Five years ago a Ukrainian land-based operator chose to leverage its consumer-facing experience and create the B2B provider, Bet Invest. iGaming Times sat down with business development manager Valentyn Kyrylenko, to ask what opportunities Asia presents for the firm’s cutting-edge sportsbook.
iGT: Why Asia? Why now? And where do you see the most opportunity in this region?
Asia is a booming market. The USA and Asia are the most profitable markets in the world right now, but Asia is becoming fiercely competitive.
So we think now is the right time for us to go there, and because today we have the right technology to do so.
Regionally, we’re looking at Cambodia, Taiwan and even the Korean market. A lot of this area is of course still a grey zone, but some bits are developing. I just came back from Japan where they’re discussing a gaming resort there, and after the Olympics that looks like it will definitely happen. So we’d like to exploit this opportunity.
iGT: How does your sportsbook differentiate from what players currently enjoy in this part of the world?
We are one of the top sportsbook providers in the world – that’s our key strength. We provide lots of betting options. From major sports like football and basketball, we provide over 150 different markets to bet on.
We also provide the Asian Handicap which is extremely important when entering this market.
It also comes down to our technology as well. We’re extremely stable and can offer great support; we can provide stats from Europe without any down time or delay.
iGT: How important is it to provide the Asian Handicap to players in this region – and how hard is it for providers to manage?
It’s one of those things that is easy to talk about but difficult to implement on a proper scale. Luckily we are one of those companies that does it properly. There are not many other European companies that can.
First of all you need the expertise, then you need the manpower to maintain the level of service acceptable to the Asian market.
And Asian players have been kind of spoilt. There are really good companies already operating here. So if you want to become a strong player, it’s not enough just to be as good as they are. To attract players you must be better.
iGT: With the news that the US sports betting ban ended last night, can you tell us anything about any plans you have to enter the markets there?
I got a phone call last night from our partner in the US to tell me that our company is already making moves to get our foot in the door.
We’ll be attending the next igaming show in Vegas, and then we’ll see how it goes. We always planned to enter the US market, but as a white market operator it wasn’t possible for us until now. So it’s great news.