5 key takeaways from WRB 2024 at ICE VOX

5 key takeaways from WRB 2024 at ICE VOX

The World Regulatory Briefing (WRB) 2024 commenced at ICE VOX London on Monday, marking a key moment for policymakers, regulators, and industry leaders to delve into the intricate nuances of gaming’s regulatory, legal, and compliance landscapes and SiGMA News will be reporting on location throughout the week.

The inaugural day witnessed an impressive array of speakers, with notable figures such as Bill Hornbuckle, CEO and President of MGM Resorts International and Alejandro Tengco, EO and Chairman of PAGCOR (both in feature image). The impressive line-up included representatives from regulatory bodies and gaming commissions hailing from the UK, Malta, France, Canada, South Africa, Curacao, Denmark, the US, the Netherlands, and other policymakers and industry leaders. Moderating WRB was international broadcaster and former Financial Times journalist Nadine Dereza (centre, feature image).

SiGMA News’ 5 key take-aways for the day

Innovation in Player Engagement

Bill Hornbuckle took centre stage, highlighting the quest of land-based players for novel experiences in tandem with gambling. He stressed MGM’s focus on the importance of creating immersive environments and new experiences to capture players’ interest and drive participation, such as the Mayfair supper club at the Bellagio, Las Vegas, that is “anything but the usual”.

Global regulatory challenges

Regulators engaged in discussions on the hurdles of achieving harmonisation beyond national borders, particularly at the EU level. The importance of sharing knowledge emerged as a recurring theme, acknowledging the need for collaboration to address common regulatory challenges.

Compliance as a strategic imperative

David Yatom Hay, General Counsel at Soft2Bet, ushered in a paradigm shift by challenging the perception of compliance as a “business-prevention department.” The consensus among the panel was that compliance is now integral to business strategy, with its importance escalating as a key business value and an indicator of a company’s maturity.

Broader focus on player vulnerability

Data presentations underscored a shift in focus from addiction to a broader concern for player vulnerability. The inherent lack of attention to safety among players, driven by the pursuit of fun and entertainment, was identified as a key risk factor. This heightened the possibility of players engaging with illegal operators, making them more susceptible to potential harm.

Regulator humility and industry cooperation

The imperative for “regulator humility” emerged as a critical theme, stressing the need for a balanced approach that remains responsive to technological advancements without stifling innovation. Close cooperation between regulators and the industry, including a focus on social media trends, was emphasized to anticipate the trajectory of gaming.

SiGMA Eurasia in Dubai is less than a month away

The fourth edition of SiGMA Eurasia will once again be held at the InterContinental Dubai Festival City. Held between the 25 and 27 February 2024, the summit provides invaluable opportunities for attendees to network with industry professionals, gain exposure to the latest tech and innovations in the sector, meet key decision makers, and gain insight into new markets.  

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