Exclusive Q&A with Joakim Renman, CCO at Scout Gaming

By | August 17, 2021
Reading Time: 5 minutes


Is DFS the perfect alternative for sports fans who reside in jurisdictions where sports betting is still unregulated? How much of a crossover is there between sports betting and DFS fans?

Fantasy sports is an integral part of the modern sports fan and the crossover is near perfect. Our data shows that sportsbooks that offer DFS can see a significant increase in the time customers spend on site, the money they spend and the trust they have with the brand. Of course, this works both ways so for operators limited to DFS at present they have the potential to unlock powerful cross-selling opportunities once they are permitted to offer sports betting.

For us it does not matter whether the market is regulated or not. The Scout Gaming platform is modular so can be adapted to any market and in particular any regulatory requirements that have to be met. We want as many operators as possible to leverage the potential of daily fantasy sports so we have built our products and services to be customizable in a short space of time and with very little effort.

DFS has been growing in popularity around the world continually over the past few years. What aspects of this vertical cause it to be so appealing to the new generation of players entering the market?

I think it has a lot to do with the complexity of daily fantasy sports when compared with sports betting. Players are far more invested when creating their teams than they are when simply betting on the outcome of a football match. DFS offers additional layers of engagement, it is a more sophisticated product and poses a greater challenge.

It also helps players to connect with the sport on a deeper level. It creates an emotional attachment that carries over to the DFS products they are playing and the brand they are playing with. Ultimately, DFS players see the game differently to a sports bettor and this in turn enhances their joy of betting and gambling.

The social aspect of DFS is also a big draw for players. Sports betting can be solitary but with DFS there is a huge community of like-minded players. There is a lot of content created around DFS and people like to talk tactics and strategies and share performance stats on social media. Of course, DFS is a community-driven game at heart as it requires high levels of liquidity to offer the best player experience.

Some industry commentators believe that being able to continually offer the customer something new and different is a core aspect of player engagement. How important is innovation to Scout Gaming and what are some of the most exciting innovations available in the market? What does the next level of DFS look like?

Innovation is key and that is why sportsbook operators are looking to add daily fantasy sports to their offerings. Sports betting has remained fairly stagnant for a number of years now; players are offered the same odds, markets and bet types. To take their propositions to the next level, operators need to add more variety and DFS provides this.

Here at Scout Gaming we are incredibly focussed on developing new features. Our international real money network liquidity solution for paid DFS has put us miles ahead of any competitor trying to break into the market.

Add to this our bet recommendation engine, Betflex, unique playing features like Pursuit, Late Swap, Safety Net, Bet-on-my-Team, Player Performance Odds, Player Sportsbook, Player Matchups and you can see why we are at the cutting edge of the fantasy vertical.

That we’ve done all of this on Web Components, a new technology from Google that looks set to become the standard in the gaming space, means we can maintain a fast pace of development to remain ahead of our rivals.

This really is a new universe where the sky is not even the limit.

New innovations such as the Scout Gaming Fantasy Player Odds Markets are a great way to further integrate two different audiences. Is DFS the perfect complement to sportsbook products and how big Is the cross-selling opportunity?

According to our internal data and analysis from one year of numbers from a client success story, typical sportsbook players who are exposed to Scout Gaming’s fantasy products have 22% more active days, 14% more turnover and 7% higher GGR on the partner’s sportsbook.

The effect on sportsbook performance from heavy fantasy sports users is even more drastic. This leads to 35% more active days, 45% more turnover and a 20% increase in GGR on the sportsbook.

In addition, iGaming partners see an extra 3.9 active days per user per month. Finally, 54% of users in full seasonal games are retained for 9+ months, greatly reducing customer churn.

This proves that DFS is a perfect complement to sports betting since it offers sportsbooks vital product differentiation while substantially increasing GGR and improving user active days and turnover.

The esports sector has experienced unprecedented growth recently and offers great growth opportunities for potential market entrants. How can verticals like DFS help operators successfully tap into these online communities and keep them engaged?

Regular sports do not have communities in the same way that esports and DFS do. Esports in particular is consumed online and via channels such as Twitch and Youtube where community engagement is encouraged and celebrated. Because esports is consumed in an online world, players are far more connected to the game being played and to related products.

The same applies to DFS; it is community driven and players have a much deeper engagement with the sports, teams and players they are “betting” on. By offering DFS, traditional sportsbook operators can tap into these communities and, given the cross-sell potential mentioned above, unlock tremendous growth as a result.

DFS products have seen great success in key regions such as North America, Australia and is still yet to fulfil its full potential across Europe. What regions do you see offering the best growth opportunities in this sector and what can we do as an industry to push DFS to the next level?

DFS is forecasted to represent somewhere in the range of 2.2%-3.2% of the entire European real money wagering market. With a total market size of €24.7bn, this represents a total addressable DFS market of €550m-€700m, much of which is still largely untapped. With the US market having already surpassed the $500m mark and growing at a steady pace, we definitely see Europe as a significant market and one that will grow at a much faster pace and with less competition.

How did the lack of live sports affect the DFS market last year? What can DFS operators do to better protect themselves from these instances in the future?

The key is to not focus too much on a single sport or set of leagues and instead offer enjoyable experiences that span literally any sport, league and with multiple ways to play.

We were able to face the challenges of the pandemic by having all of our technology, IP and knowledge in-house; this allowed us to immediately cater for whichever sport or league was available at any given time. Whether eSports, Taiwanese Basketball or even minor local leagues, we were able to make sure that the music never stopped playing for our operator partners.

Scout Gaming reported a 54% revenue increase for Q1 of 2021. What do you think has been the key driver of this growth and how can these levels be maintained going forward?

There are several factors behind the growth we recorded in Q1. We are constantly improving our product which in turn allows us to gain even more traction with existing and new operator partners. As our liquidity network is shared between all of our partners, the more operators we add the more attractive our product becomes to new customers.

This is because we can offer bigger prizes and also invest in the development of new games, betting types, markets and so on.

In terms of continued growth, we are set to go live with several new partners including two tier 1 operators, both first of its scale and size. Our sportsbook has also seen a significant increase in traction of late and we’ll be “completing” the offering with the addition of key features such as Live Betting, Bet-Builder, Cash-Out and of course a few Easter Eggs spawned from the intersection of fantasy and sports betting. There is incredible momentum behind the business right now and I am excited for the rest of the year.

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