MAY JUN 2023

Editor's Letter

AI. It ain't going away, is it?
Its use within the gambling industry is increasing ever-more, so too its frequency in every-day use across all facets of life.
 Is this necessarily a good thing? From an effiency point of view, 100%. From a moral point of view? That's a different story – and, luckily for me, not one I really have to answer in this edition's cover feature. This being a B2B gambling magazine, we aren't too interested in whether AI will take over the world just yet. If you're a movie buff, you're probably already convinced it will, anyway.
 In said cover feature, I present my initial thesis to OPTX's Steve Bright, while also including contributions from Sportradar's recent White Paper on the topic, essentially questioning whether AI might cause businesses a few problems before the gambling industry can truly reap the rewards of its advantages. The technical term I use for this is "deskilling." The layman's term is downright laziness. For, if workers now have AI programs that can do their job for them, what is to stop them from doing nothing beyond letting AI do their work for them? We've seen such examples, even here...
 It's a complicated topic and one our contributors cover well. AI is also the subject of our Roundtable, while a number of our regular columnists are out in force through the body of the magazine, tackling the industry's hottest topics as always.
 You'll see below we have dedicated special mention to Johnny Aitken and Anton Yakovenko. It has to be said these are for two very different reasons. Aitken is a key figure in our spread on page 28 – a timeline of PointsBet's US operations. Despite seemingly making a lot of progress in North America (and spending heavily on marketing), the operator recently announced a strategic review with a view to potentially selling its US operations, reflecting just how tough it is for brands to actually break into the market Stateside. Yakovenko, meanwhile, has made a successful transition to the US – thanks to the support from his employer Eclipse Gaming that allowed him to leave war-torn Ukraine. During a time of negative headlines, especially in Ukraine, his is a heartwarming story we can all do with – and its our pleasure to bring you some real human news in this issue; separate, of course, to our traditional blend of data, business insight, and online product and casino floor discussion.

In the Magazine

Facing Facts: Looking back on how Asian operators fared in Q4 2022

Gambling Insider takes a closer look at various facts and figures from Asia-focused operators from the fourth quarter and full year 2022.

GBGC Data: How betting has changed in the US and Europe over the years

Global Betting & Gaming Consultants (GBGC), the global gaming data expert, provides exclusive statistical data to markets from around the globe.

Taking Stock: How did Asian operators share prices fare over the last six months?

MGM China, Melco Resorts & Entertainment, Sands China and Wynn Macau all saw their highest share price in February 2023 and their lowest share price in November 2022.

AI in the gambling industry: Evolving or deskilling?

With expert industry insight from suppliers OPTX and Sportradar, Gambling Insider Editor Tim Poole explores whether the implementation of AI might bring some bumps in the road for gambling’s labour force... Not because humans fear AI will take over the world – but because they might be too eager to let AI do their work for them.

Gustaf Hoffstedt: Don't underestimate the power of doing nothing

Regular Gambling Insider contributor Gustaf Hoffstedt discusses the intentions of politicians and how this – unfairly, he argues – impacts gambling policy.

Alex Czajkowski: How to engage sports bettors with live streaming

Regular Gambling Insider contributor Alex Czajkowski discusses the increasing importance of live streaming on betting platforms – arguing that it will be as vital as in-play betting as time progresses.

Carl-Fredrik Stenstrøm: Shedding light on Norway's gambling monopoly

The Norwegian gambling monopoly is in the process of being erased due to the grey areas it has knowingly and willfully moved into, writes Carl-Fredrik Stenstrøm, Secretary General Norsk Bransjeforening for Onlinespill (NBO).

Anton's Story: From Kyiv to Georgia (USA)

Eclipse Gaming’s Anton Yakovenko speaks to Gambling Insider Editor Tim Poole, telling the heart-warming story of how he was able to leave war-torn Ukraine with his wife Kristina and dog Muha. We also hear what it was like for the supplier during the ordeal from Steve McDonald, Senior Director of HR.

Sports betting in Brazil: The calm before the carnival

As Brazil takes its time regulating sports betting, Gambling Insider explores what a regulated Brazilian market may look like, with contributions from Kambi and Altenar.

Regulating Europe: The similarities and differences between countries

Gambling Insider explores European gambling markets and why each country has such varied ways of regulating the practice.

Armalytix on affordability checks - "society is changing"

Richard McCall, Armalytix CEO, and Mike Ward, the supplier’s Executive Chairman, speak to Gambling Insider Editor Tim Poole about affordability checks; and how the gambling sector must develop mutually accepted guidelines – avoiding the mistakes of other industries

Big Question: Will crypto payments become the preferred method of payments?

Malcolm Atuona, CFO of CoinPayments and Anton Komukhin, Head of Product at Praxis discuss the future of crypto payments.

Roundtable: How is AI changing gaming?

Industry executives from Mindway AI, Gift&Go, IKASI and WebStudio discuss about how AI is affecting the industry.

Staying relevant: Jonny Bennet goes over a 'Realistic' strategy for casino suppliers

Jonny Bennet, Realistic Games COO, discusses how the company aims to stay relevant in a constantly evolving industry.

Relum Q&A: Getting noticed in iGaming

Ashot Sahakyan, COO of casino engine and aggregator Relum, shares his thoughts on the job of a supplier when competing for a player’s attention.

Sports betting ads: Frank DiGiacomo describes the US' battle for control

Frank DiGiacomo, Partner and Team Lead of Duane Morris’ Gaming Industry Group, discusses sports betting advertising – and how state regulators are grappling to place controls on the industry .

Galaxsys Q&A: On the growing demand for skill games & US expansion

Gil Soffer, SVP of Sales and Business Development at Galaxsys, speaks to Gambling Insider about the past, present and future of Galaxsys.

Final Word: Digital Element speaks on the hidden dangers of VPNs in betting

Charlie Johnson, VP, International at Digital Element, discusses how using IP intelligence can help to spot VPNs, darknets and proxies in betting.