BUSINESS

Nigel Birrell: Players always want choice

TAGs: CAI, Lottoland, Nigel Birrell

In this interview with CalvinAyre.com’s Becky Liggero, Nigel Birrell of Lottoland shares the challenges that the company faces as an innovator.

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Innovation is needed in order for an industry to grow and succeed. Ancient policies are amended to keep up with the changing times while companies look for ways to keep pace with what consumers want.

Change, however, is oftentimes met with resistance especially from those whose comfort zones are shaken up and those who want things to stay the way they are. This what most online gambling websites are facing right now.

As they become more tech-savvy, players turn to online gambling websites for their dose of fun-filled gaming. Punters don’t need to drive to the nearest betting shop to place their bets. Instead, they can just pull out their smartphones and punt using the latest sports betting apps.

Similarly, slot machines are no longer confined to luxurious integrated resorts since they’re easily accessible with a push of a button in cyberspace.

Nigel Birrell of Lottoland recalled having a fair share of that. He said the incumbent guys in the centuries-old, lottery business aren’t happy about them as they try to bring in new products and new technologies to the field.

“Because you are a disruptor of innovator, the incumbent guys are not happy. We are very small compared to them, but they’re trying to stamp out this industry, I think, before it gets anywhere,” Birrell told CalvinAyre.com.

In the UK, Birrel pointed out that there were attempts to persuade the British government to stop people from betting on EuroMillions with Lottoland. He suspects that lottery rival Camelot is exerting pressure to the UK government through the Department of Culture, Media, and Sport.

“We have conversations going on that closed in May. We’ve met with the DCMS, and some MPs. The good news is, Camelot has come out and admitted that they have their own problems now,” he said. “We have absolutely no impact on good causes. We have different type of customer, very different to Camelot’s customer. We are hoping that the government will be open minded. What we’re calling for is a two-year moratorium on any decision.”

The good thing, according to Birrell, is that consumers don’t share the same mindset with the much older and established gaming companies who are afraid of the industry’s new entrants.

Birrell noted that their company now has over 6 million registered customers as markets become more liberal. He said that the numbers are a vote of confidence that consumers want choice “and we’re providing it.”

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