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How online slot stake limits can affect the iGaming industry - revenue, players, and operators

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Industry experts discuss the impact stake limits can have on online gaming industry revenue, players, and operators.

The online casino industry is undergoing a lot of changes. Many of these adjustments include the overhaul of regulatory restrictions on stake limits, bonuses, and gameplay.

The main purpose behind these restrictions is to increase the safety of players and reduce the risk of problem gambling.

Early in November, a group of industry experts came together to discuss stake limits on slots, and what they could mean for both players and operators when implemented.

A new reality for online slots

The experts include Betting and Gaming Council's Executive Director of Standards and Innovation, Wes Himes; Future Anthem's Chief Data Officer, Chris Conroy; and Leander Games' Chief Executive Officer, Steven Matsell.

Future Anthem has recently released a White Paper on the state limits and one of the main findings in the paper included a possible 5-10% revenue drop. This revenue drop would happen if the UK introduced a five-pound stake limit.

During the webinar, the approach taken was one attempting to understand player behaviour and getting a sense of what the impact might be on the different types of players. One of the biggest aspects Chris Conroy brought to light was that operators will have more opportunity to start interacting with players.

Not only will this give operators a better understanding of player behaviour, but also provide the chance to nudge their behaviour in directions that can ensure they play at lower stakes during game sessions.

Player impact

Apart from the revenue impact, the industry experts discussed how the new regulatory changes will affect players and casino operators.

With the new regulations and licenses in place, it will not be such an easy task to tailor the casino experience to what different players find enjoyable. Instead, it will become more mainstream and generic. This leads to bigger concerns as it will either drive players away from online gameplay completely or towards unregulated platforms where betting options are more lenient.

According to Steven Matsell, it's a double whammy when looking at things from a player perspective. Take Germany for example, as a player you are no longer allowed to play roulette or blackjack and your slot gameplay is limited.

On top of that, there are limitations on bonuses and limitations on deposits with the deposit limit being only €1000. Interestingly Matsell stated:

"That doesn't stop a player from moving from one brand to another or a third brand and deposit a thousand per month as he goes along."

Casinos with different offerings

It’s a fact that all online casinos are different. You might expect a smaller number of high-value players impacted by the stake limits as they stake higher amounts and are loyal to a select number of games.

The fact of the matter is that while the player volume can be addressed, the revenue challenges are less tractable, both for operators and studios.

At the end of the day, it could represent a serious blow to revenues and the bottom lines especially for operators and studios who don't implement plans early on.

A struggle for software providers

Generally, software providers release a single version of their latest game across various online casinos in different regions. With the stake limits being set in place and regulations changing, it's becoming more difficult to create a single game that can adapt to all regions.

It also affects the games that have already been released onto the market. Most regulators expect game providers to implement some form of game timeouts in Sweden and the UK, all of which is controlled by one hub.

Each region expects something different or adds additional requirements which makes it inconsistent and more difficult to comply. Some requirements merely lead to a few simple changes, while others, such as the removal of auto spins, means a complete change to the game design.

In essence, the new changes will result in a wide variance of lost turnover between games that appeal to different player groups. To stay relevant and competitive, studios will need to understand the stake limits and alter their existing portfolios to match.

Future of iGaming with stake limits in play

According to the four experts consulted, it is possible to power through and thrive in a market where stricter regulations and stake limits are put in place.

The key is to adjust, adapt and stay one step ahead, changing with the industry and utilizing the tools available.

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