African betting operators must learn from the VIP servicing program mistakes of their European counterparts. VIP program management was the major talking point at the SBC Digital Summit Africa, with a panel hoping to see a clear direction on VIP programs in Africa.
BetbBonanza West African Managing Director Ilze Jansone believes there are plenty of takeaways from the European market that could be applied to Africa. “Europe has been the testing ground and there’s no need to repeat the same mistakes,” she said. “There are a lot of good things that have come out of the European experience and could be adapted to the market.”
Brad Williams, Head of VIP at Bet.co.za, says that the African market needs to start setting some clear market parameters on the definitions of a VIP player in Africa. “Firstly, you need to define what is going to be a VIP,” he said. “And it’s kind of pointless to just base your opinion on face value as a customer has deposited X amount which makes him a VIP.”
“There’s a fair amount of market research and competitor analysis that needs to be done to get an idea of what is expected from you as a company and the standard of VIP within the area that you are operating in,” Williams added. “There is so much more that goes into this. There are behavioural patterns, there’s the longevity of the account itself, once you have determined what makes a VIP you need to move into what kind of promotions and offers you as a company are willing to extend. In my opinion, to ensure that your VIP programme is a success, you need a dedicated VIP team or department.”
Discussions turned towards the nature of VIP treatment across the U.K. market and the need for African operators to abide by strict guidelines to avoid the ethical VIP programs are being implemented by operators in the region.
“We saw VIPs as a cash cow that was limitless and we took advantage of it, and it has reached a point now where responsible gaming and compliance is at the forefront of our industry in Europe, where governments and society together lobbied against VIP schemes and programmes. We need to utilise this as an opportunity as an African gambling region to take the message that is being delivered in Europe and learn from it before it is even enacted,” Williams added.
You can also read how a panel perceived regulation was affecting operators from another panel at the SBC Digital Summit Africa. And stay tuned to CalvinAyre.com for the biggest stories from the event, and don’t forget to subscribe to the CalvinAyre.com YouTube channel so you don’t miss any interviews from the conference.