“[ Covid-19 ] showed the land-based industry that they had to think about [ online ]. We want to be more sustainable and we also saw that our guests , who we value highly , were seeking alternatives for their gaming habit ”
HERMANN PAMMINGER , EUROPEAN CASINO ASSOCIATION industry is only now getting involved in this business .”
Modern-day casinos won ’ t face the same issues as their predecessors did before the turn of the millennium as the internet isn ’ t the hot new commodity it once was – it ’ s now a facet of life rather than something exciting to explore .
However , it isn ’ t completely straightforward for a land-based operator to set up an online gaming branch . Among the many factors to consider , according to JOA Groupe chief executive Laurent Lassiaz , continuity is key .
“ The most important thing for us is to make the journey to the online sector as smooth as possible because we are dealing with the same customers we deal with on a daily basis in our brickand-mortar operations ,” he says .
“ That ’ s quite easy because you can really try to give the same flavour , try and design the same type of environment in terms of look and feel . For example , for us within JOA , we have exactly the same loyalty system – the points you are able to earn offline can be earned online and vice versa .
“ The key thing for us is to make sure that there ’ s much more incentive to stay with us online rather than switching to a pure online gamer .”
The competition with ‘ pure online gamers ’ is another obstacle for landbased casinos looking to dabble in the online market . There are businesses who have spent years cultivating a specialised online product , so from day one the land-based sector is going to be playing catch-up . They are always going to be an online version of a landbased casino , rather than a bona-fide online casino , as Pamminger explains .
“ With the European Casino Association , some of our members are in online gaming ,” he says . “ But they ’ re land-based casinos that have established an online presence .
“ Recently , we carried out a survey among our members and learned that 63 % are also directly or indirectly involved in online gaming . At Casinos Austria we do have an online arm which came from the lottery business and they also offer casino games online – but its separate .
July 2021
16 17 Part 4: Storm clouds ahead: The European regulatory climate Building an omnichannel future for European casinos STORM CLOUDS AHEAD: THE EUROPEAN REGULATORY CLIMATE “Europe is experiencing a clampdown on the amount of gambling that is available to its citizens. Although there are a few areas of expansion, nearly all other countries are actively taking steps to reduce the amount of gambling available to consumers” Industry consultant Andrew Tottenham has worked across Europe and beyond in his career to date. He argues the current situation, in which a vast number of markets are making a push to limit gambling, could be one of the most challenging regulatory climates the sector has ever faced WHEN I FIRST STARTED my career the top. If you did manage to stop it in regulations between the federal machines located in bars and arcades, as a consultant I did not really believe Canton of Zurich is allowing gambling the correct place, you would ‘win’ a government and those of the Länder one for every 200 citizens. Successive that things happened in cycles. But as I machines in bars and arcades. It small part of your stake back. meant that slot machine arcades were governments have been trying to have grown older, I have seen the same actually outlawed them in 1994 and is able to flourish without any control over reduce the number in operation, the things happen again and again. Sadly, now legalising them again in order to the ladder and just pushed the button numbers or location. latest effort being to lower the number we have short memories and do not comply with Federal legislation. as soon as possible to get another spin, learn from history. @ICE_London In the last few years, the regulations by one third. The current government even though this action reduced the changed and a limit was placed on the is moving ahead with plans to cut the return to player significantly. number of machines allowed in a single number of online gambling licences venue. Measures covering a minimum from 120 to 40. arcades and machines in bars that led clampdown on the amount of to the 1994 referendum in Zurich, the gambling that is available to its citizens. result of which was that all arcades had Treaty on Gambling, legalising and area per machine, a ban on multiple Although there are a few areas of to close and the gambling machines to regulating online slots and poker from licences per venue and a minimum right to municipalities to decide if they expansion – in Ukraine, Switzerland be removed from bars. The machines 1 July. However, the conditions with distance between each venue were want to remove gambling from their and Germany – nearly all other fell under a piece of legislation that which operators and players have to also introduced. jurisdictions. The objection from certain countries are actively taking steps allowed games of ‘skill’. comply are extremely onerous and Arcades cannot be near schools sectors of the public has been against will probably deter some players. and libraries. I believe it is thought that the proliferation of gambling machines every spin, had a ladder of lights that Although this is an expansion of sorts, it children frequent libraries and therefore in bars. Due to how gambling is defined available to consumers. Tweet It was the proliferation of gambling Most of the frequent players ignored Europe is experiencing a to reduce the amount of gambling What’s your view? First, the positive steps. The ANDREW TOTTENHAM Public and media pressure in The skill machines, at the end of Germany has ratified the Interstate Czechia and Slovakia have given the flashed and the player had to stop the is being implemented in such a strictly they should not have to pass an arcade it means that all gambling, except Spain, Italy, Czechia, Slovakia, Latvia light when it reached the top of the controlled fashion that expansion might on the way to the library. The result was lotteries, would have to be banned. and Lithuania has contributed to new ladder by pushing a button. The lights be too loose a term. that thousands of arcades had to close. Cities, most notably Bratislava laws that reduce the number of slot would flash slower and slower so that Italy, with only four legal casinos, and Prague, have used the provision, machines in arcades, bars and the like. everyone would be able to stop it at Building an omnichannel future for European casinos Contrast that with the closure of slot arcades in Germany. Conflicting had more than 340,000 gambling although the latter is trying to confine July 2021