February 10, 2020 Sports Betting, Casino, Online, Interview

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Anna Shahbazyan, BetConstruct Regional Director for Latin America, speaks to Gaming America about the supplier’s social, fantasy and sports wagering plans for 2020, in both the US and LatAm markets.

What plans does BetConstruct have in place for 2020 for the competitive US marketplace, with several burgeoning online markets?

Generally speaking, the most important thing for us in the upcoming year is to finalize our certification and licenses. We have different approaches and different ideas regarding how to enter the market and our approach to the different types of collaboration with tribes, land-based casinos and lottery associations, which is very important. BetConstruct has player acquisition games, which come as a free-to-play sportsbook alternative. The games are Sweepstake and Predictor. Both are set to deliver anon-betting experience to players, who can simply test their luck and sports predictions with these games. However, the ultimate outlines Sweepstake and Predictor have is to convert the players into sportsbook users.

This year, we could see a very big growth ofregulation. Approximately 22 states right now have the regulations already done and more markets are going to open, so with our core sportsbook product, we are going to expand and enter into the market offering very special packages. For us, the most important thing is the localization. So, entering every market, we need to be sure all our software is adapted; it does not matter which channel it is on, but what is important is we have all the tools and to have these localized.

Even in the states where regulation isn’t 100% done, we will try to make the preliminary contracts and some negotiations to be able to establish our presence and offer the best quality product. The most important idea we are going to speak about during ICE London 2020 is that BetConstruct never sleeps and, from East to West, we are always awake. We are trying to develop and localize all the resources and all the offers we can for the market.

What about BetConstruct’s offering in LatAm markets? How will your approach differ and what are you looking to achieve within this region?

The most important thing is to have the product ready to go; it doesn’t matter if it’s the US or Latin America. For South America, in 2020, we are going to think about opportunities in Brazil, because the Brazilian market is going to be regulated in 2020 and it is the biggest country in the continent. So for us, it’s strategically a very important place and we might think about opening an office out there, making some investment to have the resources and understand the market deeper.

Right now, we have two offices in Uruguay and Brazil will be the next point for BetConstruct to offer our product and localize them. We are also following the other markets which could become regulated; for example, Argentina is going to copy and paste the same regulations as in the US, as they have different provinces and have to establish different regulations for each of them.

As there are many lottery associations, we are going to understand that market and that type of collaboration as well. We have a lot of work to be done in Latin America in 2020 and in the US as well. Sports betting regulation for mobile and for web are also important to understand. So the time for the channel of delivery, especially for US mobile, is the most important thing. Based on statistics and information we have from our market research team, most players are playing on mobile, and for us, the most important thing is to have all the key features and tools for easy mobile use.

How is the development of BetConstruct’s fantasy sports arm progressing?

Right now, besides sportsbook, which is our core product for the US market, we have different types of games such as daily fantasy sports (DFS), fantasy sports generally, social platforms and we even have sweepstake games prepared especially for the US market. Last year, DFS had big success, because we partnered with Atlantic Games and also Hall of Fame, in co-operation with Atlantic Games. Currently, they are conducting different types of marketing campaigns. The most important thing is not only the DFS website, but the fact they are going to use retired NFL players who will advise players how to use the product.

So it’s not only to provide the product but it’s also to educate people how to play. As you know, DFS and these types of skill products are very important for the operator, because later you can do a very quick conversion to sportsbook and vice versa. If you have an educated player in DFS, they can easily become a very good player in sports betting. So for US operators, it’s very important to have this type of product.

Finally, what can you tell us about BetConstruct’s social platform?

Our social platform is very important for states which are not yet regulated, to have liquidity of players and to have people understanding how it works. It’s not only casino, it’s sportsbook – social sportsbook as well – so people can get used to the product and later become a real-money player. Also, our sweepstakes are important because, for example, March Madness will be very popular this year. We have prepared this product for the operator to involve more players and prepare them to become sportsbook players.

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