During the webinar held by Continent 8 Technologies, leaders of top companies operating in the gambling industry told attendees about their experience of dealing with the pandemic effects on their services and the changes in the betting sector caused by COVID-19.
News about the betting market during the lockdown was disappointing for both players and operators. The lack of sports events made bettors consider alternative markets and sports. This became an opportunity for bookmakers to add new products to their offers and be more innovative and creative.
Operators faced many challenges during the lockdown
John Coleman, CEO at Microgaming, reviewed the challenges, which had been peculiar to the sports betting market during the pandemic. According to him, the main one was that company owners had to deal with remote managing of employees and recruitment. In addition to this, they faced many technological challenges.
Speaking about positive trends that began to thrive due to the pandemic, experts said that it had given a boost to e-commerce. Although this sector was developed in the US even before the pandemic, the lockdown increased its rate anyways. As for gambling types that had got the second life during 2020, speakers named poker, esports, and fantasy sport. They confirmed that the lack of traditional sports competitions had made customers get interested in betting on esports and leagues of the countries located in the middle of nowhere. Not only bettors but operators as well felt the necessity of changes. Land-based operators understood that the online sector leads the business, and they had to use this opportunity.
What changes did the pandemic bring to US sports betting?
As was mentioned above, the pandemic caused the influx of land-based companies to digital. Shimon Akad, COO at Playtech, has said that the US has the biggest opportunity in terms of online betting. Customers are much more adaptive and switch to online fast. The expert has also emphasized the importance of technological innovation for those who want to be market leaders. It is necessary to embrace innovation within a business. Data is a very powerful thing to implement, and it is a good idea to invest in it. It helps to analyze players’ behavior, detect problem gamblers and send them messages about responsible gaming at the right time. This protects an operator and a player.
Yaniv Sherman, SVP of Commercial Development at 888, has continued this topic, adding that the US has a tremendous capacity for introducing something new. Data usage allows gambling companies to deliver a seamless customer experience and create trust between a services provider and a player.
The webinar speakers have also touched on the problem of betting regulations in the US. The regulated market brings many challenges, and the US is a specific country in terms of gambling law. The Wire Act makes sports betting not an easy vertical to operate. It is difficult but regulators need to find a balance between responsible gaming, taxes, and businesses’ needs. At the same time, several other regions have a big potential for the creation of a regulated market. According to Shimon Akad, they are Eastern Europe and Latin America.
In conclusion, experts have said that there is a high probability that 2021 will be the same as 2020. Operators should be ready to overcome obstacles and adopt new products and technologies to stay afloat.
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