Q&A with Betsson Group Senior Project Manager Timothy Hill on how operators are preparing for the World Cup

How do top-notch operators like Betsson prepare for big events like the World Cup?

The World Cup is a big event for both football and Betsson. Large-scale sporting events like this affect almost every department in a company, from analytics to IT, marketing, hardware, and retail. Each of these units needs to be in sync and we’re working hard to keep them in sync in order to be fully prepared. Everything from infrastructure to promotions needs to be tested. We need to make sure the platform and systems can handle the significant increase in new players and betting volumes expected during the tournament.

We have been preparing for this since the beginning of the year. We have a team dedicated to this tournament and they are focused on making sure we are ready for the biggest bookmaking event of the year. We need to be prepared for this event, and we need to ensure the same gaming experience for all brands and verticals during the preparation for the tournament and throughout the tournament. This is a large undertaking requiring strong internal communication and the ability to constantly monitor commands and actions.

What are the biggest challenges you face? How are such difficulties overcome?

The extremely high level of competition in our respective markets is probably the biggest challenge we have faced. Betsson is not the only operator looking to capitalize on the huge potential this tournament offers, so everything from bookmaker promotions to payouts must be top notch. It’s nice to involve new players, but we have to make sure they get the best experience. Doing this in some global markets is a major challenge.

What are the main lessons learned from past tournaments?

Start preparing early and don’t stop there. This year it’s fall/winter so we really had a lot of time to prepare and it really helped to make sure we were 100% ready and working hard. Major sports tournaments are huge branding and revenue opportunities, so operators need to allocate the necessary time and resources.

Will the approach to the World Cup differ by brand and how will it differ by market?

In terms of the promotions we run, we have extensive global services available in all markets and local services specific to each jurisdiction. Local teams know their audience better than anyone else, giving them the freedom and flexibility to adjust their marketing plans and campaigns. As a company, we feel it is our responsibility to provide the necessary resources, tools and support.

Player acquisition is an important activity for many operators. What approach are you using?

Bonuses and promotions are very important to attract players during sports tournaments. Our flagship product, The Betsson Million, is available in most major Betsson Group markets. Each player is given 1 million euros in cash which they can use to predict the outcome of 20 football matches. An example of such a question is: “Will there be more than 2.5 goals in Qatar’s match against Ecuador?” The player can invest the entire million in Yes or No, or split the money 70/30 or 50/50 or their choice. Money left by a player after 20 questions remains without limits and wagering requirements. All players have unlimited chances to win €1 million and the game is available 365 days a year. But this is only one aspect of attracting players. To attract new players on a large scale, operators must ensure a seamless user experience from the moment they join their brand. This includes registration, KYC, payments, markets and odds, customer support and more.

Customer retention is very important. Especially given the bonuses offered by some competing brands. Betsson is looking to increase retention through a variety of initiatives, including football-themed slots, casino play incentives and live games. We also offer online Football True or False competitions in select markets.

Are big bonuses the only way to stand out from competing brands? If not, how else do you want to stand out and encourage player registration?

Bonuses are an important part of how brands strive to stand out in a licit market, but they’re not the only way. At Betsson, we want players to know that we offer a huge range of betting opportunities and we put a lot of emphasis on cross-selling sports bettors at the casino and live tables. To do this, we use a football theme in our bookmakers and casinos, and we also offer many special promotions, themed slots and special live casino environments to help achieve this.

How important is player retention in a major betting event like the World Cup? How do you ensure that players remain loyal?

As mentioned earlier, customer retention is important to Besson during and outside of sporting events. This is why the quality of the experience offered to players upon registration matters. When it comes to maintaining player loyalty, we rely on continuous promotions, market availability and odds prices, a wide selection of slot lobbies, casino and live dealer content, localized payment methods, and the best customer support in the business.

What does a successful World Cup look like for Betsson?

We are seeing an influx of new players signing up to our brand and we hope this will lead to more applications and sales. Of course, retaining these players is important and we expect a positive response to promotions and campaigns. Q4 is often a good time for gaming companies and this mega event could be our biggest sporting event yet.

How do you ensure that players recruited during the tournament continue to bet on your brands after the final whistle?

It all comes down to the aforementioned retention tactics. The fact that this tournament takes place at the height of the regular football and sports season around the world also contributes to retention.

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