Expanding to emerging markets has been a trend in the gambling business looking for new opportunities to showcase their brands and offerings.
In the past five years, operators have flocked to the continents of Asia and Africa thinking that these regions will become the next big thing in gambling. Susan O’Leary, however, cautioned operators that every opportunity has its risks.
She specifically pointed out the inconsistencies of regulatory framework in these jurisdictions which may prove to be detrimental to operators. O’Leary cited the case of the Philippines, which is now politically settling down.
O’Leary said the Philippines’ anti-money laundering issues and banking and payment processing overshadows the opportunities in the southeast island nation.
“In times of uncertainty, it is good to have consistency. You need a good regulatory framework and as I said about the experience in the Asian sector and the Asian businesses,” O’Leary told CalvinAyre.com. “While things are settling down politically in the Philippines, it would definitely help to have a framework in particular for anti-money laundering issues and banking and payment processing. That’s a huge problem for a lot of them Asia-facing businesses. The parameters aren’t as black and white, their legislation isn’t just developed and as such, they are having huge issues with banking and payment processing.”
O’Leary pointed out that Alderney, a tier one jurisdiction located in a small island in between English and France, has money value and a financial action task force that helps operators with these issues of banking and payment processing.
“What they can offer Asian operators in particular is Global experience, huge understanding of the online gambling sector, and most importantly an understanding of how things are at work in Asia. Things are done differently culturally, different betting models, and Alderney has a lot of experience in the industry.”