Sirplay’s CEO, Bart Esposito highlights the company’s growth in 2017 and discusses the dominant trends in the evolution of eSports with a key focus on networking, cyrptocurrencies and Live Betting at ICE London in February.
Reflecting on 2017 what have been the highlights for the company?
Sirplay has experienced significant growth in recent years and 2017 has given us a lot of satisfaction.
We are achieving higher levels of awareness throughout the global gaming industry and that’s very stimulating for a group such as ours that was actually born as a bet among friends!
Listing some of this year highlights, the first thing that comes to mind is the fact we are the only company with all the licenses available in Latin America: The Colombian gaming license and the Argentinian one. This might seem a small thing for many, but for us it gives us great pride.
Another thing we are proud of is the fact that both the gaming licenses have materialised with surprising results for both Jugadon.com, the project with Loteria de San Luis working in Argentina, and Colbet, which were among the first operators to be licensed by Coljuegos, the Colombian regulator.
We have always had a special consideration for Latin America and watching the market changing for the good was the news everybody was waiting for.
The other point of great satisfaction comes from the African gaming market where our patience and confidence has paid off. Now, you can read about the African sportsbook sector booming everywhere in the trade media.
We started believing in the African potential long ago and now we have clients from Swazibet, South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.
It’s no coincidence that this year we had our first panel right in Johannesburg, about the potential of Daily Fantasy Sports in African gaming.
Last but not least, we launched our first Bitcoin sports betting software, in which the whole business cycle is completely developed in the cryptocurrency of Bitcoin. This choice was made in order to avoid trading risks onto the operators and, at the same time, to catch a new market segment of players willing to bet with Bitcoin.
For many observers ICE London is the most important gaming expo in the world: how much importance do you place on ICE and can you provide some clues as to what you will be showing in London in February?
We agree with those who value ICE Totally Gaming as the most important event in the gaming industry.
It’s an incredible opportunity to showcase our latest releases and it attracts all of the industry insiders and those curious about the betting industry worldwide.
From our experience, ICE is a networking opportunity without equal and for many it’s the perfect opportunity to showcase their best products.
In our case, we are going to continue our march towards cryptocurrencies. We have launched our first Bitcoin sports betting software and the London Expo is the perfect place to showcase it.
The other guest star on our stand will be our new Live Betting, the first module of the new version of our sports betting software, delivering an unparalleled game experience courtesy of almost instantaneous odds updates.
What are the USPs of the Sirplay offering?
Undoubtedly, the main USP of the Sirplay offering is linked to the company vision: Our commitment to our clients is total.
We accompany our customers during the entire business process and beyond. We are willing to help them in choosing the right solution for their target market, offering our expertise and know-how.
Overall, we take care of branding and customisations, provide the support in communication and marketing, not to mention the constant customer care with the almost weekly free updates.
We take our clients businesses seriously, just like it was ours. With this vision and commitment, we are able to offer flexible commercial proposals, even investing in their projects and future plans.
It’s all at the basis of our company identity, we don’t exploit our clients and never treat them like numbers – they are our friends and these relationships are vital for both of us.
How quickly can an operator go live with Sirplay?
Of course, it depends on the requests made by the clients. We provide two main solutions: the Skin play is our turnkey sportsbook software, where the customisation is only based on colours and minimal changes to the betting platform, and it’s ready in ten days.
While, regarding our white-label sports betting software, we usually take 15 days to fulfill custom requests, from the branding to the going online with a fresh, new and unique betting website.
In addition, with the launch of our Bitcoin sportsbook software we can easily deliver the website in seven days thanks to the simplicity of the system compared to conventional options.
What are the dominant trends in sports betting?
In sports betting, trends are always changing, maybe incrementally but they do keep changing.
In the gaming industry you can never stop learning or paying attention to both operators’ and bettors’ preferences.
The trends that are consolidating are: the live betting experience, which provides almost half of the turnover in the sportsbook market, having an increasingly complex group of odds available – the time of 1X2 bets is long gone and it doesn’t sound like they are coming back any time soon.
Other new trends are around the spread of cryptocurrency which means new Bitcoin sportsbook websites are emerging since the number of players willing to bet with Bitcoins is increasing.
Furthermore, it’s impossible not to mention the usage of AI in sports betting as a new trend and one that we believe very firmly in. The pros of AI in the gaming industry are beyond dispute: It helps the user experience, retention and trustworthiness. I would argue that it will probably be the main trend in 2018.
How are you responding to the eSports revolution and do you think it’s sustainable?
Based on our experience, the eSports revolution has mainly touched two main markets: North America and Asia.
Right now, we are monitoring its evolution to understand if its influence will arrive in the markets that we are focused on, such as Latin American and Africa.
For now, our target doesn’t seem to be interested in the eSports game module. But if it reacts positively, we are ready to introduce it in our offering for the next tradeshow in Bogotà, FADJA 2017, where we will be exhibiting in April 2018.
In your opinion what are the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the gaming sector in 2018?
We like to think that every challenge is also an opportunity. As mentioned before, the gaming industry is changing and with it, the way we think about sports betting.
The booming of cryptocurrency will soon require a new regulation plan by each jurisdiction.
Not to mention the gaps that still exist in many countries’ legislation regarding online sports betting and gaming overall.
As a sportsbook software provider first and foremost, and as a Bitcoin sports betting software provider, we are more and more focused on legislative issues. In 2018, a revolution in this field is not only beneficial but necessary.
How important is it for the industry to have a major showcase event such as ICE London: does it help promote the positives the industry has to offer?
Absolutely important. Events like ICE Totally Gaming are an unparalleled opportunity of networking and entertainment for gaming professionals.
These events are fundamental to the industry. They provide the chance to discuss, face challenges, have conversations with other providers and clients, and are unmeasurable resources for growth.
It’s thanks to the work made by amazing organisers like Clarion Events, 3A Productions, AMG group, and so on that we have expanded and still are.
Sirplay are on Stand: S3-130 at ICE London