Genera Networks was present at the Sports Betting Seminar in Lyon last week. The attendees included state lottery operators and vendors that cater to them, most of which coming from Europe and North America.

A prevalent theme at the event was the concern around the demographic of the players and the struggle in acquiring new and younger players. Lotteries are forced to re-think their marketing strategies, their offerings and the experience they provide. Two promising solutions to this problem were presented:

Engagement instead of transaction – There is a shift in focus from simply providing the means to place a bet, at the local tobacco shop or the like. Players want to be engaged. State lotteries like OPAP have launched concept stores. Bettors can now come into a retail shop, can have a coffee while they watch the game and place bets, all while being immersed with the state lottery brand.

eSports – Remember that demographic that was so hard to reach? Well, here’s a great way to attract them. What was previously perceived as a hobby consisting of teenagers in basements, is now being recognized for the potential fan base and revenue stream it offers: males age 21-35 who are highly educated and have higher than average disposable income. A very important point that was stressed in the eSport presentations was that it was unwise to assume you could treat eSport enthusiasts/bettors as you would any other sport.  Danske Spil recognized this and created a secondary platform, eOddset, committed exclusively to eSports.  Their clients can interact with one another (in a language that is unique to eSports), and eSport content is provided- as mentioned above, engagement is key! Francaise Des Jeux also recognized the potential in this market as well as how unique eSport enthusiasts were.  In their marketing campaigns the messaging was essentially we speak your language and believe me, it really is a unique language.

 It was exciting to see shifts in perception and practice, in an otherwise traditional industry. We look forward to being a part of this change and seeing the outcomes in the future.

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