Ten betting & gaming industry predictions for the next 3+ years.

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best_way_to_predict_your_future_is_to_create_it_by_cloudbomb7-d6q5v71I wrote a post nearly 5 years ago that gave some predictions around some of the areas where there would be growth in the betting & gaming industry.

The summary from 5 years ago?

  • Operators would need to focus on real-time delivery of a data-based customer experience.
  • That there would be a huge focus on Operators focusing on the addition of more & more markets.
  • That “branded” content would be key to the growth in the egaming space.
  • That there would a struggle to harness Social properly.

I’ll let you, the reader decide if those predictions were on the money or not…comments welcome.

So – what does the future hold?

It’d be too easy to predict further super-mergers, or a loosening up of the regulatory regime in the USA, instead I’m going to focus on some more esoteric and/or short / medium & long term outcomes I predict.

Short-term (12 months):

  • William Hill & Amaya deal to huff & puff for a relatively short period – but ultimately a deal that doesn’t get done. (Too much grey market exposure for WH. Kentucky lawsuit still hanging over Amaya. Technology integration being a barrier.)
  • PokerStars to announce that they are moving to NYX / OpenBet as their core sportsbetting platform.
  • Fortuna Entertainment Group to gobble up market share on the back of their Playtech deal. (Only if they have the in-house capability & experience to execute though…).

Medium Term (12 – 36 months):

  • Trading floors (and direct trading of sports volume) to be wound down by many online gambling operators and customer volume to be run through managed trading solutions from 3rd parties. {Trading is a) volatile and material to bottom line results b) expensive & requires highly paid trading floors and c) pricing is getting commoditised as Operators compete with a race to the bottom around “Best Price Guaranteed”.} Offerings like 3ET to disrupt the market. (Ed note: I have done some consultancy work for 3ET.)
  • Skybet to IPO. Their recent results are a clear indication of that. And they are owned by a private equity firm (CVC) that will want to cash out.
  • Matchbook.com to emerge from “mid-tier” Exchange status and start to challenge market leaders via industry leading tech & customer experience (Ed note: I have done some consultancy work for Matchbook).
  • Companies that understand the importance of full vertical integration in the online gambling space will start to dominate across regional markets. (Vertical integration = own the traffic via owning affiliates, own the brands that you send the traffic to, own the software & IP that sits behind the brand, own the payment processing.) Optimizer Invest are probably the best example here.
  • Big national brands that have attempted to build regional profit centres around their core brand – will potentially move to more local facing brands. Paddy Power’s experience with Sportsbet is an excellent example. Betsson Group’s multi-brand strategy will pay off in the long term too.

Long Term (36 months+):

  • Blockchain to directly contribute to regulation in the online gambling space. (Who needs regulators when you’ve got a globally recognised standard of financial record? There’s a good piece that explains it here.)
  • AI & chatbots to start doing much of the heavy-lifting around basic customer interactions in the betting & gaming space – this reducing pretty large cost-bases (and OPEX) from companies. It’ll take at least this long for current technology to transition to these capabilities.

What do you think about these predictions? On track? Way off beam? What am I missing?

If you need to know more about me – you can find out here.

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