Viktoria, a Commercial Director at Betgenius with a focus on the Eastern European markets, told about the most popular product for these markets, launching streaming service and plans for 2020.
Viktoria, you were recently appointed as Betgenius’ Commercial Director for Eastern Europe. What attracted you to Betgenius and what are your aims for 2020?
Having worked in iGaming for a decade, I’ve been aware of the quality, reliability and breadth of Betgenius’ technology and services for some time, so when the opportunity to join arose back in July, I could not wait to get started.
The five months since have been hugely successful for us across Eastern Europe, in terms of growing our partner portfolio, strengthening relationships with existing partners, beginning to roll out our new streaming service and localising our InPlay data and trading products.
Throughout H2 of 2019 we’ve built major momentum in the region, acting not just as a supplier but a long-term strategic partner to sportsbooks. This is something I’m excited to build on in 2020.
In-play trading is your most popular product in Eastern Europe. Why is it so valuable to operators?
Operators in Eastern Europe including FonBet and Parimatch continue to value the reliability of our in-play trading service and the direct, positive impact it has on their profits, customer engagement levels and market-share.
We trade 35 sports and a total of 200,000 fixtures, with models for all the key sports. As we have official data partnerships with 300 competitions ranging from the EPL, Serie A and EuroLeague to Poland’s Ekstraklasa, Czech First League and VTB United League, we capture data at pitch or courtside which means our prices are market-leading in terms of speed, accuracy and uptime for the most popular betting competitions for brands in Russia, Poland, Croatia, Czech Republic and Georgia.
Additionally, Russian speaking trading and support staff based in Tallinn, Estonia are in contact with our partners around-the-clock, advising on how they can set bespoke margin and suspension settings, via our trading console, in order to minimise vulnerability and maximise profitability.
As you said earlier, Betgenius recently launched a new streaming service. Why did you enter this market and what sets your service apart?
Our entry into the streaming space was a natural move given our reputation as the industry’s leading live betting supplier.
What’s unique about our streaming content is its timing. Having spoken to our trading partners in Eastern Europe, it’s clear that streaming has the greatest effect on turnover at times of days and months of year when sports scheduling is at its quietest.
By focusing on football, basketball and volleyball fixtures played during these crucial gaps, we’ve developed a service which is hugely valuable to the industry – delivering ROI for sportsbooks and adding an engaging dimension to the experience for their customers, driving them to bet at times when they would otherwise be uninterested.
A great example is the way we’ve invested to ensure over a quarter of our football content covers weekday mornings. Our analysis shows that this is the quietest time of day in terms of football scheduling in Eastern Europe.
Esports betting has been a growth space in Eastern Europe in recent years. Does Betgenius offer an Esports product?
Although still relatively small in comparison with major sports, Esports betting turnover continues to grow year-on-year across Eastern Europe. Likewise, the average Esports deposit in the region might be three times lower than that of core sports but, again, it is growing.
At Betgenius we’re aware of this growth and continue invest in expanding our pre-event and live coverage across all titles and enhancing the quality of our pricing. All of our trading is overseen by staff with title-specific expertise and therefore knowledge of how to adjust prices when new patches emerge. Currently, these frequent changes are the biggest challenges operators face when trading Esports.
And finally, what trends do you expect to see in betting markets across Eastern Europe in 2020?
Firstly, there’s the impending launch of a legal market in Ukraine. We only work with licensed operators in regulated markets and having actively consulted stakeholders throughout the regulatory process, this is something I’m massively excited about.
Across Eastern Europe more broadly, we’re seeing operators with serious long-term ambitions increasingly adopt a user-first approach, investing in comprehensive, reliable data and trading so that they can offer more markets, more fixtures, settle bets faster and keep in-play markets open for longer. This kind of offering is vital to sustained turnover, retention and market-share.
Finally, there’s expansion. Next year I expect to see operators in Eastern Europe leverage their existing brand and enter new, emerging markets. Because of varying regional requirements and strategies, flexible technology will be essential to achieve success, not only in terms of trading but platform and marketing, too.
Read more: The Popularity of Sports Betting is Growing