Director of iGaming Performance Paul McNea has expressed the “obvious” need for a change in the industry mindset in regards to innovation in technology due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking on day-three of the SBC Digital Summit, McNea stated that if there is to be a “new normal” post-COVID which is significantly different then companies which act the way they have in the past will suffer: “It’s obvious now something has to change.

“My particular view is that innovation and driving efficiencies now have to be at the forefront of what companies have to do, not on a 12 month road map but within the next three to six months.”

McNea was joined on the panel by Robert Urwin, CEO of Odds Bods, Jeremy Cornwall, global sales leader at Braintree and Martin Clarke, director of product at Digitain.

Urwin argued the point that companies need to have more focus on retaining players: “There’s going to be a lot of focus on player protection and customers ability to pay. There’s going to be a big knock back to the world economy.

“The gaming industry has always been resilient but more now than ever companies have to be focused on their core constructs and retaining their players.”

Cornwall echoed McNea’s point, he added: “We’re constantly adjusting to new normal, what’s different about this is that COVID-19 is delivering a lot of that in one big dollop.

“For any company we’ve got to be focused on how we accelerate on the other side of this faster than our competitors. Times like this represent a great opportunity to identify what that new normal looks like and to build your company so it’s competitive once you come out of it.”

Looking at an alternative view of innovation as a driving force in business efficiency, McNea stated that he’s a “big believer” that companies that innovate gain “impressive growth spurts and are able to compete.”

Clarke spoke passionately about a lack of innovation within the industry: “There’s a real lack of material differentiation, just look across the industry and everything looks the exact same. Most operators really struggle with product innovation which really moves the needle.

“I think innovating now is a real meaningful opportunity to boost competitiveness and drive consumer demand.”

Urwin echoed Clarke’s evaluation, adding that innovation and “driving efficiencies into your core business” whilst in “search for new products and services” needs to be the mantra for companies if they want to be part of the next ten years in sports betting.

Clarke expressed his belief that the “industry’s mindset in general has always been a road block for innovation” and that there is a “fear factor” across the industry of failing, which creates a barrier for the development of innovation.

The panellists further discussed the ways that companies across the industry can move away from the copy-and-paste methods being used, and move more towards modern technologies.

The SBC Digital Summit is a truly ground breaking online event for the betting and gaming industry, offering up to 10,000 delegates a fully virtual and interactive conference, exhibition and networking experience. It takes place all this week, up to and including Friday May 1.

The SBC Digital Summit runs from 27 April to 1 May 2020 and features seven conference tracks, a virtual exhibition and virtual networking lounges, attracting an estimated 10,000 delegates logging in from around the world.

There is still time to register for the event, with company discounts available: