Where do we go from here?
Taking the opportunity to reflect on what the industry has experienced the past 18 months during a global pandemic, Susan O'Leary talks to GI Friday in this week's Guest Column.
What an 18 months! Even in an ever-evolving sector like eGaming, none of us could have predicted the global changes forced upon us by Covid. We’re only just beginning to see the outcomes of the significant changes that many businesses made throughout the pandemic and the impact they’re having on the industry.
Back in 2020, we predicted a radical shift in the ways in which businesses would operate in the post-Covid world and those predictions are certainly coming to fruition. The differing ways in which governments handled the pandemic highlighted the risk to business continuity posed by having entire business operations located in one jurisdiction, leading to accelerated concentration risk. Many large operators have taken the opportunity to assess the best home for their teams and equipment and are now expanding their global presence to mitigate the concentration risk into a gaming-friendly jurisdiction.
On top of the obvious impact the pandemic has had on the industry, not all of it negative, there’s also been an undertone of disruption at political and regulatory level in some jurisdictions, which has led to many operators seeking out a change to the status quo across the board.
In addition, M & A activity in the industry hasn’t skipped a beat and is set to gain even more momentum in the coming months with increased consolidation sparking even more change to business operations. Not only that, but the growth in partnerships through media and technology are continuing to fuel the expansion of the industry in general.
So, where do we go from here?
When the sector is in such a state of flux, stability and business continuity become paramount. Operators need to work with regulators and jurisdictions they feel safe with and from what we’re experiencing, they are seeking out jurisdictions with a proven regulatory regime and a stable business environment.
With large, global businesses looking for a consistent and established home in which to base themselves, or at least to spread their concentration risk, we’ve been busy assisting them to meet the appropriate licensing and relocation requirements quickly and efficiently. In addition to new licensees, we’re also seeing existing Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) licensees choosing to move a significant portion of their global facing business operations to the Alderney jurisdiction for the stability and consistency that it’s able to provide.
It’s not all plain sailing though; we’re finding that Covid-related logistics are hindering the progress of staff movement for example from Asian countries. There is the desire to move teams to a new jurisdiction, but local obstacles with emigration out of certain Asian countries have meant lengthy delays to relocation projects.
We’re already seeing the positive knock-on effect from businesses taking the opportunity to implement change during the pandemic, and we’re predicting even more movement from global operators seeking a safe harbour with a reliable and experienced regulator in the months and years to come.