Founded by an experienced team of industry professionals back in 1996, Pronet Gaming has changed beyond recognition since its early days. Though what has remained is a constant focus in the intervening years, and with its “desire to serve its operator partners with relevant, localised contents adding value,” CCO, Bobby Longhurst, talks to iNTERGAMINGi about the plans of this forward-thinking company
Q. Could you tell us a bit about the company and how it started?
We were founded by an experienced team of industry professionals back in 1996. Though the online gaming landscape has changed beyond all recognition since those early days, what has remained a constant focus in the intervening years is our desire to serve our operator partners with relevant, localised content that adds value.
Our fully managed omni-channel retail arm is built to provide a seamless and integrated experience across online and land-based estates and we have shown our capacity to offer unrivalled speed-to-market. Our casino portfolio now has over 6,500 of the world’s best games from more than 90 providers and our sportsbook solution provides over 55,000 In-Play events every month and 500,000+ Pre-Match events a year across more than 1,500 betting markets, with a daily bet count exceeding 20,000,000. If you had recited those figures to us 25 years ago, it’s fair to say a few jaws would have dropped to the floor!
Q. How are you driving innovation through new products and services?
We are always on the lookout for new ways to deliver an improved user experience. Before Euro 2020 and the Copa América this year, our development team came up with a new bespoke idea: one-of-a-kind, ready-made coupons with pre-built accas, localised for particular geographical markets. This enabled operators to differentiate themselves from the competition and it was an innovation that resonated with bettors. Across those two tournaments, we manage to break a host of records in respect of acquisition, FTDs, turnover and profit.
Q. How important is it to be flexible when providing technological solutions?
Flexibility is paramount when it comes to platform provision and we can offer a competitive edge in a saturated marketplace. For example, our focus in emerging markets is firmly on localisation. That doesn’t mean “tropicalising” the platform by showcasing weird and wonderful verticals – many sports bettors in Africa, for example, enjoy placing wagers on the Premier League just as much as punters in the UK. What it does mean is that we provide clients with bespoke UI tools to maximise the reach and impact of their brands, while offering a range of payment methods that players in a particular locality will be able to utilise.
In Africa, we are able to meet the needs of our operator clients’ target audiences and provide differentiation by implementing our Lite version, with Opera Mini compatibility, allowing clients to reach untapped audiences by opening up access to a market containing 120 million users of the mobile browser across the continent.
Q. What are the latest innovations and trends in the sector?
The pandemic brought with it the most acute challenge possible for land-based operators around the world: how could they continue to serve their customers while having their retail-based doors forced closed for an extended, and impossible to define, period? Naturally, this was a driving force in the acceleration of the adoption of digital solutions. What we were able to do for those operator clients was to get them up and running in just a matter of weeks, with a complete turnkey solution customised to their needs.
Those without a digital presence are desperate to launch a reliable online platform as quickly as possible and, though restrictions are easing across many parts of the world, from what we are experiencing, the trend towards digitalisation is not slowing down any time soon.
Q. When it comes to behind-the-scenes work, what is an interesting element that many in the sector might not know?
I think there can be misplaced emphasis within the industry on speed of data provision. The tendency is to believe the rhetoric that faster data is better for operators, but this is only one side of the story. The truth is that, without premium quality data, speed is irrelevant – in fact, it could be detrimental if your infrastructure isn’t built to be able to correct any feed errors that may be experienced.
We’re proud of the fact that our operator clients benefit not only from market-leading speed, with data sent directly from our network of in-stadia scouts in under 2 seconds, but – crucially – we offer official data from multiple sources, giving our customers the best possible service day-in, day-out.
Q. In such a saturated sector, how does Pronet Gaming stand out from the crowd?
The success of our sports betting and casino platform in emerging markets is down to our boots-on-the-ground approach. Our people understand the individuality of the markets they are working in – many of which require the forming of close relationships with stakeholders – and are able to develop and implement localised, customised approaches that appeal to our operator clients and their players alike.
Since ICE 2020, we have signed over 44 new clients, including World Lottery Association (WLA) member Tenlot Group, most of which operate across multiple jurisdictions. Pivoting to increasing the breadth of esports and virtual products so quickly once sport was locked down has helped cement those verticals to the extent that they have grown by 300% over the past year.
We have grown across Africa, Latin America and Canada with new market entries respectively over the last 12 months and this expansion is derived from a combination of rich technical expertise and a dedication to true localisation.
Q. What exciting new products do you have for customers to look forward to?
We have a series of fresh partnerships in the pipeline which will have to remain under wraps for now until everything is signed, sealed and delivered, but your readers can be assured that developments will be well worth the wait. What we can guarantee is that we remain focused on doing what we do best: delivering innovative solutions that are trusted globally and tailored locally.