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Joe McCallum, Yolo Group CEO on the growth of crypto gambling

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Joe McCallum, who was a member of William Hill’s young online team, is now the managing director at Yolo Entertainment. He hopes to apply what he has learned to Yolo’s Sportsbet.io, and Bitcasino, brands. He tells Robin Harrison that the goal is to bring cryptocurrency gambling to the mainstream.

Yolo Group’s business, which is looking to introduce cryptocurrency gambling in the mainstream market, may find that more than 30 years at William Hill was an odd training ground. Joe McCallum, managing director at Yolo Entertainment and responsible for Sportsbet.io, Bitcasino, can claim to be a pioneer in a brand new gambling category.

Crypto gambling is also a growing industry. McCallum, who initially thought he would be at Sportsbet.io for only three months in 2017, was surprised to see that the company had a net gaming revenue of EUR22,000 after just one month. In 2022 the NGR was up to EUR181m. Bitcasino will have a much higher contribution in the more lucrative igaming sector.

William Hill and Yolo Group is not a big leap

McCallum, who spent a short time in the police service, worked his way through William Hill’s ranks. McCallum worked as a district manager, shop manager, and then rolled out the retail technology programs across all retail outlets. He then moved to the online world, where he led the development of the website for the company.

He believes that betting shops can be community centers. It was strange for him to move to the head office and work with employees who did not interact with customers.

Joe McCallum, MD of Yolo Entertainment in Glasgow began his career as a gaming professional at William Hill.

McCallum says that if you hire someone who comes from the service industry they have interacted with clients and can see how players react. This is very important. “We always say that we put our customers at the center of everything, but it’s important to be engaged with the product you are selling.”

Yolo Group is a crypto gambling company that focuses on the customer’s experience. It may be one of the world’s most prominent operations. He says that we are now living in the TikTok era, and he is not creating betting or casino sites for people over 62 years old. I need to build a website for those aged 25-35, and with crypto added into the mix.

Yolo encourages its employees to utilize the website and use cryptocurrency. In the canteen at Yolo’s headquarters, you pay with crypto. Last year we ran a World Cup incentive program where everyone got paid using crypto.

It’s only a matter of bringing it to everyday life.

Crypto-gambling and the Crypto-curious

Adoption is a result of bringing cryptocurrencies to everyday life, but its magnitude cannot be understated.

McCallum says his son “was amazed” that he was able to use money from a cryptocurrency wallet to purchase a beverage at the Grand National. The awareness gap exists even with younger generations.

Engaging the crypto-curious will be key to Yolo’s growth

How do we create the ability to teach new customers?

There will be a group of people who are already using crypto but others may not be able to do so yet.

Yolo’s staff is under pressure to use the system more. If they can understand how it works, they will be able to attract new users.

It is a big task to get people to switch from fiat money to crypto-betting. McCallum acknowledges that this is ambitious. We’re targeting the crypto-curious — people who’ve heard about it, but may not know exactly what it is.

What Yolo Group did to drive education through partnerships

The Premier League partnership plays a major role in the Yolo Group’s educational efforts. Sportsbet.io is featured on Championship Club Southampton’s shirt and has previously been partnered with Arsenal and Watford.

He says, “It’s interesting to know that the Premier League is a very competitive league.” Southampton was the top-ranked fan in a survey that asked how knowledgeable fans are about crypto. This shows that our partnership has been successful in spreading the word.

Sportsbet.io’s agreement with Southampton is a partnership rather than a sponsorship, McCallum says

Yolo, as part of the Watford agreement, put the Bitcoin Logo on the sleeves of the club’s shirts. McCallum remembers that “people were asking what it meant, and it provoked a response.” Even on the field, other teams asked what it was. So the players educated each other on crypto.

He is very cautious to refer to these partnerships as such, and not sponsorships. You’re dealing the heritage of the club, so there’s an element of accountability in what you are allowed to do.

Southampton’s fans, for instance, were initially resistant to the partnership. A fan survey conducted after the first year found that 17% of respondents were in favor of the Yolo partnership. In year two, that number rose to 68%.

McCallum says the key to increasing acceptance is to focus more on engaging content created in partnership with clubs, than simply pushing betting. They have produced video series on mental health, responsible gambling and Bitcoin treasure hunting. Even the pitchside LED advertisements were in team colors.

All of it comes down to the core goal, which is growing the crypto-community through Yolo. McCallum says that Blackstone has been investing and advocating crypto for three years, but now they are changing their tune.

Building Trust in the Crypto Community

Yolo’s fan engagement indicates that the company is looking to grow its audience. To reach this point, it was even more important to establish trust within the crypto community.

McCallum says, “There is a moment where you have to consider who your customer is and what they are looking for. You also need to think about how to get them trusting you.” The Bitcoin Forum was our first stop. “When I joined, we were all rated’scammers’.”

He says it was crucial to change the rating. For me, it’s about how to make the customer a brand advocate.

McCallum learned what the end users wanted by analyzing their behavior. The site is fast, has a quick payment resolution and provides good customer service when something goes wrong.

He says, “When we ask our customers what they think, we listen to their feedback and take appropriate action. Then we go back to them, showing the results of that action.” When there is a problem, we will acknowledge it and run a campaign to let the customer know that they didn’t receive what was expected. We’ll also offer some kind of compensation.

McCallum continues, “I think that the public in today’s day-and-age respect customer service that acknowledges what they get wrong.” What is its rating now on the Bitcoin Forum? It is important to give the highest rating possible.

Rip-offs and schemes

The revenue for 2022 indicates that crypto gambling has not yet reached the mainstream. McCallum was hired when crypto gambling was still associated with shady deals and scams.

Yolo Group is a global company that wants to make a difference in the crypto world. McCallum says that the activity of players is more visible. McCallum says that he can track player activity as soon as they are on the blockchain. “I do not know your name, but I can see where your wallet is. I also know what you have in there and where it’s spent.

McCallum says that a company’s increased visibility in customer activities will help it to set higher standards of responsible gambling. McCallum believes that it is a matter of corporate responsibility, not just regulatory.

It’s down to businesses such as Yolo Group to prove Cryptocurrencies are legitimate and sustainable tokens, mccallum argues

He says, “You have to keep in mind that you are looking for people who will work with you. Let’s be honest, crypto and gambling is a double-whammy of things many people do not want to touch.”

How do we get people to work for us?” We act responsibly. We’re leading the way in promoting responsible gambling.

Yolo is the beginning of a movement that will spread to other crypto gambling sites. Others are looking to copy or imitate the safer gambling standards, and users see Bitcasino.io and Sportsbet.io sites as legit operators.

The idea was that we were all growing together, and if anyone got a bad reputation we would all suffer.

Uber Moment Building crypto ?

The scale of the Yolo Group certainly contributes to this legitimacy. The group includes B2B companies such as Hub88 and live dealer specialist Bombay, along with a range of investment opportunities through Yolo Investments.

McCallum, with its customer-facing brands for instance, acts as a “friendly customer” to B2B suppliers by distributing content and products. This generates income and allows the service to be showcased for third-party clients. What works in crypto gambling can also work in fiat.

Yolo Group’s ambassadors range from World Cup winners and afropop stars to cricket legends

It works in Brazil with Sao Paolo, Flamengo and local football clubs, similar to the partnership it has with Southampton. Former Brazil International Denilson also serves as a Global Ambassador for Sportsbet.io. He also admits that fiat regulations are coming in the market, which “doesn’t work completely for crypto”.

McCallum tells us that “we have an internal discussion about what defines a market – whether it is a geographical area or a cryptocurrency.” There are parties who ask whether to focus on the local community or the cryptocurrency, and if it’s better to target one region.

All of it comes down to building up to the “Uber Moment” when crypto is a part of everyday life. You think it’s impossible to get in a strangers’ car, regardless of culture. Once you start doing it, the habit becomes widespread.

The tipping point is not far away, if you look at the size of Yolo Group. McCallum, however, is up for the challenge. McCallum has moved far from the betting shops of Glasgow but is still determined to find new ways for people to get involved in their community.

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