1) What has been the biggest development for your company in Asia this year?
The launch of the Asian Cup within our market-leading Virtual Football offering has been very well received. It features all 24 teams that qualified for the 2019 competition.
Like all our Virtual Sports, it is built using the most realistic graphics and betting markets, and allows our customers to generate incremental revenues well ahead of, during and even after the actual tournament.
2) Where are you experiencing the most demand at present?
In terms of geographical regions, the demand continues to come from operators with Philippine-based licenses. In relation to our range of products and services, 2018 saw a big spike in our Managed Trading Services (MTS), our risk and liability management solution that also utilises user profiling on behalf of an operator. Our newly enhanced Numbers Betting offer is also continuing to prove popular. This comprehensive solution provides results of more than 150 lottery draws worldwide, offering fixed odds betting on a variety of markets and visualisation of the actual draws. Again, there continues to be demand across our Virtual Sports products, in particular around Virtual Basketball and Virtual Football, two sports which are quite popular in the region.
3) What are your plans for 2019?
Like 2018, I expect there will be more and more operators interested in our Managed Trading Services (MTS) and our Virtual In-play products, including the recently released Virtual Tennis in-play. This is why one of our key focuses for 2019 is MTS. We are also set to add to our already rich suite of Virtual Sports betting products with new Baseball and Cricket In-play in 2019. In addition, we will continue to tailor our Pre-Match Odds Service and Live Odds Service more towards the Asian market, both in terms of content and bespoke mechanics and methodologies.
Our recently introduced ad:s offering presents some great opportunities for Asian-facing sponsorships and marketing solutions too, and we are seeking to enter into more audio-visual streaming co-operations with a strong focus on Asia.
4) Which do you see being the most promising markets in the next few years?
Due to its population and passion for sports such as cricket and hockey, there are many who expect India will without a doubt be the most promising market in the next few years. In South East and North Asia, Cambodia is looking to introduce a regulatory framework and we might see some movements in Japan and Vietnam as well as possibly China.
5) Are you making any changes in Asia, either expanding your team, or management, to take advantage of market opportunities?
At a management level, in the second quarter of last year, we introduced a Managing Director of Asia for Betting and Gaming and earlier this year we brought in a Head of Business Development for Media in the region too. Both are in the process of restructuring their respective teams, which includes hiring additional staff and opening offices in new and exciting locations in the region. This is both because of the future market opportunities the region offers, and because we want to remain ahead of the game through a commitment to supplying our knowledge and services in both new and existing markets for bookmakers across the world.