London, United Kingdom – ICE Asia Digital 2020 is only days away with the event debuting in from 8 to 10 June. Day 1 will include a panel entitled ‘The Marriage of Digital and Land-Based in the Future Asia Pacific Model’, featuring Jonathan Pettemerides of Rank, Erwin Dickman of Asia Live Tech and Wolfgang Bliem of Casino Luzern. The panel will be moderated by Harmen Brenninkmeijer of Dynamic Partners.
Clarion Gaming sat down with Jonathan Pettemerides to get his thoughts on the future of digital as it relates to land-based gaming and a sneak peak of what we can expect in his panel discussion. Mr. Pettemerides comes from a 15-year background in the gaming industry including both land-based and online sectors. He has specific experience around the convergence of gaming product, customer proposition and channel operations in regulated markets. Jonathan currently works for Rank in London as their omnichannel director.
Clarion Gaming: Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions Jonathan! We don’t want to reveal too much, as we know you have an exciting panel discussion planned for 8 June at ICE Asia Digital 2020. However, can you give us a sneak preview of some of the key topics and data points you will cover in your panel “The Marriage of Digital and Land-Based in the Future Asia Pacific Model”?
Jonathan Pettemerides: I’m looking forward to the panel on June 8th and hope that my fellow panelists and I can provide some useful insight from our collective experience. The marriage of land based and digital gaming has been a core focus of my career to date and I hope that previous experiences working in Asia, will add some value to the conversation. Given the diversity of Asia as a region, it is clearly isn’t as simple as a one size fits all strategy nor a case of what has worked in parts of the US and Europe being directly replicated in Asia Pacific. The region is many years ahead of the rest of the world in some areas, which isn’t always recognised. This is certainly the case in the creation and adoption of digital technologies to improve customer experience. I’m expecting the panel to provide some insight into what has worked in their respective operations over the years with consideration given for what a future regulatory model could look like. In my opinion, regulation and operating experience of multichannel businesses are two principle areas where insight could benefit attendee’s. Rank is the UK‘s leading multi-channel gaming operator with significant experience in operating digital gaming as well as their long-standing venues business, within an advanced regulatory framework. There is a clear rationale for being a multi-channel business rather than a venues only operation.
Clarion Gaming: Who, in your opinion, will be able to benefit from your content? Is this focused at existing iGaming operators, land-based operators or both? Should regulators also listen in and if so, what can they learn from your upcoming discussion?
Jonathan Pettemerides: I would like to think that everybody who currently operates or has an interest in operating or providing industry solutions to the region, will find the panel of interest. That could extend to private equity and finance groups who in my opinion are likely to be increasingly involved in a changing industry landscape. This panel should be particularly relevant to government regulators, without whom such a marriage of channel operations in the future, will remain on the distant horizon. There is little doubt that the recent Covid19 enforced situation has sharpened the conversation about online gaming meeting a clear customer need and whether land-based operations will change to better meet those customer expectations. Having a clearly defined regulation would support governments, businesses and customers alike. We hope to discuss some examples of where iGaming regulation is working.
Clarion Gaming: Is it fair to say that there has been some “negative PR” around iGaming and digital gaming (especially offshore) in general throughout Asia? Do you feel that this will be a difficult hurdle for governments to overcome in order to even consider instituting iGaming or other digital formats into their regulated environments?
Jonathan Pettemerides: Any current regional challenges around online gaming licensing and the negative publicity may be a catalyst to drive greater consideration by state governments to regulate iGaming. There is a knowledge gap which needs to be bridged with anybody working in the online market tarnished by association to any negative PR. In the Philippines for example, there are some credible businesses working within an improving licensing regime who are not targeting markets where they are not permitted to operate. However, on the flip side there appears to be completely unlicensed operations popping up across the region and it is the closure of those, which will best protect the consumer in the first instance.
Clarion Gaming: Where in Asia do you see the next great opportunity for this marriage of iGaming with existing land-based operations? Do you feel there is any “low hanging fruit” that should be considered in the short term?
Jonathan Pettemerides: There is little appetite to explore online gaming regulation in some countries and I therefore don’t expect regulatory progress in Asia Pacific at the speed of some others in the industry. However, the way that consumers engage with entertainment has changed and there needs to be an evolution in a number of areas to meet the customer needs and expectations. There are several markets where progress is being made and we will surely discuss those on the panel. The COVID19 situation will potentially accelerate the need for planning across a wide range of stakeholders, including operators, vendors and regulators.
Clarion Gaming: Thank you so much for your time Jonathan – we’re looking forward to learning more during your panel discussion on the June 8.
Jonathan Pettemerides: Thank you for having me – I’m looking forward to the success of ICE Asia 2020 and connecting with the attendees.
Registration to ICE Asia Digital is free of charge, including the training. For more information, including the full agenda, speakers, advanced registration and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.ice-asia.com.