As the global gaming industry gears up to reunite at the ExCel convention center for ICE’s last edition in London – the major trade show is relocating to Barcelona in 2025 – Yogonet held an exclusive interview with Soft2Bet to learn more about the B2B provider and B2C operator’s plans for the show.
From February 6 – 8, the company will showcase novelties at a brand-new double-decker stand (Stand S6-210), including B2B services and products, gamification capabilities and more with a distinctive focus on innovation and compliance.
“One of the messages I emphasize is that regulatory compliance is always connected to the growth of the business – for Soft2Bet together with all our partners,” says Ohad Straschnov, Senior Compliance Director of Soft2Bet.
What will be the main novelties that Soft2Bet will present and focus on at ICE London this year? Given its status as one of the major global events in the industry, what are your expectations for the expo, and what are the company’s key goals for the event?
We will be hosting the event at our brand-new double-decker stand, where we will be running product, business and regulatory workshops that will give us the opportunity to meet and greet with many of our partners, contacts and friends in the industry.
ICE is the largest trade show and conference in the world and brings together all the leading executives in our sector. It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet them in person to discuss business, new partnerships, developing existing ones and adding more products and features to their portfolios.
In terms of workshops, our Chief Business Development Officer Martin Collins will be hosting a presentation on our B2B services and products, everything from our player account management to Managed Services; while our Product Manager Olga Melnyk will be explaining how our partners can take full advantage of our Motivational Engineering Gaming Application (MEGA), the best gamification platform in the industry.
Looking at ICE from my role as a compliance specialist, one of the messages I emphasize is that regulatory compliance is always connected to the growth of the business – for Soft2Bet together with all our partners. With that in mind, David Yatom Hay, our General Counsel, will also be taking part in the ICE VOX World Regulatory Briefing on Monday 5 February, where he will discuss the constantly-evolving environment of regulatory compliance in the iGaming industry.
How does the company make sure its offerings and operations comply with regulations? Will compliance play a role in the company’s showcase at ICE?
Regulatory compliance is important for the business at both B2B and B2C levels, that is one of our key messages. It’s also important to remember that failure to comply can lead to legal and financial consequences and can have reputational consequences. For Soft2Bet and our partners, that is an important factor to take into consideration when assessing which markets to enter or partners to engage with.
Our licenses in Greece, Romania, Italy, Sweden, Denmark and Malta enable us to launch regulated operators quickly; and they can go live knowing that S2B’s platforms, products and every functionality, from marketing and CRM to player safety, operate in compliance with all local regulations.
It is hard to overstate the importance of this setup: when an operator is found by their local regulator to have operated in a way that is not compliant with national laws, the most likely outcome is a financial penalty, which sometimes can be significant.
That is why we take compliance very seriously and are happy to showcase our capacities as a B2C operator and a B2B provider focused on regulatory compliance. It enables us to offer speed to market and a range of B2C and B2B tools that create business opportunities for us and our partners.
What are the main challenges faced at the moment in processes such as obtaining licenses or getting new products approved? How would you describe the evolving regulatory landscape in Europe, where we are seeing tightened policies?
It comes down to attention to detail and ensuring that all bases are covered and working in a spirit of partnership and collaboration with regulators and providers. At Soft2Bet, all employees are dedicated to ensuring that the process is as smooth as possible and it’s really a credit to all teams involved that we have obtained licenses in so many countries in such a short space of time.
My colleague David Yatom Hay recently said that regulatory gambling compliance had evolved beyond nearly all recognition over the past 10-15 years, and that is a highly accurate summary of the regulatory landscape evolving in Europe and other regions.
He also made another good point when he said that the “industry has always called for regulation, but now that it is widespread in Europe, many stakeholders are calling for reform” or loosening some of the stricter requirements to provide a more liberal environment for operators and providers. We can think of markets like France, the UK or the Netherlands as examples of strict regulations that operators sometimes find difficult to accommodate.
In addition, Europe is obviously a very important region for the industry, but also both North and South America are evolving and undergoing regulatory developments placing them as major regions for further growth and expansion.
With Soft2Bet’s products live in several markets, how does Soft2Bet overcome discrepancies in regulation from market to market?
Getting into the details of each country’s local regulations, and understanding their different customs and cultures is the best explanation for how we address those issues, which also affect regulations and compliance
For consumers, our ability to localize and tailor our product preferences to each and every local market is something that we take pride in, and our results show that our approach is working.
The event comes as we enter a new year for gambling. What markets is Soft2Bet set to focus on in 2024, and which licenses could we expect the company to secure in the upcoming months?
All the countries where we obtained licenses in 2023 will be a high priority for us, but as mentioned, North and South America are also moving at pace and we have plans for those regions as well.
We are currently working on obtaining licenses in prominent jurisdictions such as Portugal in the EU, New Jersey in the US, Ontario in Canada and Mexico in Latin America.