks in places like sports bars are something to monitor in the newly launched Ohio market. The state regulators agreed to allow kiosks in places ranging from bars to grocery stores instead of just retail sportsbooks.
As Sims sees it, these kiosks are another reason for people to frequent your grocery store along with conveniences like pharmacies, banks, or Western Union. It doesn’t come without its challenges though, particularly how users will be able to redeem their winnings. That is something SUZOHAPP is already thinking about though.
There is a call-to-attendant feature for larger jackpots as well as a point-of-sale system that allows for cash redemption from the kiosk without a manager or attendant having to step away from their regular duties to process it.
While Ohio figures out its full processes, Sims points to Illinois as an example of a state that mandates cash redemption machines specifically to avoid employees of the store or bar handling money and dealing with that burden.
Ohio also limited betting kiosks to a small menu of wagers with no in-play betting, which is something that Sims hopes they reconsider not just for the operators, but for the establishments housing the kiosks.
“In-play betting is more than the transactional who’s going to win or lose bets. In-play betting is really important. But the other thing about the market with in-play betting is not just the increased level of bets, but the increased spend on food and beverage because if you’re able to bet during the event, and you’re in your chair and you’re in the bar or the restaurant, it doesn’t matter what the score of the game is it doesn’t matter if your team is getting crushed, you can still do all the micro-betting during the event that keeps you in your seat and keeps you spending more money on food and beverage. And that’s really important for the small businesses,” he explained.
Even if the market doesn’t allow in-game betting at the moment, SUZOHAPP is still a step ahead of the game and working on those integrations in future devices. After all, unlike many of the rest of us whose resolutions for 2023 began Jan. 1, theirs have been in the works for months.
Watch the full video interview with Sims HERE.