Insights from Ampersand Las Vegas Assembly 2019
Over 70 industry influencers participated in the Ampersand Assembly that took place on Monday 14th October in Las Vegas.
33 topics were discussed over 36 conversations (with second round of discussions on the top three most important topics selected by the participants).
Unsurprisingly sports betting dominated the discussions. Participants talked about competitiveness of the market in the long-term as more brands come into the market; need to moderate advertising for a long-term growth of the market; creation of value, player and brand loyalty and product excellence rather than bonus war; future of regulation and Wire Act; relationship between DFS and sports betting, in-game, in-stadium and peer-to-peer betting.
Other discussions focused on content creation for 0.1 second attention span players (one of the best attended discussions), future of and the challenges of skill games, brand differentiation, blockchain and Artificial Intelligence. Reflecting the broadening scope of Ampersand Las Vegas, hospitality and in-room experiences were added to the agenda this year for the first time.
Top most important topics voted by the participants were:
- Investments in early stage gaming companies: who, what, why?
The discussion acknowledged entry barriers for startups and new companies posed by tight regulation and companies’ unwillingness to look beyond short-term profits to invest in the long term vision, driven by sustainability and innovation. Participants called for the creation of a new ecosystem that will support influx of new ideas to the industry, recognising the need for, and importance of, startups.
- Skill vs. chance: how the younger consumers related to skill-based games compared to traditional gambling?
While no great results of skill-based games vebeen seen just yet, the discussion participants have queried whether the traditional casino floor as it exists today offers the right environment to attract new player demographics who might indeed be more enticed by element of skill, but discouraged by the rest of the casino package. Casinos need to look beyond just game content and design, to assess the entire experience they offer.
- How do we entice bettors away from the black market operators?
The offshore market, built and functioning on the trust factor developed over the years, that also allows for high stakes and credit based betting, is likely to persist, despite sports betting regulations allowing for licensed and fully legal activity. The opportunity lies in the mass-market of new and casual bettors enticed to this new legal form of entertainment by wide-spread advertising, sanctioned by the sports industry, through the many partnership deals forged. Caution keeps being raised when it comes to advertising to avoid ‘race to the bottom’ and advertising blitz.