David Webb, BetConstruct: Why meeting new regulations is the industry’s big challenge for 2019

At last month’s Betting on Football conference, we caught up with David Webb – Compliance Manager for BetConstruct – to discuss a couple of “major changes” to the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) regulations, how customer confidence impacts an operator’s growth potential, and why technological innovation is so important to enhancing fan engagement.

SBC: What are the biggest challenges facing the industry in 2019?

DW: From my perspective, I think regulation and compliance is the biggest challenge that faces our industry at the moment.

Particularly in the UK, we have a lot of changes coming from May in terms of verification of customers, and also the UKGC is doing a consultancy at the moment over whether they should allow credit cards in gambling. These could be two major changes within UKGC regulations which would affect all operators in the UK.

SBC: What can the industry do to improve its public perception?

DW: I think, as I say, it goes back to regulation as well. The fact that the UKGC has seen the need to step in with operators and enhance things like fair and open play, and verification and that sort of thing, it just goes to show that operators could do a lot more in terms of raising their profiles and acting fairly in regards to their customers.

I think some of the operators need to look strongly at themselves and make some changes to ensure that they’ve got full regulation or that they’re fully compliant – not just from the point of view that they have to be fully compliant but also how it affects their customers.

I think that the more that you do in terms of that, and the more you put in place to make it fair and safe and open to customers, then the more confidence that customers have in you as an operator and a better chance you have to grow your business.

SBC: What have you enjoyed at Betting on Football?

DW: We’ve been a strong supporter of Betting on Football since it started a few years ago. It’s a great opportunity for us to display new changes that we’ve made within our offering and to catch up with some of our partners and suppliers throughout the course of the meetings.

And also, if you get a chance to go along to some of the talks and panels on the industry, they are very, very informative, and so I’d recommend anyone who attends the event to make sure that they take in some of these. But it has been great to catch up with some old friends and make some new friends.

SBC: Finally, what is the next step for AJNA? And how important is technological innovation in enhancing fan engagement?

DW: AJNA (or Third Eye) is a product which recognises the game flow of sporting events and provides advanced player tracking in real time. The next step for it is to engage with football clubs and teams, concentrating not so much on the betting aspect of it but more on the sports data aspect of it.

We’re looking at getting more data from AJNA and also interpreting that data into something that’s beneficial for those clubs – because data within sports is not only essential for betting products, but it is also essential for the sports clubs and the teams themselves.

In terms of technological advancements in the industry, we’re interested in any kind of technological advance that gives us an advantage over our competitors. So we strongly believe in technological research and development, and we try to follow that as much as we can.

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