Marathonbet, the international brand operated by European sports betting operator Panbet Ltd, has been confirmed as an Affiliate and Media Event Sponsor for Betting on Sports!
Just a few weeks before the conference, we caught up with Viktor Hoffmann, CEO for Marathonbet since June 2016, who shared his excitement over the upcoming ‘Networking Extravaganza’ in London.
Hoffmann, who first joined Panbet in June 2015, will also be appearing as a speaker at Betting on Sports, as part of our ‘Predicting the future of sports betting’ panel.
SBC: What do you find most appealing about Betting on Sports?
VH: It’s set to be one of the biggest sports betting conferences in the world – and where better to hold it than iconic Tower Bridge in London? It’s one of the rare chances in the calendar to meet fellow industry experts, pros and colleagues all in one place. A networking extravaganza, if you like.
One great characteristic about our industry is that it’s ever-changing, fast-paced and dynamic. New standards are always being set, while goals and targets are being smashed and re-set. Betting on Sports is a chance for us as a business to immerse ourselves in an industry we’re passionate about, and perhaps influence how we grow and achieve more great things in the future.
SBC: What are you looking forward to being debated in the conference area?
VH: It’s a packed agenda over the two days so we’re almost spoilt for choice. Obviously I’m keen to speak on the future of sports betting, and looking forward to sharing ideas and opinions with colleagues. Marathonbet is dedicated to setting the agenda of sports betting – and not following it – so it’s a topic close to our hearts.
Elsewhere, talks on horse racing in the UK market should also be interesting. The sport has blown up in recent years in Britain thanks to overseas investment from the likes of Dubai and beyond, and betting companies are benefiting from that. But I still think there’s work to be done in terms of attracting a younger audience and reassuring customers that racing is no longer just an ‘old boys’ sport. Marathonbet’s successful acquisition campaigns at the Grand National and Cheltenham this year pay testament to that.
There’s also lots of movement with the BHA and bookmakers to be mooted over. Plans to scrap ‘twilight hours’ racing could be a game-changer, while the replacement racing betting levy, set to be introduced in 2017, is much debated.
SBC: How can the betting industry make itself more appealing to wider sports consumers and stakeholders?
VH: The appeal of sports betting has definitely widened in recent times. Gambling is no longer associated with smoke-filled betting shops that aren’t accessible to the everyday Joe. The industry instead now has a service and product on offer that can be fun, informative and inclusive for all.
That said, I think pursuing further innovation in areas like UX is paramount moving forward – including UI personalisation. I’m keen to make it easier for customers to come and play with us through work on de-cluttering their betting environment, simplifying mobile and more. We want to create an immersive entertainment experience that anyone of any tech level can enjoy.
Marathonbet is also big on offering not just a sports betting service, but a community too. Through our sponsorship deals with the likes of Manchester United, Malaga and Hibernian football clubs, we’re able to give customers the chance to get closer to their sporting heroes and offer money-can’t-buy prizes not found elsewhere. It’s something that sets us apart from our rivals – and an attribute I’m very proud of.
As a responsible business, we’re also big on promoting safe and responsible gambling too. A lot of positive work has been achieved in this area over recent years, but we need to continue that drive and ensure people are enjoying themselves and betting within their means.
SBC: Apart from football, what do you think is the most interesting thing to bet on?
VH: The key here is that it doesn’t matter what I think. It’s what individual punters think.
What matters to me is: “Are we giving this person the best possible sports betting experience and value on their chosen market?”
Marathonbet is famed for offering an absolute abundance of markets in anything from football and horse racing to more obscure events like hurling, Gaelic Football, softball and even eSports. We want to continue that trend and keep expanding. It’s why our customers across the world enjoy playing with us.
SBC: What does the rest of 2016 have in-store for you?
VH: We’ve achieved lots as a business in 2016, but we always strive for more.
For the rest of this year we’ll continue relentless diversification into new markets and products, which includes achieving licences in territories new to Marathonbet. We are a truly global brand that is ambitious to keep growing.
Elsewhere we’ll continue to work with our partners to bring unique experiences and content to our customers. There’s much more to sports betting now than just odds and markets. People want bigger and better from their bookie – and we recognise that.
Our original and engaging video content also remains a top priority moving forward. In fact, this year we’ve had more than 10 million people watch our videos, be it interviews with footballers or promotional pieces for big sporting events, and we have plenty more to come.
And finally, we want to welcome new customers with open arms and continue to look after those loyal players who are already enjoying the Marathonbet experience.
Click here to find out more about Betting on Sports (September 15 & 16)