LeoVegas CEO, Gustaf Hagman
“The operator with the strongest brand, best product and customer experience will be the winner when the market is not driven by bonuses anymore”
Currently almost half of Swedens gambling market is online (46 per cent is the official figure from 2017).
i-Gaming Forum talked to LeoVegas CEO Gustaf Hagman, about his expectations for the sector.
What are the most important aspects of the Swedish reregulation, for your organisation?
We really looked forward to Sweden becoming a regulated market. The new law exists to protect the players. We hope that the law will help to legitimize the industry and only give professional operators licences.
A problem with the law right now is that many of the guidelines from Spelinspektionen are quite unclear and operators interpret the guidelines differently. For us it’s important that law is crystal clear and that operators get punished if they break the rules.
What interesting trends do you foresee going forward, for the online gaming industry?
LiveCasino continue to be a strong trend and sSports betting is an international and fast-growing area of the gambling marketplace. The explosive growth of eSports tournament attendance, media coverage and sponsorships are pushing more operators to consider sSports betting. LeoVegas acquired the sSports betting company Pixel.bet last year so this is something we believe in.
Why do you think it’s important to meet and exchange ideas at the i-Gaming Forum?
It’s always good with forums where you can learn from each other. We happily share, for example, our learnings within responsible gaming and AI to strengthen the industry. iGaming Forum is also a good place to show that the gaming industry is changing and becoming more mature.
Very many operators, and many smaller operators, have applied for the Swedish licence. Do you think this vast number of operators will be still around in 10-15 years time?
The operator with the strongest brand, best product and customer experience will be the winner when the market is not driven by bonuses any more. It’s difficult to say how it will look like in 10 to 15 years but right now we can see smaller operators not having enough muscles to survive. We have seen that pattern in other regulated markets and most likely we will see the same development in Sweden.
Do you see any technologies, like AI or Blockchain, as game changers for the industry, right now?
On the one hand AI brings powerful possibilities to enhance our product. Here i am thinking about personalization, by using recommendation algorithms we can adjust our offers to be in line with the tastes of our players and thereby enhance the player experience. LeoVegas is just about to test a first version of personalized game recommendations.
On the other hand we have seen that our investments in algorithmic support across the company is paying off. Here I am referring to our successful application of lifetime value prediction, prediction and mitigation of problematic player behaviour (responsible gaming) and decision support for our operational staff. We are serious about data and predictive analytics at LeoVegas and it is deeply embedded in our decision making processes across the company.