The Compliance Blog
Welcome to adaptio.io's blog. In our company, we’ve accumulated a significant amount of experience in the online gaming industry and thus, thought that sharing some of those experiences might be valuable to those who are interested. We been thinking of launching blog for a while, but it was hard to pinpoint the angle we’d take. As adaptio.io's reason to exist is helping online gaming operators and suppliers to spread into new markets, it makes a good foundation to build a blog on, too. We have no vested interest to keep any of the information or learnings to ourselves, we’re here to help the entire industry to have a better grasp on regulatory issues and market entries.
This blog will be a series of posts centred around expanding to new markets, how, where, what to look out for and so on. We will assume that the reader has at least cursory knowledge on the industry, but depending on you mileage, some posts might be already common knowledge or sense to you or vice versa. In the end, the thoughts and experiences we share are our own perceptions and should be taken like that, you might disagree or have different experiences and we’d of course love to have you feedback. We will try to refrain to name names, so to speak, but some examples might brought up if a suitable press release or a piece of news is available.
Due to our respective backgrounds, we’ll be mostly looking at the European markets and companies. That’s not to say that many of the underlying tendencies wouldn’t work elsewhere, but there are peculiarities to each market and I don’t feel that our experience on Asia or the Americas is enough to give deep insight on those markets.
The topics that we will cover in this blog will include:
- Overall view into the current status of the European markets, the differences and regulations
- The different ways to enter markets, how to do it and what to look for
- Regulations and compliance
- In-depth look into some markets and developments
- Technical issues that operators or suppliers might be facing
- Typical costs an resource constraints
There will also be more technical posts, about architecture and ways to solve typical issues with these types of services. We’re currently building a demo site for the interested to play around with, there will most likely be a blog post around that one in the future.
Growth and current status of the market
As most companies aim to grow their business, it is natural that once you plateau on your existing market or markets, you’d be looking at the option to spread elsewhere for continued growth. Online gaming business in Europe has been going through a shift during the last decade or so, moving from the outright bans, state-ruled monopolies or non-regulation towards more modern regulations. The most common ones being open licensing and restricted licensing, but as there’s a marked lack of harmonising between different countries or jurisdictions, each market has it’s own flavour; allowed products, regulatory requirements, regulatory bodies, application windows etc. Some markets still retain state run monopolies but are somewhat unable to contain the free market effect, where the customers turn towards international operators with the help of internet.
Due to the trend of re-regulation and markets opening up for licensing the words “targeting regulated markets” appears in the strategy of more and more operators and platform suppliers. The increased regulation increases the risk for operators operating in a gray manner, ie. accepting customers and their money from regulated markets without holding a license. The risks they are running are being shut out of the market suddenly, through ip- or payment blocking instigated by the government, and being black listed and thus unable to acquire a license later on even if they’d be willing to follow and fulfil the license requirements.
Companies operate with varying strategic models, some are looking for profitable growth and others just growing turnover and player liquidity without much thought for a long term profit. Depending on what you’re aiming for the entry strategy can and should be different of course, starting with the market of choice.
This is the rough framework in which the blog will be revolving in, we might take some steps outside every now and then, but I try to retain a coherent bridge between the posts so you’d get a path through the jungle.
The following posts will examine in a bit more detail the typical ways for an operator to enter a new market, where we have two broad categories; starting fresh or the so called greenfield approach and through an M&A, buying into an existing operation or liquidity. These two ways will be needed to be broken into further posts.
Thank you for your interest, and I hope you will visit again!
With kind regards,
Tuomas Bergström, CEO for Adaptio.io