Taking a more integrated approach to certification and compliance is the only way to compete in a global and regulated iGaming industry, says Maxima Compliance COO Francesco Bianchi in an exclusive column for GamblingNews.com
The spread of Europe’s ‘dot country’ regulatory model has been the single biggest change to online gaming over the past few years.
The trend is only accelerating, with more European jurisdictions joining the party, along with US states and high-growth markets in emerging regions, including Latin America and Africa.
For game developers looking to beat the competition into these newly-regulated markets, the race to get content certified has been intense.
However, there is a strong case to pause and consider longer-term strategic goals and how best to achieve them. A very different approach to compliance could, in fact, be the best way to quickly grow your global reach.
Building Compliance into Your Business
For many, the instinct with new markets is to simply send your content straight to the labs for certification.
But I consistently see games developers who are leaving significant value at the table by failing to build the compliance process into their wider expansion strategy.
Integrating compliance considerations into the product planning and development stage can be a game-changer for slot developers. It means not only building for release into jurisdictions where you are already live but also defining a broader strategy for your content and identifying new markets to enter.
The upsides here cannot be overstated. You’ll quickly enjoy cost efficiencies; all too often, I’ve seen studios needing to undertake huge product redesign projects because of a core failure they hadn’t considered around compliance. It is a costly but avoidable mistake.
Then there is the faster time to market in newly-regulated jurisdictions. Because your products have been built and planned for this, you can enter the certification process certain of a positive outcome.
And finally, you may not even need to recertify some content to enter certain new markets.
Upskilling Your Team
To deliver this requires an awareness of compliance issues across your team. Providing your compliance officer with the means to upskill your business is important. That may be in the form of outsourced support or specific tools, such as Complitech, the industry’s first technical compliance database.
The ultimate goal is to integrate compliance at all levels of the organization. This will ensure that you are conducting appropriate change management for compliance maintenance, reducing the number of unnecessary re-certifications, streamlining your release plan, and avoiding sanctions from regulators.
With your team educated and empowered, compliance will become an integrated function of your business, not an inconvenience that is slowing down your expansion.
A smarter approach to implementing compliance requirements can have positive knock-on effects across the business, including a reduced development cost, improved player experience, and simplified certification.
In essence, it is a shortcut to building content that is compliant across multiple jurisdictions in a single shot.
There are also wider strategic benefits. A deep understanding of this field will inform your market entry strategy itself. By outperforming your competition, you will be able to build stronger relationships with your operator partners. And you’ll enjoy a better reputation across the industry, particularly with the regulators.
A New Era for Technical Compliance
This is a new era of technical compliance for the online gaming industry. The sector is evolving quickly, and new suppliers can grow rapidly if they understand the opportunity to take a more joined-up approach to compliance.
Implementing best practices in this area can help your business become a disruptive force within new regulated markets worldwide.
We see compliance as a defining battlefield across online gaming over the coming years; arming your company with the tools and knowledge to optimize and streamline your function has never been more important.