Following the US Supreme Court’s landmark decision to repeal PASPA, Keith O'Loughlin, SVP Sportsbook at SG Digital highlighted the industry was at a ‘cornerstone in the history of betting in the States’. Speaking ahead of this year’s sold out ICE Sports Betting USA conference at the Convene, New York, (27th – 28th November), he expands upon the evolution of SG Digital’s OpenBet™ platform, the need to give a platform to all voices to share knowledge between sectors and why the US is a “once in a lifetime” sports betting opportunity for the industry.
What factors influenced SG Digital's decision to become a sponsor of ICE Sports Betting USA?
The ICE brand is known industry-wide, and the impact of legalized sports betting in the states cannot be understated. Simply put, we sponsored because the combination of ICE and U.S. sports betting creates a perfect environment for us to showcase our state-of-the-art sportsbook solutions. Our OpenBet™ platform brings operators to the next level of sports betting, and we’re excited to showcase the product suite’s capabilities.
Can you summarise the main objectives of your participation?
As I hinted at above, our OpenBet product boasts a number of remarkable features and mechanics that set our partners ahead of the competition. Because the U.S. is a fresh market outside of Vegas and horse racing, ICE Sports Betting USA will be an excellent educational opportunity. We want to teach our customers and their players how exactly they can benefit from a cohesive, proven sports betting offering.
Additionally, we want to build crucial relationships with operators from around the country so we can form partnerships and share in the success of this newly regulated market.
Will you be undertaking any specific initiatives?
Mainly, we’re aiming to showcase the simplicity and scale of our end-to-end solution. OpenBet has evolved from a highly customized sportsbook technology into a more turnkey and intuitive product. Still, it can be adapted to specific customer needs. We can now get a customer live on our Sports betting platform in 8 to 12 weeks – it used to take 8 to 12 months!
How would you quantify the size of the opportunity that exists for the industry post PASPA?
The AGA estimates that the U.S. market could generate up to $60.8 billion in GGR. We think that’s a reasonable estimate, but we know this will take time, as many states are going through the legislative and regulatory procedures as we speak.
You said ‘we are at a cornerstone in the history of betting in the States’ - could you expand on that?
Absolutely—I stand by that statement. Essentially, we’re at one of the most pivotal moments in our industry’s history. Rarely does an opportunity come along with such a huge potential impact.
The U.S. is poised to establish betting regulations that will enable the states to capitalize on this “once in a lifetime” sports betting opportunity, and begin to catch up to its peers in Australia and Europe. While it’s easy to compare one region to another, we can’t forget that the populations have different needs and desires when it comes to gambling. At this time, we’re on the precipice, about to dive into a whole new area for much of the U.S. population, and we have to be prepared for twists, turns, setbacks, and even unexpected leaps forward.
The first Sports Betting USA held last year in New York was forced to live stream the debates into an over flow facility, such was the demand. Do you envisage the same level of demand for November’s event?
Given the recent ruling on PASPA and the subsequent push to get partners live in regulated jurisdictions, we think there will be massive demand to attend this event. It will be a tentpole convention for the industry, and we’re thrilled to welcome our customers into this new era at the show.
The speaker line-up includes representatives from across the stakeholder community, including policy makers, legislators, sports governing bodies as well as the gaming verticals. How important is it that every relevant voice in the sports betting arena is involved in ICE Sports Betting USA?
The pool of sports betting knowledge among attendees will be vast, and the expertise will be invaluable to those looking for a leg up on the competition. Therefore, it’s incredibly important that all voices are given the space to share their knowledge at the show.
This industry fuses two previously disparate industries in the U.S.: gambling and entertainment. While gaming industry folks would tell you they’ve always been part of the same family, the external view is that there’s a separation there. Now, we’re bridging the gap, and we have to do so in a way that brings sports and gambling together under one shared roof.
Image: Keith O'Loughlin, SVP Sportsbook at SG Digital
For more information on ICE Sports Betting USA or to register for ICE North America in 2019, visit: sportsbettingusaconference.com