Tim Kennedy, Vice President of Sales for Europe at SUZOHAPP, will speak at SBC’s Betting on Sports Europe in Twickenham this week. Here he talks about the firm and its long-held links with sports betting.
SBC: For those of our readers less familiar with the SUZOHAPP brand, can you tell us more about the company and how it hopes to link with sports betting?
TK: SUZOHAPP has served the gaming, amusement, and sports betting industries as a global manufacturer and distributor of components for over 60 years. In sports betting specifically, the company has been working to help ease the burden of hardware by offering a self-service ecosystem to support the entire life cycle of a bet. As a partner, SUZOHAPP brings our years of experience and relevant expertise to help customers design the best solution to fit their needs. Our ecosystem is fully customizable to allow for total flexibility depending on what works best for our customers.
SBC: You’re scheduled to participate at this week’s Betting on Sports Europe and SBC Summit Barcelona in September. What are your plans for these events and what message will you be taking to delegates there?
TK: We are very excited to be participating in this year’s Betting on Sports Europe and the SBC Summit in Barcelona (and also the SBC Summit North America). I will actually be a speaker for one of the panels at Betting on Sports Europe and will be sharing insight on the latest trends in the sports betting industry on the retail side that we’ve been seeing over the past year.
In terms of a message, we want platform providers and operators to know that retail and hardware shouldn’t be an afterthought but rather can help make an omnichannel experience complete. Coming out of the pandemic, customers have very high expectations of their experiences, but they want to be out and about and in person. It’s up to us to translate their ease of experience in the digital realm to a live, in-person experience that is up to their standards and that starts with design.
SBC: Can you talk more about the new sports betting ecosystem? What were the challenges involved in creating a self-service omnichannel experience for players and what have you learned to help you in that process from working with operators and OEMs?
TK: The SUZOHAPP sports betting ecosystem is designed so that whether at the bar, behind the counter, or on the sports book floor, customers can place their bets how they want, where they want, with minimal impact to operations. Operators have faced major difficulties with staffing coming out of the pandemic. As they add in sports betting, we designed this ecosystem to allow for an entirely new revenue stream that requires little to no additional labour to keep operations running lean and efficiently. In creating this experience, we really had to think outside the box and do our homework to evaluate the different “venues” that a player would want to place a bet in. Anyone can design a terminal and place it in a hallway, but is that really how an end-user wants to place a bet? How does that encourage further betting and enhance the overall experience? Those were the questions that we wanted to provide answers to.
Our experience over the years in gaming has taught us a lot about how hard the end-user is on machinery. Products need to be attractive to get initial play, but they also need to be durable and reliable or they’re not worth the effort for operators. Food and beverage also play a major role in a customers use case so you want to prepare for spills and crumbs and not have it affect your electronics which is not an easy task.
All of this knowledge led to our designs as well as the knowledge that branding is everything when helping differentiate in the market. If an operator can have their brand stand out on a kiosk, it sparks a memory that it’s not just another betting spot that is interchangeable with the next one.
SBC: Talk us through the relationships with your current partners and what they bring to the table?
TK: Our partnerships are really what make SUZOHAPP successful. Over the past couple years in particular, our partnerships with Elo and with Custom printers have allowed for a greater level of flexibility and innovative design to really make our ecosystem of the highest quality with a low total cost of ownership and flexible to customer specifications. Additionally, all products are designed with regulatory in mind with years of experience so can easily pass all certifications and requirements allowing for faster market entry.
SBC: Looking ahead to the rest of 2022, what can we expect to see from SUZOHAPP on the sports betting front and more generally how do you see opportunities shaping up for the sector as a whole?
TK: SUZOHAPP plans to finish 2022 with a bang. On the sports betting front, we hope to launch a new addition to our ecosystem around G2E so definitely stay tuned! Everything in sports betting is moving at a rapid pace so what is true now might be completely different in the next 6 months but we are ready to adapt and fly with the times and are excited for what is to come, whatever it may be.
Tim Kennedy – Vice President of Sales – SUZOHAPP