June 5, 2024

Balancing Innovation and Regulation — 5 Thoughts from Eric Frank, President of IC360, on the Evolving Sports Betting Landscape

Jacob, CEO (Image)
Jacob Fortinsky

This week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Eric Frank, President at IC360 and a leading expert in the world of compliance. He's currently a Special Advisor on U.S. Regulatory Affairs at Genius Sports and sits on the advisory board at BettorFantasy, but that's not all. Eric was the CEO & Founder of Odds on Compliance before IC360 was formed upon a merger with US Integrity earlier this year. Before that, he served as the Vice President of Legal Affairs & Group Compliance Officer for The Stars Group. With a resume like that, it's safe to say Eric is one of the world’s sharpest minds when it comes to navigating complex gaming regulations.

Throughout our conversation, we dug into the constant push and pull between innovation and regulation and how companies are getting creative to stay ahead. Eric didn't hold back, giving us the inside scoop on how IC360 is shaking things up with their new partnership and the emerging trends that are keeping regulators on their toes. But through it all, one thing was clear - finding the right balance between protecting consumers and leaving room for growth is no easy task. If you're looking to stay ahead of the curve in the sports betting game, this is one episode you won't want to miss.

Make sure to catch the full episode with Eric Frank here:

But for now, enjoy some of my favorite bits from my conversation with Eric:

1. IC360 aims to own the RegTech space for compliance and integrity in sports betting globally

Eric broke down the recent merger of his company Odds On Compliance with US Integrity to form IC360. And let's say, they're not thinking small:

"The plan there is to kind of own the RegTech space for compliance and integrity in the sports betting industry, not just in the US, but also globally across Europe, Latin America and beyond."

IC360 is gearing up to be the go-to provider of all things compliance and integrity for sports betting, no matter where in the world you are. By joining forces, they're ready to tackle the complex challenges operators face in an industry that's becoming more connected and regulated by the day.

2. Finding the right balance with regulations is an ongoing challenge as the industry matures

As sports betting continues to grow, finding that sweet spot between necessary regulations and room for innovation is still a work in progress. Eric gave it to us straight:

"I think there is a balance. And do I think we found it yet? Absolutely not."

While regulations are crucial for protecting consumers and keeping things on the up and up, they can also make it tough for new players to enter the game. As the industry matures, it'll take some trial and error to find the perfect balance that allows for responsible growth and innovation.

3. The fast pace of technological innovation often outpaces the speed of regulation

In the world of sports betting (and everywhere else for that matter), technology moves at a mile a minute. And sometimes, regulators struggle to keep up. Eric hit the nail on the head:

"Technology today is moving at a pace that is outpacing regulation - it always has. So you're always going to have companies on the cutting edge and building new technology that may or may not fit in a perfect box that comes out of legislation and regulation.”

This push and pull between cutting-edge products and the laws meant to govern them creates some tricky situations. Companies looking to push boundaries will need to do so responsibly, at times holding themselves to high standards even when the regulations aren't exactly clear.

4. IC360's partnership with Radar aims to bring more affordable and insightful geolocation solutions to the industry

Geolocation is a must-have for compliance in sports betting, but the current solutions can be a bit pricey. IC360's new partnership with Radar is looking to shake things up:

"What Radar is looking to offer is a new way of both calculating what geolocation services should cost and how the metrics should be measured."

By teaming up Radar's innovative tech with IC360's industry know-how, this partnership could be a game-changer. With more affordable and feature-packed geolocation options, operators could see one of the biggest barriers to entry and growth come crumbling down.

5. The rise of "DFS Plus" and sweepstakes betting is creating new gray areas that will likely face increased scrutiny

As operators look to expand their reach, "DFS Plus" and sweepstakes betting have become popular, but they're in a bit of a legal gray zone. Eric warned that this trend could put regulators on high alert:

"I think we're going to, unfortunately, see that those bad actors will be pulling down the good actors. It's just the nature of what's going to happen."

Similar to issues arising from technological innovation, companies diving into these new territories will need to hold themselves to high standards of consumer protection and integrity, even without clear rules to follow. If they don't, it could lead to crackdowns that affect everyone in the industry. Being proactive and self-regulating will be key to growing these new verticals responsibly without stirring the pot too much.

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