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Egaming industry predictions for 2018 - including GDPR and lottery regulation
Kambi CCO Max Meltzer and Susan Biddle of Kemp Little reveal their top three industry predictions for 2018
Max Meltzer, chief commercial officer, Kambi
- New takes on the classic sportsbook – I think 2018 could well be the year that new entrants, or at least new brands, push the boundaries of what is a relatively standardised sportsbook product. While the likes of LeoVegas and Mr Green have already got the ball rolling using Kambi’s open platform, I expect to see more gamification, social elements, packaging of particular sports or bet types, unique bonusing and incentives for customer acquisition and retention come to the fore as operators look to exploit niche segments of the market.
- GDPR to cause a ‘shock’ – I say ‘shock’ as General Data Protection Regulation has been well flagged so shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone when it comes into force in May 2018. However, I’ve spoken to numerous operators, particularly possible future partners of ours, who don’t really have this on their radar, but with breaches of the new Act resulting in fines of up to 4% of global turnover, or as much as €20m, businesses must act quickly to ensure they have their regulatory ducks in a row. Thanks to the ISO 27001 accreditation Kambi gained in 2016, we’ve had a head start when it comes to being compliant with the new data rules and, as per our corporate probity strategy, have been busy helping our operators put in place the right procedures to avoid any potential pitfalls.
- Retail players to expect online quality– The retail punter is evolving to the point where we should no longer look at the industry as being multi-channel. Players now expect the same high standard in shop as they do online – whether that be pricing, bonusing, depth of offer, in-play and Instant Betting. People all over the world are walking into retail betting stores with smartphones in their pockets, or checking prices online ahead of placing an OTC bet – they are aware of a better experience available but are unable to access it. At the same time, operators must have the same flexibility to differentiate in-store as they have online, from customising Egaming industry predictions for 2018 – including GDPR and lottery regulation SSBTs, to having price differentiation, to tailoring football coupons, to targeted bonuses, etc. Furthermore, with a reduction in stakes on FOBTs coming in the UK, operators will be forced to improve and modernise the in-store betting experience.
Susan Biddle, legal consultant, Kemp Little LLP
- The need for socially responsible provision of gambling will be a key theme, underpinning a number of issues such as: the launch of GAMSTOP and how effective this is; continued debate about the dividing line between gambling and social gaming, and the extent to which social gaming should be regulated. There will be particular concern about children being exposed to gambling-style products; whether there should be a statutory levy to replace the current voluntary funding for research, education and treatment of problem gambling; and a drive towards more co-operation between operators on sharing experiences on what works (or does not work) in relation to identifying and helping problem gamblers and those at risk of becoming problem gamblers. The 5 Live investigation reported in mid-December is perhaps a taste of things to come. Operators will make – or will be under increasing pressure to make – more use of technology (including machine learning and other forms of artificial intelligence) to help them to identify actual/potential problem gamblers and the self-excluded, and to help these people to manage (and where appropriate stop) their gambling.
- A continued focus on consumer protection, with all operators needing to review their T&Cs to take account of the outputs from the current Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) investigation, and vigorous action by the CMA and Gambling Commission against any who do not make the necessary changes. We’ll also see continued active enforcement by the Commission and/or the ASA of the various codes on advertising. Egaming industry predictions for 2018 – including GDPR and lottery regulation
- An increased regulatory focus on lotteries, in an attempt to shore up the revenue for good causes including: the introduction and enforcement of the bar on betting on non-UK EuroMillions; the need to make clear what proportion of lottery proceeds go to which good causes; requiring those offering bets on international lotteries to make very clear that this is betting, & not a lottery raising funds for good causes; the competition for the new National Lottery licence and follow-up of the National Audit Office’s report on Camelot’s profits and contribution to good causes; and close scrutiny (by the Gambling Commission and/or the ASA) of the various attempts to sell houses via free prize draws and skill competitions.