With G2E Asia just weeks away, Susan O'Leary speaks to Gambling Insider about the benefits of attending the show and Alderney's recent activity in the Asian gaming markets.
Why is G2E so important for gaming in the region?
G2E is one of the main Asia Gaming shows of the year. It is important as it brings together many key decision makers, operators, suppliers, regulators etc. under one roof. Important conversations are had, greater understanding of the market and the trends impacting it are gained, and those in the know share their valuable insight with others. This helps drive progress – both in terms of market growth and the further roll-out of regulations and frameworks – across the region.
What do you think are some of the most exciting developments in the Asian industry at the moment? And how are these developments affecting the work that you do?
Asia is a vast region, with tremendous opportunities for operators and suppliers across the continent. We have been working with both operators and regulators in South East Asia for many years. Gambling is engrained in many Asian cultures yet there is not always a regulatory framework system in place in many of these countries, which can lead to unsafe practices.
However, the regulatory framework in Asia is beginning to change. Many Asian operators are obtaining European licences, like the AGCC licence and adopting best practices. The Chinese government is hinting at regulating the space in Hainan while clamping down on online gambling practices and we are all watching closely.
India is a particularly interesting market with a population of approximately 1.4 billion. Lawmakers, operators and service providers are all keen to embrace regulation, which is refreshing to see. Gambling is predominantly illegal, but certain games of skill such as rummy, poker, DFS and some sports betting (horseracing) are considered legal in some provinces. Rummy is the only game approved at the Federal level.
I have just come back from India where I have been working closely with the All Indian Gaming Federation who are introducing a self-regulation model for skill games. We have spoken on many panels with them in Asia on harm factors related to games of skill, such as habitual play, normalisation, financial loss and social isolation, and the mechanisms that should be in place to protect consumers and also the other elements of fairness and integrity, which are just as integral to games of skill as games of chance.
In general, there is a lot more to come in the Asian space.