Monday, September 25, 2023

“Retail needs to evolve at a similar pace to online, adopt similar technologies to offer an omnichannel experience to the end user” | Yogonet International

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SBC’s Betting on Sports Europe 2022 is all set to take place on June 7-9 at Twickenham Stadium in London, with organizers anticipating 800 operators, 2000 delegates, 200 speakers, and 30 exhibitors. One of the leading sports of the in-person industry event is SUZOHAPP, a global distributor and manufacturer of gaming and betting products.

In a video conversation with Yogonet, Tim Kennedy, SUZOHAPP’s Vice President of Sales for Europe, explains this has become a very important event in the calendar for betting operators. “And increasingly our focus for the last 18 months has been sports betting terminals. But I think the market now, retail betting market in Europe is headed into a new phase where a lot of customers, a lot of operators are looking at refreshing their retail estate post-COVID,” he says.And that’s definitely an area that we’re concentrating on. So we have a full range of products from ePOS terminals, betting terminals, cash redemption terminals, and also change machines. So a full range targeted at the operator, very much focused on reinventing retail.”

The company is focused on working closely with sports betting platform providers in order to successfully enter the U.S. and Canadian market. “A second limb of our strategy is to now talk more directly to operators. So definitely in London we will be focusing on trying to engage with those operators, and as they are thinking about their plans for retail, engage with us so that we can offer the SUZOHAPP service, which is essentially taking all of the headaches out of hardware and making it very easy to think about concepts and deploy them in the marketplace.

The educational component of Betting on Sports Europe features several panels centered around innovation and hot industry topics like the future adoption of emerging payments in sports betting, blockchain, Web 3.0, biometrics, and esports betting. “Payment systems are evolving all the time,” Kennedy notes. “And I think the important thing for retailers or operators to remember is retail needs to evolve at a similar pace to online and adopt similar technologies to offer that omnichannel experience to the end user. So I’m keen to understand the pace of developments in that area, but I think also from a player protection point of view, a number of jurisdictions are looking at introducing some kind of player identity on a terminal, and that’s certainly something that we offer now. We’ve got a number of solutions in that area. And when the legislation gets passed in various countries, we’re ready with the solutions that the operators need to deploy to meet those requirements.”

Kennedy believes some kind of facial and ID recognition is likely to hit the regulated markets in the next year to two years, and sees this as a key opportunity for which operators need to start thinking about how to deploy those technologies or what technologies they need to start looking at now.

Also in terms of innovation and omnichannel trends, SUZOHAPP has launched a cash redemption terminal that bridges the sports betting world to the cash world, providing instant access to cash in an unattended environment. “Also, this would allow players to build up their funds online by inserting notes into a cash redemption terminal. And I know that’s very popular in certain markets like Italy, so that’s another market that we’ll be closely following with this product,” the Sales executive anticipates.

Since the pandemic, the consumer move to cashless payments is accelerated, Kennedy underlines. To meet this new demand, SUZOHAPP has launched Dual Change Cashless, a new machine that offers contactless payment to change, whether that’s notes or coins and in some markets, tokens. “So it’s a fully flexible product. It can be configured to meet the local requirements and also the local laws, but in a familiar package,” he describes. “Operators are used to that size of the machine, and it also meets the requirements that consumers now need, contactless in their gaming environments. So it’s been particularly well-received, we are taking orders now, and we have a nice order book building up.

In the U.S., SUZOHAPP is working with one customer who will be deploying a tabletop terminal, amongst other terminals, blending entertainment and sports betting experiences. “And I can imagine as operators in Europe look to revitalize their retail estate, they’ll consider similar products. So a much more entertaining environment for street operations rather than just having transactional terminals that are commonplace today. We’ll definitely see that deployed in the US. I think it could take a bit longer before we see that in Europe. But I can imagine that that will be deployed within 12 months in Europe also.”

Back in SUZOHAPP announced an expansion of its Sales and Business Development teams in Europe, including three appointments led by Markus Prader as the new Business Development Director. “With our new expansion what we want to do is focus much more on solutions to operators, selling much more of a turnkey solution to operators, and those are the opportunities that we’re now uncovering,” Kennedy explains. “So talking directly to operators and understanding their requirements and putting solutions together is increasingly what SUZOHAPP is about. And for that, obviously, we need to reorganise and add to our sales team, so that we’ve got the right people talking to the operators, so we can drill down to the right kind of information and feed that back to the organization to uncover those opportunities, and deal with them sufficiently to allow us to make the most of those opportunities.”

Watch the full video interview on our YouTube channel.


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