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John Chyriwsky, head of marketing at Fincore, says operators can quickly outgrow SaaS platforms and those with their eyes on the biggest prize require control and influence over their tech stacks and product roadmaps.

The global gambling industry presents tremendous opportunities for new or growing operators to come in and make their mark.

These opportunities continue to get bigger as the industry expands into new markets that embrace regulation and licensing. But where there are opportunities, there are also challenges and for a lot of companies, this is felt the most in their approach to technology.

The gambling industry is one with a heavy reliance on suppliers providing operators with the platforms and solutions they need to power their sportsbooks and casinos. The SaaS model is hugely popular, especially as it allows new operators to get up and running quickly and easily.

The capital investment required for a white label solution is a fraction of that required to build a proprietary tech stack, and so too is the risk that comes with white-labelling a solution over developing a platform in-house.

But there becomes a point where the operator outgrows the white label platform and needs to have much more control and influence over its technology and roadmap.

Operators need to be able to prioritise the new markets they want to enter and ensure compliance with these. They also need to be able to integrate the game providers their players want to engage with, launch unique features, localise designs, add payment providers and more.

All of this can be done when using a third-party technology provider, but in most cases, operators have to join the back of the queue with the other companies using the platform also having their development requests pending.

Really successful white label operators with ambitious growth plans are risking their future growth plans by leaving their technology roadmap in someone else’s hands. But you can’t wait until you have the customer numbers before considering having your own platform.

If you do, by the time you hit your stride, you will need to be able to roll out updates and improvements to your own schedule but instead, you’ll find yourself stuck in the development queue. This damages the player experience, and risks losing your player base to rival brands. Significant and sustainable success can’t be achieved if your tech and platform are ultimately under the control of someone else.

Even if you are still a smaller operator or a new operator with big ambitions, the simple truth is that at some point, you’ll need to own your tech stack.

Of course, building a platform in-house from the ground up is a massive undertaking that comes with substantial risk and even more substantial costs.

The rate of failure is high, too – just look at the US market where some of the power players have opted to build their own technologies, only to pull down the shutters on these departments and partner with a platform provider instead.

There are many reasons why platform development is so tough – the level of expertise to plan, develop, iterate, test, refine, deploy, and continue to enhance a platform is almost impossible to put together.

The time it takes to build a robust, capable, and compliant platform is simply not viable for most operators – we are talking years, not months – and there’s always a high chance that the platform simply won’t work as it needs to.

This can lead to a sub-standard player experience, which in turn leads to bettors and players leaving for rival brands. Worst case scenario is that tens of millions of dollars are invested over many years and the result is a mediocre platform that fails to deliver the experience players are expecting.

Of course, there is another way.

And that’s for operators to identify technology companies that will build or adapt (a platform doesn’t always have to be built from the ground up) a custom platform that meets all requirements on their behalf.

The provider can then work with the operator in the early days as the tech is transferred over and the team shown how it all works.

This essentially removes the responsibility of the build from the operator so they can focus on other important areas of the business while a more agile approach to development can be taken by experts who have been there and done it before.

This helps to overcome the many challenges that are faced along the way while ensuring the platform is modern, powerful, capable, and compliant with the rules in place in each of the markets the operator intends to make its move.

That this can be done in a matter of months and not years also allows operators to get in on the action quickly, which is often vital in emerging markets if they are to leverage the first mover advantage.

John is head of marketing at Fincore Ltd, a leading specialist in creating software and technology solutions that help Sportsbook, iGaming and Lottery Operators unlock their full potential. A seasoned Marketing & Propositions expert with over 15 years’ experience in the technology sector.

John has launched multiple winning propositions and commercially successful marketing campaigns by adopting a customer centric approach, gaining a deep understanding of the customer needs, challenges, and aspirations. Which aligns perfectly with Fincore’s mission to create and build software that takes Operators to the next level.

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