Some of the highlights from the conference
The iGaming SUPER Show is the largest annual conference for the online gambling industry. It took place last week in Amsterdam and it was a huge success with record numbers showing up to see what the latest trends are. There was certainly a lot to follow as pretty much all the major operators were present with a booth.
From such a big combination of operators, there are plenty of things to talk about but we will try to keep things simple and cover the highlights.
The subject of China and its love for gambling was a very big topic at the conference this year. The growing trend for Chinese gamblers to travel to Korean casinos in order to quench their thirst has attracted the attention of various companies, looking to get a share of the action.
Gambling in China
When it comes to online marketing in China, the best way to do it is with the help of Baidu, the biggest search engine on the market, and Weibo, the equivalent to Twitter. However, gambling is much more different since every page that has online gambling content will not be ranked on the search engine results.
The loophole that has been allowing some forms of gambling is that FOREX is not gambling specific. Trading currency is not really gambling but more of an investment which makes it a great way for players to get the thrill. It combines the love for betting the Chinese have and guarantees a reliable environment. Online gambling operators looking to enter the market are recommended to use this channel.
Also, the conference nicely covered the fact that China is not for everyone. The market is very different than the rest of the world and pumping money does not guarantee results. There are also a lot of differences between Baidu and Google so online marketing has to be done in different ways.
Gambling in the US
The iGaming Executive Conference focused on the situation in the United States and how the public perception changed over the years. People no longer see gambling as a bad habit that creates addiction but more like a way to spend some free time in an exciting way, with the potential to win large prizes.
eGamblingportals.com lists a variety of gambling sites, ranging from bingo and online casinos to poker and sportsbooks. There are also options for US players so it is very easy to get started.
The regulation of online gambling in the United States will happen, according to one of the spokespersons from the event, but the question is when. The current situation, where the regulations differ from state to state, makes it a lot more difficult for operators. While the first two states to do this are the ones with experience in the field, Nevada and Delaware, there are concerns regarding the states with no experience whatsoever.
The subject of online gambling in the United States continued into Day 2 on the conference floor. GCA is a payment company that represents about 70% of the gambling transactions that take place in the US. While the company has a few licenses for land based operations, there are uncertainties about these licenses carrying over to the online sector. This is mostly due to the fact that the regulations are made as we go along and some of the largest operators will suffer in the process.
The President of the American Gaming Association (AGA) stated that despite the fact that AGA has always pushed for a poker-only bill, things have now changed and the board is open to adding more games on the list. The idea was that poker is easier to pass but the fact that states are regulating other forms of online gaming forces the AGA to consider other games for a federal bill.
He also talked about the companies that took bets after UIGEA and had a strong belief that these operators will have a very hard time getting licenses to operate in the US.
Most of the companies that fit this “bad actors” description are very experience and can dominate the market if they are allowed to join. A good example would be PokerStars, the largest online poker room on the internet, as it tried to buy a casino in Atlantic City but the process of getting a license took too long and the deal expired.