Exclusive interview: Sportingtech’s Managing Director Bobby Longhurst
After a stellar 2022, Sportingtech is gearing up for another strong exhibition at ICE London at the beginning of February.
We spoke to Managing Director Bobby Longhurst about what the company will have on and how it will move forward after such a commercially successful year.
First off, it must be an exciting prospect for Sportingtech to return to ICE London. What will you be pushing at the show?
It is exciting. It was a definite goal when I came on board as Managing Director last summer to ensure the company enjoys all the benefits and opportunities that ICE London has to offer by going bigger and better than ever before.
We’ll have a whole host of products and services on show. Worth mentioning first up is our new Sportsbook iFrame. This enables operators to seamlessly introduce a sportsbook offering to their site via a single integration, without the need to change their own UI in any meaningful way.
This is significant because there are a lot of operators who see the benefit of a sportsbook but are not yet sure if the time consuming process of building their own is worth the time and investment. This single integration provides operators with the same great benefits as full turnkey customers.
We’ve already taken this live with several partners to great effect, and we think it will prove incredibly popular with plenty more in the coming months. As well as that, we have big plans for our continued growth with the help of our ever-evolving platform.
Last year was particularly successful for Sportingtech. What were the highlights for you?
One of the mainstays of Sportingtech’s success last year was our exponential growth, particularly in LatAm and Africa. Notably, we had a number of high-profile operator deals in numerous markets across Africa, with 888AFRICA and SunBet among them.
It was gratifying to see our vibrant, knowledgeable leadership team drive the business forward. We have a great deal of technological expertise at Sportingtech, as we demonsrated by helping our partners enjoy significant success during the World Cup via the tournament itself and the multiple cross-sell opportunities available.
We were especially delighted with the performance of our platform. Signing a deal with 888AFRICA in July 2022, to take them online in four hugely diverse African markets by September, was a huge achievement. I’m unaware of any other platform on the market that could have delivered this service that quickly, navigating so many disparate elements.
How have sportsbook features become increasingly important to attracting and retaining bettors? And what can Sportingtech offer?
The World Cup is an ideal illustration of how sportsbook provision now needs to encompass next-level solutions. Features like Bet Assist have tackled that challenge head-on. It can generate automated betting tips based on historical data, as well as live-score and AI analysis covering both pre-match and in-play markets with complete bet slip integration. As a result, user engagement has increased, along with retention and turnover rates.
In addition, bet builders have given newcomers to sports betting an efficient and engaging way to get involved, whilst FastBet has enabled users to wager across all sports at the touch of a button without creating a betslip.
That’s not to forget our Popular Bets and Events widget that collates the most popular bets and events across an operator’s platform. It refreshes every five minutes and ensures customers never feel like they are missing out; cutting the time taken for bettors to strike their first bet.
What can we expect to see next from your platform?
We are moving towards even greater personalisation. Customers all over the world now expect a more personalised betting experience. It’s no longer the case that a copy-and-paste solution will suffice.
Now, end-users actively expect a product that feels specifically catered to them. An operation has to stand out from the crowd in its own right and feel fresh when compared to the competition. This is yet another way that our
As we move into 2023, what are the biggest challenges you see facing the sector?
The word ‘uncertainty’ springs to mind. That is absolutely the case if we look to UK-facing operators who are sometimes reliant on an uncertain approach to updating regulation. This is largely because of an outcomes-based regulation model and a hostile press that heavily scrutinises the industry’s every move.
Lawmakers in Curaçao are making positive moves to introduce wide-ranging changes to its licensing regime. Appropriate changes are welcome, of course, but it has yet to be seen whether the jurisdiction follows through with a strategy that boosts its economy and gaming sector. Whatever the case, Sportingtech is watching all these markets carefully, with a quickly expanding compliance team, and will be able to help our partners navigate them effectively.