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With sports betting taking centre stage in GiG’s rejigged strategy, can the company unseat the current kings of sportsbook supply? NEXT.io investigates.

The world of B2B sportsbook could be in for a shift.

Since SBTech sold to DraftKings for €590m in 2020, sportsbook provision has been a fragmented market, with fierce competition between market leaders like Kambi and OpenBet.

Malta-based GiG is in the process of spinning off its platform and sportsbook division as a standalone PLC and SaaS business.

The next stage will see it go on alone, unencumbered (and unsupported) by its larger affiliate wing.

Can a reborn GiG – led by SBTech’s former managers – upset the market dynamic?

GiG 3.0

This will be a tall order. Standing at €9.1m for Q4, GiG’s entire revenue for the segment makes it a minnow compared to the bigger players in the space.

For example, it is dwarfed by Kambi’s Q4 revenue of €44.3m, with all the implications of greater scope of investment and benefits of scale this implies.

Nevertheless, the business wants to send a message that it is primed to hit the ground running – with the sportsbook as the centrepiece of a new growth strategy.

Platform & Sportsbook CEO Richard Carter highlighted the work the company has done to unclog the sales pipeline in a Q4 earnings call, representing a €75m opportunity in the long-run.

New chief business officer Andrew Cochrane told NEXT.io that there is currently a “great opportunity” for GiG to capture market share from its B2B competitors.

“What’s important is building a strong leadership team, which Richard and I have been doing,” he said. Kambi, by contrast, is about to lose its long-serving co-founder and CEO Kristian Nylén.

Having only joined GiG in November, Cochrane, who worked alongside Carter at SBTech, has wasted no time in shaking things up.

“Our go-to market strategy has been completely revamped, with the launch of the new X-suite of products, CoreX iGaming platform and SportsX Sportsbook. We’ve done that in about 12 weeks.”

At ICE London in February, GiG’s now semi-independent platform and sportsbook arm wanted to send the message that the business won’t just manage post spin-off, but thrive.

Beyond a large exhibition stand and exclusive party at luxury London hotel The Ned, this meant a concerted push for its new X-suite of enhanced iGaming and sportsbook product solutions.

Carter touted new investments in commercial and marketing functions, which he said is transforming the division into a “more competitive, much more agile, and much more product-focused B2B organisation”.

But will it be enough to shift the dial and challenge the market leaders?

Stability, scalability and speed

Ultimately, platform solutions are a product game – and GiG will need a fearsome offering to capture both share and customers.

According to Cochrane, an emphasis on the fundamentals is key to the company’s thinking in this sphere.

For the business, this means a renewed focus on stability and scalability, and the ability to enter new markets fast.

“Speed to market is super important,” said Cochrane. “Lots of larger tier-one operators are struggling with their legacy technology stacks.

“They’re looking at international expansion as their core markets are not growing as much as they used to.

“We’re making sure that our new suite of platform solutions can be deployed fast, and can be highly configured, as opposed to a bespoke product, so that means we can deliver it faster.”

The executive also highlights GiG’s efforts to enable the fast integration of third-party solutions.

Cochrane believes the ability to plug in niche products to help differentiate GiG’s solution to end users represents a “real competitive advantage”.

A place in the sun

With speed and flexibility seemingly the two main legs of GiG’s new product strategy, the business is setting its sights on being the first choice for operators in newly regulated markets.

GiG has a rich heritage in regulated markets, holding over 36 supplier licences.

Cochrane was at pains to emphasise that GiG’s future lies in locally licensed jurisdictions, rather than leaning into any sort of offshore strategy.

However, Cochrane also explained the business wasn’t about to let the competition eat GiG’s lunch in “regulating” markets, and would very much have a presence in regions prior to a formal market launch.

As such, the company is already live in several Latam jurisdictions.

Closer to home, the executive pointed to the possibility of iGaming in France, and the expected liberalisation of the Finnish market as keen prospects.

Regarding the profile of new clients, CEO Carter again highlighted sportsbook as key to the strategy, which he said was a current focus for investment.

“One of the issues we have is that we now have a completely refocused tier-one sportsbook and only 30% of our platform customers take sports,” said Carter in the earnings call. “That is just a very significant opportunity there.

“But the real big wins are going to be the ones that are currently on other third-party sportsbooks that we need to convince and migrate over to our sportsbook.”

Getting the band back together

SBTech shareholders made a killing on the sale of the business to DraftKings.

Post spin-off, there are rumours that Carter and Cochrane are planning to try and recapture that lightning in a bottle.

With top operators concerned with gaining an edge on product, quality proprietary tech stacks are often in high demand.

A recent rumour that MGM Resorts was looking closely at Kambi only served to underline the value that the largest operators – particularly in the US – place on robust in-house tech.

Cochrane told NEXT.io that GiG’s public status means he can’t comment on any future plans in this direction.

In any case, improving financial metrics remains the immediate focus. 

“From our perspective, Richard and I are focused on driving shareholder value – we want to drive the size of this business, we want to exponentially increase our top line revenue and ultimately drive our EBITDA performance,” he said.

Speaking to investors, Carter has talked the talk about what the reborn GiG will look like.

“As we move through this year, the market will start to get a very strong visibility on where this business is going and the opportunities that exist, and also the size of the operators that we’re looking to bring on board,” he said.

But results are ultimately all that matter. Whether the product itself has the juice to capture market share remains a significant and unanswered question at this time.

Can they do it?

The sports betting solution ecosystem is a competitive field.

Suppliers in this space run the gamut from market leaders like Kambi and OpenBet, to much smaller providers, as well as private firms with a higher appetite for risk.

While not GiG’s immediate market, the unfolding US sports betting boom has led to a surge in investment in B2B sportsbook solutions globally.

With the strategic shake-up comes new risks that will need to be accounted for.

“The biggest challenges is change, isn’t it?” admits Cochrane. “Because ultimately, this business has been around a long time.

“With a new management team, new structure, new vision and new strategy, ultimately, we’ve rewritten the rulebook here.”

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