Videoslots: changing its spots?By William - 14 January 2020
Online slots specialist, Videoslots, has entered the sports betting market with its new online sports book powered by BetRadar. G3 interviews Martin Calleja, Videoslots’ Head of Sportsbook, about the broadening of the company’s remit.
Videoslots has agreed a deal with Betradar to employ its Integrated Trading Solutions as they prepare to launch an online sportsbook at the beginning of next year. Could you tell us more about the agreement?
The original idea was to introduce sports betting using one of the major B2B suppliers available and talks were already ongoing with several of the major suppliers. However, the long-term goal is to have our own trading team with a sportsbook developed in house.
As we looked further into our options, we saw an opportunity where we could have an in between, where we can be assisted by the trading expertise of our partners as we build our own system, but still have full control of the whole product which we deliver to our players, as opposed to a B2B solution that is essentially controlled by them. This allows us to offer a much better service and we are excited to go live and hear their feedback.
Excluding in the United States, sports betting is a mature market. Why have you chosen now to set up an online sportsbook? How long have you been planning to enter the sports betting landscape?
As the company continues to grow so do the needs of our customer base. Thankfully, Videoslots is now in a place where we can continue to invest, increase and differentiate our offer. We understand the market is very saturated and it is going to be very challenging, but we are confident that with the right blend of offers and the use of our strong brand name, we can have a successful product and offer a new user experience to sports betting customers.
Are there any geographic markets you will specifically target with your sportsbook offering?
We hold MGA, SGA, DGA, UKGC and Italy licences and are in the process of obtaining another in Spain. We aim to target all regulated markets available where we can operate, the ones we currently have and any future ones that will come available to obtain. Being that our roots are in Sweden, obviously this is our strongest market, but this does not mean we will focus all our energy in Sweden and ignore the others. There’s a lot of potential out there and we will use all of our expertise and experience in the industry to ensure we make a success of ourselves in as many as possible.
How will the sportsbook be integrated into the user interface without detracting from your core products? How will you raise awareness?
The idea is to operate our sportsbook as Videoslots Sports, which will be a separate vertical to the current website but operate under the same Videoslots Ltd umbrella. We aim to offer a new and exciting product to our customer base and hopefully aim to attract new customers who are more interested in sports. Videoslots Sports will not be intruding into our current online casino website, so customers who are not interested in this vertical will not be bothered by it but the ones who also like to use this product can now do it happily in one website, without the need of going somewhere else.
The sports betting market is in the middle of a pricing battle, with punters savvier than ever before. What is your unique selling point?
We aim to offer customers a place where they can enjoy their favourite sports and follow their chosen team or players’ events giving them the option to have a small bet while doing so. We are aware of the pricing battle and that this is an approach most operators are unfortunately getting into. I personally feel that this is a very dangerous and risky strategy as it attracts a lot of professional gamblers and customers who are looking to bet on both sides of the event and guarantee themselves a profit.
Customers who want to enjoy betting responsibly are not normally interested in joining this price battle but are more interested in a company that offers them an enjoyable user experience and one they can trust with their funds. We aim to use the strong Videoslots name and the guarantee our brand name gives to attract these customers and aim to offer new types of Gamification products within our sports section.
Videoslots isn’t a term you would associate with sports betting. How do you plan on competing with established players in this space with a brand name that refers to the slot market?
Videoslots is and will always be primarily a company that caters for the slots market, but we are also aware of necessity to offer this vertical. Therefore, Videoslots will remain a company that offers online casino with the addition of a sportsbook. In fact, ours is going to be designed based on these principles and will not confuse our customers by show casing hundreds or markets just like everyone else does.
Having said that, our offer will still be a competitive one, for the customers who are primarily sportsbook based and these customers will be aware there are more markets and can easily find them by navigate easily through our website.
How do you plan to convert existing customers into sports betting? What demographic crossover is there between video slot players and sports bettors?
We intend to create new crossover products, which for sure will attract our customers using our gamification products in our casino. It’s not about converting customers, it’s about adding more fun and entertainment for them.