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GAMING1 INTERVIEW


GAMING1


Sylvain Boniver, GAMING1 COO and co-founder talks to GIO about the company’s operations, thoughts on the personalization experience, and their plans for the future


GIO: You specialise in helping land-based and retail operators transition online. Can you tell us more about what advantages these partnerships provide for the parties involved? Sylvain Boniver: It’s a highly beneficial situation for all parties. GAMING1 brings the technology and expertise of online operations, while the retail partner brings its brand recognition, local network and local market knowledge. Our model is “We win together, or we lose together” and of course we want to win by providing the best possible player experience. Combining offline and online gives our customers the opportunity to experiment with a real omni- channel player experience and enabling customers to move their brand seamlessly from offline to online is what we do best. This one-to-one approach allows us to meet the bespoke needs of each partner, and to develop a long term and profitable relationship for all parties.


GIO: How has the process been affected by COVID-19? SB: With robust contingency plans already in place from our side, we were able to focus on reinforcing strong relationships with our partners to help guide them through any challenges brought about by the pandemic.


In unprecedented and complex times, mutual understanding and open discussion is so important. We saw an increase of digital project requests by some partners and it is constant communication which has ensured they feel secure - helping us manage, and in turn, cement relationships with our international partners.


As an employer, the safety of our staff is paramount. We immediately implemented a set of remote working measures resulting in the transition to the ‘new normal’ causing little to no effects to our partners. Our prudency has seen us continue to


…we were able to focus on reinforcing strong relationships with our partners to help guide them through any challenges brought about by the pandemic


76 SEPTEMBER 2020 GIO


support all our customers, while ensuring our most important asset: our employees.


GIO: How has the pandemic changed player preferences? Have you observed a migration from sportsbook to casino? SB: We have not seen a significant number of sports bettors transition to the casino sector. However, the restart of Europe’s top competitions gave sportsbook revenues a significant boost, with ardent supporters who ordinarily watch from the stadium now tuning in at home. That means they are more likely to put a bet on, especially when their own team is involved. Because of the cross-sell, online casinos usually experience an increase in visitor traffic during high-profile sporting fixtures. With fans now unable to follow the action in-person, this uptick has only grown larger.


GIO: As a company that has retail operations across Europe and beyond, how do you see the future of the retail sector in light of the current crisis? SB: With the Covid-19 crisis, many industries understood the need to switch from offline to online. The gambling industry was no different, and the necessity to transition and help navigate our partners through an unpredictable storm was imperative. During the lockdown period, all land-based casinos were closed, and even now, numbers of allowed visitors are limited, making the move online more essential than ever.


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