Interview with BetConstruct Founder & CEO, Vigen Badalyan

"We expect esports to become the next big thing"

"The bright side I see is how people rely on technology for entertainment," Badalyan commented. "We are witnessing a significant rise in gambling in April."
Reading time 2:59 min
Addressing COVID-19's impact on his business and the whole industry, BetConstruct's CEO said Esports has the potential of becoming mainstream during the pandemic (and maintain its position afterward) as it doesn’t require a stadium or a field, tickets, and the physical presence of the fans. Badalyan also revealed that the company's Live Casino is growing exponentially alongside its live studio.

Which have been the consequences of the coronavirus health crisis for BetConstruct and the industry as a whole?

The situation struck hard at all casinos and betting shops. Online sportsbooks suffer and this is not surprising since major sporting events are postponed or canceled.

The igaming sector sees a four-fold decline in its income. We are taking good care of our employees, they are safe working from the comfort of their houses, and those who have urgent business at the office we got their safety covered there as well with regular disinfection of the working spaces and daily medical checks.

The data feed branch of our entity FeedConstruct takes up the same measures at its live studio where the ITT Cup games and the in-house Esports games are played.

Which were the measures your company implemented voluntarily or had to adopt in accordance with local policies when COVID-19 first burst?

Naturally, we were quick to respond to the emergency measures provided by the regional policies of every country where we have a regional presence. Due to close ties with all 15 offices, we have swiftly moved to a distant working schedule and these changes in no way affected the collaboration with our partners or among the teams.

Has the current situation changed your company's short- and long term strategies and business plans?

Our long-term goals remain the same. We will do everything in our power to provide industry-leading software and help operators deliver outstanding products to their players. Addressing the short-term plans, we had to quickly adapt to the ongoing situation and support our operators to keep their business afloat. Our sports betting offering is one of the largest in the industry and while the major sporting events are postponed, we cover the few events occurring around the globe, so our Sportsbook is never empty. We are pushing our Esports solution with 24/7 betting opportunities and unique markets. Our Casino games continue to provide dozens of games and hundreds of slots.

Do you think the global tendencies and customer behavior expected for this year and beyond will change in light of the pandemic?

I hardly believe there’s any industry that stayed away from the effect of the pandemic. We expect esports to become the next big thing. It doesn’t require a stadium or a field, tickets, and the physical presence of the fans. Esports was always meant to be a remote interaction. That is why it has the potential of becoming mainstream among the players during the pandemic and maintain its position afterwards. Virtual Sports has its fair share in the industry too.

How much time and resources do you estimate it will take for the global and local industry, as well as your company, to recover from the financial impact of the pandemic?

I personally expect it will take up to 4 years to fully recover.

Are there any bright sides to this situation?

The bright side I see is how people rely on technology for entertainment. We are witnessing a significant rise in gambling in April. While land casinos are closed, we bring the atmosphere of a real venue directly to the players with our VR Casino and live games with dealers. Our Live Casino is growing exponentially alongside our live studio which will soon hold dozens of more gaming tables. And that translates to more games and sessions for players.

Our BME console is fully automated, so any of our operators can activate the products with a single click and deliver those gaming opportunities to their players.

Are there any similar situations you or your company have experienced that you think can relate to the current difficulties that the industry is experiencing as a result of the pandemic in any way?

This, by far, is an exceptional situation and we’ve never come across this type of event ever. I’m sure the same goes for many other businesses and industries. The world is changing every day and on some days those changes are more drastic and we need to be prepared for such a turn of events especially while running a business-to-business venture where so many people depend on your decisions and solutions as our operators do.

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