Vixio at SBC Summit North America: Our Highlights

Zachary Birnbaum

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May 15, 2024

On May 7th - 9th, Vixio attended the SBC Summit North America in beautiful Secaucus, New Jersey, home to one of the largest sports betting and iGaming markets in North America. The leading conference and tradeshow is dedicated to the high-growth online betting and gaming industry in the U.S. and Canada, this was the fifth edition of the event and saw executives from every major operator in the region gather to exchange ideas about emerging opportunities and how to handle the inevitable growing pains that will accompany the industry’s expansion.

Our Senior Legal Analyst, Zach Birnbaum, was on-the-ground, and in this blog we’ll bring you his take on the experience, based on what he saw and who he spoke to.

SBC Summit North America: Key Themes and Takeaways

US Gaming Landscape and Industry Projection

The US gaming market is seen as consolidating into what was termed a “Big Boys Game”.

Consolidation of market share into 5 to 6 major players across the legalized states. “Little” operators will only be able to sustain themselves through embracing profitability as a driver over market share. This shift in perspective has started in the approaches taken by market movers.

Operators seeking to shift from market to profitability need and must continue to focus on embracing regulatory technology; simplifying their product, and; focusing primarily on UX as a driver and differentiator among competitors.

BetMGM’s interface was singled out but one panelist opined that “the bar is so low, that to clear it is no mark of significant achievement in the grand scheme of things”.

Operators in the US must shift into seeing and operating as if good compliance and regulations are an industry boon, rather than a “necessary evil”, and encourage greater partnership and collaboration between operators and suppliers to benefit consumers.

Increased cooperation and collaboration with regulators as partners should also be encouraged and maintained.

Personalization and Gamification efforts will lead to greater regulatory burden, with specific focus on RG elements, necessitating greater efforts on those areas of business. With the increase in M&A activity from the need to consolidate, financial compliance is becoming an increasing source of focus internally among operators.

RegTech, AI, and Machine Learning

There are no static regulations across the global gaming landscape in the use of artificial intelligence / machine learning (AL/ML).

AI/ML is seeing a lot of interest and use cases in detecting abnormal or suspicious patterns of activity related to AML, which is proving an operational focus for payments operators working in the gaming space, in addition to traditional operators seeking to better understand patron financial activity within their platforms.

GenAI is highly problematic for creative content and creative field, with potential to radicalize personalization efforts

Use of AI/ML is driven by business perspectives and increasing due to potential for revenue generation being highly significant.

However, legality and protection of data privacy especially as concerns cross-border transfers of data remain a question mark.

Regulatory Guardrails are needed for the good of patrons and industry public relations and growth.

The industry is too “young” within the US to wrestle with AI regulations: the SEC has just now released guidance pertaining to financial institutions as a first step from a governmental/agency point of view.

Responsible and Problem Gambling

By 2030, the best case projected scenario is true operator/regulator synergy and harmonization of problem gambling provisions and initiatives across the global gaming landscape

Industry is in dire need of more active/proactive leadership in the space. Regulatory warnings must be heeded now.

Affordability checks could come to the US but due to cultural and political issues and perspectives, they are very unlikely to resemble UK-style checks.

Numerous panelists, speakers, and attendees seemed to believe that some kind of federal intervention in the gaming space by 2030 is likely, although the extent of its scope and negative impact was yet to be determined.

General thought is that intervention would come in the gaming advertising or responsible gambling space.

Conscious Commerce

Demographic peculiarities of different groups must be taken into account when devising responsible marketing, responsible gambling programs, and responsible intervention.

Different beliefs/cultures surrounding gambling: Aaron GlynWilliams from Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) highlighted the different cultural groups within Ontario and how their gambling habits and patterns vary based on cultural propensities to different gambling mediums and problematic tendencies.

The need for audience segmentation is paramount and needs to inform the format of targeted responsible marketing and education campaigns for patrons.

RG Programs must keep up with changing player bases and be enacted through a preventative perspective rather than reactive.

Use of Generational Anchoring Benchmarks (GAB) and behavioral threshold requirements for RG intervention will be a continuing trend, likely to spread throughout North America. These are already present within Colorado, New Jersey, and Ontario.

Continues trend of use of Technological triggers for RG

Payments and Tech

Cashless has had a slow rollout, but is starting to re-accelerate from an Omnichannel Wallet perspective.

Caesars and Bally’s, in particular, have indicated that they are targeting efforts into enacting Omnichannel capabilities through a “brand (i.e. Caesars) Wallet” that can be used for all activity within given branded properties.

Continues the theme of personalization and reduced friction, as well as enables gaming entities to obtain increasing amounts of data concerning player propensities, pattern tracking, and fraud detection.

This is further enabled through use of AI technology for player tracking, player knowledge, and fraud detection.

Overall, it was another successful SBC event for Team Vixio, and we’re looking forward to the next one!

At the SBC Summit's Gaming Regulation and Compliance Forum, Vixio's James Kilsby moderated the panel entitled ‘Regulation 2030: Anticipating Future Compliance Challenges'.

Attended the summit but missed us? Discover which events we’ll be at and never miss a chance to meet us again by viewing our calendar

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