Speaking in the latest issue of Betting Business interactive, Pownall said differentiation is achievable even using ubiquitous slot games. He explained: “There has to be a balance between ‘parity products’ and ‘exclusive products’; as long as you have a good mix of both cost is relatively immaterial – parity products should be good value because they are non-exclusive and those unique to an operator should be driving extra custom because of that fact.”
He also believes that a little bit of innovation in poker can go a long way. He commented: “With poker the problem and the solution are one and the same; the problem is that there’s very little differentiation between the poker operators, therefore, it stands to reason that the one with the biggest liquidity wins. But, as a result, even the smallest differences make you stand out a mile – the vitriol that we were met with when we announced all-site anonymous tables showed us we must be doing something right.
“Remember the outcry from the big bookmakers in the UK when Betfair came on the scene? Without that noise Betfair may not have got noticed by the punters but everybody thought; ‘if the bookies are squealing that much it must be something good!’ Poker used to command a chunk of the market without really trying because it was the new, exciting product on the block now it has to compete with sports, casino, bingo etc.”
Pownall added that Bodog as an organisation is geared up to innovation in a bid to stay ahead of the competition. “Everybody in the company is in R&D and encouraged to bring any and all ideas to the table. Protection is nearly impossible so you just have to make first mover advantage count and be careful not to rush into the next fad.”