The online gambling industry has long been a leader in technological innovation. In the US, where eGaming is legal in just three states, geolocation software is used to pinpoint the physical location of a player to within less than a meter. Then there are advancements such as OneTouch betting from Paddy Power, or the launch of Pokémon Go and its smart augmented reality (AR) platform. And while the industry has been slower than some to embrace cloud computing, a growing number of eGambling firms are taking a closer look at what it has to offer, and how they can use its capabilities to stay ahead of the game.

[easy-tweet tweet=”The online gambling industry has long been a leader in technological innovation. ” hashtags=”gaming, tech, gambling”]

Cloud computing is something we are very familiar with on Alderney; the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) was the first online gambling regulator to put in place technical standards for cloud computing solutions back in 2013. JT (formerly Jersey Telecom), Sure International and Calligo all have AGCC approved Cloud Platforms (formerly Jersey Telecom). These platforms are tailored to online gambling operators, and with the seal of approval from the AGCC, it allows our licensees to use a cloud platform confident that it meets the stringent international security requirements laid down under the AGCC’s regulatory and licensing framework through its technical standards. At the time, it was something of a game-changer. It still is.

Lead the charge

For online gambling firms to remain in the driving seat when it comes to technological innovation, the industry needs a stringent regulatory framework such as ours. Over the years we have learnt that that framework has to be supple, nimble and quick to adapt to the ever-changing requirements of the sector. The rapid rise of daily fantasy sports (DFS), for example, has left lawmakers the world over scratching their heads as to whether the activity is sports betting or not – it is –, and whether operators should be licensed or not – they should.

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The Alderney regulation model, however, has covered DFS from the start. It’s also primed and ready to go for operators looking to expand their betting markets into the cool and crazy world of eSports. As part of our mission to remain best-in-breed, we are not stopping there and have set our sights on social gaming. It is a contentious subject; the industry – which produces games such as Slotomania and Candy Crush – has long been divided over whether the games and the firms who create them should be subject to scrutiny and oversight.

At present, the market is like the wild west with operators free to develop and launch games without restriction. Other technology and entertainment sectors are not afforded the same liberties and, personally, I believe social gaming should be no different. By using a flexible framework such as ours, it means operators can to continue to innovate and push the boundaries, but with accountability. It’s important to remember that the key to successful regulation is not to stifle progress, rather provide an environment where it can flourish and thrive in a sustainable way.

Just a fad

Not only that, but regulation should allow operators to invest in new technologies without the risk of losing money on a whim. I mentioned Pokémon Go earlier; the app launched at the start of summer and achieved phenomenal success in a short space of time. Some said its augmented reality platform would change online gaming forever, and forced many developers to reshuffle their product pipelines with a renewed focus on AR. A few weeks on, however, and the initial hysteria has subsided with many developers facing the real possibility of losing money on what could turn out to be nothing more than a fad.

[easy-tweet tweet=”AR is to change online gaming forever, and forced many developers to reshuffle product pipelines.” hashtags=”gaming, AR, tech”]

Operators need to future-proof themselves against rapid changes in technology, shifting demographics and the types of games they want to play. At the same time, they need to be cautious about investing heavily in a fad, a product that enjoys tremendous success in a short space of time but then slips into the shadows and further down the Apple Store rankings. Either that or much like DFS, it faces an abrupt regulatory clampdown. Alderney is the safest place to develop products under a regulatory regime and then tweak it as you go. Our framework is so flexible new products such as AR and VR are already covered.

Look to the future

While I can’t claim to be able to see into the future, I know that innovative technology will continue to blaze a trail through our day to day lives. Whether in the form of new devices, virtual reality platforms, more advanced operating system, more comprehensive cloud computing services, or only fun new game formats being brought to market, the future is bright for the industry.

I say that, however, safe in the knowledge that flexible regulation, such as the Alderney model, can keep operators on the right track.