Last week, the annual EL/WLA Sports Betting Seminar took place in Marrakesh, Morocco. Betware got the opportunity to speak and I did a lecture titled Opportunity knocks… The talk was about the shift to digital products and how lotteries can use this opportunity to innovate. As the net-gen is growing up and as older generations are turning to the Internet for social networks, TV, and games, this is too important of a trend to be ignored. The internet and the mobile is where the innovations will be in the future.
As result the market is converging. We are seeing gaming companies and igaming companies (primarily offering sports betting, Poker and casino games), converging or partnering. We are also starting to see traditional lotteries partnering with game providers in order to offer more games. This is likely to continue, and even more so if liberalization of traditional lottery products, like sports betting, continues.
Part of the talk was about social games and in particular social sports betting. It turns out that sport betting is very social activity and the lotteries have the perfect opportunity to use this fact to promote their products and sell tickets.
Of course I also talked about mobile and how the iPhone changed the mobile landscape. An interesting fact is that people with iPhone only spend 45% of their time using voice. This should say something about apps and browsing on a phone. One point I like to make is that there is only one web, even if we talk about mobile web. It is important to understand that the technology is the same for smart phones browsers as for desktop browsers. We should think more of how to optimize for different screen sizes than focusing on building a specific separate „mobile channel“.
An interesting trend with mobile is that there will be more mobile devices accessing the Internet in few years than computers. A fact that is hard to ignore.
The basic conclusion was that socializing the sports betting experience is an opportunity for lotteries, as well as the current mobile renaissance.
Slides are here: