The SBC Summit North America provided a deeper exploration of the omni channel experience and its role in boosting player engagement and enriching the experience within igaming.

Increasing the synergy between the two experiences should be a key focus for operators intending to expand their audience according to the omnichannel effectiveness panel at the Summit. 

Nick Patrick, Co-Founder and CEO at Radar underlined the importance of digital gaming being able to raise the ceiling of engagement for the land based player. 

Integral to this is personalisation and geolocation Patrick believes, stating it is a significantly ‘underutilised tool in terms of combining the retail and digital sectors’. 

It can also provide support for evolving player expectations, with seamlessness a minimum standard for the modern player. 

Oliver Bartlett, Vice President of Gaming – Product & Content at BetMGM expressed that the digital industry at times is ‘guilty of not taking land-based players on the journey with us’. He pinpointed bonuses and promotions as being key assets that need to transcend both retail and digital casinos. 

‘There’s a significant opportunity for the European market to learn from the land based experience of the North American market’ stated Bartlett, as he warned that simply taking tried and tested methods from the European market is the incorrect approach.

When it comes to specific tools that he feels could be pivotal to bolstering cross platform player engagement, he drew attention to the potential of omnichannel jackpots and table game jackpots. 

Furthermore, there could be room for some of the non-traditional games that have taken off in digital space to transition to land based locations as finding synergy between the two experiences increases in importance. 

Declining footfall in Atlantic City has widely been blamed on the growth of igaming, however, this is something that Zoe Ebling, VP of Interactive at AGS, was quick to dispel.

Bridging the gap between the two spaces, Ebling also cited education as a key instrument – ensuring that players hold knowledge of when games are launching and what their USPs are, crucially also how the digital and land based versions of the game complement each other. 

She warned that until we shift attitudes towards understanding that online and digital can align in their approach the industry is missing key opportunities. 

One of the areas that this is prominent is in the promotion of licensing. Stacey Rowland, SVP and General Counsel at Genting Americas, underlined the vital nature of the role of brick and mortar casinos when it comes to licences. 

She also provided a tentative but optimistic outlook into what the future holds for New York legislation, which was echoed by Bobby Soper, CEO at Sun Gaming & Hospitality, who revealed his belief that the next five years could see a big run for igaming legislation in North America.

As market dynamics continue to evolve, Soper also pinpointed ilottery as being a key catalyst for operators, as the whole ecosystem is driven by new tastes in preferences. 

Catering to the evolving tastes Jason McCulloch, Vice President of iGaming at Galaxy Gaming emphasised that branded studios are now essential for operators if they want to truly tap into what players desire. 

When it comes to table games he highlighted that operators need to attempt to transcend the live experience from a brick and mortar casino to the online space, truly making it an event for the player. He also urged caution from all elements of igaming to avoid working in silos and bolster collaboration across the board. 

Discussions around the relationship between the brick and mortar sector and the digital space were escalated as the next panel explored ‘whether igaming has cannibalised the brick and mortar sector’, or whether it’s merely healthy competition amidst its evolution.

Given the brick and mortar experience is steeped in heritage and history in North America, it is a debate that is sure to be prevalent for discussions around future frameworks, with stakeholders eyeing a space that allows brick and mortar casinos to thrive.

Catie Di Stefano, Director of Community Marketing at revealed that cannibalisation isn’t a subject that should be feared, stating that operators should focus on trying to cross promote. 

She underlined that the communication needs to heighten from land based casinos in order to boost the omni channel experience for players. 

Placing a closer analysis of the demographics, Erik Nyman, President – Americas at EveryMatrix stated that in order to maximise engagement it’s ‘crucial that players are addressed in the right way as clearly there is a younger demographic that plays online – some of them have never even ventured into a casino’.

Nyman also warned that regulatory frameworks simply need to move faster in order to keep up, looking specifically at the impact of sweepstake casinos, which are an indictment of how rapidly the market is growing. 

Melissa Blau, CEO iGaming Capital compared the surge of sweepstake casinos to the previous elevation of DFS, underlining her belief that there is significant hesitancy from land based casinos to put their name to sweepstakes given ‘a fear of the unknown’.

Nonetheless, ‘the growth of igaming isn’t about cannibalisation but is instead around increasing competition’ according to Quincy Raven, VP, North America at NeoGames/Aristocrat. 

Raven suggested that land based operators elevate the way they utilise the igaming space to unlock new avenues to engage with their audience as they are provided with a deeper opportunity to cross promote and enrich the customer viewpoint. 

Tim Cogswell, Senior Director iGaming at betPARX underlined the starkly different experiences that are encompassed between the two igaming journeys. Anticipating that 2025 will be a key year for the growth of igaming legislation, he emphasised the essential need for alignment in terms of strategy. 

Fuelling this collaboration can be the forming of a virtuous loop between the two journeys, a challenge that can only be achieved amidst increased communication and togetherness between the two sectors. 

Blau also warned against allowing different departments to get ‘territorial’ – cementing the need for all sectors to be working together towards a common goal.