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Elevating the casino floor

05 May 2021 / Author: Kambi

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Max Meltzer speaks with iGB on how introducing sports betting to the product mix can elevate the entire casino floor.

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As land-based gaming begins to make a comeback in the US, the focus now shifts from recovery back to growth and on finding new ways to engage customers, increase ROI and enhance the customer experience.

The challenges of a post-Covid world for commercial and tribal casinos of course do not end there though, having to adopt a phased approach to re-opening their doors with the additional issue of social distancing restrictions to contend with.

Sportsbook provider Kambi’s omnichannel approach has however allowed it to continue to collect data around user trends during the shutdown and to help land-based stakeholders to innovate their offering and return to growth. “Bringing a new product vertical to the casino floor, particularly one with dynamics across both margins and player engagement that separate it from traditional casino verticals like slots and table games is understandably not a light undertaking”, says the company’s CCO Max Meltzer.

However, Meltzer adds that sports betting should not be underestimated for its capacity to drive revenue across the entire casino ecosystem, referencing a partner success story to highlight its potential.

“Kambi partner Penn National Gaming has found that on-property customers who engage with both casino and sports betting generate five times more value than those who engage with casino only. Furthermore, it has seen revenues from table games rise significantly since the introduction of sports betting.”

Broader horizons

One of the most notable benefits of sports betting, according to Meltzer, is that it appeals to a broad range of demographics.

Appealing to different generations and bringing these into the casino also draws attention to other casino amenities and increases ROI across the board, with the potential to align engagement strategies with upcoming sports events.

“As we transition to a new normal the coming months promise to be particularly exciting ones for sport and sports betting, with several events such as the UEFA European Championships and the Olympics having been postponed to 2021. 

“In addition to this, the forthcoming NFL season will offer huge excitement for football fans, with the most recent Super Bowl driving the highest bet volumes in Kambi’s history.”

''For those operators looking to increase brand awareness, the B2B route offers the chance to maximise the sports betting opportunity for customers and be actively involved in the process.''

A stronger brand

Meltzer points out that tribal operators have two primary options when deploying sports betting. The first one being a partnership with a B2C brand and the second teaming up with a B2B provider.

While each operator has different needs which may be better met by either option, a B2B partnership allows operators to harness the strength of their own brand. With the B2C route, the day-to-day handling of the sportsbook would fall to the B2C operator, along with the brand and database building opportunities that go with this given that the sportsbook would not carry the casino’s own brand.

For those operators looking to increase brand awareness, the B2B route offers the chance to maximise the sports betting opportunity for customers and be actively involved in the process.

The other consideration is on the regulatory side, where B2B providers like Kambi – which recently launched four partners on day one of online regulation in Michigan -can ensure that this is being handled efficiently and with accuracy.

“Taking control of the sportsbook with a B2B partner empowers the casino with a full 360-degree view of casino and sportsbook customers – enabling them to see how they intersect and how to most effectively drive cross-sell between the two verticals.”

Meltzer explains how Kambi’s BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) technology has helped operators to conduct sports betting in a “safe and contactless manner” during the pandemic.  Although not originally intended as a Covid precaution, the technology allows a safe experience for players as they can view lines and build bets from anywhere, before placing them at a counter or Kambi kiosk by simply scanning a QR code.”

Expanding on this, Meltzer outlines how a B2B partner can help tribal operators capture a greater share of wallet through mobile sports betting.



“A tribal casino’s customer-base will naturally find their way to mobile sports betting as regulation allows”, he says. “Developing a mobile and online offer consistent with the tribe’s established brand, in partnership with a B2B provider, is the best way to beat the competition to the punch and develop even greater brand loyalty, extending into a vertical that resonates with new and existing players.”

Richer insights

Another advantage for tribal casinos teaming up with a B2B supplier is the growing pool of data-driven insights it would be able to draw upon.

“The success Kambi delivers is anchored in our ability to leverage our network data from a global player base, creating network advantages that increase as each new partner is added and existing partners grow.”

“For example, a greater volume of data will lead to a more accurate understanding of player behavioural habits, aiding Kambi in providing a more frictionless and intuitive user experience.”

Meltzer also emphasises that Native American gaming operators would not be launching sports betting from a standing start with Kambi.

“They are not competing alone, but with the benefit of our 20 years of trading experience and actionable analytics from our deep network data behind them – a partnership with Kambi offering a platform on which they can thrive.”

Looking to the future, Kambi plans to continue providing partners with the combination of technical and regulatory expertise to succeed together with that crucial competitive edge.

Having introduced their system for remote launches during the pandemic, which sees land-based partners launch sports betting without the need for a member of the Kambi team on-site, there are a number of exciting opportunities for operators to gain commercial momentum. 

“While not necessarily our preference, remote launches have proved a crucial factor in helping us to maintain commercial momentum for both our business and our partners, while further underlining the adaptability of our technology.”

Originally appeared on https://igamingbusiness.com/elevating-the-casino-floor/

07.26.2021

Article

Which is the right sportsbook option for tribes?

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Sarah Robertson, VP Sales, reflects on the different routes available to tribal gaming communities looking to deploy sports betting 

Since the repeal of PASPA in May 2018, sports betting regulations have swiftly rolled out at a pace across the US on a state-by-state basis. Today, sports betting is legal in 21 states and counting, with the market valued at up to $30bn in annual GGR by 2030, and legislation and regulations for many potentially big markets such as Florida, New York (online), and Washington are now on the horizon.

For tribal communities, they should hold the cards as to how sports wagering can expand through compact negotiations. A sports betting operation can help drive significant returns for tribal gaming communities, not just through the sportsbook itself, but across gaming and hospitality as a whole. We’ve seen first-hand how many tribal casinos, for example, have generated significantly more value from on-property customers who engage with both casino and sports betting than those who engage with casino only, while on-property sports betting has also led to an increase in revenue from table games.

As a result, tribal operators across the US have been busy preparing for sports betting coming to their state, if it hasn’t already. The proliferation of sports betting, however, has left tribal operators with difficult choices as to how best to launch such a new product vertical, not least deciding which partner best suits their strategy. Indeed, finding the right partner is often the all-important first step in building a profitable sportsbook with a dedicated, and loyal, customer base. 

This, of course, begs the question as to which partner is the best option for them. In general, tribes have two options when it comes to finding the right partner: they can either launch sports betting under their brand by working with a dedicated sports betting provider,

or they can work with another established B2C sports betting brand – handing over the sportsbook brand building opportunities and day-to-day running of the operation. At Kambi, we have supported tribes with both strategic routes and believe that neither option is the lesser of the two – it just comes down to what each tribal operator is looking to achieve. 

For tribes who believe in the strength of their brand and want to retain their customer base, the option of partnering with a B2B provider could be the right choice for them. Working with an end-to-end B2B sportsbook partner such as Kambi allows tribes to take advantage of a platform with proven excellence in online and on-property sportsbook provision, as well as a range of differentiation tools, risk management expertise and partner support. This leaves the operator with the freedom to focus on strategic planning and execution, as well as any crucial consumer-facing elements. 

Four Winds Casinos and Seneca Gaming Corporation have undertaken this strategy with Kambi, launching on-property sports betting just a couple of weeks after our partnerships were signed.

In this instance, it is a priority for the provider to ensure they are as consultative as possible, keeping an open dialogue with tribal operators and providing them a sports betting offering that suits the tribe’s established brand. 

Other tribal operators may find that a partnering with a B2C operator is the best bet for them. In this case, they would hand over any brand-building opportunities and have a shared database for joint growth, operating under their partner’s brand which, in many cases, may resonate stronger with customers and offer more national recognition. Gun Lake Tribe of Michigan, for example, have found success in this regard, partnering with Kambi-powered sportsbook operator Parx Casino to launch sports betting at Gun Lake Casino. 

It is an approach that was also taken by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, who have launched sports betting with Kambi partner Rush Street Interactive at the Little River Casino. In both cases, the tribes benefited not only from Kambi’s best-in-class sports wagering technology, but also the experienced sportsbook marketing and operational expertise of the operator.  

In summary, teaming up with a trusted sports betting partner – be that a technology and services provider, or a fellow operator – can put tribes in the best position to capitalize on the opportunities regulated sports betting presents, with a first-class product and deep offering. The only question is: which is the right option for you?

Originally appeared on https://sbcamericas.com/2021/07/22/harnessing-brand-teaming-up-operator-right-sportsbook-option-tribes/

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07.21.2021

Article

The pandemic has prompted a rethink by operators

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Juan Barrachina, Kambi's Sales Director, tells Yogonet the impacts that the pandemic has had on Kambi and the plans for the company's expansion into the Americas. 

When Kambi presented its Q1 2021 results, it highlighted its US expansion across 14 states, with the company closely watching New York’s recent regulation. Could you share an update, further details on your plans in New York, two months after online sports betting was signed into law? What are your performance, feedback, and business strategies in the main US markets, and which other states would be appealing for Kambi’s entry this year?

The regulated United States market is an increasingly important one for Kambi, and revenue derived from the US has been growing every year as a proportion of our overall gross gaming revenue. We were able to facilitate an online or retail launch every nine days in 2020, and Kambi has achieved market firsts in ten US states – processing the first legal wagers in states including New York and Pennsylvania.

 It is this ability to pivot our technology to meet any local requirements while providing a premium sports betting offer capable of driving consistent engagement that has underpinned our growth to become the sports betting partner to major multi-state operators like Penn National GamingRush Street Interactive, and Churchill Downs, as well as tribal operators such as Seneca Gaming Corporation. Kambi partner Rush Street Interactive took the first legal wager in New York on-site at Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady in 2019, and we are closely monitoring forthcoming online regulations in the state with our partners as the framework takes shape. Additionally, we took the first legal online wager in Michigan in January 2021, launching with four of our partners on day one of online regulation. As the US continues to regulate sports betting on a state-by-state basis, Kambi has an ambitious group of partners who are eager and ready to capitalize.

What are the current demands from operators in that fast-growing market? What are the keys to stay competitive and comply with the different regulatory frameworks and bettors' profiles?

Kambi had developed a deep offering for all the major US sports prior to entering the market in 2018, ensuring that we were fully prepared for when US states regulated sports betting. One of the most appealing aspects for operators is that Kambi can quickly tailor our sportsbook technology to adjust to different regulations in different states, meaning that we are able to launch new partners quickly, and in full compliance with all local requirements.

Furthermore, the extensive differentiation capabilities offered through a partnership with Kambi have been crucial in establishing the business as the market’s leading provider of sports betting technology. For example, our open APIs enable operators to build entirely bespoke front-ends - as Penn National Gaming has done with their Barstool Sportsbook – while our sophisticated price differentiation tool provides our partners with the opportunity to adjust both in-play and pre-match odds on specific outcomes, giving them all the scope they need to pursue their individual strategies.

How do you assess Kambi’s progress in Latin America, and what are your ambitions in the region?

Kambi is already well established in Latin America’s regulated markets. Colombia has led the way in establishing a regulatory framework in the region, and Kambi is partnered with two of the market leaders in BetPlay and RushBet. In Argentina, we established a multi-year partnership with one of the leading operators in the country, Casino Magic, launching an online sportsbook in the province of Neuquén shortly after the ink was dry on our agreement and we look forward to more provinces regulating sports betting.

Most recently, Kambi put pen to paper on a partnership with NG Gaming to power the launch of its Olimpo.bet brand. The Olimpo.bet brand will initially target the Peruvian market and has ambitions for future expansion across regulated markets in South America. We have a great product fit for the region and are excited by the opportunities across the continent.

''One trend that is increasingly making itself felt is the importance of Kambi’s partner network. As the Kambi network grows, so too does the value it offers our partners.''

Which short-term trends could you mention in this business amid the massive global shift from offline to online? ahead, what are your outlooks both for the retail and online sportsbooks in this new landscape?

One trend that is increasingly making itself felt is the importance of Kambi’s partner network. As the Kambi network grows, so too does the value it offers our partners. The success Kambi delivers is anchored in our ability to leverage network data from a global player base, creating network advantages that increase as each new partner is added and existing partners grow. Every player interaction or bet benefits each of Kambi’s partners. For example, a greater volume of data will lead to a more accurate understanding of player behavioral habits, aiding Kambi in providing a more frictionless and intuitive user experience.

In simple terms, when our partners launch sports betting with Kambi, they do not do so from a standing start. They are not competing alone, but with the benefit of our 20 years of trading experience and actionable analytics from our deep network data behind them – a partnership with Kambi provides a platform on which they can thrive.

Which specific changes have you seen in the sports betting industry since the pandemic began, with current and possible long-term effects, even after major sporting events returned?

The pandemic brought about significant challenges for all kinds of industries, including sports betting, since most sports around the world initially came to a halt. As the leading global sports betting technology provider Kambi has long maintained a strong offering in a variety of sports around the world, so the pandemic resulted in a reallocation of our existing resources more than being caught on the hop.

The pandemic created an opportunity for more niche sports to enter the limelight. For instance, table tennis and South Korean baseball were two of our top performers in the US in 2020, and the pandemic situation certainly introduced more players to the full breadth of the Kambi offer, both pre-match and live. When sports such as basketball, soccer, and football did return, we saw high levels of enthusiasm for them and we were able to respond efficiently to ensure the resources were in place as those sports returned.

Further to this, it’s worth emphasizing that the pandemic has prompted a rethink by operators with regard to their fixed costs. 

Having the sportsbook function in-house risks having an inferior product at a higher cost base, with high fixed costs leaving operators at risk of exposure to external uncertainties. Kambi works with our partners on a revenue share basis, and that variable cost base offers a layer of protection to events such as the pandemic. 

Originally published on https://www.yogonet.com/international/noticias/2021/07/12/58345-the-pandemic-has-prompted-a-rethink-by-sportsbook-operators-with-regard-to-their-fixed-costs

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07.13.2021

Article

The Canadian sports betting opportunity

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Sarah Robertson, VP Sales at Kambi, reflects on why hockey and in-game betting will prove to be key battlegrounds for those looking to enter the Canadian market.


With the Canadian Senate recently passing Bill C-218, the door has finally opened for legal single-game sports betting in Canada and regulations will now fall on the shoulders of each individual province once the bill receives royal assent. As a proud member of the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), Kambi is excited about the opportunity of regulated single-event sports wagering in Canada and we must thank the CGA for their hard work in getting this bill over the line.

The US is understandably held up as the closest example of what a progressive Canadian sports betting marketplace may look like.

With tech and know-how that can quickly be tailored to different regulations, Kambi has been delivering a market-leading product in the US through both multi-state and local partners since the repeal of PASPA. We’ll look to do the same in Canada, establishing close ties with local partners and regulators and adapting our offering to what players in each province are looking for and what the regulations allow. 

It’s important to note that Canada has offered legal sports wagering for decades, although this was limited to parlays – betting on and correctly predicting the outcome of at least two or more games to win – through provincial lotteries. This means Canadians aren’t totally new to sports betting given their exposure to both parlay betting and offshore sportsbooks. Estimates vary for the size of the offshore market, but some suggest more than $4bn is being wagered through offshore online sports wagering sites.

Such estimates indicate a strong appetite for sports betting among Canadian consumers and according to a report by Deloitte, sports betting could grow from $500m to nearly C$28bn in handle from legal-market wagering within five years of legalization. Indeed, provinces such as Ontario, which has a population of approximately 14 million, have the potential to become some of the biggest sports betting markets in North America.

Hockey and in-game betting to be key battlegrounds

Canada is considered to be the birthplace of hockey – with the first organized fixture played in Montreal in 1875 – and it is by far the country’s number one sport when it comes to fan following. 

Being able to offer players a best-in-class hockey betting product will be crucial not only when it comes to attracting players, but also in retaining them long-term. With parlay wagering and offshore betting already occurring, a compelling pre-game and in-game offer on the nation’s most popular sport will be an essential component to attract bettors to the regulated, single-event market. 

Kambi’s Nordic heritage means it has long had a deep ice hockey offering which has been crafted to give operators all the tools they need to gain market share. It is the most robust offering available, with over 150 pre-game markets including Correct Score, Over/Under Goals, extensive goalscorer markets and sophisticated Period Betting, as well as the freedom to parlay outcomes for an array of offers on the same match. 

Further to this, Kambi’s in-game offering comprises more than 70 markets. The quality of the in-game offering is increasingly the key differentiator, separating the excellent sportsbook from the merely good one, and Kambi’s unique NHL instant markets, including ‘Next Occurrence’, are driving an increasing level of in-play turnover. 

Being able to offer a wide array of in-game and instant markets to the bettor in an intuitive manner, with low-delays, is complex, requiring robust technology and real expertise in proprietary pricing, underlining the need to have a high-performance sportsbook to meet the needs of the modern bettor. 

Complemented by our NHL Player Specials, which currently drive close to 20% of pre-match turnover through markets such as Over/Under Shots on Goal, these in-game and instant markets make for a substantially broader and more relevant offering than those provided by rival B2C and B2B sportsbooks. 

Kambi is currently live in 14 US states, and 17% of all NHL moneyline turnover in the Kambi US network was placed on Canadian teams, underlining their popularity. As regulated single-event sports wagering makes its way to the Great White North, teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers – already in the top 10 NHL teams by turnover on the Kambi network – will drive an even greater level of betting interest. 

A top-quality ice hockey offering, enhanced by a deep selection of in-game and instant markets will be an important string to the bow of any sports betting operator aiming to seize significant market share. And given the current estimates and predictions, Canada is a sports betting market few will want to get wrong. 

Contact sales@kambi.com to find out how Kambi can support your Canadian sportsbook ambitions. 

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