Connect with us

Latest News

Roundtable – Continent 8’s Leaders and Legends

Published

on

Reading Time: 8 minutes

 

The Continent 8 Leaders and Legends series has been running for several years now, bringing together some of the industry’s biggest names to share their thoughts, insights and experiences on the hottest trends of the moment. The latest Leaders and Legends took place at the KPMG Gibraltar eSummit and saw heavyweights Shay Segev (Chief Executive Officer at DAZN), Joanne Whittaker (Chief Executive Officer at Betfred), Edo Haitin (Chief Executive Officer at Playtech Live) and Vaughan Lewis (Chief Strategy Officer at 888 Holdings) take to the stage to discuss a wide range of topics from the review of the UK Gambling Act to the future of retail in an increasingly digital world.

 

Moderator:

Micky Swindale – Partner, Global Gaming Team – KPMG

 

Panellists:

  • Edo Haitin – Chief Executive Officer – Playtech Live
  • Vaughan Lewis – Chief Strategy Officer – 888 Holdings
  • Shay Segev – Chief Executive Officer – DAZN
  • Joanne Whittaker – Chief Executive Officer – Betfred

 

MS: What changes do you expect to see as a result of the UK government’s review of the Gambling Act? What impact might tighter restrictions have on the market and how are you preparing for them?

JW: We just need to know what is coming. The review is hanging over us and we just need to be able to move on as an industry. We are agile, we evolve. We have heard some of the expected changes around slot stake limits, enhanced affordability checks, the levy and so on but until we know exactly what changes are coming, it is hard to properly prepare. Of course, as a business, we are trying to get ready for what is to come. I think initially there was a bit of panic, but we have got passed that now. We had a significant hit on retail when the FOBT legislation came in a few years ago, but we survived that and when I talk to Fred, he always says these legislative changes come in cycles. So, we are watching, we will respond, and I hope that we are given time to implement the technology changes that will be required. But right now, it’s just a case of wait and see.

VL: I think getting the line right as to where gambling tips over from personalisation, enjoyment and the promotion of great products and offers into something that becomes exploitative is the really challenging area that the review of the Gambling Act is trying to address. For us, we just want clarity about what are the standards that we need to meet. Once operators have that clarity, we then back ourselves to be able to provide a great player experience but with high levels of safety and within the standards set. At the moment, we are not clear on what standards we are trying to meet so our hope is that through the review process we get that clarity. Once any changes from the review have been implemented, we can then refocus on delivering the best player experience.

EH: Coming from the provider side, my perspective is perhaps a bit different. I believe that it is in the product to solve issues around responsible gambling and affordability and to deliver the right player experience. This also needs to be done in a way that the regulator can see that the player is doing so within their affordability. So, it is our responsibility as a provider to give our operators the products to do this. On the flip side, and especially as a big provider, I do feel for smaller businesses as the bar for entry into the market is being set even higher. So, regulators should bear in mind that there are companies making their first move that do need clarity and guidance as to what is expected of them.

 

ML: All jurisdictions, including Gibraltar, are having to quickly adapt to market changes. But what makes Gibraltar such an appealing jurisdiction to companies such as DAZN?

SS: We recently announced that DAZN would be going into betting with the launch of DAZN Bet and that we would be using Gibraltar as the hub for that. Having personally been based in Gibraltar for the last ten years I have found the jurisdiction to be amazing both in terms of the government’s support for the industry and the infrastructure it has provided, as well as the ability to establish a business here. It is also highly respected in terms of its regulatory framework and standards, and the talent that can be accessed here is second to none. This made it a very easy decision for us to set up DAZN Bet in Gibraltar.

 

MS: As the industry continues to grow, we have seen a real wave of M&A activity crash over the sector. With no sign of these mega deals slowing down, is now the right time for smaller businesses to position themselves for a takeover? And what makes for an attractive acquisition target?

VL: We are not seeing any slowdown in the trend of mega transactions. We have been through multiple waves of M&A and deals just keep getting bigger and bigger. We just closed a £2bn transaction but that now seems relatively small. Just before Christmas, Flutter undertook a £2bn acquisition and didn’t even have an investor call to explain it, it’s kind of like a bolt-on for them now. And then a few weeks ago you have the MGM takeover of LeoVegas, which it called “bite-size”. We are definitely in a new phase of the industry where these huge businesses have been created and significant value has been generated, and that is starting to really drive the M&A cycle.

At the medium and smaller end, we are still seeing a lot of activity. These transactions often have one or more characteristics that they share including unique products and content that you just can’t get elsewhere or that you can’t create quickly enough, market access, media convergence and other attributes that drive outsized value. This is where the future focus of M&A will be.

 

MS: The big four operators now account for more than 50% of the UK market share, so these companies can leverage the advantages of scale. But what impact does this have on consumer choice?

EH: We are an entertainment business, and the future of entertainment cannot be controlled by big companies. We see today that the biggest entertainers in the world are individuals that pick up their smartphones and cameras and stream videos on YouTube to tens of millions of followers. That makes them the big force in entertainment. I understand why companies undertake M&A and want to drive scale, but will this stop other businesses from entering the industry, I don’t think so. The nature of entertainment is so fluid that what is popular now will be different in five years’ time and we will most likely consume it differently. Once you work with video and content, you really pay attention to this and when we look at the market and what is in front of us, we see our immediate rivals but also those on the sidelines of the industry. Consolidation might block the immediate entry for some companies, but I do not believe that it will block the variety and versatility of the products that are offered to players.

SS: I think we might also see consolidation between industries with new experiences coming in. Where betting and gaming were perhaps seen as unethical just a few years ago, big businesses from outside of the sector are undoubtedly now looking at it. I think the US opening up has changed perceptions, too. For example, ESPN and Disney have indicated they are considering betting as a potential market for them to explore.

 

MS: The industry is expanding internationally with new jurisdictions embracing licensing and regulation all of the time. But with most taking a state-by-state or province-by-province approach, just how tough is it for operators to be truly global?

VL: If you were to ask all operators and suppliers if you could wave a magic wand and have harmonised rules across the world, I think the vast majority would say that is the dream scenario. It would enable us to really focus on product innovation and development, player protection and ultimately creating a much better consumer experience rather than having to spend time tailoring the platform for each market. We are one of the few operators that have a global, scalable platform that can run in multiple jurisdictions, but we have to tailor that to each market. If you look at the US, the investment we have to put into each state to meet the local tax and disclosure regulations sucks up a lot of time and diverts resources away from other areas that could be much more productive in terms of making great products and really looking after players. The more we can move towards standardised approaches, especially in the area of player protection, the better it will be for all stakeholders.

EH: Any company that wants to enter regulated markets such as the UK really needs to have a strong compliance team in place. This team is not there to scare you but to give you direction when it comes to developing products within the guidelines set. For us, one of the biggest challenges in the US is that we have to create a dedicated studio in each of the states that we enter based on the Wire Act of 1961. At the time I couldn’t understand why we could not just build one studio, but now we are up and running I see it as a good barrier to the competition. Really, you need to embrace regulation and understand the meaning behind it, even if you do not agree with it. For us as a live casino provider business, having to create a studio in each of the states we target is not optimal. But if you can understand the playground you are in and cater to that culture, it is possible to succeed.

 

MS: In all of our talk about online, are we losing sight of the land-based punter? Is it true that once they have gone online, they will never come back to retail betting?

JW: During Covid, it was a real fear for our business. Our retail shops were forced to close which saw our online business grow significantly but now restrictions have been lifted we have seen retail fully bounce back. We are really pleased with how the high street is performing and we can see that our customers are enjoying the betting shop experience and especially the social element. Long may that continue.

SS: You can’t ignore that betting shops are more part of the past than the future of the industry. I do think there is an opportunity to reinvent the betting shop experience, which some operators are doing with things like self-service betting terminals. There is something there but, clearly, it is not on the rise and consumers are transitioning to digital. That said, there is room to create something synergistic between retail and online.

JW: I agree there will not be new betting shops coming but at the turnover level customers are returning and they want to come to the shop. Our digital business has normalised, but we are in a much stronger position than we were pre-Covid. There is a place for the high street; I believe in SSBT and omnichannel but customers still want to come into the retail environment. We are also seeing this in other territories. In our US business, the retail performance is strong in the casinos where we have partnerships and in South Africa, we have a significant retail presence, too, although it is a very different retail offering with a much bigger footprint with 30-40 tills. I understand the importance of digital, but retail will survive.

VL: As an industry, we do not do a great job of standing up and talking about the value of the products we are selling. Retail is back to where it was post-pandemic because people love it, and they go to the shops because it is a fun thing to do. It is similar to the convergence of media and online, so long as we are providing something of value to consumers then that’s great. I think we should be proud of the service and entertainment we provide and for me, retail betting still provides a huge amount of enjoyment for customers. Betting shops never really went away, they just had to close due to the pandemic and they remain a core part of the industry.

EH: I’m going to take the middle ground here. Retail is back and I think part of the reason why players are enjoying going to betting shops is that it was taken away from them for a long time. But I do agree with Shay that reinventing betting shops is an important thing. This includes self-service and other experiences that will drive people to retail as well as online. As a live provider, we are often asked if we are cannibalising land-based by my answer is always no. We are an extension of the business, and I don’t believe we can really replace the experience of going to a casino.

George Miller (Gyorgy Molnar) started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Notice: Undefined variable: user_ID in /home/eegaming/public_html/wp-content/themes/zox-news/comments.php on line 49

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Latest News

Windmills is free to play exclusively on GX.games, months ahead of other platforms

Published

on

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Getting your hands on high-end indie games for free is awesome. But what’s even sweeter is being able to play those games before everyone else. That’s why, GX.games – a platform full of indie games for you to play, is introducing its first exclusive game, Windmills, available now through to December, before being released on any other gaming platforms.

Lovingly crafted over almost two years by Greek developer Dimitris Locke, under the guise Poor Locke, Windmills, is a story-rich, combat-focused metroidvania, forged in the spirit of games like Dark Souls and Elden Ring. The pixel-art platformer also features mechanics and easter eggs that will no doubt appeal to fans of the popular ninja-themed action-adventure game, The Messenger.

Like all the free indie games on GX.games, Windmills has been beautifully crafted using GameMaker, the fastest and friendliest cross-platform game development technology. Alongside Opera GX, the world’s first gaming browser with over 17 million users, GameMaker and GX.games are part of an ecosystem dedicated to supporting creators and developers, while providing gamers with exclusive access to uniquely original and creative games.

“The games available on GX.games are cool indie games that you can dive into whenever you have a break or some spare time. This is why millions of GX.games users have already experienced top-end indie games like Chronicon, Seals of Bygone, Tunnel of Doom, Totemlands and Dyo for free, since we introduced monthly free games back in the summer. For October, we’re taking things to the next level and giving users exclusive access to Windmills, before its launch on other platforms next year” said Mattijs de Valk, VP Content Acquisition at Opera. “Offering Windmills exclusively, demonstrates the unique strength of the GX.games, GameMaker and Opera GX ecosystem, which has been forged to support creators throughout every step of the development process and connecting those games straight into our audience of over 17 million gamers on Opera GX” he added.

In addition to Windmills, GX.games has also added Chronicon (10/10 Steam) – an expansive, fantasy-based APRG that will appeal to fans of Diablo or Torchlight. In Chronicon, players must discover the magical device known as Chronicon, which allows them to travel into the souls and memories of fallen heroes and unlock epic adventures where loot and monsters await.

Every two-weeks, GX.games adds a new top-notch and fantastic indie game to the platform which has been created using GameMaker, which users can play for free as much as they like for up to three-months. Currently, users can get free access to popular tiles such as Seals of Bygone, Dyo, Tunnel of Doom and Textorist.

To experience these games for free,  users will need to open or download Opera GX – the gaming-centric version of the Opera browser. They can then access GX.games by navigating to the website or directly from the GX Corner in the browser. They can start playing games, including the premium indie titles instantly, without the need to create an account or to download any of them.

GX.games is also home to hundreds of awesome games which have been created and shared on the platform for free using GameMaker, the multi-million downloaded 2D game development engine that is part of the Opera Gaming family.

Opera GX was built with gamers in mind. The browser offers tons of visual customization options, sounds, ability to control your hardware’s RGB lighting and includes unique features like CPU, RAM, and Network limiters, to prevent lag so games run smoothly, while also introducing Discord and Twitch in the sidebar to ensure players don’t miss a beat.

Continue Reading

Latest News

Online Gambling Market to Touch Revenue of $153.89 Billion by 2028 | UK Generates Over 16.41 Billion Revenue From Online Betting

Published

on

Reading Time: 4 minutes

With the globalization of the internet, the gambling industry has seen a rapid growth in online gambling market. This growth is being driven by the increasing availability of internet access, the proliferation of mobile devices, and the rise of social media. Moreover, online gambling is convenient, accessible, and offers a wide variety of games and betting options. It is also relatively easy to start and there are no upper age restrictions.

Apart from this, there are many other reasons why online gambling market is expanding at such high rate. For one, it is very convenient. Players can gamble from the comfort of their own home, without having to travel to a land-based casino. Additionally, online gambling sites offer a much wider range of games and betting options than most brick-and-mortar casinos. All of these factors are contributing to the favorable growth of the global online gambling market.

With the growing popularity of online gambling, there is an increasing need for regulation. This is because online gambling can pose some risks, such as addiction and cybercrime. However, with the right regulations in place, these risks can be minimized.

So far, the UK has been at the forefront of regulating online gambling. The UK Gambling Commission has put in place a number of measures to protect consumers and ensure that they are treated fairly by operators. A recent report by the SkyQuest found that the number of people gambling online in the UK online gambling market has increased by 32% in the past 2 years. This trend is being driven by the growth of online casinos and sport betting which are becoming more and more sophisticated and offering a wider range of games and betting options.

Another reason why online gambling is growing in popularity is that it is becoming more accessible. In the past, only people who lived near casinos or had the means to travel to them could gamble. But now, with the internet, anyone can gamble online.

Key Findings of the Global Online Gambling Market

  • Global online gambling market to worth an estimated $153.89 billion by 2028.
  • Online gambling is legal in many countries, including the United Kingdom, US, Australia, India, Japan, and Canada.
  • UK and China are top countries in the global online gambling market
  • In the United States, however, online gambling is illegal in most states.
  • Most popular online gambling games include poker, casino games, and sports betting.
  • Online gambling is particularly popular among young adults, with 36–44-year-old the most likely to gamble online.
  • Men are more likely to gamble online than women, although the gender gap is narrowing.
  • Risks associated with online gambling include addiction, financial ruin, and crime.
  • There are approximately 2,000 online gambling sites in operation today

China, US, UK, Canada and Australia Generates Over 73% Market Revenue

With the popularity of online gambling, many countries have seen an increase in revenue from this industry. China, US, Japan, Canada and Australia are some of the top contributors to the online gambling market. According to SkyQuest’s recent studies, these five countries generate over 73% of the total revenue for the online gambling market. This is a significant amount when you consider that there are over 60 countries where online gambling is legal.

The reason why these five countries generate so much revenue is because they have a large number of people who gamble regularly. China has the largest population in the world, and its citizens are known to be big gamblers. The same is true for the citizens of US, Japan, Canada and Australia. Every year, US citizen spent over $35 billion on gambling and a significant portion of that amount goes to online betting. To be precise, the country spent around $2.6 billion on online gambling and the country is witnessing a growth in the revenue at a CAGR of over 16%.

On other hand, Canada is a well-established player in the global online gambling market. As per SkyQuest Study, Canadian spent over $4.4 billion on online gambling, especially online casino. This is significantly higher than the US. Our study suggests that over 70% of Canadians are engaged in some kind of online gambling activities.

The UK is the biggest online betting market in the world. In 2021, the country spent over $16.41 billion on online betting. This is because there are many different bookmakers and betting sites that cater to UK customers. There are many different types of online bets that UK customers can make. For example, they can bet on sports, horse racing, and even political events. The sky is the limit when it comes to online betting in the UK.

There are many reasons why the UK is such a big player in the online gambling market. For one, gambling is legal and regulated in the UK, so there are plenty of legal and safe options for players to choose from. Secondly, the UK has a large population of internet users, so there is a large pool of potential customers for online gambling operators. Finally, the UK has a long history of gambling, dating back to the early days of horse racing and cockfighting. This tradition of gambling has continued into the modern era, with the British public spending billions of pounds on lottery tickets, casino games, and sports betting each year.

Major Players in Global Online Gambling Market

  • Entain plc (GVC Holdings Plc.)
  • Kindred Group Plc. (Malta)
  • William Hill Plc. (UK)
  • StarsGroup.com (Canada)
  • Flutter Entertainment Plc. (Ireland)
  • Betsson AB (Sweden)
  • Bet365 Group (UK)
  • LeoVegas AB (Sweden)
  • 888 Holdings PLC (Gibraltar)
  • BetAmerica (US)
Continue Reading

Latest News

Global Online Gambling Market Report 2022: Featuring William Hill, Flutter Entertainment, 888 Holdings, Bet365 & Others

Published

on

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

The “Global Online Gambling Market – Forecasts from 2022 to 2027” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets offering.

The global online gambling market was valued at US$65.316 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.11% over the forecast period to reach a total market size of US$128.154 billion in 2027.

The growing popularity of betting across different regions around the globe is significantly driving the global online gambling market. According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), around 2,800 sites were active online and offered games and activities, such as poker, lottery, and bingo, as of 2018.

The growing adoption of smartphones, coupled with rapid penetration of better internet connectivity across various regions/countries, is supporting easy access to various online gambling platforms. With companies offering freemium models to their customers, the number of people engaged in various types of online gambling is rising at a considerable rate which, in turn, is boosting the growth of the global online gambling market.

An increasing number of cost-effective mobile applications to play different online gambling games on smartphones is also contributing to the market growth of online gambling worldwide. The ease of sports betting using a portable connected device such as a smartphone, laptop, and tablet has increased the number of players in the online gambling industry.

Moreover, the proliferation of sports betting along with other online gambling ads is further attracting people to try online gambling, thus positively impacting the market growth during the forecast period. Online agencies, third-party ad servers, and networks and exchanges are used for advertising gambling websites of various companies. Online gambling service providers enter into agreements with individual customers or players to offer betting services for real money, attracting more and more gamers.

The online gambling industry has a vast range of regulatory frameworks in place, which attributes mainly to the market size, the number of participants, and the level of illegal gambling. Legislation for online gambling ranges from licensed markets that are fully open to commercial operators to explicitly prohibited and banned. Tax rates, online penetration, and other regulatory requirements vary widely across geographic regions. As legislation continues to evolve, the regulated markets have a severe impact of increasing costs and barriers to entry which includes consumer protection initiatives and rising gambling taxes. By far, the United Kingdom is the largest regulated online gambling market for many online operators. Other sizeable regulated markets include Sweden, Spain, Italy, and Australia.

However, many countries prohibit the online gambling industry, which is hampering the growth of the global online gambling market. Countries, where online gambling is illegal, include Singapore, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), North Korea, India, and Qatar. In Russia, online gambling is completely banned except for interactive gambling, which includes simulators of slot machines, card games, and casino games. Moreover, countries, where online gambling is allowed have restricted and stringent regulations, which further erodes the growth of this overall online gambling market.

Continue Reading

Trending

We are constantly showing banners about important news regarding events and product launches. Please turn AdBlock off in order to see these areas.