Andy Clerkson, Voxbet: Why the US is lagging behind Europe on betting tech

Standing out from the competition is a key goal and challenge of any operator, but the US poses more hurdles to this than other markets according to Andy Clerkson.

Speaking to SBC at Betting on Sports Europe (BOSE), the Voxbet Strategic Advisor explained why the emerging North American online betting space needs to make improvements on its tech support. 

“One of the things that we’ve noticed in the US is that nearly all of the apps have taken the European design model, which means the European navigation model.

“Probably to get out quickly and to save on technology time, they’ve taken what we’ve known here in Europe for many years. At Voxbet we don’t think that that’s the best way to navigate anymore.

Clerkson explained that a common website layout in the US follows the model adopted in Europe for many years, but is being updated by many, which he compared to the ‘old Yahoo’ style – with menus, and submenus, requiring extensive navigation. 

“We think that the US is an interesting opportunity because they haven’t actually developed the apps anymore then we have,” he continued.  

“You would have thought that a new market with the kind of technology experience there is in the US, they would have developed a different way for betters to place bets – but they haven’t.

“There’s a big opportunity and there’s a huge market, but I don’t think they’ve advanced in terms of technology.”

Despite the opportunities given the size and scope of the US market, Clerkson further explained that this was not Voxbet’s main focus for 2022, partly due to the technological factors outlined above. 

The US, he continued, has a ‘patchwork of states’ that are heavily geolocated, something which has created an issue for Voxbet due to the need to cross jurisdictional boundaries.

Voxbet’s tech in question is betting software designed to enable customers to easily place a bet either via a text message or by speaking out their selection, such as the choice of horse in a race and the stake. 

The company’s product has so far been leveraged by operators in Europe such as the UK Tote Group, but although Voxbet has been in discussions with US firms, Clerkson reiterated that North America was not its priority. 

“We have had some conversations with US companies, because they’re obviously going to move forward and over the next few years the regulations will change, but at the moment, we’re really focused on Europe, Africa, and Australia, where the technology can be more easily integrated,” he added.

Emerging markets are also a key target for Voxbet, with Latin America identified by the company as an area with strong growth potential, as well as Africa, whilst the more mature Australian market also poses opportunities. 

As mentioned previously, Voxbet has partnered with the UK Tote Group, whilst Clerkson also pointed to the success of its agreement with PMU in France, with the app proving popular with some horse racing bettors.

“It’s very easy for horse racing punters, who usually have they’ve done their research and know the horses they want to put on, to get those bets on

“We’ve seen a tremendous uplift in the amount of bets placed through Voxbet per individual. We’ve seen in France place over 160 bets per month per customer using this app because once people got used to it they didn’t have to go back to that old navigation. 

“They did their research, they knew their horses, and they can easily place it back with us. We see those markets where there is huge demand for horse racing as very good, but also emerging markets which haven’t developed the older apps.”

Looking forward, Clerkson maintained confidence in Voxbet’s USP as ‘the fastest way from when you think about a bet to when you place a bet’, based on its experience in established markets and plans for a rollout in both emerging and mature ones.

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