Director of Sportsbook and Trading Thomas Molloy discusses what operators should do to support and retain new customers and more with SBC
Euro 2020 will be the first major international tournament since the start of the pandemic. How is it likely to differ from those that have gone before?
Euro 2020 is finally upon us, a year on from when it was originally due to take place. And yet there is still so much that is up in the air despite being only a few weeks out from the opening game between Turkey and Italy on June 11. Hosting the event in multiple countries across the continent was a novel idea before the pandemic but at this juncture, we don’t know what impact the continuing effects of Covid-19 will have on the tournament.
In fact, we still don’t know whether it will be moved entirely to one country, even at this late stage and while the success of the vaccine roll-out in the UK has made it a seemingly safer option, how many fans will ultimately be allowed into stadiums? The latest figures suggest we will see stadiums at least full to 25% of capacity, but this could differ from country to country.
Despite the many lingering questions, it is fair to say we can be confident in many of the top players in the world showing up and producing on the international stage. Another thing that never changes is the high expectations over England’s chances of success but with the price as short as 5, I’m not sure I will be rushing to place a bet.
The absence of crowds is said to have had an effect on match outcomes and particular betting markets in domestic leagues over the last year. Is that likely to persist with reduced crowds, or will home advantage be telling again?
One clear trend right across Europe, but particularly apparent in the Premier League this season, is the wiping out of home advantage. With the average home point advantage dropping from just under 0.5 to 0.1 per game, it is fair to say that each fixture has had the feeling of being played at a neutral venue.
That said, even with stadiums a quarter full, crowds can still generate a lot of noise and it is exactly this sort of atmosphere which we have missed over the past 15 months. This effect can be key to home teams looking to gain that competitive advantage.
Another metric of note is the climate. Admittedly, this is more pronounced during World Cup tournaments, but with 11 cities from Seville to St Petersburg hosting games, gone is the old excuse that certain climates suited specific teams more.
Major international tournaments have always been a great way of attracting new customers. How are you enabling your operator partners to do that and how will you retain them post-tournament?
We have a number of engagement features built solely for Euro 2020. These include a variety of widgets, stats, H2Hs and form guides, all of which will come via our Bet Assist tab. Our front-end UI/UX is completely modular, allowing our clients to push the content relevant to them.
Whether that is via our popular competition module or special event module, we can push all of the Euro 2020 events or simply offer a more focused view across fewer events, displaying a wider array of markets through our fully customisable homepage on both mobile and desktop.
Should our clients want to display specials by country, top goal scorer or Euro 2020 outright winner, they can do at the touch of a button. All of our front-end modules are available to our clients all year round and with proprietary functionality such as Fast Bet, additional betting content like player markets and in excess of 30,000 in play events monthly, our clients’ players will have access to the industry’s best coverage.
Who will win Euro 2020 and what is your other hot tip for the tournament?
If France can get out of Group F, then you would have to fancy them to go all the way. It is the toughest group though, as it also includes Germany, Portugal and Hungary. Group A is interesting, and I can see Switzerland and Turkey surprising us. Italy are group favourites, but the Swiss took points off Germany, both home and away, and from Spain in the Nations League. Turkey are in good form too, having put 11 goals past the Netherlands, Russia and Norway in recent months. Both have an outside chance of getting out of their group.