SBC Summit Barcelona: Regulators must avoid ‘Apple and Samsung’ monopoly market model

Credit: Viktor Kayed

Operators have to continuously adapt to regulations that are changing with the same pace, if not faster than what the global gaming industry manages to accomplish by increasing its monolithic size each year. 

The shift in regulatory winds, however, can sometimes lead to results that are conflicting with various business models that focus on enjoyable user experience, causing unforeseen hurdles for both operators and their customers. 

So, is there a correct answer to creating a robust regulatory framework that is designed not only to improve the customer experience, but also to encourage innovation? This was the main topic of discussion during the marketing, tech and compliance panel at SBC Summit Barcelona 2023, moderated by Dee Maher – CEO of Lancaster Gaming Investments

To shed more light on the matter, Maher was joined by Sam Brown – the CEO of Rootz, W2 CEO Warren Russell, as well as Roger Redfearn-Tyrzyk – VP of Global Gaming at IDnow

After starting off the discussion by welcoming her fellow panellists, Maher posed the question to Brown about how regulations change when they go from market to market.

“It’s very dependent on the market. There are markets where there are much more restrictive policies,” Brown explained, giving Germany as the example region where Rootz currently operates. 

“There are many player-facing compliance regulations that make the whole experience different. But people spend too much time complaining about the rules rather than understanding the regulatory environment and how you navigate the space. Many players exiting the regulated markets are usually the ones who have not been intelligent enough to navigate these restrictions.”

Maher then followed up by asking Redfearn-Tyrzyk if there’s a regulatory model that is worth striving for to achieve, which he followed up by saying: “It’s super important that you have smaller operators, operators that do something new. Otherwise you end up with a model like the one with Apple and Samsung. For me it’s super important that the regulators make an effort to make it a level playing field and easy enough to get into the market without having millions of dollars in capital.”

Russell, W2 CEO, topped it off by adding: “Technology moves a lot faster than regulation. It is an impossible challenge for regulators to keep on top of everything. We launched a financial risk solution at the beginning of last year. We’re on the fourth iteration of it with the various amendments. My view is that you don’t want companies only looking to meet regulations, but also enhance the player experience and the risk management.”