29.03.2017

Valery Bollier: The number of DFS players will grow exponentially in the near future

Valery Bollier: The number of DFS players will grow exponentially in the near future

The main international forum dedicated to the development of bookmaking in Russia – Betting Trends Forum 2017 – will be held on March 31. As part of the event, a specialized conference will be held, where key players of the market such as major bookmaker offices founders and opinion leaders will make their presentations.

Valery Bollier, the founder and CEO at OulalaGames, is one of the conference speakers. On the eve of the Betting Trends Forum, we met the expert and discussed further development of the betting industry in Russia, as well as important aspects of running this business in European countries.


BTF: What is your estimate of DFS prospects in the world and in Russia?

V.B.: Because Daily Fantasy Sports is, in many countries, in an early phase of its development, it is too early to make relevant predictions about size per market. However, when taking into account that DFS is answering the needs of the new generations, and that in 2020, millennials will represent 50% of the total customers, it is easy to predict that the number of DFS players in the world and in Russia will grow exponentially in the near future.


BTF: Please tell us about the factors that will influence the development of the gaming sector in years to come.

V.B.:  We are currently facing a market revolution because millennials are unwilling to play the way their parents and grandparents did. This is the major game changer because our sector will need to find the courage to adapt its offer accordingly to these new needs. The sector will need to invest in new types of games, invent new business models and learn how to optimize new marketing channels. The gaming sector is facing a great challenge that will represent real opportunities for those who will position themselves first.


BTF: Does regulation hinder the development of DFS in various countries? Does the attitude of authorities towards this field change?

V.B.:  On the Internet, the market always moves far more quickly than legislators. However, in order to develop healthily, any monetized market needs a specific legal frame. For the past two years, we have had multiple discussions with European legislators in order to attempt to convince them that considering DFS as nothing more than a pool betting activity is a serious mistake. For us at Oulala, being a Maltese based company, we were extremely proud when the Maltese Gaming Authority launched the first Skill Game License in Europe only a few weeks ago.

Oulala was the first company to obtain the B2B controlled skill game license. The immediate success of the Maltese license is already convincing other legislators to reconsider their former position and we are very optimistic about the legal evolution of DFS.


BTF: How popular is betting on DFS today?

V.B.:  DFS, being a game of skill and not a game of luck, does not make use of the term “betting”.

The popularity of DFS varies in accordance with geographical factors. Founded in North America, with more than 58 million DFS players in the USA and Canada, it is by far the biggest market today. However, DFS is growing on every continent, as can be seen, for instance, in the fast growing success in India, particularly in cricket, and in Australia.

In Europe, DFS is now becoming the next big thing. Draftkings, one of the major US companies, launched their game in the UK last season and their growth is already very promising. They also recently broke into the German market and will soon move to many other territories.


BTF: Is this type of betting oriented towards young generations or can it attract a broader audience as well?

V.B.:  DFS is the sports betting of the new generation. However, Big Data will cause some serious damage to sports betting. Customers will soon understand that playing against the house, when the house creates the odds and has access to data that helps them know the winners before the match itself is hardly a fair deal for them.
We can therefore rest assured that even some of the +35 market will switch from sports betting to DFS.


BTF: Can bets on DFS become one of the growth drivers for the betting industry?

V.B.:  We have every reason to believe that DFS will be one of the future growth drivers of the iGaming sector. This is because DFS is answering the exact needs of millennials:

  • they are aversive towards playing against the house (and DFS is a market place),
  • they have been raised playing fantastic video games, thus they expect real skill games (and DFS is currently the only one in the iGaming market),
  • they were raised having constant social interaction on their cell phones so they are seeking games that are structurally social games (which is the case in DFS).

BTF: On March 31st, Moscow will host the Betting Trends Forum, where you are going to make a report. Please give us a few words about your presentation.

V.B.:  First of all, I would like to say that I am delighted to be speaking at the Betting Trends Forum in Moscow. Oulala is a DFS game specialized in football, and with the World Cup arriving in two years, Russia is becoming the epicenter of the football world.

During my presentation, I will explain what exactly DFS is and why Big Data is its cornerstone. I will then explain what DFS can offer the iGaming sector and I will finish by explaining that our sector urgently needs to adapt to the new market reality.


Want to listen to the speaker's report and get your questions about running business answered?

Come to Betting Trends Forum 2017 on March 31. Hurry up to find out about key trends and solutions for successful monetization of the bookmaking business in Russia!

Registration is open.

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