Jason “Wolf” Rosenberg, president of American iGaming Solutions, told the G2E audience that he gets weekly inquiries from all over the world about how to get involved in social gaming — except for from the U.S.
Rosenberg called that lack of interest from American companies “shortsighted,” because social gaming can translate into opportunities to acquire customers for traditional gambling. He said he expects large “non-gaming” companies to bridge the gap instead.
Andy Hieke, director of business development for social gaming company Present Creative, said European gaming firms have “embraced social gaming.”
Hieke also said that social gaming traditions such as leaderboards, badges, and tournaments have gained popularity with gambling companies.
“The line between real money and social gaming is now really muddy,” Hieke said.
The recent announcement that the University of Colorado had signed a five-year, $1.6 million partnership deal with PointsBet took several panelists by surprise, with questions raised about what steps if any the NCAA might take in the wake of the agreement.
“There’s no way the NCAA lets this happen unless they get a piece [of the revenue],” Rosenberg said.
“The NCAA’s viewpoints on all of this will have to evolve,” said Schneider.
Kevin Smith, SBC director of marketing and communications, pointed to the “fierce presence in marketing” that illegal offshore sportsbooks continue to have, two years after the U.S. Supreme Court opened the door for any state to offer a legal counterpart.
Rosenberg said that the ability of offshore books to avoid paying taxes enables them to offer more inducements such as rebates than a regulated book can.
“As a consumer, you go where the value is,” Rosenberg said.
Schneider said that many Native American tribes — particularly smaller ones — are taking a “wait-and-see” approach to iGaming, allowing the new industry to shake out before acting. She said such tribes also are trying to figure out who would be a suitable partner for such a venture.
Photo by Derick E. Hingle / USA Today Sports