Colin McDonagh, Chief Sales Officer at Sportingtech spoke exclusively to Focus Gaming News about the highlights of the company in 2022 and their next challenges.
Exclusive interview.- Expansion across new markets has been the key to Sportingtech’s successful year in 2022 and the company expects to continue in that line for the year that is about to start. Colin McDonagh, chief Sales Officer at Sportingtech, is excited about all the work done throughout the year and shares his thoughts on the challenges to come.
What assessment do you make of 2022?
It’s been a hugely positive year for Sportingtech, which has seen a great deal of internal change, especially over the past few months, with a number of new additions creating a solid bedrock that has fuelled aggressive growth. Bobby Longhurst, our Managing Director, took the reins earlier in the year with the ambition to extend the company’s reach in emerging and regulated markets worldwide, as well as lotteries, with our comprehensive sports betting and casino product offering, and has done so to great effect.
Which was the highlight of 2022 for Sportingtech?
One of the mainstays of Sportingtech’s success this year has been its exponential growth, especially in LatAm and Africa. Notably, we have seen a number of high-profile operator deals in numerous markets across Africa, best evidenced in our partnerships with operators 888AFRICA and SunBet. It has been hugely rewarding to see that our vibrant, knowledgeable leadership team drive the business forward, accurately displaying the technological expertise that Sportingtech has to offer, and this has proved invaluable, especially this year when presented with the sporting behemoth that is the World Cup.
What are the most challenging aspects of compliance that the igaming sector faces today?
The word ‘uncertainty’ sums up the industry’s compliance issues aptly. This is evident if we look at UK-facing operators that are sometimes reliant on an uncertain approach to updating regulation, largely because of an outcomes-based regulation model and a hostile press that heavily scrutinises the industry’s every move.
Further afield, it’s been suggested that Curaçao will introduce wide-ranging changes to its licensing regime at the end of 2022. Here, we see the same problem – operators being told about change in regulation, but with little detail to help update processes and controls. Appropriate changes are welcome, but hopefully, Curaçao doesn’t follow a model that irreparably damages its economy and gaming sector.
How sportsbook features have become increasingly important to attract and retain bettors? And what can Sportingtech offer?
This year’s World Cup is the perfect example of how sportsbooks have had to step up and provide next-level solutions, and we have delivered on that front. Features like Bet Assist have tackled any challenges head-on, generating automated betting tips based on historical data, live-score and AI analysis, covering both pre-match and in-play markets with complete bet slip integration, user engagement has increased, as well as retention and turnover rates.
In addition, bet builders have given newcomers to sports betting an efficient and engaging way to get involved, while FastBet, the only feature of its kind on the market, has enabled users to wager across all sports at the touch of a button without creating a betslip.
What’s next for your award-winning Quantum platform?
Next year will herald an even greater focus on personalisation for the industry, which Quantum will be on hand to address. Customers the world over are coming to expect a more personalised betting experience, and we foresee a greater necessity for personalisation in 2023. We’re long past the point where a cut-and-paste offering is enough. 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 Quantum platform enables businesses to thrive, by being customisable to the point of meeting the individual needs of each operator we work with.
“Customers the world over are coming to expect a more personalised betting experience, and we foresee a greater necessity for personalisation in 2023.”Colin McDonagh, Chief Sales Officer at Sportingtech.
The Latin American market is growing rapidly, what’s your business plan for Latin America?
From our extensive presence in Latin America, we have seen a surge of sportsbooks and casinos embrace the online market following changes in regulation.
“Our plans for LatAm will certainly centre around the omnichannel experience, and how a presence both on and offline can be the key to attaining a high level of player engagement and retention.”Colin McDonagh, chief Sales Officer at Sportingtech.
Quantum’s customisable nature makes it the ideal platform for these markets allowing operators to tailor the product to their own specific needs – by offering such a versatile platform, operators looking to establish themselves in emerging markets and create a player-centric betting experience can do so. We’ll also continue to roll out the lite versions of our offering for jurisdictions that don’t yet have robust bandwidth.
You have also announced partnerships in Africa, what can you tell us about the African market?
Our recent partnerships are indicative of the iGaming industry’s thoroughly bright future on the continent of Africa – not only sports are a pillar of many countries there, with sports betting growing stronger every year, but online casino entertainment is gradually becoming more familiar to a variety of markets across the region.
Regulation, payment options and myriad other player preferences vary massively across Africa and, as a result, an increasing number of tier-one operators are realising that flexible platform solutions like Quantum are necessary to cater to audiences across such regions. Through our modular offering that is backed by local people providing excellent customer support on the ground, we’ve successfully proved we can build a tailored product for each of these markets.
In regard to your roadmap for future development, how is Sportingtech planning to capitalise on recent operator deals going forward?
We’re deeply excited about the possibilities the new iFrame product has to offer. Our iFrame integration allows us to add a sportsbook to a partner’s website without any real change to their existing UI. This is perfect for operators who want to explore whether a sportsbook offering is right for their business, without investing a significant sum and overhauling their current front end in order to find out.
We’ve already taken this live with several partners to great effect, so we think this new string to our bow will prove incredibly popular in 2023. As well as that, we have big plans for our continued growth in LatAm and African jurisdictions with the help of our ever-evolving Quantum platform.
What surprises are you preparing for 2023?
We’re very much looking forward to meeting delegates at ICE 2023, where we will be discussing all of our solutions for operators designed to give them the confidence to keep their players engaged and satisfied in the new year. With purse strings tightening due to international cost-of-living woes, it is more pertinent than ever for operators to offer a best-in-class entertainment experience, as gaming becomes more of a luxury for many customers.
We’re also looking forward to doubling down on our continued expansion efforts – by the end of 2023, we expect to have rolled out in several other markets as more African countries begin to see the advantages of common-sense regulation. We can also expect to see our Quantum platform grow and add more strings to its bow as we encounter challenges and manipulate the platform to adjust and overcome them.