Sarah Robertson speaks exclusively with Gambling Insider about Kambi’s deal with JVH gaming and entertainment group. With online gaming and sports betting finally set to launch in the Netherlands this year, all eyes are on the Dutch digital market.
How important was Kambi’s deal with JVH gaming and entertainment group, in terms of expanding to new and emerging markets in Europe?
This is an important agreement for Kambi. We’re pleased to have struck a long-term partnership that fits clearly with our strategy of partnering with high-potential local operators, who have ambitions to achieve a leadership position in regulated markets. JVH group has a particularly strong heritage in the Netherlands, operating more than 80 casino properties across the country, and they view Kambi’s high-performance sports betting technology as a crucial component for building on that heritage with an excellent online sports betting offer.
What do you see as the partnership’s biggest benefits for Kambi?
From Kambi’s perspective, this partnership with JVH puts us in an excellent position to capitalise on the forthcoming regulation of sports betting in the Netherlands with a partner who has the ambition and vision to be at the forefront of the market. JVH group is the country’s largest private casino operator, welcoming more than four million guest visits annually, and Kambi’s digital capabilities can springboard the operator to capture extensive online market share. JVH group will benefit from our deep sports betting offer, and the extensive differentiation capabilities we provide across crucial player-facing elements, including front-end and odds. Our powerful suite of open APIs gives our partners the opportunity to build their own IP on top of our technology.
To illustrate this differentiation capability, only recently a Kambi partner released its front-end containing not one piece of Kambi code, enabling it to offer a truly unique experience. The partnership also significantly strengthens Kambi’s premium sports betting network. We harness the extensive real-time data generated across our network of 30-plus partners to continually enhance our algorithmic trading models, leveraging this analysis to deliver actionable insights from which all our partners can benefit.
”We fully expect the Dutch regulated market to thrive, with the Netherlands being a major European nation with a strong sporting heritage.”
How big of an opportunity does the Netherlands in general present for Kambi?
We want to launch as soon as regulation allows. Our track record in Sweden, where we launched in 2,000 retail stores with ATG on day one of the market opening in 2019, underlines the quality of our regulatory team and our ability to efficiently pivot our technology to satisfy any compliance framework. We are excited about the potential of our partnership with JVH group and look forward to working closely with them to unlock the opportunities it affords.
Do you see the Netherlands thriving once it launches in the second half of 2021, given how overdue the regulation is?
Kambi is always evaluating opportunities in regulating markets and was very pleased to see regulation of sports betting in the Netherlands take a big step closer through the Remote Gambling Act.
We fully expect the Dutch regulated market to thrive, with the Netherlands being a major European nation with a strong sporting heritage. That heritage, combined with top local and international operators displaying an appetite to invest, should mean the market is a significant one from the off. I would also say that from a Kambi perspective, regulation is only overdue in the sense that we would like to see all markets adopt a locally regulated model. However, for any market it must be a priority that this regulation is well thought out and that the implementations are not rushed.
Are there serious fears or doubts that the market could be too restrictive, as we’ve seen in Sweden and with the proposed launch in Germany? How would you rate the regulations compared with other big-name markets in Europe?
The early signs are that the regulation will follow the trends seen in other European countries you have mentioned. That is no surprise, and it’s absolutely right that operators and providers in the betting and gaming industry are held to a high standard in any locally regulated market. Kambi puts the highest standard of corporate probity at the forefront of our business, and our unblemished compliance record is a testament to this. Kambi is a provider that never views regulation, and the intricacies thereof, as anything other than something to be embraced. It’s important that regulation strikes the right balance, and there are certainly questions that certain sections of the regulation, such as those that govern in-play betting, are not as even-handed as they could be. The right balance must be struck between protecting consumers and allowing the regulated operators to offer them an attractive proposition, lest black market operators view this as an opportunity to achieve market share.
After entering the Dutch market, what other new markets are next on the horizon for Kambi?
We continually assess opportunities in newly regulated markets and those that are in the process of enacting regulatory frameworks. We will continue to expand in the US, where we are live in 13 states and have a number of ambitious partners. Looking to Europe, there are promising steps forward being taken in markets such as Germany. Furthermore, we are closely monitoring opportunities in Canada, as well as Latin America, having recently put pen to paper on a partnership with Casino Magic in Argentina.
Originally appeared on https://www.gamblinginsider.com/friday/tgif/tgif-2021-6.pdf?new