What’s Up Ygg: maintaining a regulatory balance across the igaming industry

With various different dynamics at play across the igaming industry, the latest episode of Yggdrasil’sWhat’s Up Ygg” podcast placed a particular focus upon the overwhelming need for “balance” on the regulatory front. 

Moderated by Square in the Air’s Stewart Darkin, episode four of the podcast series saw Yggdrasil’s CEO Fredrik Elmqvist, Björn Krantz, chief global market officer of Yggdrasil, and industry journalist Robin Harrison Milan touch upon the challenges and opportunities facing the industry, as well as the impacts of both COVID-19 and regulations.

Opening up the discussions, Elmqvist addressed some of the major dynamics at play across the igaming industry – pointing towards the more positive trends, and those which are not so positive.

“Industry dynamics is a super broad topic, and there are so many factors at play if you’re looking at it from a global perspective,” he began. 

“We are a casino developer at heart, but we’re now taking more of a publishing role, working more to enable external technology, enabling external studios and so forth. All of this is bringing relevance to our market. 

“But taking a few steps back and looking at the casino industry from a global perspective, we obviously see some turbulence in Asia. We’re seeing the impacts of regulation across Europe – these can swing either way.

“We’re all for the regulation, but restrictions which are too heavy can have a negative impact on the legitimate market. This can then create some really dark things – by that I mean counterfeit B2B and B2C organisations, hijack streams etc. 

“From the other side, we have things such as SPACs, sports betting etc. But as you can see, it’s a super dynamic landscape at the moment.” 

So when it comes to ensuring that new regulations aren’t to the detriment of player protection, Krantz underlined the importance of collaboration between the gaming industry and the regulators. 

He added: “This collaboration between the industry and the regulators is key. The regulator should also have an appetite to gain insight into the possible effects here; they should know what they want to achieve, and how to both streamline and harmonise the frameworks so that it is optimised towards responsible gaming measures. 

“If we look at Germany which has a one euro max bet, we hear in the market that this could drive the RTP down which is not good either. If you have a low stake, and then you’re taxed on turnover – which I think can, and most likely will happen in Germany – then you have no margins. In order to get any sort of margin, people will lower the RTP to get a little bit more out of it – but that is not helping players. 

“When you introduce measures which aren’t helping the player side of things, that’s when bettors start to look elsewhere and you have lower channelisation into the regulated market. 

“I think the main thing to consider here is balance. There is this collaboration and proactive dialogue which news to happen between the industry and the regulator – not just within one individual country but maybe on a wider scale.” 

Watch the full podcast here.