Entry into multiple new markets on a global scale has been stipulated as a key aim moving forward for Soft2Bet, with the casino and sportsbook operator group seemingly picking up the pace as 2020 progresses.
After emphasising the ever-critical role that regulation is to play moving forward in recent conversations with CasinoBeats, global industries have subsequently been forced into significant change as the global coronavirus pandemic continues its rapid worldwide spread.
Alberto Pittoni, head of payments/CCO at Soft2bet, discussed challenges that COVID-19 has brought for the company, as well as what impacts are envisaged across the casino and sportsbook verticals: “We have always had contingency plans in place for any eventuality and have been very proactive on this from the beginning. We switched to a ‘Smart Working’ mode to protect all our employees and have offered the maximum support to our workforce, both financially and logistically.
“The majority of them now work from home in different countries across Europe. Being a multi-national group with offices in three countries (Malta, Cyprus and Bulgaria) we are used to conference calls and online meetings with many of our colleagues on Zoom, Skype or Google Meet.
“When it comes to the online gaming industry itself, I think there will of course be an impact on sports betting with more events being postponed, but on the other hand, online casinos are seeing increased traffic. I am an optimist by nature though, and I believe that together we can overcome this situation soon and go back to our normal life for the benefit of everyone.”
“Some may see regulation as a hindrance, but to us it’s an opportunity”
Most recently Soft2Bet rolled-out an extended reach of its services after the company grew its Nordic footprint after unveiling a new online casino introduction.
This saw the group has launched its YoYo casino brand in the Swedish market after securing a licence from the country’s gambling regulator, Spelinspektionen, representing the latest strategic move to secure an increased market share.
Pittoni touched upon the market to address how is the ever-changing regulatory landscape impacting upon casino operations: “Regulation is a fundamental part of the industry and as Soft2Bet expands across territories, our knowledge and agility increases with every strategic move we make. Some may see regulation as a hindrance, but to us it’s an opportunity: having a regulatory framework in place gives us a foundation from which to stand out from the crowd. Applying for numerous local licences in different global markets, helps us provide quality, bespoke products.
“This allows us the opportunity to scale operations and benefit from our accrued experience in specific sectors. It’s a very competitive and broad market with rules which vary between territories, but we believe this gives us an edge, helping us bring innovation and freshness that only localised knowledge can give.
“We’ve seen this in Sweden, with our first local brand (yoyocasino.se) under the our recently acquired SGA license. Customers in that market clearly enjoy a simple and easy gaming experience and can now benefit from instant registration, quick deposits, and simple withdrawals via Trustly’s Pay N Play.”
“The key is truly understanding the needs of players”
Compliance is set to form a key facet of the second CasinoBeats Malta conference later in the year, with one particular discussion topic entitled ‘The enemy of innovation?’
“As with anything in life, it depends how you approach it. Given the fact that all operators need to follow the same rules, each of them has the opportunity to be creative,” Pittoni noted on the discussion title.
“For example, solutions like BankID and others have changed the competitive landscape for the better by providing trustworthy tools to verify customers. It’s so much easier to carry out PEP checks nowadays thanks to the contribution of innovative service providers such as these. As operators, the onus is on us to be compliant without diminishing the users experience which has led to a long list of innovative solutions that I’m sure will only evolve in the years to come.”
Going full circle in the latest discussion, Pittoni returns to the topic of new market entries and touches upon constraints and key strategies for doing so successfully across contrasting gaming cultures: “The key is truly understanding the needs of players. Our dedication to the localisation of our products is what drives our growth. We pride ourselves on seeing the small things which many consider irrelevant or of very little impact. But small things add up, and those who bear them in mind can expect massive results.
“Offering a wide range of local payment options, adapting your approach to the market’s requirements and just making sure you speak the same language is paramount. What works in Sweden for example may not work in other territories and vice versa. It’s a constant and deep analysis of how we can better serve our customers and make them feel at home.”