March 7, New York panelists say future of online gaming will be more social and targeted with players' interests

Seth Schorr, CEO of Fifth Street Gaming (left); and Oliver Bartlett, Director of Gaming at BetMGM.
Reading time 2:13 min

Speaking at the iGaming and sports betting conference on Thursday, panelists said that the future of online gambling will be more social, more engaged with players, and more targeted to their interests. Experts also said that online gambling is still in its infancy after a decade and that it needs to change and evolve to survive.

According to the panelists, changes to be made include more efforts to get bettors engaged with a gambling company's brand, to accommodate their fondness for social media and communal activity, and to target experiences to their interests.

"The next generation will need something different," said Jonathan Doubilet, VP of U.S. Business Operations for Playtech, as reported by The Associated Press. "We will need to innovate."

Jonathan Doubilet, VP of U.S. Business Operations for Playtech

Seth Schorr, CEO of Las Vegas-based Fifth Street Gaming, is launching a Latino-themed online social casino using his platform in about two weeks. He also renovated the Lucky Club Casino and Hotel in North Las Vegas last year as the Ojos Locos Sports Cantina y Casino at Hotel Jefe.

"It is a shamefully underserved market," said Schorr of the Latino segment. "There are 64 million Americans who identify as Latino with a purchasing power of $3.5 trillion. It's something I've been executing in a land-based casino for 15 years. This is far more dynamic than just having your site in Spanish."

"We have put together a brand that speaks to the language, the culture, the influencers," he underscored. Customers at the social casino buy virtual currency to use on the site, he also explained, according to the above-mentioned media. 

Justin Park, CEO of; and Seth Schorr, CEO of Fifth Street Gaming

Also among the panelists was Justin Park, CEO of, a Canadian online slots site catering to women. He said 40 to 45% of the site's business comes from women who play slot games and that the site's customer service team is staffed solely by women to better communicate with customers.

Park said the company realizes that many of its female customers want entertainment they can enjoy quickly and at their convenience between professional and home responsibilities. The average age of a customer is 30 to 40, which he said suggests there remains an appetite for traditional gambling products, but presented in novel ways that meet the customers where they are.

Meanwhile, Oliver Bartlett, VP of Gaming Products for BetMGM, said one challenge for the future of online gambling is matching customers to what they care about. "We have more than 3,000 games on our site right now," he said, suggesting that algorithms or artificial intelligence might be able to help customers navigate such a wide menu of offerings.

Oliver Bartlett, Director of Gaming at BetMGM; and Karolina Pelc, CEO of BeyondPlay

For her part, Karolina Pelc, CEO of BeyondPlay, which makes player engagement software incorporating multi-player gambling and jackpots, said online gambling needs to recognize "the importance of community and shared experience — let people play together."

For Doubilet, the core gambling product, including slots, will retain the same basic characteristics. "What we're going to innovate is what we plug into them," he stated, citing virtual reality as a potential innovation catering to future customers. "A new generation of players is coming.”

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