Disruptive trends in online gambling and marketing dynamics
Director of International Business Development at Legalbet, with over a decade of experience in the iGaming industry. Graduating from the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies in 2010, he earned a Master's in Market Research in 2012, and he embarked on an Executive MBA journey at Business Bucharest School in 2023.
Entering the industry in 2008, he gained valuable insights from his collaborations on both the operator and the affiliate side too. He collaborated with iGaming giants such as Entain, and then transitioned to the affiliate side in 2016, joining the Legalbet project as the country manager for Romania. In his current position he plays a key role in driving the international expansion strategy.
Today’s business environment is changing rapidly and the key to success often lies in being agile enough to stay ahead in the areas impacting the way that the organisation functions. Transformation has become the new “business as usual” and failure to adapt to disruptions can have significant consequences for any organisation.
The gambling sector as a whole, as well as the affiliate marketing industry in particular, has undergone a large amount of transformation in recent years. It is pretty much inevitable that the future of the industry will be marked by an ever-changing regulatory environment on a country level, as well as a massive impact from AI technologies, which is redefining the way in which virtually every business operates.
Responsible gambling takes centre stage
Whilst the topic of gambling has often been part and parcel of most societies, player protection and responsible gambling policies have often taken a back seat. Only in recent years have governments started recognising the significance of emphasising responsible regulation to ensure the industry's integrity and the safeguarding of players.
Local regulations are typically well-intentioned, designed to prioritise player protection. However to maintain a healthy economic balance even positive things such as regulation should be tempered with moderation. Excessive regulations, camouflaged under the banner of player protection, can sometimes have unintended consequences.
One of the most noticeable trends in the global gambling industry is the shift towards recognising the importance of country-level regulation. Governments worldwide are increasingly acknowledging this reality and are increasingly regulating the industry.
Responsible gambling policies have the potential and are intended to positively shape the industry in the long term, transforming gambling into a widely accepted form of entertainment by safeguarding players.
However, an overbearing regulatory approach could have adverse effects, driving the industry underground and making it challenging (and maybe even impossible) for governments to control it. In such a scenario, it's the players who are likely to be the most affected. Absurd deposit limitations or limits to the stake amount, as well as intrusive and strict identification requirements, might push users to unlicensed entities.
Complete ban on advertising
In the last few years several countries have considered the drastic approach of a complete ban on advertising. Belgium is one such country who from July 2023 imposed a total ban on gambling advertising.
While the reasons behind this approach was related to player protection, it might have unintended effects. When licensed entities are unable to advertise, players might turn to unregulated websites instead where player protection policies are often lacking.
A shift towards illegal operators highly affects the industry’s integrity and most importantly players who were at risk before the ban, will be facing an even higher risk after the advertising ban.
Trends disrupting the SEO landscape
AI is already becoming a major disruptor in all industries, and the SEO industry is no exception. Companies must seek to embrace new revolutionary technologies, or else it could become a real threat to their existence.
But why not transform it into a real opportunity? While the failure or the refusal to adapt to technological developments represents a threat for virtually all industries, it can also be seen as a huge opportunity.
AI has revolutionized the SEO landscape in many ways. Copywriting tools can now generate content almost instantly and with a minimum amount of resources. It’s easier than ever before for businesses to produce large volumes of content. But it is not yet a trusted source of information as the content that AI produces is sometimes inaccurate. As much as AI tools strive to provide accurate information, the trustworthiness of the information depends on the sources the tool has learned from, as well as the context and the information provided – submitting prompts to generate reliable content is not as easy as it seems to be.
One major concern for website owners is AI's ability to respond to search queries. Through generative tools, AI applications can formulate answers of any complexity in a matter of seconds. The traditional way of searching the internet with Google may be at risk in the future, even though, at the moment, the answers produced by applications like ChatGPT are not always to be trusted for the reasons expressed above. Ultimately, AI is very unlikely to replace search engines but rather to work in conjunction with them to enhance the user experience. While search engines play a vital role in indexing a vast amount of information, AI is mostly used to improve the relevance and accuracy of search results.
The way people use the search engines to find information has also dramatically changed in recent years and this trend will continue. Voice search is gaining in popularity, visual search is becoming more and more advanced, expert and helpful content is prevailing again after many years of content that was designed solely to impact the ranking in search engines – the user experience has changed tremendously and consequently the algorithm updates are increasing in complexity.
The disruptive trends that the online gambling and the affiliate marketing industry are facing offers both challenges and opportunities. Legalbet is proactively addressing changes in regulation, while continuing to improve its SEO strategies. Embracing emerging technologies, as well as exploring the newly regulated markets will also be the key to the company’s growth.
In the years to come we commit to remaining adaptable and agile in order to maintain a competitive edge in this dynamic industry.