Assessing the prospect of regulatory backlash at Betting on Football

This year’s Betting on Football (20-23 March) will assess the prospect of a regulatory backlash as established betting jurisdictions start to push back on the industry.

‘Is there a backlash coming?’ will be held as part of the Leadership track, which takes place on the second full day at Stamford Bridge (Thursday 22 March).

Speakers include Kindred Group CPO Britt Boeskov, IBAS Managing Director Richard Hayler and Wiggin Partner Stephen Ketteley, alongside Joe Saumarez Smith, Chief Executive for Sports Gaming, Chairman of Bede Gaming and non-executive director of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).

The session, which will also debate if the industry is at fault for failing to implement effective self-regulation, is the fourth of seven in the Leadership track.

The action gets underway with an analysis of the philosophy of gambling, and whether there is an acceptable balance between the potential benefits of betting and its potential for harm.

Ahead of more industry consolidation, including GVC’s possible £4 billion takeover of Ladbrokes Coral, high-level panellists will be assessing the value of investment outside of the biggest players and the state of play in the affiliate sector.

Marek Smrha – Penta Investments

After headlining the ‘Managing Risk’ panel at last year’s event, Marek Smrha, Investment Manager at Penta Investments, is back to help delegates identify the ‘attractive risk’, with the support of Akur Capital Partner David Shapton, Better Collective Head of M&A Michal Kopec and David Levy, Business Development Director at XL Media.

Šmrha commented: “We are happy to share our experience as a long-term investor and partner for companies in CEE. With Fortuna Entertainment Group being one of our key assets, we have a vested interest in the future of the gambling industry in the region.”

Sam Hill – Betgenius

Meanwhile, #bofcon2018 has embraced the ‘Creative approach’ shown by products such as BetBuilder and MatchAcca. How these request based bets are influencing trading will be debated by Sporting Index Head of Football Tom Palin, Betgenius Business Development Director Sam Hill, Sky Betting & Gaming Head of Sports Andy Wright and Steen Madsen, Managing Director at Betsson Group.

Hill added: “BetBuilder is an accumulator service which blurs the lines between pre-match and in-play betting, allowing punters to create their own narrative around any given fixture. Products like this highlight the role of trading functions in sports betting innovation, and are set to play a major role at this summer’s World Cup in Russia.”

Following the focus on potential regulatory backlash, the afternoon agenda is made up of a hat-trick of CEO panels, starting with the changing landscape for affiliates featuring Inbal Lavi from Israel XL Media, alongside OLBG’s Richard Moffat and Easyodds’ James Garmston.

The penultimate session of the track will see Mybet’s Markus Peuler and BetBright’s Marcus Brennan assess the importance of this summer’s World Cup for future business, before ‘Lands of opportunity’ provides a fittingly topical finale to the CEO trilogy.

As the state of New Jersey threatens to blaze a trail for the opening of the US sports betting market, Sportingtech CEO Tiago Almeida will be on hand to discuss how suppliers can plan for the opening of new markets, and whether operators are too reluctant to experiment with third-party ideas.

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