(Exclusive interview) .- Max Meltzer, Chief Commercial Officer at Kambi, talks with Focus Gaming News about its performance in the last few months.
UK.- While the worldwide industry continues to adapt to ‘the new normal’, Kambi continues to prove stronger and stronger in the iGaming segment. That’s why Max Meltzer, Chief Commercial Officer at Kambi talks with Focus Gaming News to discuss the current state of the gaming market and how the company has been doing over the last few weeks.
Kambi has won several new partners in the US, most recently signing with Four Winds. Why do you think new partners have looked to Kambi as they introduce sports betting?
We are exceptionally proud to have partnered with Four Winds, one of the most recognisable gaming and entertainment brands in Michigan and Indiana. They have an excellent local reputation and recognised the value in harnessing the trust in and strength of their brand to take full ownership of the sports betting value chain in partnership with Kambi. We are fast establishing ourselves as the trusted B2B partner to tribal gaming enterprises, having also partnered with Seneca Gaming Corporation and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment.
Our partners look to Kambi due to our B2B market leadership experience in the US. Acting as a springboard to visionary sportsbooks and facilitating partner success is a cornerstone of our reputation in regulated markets. We never overpromise or under-deliver – we simply deliver.
Operators can look to Kambi and see a partner which has enabled the likes of DraftKings, BetRivers and Unibet to be successful not only in sports betting, but also across icasino as well given the cross-sell possibilities which the Kambi sportsbook unlocks.
“We never overpromise or under-deliver – we simply deliver.”Max Meltzer, Chief Commercial Officer at Kambi
Our regulatory expertise and speed to market has been another important string to our bow, demonstrating the value Kambi can swiftly bring to new partners. Having processed the first legal online wager in the US post-PASPA, we have gone on to record an impressive series of market firsts, most recently in Colorado, Michigan and Illinois. We are able to launch both online and land-based operations rapidly. By way of example, Four Winds’ three Michigan properties were live with sports betting within just two weeks of our partnership agreement.
You’ve gained significant expansion in the US in the first part of this year, do you hope to continue to build that presence?
Absolutely. Having cut the ribbon on our Philadelphia office in early 2019 our US workforce continues to grow, as we aim to provide the most high-quality and responsive service to our US partners. We have a finely-tuned US strategy which has helped us to become the clear leader in the provision of sports betting services in the country.
Our partner Penn National Gaming will be launching its Kambi-powered Barstool sportsbook in Q3 of this year, and we have a number of additional exciting developments in the pipeline.
Do you think new sports betting can play a role in helping US casinos recover from the Covid-19 crisis?
The pandemic has brought about a series of challenges for all manner of industries, not least the land-based casino sector – presenting issues for day-to-day operations with the importance of social distancing set to remain for some time yet.
An effectively deployed sports betting offering can play a pivotal role in their path to recovery, and ultimately resurgence. The Kambi sportsbook has been proven to produce a sportsbook halo effect, increasing engagement with all aspects of the casino which can be felt across the property. For example, at our partner Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg, revenues from table games have risen since the introduction of sports betting.
Furthermore, our unique Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) technology can be leveraged to allow for an easy and exciting on-property sports betting experience conducted in a safe and contactless manner.
“An effectively deployed sports betting offering can play a pivotal role in (casinos’) path to recovery.”Max Meltzer, Chief Commercial Officer at Kambi
The technology enables bettors to view lines and construct bets anywhere, before placing them at the casino. They can do so using the QR code generated on their mobile either at a Kambi kiosk or at the counter, enabling the wager to be placed without touching any other screens or surfaces.
Furthermore, it goes without saying that a strong mobile and online sports betting offer, as regulation permits, can provide a valuable means of driving greater brand loyalty, protecting and diversifying revenues in a landscape where on-property performance has become more unpredictable. Launching with an experienced B2B partner, building on the strength of the operator’s database and ownership of the brand can diversify risk and bring about sustainable long-term growth.
What other markets do you think offer good growth opportunities for Kambi?
Although much of our recent commercial expansion has naturally been focused on the US as more states regulate, Kambi is a global company, and we are always assessing opportunities in new and existing regulated markets.
Latin America is a very important region for us. We have laid down a marker in Colombia, where we now power two of the three market leaders in BetPlay and RushBet, and are continually monitoring regulatory movements as we aim to partner with tier one operators and those with the potential to rise to the top.
We are also keeping a watchful eye on developments in Canada, which may look to regulate sports betting given its neighbour’s regulatory movements.
What regulatory developments do you foresee in the coming months? Do you believe advances in regulations will continue to facilitate Kambi’s expansion in the US and elsewhere?
In the US, we have already seen Michigan look to expedite its online sports betting regulation, and it would not be a surprise to see others follow suit in the months to come. Outside of sports betting, I do think that those US states which have already passed regulation will now be looking to advance discussions regarding poker and icasino. Sports betting can play a role in generating greater tax revenue to help with recovery from the current pandemic, and US states will not be alone in looking at this.
“Latin America is a very important region for us.”Max Meltzer, Chief Commercial Officer at Kambi
What’s your take on the growth in esports betting during the Covid-19 pandemic? Can the sector continue to grow?
Amidst the lighter global sporting calendar resulting from the pandemic a bright spot has been the evolution and growing popularity of esports, showcasing the ability to offer an exciting and fast-paced betting format. The vertical has huge potential, and Kambi has always had a strong esports offering which we were able to capitalise on with the recent spike in interest.
Regulation in the US does cap the potential of esports betting, as in many states it is not permitted. The Covid-19 pandemic has seen some state regulators soften their stance, but it remains to be seen if esports will be regulated more widely.