Fall down seven times and stand up eight. Well, even one fall seems like a nightmare for iGaming business owners — any extra risk is too costly in the gambling industry. However, no industry is immune to crises, and being ready to deal with them is part of running a business.
The gambling business is as vulnerable as any other. It requires constant attention and hard work, including work on crisis prevention and management. The stability of operation can be undermined, both by external forces and from within the business itself. At the end of the day, every business uses any means necessary to avoid a loss of revenue — the lifeblood and goal of the entire venture.
Times of crisis in iGaming business
Recent years showed the gambling community that nothing lasts forever.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on businesses in almost every niche across the globe, however the most flexible and quick decision makers managed to keep their companies in business going online. Eventually, land-based establishments re-opened, though online platforms had strengthened their positions; today the online gambling industry is growing like never before.
But pandemic restrictions are not the only threat gambling can face.
Changes in regulation, sometimes sudden, can make operation more difficult — or even impossible. Brazil, for example, used to have a thriving casino industry. Luxurious casinos of Rio de Janeiro attracted visitors from around the world in the 1920s and 1930s. However, gambling was deeply unpopular with religious and conservative Brazilians (of which there were many), and the industry was eventually banned in 1946 by presidential decree. The new law came into force practically overnight, giving business owners and employees no time to prepare.
We covered different types of risks and ways to manage them in detail in this article. Read it to learn more about what obstacles online casinos can face.
Besides the more obvious technical or compliance issues, a lack of players due to poor marketing can lead to a loss of revenue. Labor shortages, IT outrages, natural disasters, political reforms or economic changes, amendments to the legal system, supply chain and partnership failures, and other factors can undermine the whole business.
Better safe than sorry; we recommend both actively preventing programs and developing a detailed plan on how to act in case of an emergency. Doing so can save valuable time and money.
Business continuity plan
A business continuity plan is a way to systemize and organize operations to make a company less vulnerable to threats and minimize risks. This plan identifies and reduces projected risks, prepares for risks that are out of control, and provides instructions on what to do after the crisis.
The plan helps a company to return to normal operation as soon as possible with minimal losses — it is a detailed guide on steps business should take in case of an unexpected event and after it.
Prevention, preparedness, response, recovery
The PPRR (prevention, preparedness, response, recovery) model describes a cyclical way of dealing with any crisis on an operational level.
The goal of preventive steps is to reduce the likelihood of a crisis situation occurring — these are measures taken before the crisis to minimize the risks and possible negative outcomes of the disaster. Well-organized business processes, regulatory compliance, and good marketing and sales strategy don’t guarantee a successful way out of the crisis but contribute to it.
This is a stage when the actual plan is being prepared based on possible risk evaluation. The plan should assign roles and responsibilities, educate and share information about vulnerabilities and strengths, and provide conditions for collaboration.
This is the stage when, both during and right after the crisis, available resources are evaluated and actions are coordinated. The plan is implemented. The goal of response is to protect equity and save (recover) the operation as far as possible.
Recovery is a complex process. All teams should work in collaboration and ensure a clear communication, the risks and losses should be assessed and strengths and resources identified. Recovery includes financial, legal, marketing, and operational actions.
Business recovery plan
Business recovery is the return to operations following a crisis or disaster. Creating a business recovery plan involves setting timelines for restoration of critical functions and recovering to the pre-crisis operation.
A business recovery plan is a long-term guide that includes steps a business should take before, during, and after the event to get back to normal operation and regain normal revenues, it also assigns roles and describes what resources will be needed to recover.
Companies need to act quickly in a crisis. Special recovery teams can come in very handy. The recovery team can be internal or external, and should include assistance from specialists with experience in the gambling industry — lawyers, accountants, developers, consultants.
Slotegrator provides consultancy services and helps operators make their businesses stable and well organized. Our lawyers assist with gambling license acquisition, and our sales department is able to give recommendations about gaming content and bonuses that would suit your market the best.
Every team must be designated certain tasks at each stage of the recovery plan. Normally companies, especially small businesses, take time to make important decisions and attract external help to speed up the process, relying on more professionals experienced in a particular area.
Stages of business recovery
Businesses don’t bounce back immediately. Recovery can last for months, and is normally divided into stages.
This is the first period after a crisis strikes, and it’s where the most immediate threats are dealt with. In the event of a natural disaster or other emergency, for example, the initial stage includes securing the physical site, protecting the team, staying alert, monitoring updates, and working with insurance companies.
The next stage comes after resolving the most urgent issues: consulting and working with experienced specialists in finance and legal to elaborate a detailed plan and predict financial growth.
This stage aims to bring a company back to normal long-term operation, including communication with players, adding new games, payment methods, or bonuses, reviewing business and financial plans.
Business recovery in the iGaming industry
Gambling businesses need to bounce back quickly. Hesitation takes time, and time is money — money needed to pay expenses such as salaries, rent, license costs, and others. If a land-based or online casino keeps operating but players don’t come, the costs will mount up quickly, and if the operation has to stop or pause, it’s also expensive to restart.
Sudden changes in regulation, natural disasters, pandemics, or literally anything else can ruin a gambling project, wiping out all the efforts put into it and sometimes setting the project back by years. Some regulators try to assist operators in such situations.
The Isle of Man, for example, offers a Disaster Recovery program. This is a perfect option for businesses to remain afloat if they face a political or economic disaster in the region where they operate. The Disaster Recovery program allows platform owners to smoothly move their operation to the Isle of Man without any interruption to their business.
The island’s low-risk geographical situation along with an excellent infrastructure, high-tech data centers, and all other necessary support ensure great conditions and a stable environment where businesses can recover in a very short period of time. Operators can obtain a DR license, and the operation does not have to start until it’s necessary for a licensee, so no application fee is paid before that. The legislation allows temporary operation under your home regulation for up to 90 days.
Casino operators and bookmakers should act fast, and their recovery plan can include the following measures:
Add new gaming content, such as new types of games or sport events to bet on.
Diversify your offer and add totally different branches or verticals — for example, add bets on political events to your sportsbook or esports to your online casino. When sporting events were banned because of COVID 19 restrictions, esports were a great alternative, and when brick-and-mortar casinos had to close for the same reason, some brands offered their players live dealer games.
Strengthen security measures, work on legal compliance, maintain responsible gaming approach, and invest in anti-fraud measures.
Get ready for getting back to the normal state of operation, traffic, and turnover — prepare the team and automize the internal processes.
We at Slotegrator have seen both businesses that survive crises and those that fail to deal with unexpected obstacles. A properly prepared plan is key to successful recovery. However, a plan is only the beginning — it’s also important to apply all the preventive measures and organize all the processes in a way that the business is less vulnerable.
Slotegrator’s turnkey platform solution provides five crucial modules for effective operation. One of them is the Artificial BI module, which collects, sorts, stores, and analyzes information from the platform, including all the important metrics for business planning. The AI enables comparison of a project’s data with competitors to get a full picture of how successful the project is, and where the weaknesses are.
We also recommend integrating cryptocurrency payments into your online casino, since it’s the only fully independent and decentralized payment method — and besides being extremely popular among players all over the world today, it allows the operation to continue if other payment solutions collapse.
Another way to stay unaffected by crises is to add Telegram Casino. This is an alternative online casino platform integrated into a popular mobile app. It uses bots to make the lives of players and operators easier — it has all the same functions as the standard casino platform, but it’s quicker and more convenient. Telegram Casino can be a stand-alone solution or an addition to the main online casino platform.
Contact us to learn more about what measures can make your business stronger and how we can help you stabilize your operation.