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Key takeaways from ICE Totally Gaming 2018

Published: Friday February 16, 2018

A blog post by Peter Murray, Head of Gaming, GBG.

Last week, ICE 2018, the world’s largest Gaming event, took place at London’s ExCel centre. As always, the four-day annual event combined energy, innovation and controversy in equal measure, as the biggest and brightest minds that the sector has to offer got together.

Now that it’s all over for another year, here are my key takeaways from the event, as well as what the gaming industry should be focusing on to signpost the way forward.

Global regulation is at the heart of the sector.

The Gambling Commission set the scene in their first speech, which called upon the industry to take responsibility for its practices and attitudes. Regulation was central in almost every conversation that followed.

The truly global nature of the industry was unmissable. From the changing regulatory landscape in the UK, EU and Australia, to the soon to be regulated markets in Sweden and the Netherlands, and the potentially game changing jurisdictions of Asia, Latin America and Africa, it’s front of mind.

It’s clear to me that gaming operators’ success will be defined by their ability to adapt to the changing landscape and address local, regional nuances. And it’s no different for GBG. The way in which we continue to develop solutions that recognise and adapt to these nuances will be vital.

Business leaders stepping up to the challenge

It’s undeniable that the sector is under intense scrutiny. It was great to see so many senior executives raise their head above the parapet and get on the front foot. It doesn’t seem like lip service – they are critically driving change from within.

One of the most prominent examples was Richard Flint, CEO of the soon to float Sky Betting and Gaming. Richard’s message was about putting the customer at the heart of their offering in order to have a business that is sustainable, respected and, above all, trusted. This means using better quality data intelligently and combing that with emerging technologies.

There is something in the DNA of the Nordic based operators when it comes to customer engagement and responsibility. We only have to look at Mr Green, the Kindred Group and LeoVegas, to see how they are leading the sector in this area

Growth will not be from the UK

In the lively panel discussions, conversations during break out sessions and receptions, it was clear that whilst the battle for revenue and players in the UK continues, many smart operators are laying the groundwork for growth elsewhere. Key regulatory sessions about Asia, Africa, and Latin America showed how they are looking to open up.

Whether it is Brasilia, Beijing or Buenos Aires, whilst their regulations may be currently in a state of flux, at GBG we know this is where the future lies and there is no point waiting until they happen. We are working on early engagement with the respective regulators to help scope the changes (as we have done in Malta) as well as focusing our data strategy and technology developments so that they stay ahead of the game.

KYC as we know it is dead.

Traditional ‘Know Your Customer’ solutions, as operators have used for the last 10 years, are rapidly losing their relevance. In fact, I’d say they are no longer fit for purpose.

The industry must use better quality data and more innovatively and dynamically if it wishes to survive. GBG has a key role to play in supporting this, not only for our own sustainable business but for that of our clients.

Casino Royale

In my opinion, online casinos have adhered to a strictly ‘light touch’ regulatory regime when it came to Identity for years. However, they are finally being aligned with the rest of the gaming world.

During ICE we had many conversations with organisations about how they don’t want to just tick the boxes when it comes to being compliant. We were delighted to demonstrate how our IDscan document verification hardware, when combined other GBG services such as location intelligence through GBG ID3global to GBG Connexus, provides an enhanced and unrivalled customer experience. It ensures a safe and secure environment for our clients and their customers to engage in.

If you want to hear more about how GBG can help your business grow, contact peter.murray@gbgplc.com.


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