Sports Betting Dominates, New Technologies and Esports Intrigue at ICE London 2019
The big headline at ICE London last week was, predictably, sports betting, but what was the actual buzz and what else made an impression? The Innovation Group's
share insights from their time at ExCeL London here:
Sports Betting on Display
Sports betting dominated conversation and was clearly a focus in the expo hall where the entire sports betting supply chain was on display, from managed trading services and data feeds to graphic design for apps and insurance vendors for jackpot offerings. There is a cautious optimism related to expansion in the States, though the recent Wire Act opinion issued by the U.S. Department of Justice has some operators and legislators taking a pause to see what happens in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Trendy Technologies that Work
Suppliers brought a range of new technologies that finally make trendy tech applicable for gaming businesses. Examples included blockchain-based lottery and optical recognition cameras that identify dealt cards and the value of chip stacks - an alternative to the RFID technology that has just never seemed to get there. Advances in real-time data capture and flow also present significant opportunities.
International Development Targets
Operators continue to look to Asia when considering new land-based casino development - Japan and southeast Asia present some of the most promising emerging market opportunities. That said, pockets of significant prospect remain in Eastern Europe along with potentially compelling, if sporadic, opportunities on the horizon in other markets across the globe.
Is Esports Finally Here?
We're not so sure, but there was a lot of buzz around the live esports competition octagon on the ICE floor. Exhibiting esports suppliers ranged from chair vendors to managed trading services. And just in the last week, we've seen a number of sponsorship and partnership deals inked. We'll continue watching closely to see how this area develops.