Betting is becoming easier than ever as the industry aligns itself with technological breakthroughs. One of the most recent of these is speech technology, which allows machines to recognise spoken word and perform related commands. This has been widely integrated, with devices like Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa being a staple in many homes.
Technology company Voxbet seeks to bring automation into the sports betting world, giving bettors the opportunity to speak a bet or tip into existence. Its technology also allows bettors to type their bet for further accessibility.
Jonathan Power, CEO and founder of Voxbet, speaks about what the company offers and how voice technology creates a unique betting experience.
What does Voxbet offer that other providers don’t? How do these elements offer like a unique experience for players?
We’re a technology provider that simplifies the navigation of a sportsbook. So if you think about how you navigate anything else online, like Amazon or eBay, you almost always start by typing what you want. Sportsbooks are different, which they maybe don’t need to be. They’re both e-commerce. What we do is we allow you to speak or type what it is you want. We bring you straight to it.
Who is the main target audience for what Voxbet does?
Well, speak-type-bet, it really hits two very different audiences. Currently 52% of under 35s use voice technology every day. So obviously that’s a target market. But there’s also a crucial cohort on typing a bet in terms of those who know what they want to bet on, and removing friction from their journey. These can be your most prolific customers. Those who go to your sportsbook and then, what they have to do every time they want to bet, is to dig it out for themselves, by going through layers of menus. You know what you want to bet on, just get it done, type it in. And we populate it directly to the bet slip. So they’re two different cohorts really, but it’s the same technology.
How do you see the company expanding in the future? What kind of markets or countries you would be interested in entering?
Like everybody, we’re very interested in the US, and also a significant play in Africa because the very low data usage of a type-bet interface. Data usage is very sensitive in Africa. But also, we think we are highly relevant for the United States market – currently being served by a lift-and-drop of what worked in Europe – which was designed over 20 years ago. We think there’s real opportunity to differentiate with a Google-style interface sportsbook. So, naturally, the US is the primary target market for us.
How does Voxbet balance ease of use with safeguards for customers and responsible gambling?
We don’t circumvent any safeguarding. What we do is we reduce friction. We don’t regard friction as a safeguard, especially as a lot of friction is cross-sell. I don’t think anybody does. The whole bet-placement process is controlled by the operator. We don’t circumvent any responsible gambling, anti-money laundering, or know-your-customer checks.
How is content becoming more important as a differentiator for US sports betting operators?
I think what’s very interesting is the content is a huge differentiator. While the volume of content has grown in the industry over the last 10 years – I’d say more than tenfold – the means of navigating it hasn’t changed. Consequently, we just have more menus, more layers to go through. Content matters and nobody’s going to reduce the amount of content they offer. So they’re going to have to offer a better means of navigating it.