Exclusive interview with Tom Edmonds (Harris Hagan), speaker at Prague Gaming Summit 2018
Reading Time: 4 minutes
It was my pleasure and honor to conduct the below interview with such a experience professional of the gambling industry.
I would also like to thank you for following my interview series and for sharing these information with your colleagues and partners. If you would like to be featured in an upcoming interview, please send me an e-mail to email@example.com and I will happily get back to you!
We are very grateful for your generosity to answer our questions. First I would like to ask you to shortly introduce yourself and tell us when and why you started working in this industry.
Tom: My first taste of working in the gambling industry was advising on the sale of a major gambling company, when I worked at Travers Smith (a UK firm specialising in corporate transactions). This gave me an appetite to work in the industry and I moved in-house to Betgenius, a B2B sports betting provider. I then continued my journey into the world of gambling when I joined the specialist gambling law firm Harris Hagan in 2014.
Before joining Harris Hagan in March 2014, you worked at Betgenius as an in-house solicitor. Which are those professional experiences or which is the knowledge you accumulated there and proved to be useful in your present job?
Tom: It was valuable to develop a detailed understanding of the sports betting sector, as well as a general overview of the rest of the industry. This has enabled me to better assist clients by anticipating issues which a client has not necessarily considered but which I’m aware will come into play.
You advise clients on regulatory requirements from a gambling law perspective, product classification and on making operating license applications in the UK. Which are the most common problems your clients ask your help in and what are your most important suggestions?
Tom: We regularly assist clients with applications for a Gambling Commission licence. At the outset this involves dealing with the fundamental question of which company/ companies need to be licensed and which licences they need to hold – a question which you might imagine to be simple, but which can be complicated and which is vital to get right.
We then work with clients to ensure they remain compliant with the requirements of holding a Gambling Commission licence and, if they should breach such requirements, assisting them in finding the best resolution.
In several Eastern European countries there are significant regulatory changes concerning online gambling. What is your opinion about the European market in general? What advise would you give for the operators; which are the most attractive markets?
Tom: In general, Europe is moving towards ‘point of consumption’ licensing regimes, as in Great Britain, where operators need a licence in each country from which they take play. As a result, operators must be prepared to spend increasing amounts of time and money on compliance as they have to deal with the requirements of more licensing regimes. Conversely, and with regards to the most attractive markets, there are still unregulated markets which may prove more profitable but which also carry a higher risk profile.
You are particularly interested in areas of this industry where sports and gambling meet. How would you characterize this area of the gambling industry and which are the new trends, important changes that you would like to speak about?
Tom: There has been a significant tightening of the rules regarding advertising of gambling, including those adverts shown around televised sporting events. At the time of writing (mid-February 2018), the advertising regulator in Great Britain has just issued wide ranging new guidance that is intended to have a substantial impact on the content (and tone) of such adverts. Adverts will have to change but we wait to see how significantly operators will change their adverts and what action is taken against non-compliant operators.
To hear more about the subject and meet Tom in person, make sure you register and attend Prague Gaming Summit 2018, held on the 29th of March at Andel’s by Vienna House Prague.
Tom works in the Gambling Group and specialises in regulatory, commercial and corporate matters.
Before joining Harris Hagan, Tom worked as an in-house solicitor at Betgenius, a technology company which provides sportsbook solutions to bookmakers. At Betgenius, Tom gained first-hand experience of the online industry and advised on a broad range of commercial contracts and regulatory matters. Prior to working at Betgenius, Tom trained and worked for four years at Travers Smith where he specialised in M&A, including advising on the sale of a large gaming company.
Tom joined Harris Hagan in March 2014 and deals with all aspects of gambling law including advising major land based casino operators, online B2B and B2C operators and start up companies. Tom regularly advises clients on regulatory requirements from a gambling law perspective, product classification and on making operating licence applications in the UK. Tom has a particular interest in areas where there is a cross-over between sport and gambling including sports betting, advertising gambling at sports events and spot-the ball competitions
In his spare time, Tom enjoys playing or watching sport, planning adventures overseas and having the occasional flutter.
Source: European Gaming News