SBC Summit Summarized: Rush Street CEO on acquisition; omnichannel/igaming discussion; igaming in sports betting’s shadow; and more

May 18, 2023 12:19 PM
Photo: CDC Gaming Reports
  • CDC Gaming Reports
May 18, 2023 12:19 PM

SBC Summit North America brought record attendance and lots of great insight with its robust education program. CDC Gaming Reports Lead Contributor Rege Behe covered a wide array of panels live from the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey on trending subjects in the business of igaming and sports betting. Here are the five most read panels summarized in a less than 5 minute read.

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1.    Rush Street CEO Schwartz says company “open-minded” about interest from potential buyers

Rush Street Interactive (RSI) CEO Richard Schwartz, during a Leaders Keynote session at SBC Summit North America, addressed the ongoing speculation about the company being an acquisition target. Although he didn’t confirm if RSI was available for purchase, he noted the company’s strong financial position, with $150M in the bank and expected revenue of nearly $700M this year, suggesting they were open to evaluating potential opportunities. Schwartz also discussed RSI’s international strategy, emphasizing the company’s successful ventures in Mexico and Colombia and its potential expansions in South America. The decision to enter these markets, he said, was based on the international gaming backgrounds of RSI’s management team. Read full article.

2.    Omnichannel & Igaming: How Marketing Can Add True Value When Your Audience are Tech-Savvy?

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The evolution of igaming has not cannibalized brick-and-mortar casinos as initially feared, but integration and data storage issues pose challenges, especially for smaller operations. These insights came to light during the SBC Summit North America session on May 11. Panelists, including representatives from Firekeepers Casino Hotel, Everi, Sun Gaming, and Fifth Street Gaming, highlighted the lack of natural integration between land-based and igaming platforms. They also discussed the challenges of coordinating and securing data storage between cloud-based operations and on-premise ones. Panelists agreed that igaming could complement physical casinos and potentially offer innovative betting styles online, which could be cost-effective and customer-centric. Read full article.

3.    How Long until Igaming Emerges from the Shadow of Sports Betting?

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Despite igaming being legal in only six states compared to sports betting’s 37, industry leaders are optimistic about its future, as shared in a session at the SBC Summit North America. FanDuel President Christian Genetski emphasized their equal focus on igaming and sports betting, foreseeing its long-term importance to their business. Rush Street Interactive CEO, Richard Schwartz, highlighted the considerable tax revenue generated by igaming in states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Although the adoption rate has been slow, Genetski pointed out the growing understanding of igaming’s regulation and its potential tax and revenue benefits among states. BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt echoed the sentiment, stressing that forward-looking land-based gaming companies view igaming as inevitable. Greenblatt also highlighted the importance of brand trust and improving customer experience to ensure player retention across different betting verticals. Read full article.

4.    Frank Abagnale preaches security, identity-theft prevention, in keynote discussion

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Frank Abagnale, the renowned former con artist featured in the movie “Catch Me If You Can”, emphasized the importance of prevention, verification, and education to combat identity theft and fraud during a keynote presentation at the SBC Summit North America. The pandemic has caused a 73% surge in identity theft, with a new victim in the U.S. emerging every two seconds. Abagnale cited a 2012 case where a hacker infiltrated South Carolina’s tax-revenue system and stole 3.8 million tax returns. He stressed that mass data theft often lies dormant for 3-4 years before hitting the marketplace, rendering short-term credit monitoring ineffective. With internet-connected devices becoming prevalent in homes, he voiced concerns about the failure to vet technology sufficiently before its market release. He urged for enhanced security to be built into technology, acknowledging the need for continuous vigilance and adaptation in a world without a foolproof system. Read full article.

5.    Implementation, Integration, & Innovation: Technology Leaders Panel

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As igaming gains momentum in the U.S., there are immense opportunities for operators to shape the industry’s future. During the SBC Summit North America, technology leaders discussed the significance of artificial intelligence and machine learning in igaming. Peter Murray of Veriff highlighted the role of customer lifecycle innovation in brand differentiation. Tim Cogswell from Bet/Parx emphasized that user experience should be the top priority. The application of technology to analyze user behaviors and interactions can provide crucial data for risk adjustment and targeted advertising. However, concerns were raised about frequent compliance failures in anti-money-laundering and social responsibility. Kinectify CEO, Joseph Martin, underscored the importance of strong API architecture and organized user interfaces for compliance. The panelists agreed that U.S. operators could learn from European mistakes, stressing the need for solid infrastructure and seamless integration with advanced platforms as the foundation for future success. Read full article.