iGaming voice by Yeva: NEO.bet
In a recent extensive interview with AffPapa, Sandro Taliana, Country Manager at NEO.bet, revealed why the industry is saturated in some places, gives predictions for the future of Sportsbook and explains how smaller steps could help in staying ahead of the game.
Yeva: How do you make sure you are offering your clients the best value?
We think users look mainly at odds before they even think of opening an account with us, so we try to give competitive prices. Then the winning users want to cash out fast so our support and payments team tries to process withdrawals as fast as they can.
Yeva: What key elements do players usually look for in a sportsbook?
Players look at the odds and the variety of matches offered, the better the prices and more matches found that only few have, the more the chance they will join that sportsbook. The bonus is also an important part, but not for all players, I for one have never used bonuses. Then obviously the experience the site gives must be a top one, responsive, easy to use, etc. Who wants to play on a site where you need to search endlessly for a match or even worse, it crashes when important matches are happening?
Yeva: How do you ensure your clients that their information is safe in an age where security breaches are common?
We use the latest and most secure measures to ensure this. Our staff is also regularly trained so we are always upfront on the security measures to be adopted when changes occur. Still, I can’t say it is a fool proof system, as you say, security breaches are common. We just try our best to be one step ahead of the possible breaching, if it were to happen.
Yeva: Neobet offers mobile apps for IOS and Android users. How important is the creation of a mobile app nowadays?
The huge number of mobile users keeps increasing year on year, for a variety of reasons, mainly affordability and older generations using mobiles. Apps for anything you can imagine are becoming a standard in life. You have apps for food delivery, reading newspapers, anything. Gambling is not an exception. Seeing users searching for everything via their phone by using apps, it is a must to offer an app that is responsive, easy to use and doesn’t annoy users with tons of notifications, which NEO.bet proudly does.
Yeva: What markets are you looking to expand into after your recent expansion into Canada?
We still have a lot to do in Canada and we need to be on top of it, seeing more companies entering Canada confirms that. We also obtained the German License as that is our main market, so a lot of focus is going there too. It is very important to make the next move carefully into a licensed country that is not too saturated, and there are a few options in Europe as well as another couple of continents, but it is still subject to discussions.
Yeva: Do you believe that the industry is saturated? Or is there room for newcomers?
It is in some areas of Europe for sure. Other places will probably be in a few years. Maybe a couple of countries in South America and Africa, and even the US is starting to see an increase in online companies. New companies always find a huge challenge, but with the right product, mentality and team, it is possible to succeed.”
Yeva: How do you stay ahead of the game when there are so many competitors?
That is always tough to do. You have a lot of ideas and only a few can be implemented eventually. I believe in exclusive features, but when that requires a large amount of development and resources, it always takes a long time. So even simple steps such as keeping the site up to date and proper CRM to keep existing users happy does the trick. But when new features come out from various companies, eventually they have to be adapted by those that do not want to stay behind.
Yeva: What is your stance on safe gambling?
Even though this topic wasn’t always important as much as it is these last few years, I always considered it essential to offer a safe environment to users. First of all, making sure that whoever is playing is 18+ and then it is also very important that as soon as unusual behavior is spotted by users, they are attended to in case they have gambling problems. Then the site security as well as on time payouts. That always makes users feel safe, at least in my opinion.
Yeva: What factors is a good partnership measured by?
Communication is key, listening to each other always makes things go smooth, as there may be issues that cause misunderstandings if not discussed immediately. I have some partners that are super happy to work with us just because I always attend to them immediately, time permitting. They obviously want to make a living so when things work well and we listen to them on what can be improved, they appreciate that a lot.
Yeva: Tell us more about Neocoin: what prompted you to create a currency and how is it used?
I for one always like to try something before actually investing in it, be it a car, a game or even food tasting. You get an idea of what you’re getting. The Neocoin is our play for fun coin offered to test the site before actually depositing real money. It can be used for as long as you want and many users get the idea how the site works before they make the decision to use us. It is quite successful and proves that various users like the trial part to make sure that what we offer is what they are looking for.
Yeva: How do you stay up-to-date in such a fast-paced industry?
It is important to read articles and news updates from relevant sites, especially when it involves legislation. Conferences are important to attend to understand the point of view from the top heads of various companies. Having a look at what other companies are doing won’t harm either.
Yeva: What skills do most failing sportsbooks lack?
In my opinion most sportsbooks lack guts, by doing the worst thing, which is the limiting of players. A lot of players are lost that way, that could turn to be value users. In reality this would be good for other companies, with “my loss, your gain” concept. But being scared when players are winning and then limiting them to cut the losses in a way is unfair for players. I am not talking about bonus abusers or fraudulent players, but the genuine winners, many of them are limited too. If you offer an odd that you think is good and a player is winning on such odds, why limit them? Companies are happy to win a lot, but when they lose a bit, they get sour. But that would be a never-ending topic to discuss.
Yeva: If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be and why?
I would like to see a balance in the regulation, it’s either none at all, then when it happens it’s too strict, to make up for the period of time that the regulation wasn’t in place. And this is because most of the decisions aren’t made by people with a background working in the gambling industry. If such people would be allowed to assist, it would be beneficial for either side. This unfortunately happens in other industries too.
Yeva: What is your approach to drawing traffic to your site?
I like to have attractive odds, not wrong ones of course, I’ve seen companies offering wrong odds as an offer, just to attract a crazy amount of traffic. A welcome offer is always happily accepted by a good number of new users, but no need to give ridiculous amounts. A good exposure of the brand, who we are, what do we have for users, always helps. Most people don’t join us just because they have never heard of us before.
Yeva: How do you decide what affiliates to work with?
Our door is open to anyone, which is why we are considered very friendly. I’m against the mentality of not accepting small traffic affiliates and look only at the most popular ones that have the fame of quality traffic. I always keep in mind that those giants were once small fish as well, they grew in time. So, starting with small ones too could lead to a great partnership with a future giant.
Yeva: Why do sportsbooks give affiliates such a profitable deal?
Why not? They brought over traffic that it would have been hard to see otherwise. I agree some affiliates get greedy and ask ridiculous amounts that amount to much over 50% of the Net Revenue. And then some companies get greedy themselves and want to pay tiny commissions, so there should be a good balance on both sides, and at NEO.bet we try to adequately reward all performing partners.
Yeva: Do you see yourself in the gaming industry in the long run?
I have been in this industry since 2003, practically since the beginning of the online booming. It’s an environment I wouldn’t exchange with anything else, there is never a dull moment, challenges coming from every aspect, it’s the opposite of boring basically.
Yeva: What do you think the industry will be like in 5 years?
I’m afraid it will be more saturated. Definitely more regulated globally. More huge mergers to happen. Hopefully new developments that make the experience better than ever, maybe placing bets by voice, to keep getting lazier!
Yeva: Aside from work, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I mostly spend time with my family, the kids are small so they need a lot of attention and time. Particularly during this period, I am working a lot from home so I spend more time with all the family and trying to come up with new things that we didn’t think could be done before, or didn’t have time for either. Then there’s the passion for cars, working a bit on them for fun, with friends.
Interviewee: Sandro Taliana