Suren Khachatryan takes a glance back at last week’s G2E Asia summit and looks forward to what it will take to succeed in emerging Asian territories
The Global Gaming Expo (G2E) Asia once again showcased the biggest marketplace for the largest continent, with the definitive must-attend event on Asia’s igaming circuit last week. Now well-established in its 13th renewal, welcoming around 18,000 visitors and 200 exhibitors from all corners of the globe, its prominent place on the tradeshow circuit seems assured.
Digitain was on-site at The Venetian’s D719 stand, where once again we were able to meet existing partners, drive new business and showcase our latest products, uniquely localised for every region. It was a hugely rewarding experience, thanks to the newly configured twin-level expo hall, alongside a series of fresh set of informative conference tracks.
Moreover, Macau offered a timely conference at which to meet coherently, debate the merits and let good ideas win at a pivotal time for the industry as a whole. Whatever the conundrum: emerging territories and cultural taste, partitioned regulation, player engagement, acquisition and bonusing alternatives, social media marketing, post-event retention strategy… all these questions needed answers. And sometimes tough ones. So it was great to trade thoughts on broad plans and specific innovations with other industry leaders, in order that we might converge on the wisest road forward, with G2E Asia providing the perfect lens through which to distil details of every colour.
The overall growth of the igaming industry remains incredibly encouraging, particularly in these growth markets, and the international advance of sportsbook continues unchecked in most developing countries. That said, innovation remains the watchword, both in the markets you offer and the tools with which you allow your clients to engage. Staying positively demarcated from the competition is naturally crucial, and that’s what Digitain does best with our ever-evolving product portfolio.
For me, though, the overarching question was: will Asia fashion its own watershed PASPA moment for sportsbook? Comparisons to the U.S. may at first seem facile. However, the truth is that this patchwork Asian quilt of taste and regulation (not to mention competing tax bands which could inherently price any greedy regions out of the market, or send their players to off-shore illegals) is very reminiscent of what’s slowly unfolding stateside in sports betting.
In general, Digitain has experienced substantial growth in several international markets over the past 12 months. Strategically, in order to accommodate this expansion, we will be opening sales and business development offices in four core areas, including the Philippines. These offices shall locally service existing clients and partner needs as well as increasing our inquiry pipeline.
Make no mistake, this industry will always change and naturally evolve as we respond to opportunities and challenges – often two sides of the same coin. Yet the significance for suppliers and partners coming together to exchange their expert knowledge (be it niche or overarching) remains undimmed as we search for the most effective path through the regulatory woods. A flexible platform, which offers tools and technologies forged from hard-won worldwide experience, constitutes the key in a market where the mass market is belatedly taking off, as VIPs somewhat subside. You need to be nimble, responsible and compliant to take full advantage.
So, while there will always be more lessons to learn in this fluctuating industry, you’ll seldom go far wrong if you observe those three core tenets.