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against the house could not be more wrong. The iGaming sector has two choices: the Kodak one or the Fuji one. Most iGaming leaders appear to endorse Kodak’s exact analysis and excuse, claiming that all the new trends are fascinating, but will not go further than niche markets – does this argument sound familiar?

A few weeks ago, GVC’s Chief Executive explained in The Telegraph how Big Data has become a weapon between customers and operators. We are currently only at the very beginning of this battle. The consequences of Big Data for the sports betting market will therefore be massive and it seems logical that newer generations will look in another direction.

Sports betting will fail to attract the younger generations Another major game changer exists in Big Data. For the first time in history, sports betting is becoming threatened by a new kind of technology: Big Data. The consequences will prove to be huge for our sector. Bearing in mind that, for instance, Microsoft and Baidu were able to predict 15 out of 15 matches (and Google 14 out of 15) thanks to Big Data during the last period of the last world cup is sufficient proof that companies having access to enough data can correctly predict the outcome of football matches. One may ask, then; will people in the near future want to play against the bookmaker, knowing that the house will be selecting the odds while already knowing the results? This seems highly doubtful. Playing against the house should be a risk yet it will soon start to look more like a con. A con may seem like a bold way to put it however, a quick look at the multiple law suits occurring in the UK, and currently in other countries too, by customers against the iGaming sector is proof enough that what may have been accepted by previous generations is being strongly refuted by the younger ones.

References 1 Fantasy Sports Trade Association, Industry Demographics, http://www.fsta.org/ (Sep. 2014). 2 http://www.webmarketingpros.com/blog/how-customer-loyalty-drivesprofitability/ 3 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/03/23/clampdown-big-winnersboosts-gaming-business-gvc/

Time to face reality. It is imperative that iGaming operators find the courage to fully reorganize their offer, their business model and their own structure in order to grow within the next ten years. We should embrace the Fuji way and begin with a blank slate. Let us offer customers games that will be fashioned after their real expectations and not resting solely on our own. Otherwise, other companies, possibly from the video gaming industry or start-ups, will most certainly colonize this expanding vacant space! In DFS, DraftKings has already transformed a noteworthy quantity of sports betting customers into DFS players in 2016, which is only the beginning for them, since very few iGaming operators appear to be taking this threat seriously at all. The following number is crucial to bear in mind: in 2020, youngsters, millennials, the Y generation, whatever they may go by, will represent 50% of the work force, which is approximately 50% of our market. Therefore, it is imperative that we start listening to them. The BCG matrix has shown us that a common great danger exists when you are satisfied to simply reap the benefits of your mature market but then grow reluctant to begin investing in new markets, shielding the unwillingness with the excuse that they are smaller and not yet profitable. Those who make such mistakes eventually tend to suffer greatly. Every B2B operator offering a product that specifically targets millennials currently shares the same sentiment: that our products, whatever they may be, are not being seen as iGaming operators' priority. They may like what we do, they understand its concept and even be interested in integrating with us in the future, however, very few of them believe that we should be at the top of their priority list.

DFS is the sports betting of the new generations Daily Fantasy Sport (DFS) is a good answer to millennials’ expectations. For the very first time, operators now have the opportunity to offer a game that is a real skill game while also being structurally social. In fact, people are playing DFS in order to prove their knowledge of sports and that their skill is more relevant than mere luck or chance. Numerous companies such as Oulala have positioned themselves as DFS B2B providers so that any iGaming operators who are interested in offering a DFS product to their customers will not need to invest large quantities of capital. Additionally, they have ready-made access to the latest technological innovations in our sector and they may benefit from the customer mutualisation of the providers' network. iGaming operators should embrace this revolution. As time goes on, those who understand this Darwinist evolution in the very early stages will most likely be the future winners of our sector. To be absolutely clear, most of the bigger names in our sector have already acknowledged the strategic significance of DFS for their future and are currently investing to develop their own solution (Unibet, SkyBet, Betclic, Yahoo). Moreover, in August, one of the biggest UK Sports betting brands will launch its own solution. It is now critical for the mid to small operators to react and start offering DFS. However, because they cannot support the investment required to properly launch a DFS product (we have already spent over €2 million on our solution), they will need to work hand in hand with B2B providers. Radical changes are always brutal and it is true that the new paradigm should be seen as a threat, however such is only the case for those who are remaining stationary; for the others, the next decade will be a stimulating period where numerous opportunities will arise. :: CGi


Valéry Bollier has over thirteen years of experience in the iGaming industry. He is a regular speaker at industry conferences and seminars, as well as a contributor to various B2B publications. Equipped with a passion for Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and ''Big Data'', Bollier is the cofounder and CEO of Oulala, a revolutionary fantasy football game which was launched four years ago.



Profile for Casino & Gaming International

Casino & Gaming International: Issue 29  

Casino & Gaming International: Issue 29