Yury Mikhaylov, Sales Director CIS at BetGames.TV, has shared information regarding the work of the representatives of the gambling industry during the quarantine caused by COVID-19.
Yury, it’s no secret to anyone that the gambling industry has been as much affected by the pandemic as any other market. Nevertheless, many providers have noticed a significant increase in traffic. How can you comment on this? Will quarantine aggravate the situation of companies or it can, on the contrary, help them get a second wind?
You are absolutely right, today online operators have faced two opposite trends. The first one is an increase in traffic due to the closure of offline business and the transfer of customers to online sites. Besides, on home quarantine, players have more free time that they spend gambling. The second trend is a decline in demand for online services of betting companies due to a sharp drop in the number of sporting events.
As a result, we see a rapid increase in demand. This was especially true for our product, as we accept bookmakers' bets on the outcomes of events that we offer, which we independently form in our studios in Vilnius. Today we offer ten different games, including those licensed as state lotteries. It is a great opportunity for those who are used to making bets, playing the lottery or feeling like a player at a gambling establishment.
Unfortunately, following the recession in the economy caused by the spread of the virus and quarantine measures, we expect a decline in solvent demand. Therefore, we recommend our partners a series of measures that will compensate for losses in a similar scenario and retain players.
In any case, the market position of the company will largely depend on the right strategy in such a situation. There is only one recommendation: do not forget that after the pandemic, the period for recovery will come, and now it is necessary to lay the foundation for future growth.
You must have heard some say the current situation with coronavirus is a good lesson for humanity. What can this situation teach gambling market players? What important conclusions can they draw?
Perhaps humanity will really get a good lesson, but it would be better if it were not at the cost of human lives. As for our market, those who have diversified their business, developed it simultaneously in different markets, used new technologies, invested money in workers who, in times of crisis, are ready to support their employer, have turned out to be the most adapted.
I hope that the rest of the companies will be able, having studied the successful experience of colleagues in the market working in a crisis, to learn lessons and adjust their business accordingly.
What do you think, what qualities should an online gaming services provider have to adequately survive this period, without significant financial loss?
A competent distribution of resources provided they are limited and the ability to focus on the basic foundations of any business come to the forefront. You need to understand that people do business; they are the main potential of any company. Our sales offices are located in different parts of the world. One of my colleagues has been working for three weeks from the “hottest” spot on the planet – Milan, another one – from South Africa, the third one is now in Spain. Thanks to the organizational talent of Richard Hogg, our Chief Commercial Officer, who himself is in the UK, we are in touch with each other every day: we share relevant information, arrange brainstorming sessions, discuss product promotion cases and support of our partners during this difficult time.
Of course, like all responsible companies, we have started to work remotely; since the communication scheme has been worked out well before, this does not create any difficulties now.
And the second thing I would single out is taking care of your partners! For everyone, this is a difficult situation and we need to support each other. Therefore, you can temporarily postpone the contract and the conditions specified in it – try to be understanding towards your clients who find themselves in a complicated situation, and overcome all the difficulties together, further strengthening the partnership, which in the future, after all the hardships, will make it possible to achieve great success.
Do you consider this a good chance for companies to learn how to quickly adapt their product to any market conditions? Did you have to change something in your company in order to maintain the level of sales that was before the pandemic?
Of course, you can try to quickly change and adjust something. But if you in a calm environment have not managed to create a company that can quickly and flexibly respond to any changes in the market, then the chances of achieving this are close to zero now. And this is a lesson for many.
From what we have had to change in our company, this is the prompt introduction of strict quarantine measures. Even before the official recommendations, we have introduced control over the observance of quarantine and measures to ensure the epidemiological safety of our employees. All other processes are running smoothly and are clearly regulated by internal instructions and the requirements of the law.
Gambling is an area of business in which the provider is not entitled to any changes at its discretion, even in circumstances of force majeure. We are not entitled to even the smallest changes in the process, as we guarantee our users the transparency of doing business and compliance with standards. As a result, we have not only maintained the level of sales but also have managed to increase it by several times.
To summarize: are coronavirus and quarantine still good or evil for the gambling industry and its further development?
I would say that coronavirus and quarantine are a clear evil for our customers, our players, and therefore evil for our company. The worse our customer feels, the worse it is for us in the end. I think that the overwhelming majority of my colleagues agree with this. The industry will receive a painful blow and not all companies will be able to recover from it. I hope that experience in today's conditions will give impetus to the development of the online sector in which our company operates. In the end, not a single case of transmission of the virus through the screen of a smartphone has been found yet!
Classic gambling will not disappear anywhere, like excitement will never disappear. Demand will recover. The smart ones will draw conclusions and with new forces, they will build the gambling industry. I hope it will be done with even greater social responsibility, as is the case with BetGames.TV, which reinvests most of its income in social projects and the human potential of its employees.
Well, the main wish to colleagues – stay healthy!
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