SBC Summit: Technology will help determine how igaming is implemented in U.S.

May 11, 2023 4:34 PM
Photo: CDC Gaming Reports
  • Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports
May 11, 2023 4:34 PM
  • Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports

As igaming continues to emerge in the United States, there will be of opportunities for operators to shape the nature of online gambling.

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During Tuesday’s session “Implementation, Integration, & Innovation: Technology Leaders Panel” at SBC Summit North America at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in New Jersey, Peter Murray, head of global gaming for the British company Veriff, said American operators are in a unique position.

“The U.S. has the opportunity to genuinely shape the business of how they engage our products and services,” Murray said. “The innovation is about the customer life cycle, which we’ve started. That’s going to really key to how you differentiate your brand and your business.”

The panel featured both U.S. and European interests, but all seemed to agree that artificial intelligence and machine learning will be used in some way to shape igaming. For Bet/Parx Senior Director Ugaming Tim Cogswell, however, the number-one focus will always be the user experience.

Cogswell said technology can be used to determine “how is the user actually playing with our data? What are they interested in? How are they interacting with friends, family, fans around the world? And on the other side of things, we’re able to synthesize data directly from live games and create these data models that say, OK, based on the way the player is interacting with their friends, how would they be interacting with the game? And what you’re able to do is create risk adjusted for, I would say, bet lines, oddsmaking.”

The end result, Cogswell added, is the ability to create “programmatic ads at the perfect time” to target players.

There are pitfalls that need to be avoided. Moderator Peter Wilson, CEO of PW Legal, noted that the two most common violations European gaming investigators find are the same in “every single investigation”: anti-money-laundering and social-responsibility compliance failures.

Wilson said AI can be helpful in remedying such issues, but cautioned that regulators “are sometimes nervous about new technology, maybe because they don’t know about it.” He asked Joseph Martin, Kinectify CEO, how artificial intelligence can help improve compliance.

“It really starts with a strong foundation of API architecture,” Martin said. “You have these foundations of modern technology before you even get to machine learning. You need a good user interface to organize your information, especially if we’re talking about responsible gaming and AML.

“What we’re really talking about here is patterns of player behavior. And one thing missing historically from the gaming industry, especially in the U.S., is simple things like a player profile, with your transactions aggregated in one place, behavioral analytics to be able to just visualize patterns of play of a player.”

Wilson noted that U.S. operators can learn from mistakes made in Europe when launching their igaming platforms. Simon Lidzen, CEO and co-founder of the Swedish company Fast Track, said the first step operators take should be based on protecting infrastructure.

“If you’re going to have any chance of playing this game in the future and be adaptive and coming up with new technology, you have to get your data infrastructure sorted out,” Lidzen said. “You’ve got to have a tech stack that can integrate very seamlessly with other platforms.

“You can sort out your infrastructure by moving into partnerships with certain platforms that are very well advanced in these spaces. … Our pathway, when we onboard new operators, that’s the first thing. Everyone is excited about what we’re going to do and how we’re going to work this out. But hold on. You’re going to start over here, which is shipping real-time data in a reliable way that we’re able to work with. Then we’ll step through the pathway of getting started.”