What are the UK Gambling market challenges for 2023?

At ICE this year, LexisNexis® Risk Solutions asked five of our experts in the gambling sector their opinions on upcoming market trends and the advice they’d give to any operator navigating the current market.

“Consolidation is crucial to future success”

Over the last five years, we have seen huge disruptions within the UK gambling market, from multiple acquisitions and mergers to changes in regulation and guidance. Some of the largest operators have been expanding their proposition by acquiring or merging with other brands. We are expecting this to continue into 2023. It’s essential that these operators focus on consolidating their vendors across brands.

When a business grows, we often see multiple different suppliers performing the same role, and it's often easy to choose the cheapest or legacy supplier to streamline costs and make the integration process simple. Conducting a review and investigation on each vendor, however, allows operators to select the best data, technology, or partner for the role and leverage new innovative solutions to the problems they face.

Limiting the number of suppliers also allows operators to deploy the same onboarding and monitoring best practices across the organisation. This helps achieve a single view of a player across brands, deliver a great customer experience, and collect valuable insights needed to provide the best support to individual players.

Neil Williams, Strategic Account Director at LexisNexis® Risk Solutions says: 

"What I would advise to any operators entering the market is to ensure scalability is built into your business. Utilise the best data and technology rather than looking at finding the cheapest or most exciting option. Having a robust tech stack that gives you control and agility, is key."

The upcoming ‘Affordability’ whitepaper and gambling review is likely to shake up the industry

As the UKGC looks to provide more guidance around responsible gambling processes, we are anticipating a mad rush to integrate new technology and strategy as operators align with the new standards. Our Head of Gaming, Adam Doyle anticipates a huge change in attitudes around affordability checks:

"We’ve already seen multiple announcements about the whitepaper, including a potential name change of affordability, and with Paul Scully, the former Gambling Minister, mentioning at the Betting and Gaming council annual general meeting that he doesn’t think the UKGC should be telling people what they can and can’t afford. I’m hoping the guidance provides some clear strategies that operators can implement to better protect players and keep rates of problem gambling on the decrease. Personally, I think this year will be more about personalised journeys; and rather than implementing a one-size-fits-all model, we’ll be fitting the model to what individual people can actually afford."

Compliance with regulation is becoming increasingly difficult, but it also offers an opportunity to operators who embrace the challenge. The additional levels of checks needed to comply with regulations allow you to gain a huge amount of insight. This helps you to get higher-quality players coming through the door, resulting in a greater lifetime value from those players.

Make sure you know who your players are first. This will help you lower fraud rates, ensure compliance with financial crime regulations, and protect players from harm. The key to this success is designing a tech stack that can provide the information needed, but also provides a low-friction customer journey for both your players and your compliance teams.

Communication is key

As an industry, we need to focus on increasing our collaboration with key stakeholders. In the last few years we have seen slow progress but working closely with other operators, suppliers, charities and regulators will help us all to protect players and deliver a fun, safe environment. Alec Cudworth, iGaming Specialist (Fraud & Identity) at LexisNexis Risk Solutions advises: 

"Review what’s happened over the past 12 months and talk with your peers. The iGaming space is renowned for being guarded, but sharing ideas or battle stories over lunches or round tables will help you navigate the many grey areas in the current regulations."

Responsible Gambling is becoming a global phenomenon

Across the world, we are seeing markets focusing on responsible gambling and what can be implemented to better protect players from gambling harm. Just recently, the state of Massachusetts in the U.S. has released regulations around responsible gambling and other states are talking about making these changes as well. The Malta Gaming Authority is becoming stricter with its financial crime regulation, imposing multiple fines around AML non-compliance. The challenge for operators is accessing adequate data in different jurisdictions to gain insight into potential vulnerability and prevent crime.

Abdi Hussein, International MDR Manager at LexisNexis Risk Solutions explains:

"Responsible Gambling can be a huge challenge for some operators and just goes to show that the industry isn’t just focused on profit but also focused on player wellbeing."

Latin America is one of the biggest opportunities right now

Over the past 3 years we have seen so many different markets opening up; the USA, Canada and Netherlands to name a few. But whilst the new markets are exciting, it’s important that operators have a deep understanding of the regulatory requirements in those jurisdictions, in order to comply with regulation and gain first-to-market advantage.

The entire industry is waiting with bated breath in the hope that Brazil gets regulated this year. As the sixth biggest country in the world, with over 169 million people over the age of 18 with access to the internet, it will be a significant market. Two other Latin American markets, Peru and Columbia, are not far behind.

What problems does LexisNexis® Risk Solutions help operators to solve?

"LexisNexis Risk Solutions helps operators solve a multitude of issues, from compliance to fraud and everything in between, by providing a true 360-degree view of their players. We solve both new and emerging issues such as responsible gaming initiatives all the way to traditional issues around bonus abuse, account takeover, and chargebacks. We provide that 360 view not only to deliver a seamless customer journey, but also to help operators protect revenue as well as create it."

Abdi Hussein – International MDR Manager

"We are in the fortunate position of being able to help our customers across their customer lifecycle. We have award-winning offerings across the identity verification space, as well as financial crime compliance capabilities across different markets. These tools leverage various combinations of data, biometrics, authentication of documents, device intelligence, location, email, and behavioural analysis. What is more, all of these capabilities can be integrated within a single orchestration layer, helping operators access all the portfolio with fewer API integrations, one case management solution, and scalability."

Neil Williams – Strategic Account Director

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