World Cup reflections

This year’s World Cup was unusual for a wide range of reasons, not least the fact that it took place in the run-up to Christmas. It proved to be a tricky one for punters, but what was the overall verdict on the one-off tournament from the betting industry?

Q: What were your expectations in the lead-up to the World Cup and how did it play out in comparison, in terms of revenues generated for operators?

Given our huge footprint in LatAm, particularly Brazil, there is always the anxiety that a good World Cup for Brazil could mean our clients’ end revenue suffers but, thankfully, (to those who don’t follow Brazil) their surprise exit, accompanied by a whole range of favorable results, has produced excellent revenues across the board.

Our proprietary World Cup Widgets, featuring outrights, groups, events and specials packaged in bespoke modules, has been a great success, with records broken for acquisition. In addition, registrations and (crucially) FTDs, turnover, bet counts and revenues are at an all-time high for the platform.

Q: What types of bets were being placed and did punters trust their heads or their hearts when it came to international competition?

Typically for major tournaments, punters tend to bet patriotically, all following their own teams. Our recently rolled-out Betbuilder product has been particularly popular, with huge bet numbers and, significantly for our operators, a considerable margin attained. Outside of this, the ever-present popularity of 1X2, total goals and pre-tournament, the outrights including Winner and Golden Boot, are all still very much the most played markets.

Q: How were bettors kept entertained in and around the on-field action and did anything special catch your eye from an engagement perspective?

We have a variety of products available to end users to complement the World Cup, including Virtual Sports and Esports. We also offer our Bet Assist feature, utilizing AI-led betting tips across a wide range of events and sports, which drives that extra engagement and volume. Added to this we have been able to cross-sell Casino for those customers looking to continue in-between matches. Crash games have also been extremely popular for us.

Finally, what lessons can the betting industry draw following a controversial but action-packed event?

It was very much an unprecedented tournament and one we were all hoping would be a success, and that has proven to be the case. It does help when an underdog such as Morocco upsets the apple cart and our operators have been able to not only acquire new customers but also retain revenues. So long as there is top-level sport available, regardless of the politics that surround it, players will still flock to enjoy the action. Our next task now is to ensure the retention rates are maximized going into a busy Christmas period!