As online sports betting popularity grows, there is great scope for players to share their knowledge with friends and others who would like to learn more.

Francesco Taricone, Betting Experience Innovation Manager at Sisal, explains social betting and what Sisal is doing in this exciting new space.

What trends are you seeing in Italy in the sports betting world now?

We’re seeing huge growth in online betting, which is being driven by the strong presence of live sports on traditional and web TV channels. Over the last few years there has also been an progressively strong connection between betting and social media, which has given rise to a new figure: the betting influencer, aka the Tipster. In an environment where there is increased social network penetration, betting platforms are still lacking in tools and features that allow users to interact whilst betting online. Consequently, Tipster is the answer to ride the most important trends during the last years: 69% of social network penetration and 57% of interactions regarding TV content in Italy are related to sports events.

How does Tipster work?

Tipster is a unique and innovative social betting platform integrated into a sportsbook - the first of its kind. Enhancing the talent of its users by offering them a space to share bets, tips and obtain rewards, the platform allows our customers to follow and learn from the most successful tipsters. Tipster's goal - to build a community where users can share their talent and get involved in a totally new betting experience, whilst always following a responsible gaming model – is powered by its four pillared DNA: playability; sociability; inspiration and commitment.

Tipster is aimed at all groups of players, from the experienced ones who want to showcase their skills, those who wish to improve and those seeking inspiration. Tipster’s mission is to socialise the betting experience, leading by example through a responsible gaming model, where talent and knowledge ensure an entertaining and safe approach.

Could you describe your responsible gaming model and how it applies to social betting?

Sisal's Responsible Gaming program, has been certified by and aligns with the highest standards of The European Lotteries (EL) and the World Lottery Association (WLA) since 2011. It uses a scientific approach to analyzing a customer’s profile - including psycho-behavioral analysis - to produce profiles /clusters that are recognized by the scientific community.

This forms the basis for activating the correct mitigation actions based on individual behaviors, and regardless of a specific gaming or social betting context.

Our model is constantly evolving. It examines user behavior with targeted research conducted in partnership with the most prestigious and well-respected Italian universities and relies on the support of:

  1. Artificial Intelligence Tool (Algorithm - PGSI based) for evolutionary development and continuous improvement of performance aimed at identifying risky gambling behavior.
  2. Working Groups, which form the backbone of the project by directly involving individual company functions and allowing an exchange between business and Responsible Gaming.
  3. A strategic direction and operational feedback from the Scientific Coordination Committee on Responsible Gaming.

What kind of functions does it have?

Tipster has a range of unique and innovative features: a personal profile for every user; an advanced social interaction functionality providing users with the option to follow other tipsters and to be followed, or to add reactions and interact; a real-time tips feed (‘the tipstream’); monthly rankings and challenges; special events and a loyalty program for the best tipster.

How are you getting customers to engage more and share their tips?

We get customers involved more, by offering a complete and engaging betting experience. They can copy and bet in one-click, with a real-time tips feed and a sophisticated filter system to get what they want. Moreover, there are monthly rankings and special events where they can prove their skills and receive recognition amongst the best tipsters in the community.

How do you think social betting is going to evolve in the coming years?

Tipster's strategy is customer-centric, tailored to users’ needs and is evolved with them in mind. Core to Tipster is the daily focus on innovation, to ensure the continuous enhancement of the consumer experience and product features; and promotion, through incentives for different user profiles and stages of the journey to the trial to reward the most followed or inspirational tipster. These two areas of focus must guide the evolution of social betting in the coming years.