Jette Nygaard-Andersen: Gambling must learn to champion its customers

Jette Nygaard-Andersen has underlined that global gaming leadership must accept its remit in maintaining a sustainable industry as a “common-sense goal” as incumbents face a decade of new challenges.

The Group CEO of Entain Plc provided the keynote speech, opening the SBC Barcelona Summit, as Entain was placed at the forefront of global news headlines following a $22 billion approach made yesterday by DraftKings Inc.

 Andersen acknowledged developments but remained focused on her keynote of ‘building a customer-led entertainment platform’ to accelerate innovation and change.

As business appears to return to normal, including live events, Andersen stated that it could not reverse the changes that had transformed consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she deemed as  ‘irreversible effects’.

Providing a perspective on her leadership, Andersen stated that she wanted to establish a culture at Entain in which teams “must accept that their units must be responsive to disruptive changes driven by the customer at any given time”. 

In her first observation of the industry, Andersen outlined that igaming incumbents shared common traits with technology and entertainment goliaths such as Amazon, Netflix and Spotify.  Yet the industry’s engagement and product characteristics remained stunted by poor platform management and unsophisticated use of data to engage customers.

“Before joining Entain, I spent 25-years in media and entertainment, observing a period of constant change,” Andersen remarked

“The winners in that market were the companies that connected customers seamlessly across multiple products. From my experience, I am and will always be a champion of the customer, in which I’m obsessed with our business staying relevant to them.”

Relevancy was deemed an overriding objective in how Entain develops proprietary platforms and systems operating multiple brands across diverse geographies.

Underlying its systems with deep data and advanced analytics, Andersen stated that Entain was able to optimise its products, helping its brands cater for individual markets.

She highlighted recent upgrades in Australian horseracing content and the launch of Entain’s in-house slot studio, whose first titles had dominated the igaming performance of the firm’s US BetMGM joint-venture. 

However, the CEO warned that product relevance had to be matched with integrity and trust, in which she believes that qualities are desired by the customer over regulatory pressures.

“I believe that the customer will always play with the companies that show the highest level of integrity and transparency,” she added.

“For gambling, it’s about doing what is right, we have to monitor our customers with scientific research to protect that vulnerable minority from harms – our customers appreciate that.”

Drawing conclusions, Anderson cited that whilst the opening of the US market had seen gambling track at a double-digit growth rate, the industry’s wider technology and entertainment ambitions could not be fulfilled by operators being fragmented on duties and responsibilities.

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