Cohen (IGT): “We were prepared for the increasing legalization of sports betting”

The iGaming and sports betting industry in the United States has had a year of continuous progress. In this sense, Charles Cohen, IGT’s Vice President of Sports Betting for PlayDigital, explains the company has been able to combine the best of European experience with its own products and developments to present clients a betting platform that stands out in the digital segment.

How do you see the situation of online gambling and sports betting in the United States one year after the annulment of PASPA?

Indeed, yesterday, it was the one year anniversary of the repeal of PASPA. It seems like a decade ago, since we have travelled an amazing distance in only twelve months. Now, what’s clear is that if you give people a safe, trustworthy gaming environment, if you offer them a great product, an exciting experience, they will prefer it instead of illegal sportsbooks. At the end of the day, you have to trust in the system were you make betting transactions, where you put your money in, and receive your winnings. And what’s better than a legal, regulated betting provider.  

Charles Cohen, Vice President of Sports Betting, PlayDigital, IGT.

In what way has a prestigious company like IGT been positioning in this nascent market?

As a leading provider of sports betting technology in the market, we are pleased on how things are going for IGT PlayDigital so far. We were prepared for the increasing legalization of sports betting in different U.S. states, but I think no one was expecting the fast evolution of the market in so many territories. Since we were hoping for this current situation, we have been preparing for it many years earlier, when we make the decision to bring out a sports platform that was performing very well in Europe, Latin America and Asia, and create an American vision for it. We certified the platform in Nevada with MGM. So when PASPA was struck down, we already were very well positioned in the U.S. sports betting market.

Over the last eight months, the company has signed important agreements with William Hill, FanDuel and more operators. How has been so far the outcome of those partnerships?

We have had great results. We have built fantastic relationships at all levels in the market. As IGT, we have a very successful performance in the land-based casino world. Our products and solutions are pretty much in every casino in the U.S. In the new sector of online gaming, we have been learning fast and arranged partnerships with top experienced companies in this segment. So we are combining all the knowledge of European sports betting tradition with our deep roots in the U.S. market.  

How important is for the market to have a show such as ICE North America, specifically related to sports betting and iGaming?

It’s very important since it gives legitimacy to the market. It also sends a very strong message to the customers, casino operators, that this is a real business, a powerful industry with traditional providers and new names offering different kind of efficient and valuable solutions. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are plenty of sports betting shows in a five-year time. Regarding ICE North America, I’m a big believer in the idea that showing is more powerful than telling. As we have recently done at the show, we have already demonstrated the clear advantages of our solution, the cutting edge technology of our platform. Operators know they can trust us and have amazing results using our solutions for their gaming businesses.