Customers must be championed in the gambling industry

September 23, 2021

The keynote speech, delivered by the Group CEO of Entain Plc, opened the SBC Barcelona Summit, as Entain was thrust into the worldwide spotlight following a $22 billion offer made by DraftKings Inc. yesterday.

As incumbents confront a decade of new challenges, Jette Nygaard-Andersen has emphasised that global gaming leadership must take their remit of preserving a healthy business as a "common-sense goal."

Andersen acknowledged the changes, but she remained focused on her speech, which was about ‘building a customer-led entertainment platform' to speed innovation and change.

Andersen claimed that while business looks to be returning to normal, including live events, it was unable to undo the alterations that had occurred in consumers because of the COVID-19 epidemic, which she referred to as "irreversible impacts."

Andersen spoke on her leadership style, saying that she intended to create a culture at Entain where teams "must recognise that their units must be responsive to disruptive changes caused by the client at any given time."

Andersen noted that igaming incumbents had characteristics with technology and entertainment behemoths like Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify in her initial assessment of the market. However, inadequate platform management and a crude use of data to engage customers have hampered the industry's engagement and product qualities.

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

She cited recent improvements in Australian horseracing material as well as the opening of Entain's in-house slot studio, whose debut titles had topped the firm's US BetMGM joint-igaming venture's performance. However, the CEO cautioned that product relevance must be combined with honesty and trust, qualities that she feels customers prefer over regulatory demands.

“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.”

Anderson came to the conclusion that, while the opening of the US market had seen gambling grow at a double-digit rate, the industry's larger technology and entertainment objectives could not be realised if operators' roles and obligations were dispersed.