Ahead of our March Virtual RoundTable–Multijurisdictional Success: The Best Routes to Growth in the USA and Canada–we thought it apposite to get the conversation warmed-up with Martin Lycka, SVP for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling at Entain.
We caught up with Martin at his New York Office to hear his thoughts on the many growth opportunities, and potential pitfalls, present in the North America marketplace – and to get the inside take on how operators can best manage and navigate the sometimes-complex, continually-evolving, regulatory landscape.
If our chat with Martin wets your appetite for even more key knowledge, insight and the most effective strategies for cracking the United States and Canada, then please don’t pass on our exclusive invitation to register for the upcoming iGF Virtual Roundtable.
We’ve got an award-winning cup of brimming talent lined up, among them leading operators from Wondr Nation and Fitzdares.
But first, here’s Martin:
iGF: Online casino seems to be progressing at a lot slower pace than sportsbook. How will this impact future opportunities for growth in the market?
“Online casino would of course provide further opportunities for growth of the US-facing online gambling industry. And arguably, just like it has in New Jersey and elsewhere, it would aid growth and modernisation of the land-based casino industry. I strongly believe that the industry will get online gaming “done” in the next few years. It will just come with an even more compelling narrative, one that will reflect the best interests of everyone involved with the process – i.e. the legislators, regulators and, most importantly, the patrons.”
Does the cost of remaining compliant in multiple jurisdictions mean that only the largest companies can compete on this level? What are the best ways to streamline regulatory/compliance activities?
“I still believe that even mid-sized or smaller companies have an opportunity to compete as long as they identify niche products or markets, or are in a position to benefit from local or regional knowledge. Having said that, the cost of compliance will likely lead to further concentration within the industry. Regarding compliance activities itself, it’s fair to say that every jurisdiction has its idiosyncrasies. At the same time, it comes down to having strong foundations for the overall compliance program that applies across the board.”
Many of these markets will have a much stronger affinity with retail betting, as online is still a relatively new concept. How can a customer’s Omnichannel experience be maximised?
“Legalised sports betting is still a relatively novel concept across the board in the US as PASPA, the legislation that had banned it, was only repealed five-years-ago. As a result, to a large extent, retail and mobile betting have evolved in parallel. Saying that, it is certainly the case that attractive online offerings may sway customers towards betting on their mobiles when they’re away from the retail areas. This makes the US experience different from most of the rest of the world where tethering is not required (but can be equally attractive).”
Which states or provinces do expect to be opening up next? Once operating in one state, does that make expansion into new jurisdictions easier in regards to traversing various regulatory landscapes?
“This is literally a million, if not a billion, dollar question. I’ll be as daring as to say that Texas might get there this year, together with a few other states down in the US. When it comes to Canada, additional provinces are expected to regulate “Ontario-style” in the not-too-distant future.
“Each state/province is different. At the same time, they draw inspiration from one another in terms of the design of the regulatory models, so having experience in one state or, even better, multiple states/provinces is extremely useful.”
It’s great to hear from Martin on the exciting new opportunities presenting themselves across the Atlantic pond – especially with giant states like Texas expected to open up. The future is looking very promising.
But the US and Canada, compared to most of Europe, is still a very new iGaming market. And, crucially, market success can only be mined once key factors have been explored, understood and implemented.
To hear more about these exciting possibilities in North America and learn how operators in the region are maintaining growth, simply click the link below and register for iGF’s upcoming Virtual Roundtable: