Operator CEOs and independent experts put regulatory changes under the spotlight at Betting on Sports

The crucial legal and operational issues facing the sports betting industry will be under the spotlight when decision makers, including Alexis Murphy (CEO, betFIRST), Tom Hardman (COO, Smarkets) and Martin Lycka (Director of Regulatory Affairs, GVC) join representatives of trade bodies, advertising regulators and independent experts for the Regulation in Focus track at Betting on Sports 2019.

Taking place on the second full day (19 September) of the event at Olympia London, the track offers the 3,500 delegates from operators, regulators and suppliers the opportunity to learn more about the impact changes to regulatory regimes may have on their businesses and how the industry can cope with them.

One of the key sessions is Hub of Operations, which sees Hardman, Murphy, Ludovico Calvi (President, Global Lottery Monitoring System) and Scott Anderson (VP of Marketing and Commercial Services, CenturyLink) examine what, in light of Brexit and the trend for regulated local markets, operators are searching for in an international hub and which markets provide the best opportunities for overseas expansion.

Sports integrity expert and gambling industry veteran Calvi will also share his knowledge of international business and regulation in the Council of Europe Convention & Its Significance for Sports Betting Operators session.

He said: “SBC events are well known for bringing together all key actors of the global sports betting industry and through the excellent business programme and unique networking sessions, they have been driving innovation and further development of the sector. Having already attended a number of SBC events, I am very much looking forward to the 2019 edition of Betting on Sports.”

Reflecting Betting on Sports’ focus on weighty current issues, William Woodhams (CEO, Fitzdares) joins Carmelo Mazza (CEO, Betaland), Andrew Taylor (Regulatory Policy Executive, Advertising Standards Authority) and Quirino Mancini (Partner, Tonucci & Partners) to assess the Future of Advertising in the sports betting industry.

With changes to regulations recently implemented or planned in Italy, Spain and the UK, the panel will examine whether a Europe-wide advertising ban is a possibility and how operators can get their message across while complying with the new limitations.

Woodhams, who has extensive experience in the advertising industry, has plenty of insights to offer on how to operate within the new frameworks. He said: “Don’t try to creatively swerve restrictions, instead use creativity to engage the responsible, affluent gambler. Actually start to pinpoint your correct audience, be clear on your differentiator and speak to them as humans.”

He added: “Betting on Sports is not only a great opportunity to catch up with those in the industry, you tend to take away some great thinking points and get a grip on the future of the industry.”

Among the other sessions on the Regulation in Focus track is Regulatory Creep, which sees Lycka, David Williams (Director of Public Affairs, Rank Group), Steve Donoughue (CEO, GamblingConsultant.co.uk) and David Clifton (Partner, Clifton Davies) discuss how the industry can respond to regulators that start to reach beyond their remit.

The Thin Line Between Legal & Affordable assesses whether increasingly tight regulatory regimes may inadvertently open the door for less scrupulous operators in unregulated markets. Those offering insights on the issue include Tim De Borle (COO, Napoleon Sports & Casino), Vladimir Dratšjov (Head of Business Development for Olympic Entertainment Group), Lee Gray (Head of Fraud and MLRO, Star Sports) and Harry Cott (CEO, beBettor).

The track opens with Clampdown, which sees Howard Chisholm (Director, Bookmakers Technology Consortium), Andrew Tottenham (MD, Tottenham & Co), Marc Thomas (Partner, Propus Partners) and Robert Griffin (CEO, Miracl) assess the impact of the latest restrictions on the UK market.

They will look in detail at the retail betting sector’s response to the implementation of maximum stakes for FOBTs, the potential impact of additional age verification checks for online players and the significance of the industry-led whistle-to-whistle television advertising ban.

Regulation in Focus concludes with M&A – God’s Plan, with a panel including Julian Buhagiar (Co-Founder, RB Capital), David Shapton (Partner, Head of M&A, Akur Capital) and Marek Smrha (Investment Manager, Penta Investments) assessing the potential for further mergers and acquisitions within the gambling industry.

The full Betting on Sports 2019 agenda is now available to view and download.

Book your place at Betting on Sports 2019, from 17-20 September at Olympia London. 

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