In this year-end retrospective episode, CEO, Nick Hogan, and VP of Professional Services, Don Retzlaff, discuss the company's Top Ten Insights of 2022.



At ReelMetrics we collect and analyze a ton of slot data and we’re hit up frequently for insights, tips and tricks. So we decided to do a webcast in which we present, discuss and otherwise nerd out on our work. Coming to you from our offices in lovely Leiden in the Netherlands, welcome to ReelCast.

Good morning, Don. How are things in Purina country?


Good morning, Nick. Things are going to get real cold here today. It’s supposed to be minus five Fahrenheit.


Yeah, I saw my dad is in northeastern Nebraska. Those guys were at minus, I think 12 last night.


That’s silly.


Not pleasant. Not pleasant. Not pleasant. How Midwestern are we that we begin every one of these things with a discussion of the weather?


Yeah. Forget world events, let’s do weather events.


Okay. It’s late December here, 22nd of December we have a World Cup behind us. As an American living in Europe, each time the Cup rolls around, I get a lot of questions from Europeans about the sport’s popularity in the United States.

So I’ve made a bit of a habit of monitoring American viewership figures for the finals. I pulled some Nielsen data yesterday. So, here’s what we have.

Let’s see. 2022, France versus Argentina, 26 million American viewers. 2018, France versus Croatia, 17.8 million. 2014, Germany v. Argentina, the highest ever recorded, 27.3 million. 2010, Spain versus the Netherlands, 24.7 million. And 2006, Italy versus France, 18.9 million. Famously the match in which Zinedine Zidane headbutted that Italian dude.

So going into this tournament, the average was 22.2 million. This year’s viewership represents, it looks like an 18% increase relative to that mean, but also then a 5% decrease relative to that 2014 record.

Now, I haven’t seen much in the way of aggregate American sports betting numbers, but we both looked at some geolocational data that showed American online World Cup betting was second only to the Super Bowl in terms of the number of those placing wagers.

So, it was 35% higher than the NBA final, 39% higher than the NCAA final and 76% higher than the Stanley Cup.

Now it was only a third of those who wagered on the Super Bowl, but I must say I was pretty shocked to see it in that second fiddle position.

Now mind you, I’ve not correlated these data with anything. And as legalized sports betting is pretty new to the US, there’s not a great basis for trendlines here.

So, take these data with a grain of salt, but if they are to be believed, there does indeed appear to be a modest uptick in popularity.

I think everybody is going to be watching this very closely. As we all know, there is some very big money in football.

So, some interesting stats there. I’m always interested to see where Americans are going with football. Don, anecdotally, do you find a lot more people becoming interested in this?


Oh, absolutely. It grows year by year. Living in St. Louis, it’s always been a soccer hotbed.


Oh, is that right? I didn’t know that.


Oh yeah, yeah. Soccer’s really big in St. Louis. Matter of fact, we get our MLS team here this year. They just released our schedule this weekend.

They start playing here in late February, for the first time. We have an expansion team. Yeah. Soccer is really popular.

If you went to the different restaurants around town this weekend, they had signs posted on the doors saying that, “We will be open early so we can show the World Cup match,” at a lot of the sports bars and stuff.


Yeah, cool. How’d you do?


Especially since in US time, that was a morning match. So it wasn’t exactly a prime time five o’clock in the afternoon Super Bowl. The match was done at noon here in St. Louis.


Okay. Yeah. How’d you do on your wagers?


I did okay. I bet Argentina pre-World Cup. Then I bet them again after their odds went up, after they got beat by Saudi Arabia.

I almost had a really nice score because I parlayed them with Messi to win the Golden Boot.

With 10 minutes left I was winning that bet. And then in overtime I was winning the bet until [inaudible 00:05:00]


A certain 23-year-old Frenchman just shot that down the toilet.


Oh my gosh. Yeah. He scores a hat trick, so I ended up losing by a goal. But an unbelievable match. It was so much fun to watch.


Yeah. There were a number of great ones. Croatia versus Netherlands was… or excuse me, Croatia versus Brazil, that was a hell of a match. That Netherlands versus Argentina was a good one too. So yeah, indeed. Lots of fun.

Okay. So here we are, episode four. Before we get started, a few housekeeping items. First, we’d love to tackle any questions that anyone listening may have.

So, if you have a question about what we’re presenting or something you’d like us to present, please drop us an email at Again, that’s

Our policy is to keep all questions anonymous, so please speak directly and don’t worry about us revealing your identity. We do not do that.

Secondly, and on that note, we have another question or in this case a request. This comes from a slot VP in the Western US who asks, “Hey guys, any chance you’d be up for doing a retrospective on your most interesting discoveries of the year? Great show. We’re actually using this stuff.”

That’s great to hear. Thank you for that. In answer to your question, sure, we’d be happy to do that.

So based on your request, Don and I have assembled a list here, the top 10 insights of 2022. Don, you ready to get at this?

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