SBC Leaders Issue 19

Page 48

A new reality

with that comes “the opportunity for abuse from both the consumer and some operators”. The CEO of Eminence Holdings stated: “Some virtual worlds will allow each and every individual onto their site, with exposure to ads and links to adult content, irrespective of age restrictions or geography. This is why it is imperative that there are strict regulations placed on each world and each casino in these worlds. “In theory, this could be similar to the current procedure for online casinos whereby ID is verified, and IP checks/geo-filtering is used. I do think there will need to be some changes regarding AML procedures and responsible gaming guidelines to factor in the metaverse.” If meta gambling becomes the new normal for the industry over the next decade, could we see it attempt to replicate its land-based vertical? This is a notion which was shut down by Robin Reed, CEO at HappyHour, who insisted that it was a “narrowminded mistake”, stating that

48 SBC LEADERS • MARCH 2022

experiences or content built for one platform/environment to another can not be translated. “We need to build completely new experiences, however keeping the very core emotional and material values that are making gambling appealing to people, in mind,”

I EXPECT IMMERSIVENESS ON STEROIDS, UNPRECEDENTED SPONTANEITY AND EXTRAORDINARY STIMULATION OF THE SENSES Reed expressed. “When walking into a classical casino you escape a mundane everyday life and you enter another world. In the metaverse you can do this to a level that is almost unimaginable. “I expect immersiveness on steroids, unprecedented spontaneity and extraordinary stimulation of the senses, all wrapping the product which is perhaps the strongest

and most compelling entertainment there is: gambling.” Delving deeper into the risks associated with the Metaverse, EvenBet CEO Dmitry Starostenkov highlighted that several risks may arise from using a third-party platform for hosting and promoting games. These include limited access to the user database, being dependent on the frequently changing platform policies and paying commissions that can sometimes be “enormously high”. He added: “From the overall industry perspective, a new entertainment giant may impose a disturbing threat to independent operators. Many new and casual players may prefer a trusted, well known platform that they are already using for everyday social activities.” McDonagh noted that the range of risks is “vast” but not necessarily too far away from the issues that the industry currently deals with. “The mechanism of reward in online casino is already a hot topic for regulation but what is different in meta is suddenly there are other items of