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4 Challenges the Online Betting and Gaming Industry Will Face in the 2020s

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Photo source: casinodope.com

 

Estimates will always vary, but there are some predictions that the online betting and gaming industry will more than double in size from the period of 2017-2024, with all online gambling-related activities almost reaching the $100 billion mark globally 2025.

That’s incredible growth for an industry that is relatively mature. But we can speculate that many outliers will have an impact, such as the liberalization of gambling laws on a state by state basis in the United States, and the clarifying of laws in countries like Finland and Germany.

However, while the growth is nevertheless a reason for the industry to celebrate, there are several areas that will present challenges to betting and gaming worldwide as we enter the next decade. We look at some of those below:

Cryptocurrency

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Yes, there are countless ‘bitcoin casinos’ out there. But we also know that regulators – and governments – don’t like the idea of a marriage between cryptocurrency and gaming sites. In the end, it all boils down to transparency, and crypto is seen as the antithesis of the recent drives for KYC (know your customer) policies and anti-fraud measures. A lot will depend on the mainstreaming of cryptocurrency, perhaps driven by Facebook’s Libra coin. The MGA (Malta Gaming Authority) is exploring the viability of crypto through its Sandbox Framework, but one suspects that it will be more than a few years before we see the ubiquitous use of cryptocurrency at casinos.

Regulation

Obviously, a difficult subject to cover as different countries will have varied legal restrictions on marketing and advertising. Yet, so many national parliaments have at least proposed regulations that look like they could hamstring the industry in terms of how it markets itself. The UK Labour Party, for instance, has called for incredibly tough measures, including the introduction of minimum bet amounts and an extension of KYC policies. Some regulation and help for responsible gambling would be welcome, of course, as is regulatory clarity, but the industry will need to work with regulators to ensure that it doesn’t go too far.

Millennials

Despite the growth figures mentioned earlier, the challenges to get millennials playing at land-based and online casinos remaining. Sure, plenty of under 35s will log in to casino.com to play the roulette tables or have an online punt on the Premier League, but the challenge to get millennials interested in classic games and events like horse racing will undoubtedly give operators sleepless nights. A lot of talk has occurred over the idea of merging the world of video games and competitive casino play, perhaps harnessing the incredible popularity of games like Fortnite and certain eSports and crossing them over to casinos. It’s an interesting concept, and it’s completely foreseeable that we will see monetized video games sitting proudly beside the classic table and card games in the near future.

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The eSports arena opens at UCI.photo: steve zylius/UCI

Green Issues

It’s almost guaranteed that every industry on the planet is set to face more scrutiny on its carbon footprint. Tech companies, of all types, usually escape such scrutiny, as there are more apparent culprits for campaigners to turn their ire upon. The online gaming industry can certainly point to its green superiority over the land-based industry, albeit many resorts are trying to make changes, but it still takes a lot of energy to run a popular website. Statistics aren’t available for casino games specifically, but the carbon dioxide emissions of playing video games online are said to be equivalent to the emissions of millions of cars. This is obviously not an issue related to online gaming specifically, but that doesn’t make it any less pressing to address.

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CDP

MGM Resorts International Listed on Prestigious CDP A-List

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MGM Resorts International has been recognized for leadership in corporate transparency and performance on climate change by global environmental non-profit CDP, securing a place on the organization’s annual A List.

MGM Resorts is one of just 347 companies that received the prestigious ‘A,’ out of more than 23,000 scored, placing it in the top 0.015% of reporting companies. Grades are awarded on comprehensiveness of disclosure, awareness, and management of environmental risk and best practices associated with environmental leadership.

“Our inclusion on the CDP A List is a testament to the strategic importance we place on sustainability. Environmental stewardship is more important than ever, and we remain committed to being leaders in creating long-lasting positive impacts on our planet and in our local communities,” said Jyoti Chopra, Chief People, Inclusion, and Sustainability Officer at MGM Resorts.

“Earning a place on the A List is about more than the score. It’s an indication of high quality, complete data that equips companies with a holistic view of their environmental impact, serves as a baseline for transition plans and – crucially – enables them to follow through on their ambitions. As we move deeper into the Decade of Action, and as CDP continually raises the bar for what represents environmental leadership, the work of A List companies is never complete. We look forward to seeing all companies turn their commitments into further and more meaningful and effective action,” Sherry Madera, CEO of CDP, said.

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Some of the reasons MGM Resorts achieved its ‘A’ grade for climate change:

  • A board-level committee focused on Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability chaired by a global expert in clean energy advocacy.
  • Targets approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-degree pathway.
  • Nearly 110 megawatts of installed solar capacity, including the MGM Resorts Mega Solar Array, which fulfills up to 90% of MGM Resorts’ daytime power needs in Las Vegas.
  • Reductions in carbon emissions intensity by 49.5% between 2007 and 2022, resulting from significant energy efficiency measures and renewable energy development.
  • Detailed climate data disclosures that have received third-party verification for Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions and energy usage.

MGM Resorts also earned an ‘A-’ in water security. Some of the reasons for the score include:

  • A strategic framework for water stewardship to address water use in operations and champion stewardship across the community.
  • A Global Water Policy to codify and communicate commitment to water stewardship.
  • Achievement of reductions in water withdrawals totaling 13.9 billion gallons, reduced and/or avoided between 2007 and 2022 across U.S. operations.
  • Focus on local water issues, such as reducing consumptive water use in Southern Nevada, including replacing more than 200,000 square feet of grass with desert-friendly landscaping.
  • Enhancement of water data disclosures and external assurance on water withdrawals.
  • Linkage of executive compensation to Social Impact & Sustainability goals, including reductions in water withdrawals.

MGM Resorts is focused on creating a more environmentally sustainable future, recognizing that climate change presents significant risks and opportunities to business, people, and the planet. The Company has adopted a culture of innovation to reduce emissions and continues to take bold steps toward climate leadership in the industry.

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Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

Pace-O-Matic Congratulates Casino Industry on Record Profits

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Pace-O-Matic, the leading name in skill game entertainment, is tipping its hat to the fat cats of the gambling world for yet another record-breaking year. The United States casino industry recently reported a record $66.5 billion in winnings for 2023.

That includes Pennsylvania, the second largest casino market in the country behind Nevada. While casino reps curiously blame skill games for ‘losses’, in 2023 Pennsylvania casinos brought in a record $5.7 billion in revenue from gambling. That equates to a 9.3% increase year over year.

“On behalf of the local small businesses, restaurants, bars and fraternal organizations that the casino industry is determined to put out of business, we extend the warmest congratulations to big casinos for their $66.5 billion in winnings,” the Chief Public Affairs Officer for Pace-O-Matic, Michael Barley, said. “It’s not every day you see such record profits. Now our only question is, where are these losses the industry and, specifically casinos in Pennsylvania, are claiming to be connected to skill games?”

The Pennsylvania casino industry also saw a 28% increase in iGaming year over year as well as a 4.08% increase in slot machine revenue last month across the Commonwealth over last year.

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Regardless of what big casinos say, Pace-O-Matic remains committed to its mission of providing engaging skill-based entertainment to players while supporting the heart and soul of America; local small businesses. Skill games bring supplemental, sustainable income to bars, restaurants, VFW halls, American Legion posts and other small businesses across Pennsylvania. These businesses use income from skill games to pay bills, make charitable donations, provide health benefits, pay competitive wages and more.

“The casino industry continues to attack skill games for loss of revenue yet these losses don’t seem to appear in any of their reporting,” Barley said. “While they spin misleading information, we will stick to the facts. The fact is, that skill games are a legal source of income that Pennsylvania’s small businesses rely on every day to make ends meet.”

On the heels of a unanimous Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ruling that found skill games to be legal and Governor Josh Shapiro including skill game revenue in his 2024/25 budget, it’s clear that support for regulating skill games is growing among lawmakers and the public. Pennsylvania State Senator Gene Yaw has proposed legislation, Senate Bill 706, that would tax and regulate skill games, establishing a framework for the legal games to continue to operate.

Pace-O-Matic is a leading developer of legally compliant games of skill in the United States. Its games are played in thousands of small restaurants and bars along with many social halls such as American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) posts. Pace-O-Matic games generated millions of dollars in revenue for businesses and clubs in Pennsylvania last year.

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Industry News

DAZN Appoints Brice Daumin as CEO of French and Swiss Operations

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DAZN Group, the world’s leading sports streaming service, announced the appointment of Brice Daumin as CEO of its French and Swiss operations. Daumin will oversee DAZN’s growth strategy in France, using his experience and knowledge of the French market garnered over 25 plus years in the French media and telecoms industries.

The move further underlines DAZN’s commitment to France after its launch in August 2023. DAZN brings its French subscribers the best of combat sports including a weekly schedule of top-quality boxing, MMA with the Professional Fighters League and PFL Europe featuring world-class fighters such as Francis Ngannou and Cédric Doumbé, huge PPV boxing line-ups featuring Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, such as “Day of Reckoning”. DAZN also brings its customers top-tier football including Ligue 1 Uber Eats, and the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

DAZN has also delivered a distribution strategy, striking deals with prominent telco and cable operators, to ensure as many French sports fans can access DAZN’s compelling catalogue of premium live sports content, magazine programming, archive and other sports entertainment products. Daumin will report directly to Alice Mascia, whose group responsibilities include her roles as Group Chief Marketing Officer and CEO of DACH.

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Shay Segev, CEO of DAZN Group, said: “DAZN’s global sports offering expanded into France last year and we’re excited to announce that Brice Daumin is joining our team to help us grow in this evolving market. With his extensive in-market experience across our strategic imperatives – customer focus, commercial development, and distribution – Brice will play a key role in our long-term development in France. This is a clear statement of DAZN’s commitment to France and our ambition to continue growing in this exciting sports entertainment market.”

Brice Daumin, CEO of DAZN France, said: “This was an easy decision for me to make. DAZN has already demonstrated its offer right across Europe, with its operations in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Working with the biggest rights holder, in local markets and on a global level, DAZN delivers a fantastic service in a way that works for fans and rights holders. The opportunities for further growth in France are clear, especially when you look at the expanding range of sports entertainment products DAZN is creating – e-commerce, ticketing, social experiences and gaming. The French sports fan is ready for a new experience, one that DAZN will deliver.”

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