Susan O’Leary, Director of eCommerce, says the future is bright as Alderney keeps up with changing demands in the industry
The next generation of adults has grown up with a library, cinema, games arcade and the yellow pages for the entire world in their pockets. These Millennials are growing up and in the next few years many of them will turn 18 and have a credit card for the first time. They will spend lots of money and our industry needs to be ready.
Millennials think about the world in a different way. It is unlikely that they will go to casinos and gamble their money on slots. They want to be active and have interaction but they will look to their mobiles, tablets and more advanced technologies to get it.
We are very aware that there are so many different regulations around the world covering a huge variety of products. These differences make it challenging for the industry to grow in an era when the speed of change is accelerating. Access to different markets and technology is making the world smaller so regulation needs to be appropriate and fit-for-purpose.
In Alderney we need to constantly question whether, as industry leaders, what we are doing is making a positive contribution to our sector. We have to look closely at the changes in our industry and review our offering. Is it appropriate and fit-for-purpose? Does it do the job?
We are proud that our existing framework can accommodate such a variety of rapidly evolving projects and we work hard to keep abreast of the latest developments in order to continually future proof our own offering.
Two areas that are topical and that our regulatory framework already covers are eSports and Daily Fantasy Sports. The good news for operators is that the Alderney model already regulates the betting in these sectors and Alderney does not have to change the regulations to capture them.
The other key area that will aid growth in the sector is inter-jurisdictional cooperation. Licensees want trouble-free access to markets and Alderney’s reputation and its cooperative relationship with other regulators and governments ensures that doors are opened and commercial opportunities are maximised. We have a vast array of MOUs with international jurisdictions, in fact, we have secured more than any other gambling regulator. The Commission liaises regularly with bodies such as the British Gambling Commission, the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, and we continue to forge new relationships around the world regularly.
We work very closely with operators to understand their businesses and in that process we have helped many who started small and grow to be large and successful. We are excited about our licensees' growth and the AGCC visit our licensees for an on-site inspection at least once a year. It is a great opportunity to be updated on the latest trends and developments and discuss, discover and assess what changes are needed in the regulatory framework.
One example where we have made great strides is through the completion of the first phase of the International Association of Gambling Regulator’s (IGAR) working group project to develop a Multi-Jurisdictional Testing Framework (MJTF).
The MJTF project is an important step toward harmonising regulatory requirements across all IAGR jurisdictions, and we continue to actively work towards further standardisation of games software testing requirements. We are working closely with gambling regulators in the UK, Denmark and the Isle of Man to assist licensees and certificate holders in achieving the best speed to market while minimising regulatory duplication and games software testing costs. In the next stage of the process, AGCC licensees and certificate holders will soon likely benefit from standardisation of game fairness testing, which the working group has already prepared in draft format for adoption in the next phase.
I consider myself extremely lucky to be working in one of the most exciting, progressive, yet unpredictable industries in the world. We do not know what this sector has in store for us but we are excited to grow and develop with it. Alderney has always been a first mover and sets the pace in respect of the regulatory framework for the industry, make sure your business comes with us and is not left behind.
Susan O’Leary is a lawyer who has represented some of the world’s leading i-gaming operators and gambling service providers including many of Alderney’s licensees and has a keen sense of what they require from a jurisdiction: A strong pragmatic regulator who understands the commercial environment, a resilient technical infrastructure, a favourable tax system, excellent support services and a fees system that allows businesses to grow