Regulation may not be the most exciting topic for some.
But for those of us who work in the gambling harm sector the International Association of Gaming Regulators Conference (IAGR) offered real insight into trends in gaming and the regulation of gambling.
1. Technology identifying harmful gambling behaviour
2. Gambling and millennials
There were a number of speakers on this theme but there was no evidence that millennials were developing any more gambling problems than present. There was evidence that young people were gambling but nothing that compared that to earlier generations. Millennials were described as interested in fashion, food and travel, like to co-create products, use up to three different devices each day, are totally cashless, and want games to change.
3. Skill-based games
4. Game currency
7. Server-based vs cloud-based games
8. Online gambling regulation
It was suggested that some designated countries should be allowed to provide online products as a solution to regulators who were concerned about online gambling products with no jurisdiction or regulations of taxes. Some speakers suggested that online gambling is “just another channel”.
9. Regulator collaboration
12. Social casino gaming
13. Virtual reality
'An interactive demonstration of the power of virtual reality and how it takes control of an individual's mind was staggering. Volunteers using a computer and relatively inexpensive stereo-goggles, quite literally, tried to walk a plank across the conference floor and were all transfixed (even if they closed their eyes). There were thoughts about the potential to take control of minds and have players make gambling decisions that were not based on any kind of reality. This is “around the corner!”
14. In summary
- New markets in developing countries
- New opportunities for host responsibility through technology
- New players through ever changing games
- More threat of criminal fixing, fraud and extortion.
One venture capital provider (who was at the conference on an intelligence gathering mission) said that he thought the days of the bricks and mortar casino were coming to an end.
Graham Aitken is the Director of Business at the Problem Gambling Foundation. Graham has worked in the health sector for 35 years.His major learning experience in working with the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGF) is that greed is alive and well in the international gambling industry, and that lateral thinking is required to deal with the widespread problems this causes.