Harmen Brenninkmeijer: Regulators still uncomfortable combining land-based, online gambling

In this interview with CalvinAyre.com’s Stephanie Tower, Harmen Brenninkmeijer, manager partner at Dynamic Partners, explains how casinos can successfully integrate online gambling into their land-based operations.

There’s no denying that online gambling shook the foundations of the gambling industry, starting with the debut of the first online casino in 1994. For many traditional casinos, the advent of such innovation could only mean trouble—aka stiff competition for players who can now participate in events without the need to leave the comfort of their own home.

After all these years, however, is online gaming still a threat to brick-and-mortar casinos?

“It shouldn’t be,” Harmen Brenninkmeijer, managing partner at Dynamic Partners, told CalvinAyre.com. “I think the biggest issue is still the fact that what we have going on at the moment is that a lot of the regulators are completely uncomfortable combining land-based [gambling] and online.”

However, there are jurisdictions that have found a way to integrate the two sectors. Take Romania, for example, which officially regulated the domestic online gambling industry in late 2014.

“Romania came out of nowhere, had a lot of land-based casinos and they decided that only the land-based casinos can get an online gambling license. So suddenly they had to partner up with the online gaming professionals and that really worked out very well for them,” Brenninkmeijer said.

And it’s not just the regulators that need to take action. Even land-based operators, particularly in Asia, will have to examine models that could link traditional casinos with online gambling, according to Brenninkmeijer.

“What I hope to see is that the regulators are waking up to the fact that everybody wants high speed so in other words I want to be able to place a lottery bet, I want to do it quick, I want to do it easy and I want to be notified,” he said. “The online and the land-based casinos can do that extremely well together whereby it becomes an addition to one another and that’s how they get a lot of the younger players to start playing as well, and they don’t have to do it for large amounts. It’s about quantity not necessarily just the quality, which is what land-based is providing versus what online is providing. Online is more, it’s an instant event, land-based it’s like, you know, I’m going to have a real experience.”