Tim Richards, Ofri Noier, Frank Fahrenkopf on iGaming Super Show Day 2

iGaming SUPER Show delegates made their way back to RAI Amsterdam today for the second and final day of the conference.  Crowd numbers were similar to yesterday with delegates enjoying Bet365’s new double decker stand, Paddy Power’s Guinness bar with live Irish music, free iPad giveaways, German pretzels, more giveaways and plenty of cocktails. Don’t forget all of our daily summaries and checkout iGaming in Holland and iGSS Day 1.

Across the conference floor we come across a number of payment processors and CalvinAyre.com spoke with Tim Richards of GCA, a payment company representing 70% of the gambling transactions in the United States.  Richards told CalvinAyre.com that while his company has a number of land based licenses under which they currently operate, he’s unsure these licenses will carry over to online or if GCA will be required to apply for interactive licenses as well.   Its complicated, he said, and his payments company has to go through as much scrutiny as any other in the gambling space which as we know from Jon Friedberg, is no easy task.

Richards’ advice for any payment processor looking to operate in a regulated online gambling market within the US is to simply “do your homework”- each state will have different laws, so its important to keep on top of them.

There were a number of FOREX, Binary Options and financial betting companies present at the SUPER show as well.  Research as shown that there is significant crossover between gamblers who enjoy financial betting and those who enjoy more traditional betting such as sports and casino.

Another benefit of financial betting is that its tolerated in markets that outlaw online gambling such as China.  We spoke with Ofri Noier of Tradologic to find out why Binary Options and financial betting are such a good fit for the Asian market.  She pointed out that the reputation of Chinese gamblers is that they will bet on anything and that they haven’t seen anything new to gamble on in five years, so the concept of financial betting is quite appealing to them.

The iGaming SUPER Show Keynote speaker was Frank Fahrenkopf, President of the American Gaming Association.  Fahrenkopf shared with his audience that even though the AGA has historically been pushing for a poker-only federal bill, his board now open to the idea of adding more games.  He explained that the original push for poker-only was because a bill of that nature would be easier to pass, however, since states are starting to regulate games beyond poker, the AGA is going to look into expanding on the federal side as well.

Fahrenkopf was also quite clear in his belief that any online gambling company taking bets post UIEGA will have a really tough time receiving a license to operate in America.  He referenced conversations that he has had at ICE conferences in the past with such operators and referred to them as “cocky” and saying all they would have to do is buy their way in. “I don’t think its going to be that easy”, he said.

The fact that AGA does not have any tribal members was brought up during the keynote and Fahrenkopf addressed this concern by assuring the audience that the board is re-evaluating and seriously considering bringing on the larger tribal casinos.  He explained that AGA members felt that tribal casinos were not on a level playing field as they are not on the hook for paying federal tax.  However, times have changed and the tribes have a huge stake in American gaming, so we’ll see what the future holds.

During the tribal panel Steve Bodmer of the Pechanga Tribal Government said that the AGA is disconnected from tribes and its difficult for anyone on the outside to understand the dynamics.   He explained that the desire to set up online gambling operations by the tribes involves protection of rights and providing for their community- its not just a bunch of kids setting up something to make a lot of money.  Its more then just making money for the tribes, its about where the money goes and how it benefits the tribal community, he said.