NetEnt: The industry has a duty ensure that responsible gaming is at the core of the gambling experience

Next week’s SBC Digital Summit will bring together the industry’s leading experts to discuss some of the greatest challenges facing the betting and gaming industry at the minute.

In the run up to next week’s event Daniel Lechner, Director Global Business Development at NetEnt, told SBC that one of the biggest challenges the industry faces is ensuring that responsible gaming and appropriate messaging is at the core of the gambling experience.

He explained that he is also looking forward to seeing the potential of digital events, and networking with other members of the industry.

What are you looking forward to at the SBC Digital Summit?

Our industry is very face-to-face. So much of the product is online but business is usually done offline. I’m looking forward to seeing the potential of digital events. I don’t think they will – or should – replace the physical events but we will hopefully see they can play an important part in our ecosystem once things go back to ‘normal’.

It will be fascinating to get a feeling of what the direction and potential might be. I’m pleased that we will still have the chance to meet up with and see people that we may not otherwise be able to speak with at this time.

What would be your biggest bit of advice for betting and gaming businesses trying to mitigate the impact of COVID-19?

Every business has been affected in different ways and some have been harder hit than others. As restrictions are eased companies from all sectors must work together to boost the economy.

For now, all companies have to put the health, safety and wellbeing of their employees first and continue to provide the best possible service to customers they remain able to serve. One thing the current situation has emphasized is the importance of a diverse product portfolio and a firm financial footing to overcome the unforeseen and biggest challenges.

What are you promoting at SBC Digital Summit?

Street Fighter II: The World Warrior SlotTM is a highlight. It’s an iconic brand, one of the biggest we’ve ever launched, even when you consider some of the massive names through the years. We’ll be showing the game ahead of its launch in May. Another focus is the groundbreaking Starburst PowerPots which contains a highly customizable, Community Jackpot system where players collect Starburst tokens across an entire family of NetEnt’s best performing games for a range of prizes.

NetEnt Live has its own stand, representing its importance to NetEnt. We have made fundamental improvements to our live casino offering and are excited to demonstrate the progress in what is a clear growth area for us and the industry. There will also be the chance to find out more about the deepening integration of Red Tiger into NetEnt and our upcoming plans.

What industry innovation will capture the most attention in 2020?

Every business is constantly trying to innovate and improve their product. While I’m not anticipating a single technological innovation to stand out, I do expect the continuation of existing trends allowing relentless improvements to the user experience. This particularly applies to mobile gaming and live casinos.

We may also see a clearer picture around VR and AR. They won’t become mass market casino products this year but we could get a more realistic understanding of their potential.

Which operator has impressed you the most in 2020?

NetEnt is honoured to work with a large number of the world’s leading operators and it would be unfair to single out any particular ones. The industry as a whole continues to turn up the dial with innovative marketing campaigns and there is a commitment – individually and collaboratively – to ensure that responsible gaming and appropriate messaging is at the core of the gambling experience.

What sports betting partnership has stood out in the past 12 months?

Personally, SBTech has stood out. NetEnt has an excellent working relationship with them so we see some things up-close but they have been very active and have announced lots of deals. The merger with DraftKings is simply huge.

Which parts of the conference agenda have caught your eye?

Tuesday’s panels on Live Casino in Lockdown, given the vertical’s importance to NetEnt, and Safer Gambling During Self Isolation, which tackles a subject we should all take very seriously. I’ll also check out the LatAm market day track. We’ve just entered Colombia with Rush Street Interactive and the region, with regulation to come, is one that we are closely monitoring and preparing for.

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