It is obvious that discussion about the future of gambling business is going on all over the world. It doesn’t matter so much what kind of legal structure you have in gambling business. Of course, there are many differences between monopoly based and license-based systems, but the main challenges & problems are same. The Danish gambling expert Morten Ronde, who I appreciate a lot, compared our situation to previous development of tobacco industry and attitudes against it. It’s possible that the public opinion might turn to be even more against gambling.
I agree with Morten that it sounds familiar when I think what has happened in public opinion about tobacco. Anyhow I don’t think that the same should happen. I admit that gambling will cause serious problems and that should effect on the ways how we run our business. But gambling or gaming is not dangerous for all of us. It’s more like alcohol than tobacco. I think that tobacco is dangerous for all smokers, but alcohol is not for all drinkers. I don’t have any facts about that but it’s just my personal feeling. Of course, alcohol like gambling will cause problems if you consume it too much.
What we should do then? It was again Morten Ronde who said that everything should start from operators. We should have serious will to make everything as good and safe as possible for our customers. If gambling companies just do things because regulator has forced them to do, the situation won’t change. Fake actions are not so effective than serious ones!
I’m not trying to tell what gambling companies should do in practice, but I try to describe the principles which could make things to be better. I have got idea about that from the strategy seminar of KPMG. I believe that if companies, in whatever business they are operating, would follow these advices their business would be better in long term!
You should be trustworthy. If your customers don’t trust on your operations, you are in big problems. You should take integrity issues seriously. It’s absolutely not enough if you just do something in that area and write nice text in your Annual Report but act in different way. Customers will notice that for sure and they will lose trust on you.
I believe in personalization! You should understand the needs of your customers and try to offer your products and services in personalized ways. I think that AI technology will help us here a lot. I hope that AI will help us also when it’s about potential gambling problems. I’m not deep expert on that area but I believe that AI could already quite soon recognize potential problem gamblers.
Maybe I say this too many times, but you should know what your customers are looking for. What are their most important expectations? You should have will to give your customers even better service than they expect to get. You could manage to do it, if you listen to them and utilize data what is available about them. Same for everybody is not the solution in that area.
Now gambling companies seem to have quite big problems with their reputation. There could be many reasons why that’s the cause – too much marketing, too less actions in problem gambling area etc… You should know what the main reasons are and try to make much better actions in the areas which have caused those problems. It would be great to see cases where company could turn week actions to strong ones.
As I have wrote in some of my previous blogs, I think that there lots of different customer groups and their have different kinds of expectations. There are some active customers (active sports and horse punters) who are willing to spend lots of time in gambling but in average customers are looking for simple and quick services. You should develop quick and simple processes where everything will work fine and in a way which customers understand.
I admit that I haven’t been very empathic guy but now, maybe thanks to becoming older, I really believe on that. We should really take care of our customers. We should do everything to secure them although some of them are not willing to be secured. That’s extremely important in businesses like gambling!