iGF Supper Club, Compliance 2024: A Dance With The Devil Or Indispensable Tango For Two


The Great and the Good of international iGaming Compliance assembled in London yesterday at the latest iteration of iGamingFuture’s essential networking “Club”, held this year to explore the key issue of “Growth Through Compliance”, writes iGF Editor-in-Chief André Dubronski.

Sponsored by Crucial Compliance, the evening, hosted at 1, Liverpool Street, in the heart of London’s City financial district, featured a keynote address by out-of-industry Compliance expert ‘Kaelo Ajuluchukwu, ex-global law firm DLA Piper; ex-MTN, the largest telecommunications company in Africa; an ex-Associate General Counsel at Meta/Facebook and currently Head of Product Regulatory Compliance at Welltech, the global health and fitness software provider.

Over 40 iGaming leaders and Compliance experts listened to ‘Kaelo’s seasoned advice and learnings acquired during an impressive career covering Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

“It’s critical to have a lot of engagement with the Regulator,” stressed ‘Kaelo, (pictured, centre, above; with iGF’s Head of Publishing Rory Niblock-Stuart, left, and Head of Content Curtis Roach).

“Don’t go toe-to-toe [with the authorities]. Engagement should be like a dance, with everyone progressing in step; smoothly with respect and understanding.

“Prioritize the Regulator,” ‘Kaelo continued. “Train the Regulator, let them into your world.

“You need to explain: ‘We’re not trying to rip people off and run away with their money. This is a business. We’re providing entertainment and fun.’”

Synergy

The synergies and similarities between the gambling industry and much of the tech world are unmistakeable, if not compelling, said ‘Kaelo, who was introduced to guests by Crucial Compliance Founder and CEO Paul Foster and Heather McKee, Director of Compliance at White Hat Gaming.

Against a shifting scenario of fast-changing Compliance regimes and evolving Grey Market regulation, Paul affirmed the world of gambling was facing a “waterfall moment”.


“The more regulated [a market], the less money you’re going to make. Nothing is ever going to change that,” said Paul (pictured, right, with Rory Niblock-Stuart)

Take, for example, the just-changed licensing regime in south Caribbean Curaçao.

“A whole world has changed, and not a lot of people know about it. A whole business model has changed overnight.

“What’s the cost of staying with a White Label provider and marketing agency?

“Do you just launch a different brand on a different platform and pretend it isn’t you?”

Quite naturally, such uncertainty and volatility also presented “massive opportunities” for the Compliance sector, Paul argued.

Journey

During her introduction, Heather stressed: “Evaluation is key. You have to ask yourself what’s working, what doesn’t work.

“How do we make this work for the business? We are there to help the business grow. Data is king.


“At the end of the day, we are not psychologists, not psychiatrists. We’re a gambling company!” (pictured with Curtis Roach)

Returning to ‘Kaelo’s keynote presentation, the Nigerian Compliance leader noted that tech Internet companies and the iGaming industry shared many of the same challenges.

“Historically, the regulator has a lack of trust towards us.

“You’re perceived as the ‘Bad Guy’, leaning on the negative side. And we’re often dealing with the emotional side of regulation. Some regulation can be very reactionary.”

It’s essential to create a global Compliance framework to prevent confusion and conflict, ‘Kaelo argued.

Education, user-centric transparency, innovation, engagement and–yes–AI were all vital elements of the journey to success.

“Licence holders and suppliers have to bring knowledge into the conversation with the regulator without being mistrusted.

“We have to let them know that this is the entertainment business, providing a lot of jobs and a lot of money for the community; nice, safe, enjoyable entertainment.”

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