What were the main obstacles the industry had to overcome in 2015? How have market challenges affected companies’ performances?
There are three key obstacles that I see gaming businesses have had to overcome in 2015. One key area is the regulatory environment in burgeoning gaming markets in Latin America and in the United States’ emerging iGaming market. Suppliers, operators and even marketers seeking opportunities in these markets are needing to adapt their businesses to ensure they meet compliance standards.
A second area involves the increase in mergers and acquisitions, particularly in the European and US markets. This is capturing the industry’s attention and affecting stability.
Lastly, and also relating to established gaming markets like the different European jurisdictions, the foundations of long-standing businesses are changing. Changes include player rewards programs, affiliate terms and conditions, and key stakeholders. All of these combined put pressure on organizations in similar positions. We’ll likely see a great impact on the performance of businesses that are able to adapt to these unfolding changes over the next year.
Brief us about your business plans for 2016.
Income Access is on a course for ongoing growth into 2016. We’re seeking opportunities for product expansion and looking closely at our product development roadmap for this year, as well as the potential for new partnerships to expand our offering.
There are also new markets like Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe and new verticals like iLottery that we are looking to continue to move into. Next year is really the perfect time for us to expand on what we have achieved thus far.
Looking ahead, what will be the main challenges for gambling-related companies?
We’ll likely see challenges outside of the gaming space that will impact business stability and opportunities within the industry.
Some of these include currency and stock market fluctuation. In addition, regulation and the demand for innovation will continue to play pivotal roles. We’ll wait to see what their potential impact is on revenue and profit growth.
The regulatory impact is still unknown. It could be positive by way of creating security. On the other hand, it could be controlling in terms of speed to market and growth.
What will be the trends that will determine the industry's successes and failures over the coming year?
Over the next year, we’ll likely see a greater integration between products and platforms offline and online. The organizations willing to invest in this process will have the greatest opportunity for uplift, in creating greater customer stickiness as well as greater brand awareness to a larger digital audience.
We can also expect businesses to harness new technological innovations, particularly in the mobile space. We’ll likely see an increasing focus on new products, promotions and content that specifically targets smart phone and tablet users.