Managing Director Asia at Sportradar
Asia Gaming Summit (AGS) returns for its 3rd edition in November. The Summit will explore the latest regulatory updates, innovation in payment and technology, as well as best practices in setting up your operations and office in Taiwan.
Ahead of the conference, we caught up with Michael Maerz, Managing Director Asia at Sportradar, to hear his thoughts on the rapid growth of the gaming industry in Asia and his company’s biggest challenges.
10 Minutes with Michael Maerz
Opportunities for Asian operators overseas in emerging gaming jurisdictions such as north and South America.
In South America, Argentina, Colombia and Mexico are already being explored by some Asian operators, with local state lotteries, local operators and local license holders alike. The United States is a bit more complex due to the relatively high barrier of entry for operators, in particular in states where license fees and taxes are higher than in others, like in New York State. Big B2B suppliers in Asia definitely have an interest in the American markets. Sportradar’s ad’s department can support operators to strengthen their foot hold by offering sponsorship and advertising opportunities in these markets, making it easier to overcome barriers to entry.
How are Asian operators doing with regards to innovation compared to global competitors?
Due to the high volume-low margin business landscape, focus in Asia has always very much been on speed of data combined with very competitive odds keys. In recent years, there has been a conscious shift towards improving UI and UX programing for a more immersive and user friendly customer journey from opening an account to placing a first bet. Thus, CRM is becoming more and more important and operators have been looking to their European counterparts in terms of sign up bonuses, retention promotions, free bet activation campaigns and the like. Similarly, designs and product offerings are more user friendly and comprehensive. One such example would be Betradar’s suite of Virtual sportsbetting products which are gaining more and more traction in the region, highly popular amongst Asian players.
How important are innovative product for Asian players?
Asian players used to be happy with betting on two or three main markets on the top five or so football and basketball competitions. In other regions, baseball and cricket, as long as the odds keys were attractive enough. There is now a clear trend towards demand for a deeper and wider coverage of sports and odds across the board. Mobile has long overtaken desktop in customer interaction and so the challenge is to satisfy player needs by fitting other products such as Virtuals or live streaming into smaller screens without reducing the betting experience as players definitely do appreciate innovation.