Industry Solutions

SBC Summit 2024: iGaming Trends Recap

live casino and live horse race betting ui elements
SUMMARY

The 2024 SBC Summit North America revealed how major sports events, tailor-made casino games, and strategic fan engagement significantly drive the iGaming industry’s growth. These insights highlight the crucial intersection of sports, technology, and fan participation, guiding stakeholders in leveraging these trends for further expansion and market penetration.


The landscape of iGaming and sports betting in the United States is fast paced, fiercely competitive, and at the frontier of digital innovation. However, as with every gold rush, many end up empty-handed, and only a select few strike real successes. To prosper in this competitive environment, companies must continuously innovate and distinguish themselves at every opportunity.

Navigating a saturated market with innovation

FanDuel and DraftKings were the sports betting pioneers and established brand recognition to dominate the early stages of the sports betting market. Their head start was not just in time but also in technology, user trust, and crucially, the ability to cross-sell from fantasy sports to betting.

It’s tempting to fixate on the market share, but other leaders in the industry, such as Caesars Digital and Rush Street Interactive, believe it’s an incomplete metric. For them, the big picture is about engaging users and driving long-term profitability. In their view, it’s possible to run a successful iGaming business without commanding the lion’s share of the market.

The risk for newcomers

For new entrants, understanding the gambling culture and nuances of each state’s market is crucial. The U.S. market is not a monolith; it’s a complex ecosystem of regulations, behaviors, and preferences that demand a tailored approach. Overestimating one’s readiness for these intricacies can be a costly misstep.

The “stickiness factor”, or the ability of an app to retain users’ attention and engagement goes beyond initial user acquisition. It’s about creating a platform that users feel compelled to revisit and that might even prompt them to invite others along the way.

live igaming stream with interactive betting and viewers watching live

The AI and personalization play

Operators are realizing that customers crave more than just a platform to place bets. They seek an immersive gaming experience that includes interactive elements, social integration, and user empowerment. For instance, Caesar’s Firebets, a concept where players feel like they’re in control, is one way to engage users during tense moments in games. Players can tailor their bets to match their own insights, knowledge, and comfort level, making the betting experience more personal and engaging.

Artificial intelligence is not just for gaining an edge in trading or risk management; it’s about creating personalized experiences that resonate with individual players. DraftKings is a standout with its focus on customer-centered AI, delivering highly tailored content and micro-betting opportunities. This level of personalization can increase player loyalty and lifetime value.

It’s easy to get caught up in the flash of innovative features, but the core of any iGaming tech should be reliability and an intuitive user experience. DraftKings confidently reminded the SBC audience that those products which “just work” are the ones that will hold users’ attention and encourage repeat visits.

The growth of in-play betting is reshaping how operators engage with sports enthusiasts. Streaming partnerships, low-latency data delivery, and micro-betting are not just nice-to-haves; they’re becoming essential for a modern iGaming experience.

The potential of interactive broadcasts

In the fast-paced world of live sports and betting, latency is the enemy of immersiveness. Creating an experience where streaming and betting are seamlessly integrated is non-negotiable, and addressing latency is a primary focus for many companies. Sportsbooks like FanDuel and Genius sports are investing heavily in these opportunities, making real-time data feeds and immediacy critical for success.

Emerging technologies, such as NBC Sports’ BetCast, are transforming passive sports viewing into an interactive experience. By incorporating live odds and micro-betting directly into the broadcast stream, these innovations are pushing the boundaries of engagement. Efforts are being made to ensure latency matches live broadcasts and data feeds, enhancing the integration with sportsbooks through sublicensing rights and partnerships aimed at expanding viewership. Additionally, the introduction of microbetting is seen as a key driver for increasing watch time and engagement in broadcasts.

Fostering industry-tech company collaboration

Success in the U.S. iGaming market requires a holistic strategy that goes beyond individual product features. It’s about building a brand that resonates with the distinct fabric of American sports culture and the evolving expectations of its consumers.

Partnerships and collaborations within the iGaming industry can spur innovation, drive engagement, and create new opportunities. By working with sports leagues, broadcasters, and technology providers, iGaming companies can craft compelling, integrated experiences that captivate audiences.

Staying agile and responsive to customer needs

The dynamism of sports and the unpredictability of consumer behavior require companies to remain agile. Implementing feedback loops, rapidly iterating on product features, and staying vigilant about emerging preferences can help companies stay ahead of the curve.

BetMGM has experienced a surge of over 200% in home run wagers, fueled by the diverse betting options available, including parlays and same-game parlays. This increase is attributed to the capabilities provided by Angstrom Sports, a data firm acquired last year by BetMGM’s co-owner, Entain.

The Road Ahead

The convergence of technology, sports, and gaming presents an unprecedented opportunity for growth and innovation. By harnessing these synergies and staying true to core values, the iGaming industry can continue to forge a new frontier in the American leisure landscape.

Those willing to rise to the challenge can not only carve out a space for themselves in a bustling market but also set the benchmark for excellence in the global gaming arena.

The WNBA’s astonishing growth

Following the momentum of major sporting events, the WNBA has carved its niche in captivating a loyal and growing fan base. What’s truly remarkable is the fact that before the addition of standout players like Caitlin Clark, the league had already seen a surge in popularity, exemplified by a staggering 390% increase in app downloads year over year. Additionally, the WNBA’s strategic engagement efforts have led to a 257% increase in content consumption across its digital channels. These numbers not only reflect the league’s success in harnessing the power of digital platforms to engage fans year-round but also highlight the effectiveness of their marketing strategies.

Lauren Dwyer, the Senior Director of Growth, and Innovation for the WNBA, explained that by delivering personalized content, behind-the-scenes access, and interactive fan experiences, the WNBA has successfully expanded its reach and deepened its connection with audiences, proving the enduring power of women’s sports in a competitive landscape.

Innovating state lotteries: Digital scratch-offs and live stream revelations

In response to the rising tide of sports betting and iGaming operators, state lotteries are exploring innovative strategies to not only safeguard their market share but to potentially expand it. A key component of this evolution is the digitalization of lottery games, including digital scratch-off tickets. These modern iterations of traditional lottery games appeal to a tech-savvy generation, offering convenience and instant gratification. Angela Long, the Vice President of Global Lottery Solutions clarified that the approach to digitalization varies significantly from state to state and is largely dependent on the strategies adopted to work with legislators and forge partnerships with digital operators.

Peter Sullivan, CEO of Jackpockets, explored the potential for growth in live-streamed lottery reveals. He highlighted how these events foster immersive and social engagement by building anticipation leading up to the moment of revelation.

By listening to the experiences of various state lotteries, it becomes clear that navigating legislative landscapes and building symbiotic relationships with tech partners are critical steps in unlocking the full potential of digital lottery games.

Why tent-pole moments are critical

Tentpole moments in live sports, such as the Super Bowl, FIFA World Cup, WNBA playoffs and the Olympics, significantly drive fan interest and engagement, functioning as crucial catalysts for the iGaming and betting industries. Betr, a sportsbook company, emphasized that tentpole events not only capture the attention of millions of fans worldwide, but also offer unique opportunities for operators to innovate and provide immersive betting experiences.

The anticipation and live nature of these events create a heightened sense of excitement and urgency amongst fans, encouraging more active participation in betting and gaming activities. Operators can capitalize on this by offering special promotions, live betting options, and interactive platforms that enhance the fan experience during these peak moments.

Conclusion

The insights shared at the 2024 SBC Summit North America underscored the significant influence that major sports events, customized casino games, and targeted fan interaction have on the growth path of the iGaming industry. These examples demonstrate the powerful interplay among sports, technology, casinos, and fan involvement, providing key insights for all players within the iGaming sphere on how to utilize these trends for continued expansion and increased market reach.

References:
 T.S. May 9, 2024 SBC Summit North America: Differentiation key for second movers
 G.Z. May 13, 2024 California, iGaming Cannibalization, and Sports Betting Conspiracy Theories: An SBC Summit NA Notebook
Casino Beats, May 2024 Inside SBC Summit North America 2024
SBC Events: SBC Summit North America Agenda

Interested in learning more about what’s next in iGaming?

Download our latest eBook, “Maximize Player Engagement with Real-time Streaming”. This comprehensive guide is an essential resource for professionals in the rapidly evolving iGaming industry.

Whether you’re an experienced iGaming operator or new to the scene, our ebook covers critical topics including:

  • The role of real-time streaming in iGaming
  • The rise of live casinos, sports betting and horse race betting
  • How to unlock additional revenue with contextual ads
  • The power of immersive social interaction features
DIGITAL DOWNLOAD Access the guide to  Maximize your ROI in iGaming To download the ebook, please fill out the form below.  
Rose Power

Senior Product Marketing Manager

Rose Power is the Senior Product Marketing Manager for Dolby Millicast. She is driven to build authentic relationships and craft simple solutions in the video-streaming sector. In her downtime, Rose enjoys strumming on her ukulele, tending to her garden, or embarking on hiking adventures with her backpack and pup.

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