Risk management has always been an important part of any sportsbook operation, and with online becoming increasingly prevalent, operators must be able to ensure that they can effectively identify potential risks and fraud.
In an interview with SBC News, Alexander Kamenetskyi, Product Owner at SOFTSWISS Sportsbook, takes a look at some of the challenges operators face when it comes to risk management and the solutions that SOFTSWISS offers to remedy these concerns.
SBC: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! So first of all, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your experience? What does your role at SOFTSWISS entail?
AK: It’s a pleasure to talk to you! I am a Product Owner at the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook, an online platform providing partners with an advanced solution for online sports betting. Overall, I have more than 20 years of experience in gambling and betting. I started my career in an offline casino, and I learned a lot about players, their preferences, and needs. Then I was involved in sports betting, which became my true passion.
Now I put my energy into improving the product we represent. I’m always looking for new tools to make it more engaging for players and convenient for operators. My maths skills help me understand the technical sides of the Sportsbook, and at the same time, my experience in offline gambling allows me to offer features that players will appreciate.
Moreover, I am a sports lover. Of course, it helps in my work because I know the specific characteristics of sports events well. I used to be a football fan, but now I have discovered different sports and enjoy them! For instance, Australian football, cybersport and UFC.
SBC: Risk management is an incredibly important part of a betting company’s operations. Can you give us an overview of the main functions performed by the SOFTSWISS risk management department?
AK: Risk management is an essential thing for online sports betting. If the operator ignores this work, it will certainly lead to negative consequences for the business. The Risk management team keeps track of all settled bets and identifies potential risks and fraud. Using sophisticated algorithms, they detect suspicious activities and prevent threats. All this work is based on a deep analysis of global and local markets in order to build the event line correctly.
For these reasons the department is focused on customising the product from the ground up: what events will be presented on the website, what GEO coverage they will receive, and that’s not all. Risk managers are responsible for controlling all sports events displayed on the website and managing bets in real time.
Furthermore, risk managers are involved in developing and testing new products because they have immense expertise. They know exactly what players prefer and what could engage them.
SBC: What are the main challenges associated with risk management? And how do you overcome these?
AK: Analysing players is a crucial part of work and one of the biggest challenges at the same time. We need to know what kind of players come to play, what events they choose for betting, and what strategy they use. It’s extremely important to detect so-called “negative” players very quickly because they cause the most significant damage during the first few hours they join the game. It may cost up to 20% of GGR for the operator. Who would like to lose so much? Our goal is to find scammers immediately. The more promptly we work, the fewer scammers come to the project.
That is why it is so important to find new, better ways to automate processes to minimise faults. This is another challenge. The human factor in this work lies in evaluating and controlling tools that are as automated as possible. At this stage, we use the risk management tools of our suppliers as well as build our own instruments. We use data science, third-party resources, and our experience to multiply the level of security. Only an integrated approach allows iGaming providers to prevent risks successfully.
SBC: The SOFTSWISS team uses various complex algorithms to identify suspicious activities and prevent risks. Is a technology-focused approach the way forward when it comes to effective risk management solutions? Or do we still require the human touch?
AK: Only advanced technologies and automation will allow us to develop the Sportsbook further because we need to be one step ahead of players. We need to understand clearly what they will be interested in tomorrow, the day after, and in a few months.
At the same time, we always remember that ‘negative’ players are constantly evolving and always looking for new loopholes. We need to create conditions so that none of the tricks on our projects will work. That’s where technologies help us a lot!
At the same time, risk management systems are aimed at working not with negative players only but also working with positive and VIP players. This work helps the operator to increase the loyalty of this kind of audience. If we quickly determine that players are positive, we give them more opportunities. That’s where we use artificial intelligence. In the meantime, managers are always watching all these mechanisms to ensure that everything is working correctly in real-time.
SBC: What can we expect from the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook team in 2022?
AK: Our Sportbook is developing swiftly thanks to the energy and passion of the whole team. We are expanding our client portfolio very fast, so you will hear about many new brands integrating the Sportsbook very soon. I would even go on to say more: we will multiply our partners’ phase three times shortly. This year is full of technical upgrades as well. We recently introduced our multi-brand back office which allows us to gather statistics and manage different projects in one place. The next step will be to introduce the new CMS system. We’re also working on the mobile app. In addition, we will enrich our bonus treasury with new features because gamification of betting is one of the main goals of the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook!