The quest for personalisation
Dima Reiderman, Chief Operations Officer, BtoBet
BtoBet’s COO discusses the importance of personalisation, and the challenges and opportunities that the European iGaming landscape keeps in hold.
For many years, the focus of personalisation has been on acquisition. However in recent years there has been a gradual shift with the importance of personalisation to retention becoming centre-stage for a number of reasons, including regulation, the competitive landscape and rising acquisition costs.
As the iGaming landscape becomes increasingly more complex due to tighter regulation, increased competition and the need in specific markets, namely the US, to shift from investment to profitability, operators are ever more aware of the need to find ways to maximise the player lifetime value, and that means finding ways to retain them and encourage them to bet.
And with this in mind personalisation has become crucial for an operator to stand out from its competition. Nonetheless truth is that for many operators there remain untapped opportunities in ters of personalisation via numerous touch-points on the customer journey.
The value of offering personalized solutions to the iGaming industry is quite obvious. By leveraging advanced ML, the solution gives operators control over the content and allows them to offer their players the kind of content they are interested in.
Many still consider personalisation to be a simple trigger response. However in reality personalisation is much more complex than this and has to be envisioned as a real-time engine that enables bookmakers and iGaming operators to have very broad customization ranges in terms of sport categories, promotions, banners, and even menus that will eventually result in a true personalised betting journey and thus a genuine competitive edge on the competition.
However, any attempts to gain a competitive edge through such a strategy are likely to falter without a smart, holistic approach supported by real-time data.
And the importance of being able to tap into real-time data is even further highlighted when viewing personalisation as the correct approach for new customers, even though operators will obviously have less data about them at the outset.
Operators can still make use of newly acquired player data derived from his various interactions, and respond immediately to that. And whilst personalisation for new and existing players differ on a number of stages, the approach is basically the same and just as important.
Personalisation as an asset post-Covid era
The personalisation of the betting experience must also be seen as a key tool for many land-based operators who have had to shift to an online offering due to the Covid pandemic. These operators have a wealth of data at their disposal that they need to leverage to provide the basis for a tailored approach and ease the transition for their customers as they switch from a brick and mortar to an online landscape.
A lot of bookmakers and casinos have already gone down the online road during the past year and they are discovering this. They already have at their disposal a solid player portfolio, and with the past data generated on an individual customer basis, they can ease the transition to the online channels by providing their players with their preferred content albeit in a digital context.
The Netherlands: Europe’s New Opportunity
Let’s start by stating the concern of many operators. Overregulation of the sports betting business has become a reality. In the last few years the industry is clearly in a risk of being the subject of regulation for the sake of regulation.
This is not only the belief of the vast majority of operators based in Europe, but has in the past also been a point of concern raised by the European Organization for Gaming Law which expressly stated that excessive regulation of the European sports betting industry is effectively resulting in negative consequences not just for legal businesses.
In its report the EOGL made reference to excessive due diligence, credit card limitations, and excessive taxation as the main factors contributing to the stifling of the European betting and gambling industry.
And one has to mention that in light of this trend, the accountancy firm PwC had compiled a report on the implications of excessive regulation for the channelling of players into legal and regulated sports betting offer. The report’s main conclusion were that the excessive regulation of sports betting, especially of the online segment, poses great risks of pushing the players towards the unregulated ‘black’ market.
We are already seeing the effects of this overregulation across the European iGaming landscape, especially in the UK and Germany. But whilst Europe is very much overregulated, opportunities still reside, and the Netherlands is one such example.
At the same time it has to be stated that the future dynamics of the Dutch market will be hard to predict, as local authorities have indicated that there could be additional regulations in the waiting. However there are big differences when taking in consideration other jurisdictions characterised deemed as overly regularised such as Germany, with the regulatory authorities at the Dutch KSA not implementing some of the same rules as its German counterparts – such as a requirement that slot spins must take five seconds or a €1,000 deposit limit.
Notwithstanding stricter enforcement instruments available to the Gaming Authority, a stricter prevention policy for land-based providers, stricter restrictions with regard to advertising, and the obligation from operators to make payments to the addiction prevention fund, industry experts are sizing up the new Dutch regulatory framework as the blueprint that other European regulatory reforms should be based on.