iGB Affiliate 55 Feb/Mar - Page 52

FEATURE RICHARD MOFFAT, CEO, OLBG.COM JESPER SOEGAARD, CEO, BETTER COLLECTIVE Euro 2016 set to be the biggest betting event ever. Consisting of 24 teams, up from 16 for Euro 2012, there are going to be more betting opportunities and acquisition options for affiliates and operators. Even since the FIFA World Cup in Brazil two years ago, in-play and cash out capabilities have boomed on both desktop and mobile. Combine that with the more Europe-friendly kick off times, as opposed to the tricky Brazilian time-differences, and this could be the biggest betting event in history. The changing landscape in Europe. In 2016, Romania is likely to finalise their new gambling laws, with a number of operators looking to secure licences. Affiliates will have to monitor this situation and ensure they are ready to move quickly and effectively assist those launching in newly regulated markets. We could also see change in Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Portugal. Even Germany could be added to the list. All promises to shake up the market. eSports and fantasy sports continuing to grow. We don’t see the significant growth for eSports and fantasy sports in 2015 slowing down, with signs that they are fast becoming an integral part of the gambling industry. There remain some question marks over legal structure and regulation, particularly in fantasy sports, which we’ll be monitoring, but for affiliates this could be the next big growth opportunity. Dynamic SEO challenges ahead. As more adblockers are developed, the importance of SEO in the affiliate landscape will only increase. The challenge for those with an SEO focus will be to stay ahead and ensure those blockers don’t hinder campaign tracking and result in website owners missing out on legitimate player sign-ups. Understanding and developing for multiple devices will also put additional pressures on the tracking and reporting of platforms. But this flux also represents an opportunity to those who can harness change and stay one step ahead. Better integration to provide more partner opportunities. Bookmakers are now far more open to giving access to their APIs, which in layman’s terms means that tech-savvy affiliates have the opportunity to integrate more operator capabilities into their websites. Having the ability to place bets, for example, without even leaving an affiliate site could become a reality in 2016, an exciting development for both affiliates and punters. 48 iGB Affiliate Issue 55 FEB/MAR 2016 1. At least one UK bookmaker will solve the biggest issue concerning betting on UK horse racing today. They will find a solution that allows them to accept bets at the prices they advertise and at the stakes punters ask for, and still be able to make enough money doing so. 2. UK bookmakers’ battle for market share will continue to see a shift in marketing focus from gaining new acquisitions to gaining a bigger share of customer spend. Product differential and the ability to demonstrate why customers should bet with them regularly will become far more important than what the account opening offer is. 3. UK bookmakers will reward affiliates more for driving betting activity, recognising that each bet generated is indeed a sale. Affiliates with the ability to help punters to choose the best bookmaker for each bet they place will gain over those still focused on which bookmaker has the biggest free bet offer. 4. By the end of the year, at least one major bookmaker will announce that they are taking more bets on eSports than any other sport. 5. By the end of the year, daily fantasy sports sites will be spending more per month on TV advertising in the UK than bet365. SHAHAR ATTIAS, CEO, HYBRID INTERACTION LTD Everybody will get smarter, due to the fierce competition, the increasing costs of running an online gaming operation and the shrinking profit margins – courtesy of your national taxation, system, thank you very much! We are going to witness an internal thinking process across the industry, focused at figuring how the hell a growth trend can be maintained with all of those vicious regulators lurking across nearly all markets. Everybody will shift their focus, due to the exact same reasons. We already witness companies trying to explore new territories (was there a single board meeting this year in which the phrase: “So how do we penetrate Asia/Africa/Wadiya?” hasn’t been heard?), to optimize their player management capabilities (“Er, you, yes you – CRM boy, what was the name of that consultant you have mentioned four years ago and no-one listened because we were busy trying to get an invite to Fire & Ice?”), and generally speaking, work leaner and try to make more money out of any possible lead, including calling any registration (yeah, that’s happening). Everybody will get sexier; no they won’t, but hey – these are my predictions, not yours :)