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#SBWA2015: For A Growing Sports Betting Market, Technology Is Key


2015-06-26 10:45:37.

Tonte Davies and Telema Davies.

Victoria Island (LAGOS) - It is no secret that when a new technology is invented for the good of humanity, it equally has its associating challenges. For a seamless experience for punters in sports betting, the story is not different.

The sports betting sub-market of any gaming industry rides on the back of technology. Whether for regulators, operators, agents or final consumers – punters – improved technology is a key success factor.

In a presentation at the first edition of Sports Betting West Africa 2015 hosted in Lagos, Nigeria, Anli Kotzé, CEO BetTech South Africa, emphasised the importance of technology as one of 3 key gaming pillars in the management of sports betting operations. She says the absence of this pillar will give the business “problems”.

To buttress her point on the important role technology plays in sports betting, Ms. Kotzé says: “We get enquiries on a daily basis from operators around the continent [Africa] looking for software whether they are existing operators wanting to grow and change operations or a new entrepreneur wanting to launch operations.”

Co-founder and CEO iSolutions, Fillipo Ceci, does not agree less with Ms. Kotzé’s point of view. Although Ceci emphasises the need for robust technological systems to aid quality service delivery, he identifies payment gateway, bandwidth as challenges in the Nigerian market.

“A main challenge is the integration with the local payment gateways that are here – in Nigeria; because you want to have your own specific payment gateway to deposit money in the system to be able to play the bet. And this is the most challenging part,” says Ceci. The form of technology used in this regard Ceci says, is crucial to the progress of the market.

Betting, Driving On Mobile Speedway

Thrown into the mix of the technology parley is the digital sphere. More people are increasingly communicating with the wider world using mobile devices. This has transformed the way we live, work and play. It is clearly a disservice to the sports betting industry if it is not a part of this ‘social evolution’.

The advancement in smart phone technology and the resulting development of mobile applications is making this social evolution occur somewhat faster on a global scale. More specifically though, many punters and some operators are yet to embrace this new paradigm in Africa.

Nonetheless, Ivan Zaltsman, CIO World Sports Betting, South Africa, believes there is a growing number of punters – and operators alike, cuddling the convergence of online and mobile betting saying that “this is the future” given recent data.

From a sporting point of view, punters have no other desire than to play real-time bets on their preferred events as they happen across the globe. Hence, when the right or inadequate technology – and software, are not provided for, this greatly hampers the cycle of betting and as a result, stifle growth opportunities in the market.

One thing is certain though: sports betting holds huge promise of opportunities and technology is a driving force for its success.

Photo credit: National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC)

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