SBC Digital Summit: A crash course in adaptability and resilience 

Adaptability will be an essential quality for betting operators seeking to engage with customers on an increasingly digital-led footing as COVID-19 continues to ensure a retail lockdown. That was one of the big takeaways from a four-strong panel at today’s SBC Digital Summit titled ‘An Opportunity to Revisit the Omni-Channel Approach’

In opening the session, moderator and head of Digitain’s International Development Department Simon Westbury complimented the panel on the ‘resilience’ shown by their respective businesses throughout the COVID-19 crisis before getting proceedings underway. 

Fortuna Entertainment Group’s reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak was outlined by CEO Per Widerstorm, who said: “Top of our list was the protection of the business and health of our employees. We were ready when it came to working from home but I can tell you that the COVID situation saw the application of a crash course across our markets. 

“We also had to protect and optimise the cash in the short term, but a lot of work has gone to sourcing equipment for our employees. We had to ensure we offered protective equipment, masks and sanitisers etc, to our staff and we need to make sure we are top notch when we reopen such as in the Czech Republic. 

“We now have 150 shops open in the Czech Republic. We are closely monitoring the possible loosening of restrictions across our jurisdictions. In terms of opening hours it is only half the hours we usually do, so it is a phased approach in regards to that. 

“It’s also important to have information on how to behave, sanitizers and glass between customers and cashiers. Moreover, we also had to place importance on the position of terminals. What we have seen though  is that customers are coming in, not as normal but they do come in. We are encouraged by the early signals, we are looking into how we can open up when regulations allow elsewhere.” 

Snaitech CEO Fabio Schiavolin believes now is a good time for the industry to make improvements to the business, saying: “We have to look to the future. It’s a tough time but it’s a time where it gives us the chance to change and evolve. We have to struggle and work with the lack of markets and events. 

“We did launch original ideas such as a daily talk show to entertain, because it’s good to entertain our customers at this time. It was nice for us to invest in this talk show in which we were talking about table tennis and Belarusian football to give information for our customers on the markets we provided.

“Product wise, a lack of ability to play around the ‘normal’ markets has given us the chance to investigate and look at verticals that we may have missed. This situation has given us the ability to develop new things. The big lesson is that digital is not an enemy for retailers – digital could be an opportunity.”

Joining Widerstorm and Schiavolin on the Yggdrasil-sponsored panel were Stanleybet CEO and founder Giovanni Garrisi and Superbet CEO Johnny Hartnett.

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: https://sbcevents.com/sbc-digital-summit/tickets/

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