The 2017 edition of the KPMG Isle of Man e-Gaming Summit was particularly well timed, given the recent events surrounding 888’s penalty from the Gambling Commission and Skybet’s decision to curtail most of its UK affiliate marketing. Many of the summit’s sessions focused on regulation and responsible gambling but an underlying theme across the day was the need for better communication by gambling operators.
The influence of regulation on a gambling business is very strong. It can ultimately determine the profitability of a business. Compliance is a growing fixed cost on the gambling sector from which it is difficult to earn a return.
Communication between operators
The gambling sector is made up of a range of different groups each with their own priorities and trade associations. But the wider public does not make these distinctions and simply groups “gambling” into a single entity. As such, when one sector attacks another (e.g. casinos on betting shop FOBTs), it damages the perception of all “gambling” still further in the eyes of the public. This is important because both politicians and regulators view public opinion as a form of evidence to be taken into account when developing gambling policy and regulations.
Communication with customers
As GBGC has written about before, the Gambling Commission is using public opinion and surveys as a source of evidence to determine its regulatory policy. In the general population, the opinion of gambling is generally negative.
Communication with affiliates
Affiliates have played a key role in developing the e-gaming sector. But just as the e-gaming operators are facing more regulatory scrutiny, it is inevitable that marketing affiliates will do so too. The future role of affiliates in e-gaming will be determined by communication between the two parties are to what is required and what is expected of each side.
This is especially true in areas relating to data protection and responsible gambling with new regulations coming in the form of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the GamStop self-exclusion database. There is some conflict at present as to which piece of legislation takes precedence. Can operators pass on the details of customers on the GamStop database to their affiliates to ensure the self-excluded customers do not receive further marketing material?