SBC Barcelona 2022: Exclusive M&A Session Preview with WhiteZip

Next week all roads lead to one of the most highly-anticipated European iGaming events of the year – SBC Barcelona, taking place from 20th – 22nd September.

This event will serve as a dynamic hub, purpose built for global leaders in sports betting and iGaming to assemble and discuss the future of the industry, exchange knowledge and build powerful connections.

Sven Kaltenegger, Chief Commercial Officer at Whitezip Gaming will be one of the many top-tier speakers taking part in next week’s conference. IGF caught up with him to explore why events like Barca are so important for Sven and to ask, most importantly, what he believes the audience will gain from his session to help equip them for future growth.

Why is it so important for you to visit a show like SBC Barcelona? What do you hope to achieve by attending?

“SBC in general is becoming an important event not to be missed. Participating in last year’s SBC event in Barcelona showed us–more than ever–the importance of being present: not only on panels but also giving us the opportunity to network, to get the latest industry insights and meet with existing and new partners. It was one of the first conferences to be almost back to normal after the Covid pandemic,  which made the trip very insightful and a joy to meet so many industry colleagues again. The audience was already quite strong last year. And, seeing the current trend, I expect this year to be even better attended. Apart from this, Barcelona is always well worth a trip!”

What are some of the key topics you plan to focus on during your panel session at the Conference? What key learnings will attendees hopefully walk away with?

“Acquisition, and specifically Affiliation, will be an important focus point during the event. We hope to get additional insights on markets that potentially will regulate or are already regulated, as it is important to always be on top of the game. It will be also most vital to get new contacts from the event for future business. Hence SBC Barcelona is the perfect place to meet, discuss and share insight. We already see a big variety of industry experts who are going to be attending. Furthermore, seeing the different companies participating, from the financial to marketing, will help us further gather more insights and new partners moving into Q4.”

As advertising restrictions continue to increase within many key gaming jurisdictions. What impact will this have on the role of the Affiliate and their bargaining power?

“Affiliation is, and always will be, a major traffic channel. Affiliates change over time, sometimes being more data-driven and having more advanced tools than bigger operators. Having said that, many affiliates have a wider portfolio of traffic opportunities, as well as different approaches to deliver. This means their bargaining power will remain for the time being quite substantial, as many brands still rely mostly on affiliated traffic. Affiliates have evolved over the years and they keep on playing an important role, as third-party acquisition parties.”

Some industry commentators believe the gaming world should follow the lead of North America regarding mandatory affiliate licensing, to help increase general industry standards. Do you agree? What impact do you think a licensed affiliate market would have on the wider iGaming sector?

“In general, licences are the right way to go. But to achieve this it needs to be an equal playing field,  without any monopolies. Tax and player protection are very important and deserve full attention for operators but, moving forward, also for Affiliates. The majority of Affiliates are already established and “legit” businesses. With the right approach and legal framework, an Affiliate licence would be beneficial to everyone, if set up correctly and fairly. This would also help the industry to be perceived as more legitimate. For as we know, gambling is often perceived in a negative light. Licensed Affiliates would then also benefit from the full potential of advertising possibilities and would be able to increase their offerings.”

Editor’s note:

After speaking with Sven, it’s abundantly clear that the role of Affiliates will only increase in significance as the industry continues to evolve. They have the tools and traffic channels to really drive the iGaming industry, especially in the face of mounting regulatory pressures. However, understanding how Affiliates can join forces and be acquired by larger operators will be the key to realising our true potential as an industry.

To learn more about how regulation and M&A activity will impact the future growth of our sector, be sure to attend Sven’s session at SBC Barcelona next week!

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