From introducing crypto into their operations, to the increasing significance of KYC processes and dealing with an increase in regulations in the areas of Responsible Gaming and AML, Joe Pisano, CEO of Jade Entertainment and Gaming Technology explores some of the main challenges facing land-based casinos
When and where did you start your career in the gaming industry?
I started in the industry with Automatic Totalizators in the early 80’s, initially joined as a Software Engineer and soon changed to a Project Manager, during the 80’s we installed Totalizator Systems at nearly every Racetrack in Asia as well as Cape Province in South Africa and the on course Tote’s on the East Coast of Australia.
What were your biggest challenges when first starting and your biggest nightmare to date?
The biggest challenge when first starting was financial management, as the company grows so do the expenses. For land-based technology the sales process can be very long, product discussions can start years before any product is delivered. Learning to reinvest revenue from sales into recurring revenue projects can take several years. This is not a challenge that goes away but continues during the lifetime of the company.
The biggest nightmare to date has been Covid-19, all sales stopped in March and I don’t see the land-based product sales resuming until Q2 2021.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when starting out?
In 1996, I was living in Reno Nevada and InterCasino started online gaming, I told my colleagues that Internet gaming will be huge in the future, at that point I should have embraced iGaming.
What will be the main challenges for the land-based sector in 2021?
The land-based sector is slowly recovering. However, accurate assessments on whether it can soon return to where it was before the pandemic hit vary. The speed of the recovery will be dependent on the release of a vaccine, on the lifting of travel bans. It's hard to see land-based gaming going back to 2019 levels until 2023 when a full return happens. Asia will recover much faster and as far as Europe goes, the belief is that its market will recover swifter than the US one.
We have seen a growth in online and mobile gaming during 2021 and its time for Gaming to be treated as one industry, 2021 will be a time for convergence.
Some of the main challenges for Land Based will be:
- Introducing Crypto into their operation
- As land-based integrate Online, KYC process will become more significant
- Engaging the right people with the knowledge to drive the converge
- Dealing with increase regulations in the areas of Responsible Gaming and AML
How is modern technology changing the gaming industry?
Data and Artificial Intelligence will be the key drivers for the Gaming Industry over the next 5 years.
Has your company considered starting an online casino or do you already have an active site?
Jade has already started the convergence between its land-based capabilities and iGaming.
I expect that we will have active sites in the next few weeks, these will be in the areas of Sports Betting and also online Casinos.
How difficult are the regulations in your country to start an online casino?
I live in the Philippines and PAGCOR has regulations in place for starting an off shore online gaming site, applying for a licence is not difficult, however the current challenge for online operators is choosing a Jurisdiction with favourable tax structure.
What are your predictions for the future of the gaming sector?
The gaming industry is undergoing a period of great change and COVID-19 has caused the change to be more rapid.
- Artificial Intelligence with have a significate roll in both land and online gaming
- Cryptocurrencies will be embraced by players and gaming operators will need to be prepared
- KYI and AML will be heavily regulated
- E-Sports and Fantasy will have exponential growth in new markets
Have you ever been to SiGMA? Do you think it is good that SiGMA now also includes the land-based sector in addition to iGaming companies?
I have not been to SiGMA in the past, but now that land-based has be included I look at attending and exhibiting at future events.
Tell us a bit about yourself - after all, business is done with people, not just companies!
A little bit of background:
Favourite Book – They’re a Weird Mob – John O’Grady
Favourite Quote - Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end. - John Lennon
Hobby – We maintain 2 farms one in Bataan near Subic Bay and the other in Leyte; It’s a great feeling watching a plant grow.
About SiGMA Europe
SiGMA Europe will take place on February 16-18, 2021. Europe remains a leading market for gaming, making this the perfect opening gaming show for 2021. Join us for the 7th edition of SiGMA at the MFCC - Malta Fairs & Conventions Centre, and explore how you can benefit from being a delegate, a sponsor, an exhibitor or a keynote speaker.