Adaptation as a tool for growth
Recently our founder and iGaming visionary entrepreneur Alessandro Fried was interviewed by Revista Casino Peru regarding the impact of the current situation on the industry and the need to adapt to it.
In what way will the current situation impact the gaming industry in the short and medium term, in both online and land-based segments?
The Covid-19 has brought a new reality where operators, especially the retail ones, had to make the decision to shift their entire operations online to avoid serious financial difficulties due to them having no revenue streams. And I firmly believe that the shift that has manifested itself towards the online is not simply a short term mitigation plan but will reshape the industry on the long term. Does this mean that the brick and mortar experience will be a thing of the past? Certainly not. Retail betting shops and casinos will still continue to offer a betting and gambling experience in their own unique way once the situation gets back to normal. On the other hand, throughout these challenging times those operators heavily relying on their retail arm had to seek new measures to expand to the digital channels in the shortest time-to-market to complement the retail offer, thus diversifying their revenue stream whilst also being better placed to retain their current fold of players. And this diversification will be the basis of the industry for years to come.
How are you adapting to this situation?
Having invested a lot in the interconnectivity of all channels, BtoBet had all the means in place to assist its partners to make this transition in an agile way. Through our new retail solution, operators are now able to target their non registered customers and transform them into registered players through a rapid registration process, thus shifting them towards the digital. Throughout the months we had also been expanding all the vertical’s content, thus allowing operators to quickly activate and cross sell new engaging content due to the sportsbook shortfall.
With live sports betting on hold, have other online gambling verticals seen an increase in player engagement?
The halting of practically the entire sports calendar has resulted in operators looking to cross sell other verticals in a bid to maintain their player engagement and mitigate the effects that the sportsbook shortfall would have in terms of revenue. Virtual sports, online casino and lottery have seen significant increases in bet volumes, however the exponential rise in Esports has let industry experts label it as the next big thing.
Statistics published by H2 Gambling Capital foresee the market to generate $862 million in revenue by 2024, growing its share of global betting GGR over the next five years from 1.6% in 2019 to 3.2% by 2024.
One of the main challenges related to esports is related to the technology at hand. Whilst this isn’t the case in some new and mature, such as Europe, the US and Asia, the technological lag found in certain regions of LatAm and Africa will hamper the growth of this vertical in the regions. One must also take into consideration that one profile does not fit all. So whilst esports are particularly strong, and growing significantly across Europe and the US, one should expect a “learning curve” when it comes to particular regions such as LatAm and Africa.