SUZOHAPP: Using our European knowledge to fuel US expansion
As the world emerges from the pandemic, SUZOHAPP aims to enhance the in-person sports betting experience for punters who have become accustomed to gambling via their mobile devices.
Speaking to SBC, Todd Sims – Vice President Sales Gaming & Amusement, Americas at SUZOHAPP – explains how the hardware provider is using learnings from the European market to fulfil its US vision.
SBC: First of all, for our readers that don’t know, would you be able to tell us a little bit about what SUZOHAPP does?
TS: SUZOHAPP has served the gaming, amusement, and sports betting industries as a trusted hardware provider for over 30 years. We are a manufacturer and distributor that aims to simplify sourcing challenges by being a single source for all of our customers’ hardware needs.
We are experts in our field with years of industry knowledge to help OEM’s and platform developers design solutions for their casinos, sports books or amusement centers. We also have a portfolio of over 50,000 products to help operators keep their businesses running smoothly with replacement components and upgrades for their games and operations.
SBC: What role does sports betting play in the overall growth of your business?
TS: We have been in the sports betting business in Europe for nearly a decade however mostly focused on supporting component pieces. We’ve recently expanded this offering to include full turnkey solutions where we partner with platform developers and design a complete solution either to their customised needs or using our standard, high quality terminal, tabletop and over-the-counter designs.
Coming out of the pandemic we see a lot of opportunity for growth here as people want to get back out to the pubs and bars and socialise again and want to be able to take the sports betting experience that they’ve been participating in over the past year from a mobile device and engage with it in person. Platforms, now more than ever, need to have an omnichannel experience designed to suit their customers both digitally and in-person.
We are the perfect partners to help platform developers bridge the gap and enter the retail market without really having to deal with the burden of hardware which is likely outside the realm of their expertise and allowing them to keep their focus on the platform itself. We’ve partnered with some key players in this market already and expect to see a lot more in the coming year or so.
SBC: What would you say are your stand-out offerings for European bettors?
TS: To start, our SBT-1000 kiosk is really a showstopper for European betters as the design is sleeker and more attractive than anything else on the market and fully customizable for your brand. The majority of terminals that you see out in the market today are really just small deviations from just being a big black box with little to no consideration being given to form factor or how to step outside the box.
Our knowledge of gaming and how attractiveness really helps games stand out on the casino floor were incorporated into our design and it truly makes a big difference and is more than just a betting box. Continuing in that same thread our SBT-500 is a tabletop unit built with in-game betting in mind specifically where bets are likely to happen most—the bar.
The design includes a “drink-proof” angle so customers aren’t tempted to put their drinks on top of the unit but also includes fully welded seams so if accidents happen, there won’t be any damage to the internal components of the machine.
Betting should be versatile and not just take place away from the screens at a terminal bank and this one-of-a-kind unit really stands apart from what anyone else has in their offering.
SBC: How have these products helped you stand out from the crowd in a market which has become increasingly saturated over the last few years?
TS: As anyone who has worked with us in the past can tell you, we stand by our products because we source only the highest quality components from top-tier, industry-standard partners such as Elo, TransAct, Custom, and more.
With these partners, we are able to provide customers with cutting edge technology at a low total cost of ownership as these products are built to stand the test of time in high-traffic environments. Now, not only are we distributors for these products but we also can create customized designs based on our expert knowledge of the components marketplace to fit the specific needs of customers and integrate them into turn-key hardware solutions that serve as differentiating centerpieces for our customers’ platforms.
SBC: Looking towards the US market, what are your plans for the next few years? What learnings from your experience in Europe can be applied in the US?
TS: We believe that whether at the bar, behind the counter, or on the sports book floor, customers should be able place their bets how they want, where they want. We aim to fulfill this vision by taking our hardware expertise and partnering with platforms to design solutions customised to whatever environment the end-customer might want to bet in.
We know from our experience in Europe that quality and design make a tremendous difference in standing out from the crowd that is simply trying to make as many terminals in the least expensive way possible. Our high-quality partnerships such as Elo and Custom will continue to serve us as we look at incorporating new technologies or finding new formats to showcase betting software.
SBC: What’s your view on the short and long-term future of retail sports betting and its coexistence with online betting, especially considering an omnichannel approach?
TS: As we hopefully emerge from the coronavirus pandemic in the near future, it is clear that platforms need to begin to move to an omnichannel approach that includes retail as people are craving those personal interactions and want to be out in public again.
In the US market, the individual state governments recognise the potential for this revenue and are relaxing restrictions to allow sports betting a wider berth and will continue to do so if the results are beneficial.
This regulatory shift will allow for so much growth and there is an endless amount of potential if the transition to omnichannel is thoughtfully executed with the end customer in mind. We believe our “omni-environment” approach will help those looking for omnichannel experiences and integrations achieve their goals and make the expansion of sports betting into the US retail market successful and we intend to go after that market full speed ahead.