Ahead of next week’s SBC Summit Barcelona – Digital, Dmitry Starostenkov, CEO of EvenBet Gaming, sat down with SBC and spoke to us about how all eyes should be on the Ukrainian market as we enter 2021 following its massive regulatory changes on gambling last month.
He also predicted that there will be a greater focus on social interaction features within online casino games, with players looking to compensate for the lack of communication and interaction caused by the pandemic.
What are you looking forward to at the SBC Summit Barcelona – Digital?
Since the first SBC Digital Summit in April 2020, SBC Events has proved to organise immense online events with agenda interesting for both industry newcomers and veterans, a lot of useful networking events and entertainment.
I’m expecting to see the same at SBC Summit Barcelona, the first big global event after a short summer break. We are starting the new business season on a high note!
What would be your biggest bit of advice for betting and gaming businesses trying to mitigate the impact of COVID-19?
The new normal is already here, so we in the online sector need to try to learn as much as we can about the recent changes in the players’ behaviour. We need to be ready to deal with compliance and regulation enforcements that are becoming tougher in the key iGaming jurisdictions. And, of course, the pandemic has already taught us to diversify the business, especially sports betting.
What are you promoting at SBC Summit Barcelona – Digital?
We’ll be host-running the official networking poker tourney on our platform. EvenBet Gaming has been developing online poker solutions for more than 15 years, and I hope the summit delegates will enjoy the results of our work the best way possible, through the exciting game.
What industry innovation will capture the most attention in 2020?
Everything that creates a feeling of the social interaction within a game, I suppose. Live gaming, video and audio streaming and chats, classic chats, instant feedback from the other players: as we lack communication and interaction in real life, we’ll be looking to compensate for it every way we can. This, and KYC and safety solutions that are going to become even more smart and automated than ever.
Which operator has impressed you the most in 2020?
We all are worthy of applause, I guess, as we are going through the tough time of changes. Everyone who’s still here is a winner.
What partnership has stood out in the past 12 months?
It’s not exactly the partnership, but a regulatory update in August: Ukraine has passed a bill on gambling regulation, fully opening a whole new and active market for land-based and online sector at once.
One can expect a lot of interesting partnerships and launches to be announced in the Eastern Europe by the end of 2020 and early in 2021! I don’t remember if any European country has ever imposed such a massive regulatory change at once. We’ll be watching closely what happens there.
Which parts of the conference agenda have caught your eye?
Personally, I’m very interested in the panels on the emerging markets: Africa, India, the whole LatAm section. For a product with such a long history as online poker, securing the position in these regions is a definite way to success.
Established markets are saturated, the players’ preferences there are well-acknowledged, while there we see a very different picture in terms of the games users play and the ways they do it. Creating a product fit for any of these markets is a challenge, but we at EvenBet welcome challenges.
Further details on the event, including the agenda, full line-up of 200 speakers and list of the 100 virtual exhibitors, are available from the official SBC Summit Barcelona – Digital website.
To join the 10,000 delegates from around the world, click here to register for free.