Insights from Ampersand London Assembly 2019
Over 60 industry influencers participated and 26 topics were discussed in the Ampersand Assembly that took place on Wednesday 30th October in London.
Two main themes were clear in most of the discussions: understanding your customer and short-term vs. long-term business perspective.
Consumer protection/regulatory restrictions/reputation and dialogue between operators and regulators dominated the discussions – every round had at least one topic dedicated to it.
Many other discussions were related, or migrated, to the regulatory environment becoming more stringent, whether it’s operational excellence and compliance, need to move from acquisition-led to retention-led business, marketing and advertising needing to become more innovative and adapt to this new restrictive environment.
Other discussions held were around eSports (still quite a lot of scepticism), AI (again – how can we use it to advance the responsible gambling/consumer protection), encouraging new ideas and supporting a startup ecosystem and next generation products adapting to generations of new players.
Top 3 most important topics as voted by the participants were:
- How does the industry plan to adapt for the next generation?
A constant in our Ampersand discussions, but the point was made that shouldn’t that actually be the question that the industry keeps asking itself? The industry however doesn’t actually know or understand the younger audiences – its future players, and not necessarily genuinely trying to understand them as they’re busy making good money now. It’s once again a short-term vs. long-term view issue.
- Dialogue, or lack of it, between regulators and the industry. How can the industry best respond to a regulator that appears to hate gambling?
While it would certainly help if there was a better and constant dialogue, what we have to understand as an industry is that regulators respond to politicians, not the industry. Politicians respond to voters, i.e. consumers, so that they get elected. Current consumer narrative is against gambling and the industry needs to ask itself why consumers have turned against them now – the industry needs to perform a ‘mea culpa’ and understand how to regain the trust of the consumer. Gambling being gambling, it’s a difficult if not an impossible task, but perhaps short term financial goals should be sacrificed a little bit to achieve a long-term sustainability.
- Operational excellence under tight regulation.
Regulation is becoming stricter and stricter – can the industry continue achieving its financial success? The technology developments allow for better understanding of the player and therefore for better personalisation – it is indeed in true understanding of the player and their emotional/experiential triggers where the secret lies.