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Betting on Football shows how to follow the leaders

SBC Events has lined up an eight-panel agenda on the first day of Betting on Football 2017, covering key industry topics such as self-regulation, match-fixing, investment, market consolidation, new brands in football betting and affiliate leaders.

The Leadership Track is one of four main tracks across the length of the conference, which also includes a Market Profile Track, a Marketing & Media Track and a Trading & Operations Track.

The Leadership Track (May 3) will kick off with a detailed look at current market challenges, including the winners and losers of the consolidation phase, sustainability of the current level of marketing spend and a reduced level of innovation within football-based betting products. Ignite research director Ed Birkin will be speaking alongside Canaccord Genuity head of european research Simon Davies, Cenkos Securities leisure analyst Simon French and Peel Hunt equity analyst Ivor Jones.

Birkin explained: “Innovation remains vital for the growth of the sports betting industry. However, the current UK market counters the misconception that consolidation reduces competitive pressure and subsequent innovation. In fact, given that ‘cost cutting’ has become a necessity with increased costs attached to taxes, compliance and marketing, consolidated companies are arguably better placed to maintain their margins and continue to innovate.”

Self-regulation is a hot industry topic, given the potential for a pre-watershed ban on sports betting advertising, increasingly stringent marketing regulations imposed by ASA and the ongoing debate over reducing FOBT limits. ‘Self-regulation – are we doing enough?’ will feature the CEO from GambleAware, the leading charity committed to minimising gambling-related harm. Marc Etches will be speaking alongside Wiggin’s Jason Chess and Remote Gambling Association CEO Clive Hawkswood.

Having appeared on the ‘Playing fair on integrity’ panel at Betting on Sports 2016, William Hill Group Director of Security Bill South will be at BOFCON2017 to talk about the Gambling Commission’s Sports Betting Intelligence Unit (SBIU) and the effectiveness of the FA’s blanket ban on player betting. He will be trading ideas with Kindred Group sports betting integrity officer Eric Konings, AFC Wimbledon commercial director Ivor Heller, and Alfredo Lorenzo, the integrity and security director for La Liga.

South said: “The FA’s blanket ban on player betting has thrown up some interesting cases since Betting on Sports last September, with some high profile cases currently been investigated. Betting on Football 2017 represents another opportunity for us to discuss FA Rule E8, as well as the role the bookmakers play in preventing match fixing and maintaining the integrity of sports betting. We need more events like this where we can all come together and talk about what we do.”

An action-packed day also includes 10Bet CEO David Bazak and Fortuna Entertainment Group CEO Per Widerstrom headlining a Betting Leaders panel, and Penta Investments joining forces with GVC, Dreamworx Online and GamCrowd to assess sports betting as a proposition for investors. Bet On Brazil CEO Stuart Tilly and BetStars managing director Zeno Ossko have also signed up to represent new brands in football betting, with a look at how to disrupt the status quo and compete for market share with established operators.

The Leadership track will conclude with a debate on M&A in the affiliate marketing arena, featuring GIG, Better Collective, Easyodds and OLBG, followed by a supplier CEO panel focused on ‘Operating in a multi-asset marketplace’. BetConstruct CEO Vahe Baloulian, OPTIMA CEO Jacob Lopez Curciel, BtoBet CEO Kostandina Zafirovska and SBTech Richard Carter will be discussing consolidated market realities, developing in-house competencies, and B2B market conditions for suppliers.

Etches commented: “Our recent research, which includes a poll on 16-24 year olds in the North East and North West of England, has showed us that young people can perceive risk and chance differently, which makes them prone to the consequences of problem gambling. However, it is not just this demographic at risk. GambleAware welcomes the crackdown on advertising and the growing influence of self-exclusion schemes such as MOSES to support those who need help staying away from gambling.”

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