The coronavirus has halted a variety of industries, whilst pushing others into a period of financial instability. Yet as the world adapts to the ‘new normal’, so does the betting industry.
Operators and suppliers alike are getting creative to mitigate long-term business repercussions. With that in mind, Max Dubossarsky, Chief Operating Officer of Betinvest, wrote for SBC News to explain how his company has been forced to deal with the ongoing crisis.
Our lives are now reflected in numbers like never before. Human lives and financial losses are at stake in every city, nation and in society at large, all over the world. Coronavirus has reminded us that amidst current developments, businesses can’t afford to be out of touch. Their challenge is to keep ahead of these changes and introduce fast, relevant solutions without being afraid to take drastic action.
The sports industry is facing an unprecedented situation: the cancellation of practically all sports events, from national competitions to international tournaments. On one level, this has taken a real toll on sports events organisers, the athletes themselves and the fans. On another level, the sports betting industry has also suffered, since bets on traditional sports is one of its main offers.
In times like these, it is more important than ever to show flexibility and fresh thinking, to consider other areas of business and develop those that have not previously been a priority. What does that involve, and what advice can we offer?
First of all, have confidence:
We come across new demands every day. One of the main challenges is to keep our cool when considering and making decisions, while also staying on good terms with our colleagues and clients. We have all turned our home into an office for now. While working remotely it’s important to have a sense of confidence and support. This is why we are always in touch with our colleagues, clients and partners, not just about business matters. Our clients can be sure that we’ll pull through these challenging times together, and we’ll do everything we can to support them.
Secondly, offer variety:
Betinvest creates products and introduces solutions according to trends in the industry and key requests from end users. The crisis is pushing us to take a look around and understand which direction we need to move in. It’s true that traditional sports betting is temporarily on hold, but the industry won’t cease to exist because of this.
We’re giving sports fans the chance to cheer for their favourite players or teams in digital form: eFootball, eBasketball, eTennis, eHockey, and more. They can select a stream played by skilled gamers and enjoy the match, while those who like a thrill can play online slot games with immersive plots and advanced graphics. The demand for esports has also increased in these challenging times.
There was interest in esports previously: we saw the popularity of esports among millennials and Gen Z several years ago in Asia and America and began to work on our esports offer back then. But today, more and more young players across the globe are choosing esports, which supports the findings of research conducted by Two Circles, NewZoo, 2CV, etc.
As such, our clients can get a complex eSportsbook containing the most popular events and which is not just relevant, but is also time-tested. Our message on the above is: expand your offer with relevant products and solutions that will be appealing to your players and easily adaptable for you, the operator.
And thirdly, use your creativity:
Remember that gambling is, first and foremost, part of the entertainment industry. Our overall goal, as a part of this industry, is to make people’s lives more exciting. Every aspect of gambling is part of the cultural practices and leisure activities of different generations. In these times of isolation, we therefore need to call on our creativity and present new ideas to take the edge off the situation and enable people to have some fun.
It’s no secret that sports and cultural events have been suspended and the biggest, most highly anticipated events such as the UEFA European Championship and the Tokyo Olympics have been postponed to 2021. In addition to these, international events outside of the sporting world have also been postponed to later this year, including various festivals, tournaments and exhibitions.
We believe that in the coming months, issues surrounding coronavirus will be resolved, social isolation measures will come to an end and the sporting world will gradually get back into full swing. But we can’t be sure that international borders will be open.
According to preliminary reports from the media, a number of countries are considering keeping their borders closed to tourists until 2021 because of the risk of causing another outbreak of the virus. What’s more, there’s no guarantee that even some time after social isolation measures end, there won’t still be restrictions on mass gatherings.
There are at least two conclusions that we can draw from this: 1) If the decision to close borders to tourists is taken in a lot of countries, there won’t be any international events taking place in 2020.
2) It is entirely possible that the sports industry will place restrictions on national tournaments, but the rules surrounding going to stadiums and other venues will change.
Even these potential scenarios as to how events will unfold lead us to believe that sports events will start to be reintroduced gradually, but that digital events will play a key role in the sports and betting industry in particular. Creativity is needed to bridge the gap between offline and online events without affecting the end product, ensuring that it remains simple and accessible.
We are already seeing promising examples of how this will work. Such as, online gambling exhibitions with virtual stands, conference halls and the opportunity to have “meetings” with representatives from various companies in online meeting rooms. Even racing tournaments, recreated entirely in virtual reality and streamed on British television will be integral.
Don’t be afraid to change direction and try out something new. Each day brings with it a need for change: react to today’s issues swiftly and with courage.