2023 Tech Forecast: Technamin - Suren Khachatryan
With the first month of the year now behind us, we wanted to gain insights into the current state of the industry, we reached out to experts for their insights on technology advancements, the outlook and challenges with online markets, developments of betbuilders, and the outlook on crypto. First up, we hear from Suren Khachatryan, the founder and CEO of Technamin.
GE) Which technologies do you feel will dominate the gambling industry in 2023?
SK) Artificial Intelligence has been on everyone’s mind for a while now and 2023 will be no different. It has an increasing role to play in important areas of business, such as player segmentation and responsible gaming. AI tools can examine a customer’s financial history and habits, ensuring that nothing out of the ordinary is taking place and that they are not developing a gambling problem.
Next up we have cryptocurrencies and blockchain in general, which are here to stay. Crypto has revolutionised the iGaming industry thanks to its speed, safety, and efficiency. More and more operators are embracing it, and it’s a big hit with customers around the world. El Salvador is a good example. They hit a milestone by becoming the first country in the world to make a cryptocurrency completely legal, which signals that blockchain currencies will most likely end up dominating the payment method options in the iGaming industry.
Other technologies I would mention include NFTs, virtual and augmented reality devices, and, of course, Web3. Having a fully immersive virtual casino or sports event where you can interact with other customers who may not even be in the same country as you felt more like far-fetched science fiction only a few years ago. However, it feels like this is something that is only round the corner now.
GE) What online markets are going to be the focus for operators in 2023 and what technical challenges will this face in gaining market share?
SK) The industry is well-focused on regulated markets, as well as emerging ones which are going through regulatory changes and processes. These include Europe, Canada (which has the Ontario licence up and running), Brazil and LatAm, as well as many countries in Africa.
Technical challenges will inevitably vary from company to company. In fact, having access to so many new technologies comes with its own challenges, as choosing the one that is right for you is not always straightforward. As a result, creating a plan or strategy which suits the company’s needs and its product roadmap may be a bit problematic, especially in the early stages. In terms of more established businesses who are, shall we say, used to a certain way of doing things, introducing innovative and new technology into their infrastructure may be challenging as well.
Responsible gaming becomes more important by the day, particularly with the passing of new regulations. Implementing these technologies for the sake of keeping customers safe might be another challenge. But I’m sure it is one all operators and providers are more than willing to undertake in order to ensure they have safe and enjoyable experiences with industry products.
GE) How do you see Bet Builders evolving throughout 2023?
SK) Personalisation is the key here and the desire of customers to bet their own way. Choosing your own bets, combining them, and fixing the odds separately, as opposed to placing a standardised accumulator bet, was out of the question a few years ago. It’s now a mainstay of football betting in particular, and I’m sure it will be applied to more sports in 2023 and beyond.
One of the industry’s principal focuses is keeping customers engaged and providing them with unforgettable journeys. As a result, the evolution of Bet Builders will have to take into account features such as usability, ability to create bespoke wagers, mobile-friendly design, which will be advantageous to operators and customers alike.
GE) Do you think that the FTX collapse will have an impact on operators' outlook towards crypto during 2023?
SK) Not necessarily. To make a negative assumption based on the example of one exchange alone is not something that I’d advocate. By that logic, we would have to avoid all banks as some of them have gone bankrupt over the years. I believe the main focus here should be strategising and planning, developing a business plan, and mapping out the resources at hand.
To look at things from a different perspective, the collapse yielded some constructive results - as strange as that may sound. It prompted companies to take more secure measures which ensure the safety of end users and has prompted a new wave of regulations for cryptocurrencies.
There is no question that the gaming industry in general relies on cryptocurrencies as they provide transparency and total anonymity at the same time. In fact, we will be witnessing many crypto-based solutions at ICE London this year. But the fact of the matter is that this goes beyond merely digital assets. Blockchain-based technology has been used for several years already. Major investors and entrepreneurs have been trumpeting its tech and digital assets since the 2000’s, so I don’t see how the FTX collapse will prompt a major shift in the gaming industry now.
About our contributor
Suren Khachatryan is the founder and CEO of Technamin, an iGaming and sports betting solution provider with a state-of-the-art platform. Suren launched Technamin in January 2021, with the aim of the company to be the industry’s ultimate provider. He has had various roles in the iGaming industry over the past 12 years, managing commercial leadership teams and the day-to-day running of international operations at a range of companies. Visit https://technamin.com/