The Income Access team travelled to London in early February for ICE Totally Gaming. The conference attracted many of the biggest names in global iGaming – from land-based casinos and online operators to industry veterans with years of experience.
At ICE our team got a pulse on gaming trends, caught up with a number of our global partners and also took part in the panel discussion Affiliate Marketing in the USA: A Hidden Opportunity. With all eyes on what 2017 might hold, here are our key ICE takeaways1. Brands are focusing on emerging markets There was a sense of excitement in conversations about emerging markets. Latin America was frequently mentioned, with many brands discussing the possibility of Brazil finally launching a regulated online market. These operators were often interested in marketing support in preparation for South America’s largest economy and most populated country regulating. In the context of ongoing regulatory changes, Mexico was also on the lips of many in London.
Operators also sought guidance on how to penetrate the gaming markets of Sub-Saharan Africa. Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa were three specific markets that many brands and service providers in London are actively scoping.2. Brands are focusing on how more established markets are evolvingOperators are also looking for potential opportunities in the established yet evolving markets of the US and Europe.
Many partners in London discussed the current US regulatory landscape and the implications if proposed changes in New Jersey and Pennsylvania occur. As discussed in the ICE panel discussion we joined, Affiliate Marketing in the USA: A Hidden Opportunity, the Garden State is looking to potentially expand its gaming market to include sports-betting, while Pennsylvania is currently considering regulating real-money iGaming.
Other states such as New York and California could also pass online gambling legislation in the next few years.
In addition, operators were considering the recently re-regulated Portuguese online market, while the Swedish iGaming landscape’s growth potential was another hot topic.3. Verticals & Innovation A lot of brands at ICE spoke about virtual reality (VR) in the online casino vertical. VR casino slots and table games are helping brands penetrate new markets where they previously had less visibility among B2C audiences. VR-enhanced games are also helping brands to place themselves ahead of the competition when it comes to offering a sophisticated gaming experience for players. VR is also creating an online bridge for brands that have an offline focus.Daily fantasy sports’ ongoing expansion into the UK and continental Europe was also widely discussed, while eSports remains a buzz word. The opportunities in both verticals are still grey areas for many brands, but the potential of both for player crossover is being actively explored by traditional sportsbooks among others.4. M&A & its ConsequencesAnother hot topic was the ongoing mergers and acquisitions involving big-name gaming brands. Many at the conference were discussing the consequences of the recent wave of M&A. Such deals are commonly providing brands with the opportunity to consolidate products and platforms, and are facilitating their entry into new markets across the globe.
If you were at ICE, which trend stood out most to you? Let us know in the comments section below.