May 14, 2021 Interview

True to Form

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Kambi’s VP of sales Sarah Robertson explains the unshakable determination and dedication to enterprise a company must adopt in order to grow and stay relevant.

Following the repeal of PASPA in 2018, can you describe Kambi’s rate of expansion in the United States and what it looks like today compared to two years ago?

In the three years since PASPA’s repeal, we have developed a track record for regulatory expertise and strength of product in the US market, becoming the go-to sports betting option for operators with ambition to achieve market leadership.

Crucial to our progress has been our proven history of delivery in matters of compliance. We are live in 14 states, having delivered market firsts in 10. For example, in 2019 we took the first legal wager in New York with our partner Rush Street Interactive at the Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady. And in January 2021 we took the first legal online wager in Michigan, launching with four of our partners on day one of online regulation. It’s this ability to pivot our technology to meet any local requirements, while providing 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 PennNational Gaming, Rush Street Interactive and Churchill Downs, as well as local brands including Seneca Gaming Corporation and Jack Entertainment.

 

As a listed company, did you feel you had a certain obligation to be a frontrunner or the example for others to follow to overturn PASPA?

When Kambi was founded more than a decade ago, it was done so with the highest standards of commercial probity andsporting integrity in mind. The company has always had a laser-like focus on regulated markets, and we do not enter markets where sports betting is prohibited.

We knew holding ourselves to these high standards would be an important factor when the US opened up. Our unblemishedcompliance record has been important in our ability to deliver speed to market, accelerating licensing processes.

 

What are your main priorities now or how have your priorities evolved in terms of other markets opening?

Focusing on the US specifically, in 2020 Kambi completed a new online or on-property sportsbook launch roughly once every nine days. Our core focus will be to continue helping our partners to rapidly launch engaging, tailored sportsbooks in existing and regulating markets, as well as expanding our commercial reach with tribal operators such as Four Winds and Seneca, alongside other leading multi-state and regional brands, adding to a range of partners.

 

Are you through the worst of what the pandemic wrought on sports and sports betting?

There’s no question the pandemic presented all manner of industries with the most testing conditions they have faced in a generation, and sports betting was no exception, with a number of major sports suspending their calendars.

However, 2020 was another year in which we demonstrated its calibre, not just in terms of our depth of offering across more niche sports which came to the forefront during the pandemic, but also our ability to respond to the return of major sports in the second half of the year, delivering year-on-year revenue growth for 2020 of 28%. 2020 was a challenging year, but our goal was the same as it has always been: to deliver growth for our partners. Our recent commercial progress is a reflection of our success in doing so.

While obvious caveats apply, the coming months promise a rich array of global sporting events, with a number of competitions, such as soccer’s European Championships, having been postponedto 2021. Furthermore, the forthcoming NFL season promises huge excitement. The Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers saw Kambi process the highest bet volumes in our history – three times that of the 2020 incarnation – and we are excited at the possibilities that the new season affords.

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