Yana Khaidukova is a Managing Director at Slotegrator. Khaidukova is a business development expert. At Slotegrator she was Head of the Customer Account and Vendor Departments for 3 years, having worked with clients and partners. She now manages a variety of processes at the firm.
The first half of 2023 has flown by, so now’s a good time to take stock of where the industry is going. What’s changed in the last six months? Slotegrator surveyed media representatives throughout the industry — here are the results.
So far in 2023, the Slotegrator team has visited industry events in 12 countries in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. At each event, the company made valuable connections and gained deeper insights into local markets.
Here’s a short review of what Slotegrator learned about the current worldwide gambling market:
Africa is home to several dynamic and fast-growing markets; its potential is largely driven by a huge appetite for sports betting.
The United Kingdom is adjusting to the Gambling White Paper (a new approach to the regulation of online gambling in the UK) that was published on 27 April 2023 by the British Government. The White Paper revises the 2005 Gambling Act and all the changes will impact one of the biggest gambling markets in the world.
India has a massive gambling market. Players here have their own distinct game preferences, and the regulations vary from state to state.
Latin America is home to some of the world’s most exciting emerging markets. Colombia, for example, has the third-biggest economy in the region, coming after more than ten years of historic growth. Also, it was the first country in Latin America to offer a fully regulated licensing system similar to those found in Europe.
The Philippines is still considered the iGaming center of Asia due to its POGO program.
Romania is a fully regulated gambling market with clear rules and licensing requirements.
The Cyprus gambling market is returning to its previous levels after COVID-19.
The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is planning to develop an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Code of Good Practice.
While the Latvian government intends to reduce access to gambling to alleviate the effects of problem gaming on society, it is a slot-heavy market, with casinos accounting for 80% of total GGR.
Serbia's desire to enter the EU has provided motivation to develop its gambling regulations further. In 2011, online gambling became legal, and the full regulations appeared in 2013.The law was further amended in 2020. Today, it also includes common rules for advertisement and responsible gaming, as well as AML policies.
“Unambiguously, the world gambling market is changing. It is becoming more socially responsible, technologically advanced, and transparent. It’s crucial to keep pace, to comply with all regulatory requirements, and to embrace technologies that help providers, operators and, of course, players”, says Yana Khaidukova, Managing Director at Slotegrator.
In May, Slotegrator asked the industry's leading media personalities a question: ‘How has the gaming industry changed in 2023?’.
Here are the expert answers:
Zakaria El Maaroufi, Head Of Business Development, SiGMA
"In 2023, the gaming industry has undergone several notable changes, reflecting the dynamic nature of the market and the evolving demands of players. One significant shift has been the increasing trend of local regulation in various markets worldwide. Countries such as Italy, Hungary, and Sweden have implemented new gambling regulations, indicating a growing focus on ensuring responsible gaming practices and consumer protection.
Another noteworthy trend in 2023 is the integration of cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) into the financial systems of meta-casinos. This advancement aims to simplify transactions, particularly when it comes to withdrawing and depositing funds across different countries.”
Chris Murphy, Media Director, SBC Global
“How has the gaming industry changed in 2023? Well, it’s become a whole lot more challenging on the corporate social responsibility front. While there’s no lessening of an appetite for bleeding-edge innovation and player acquisition and engagement, it comes at a price.
And that price could prove to be player safety over player satisfaction. I’m obviously speaking here from a Europe-centric perspective, but any upcoming gaming jurisdiction take note; it will eventually come your way.
But as technology has developed, so has the means to measure that duty of care at a more granular level. And nowhere is this more apparent than the UK’s brand new gambling white paper which will be the game-changer in 2023 in so far as establishing the rule book governing how all operators and suppliers will have to do business”.
Yudi Soetjiptadi, Managing Director, Eventus International
“The gaming industry is an innovative and ever-evolving space, which is what makes it such an exciting industry to work in. Since the beginning of 2023, AI in iGaming has dominated industry attention and has been a prominent topic of discussion at our events. More operators are embracing AI models to improve marketing strategies, monitor player protection, bolster cybersecurity measures and streamline internal operations. Personally, I think this is an exciting trend and look forward to seeing more AI applications revolutionizing the gaming space”.
Daniela Kianicová, PR & External Relations Lead, Casino Guru
“Overall, the online gambling industry has undergone significant changes since the beginning of the year. These changes have been driven by regulatory developments, technological advancements, and evolving consumer behavior, ultimately shaping the industry's landscape. From my – PR and marketing – perspective, there are specific changes that have emerged as well, like Responsible Gambling (RG), and how personalized Marketing Strategies are employed by online gambling operators who leverage data analytics and customer segmentation to develop tailored marketing approaches. By analyzing user behavior and preferences, operators can customize their promotional messages, offers, and recommendations to individual players. This approach enhances the user experience and improves conversion rates. Lastly, AI has had a significant impact on the industry, and the potential of ChatGPT is vast. Its applications are widespread and can benefit many departments. In summary, AI and ChatGPT enhance PR and marketing efforts by providing automated data analysis, personalized customer interactions, content creation, sentiment analysis, targeted advertising, predictive analytics, and social media monitoring. These capabilities enable professionals to make data-driven decisions, optimize campaigns, improve customer engagement, and enhance overall brand effectiveness”.
Fernando Saffores, Founder & Director, Focus Gaming News
“Artificial intelligence (AI) has had a significant impact on the gambling and gaming industry, transforming various aspects of both verticals. Here are some ways AI is influencing these industries: Personalized Gaming Experience, Player Behavior Analysis, Game Development and Testing, Game Optimisation and Adaptation, Chatbots and Virtual Assistants, Fraud Detection and Security, Responsible Gambling Measures.”
Fabian Tetelboim, Editor & Partner, Games Magazine Brasil
“The iGaming industry in 2023 responds to the trends that were forecast at the end of last year. With blockchain games to facilitate secure and transparent transactions, Metaverse gaming, Cloud gaming, Cross-platform and Virtual Reality (VR), the market is being pushed in new and promising directions. Also, the integration of cryptocurrency within online casino environments and the success of live dealer games confirm the need for a more immersive environment for iGaming experiences.
The first uses of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the sector are making online casinos safer for users, collaborating to avoid addictions and reducing operator overheads”.
Zoltan Tundik, Co-Founder and Head of Business at HIPTHER
"We can clearly see that the gaming industry is attracting the attention of many other industries which can bring a lot of innovation and drive things forward. This is especially coming from the blockchain, fintech, artificial intelligence and virtual/augmented reality sphere. If the gaming industry can adopt all the latest technologies, we would surely see an increase in the right direction, making it an even more attractive area for both investors and stakeholders”.
Leanna Klyne, Agency Director, Affiverse
"Since the start of 2023, the gambling industry has undergone a couple of notable transformations, including heavier regulation in key markets such as the UK and the US. This shift has compelled brands to reassess their strategies, forcing them to concentrate on their unique value propositions (USPs) and intensify efforts towards customer engagement and targeted outreach across a wider array of partnership opportunities. Today, success in the industry requires laser focus and an unwavering commitment to meeting evolving customer needs".
The detailed version of the survey will be published at the Slotegrator Academy in early June.