CGA President inducted to Sports Betting HoF and other notes from SBC Summit NA

The SBC Summit North America kicked off on July 12 in New Jersey, uniting the North American gaming and betting industry with a wide range of topics discussed.

We’ve summarized some snippets and tidbits from the Summit here.

Sports Betting Hall of Fame inductees

Canadian Gaming Association President and CEO Paul Burns was inducted into the SBC Sports Betting Hall of Fame on July 13, the first Canadian to receive the honour. He was inducted alongside three other industry leaders in a special ceremony at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment in East Rutherford, NJ.

The induction recognizes, among Burns’ other career achievements, his prominent role in the ongoing reform of Canada’s sports betting and iGaming industry, within which the opening of Canada’s first regulated private online gaming and betting market in Ontario in April was a key landmark. As of Thursday, there were 31 sports betting and gambling websites approved and operating in the province.

“It’s an honour to be recognized and I am humbled to be inducted with some true legends of the sports betting industry,” Burns told OntarioBets. “We are seeing the potential of the sports betting market in these early days of the Ontario regulated online market.”

Burns said in his induction speech that while British Columbia and Alberta are future potential commercial sports betting and iGaming markets but significant work remains before they reach an Ontario-style structure, if they ever do.

Inducted alongside Burns were Chris Andrews, Sports Book Director of South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa; Sandy Drozd, Vice President of USBookmaking; Vinny Magliulo, Vice President of the Las Vegas Dissemination Company & Sports Book Director at Gaughan Gaming; and SBC Community Director Sue Schneider.

Other provinces look to Ontario’s progress

Burns also moderated an SBC Summit panel session titled “Online in Ontario: iGaming in North America’s 5th largest market” panel on day one at the Summit. Alongside panelists Richard Roberts, President of Digital Gaming at Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment; Oren Cohen Shwartz, CEO of Delasport; Will Whitehead, Commercial Director of mkodo; Scott Vanderwel, CEO of PointsBet Canada; and Kent Young, CEO of Spin Games, Burns discussed the licensing and regulation requirements for iGaming in Ontario and the pros and cons of the various market entry strategies for the Canadian state.

There, Burns noted that other provinces continue to follow Ontario, which launched its regulated industry to better protect consumers, and suggested he expects it will take a year or two for other provinces to have “meaningful discussions” towards regulation.

During the session, Vanderwel said that PointsBet’s data and research suggests that online casino is currently driving around 60 per cent of gaming revenue in Ontario. He added that PointsBet believes the sustainable pathway in the Ontario market is “long-lasting, meaningful relationships [and] more direct experiential connections.”

Meanwhile, at a session entitled “Building a gaming powerhouse in Canada” which also featured Burns, Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario COO David Phillips said that the commission intends to conduct a two-year project to examine its approach to land-based casino regulation for the purpose of implementing some of the innovations recently established for gaming.

“We have a lot of registered suppliers, where their ecosystem involves dozens and dozens of operators,” Phillips added. “Some are in the regulated market, some are still in the grey market… we’ve set very clear expectations, and we are spending a lot of time visiting other regulated sites and Ontario to get a sense of which suppliers are still out there and engaging suppliers to send very clear expectations with respect to exit requirements.”

Diversity, responsible gaming key issues

FanDuel CEO Amy Howe said in a keynote interview with CNBC’s Contessa Brewer that she expects to see some sportsbook consolidation down the road, given the competitive nature of North American markets and the current economic turmoil.

Howe also said that she wants to see more diversity in the sports betting industry, stressing that there is more space for more women working in the business, and that the market for women wagering on sports also has room for growth. To that point, she added that the presence of women on sports betting platforms is growing at 115 per cent times the rate of men, adding that while the industry is making progress, “there’s a lot of untapped opportunity.”

On that topic, on July 14, SBC’s Schneider noted that there are now 40 female CEOs across the global gaming industry, indicating that things are moving in the right direction.

In a session on July 12 at the SBC Summit North America’s Player Protection Symposium, a panel moderated by Responsible Gambling Council CEO Shelley White discussed the trials and tribulations of RG in the new world of gaming.

At the Symposium’s closing panel, former NBA players Charles Oakley and Randy Livingston joined Entain’s Martin Lycka to discuss the prevalence of gambling in the league and how to protect both pro and college players.

SBC First Pitch

On July 14, the second edition of the SBC First Pitch contest saw five innovative industry startups go head-to-head, pitching their business plans to a panel of judges for a chance to win a prize package valued at more than $60,000.

The five finalists were:

  • Kero Gaming: a white label in-game micro betting platform with a vision to disrupt the sports betting experience over the next decade by offering an interactive social environment for the bettors.
  • BetSwap Limited: a company that provides fully integrated marketplaces for both platform providers and operators. Each party will have access to a marketplace where they can buy and sell active bets.
  • STX: sports betting exchange inspired by traditional financial markets that offers a fair and real-time marketplace for users to bet on the outcome of sporting events.
  • Sparket – The Social Betwork: a company providing software solutions that enable operating partners to expand their sportsbook offerings and reach via a proprietary and customizable pool wagering system.
  • CapWize: a company providing sports bettors with real-time dashboards that include cutting-edge simulation data to help bettors make more intelligent sports picks.

Ultimately, it was BetSwap who emerged victorious, winning the $60,000 prize package.

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