Sports Booth Limited: The current downtime allows companies to take a ‘helicopter view’ of regulatory change

Regulatory change and compliance are two topics that are high on the agenda for the sports betting industry, and according to Sports Booth Limited’s Head of Operations David Anderson, the downtime as a result of the ongoing pandemic is the perfect opportunity for companies to examine their response to the challenges of compliance.

What are you looking forward to at the SBC Digital Summit North America?

We are delighted to utilise the fantastic forum provided by the SBC Digital Summit North America to launch our premium self-regulating digital terminals and services to the sports industry.

As a relatively new market entrant, we are excited to be attending our first global sports betting event. At Sports Booth, we are looking forward to utilising SBC’s first-rate networking opportunities to discuss synergies with potential partners. We are also excited by the prospect of exchanging information on the up to date progress of the industry across different topics.

What would be your biggest bit of advice for betting and gaming businesses trying to mitigate the impact of COVID-19?

The enforced downtime that we are all facing should be used by providers as an opportunity to examine their response to the challenges of Compliance. Given the lack of sports betting and the enforced lockdown and isolation, the regulators have been busy issuing guidance as to how online operators should put the protection and well-being of their players at the forefront of everything they do. These online measures will undoubtedly filter down into the ‘bricks and mortar’ side of the industry as regulators look to ensure multi-channel operators have a holistic view of their players’ interactions with every facet of their business.

As a pioneering, compliance-driven company, we welcome the opportunity to rise to the challenge of this new, 360-degree, uber-compliant, gambling landscape. We plan to stay ahead of the curve in overcoming these challenges and allow our customers to future-proof their Compliance needs.

The current downtime allows companies to take a helicopter view of the global direction of regulatory change — from strict federal laws for online gambling in Germany to the introduction of rigorous machine playability rules in Spain. With the focus of this Summit being on North America, operators would do well to prepare now for the impending Regulatory wave that could soon be washing up on American shores.

What are you promoting at SBC Digital Summit North America?

Sports Booth offers premium self-regulating digital terminals but also a number of other flexible solutions for the digital age. We have partnered with global leaders in identity data intelligence, computer platforms and high-performance software solutions, and digital design and development to produce a range of best-of-breed kiosks and tablets.

That said, we offer a bespoke service to suit individual customer needs and we are looking forward to the opportunity to start conversations at the SBC Digital Summit North America to find out what potential prospects’ requirements are and how we can solve them.

As there is nothing else like our digital terminals and tablets on the market, attendees should find out more about the boundless potential of these unique machines, and the other services we can provide to the sports industry. We also hope to inspire operators to adjust their view of Compliance from something that is ‘revenue restrictive’ to something that is ‘licensing protective’ and instead of worrying about the cost of Compliance, they should consider the cost of non-compliance.

What industry innovation will capture the most attention in 2020?

We firmly believe that new technology will revolutionise KYC and AML as we know it. The latest biometric technology and the ability to leverage global databases will, at last, provide an appropriate response to the approaching Regulatory wave. The current age verification methods in betting shops, sports stadia and racecourses are somewhat archaic and we strongly believe our new and highly flexible technology will be pioneering the future direction of the industry and will be a game-changer for the betting and gaming sector.

Looking further into the crystal ball, we expect that rigidly enforced deposit limits, with the potential to link to national and/or local deposit limit databases, and increasingly rigorous automated customer checks will become a reality. ‘Affordability’ will emerge as a key buzzword in the sector as the world comes out of lockdown, and for the foreseeable future.

Which operator has impressed you the most in 2020?

We have been impressed by the way that GVC has stepped up its commitment to Responsible Gambling and Social Responsibility. By working alongside research institutes, associations, and counselling providers, while accounting for individual customer circumstances, GVC has made evidence-based decisions and is moving closer to the sort of safe, Responsible Gambling world which is also our ethos.

It is impressive that GVC has gone above and beyond Regulatory guidelines to rein in advertising and sponsorship spending while addressing issues around their tiered VIP schemes, and warning other operators in the sector to guard against complacency in the battle to ensure Responsible Gambling. They are demonstrating the concrete actions necessary to deliver a betting sector founded on sustainability, welfare, and trust.

At Sports Booth, we are looking to take the first step to achieve parity with online by increasing Responsible Gambling safeguards in the ‘bricks and mortar’ channel, in conjunction with our digital Compliance partners, GBG — global leaders in identity data intelligence. Additionally, we will be supporting gambling-related charities such as Gambling Therapy and GAMSTOP, as we seek to help those vulnerable to gambling harm and help the industry to help them also.

What partnership has stood out in the past 12 months?

We have long been hugely impressed with GBG’s ability to verify more than 4.4 Billion people across 72 countries, which equates to approximately 60% of the world’s population. GBG’s proven ability to access traditional data, digital data, biometrics, and behavioural data provides a holistic approach to understanding who a customer really is.

GBG’s recent acquisition of IDology, with its research and development locations across the United States, further increases the company’s global reach. IDology’s boots on the ground within the United States will put GBG in pole position to service the US identity data intelligence market, as more US states open up to legalised sports betting. We are proud to partner with GBG and intend to leverage our partnership by fully integrating a range of market-leading Responsible Gambling and Social Responsibility tools within our digital terminals and tablets.

Across the betting and gaming sector as a whole, the partnerships and closer collaboration forged between numerous bookmakers and GAMSTOP deserve a mention. The quality and quantity of Responsible Gambling adverts during lockdown has moved the subject out of the shadows and into the spotlight, where it belongs.

Which parts of the conference agenda have caught your eye?

As an active participant within the Regulatory space, Tuesday’s ‘State of Affairs — 2020 Regulatory Roundup’ is very much within our wheelhouse and we are looking forward to hearing the discussion around Regulatory best practice. Wednesday’s ‘Being Proactive On Problem Gambling’ discussion is another which is very close to our hearts. Given Sports Booth’s stated ambitions within the United States, we are also looking forward to hearing the keynote speeches from renowned US industry leaders like Jay Snowden and Zach Leonsis.

Finally, the opportunity to network with the many diverse attendees and explore any synergies between their business and ours is a fantastic platform for us.

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