GamCrowd TechWeek – McDowell from FSB on the tech challenges ahead

Go back

This week our own GamCrowd TechWeek event is upon us, taking place at the Hippodrome Casino in Leicester Square, London.

As stated before, our vision for GamCrowd TechWeek is to give a platform for the amazing tech that the gambling industry develops and at the same time help the industry understand and navigate the tech landscape.

Kicking off our dedicated conference day this coming Wednesday, we have a panel that will tackle the subject head on and will ask what are the main challenges facing the gambling sector when it comes to technology. It features Dave McDowell, chief executive and founder of FSB Technology, alongside Max Francis from gaming technology startup Black Cow, Andrew Reader from early-stage investment firm Velo Partners and finally Vahe Baloulian, the chief executive from sportsbook backend provider BetConstruct.

We asked McDowell to give a preview of what he thinks the industry will need to be thinking about in order to answer some of the questions posed by the technological developments taking place both within and without the industry.

“There are three macro trends that are affecting the sports betting sector today, with each of these trends causing particular technology challenges for sports betting operators,” he told GamCrowd News.

“The first trend is increased access to live data. Live data coming from the sporting venue is getting faster, more detailed, more reliable and more expensive when sports authorities license their data rights. This data is the raw material that drives the algorithmic pricing models needed offer live trading. While there are several companies that provide real-time odds feeds, larger companies will want to control these tools to optimise trading margins.”

The second trend, he believes, is about regulatory oversight. “Where the industry was historically able to offer a dotcom product to a global audience, today each country’s regulatory body is implementing their own requirements for social responsibility, sometimes even moving into demands around hardware locations and betting markets on offer.

“Legacy platforms can represent a prohibitively high fixed cost when moving into a new territory, where a modular and flexible platform can provide access to significantly more markets.”

Lastly, he said the industry would need to get to grips with the trend of changing consumer demand.

“This is not just the move to mobile-first design we have seen since the iPhone hit the market, but this trend impacts all aspects of CRM. The casino industry has led the way with customer segmentation and personalised offers, where these tools are still immature across the sports betting industry.

“Analysing a customer’s betting patterns and lifetime value, then using this information to provide a well-timed, personalised offer is significantly more difficult in sports betting then it is for a casino customer.”

McDowell points out that the sports-betting industry has been undergoing a complete modernisation of the tools that are used to compile odds, manage regulatory requirements and engage the consumer. “In order to survive and flourish, operators must look to use modern technology to drive both efficiency and scale across the sports book and the marketing department,” he says.

For the software suppliers, it means that companies such as FSB Technology must continue to improve the tools available, and that one particular area of interest comes with the degree to which machine learning is beginning to truly impact all three of the areas he has spoken about.

“With real-time feedback from actual bets placed, machine learning will help alter the in-play margins in order to maximise profitability,” he says. “Social responsibility, in particular spotting both problem gambling and fraud, will continue to improve across the industry. And personalised marketing, providing the right offer, at the right time, to the right customer will be transformed with this technology.”

Dave McDowell will be appearing at GamCrowd’s TechWeek event taking place this week at London’s Hippodrome Casino, Leicester Square. Contact me at chris@gamcrowd.com for more information.