Sergey Portnov of Parimatch is to kick off the Sport in Focus track at this year’s Betting on Sports conference.

Betting on Sports

Portnov will be discussing the huge potential for mixed martial arts now that the fledgling sport – if only in a betting sense – has built up such a big global following.

Sport in Focus is one of four tracks held on the first full day (September 18) of SBC’s flagship conference, which takes place at Olympia London on September 17-20.

Parimatch has significantly expanded its brand profile through the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the largest MMA promotion company in the world, having signed both Conor McGregor and Alexey Oleynik as brand ambassadors in 2019.

Following Portnov to the stage will be Pinnacle trading director Marco Blume, rated as one of the best speakers from last year’s event, as he joins a panel about esports – “the major sport you are not carrying” – alongside the likes of Brett Abarbanel, director of research at UNLV International Gaming Institute, and Serge Vardanyan, founder and CEO at Win.

The third of seven Sport in Focus sessions will debate how operators can plan for the biggest European football championships in 2020. OPAP sports betting and trading director Thanos Rigas and Kindred Group head of sportsbook Erik Backlund are already confirmed for this session, alongside Jens Nielsen, sports betting director at Danske Spil.

Cricket will take centre stage first up after lunch, with a discussion over which operators made best use of the sport's shop window summer in which both the World Cup and Ashes come to England.

Horse racing is next on the agenda as industry experts assess the robustness of the starting price and the penultimate session will analyse the impact of the data blackout at the lowest level of professional tennis.

The final furlong of the track will turn back to the racing family, but this time with a nod to greyhounds.