The gambling and fintech sectors are both expanding year-on-year and at the same time are becoming increasingly intertwined, something which Kristian Gjerding, CEO of CellPoint Digital, has described as a yin-yang relationship.
Speaking to Payment Expert, Gerding observed that both the betting and gaming industry and fintech sectors are high tech and fast moving spaces, and so have a ‘similar mindset in their approach to deploying services’.
“One without the other has no value – it’s a real yin-yang relationship, in my mind, and I think it’s very necessary,” he remarked.
“I think that these two industries, as they both mature, and one begins to really fragment – which is what is happening in payments – they have to come together to ensure that the conversation rates stay high and acceptance rates stay high and chargeback rates go down, and I think that is essential for the gambling industry.”
CellPoint Expert has traditionally provided payments in the travel sector, but is now in the process of expanding its operations into the gaming sector, particularly the European industry.
Continuing, Gjerding highlighted the UK as a key market, whilst also noting that developments in his native Denmark were coming across as promising.
“The first areas we are going for are in Europe, and very specifically the UK, because the UK is obviously a ‘recently mature market’. We have seen an opening in Denmark in online gambling in the past five or six, maybe ten, years, but mostly in the past three years there has been a number of operators that are entering the market with great success.
“There’s a few other European countries where, while there is still a lot of legislation, we’re seeing operators successfully building sustainable, long-term businesses, and that is where we want to be.”
Building on this, the CEO emphasised the vital importance of having local knowledge of a variety of different factors when looking at launching operations in different markets, particularly in a highly regulated space such as gambling.
Even though gambling operators may be at least largely regional, and operating in multiple different countries, they need local representation,” he explained. “Everything is localised in regards to their compliance and their registrations and what they can and cannot do.
“Being local in these markets is a requirement – we need to understand what’s going on, we need to understand the legislation, we need to understand the market dynamics in terms of how gamblers want to utilise these services, and what the possibilities are.”
Lastly, whilst noting that the UK is a ‘recently mature market’ and a target for fintech companies looking to establish a foothold in the betting and gaming sector, Gjerding shared his view that it is ‘super essential’ for the country to retain its fintech business post-Brexit.
“If you ask me, governments need to step up their educational situation, and they’ve got to attract females to the industry,” he detailed. “This is a big issue – we see way too few females in technical roles. We are fortunate that in our technical teams we have actually about 35-40% females.
“This is a massive untapped resource that is highly qualified and highly skilled, but if you don’t attract them to the universities that will educate them then we’re going to have a massive loss. This is one of the biggest challenges. I don’t think there are many countries on the planet that have an overflow of authentic people, I think there’s way too few.
“This is, in the UK, is essential, and it is also essential to do it outside London. The pandemic has shown that you don’t have to be sitting in the same room to get things done.”