Betting on Football 2018, held at Stamford Bridge from 20-23 March, will demonstrate its international appeal by delivering updates around the biggest sports betting jurisdictions.
Global Market Profiles, which takes place on the first full day of #bofcon2018 on Wednesday 21 March, is one of five main tracks at the event, which will feature a total of more than 40 sessions and up to 190 industry speakers.
OPTIMA CEO Jacob Lopez will get the ball rolling with a presentation on the new window of licensing opportunity in Spain, just a few months after Spanish regulatory body Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) reopened the application process for the third time since 2011.
Lopez commented: “This event comes at a great time for us, as it falls within the 12-month window for online licence applications in Spain, that will enable new online operators to gain access to the market by working with OPTIMA.
“It also coincides with a period of considerable growth in the country – the regulated gambling market in Spain generated revenue of €140.5 million from 30 June to 30 September last year, a 37.3% increase when compared to the same period in 2016.”
The morning part of the seven-session track will also cover preparation for a World Cup-free summer in Italy and the success of start-ups across the Scandinavian region, featuring Danske Spil CEO Niels Erik Folmann, Mr Green CEO Jesper Kärrbrink, Better Collective CEO Jesper Soegaard and Jari Vahanen, Senior Vice President for state-owned Finnish operator Veikkaus.
Kärrbrink added: “Scandinavia is a hotbed of innovation because of its history – a history of entrepreneurship, of technology development, of successful companies such as Ericsson and Spotify, but also a heritage of gambling, which has been a key part of society for hundreds of years. If you add this together, you get a very interesting environment for technology driven betting companies.”
Folmann said: “The key challenge for the Scandinavian sports betting market is that we have full regulation in Denmark, and Sweden coming up, but Finland and Norway are not regulated yet, so you have this enormous pressure from our international competitors on both the commercial terms and innovation.”
Meanwhile, Snaitech CEO Fabio Schiavolin, Gazzetta dello Sport Managing Director Francesco Carione, Microgame CEO Marco Castaldo and Tonucci and Partners’ Quirino Mancini will pick out the positives in the land of the beaten Azzurri, as progressive betting regulations make for a significantly more attractive place to conduct business.
Following a lunch break, the focus will turn to tackling the changing laws in Africa and the move towards legalised sports betting in the US, as the state of New Jersey seeks to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which prohibits sports betting outside of Nevada.
The list of confirmed speakers for the Africa session includes Web Analysis Solutions CEO Mathew Symmonds, BetBoss.co.ke Investor Ian Hogg and Martin Sack, the Group Manager of Online Business Development for Sun International Group Manager, while Pinnacle CEO Paris Smith will be talking about the potential for PASPA repeal in ‘‘Making America a great market again’, alongside Betradar MD of Sales Eduard Blonk.
Smith said: “The US has the potential to house the biggest betting market in the world, but it all depends on the Supreme Court. Though it’s now quite possible that New Jersey will win the right to reverse the federal ban on licensed sports betting, that does not mean that the PASPA will be fully repealed. Both from a neutral perspective, and with my Pinnacle hat on, it will be interesting to see how this progresses.”
The afternoon will conclude with a session on dealing with the opaque regulatory landscape in Asia, led by TCM Inplay CEO Jim Yu, followed by expert insight into the scale of the World Cup opportunity in Eastern Europe.