Cherniak (Scientific Games): “With our Open Sports platform, we have created a one-stop shop product for sportsbook operators”

After the purchase of his company, Don Best, by Scientific Games, Benjie Cherniak, Managing Director for Don Best Sports at Scientific Games Digital, took charge of the digital division to promote the new products of the company, such as the Open Sports platform.

How was the process by which Scientific Games renewed its digital gaming division?
Scientific Games has made a decision to strengthen its digital gaming unit to respond to the advance of sports betting legalization in the U.S. In that sense, the acquisition of Don Best in November 2018 to enhance the OpenBet product aimed to create a stronger Open Sports suite offering. The Open Sports suite has become a very significant priority to SG Digital sportsbook with the emergence of sports betting in the U.S. market. Its offering is a combination of recent acquisition of the company (Don Best) along with our strategy to create a one-stop shop product for sportsbook operators. It allows those operators to have the flexibility they need for increasing their betting proposals for their clients. Now, the sportsbook includes an advanced platform, trading services, marketing services and every other aspect that goes into a sportsbook operation.

Benjie Cherniak, Managing Director, Don Best Sports, Scientific Games Digital.
Benjie Cherniak, Managing Director, Don Best Sports, Scientific Games Digital.

What is your analysis on the current landscape of the sports betting sector in the United States?
The U.S. gaming market experienced a total transformation after the PASPA overturn by the U.S. Supreme Court. One year later, we can analyze some reactions to that historical decision. We have seen a lot of operators really rush to get into the market as quickly as possible. Now, there are many more new entrances into the market. But regarding a long-term approach strategy, this is more in conjunction with our philosophy of a B2B supplier. That long-term approach allows us to present a complete Open Sports solution that can go everywhere, from a turnkey operation to bring certain components in-house for our sportsbook product, based in our developing expertise on this space.

How have customers responded to your company's proposal?
These constant changes in the industry are showing the appearance of new clients with a significant due diligence on the market. The options are available in reference to digital and online sportsbook offerings. Those clients have increasingly been selecting their trusted providers, knowing that Scientific Games Digital can deliver what they need for sportsbook, both in the retail and digital segments.

What goals and challenges is your company projecting for the future?
As I said before, after the initial wave of operators that rushed to come into the market, now people are taking a step back to adopt a long-term approach to the U.S. sports betting business, since it’s still in evolution. We can relate to these latter operators. As each State advances on legalizing the activity, there are new opportunities for us as an organization. We’re going to look at those possibilities on a State-by-State basis and use this experience to decide an overall strategy, not just for the U.S. market, but for our global future plans as well.

What is your opinion regarding the potential of the iGaming industry in Latin America and the Caribbean?
I think that Latin America presents a fantastic opportunity. We’ve seen legislation in Colombia. Some of the infancy stages of online gaming in Colombia have been similar to the iGaming infancy here in the States. There is also activity in Brazil, which is moving towards legislation, or countries such as Argentina, which has a base of passionate sports betting fans. We will surely take those opportunities with our Open Sports proposition. We are already there with our Don Best brand that was acquired by Scientific Games. There are a lot of followers of NBA league in Argentina and Colombia that are eager to bet, as well as baseball fans in Central America. As a consequence of this, we made a number of partnerships with companies in Latin America to provide them with sports betting data and odds to help them strengthen their offerings to their customers.