The Asia Gaming Summit is back in Taiwan, and it’s packed with informative sessions on the intricacies of the gaming industry not just in Asia, but also globally.
This year, Asia Gaming Summit returned to W Taipei for a two-day conference programme—plus two industry specific workshops, networking sessions, private supplier meetings, and a poker tournament. Also taking place concurrently is the inaugural Asia eSports Forum, where prominent Asian and global eSports communities to explore the latest market trends, industry updates and business opportunities in Asia.
“One of our biggest new additions this year is actually a completely new show that we’re running back to back with [Asia Gaming Summit 2018], and it’s about eSports in Asia. It’s called Asia eSports Forum. It’s taking place the same days, and we’re having it here because Taiwan is also a very important eSports hub in Asia. And we’re hoping to grow both shows together,” Giulia Timarco, senior conference producer, told CalvinAyre.com.
Day 1 turned the spotlight on the future of the Asian gaming industry. A keynote panel assessed Taiwan’s role and importance as a gaming hub in the region, while Danny Wang of Agaleyn Consulting Services explained how a good engagement strategy helps in the push for legalization of gambling, particularly in Taiwan.
In October 2017, voters in Taiwan’s outlying Kinmen islands group rejected a proposal to establish what could’ve been the country’s first integrated resort casino project. The outcome, however, would’ve been different had there been better community engagement with the right messaging, according to Wang.
He explained, “To have a good engagement strategy basically is really talking to the people, making connections with the people, and I think every time you have a referendum, you’re working on top of what’s already been said. Gaming is a huge topic, there’s so many aspects of it, which makes it fun. There’s economic parts of it. There’s the legal aspect. There’s the community engagement, and you have to find the right messaging because those type of messaging are the ones that are going to mobilize the people to come out and support them.”
The second panel focused on regional sportsbook offerings, and how operators can innovate to acquire and maintain their customers. Panelists Mark Thomas of ZenSports, Michael Maerz of Sportradar, and Pablo Bermudez of Betcris discussed the new technologies that sportsbook operators can integrate.
Blockchain in particular helps solve a lot of pain points for many sportsbetting platforms, said Thomas, co-founder and CEO of ZenSports, which is a peer-to-peer sports betting marketplace.
“[One] of the pain points is around the trust issue that most people have around sportsbooks. If you’re betting, for example, with an offshore sportsbook you may not trust that, hey, will they deposit your funds appropriately, will they pay you out if you win? With blockchain and smart contracts, everything is automated in terms of the bet contracts and the payments made and the payouts. You can feel confident that everything is going to be done correctly, and technologically will be automated so you don’t have to worry about someone else running off with your funds or something like that,” Thomas said.
Meanwhile, the afternoon sessions tackled lottery in Asia and eSports betting. AGTech CEO John Sun and Lottoland’s Geaspar Byrne examined the pros and cons of moving from the traditional model of operating to incorporating digital strategies.
In June, AGTech began setting up lottery terminals in Alibaba’s consumer-facing physical stores in China. This comes several months after AGTech—the official lottery service provider for the Chinese government—launched social game app Lucky Buy with Taobao and Alipay. This app allows players to redeem their winning for merchandise like an iPhone X from participating Taobao and Alipay merchants. Sun said they are expecting lottery sales to grow by 3 to 5 times in the provinces, thanks to their partnership with Alibaba.
To catch more updates within Asia gaming and the rise of cryptos within the industry, stay tuned for Calvinayre.com’s Asia Gaming Summit 2018 Day 2 coverage.