Today, Eventus International opened the inaugural Scandinavian Gaming Show, which is taking place from 5 – 6 September 2018 at the Stockholmsmässan in Stockholm, Sweden.
For months now, the gambling sector has been waiting in anticipation for the first Annual Scandinavian Gaming Show. Thankfully the wait has finally come to end and the Scandinavian Gaming Show kicked off on the morning of the 5th of September, with a good turnout from international gaming sector professionals.
The first day of the summit was tremendously well received by all in attendance. The first speaker, Ismail Vali opened the summit with a presentation about the new regulations in Sweden. He placed the topic in context by starting with a history of gambling regulation and then proceeded to explain how this history has reflected on regulatory attitudes today. He then went on to describe how the Swedish Regulatory Regime is guided by one core principle; Player Protection. He then continued to describe that although this is beneficial to society, it also will place more pressure on licensed operators as apposed to unlicensed operators having no such responsibility to their players.
Ismail then showed the audience statistics relating to issues the Swedish Regulator will face regarding enforcement. The stats show that +/- 50-70 operators will receive licenses next year, compared to the massive illegal market of around 250 to 300 operators who will take a chance and choose to operate illegally.
After Ismail Vali concluded his presentation, the chairwoman of the summit and moderator of the next panel discussion, Christina Thakor-Rankin, introduced the panellists. Leading stakeholders in the gaming sector from across Europe discussed the lessons their countries had learned regarding responsible gambling since becoming regulated. The panelists then described some of the challenges associated with data, and conflicting laws and regulations.
The last points raised during the discussion were all about sharing knowledge. The panel discussed lessons Sweden has learned from the experiences of the UK, Germany, Finland and Malta regarding sanctions, national self-exclusion schemes, bonusing and promotions. The panel ended off by also describing some of the valuable lessons other jurisdictions could learn from Sweden.
Everyone in attendance proceeded to the networking area for some much-needed coffee and refreshments. Shortly after the break had ended, the audience returned to the conference room for the much-anticipated presentation by Bill Pascrell III: How To Be Successful In A Newly Regulated Market.
Being an instrumental player in the recent changes in sports betting legislation in America this year, Bill started off with an overview of legislation in his home state of New Jersey and the 25-year history of the events that lead to the amendments. Bill progressed into some of the revenue that some of the biggest operators are reporting since the amendments and how they got there so quickly. Then he gave the audience a progress report of all the states that are legalizing sports betting in the US and listed points as to why international operators are choosing to get licensed in New Jersey. To end off his presentation, Bill presented more stats about the estimated size of the US market, stating that its estimated to be worth $150 Billion by major analysts.
The discussion titled – “How will Swedish Authorities deal with challenges linked to Responsible Gambling and Money Laundering?” – began with a 15-minute presentation by Jack Symons where he gave a definition of ‘responsible gambling’ and the practical application of customer support tools. The opening presentation was followed by the Swedish Gambling Association leading on the principles from a regulatory and industry association perspective and the requirements of the new Swedish regulations.
The panelists then discussed the cost of compliance, building a unified multi-channel self-exclusion system, Growing links between problem gambling and money laundering, GDPR privacy and challenges of data sharing for exclusion, detecting and preventing crime across jurisdictions; and challenges of legal interpretation, conflicting laws and enforcement in and across borders.
Following a delicious lunch at the Stockholmsmässan, the last session about technology and innovation was well underway. Vasiliy Polynov and Ihor Koloduik both gave presentations as to why blockchain is becoming a popular source of method of online gambling. After the audience was satisfied with the answers both speakers provided to their questions, the panel discussion; Re-imagining Online Casino Commenced.
The panel moderator, Michael Pedersen, centered the discussion around five very important questions; what will the needs and wants of casino players be in 2019 vs. 2018 and how do operators remain relevant, daring to stand out and being unique involves more investment and risk – is it worth it? How important is company culture in executing real innovation and what are some best practices to foster such a culture? What’s the “next big thing” for online casinos and how does VR/AR/AI fit in?
Fitting in with Ismail Vali’s points made earlier, creating an experience seemed to be an important part of each answer. Customers will always want new experiences. It’s about how online casino operators create the experience. Your company culture will be in every part of the experience you create and VR/AR are simply new ways of delivering these experiences to customers.
The last panel discussion of the day was all about the new Era in Sports Betting: Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and eSports Betting. The discussion centred around three main questions: What additional value does DFS add to your sportsbook? Is eSports popular enough to add it your sports options? How will these two new betting options bring a new era of Sports Betting Platforms?
The answers, DFS provides a social element that sports betting never could. Most DFS platforms have chat functionality and leader boards that keep players competitive and interested. Another important feature of Daily Fantasy Sports is that most DFS operators work on a subscription model as apposed to a single stake model. Players are therefore engaged for longer and feel as though they receive more value for their subscription. Also, DFS is inherently responsible as there is a maximum amount that players pay for subscriptions.
Is eSports popular enough? In Europe yes, but operators need to be aware of the target market that eSports is most popular in: Millennials. You need to know what millennials want before entering into esports betting, and based on general consensus in the industry, Millennials are becoming more and more difficult to market to.
How will these two new betting options bring about the new Era in Sports Betting and by extension, sports betting platforms? Again, Millennials are the answer. Millennials will continue to replace older generations world-wide as the core market for all business. As Millennials want newer products so too will products change.
With so much that was discussed, it’s hard to believe that the above was only the first half of the show! The second day hopes to end on a high note, with Session 3 having topics about marketing in the Swedish Market and Session 4 being all about leadership in the gaming sector.
Look out for the presentation slides, which will be published on the Eventus International website on Friday.
Get a 10% discount on next year’s Scandinavian Gaming Show by registering now. Pre-register by contacting Eventus International’s Marketing Director; Lou-Mari Burnett.