Though various mitigation measures addressing a wide variety of circumstances have come to the fore during recent weeks, many questions still remain as global firm’s begin to seek a digital solution during increasingly difficult times.

A variety of these will be addressed in depth later this month as 140 industry experts share insights on a number of difficult and crucial discussion areas at the SBC Digital Summit, to be held across five days from 27 April – 1 May 2020.

With travel and working restrictions severely limiting interconnection, delegates are to hear from the betting and gaming industry’s leading CEOs about how they are dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak and beyond.

Itai Zak, CEO of GoWild Gaming, is one such participant, offering insight on day two’s ‘Leadership in Gaming’ track on a panel entitled ‘Gaming – The Industry’s Lifeline’.

“Mike Tyson once said that ‘everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth’ and COVID-19 has been like a punch to all our mouths,” Zak said began on how the current situation has changed the industry.

“COVID-19 is a once in a lifetime pandemic, and as such you can never really plan for something like this. Such a situation possesses lots of challenges and difficulties, but also brings opportunities for those who know to adapt really fast to the new situation.

“There is no doubt that the majority of the negative impacts are being seen by the land-based casinos who are currently closed, and such scenarios will certainly speed up their transition over to online with the aim to mitigate losses. 

“Companies will be forced to be more efficient”

“Also sportsbook operators and suppliers are being heavily impacted by COVID-19 and it forces them to adapt their product quickly by introducing more verticals beside those of the traditional sportsbook such as online casino, live dealer based products and potentially poker and bingo.

“Marketing and CRM teams will need to truly innovate and use proper analytics, BI and launch innovative campaigns to cross sell their existing customers into other available product verticals and acquiring new customers.”

Before adding on what long-term changes are envisaged as a direct result of the current situation: “In the long term land-based casinos will be open again and sports events will be back. No doubt about it.

“However the industry will not be the same. Certain trends which might already be taking place before the COVID-19 will be accelerated, such as the switch into using mobile more and more as well as the transition of land-based casinos to the online in order to create additional revenue streams.

“Sportsbook only or primary focused operations will put more focus on other product verticals. We are likely to see increased M&A taking place with the primary focus of cost saving and creation of synergy between companies.

“Companies will be forced to be more efficient, look for cost saving and have a true global, multi-channel and multi product strategy in order to minimise their dependency in physical location/presence and in one product (sportsbook).”

Many organisations worldwide have documented measures implemented, or those soon to be done so, with employee welfare, safer gambling, digital enhancements and product diversification among those most common factors. 

This position allows us even to invest more, diversify into more geographical markets and expand our geographical presence”

Zak explained concerning plans implemented to mitigate impacts across both the short and long term: “Short term, like many other companies we put the safety of our employees at the top of our priorities and as a leading tech driven operation we already had in place a business contingency plan, together with the technology that allows us to switch to remote work quickly and in an efficient way. Fortunately, our business is pure online and not sportsbook driven so we are seeing less impact at the moment on our business. 

“This position allows us even to invest more, diversify into more geographical markets and expand our geographical presence. We were also very quick in launching new products, such as innovative scratch cards and live dealer, and adapted our marketing and CRM strategy to handle the growing demand for our offering. 

“We have also launched a new innovative brand with a unique offering which is being received very well by our players and partners and we are positioned in a good place to sustain our growth once things will be back to normal.“

Zak’s discussion topic at the Digital Summit is to take place at 9:45am – 10:30am (UK) and will be done so alongside Alexander Stevendahl, CEO of Videoslots, Ariel Reem, CEO of Genesis Group and Alex Tomic, CEO of Slotsmillion.

The SBC Digital Summit includes seven conference tracks in-total focused on Leadership in Betting, Leadership in Gaming, the Latin American market, lotteries, payments, the US market and digital marketing.

Online conferences and summits are becoming crucial and extremely important”

“Online conferences and summits are becoming crucial and extremely important as this becomes the main option to really connect with relevant suppliers, colleagues and partners during these days,” Zak explained. 

“As we are all adapting our business strategy and product strategy we must also adapt that of marketing and branding strategies, and in this respect I think that SBC’s initiative in launching the SBC Digital Summit Is highly appreciated. 

“I am looking forward to this event with the main purpose of (virtually) meeting industry executives, collaborating and exchanging views on the best way to cope with the situation and keeping an eye on new products and solutions which are being launched during this period.”

Find full details of the SBC Digital Summit, including information about how to register and discounts available on company group passes at the event’s official website:

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