Jul/Aug 2020

Editors Letter

Old-time American folk singer Pete Seeger asked several times in the same song, “When will they ever learn?” It’s a refrain steeped in political despair, and was an emblem of counterprotest during an era long gone. But as a rhetorical question, it still resonates today. For either side of the aisle in the Senate, you can freewrite for days on who needs to learn what, but in the confines of this page, I’ll have to stick to something more specific.

The US has a puzzling and inconsistent grasp of modernity. On the one hand, well, Silicon Valley. On the other, a morally confused interpretation of online gaming that is relatively dormant compared to other countries, and yet stands to gain the most. A lot of factions are in play here, one of them being the self-defeatism of the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling as Tim Poole explains in his feature on missed opportunities in the US, starting on page 48. Despite strides made in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, he says, “retail operators have often seen online as the enemy.” Even with the knockout blow that hit land-based casinos during the pandemic, it’s easy to see through swollen eyes that online casino has thrived. “It’s a clear message to all retail operators to put aside perceptions against online and utilize the digital options now available to them in abundance,” he adds. In other words: carpe diem, folks! Of course, the flip side is that the more out of touch decision makers become, the more illicit operators thrive on the demand that already exists. Now is the time for a collective effort to capitalize on digital transformation of online gaming in the US. This is the central theme in this issue’s panel debate, starting on page 8. .

Iqbal Johal explains that because sports betting is only available in Oregon through the lottery Scorecard app via the Chinook Winds tribal casino, it’s still in its infancy. “Oregon State Lottery CEO Barry Pack said he believes the pandemic will force a digital transformation a lot quicker than it would have come previously,” says Johal. After all, state legislators face a $1bn shortfall so dismissing online and mobile gaming at a time like this isn’t a good strategy. Johal adds that Maryland Lottery and Gaming director Gordon Medenica agrees with Pack, who says, “this could be a sea change for the lottery industry” and that “we’re probably more capable of enforcing responsible gaming guidelines in a digital environment.” We can only stand to gain a strengthened industry if the US capitalizes on online opportunities. This much we know. Now we just have to act.

In The Magazine
Investors Corner: Gaming Shares - Buy Or Sell?

For the July/August edition of Gaming America magazine, Tim Poole spoke to Adam McLaren, VP and senior analyst at Moody’s Investor Service, about how investors should react to the US casino industry’s reopening.

Online Poker: The Comeback Kid

Gaming America assesses the significance of online poker’s resurgence during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking a look into its recent history in the US. This article was originally published in the July/August edition of Gaming America magazine.

Silent Eight: Aml And Gaming The System

Andrew Fenton, SVP of sales for Silent Eight, a Singapore-based RegTech, discusses how one growing area – AI – can help address another growing concern – AML. This article originally appeared in the July/August edition of Gaming America magazine.

From The Top: Offshore? Unsure

After the American Gaming Association’s call for US media outlets to stop promoting offshore sportsbooks, Tim Poole analyzes the difficulties posed by sports betting’s blurred lines.

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