“G2E was even more important for Sportradar this year”

Lorenzo Caci, Director Business Development and Strategic Partnerships at Sportradar.

(Exclusive interview).- Lorenzo Caci, Director Business Development and Strategic Partnerships at Sportradar, talked with Focus Gaming News at G2E Vegas 2018.

The legalisation of sports betting in the United States has ignited a new fire in the local gambling industry, and companies are ready to start acting on it. Sportradar was one of the highlights of Global Gaming Expo 2018, which counted with an increase of sports betting activity at its expo floor.

Lorenzo Caci, Director of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships in South Europe and Latin America at Sportradar, talked with Focus Gaming News about the company’s performance at the event. The executive who also focuses on the Italian and Turkish betting markets and media markets discussed Sportradar’s expectations for the segment in the United States.

How was Sportradar’s performance at the show?

As one of the first large trade events since sports betting in the US was legislated, the event was even more important for Sportradar this year. We first entered the US market back in 2013, and have since become the official data provider of the NBA, NFL, NHL and NASCAR. Our extensive data coverage includes over 40 sports, 800 leagues and 400,000 annual events. Our 360-degree betting offering provides all tools a bookmaker, large or small, needs to run their business. This includes everything from fixtures, pre-match and live odds, sports and virtual gaming. It was good to see a number of clients, both current and potential, visit our stand to explore our virtual demonstrations and discover more ways of how we could assist. There was a number of conversations with our representatives at the event about these solutions and other current topics, including market legislation and protecting integrity, that Sportradar has had expertise in for over 20 years.  

What was the difference between G2E and other shows you’ve attended this year?

I think the biggest advantage was the timing and location. Being able to come together to network, share and learn more about the current topics and conversations about the US betting market in Las Vegas, the hub of casinos and betting, was a great opportunity, not only for us but for many other industry stakeholders too. 

Since the US betting legislation decision, we have continued to expand our partnerships across the industry with the likes of BetChicago, Sportech and AmTote International.

In May, legislation regarding sports betting changed. How did Sportradar adjust its strategy?

We have always been well-versed within the sports data and betting space. Since the US betting legislation decision, we have continued to expand our partnerships across the industry with the likes of BetChicago, Sportech and AmTote International. We’ve also been doing a lot more work using our expertise to inform sports leagues, media companies, and federations specifically on what works and what doesn’t in terms of the betting industry as well as protecting integrity and setting up legislation from a collaborative standpoint to achieve a safely regulated market as a whole.

Over the next few years, the US will emerge as one of the biggest markets for sports betting in the world.

Sports betting is growing faster than many operators had expected and the companies are offering different products and services. What are you offering to the US market?

We have been preparing for the market opening in the US for a number of years now. US sport is extremely popular across the world, in terms of viewership, entertainment, interactivity and betting. The US market seems to set the trends in terms of fan engagement and cutting-edge sports technology. As a big stakeholder and partner in this space, it’s important for us to remain at the forefront of these continuously growing industries. This year, for example, we have continued to develop innovative media and consumer content to meet the demands of today’s fans. This includes our newly launched Game Stream product, an advanced research tool that offers 3D visualisation of key plays in matches, APIplus, which empowers AI tools such as Alexa or OK Google to go beyond just game scores, and our OTT solutions, which deliver insights to some of the world’s biggest fan bases.  

What are your expectations for the segment in the country?

Over the next few years, the US will emerge as one of the biggest markets for sports betting in the world. It is still early days and there’s still a lot of discussion surrounding what this will mean for US sports and how regulation will be executed. 

We are ready to help shape the framework and ecosystem of the new US betting economy through a safe and secure infrastructure that balances the priorities and needs of all stakeholders.

There are a number of potential challenges with a newly evolving market, including the complexities involved in developing regulations. However, as our CEO Carsten Koerl pointed out when the announcement was first made, the benefits of tax revenues, job creation, consumer protection and the overall economic impact outweigh such concerns. 

We are ready to help shape the framework and ecosystem of the new US betting economy through a safe and secure infrastructure that balances the priorities and needs of all stakeholders.  

What’s the main challenge for Sportradar in the US?

We are continuing to position ourselves as a global market leader in the industry, and so the US will be a very important market for us. Operators will need the best tools and instruments to be able to cater to this market. Betradar’s risk management solution, Managed Trading Services (MTS), is key for this.

We are one of the largest in sports data procurement and distribution rights, analytics, AV production and distribution for more than 60 sports and for hundreds of thousands of games globally. We also partner with professional leagues with our Integrity Services. So we want to build overall awareness of our work in this space. 

We are also committed to remaining at the forefront of technology, so listening to clients and the industry and addressing their needs in terms of leveraging the opportunities for increased entertainment that regulated sports betting provides across the entire continent provides will be important. This is ultimately what our solutions are designed for – to assist sports, media and betting companies in driving greater fan engagement and entertainment that this technology-driven world continues to demand.

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