Fifteen years of SIGHT: Spectrum Gaming launches new white paper

Fifteen years of SIGHT: Spectrum Gaming launches new white paper

Thursday, July 13, 2017 Posted by Totally Gaming
Michael Pollock, managing director of Spectrum Gaming Group says online and land-based gaming are mutually beneficial – and not ‘rival’ sectors

Fifteen years after Spectrum Gaming Group developed its forward-looking theory to project how the US land-based and online gaming sectors would eventually converge, the consultancy has launched a new white paper that serves to update and expand the research.

In 2002, New Jersey-based Spectrum Gaming launched the Spectrum Internet Gaming Heuristic Theorem (SIGHT), which predicted ongoing convergence between the land-based gaming and online sectors.

SIGHT was based around three core principles. First, it postulated that the US bricks-and-mortar gaming industry would abandon its rejection of internet gaming and ultimately accept, adopt and embrace it.

In doing so, the paper said the industry would develop new business models that harness the internet as a chief marketing tool to identify, cultivate and reward customers.

Ultimately, SIGHT said the entrance of land-based casinos – armed with brands and an array of licenses – would alter the face of internet gaming, and render nearly all past and present revenue projections as obsolete.

Now, 15 years after the original SIGHT theory was launched, Spectrum Gaming has published a new white paper that serves to elaborate, update and expand the theory of online and land-based gaming in 2017.

The latest version of SIGHT adds several new elements to the theory, including an acknowledgement that US land-based casino operators, as projected, are moving along the continuum from rejection to acceptance to full embrace.

According to Spectrum Gaming, public policy can be best advanced by ensuring that land-based casinos be the primary operators and beneficiaries of online gaming.

In addition, the new white paper says online gaming will help capture a different demographic than the traditional land-based casino customer base, including a new cohort of younger adults who can be effectively encouraged to visit land-based casinos.

Importantly, SIGHT 2017 reiterates the idea that online gaming will, for the most part, not cannibalise land-based spending. Indeed, the evidence indicates that existing land-based customers who also wager online will ultimately increase their land-based spend.

Discussing the predictions of the original SIGHT paper 15 years ago, Michael Pollock, managing director of Spectrum Gaming Group, told “The theory was based on several premises, most notably that ‘history repeats itself’ – and it did so in this case with great accuracy.

“The gaming industry has moved from rejection of online gaming to acceptance to (largely) a full embrace.”

The updated SIGHT white paper underlines the idea and online and land-based gaming are mutually beneficial – and not ‘rival’ sectors. And according to Pollock, those US states which currently do not have online gaming regulations should learn from those in which it is permitted: Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada.

“As expected, the data we have reviewed, along with the interviews we have conducted, clearly demonstrate that online is reaching a new, younger demographic, and we have seen no evidence of material cannibalisation,” he stated.

“Our view in 2017 is that states have an opportunity now to learn from what has taken place in those pioneering states, and should structure online gaming as both a revenue stream and as a marketing opportunity for land-based casinos.

“In doing so, states can enhance both revenue streams, while still allowing opportunities to be seized by both land-based operators and online innovators from around the world.”

Pollock added: “We would have expected more states to have embraced this opportunity, but that evolution is continuing, and will likely gain momentum in coming months.”

Spectrum Gaming Group’s updated SIGHT theory can be downloaded HERE.

To mark the 15 years since the original white paper was published, Clarion Events has teamed up with Spectrum to host a dedicated webinar on July 27 for lawmakers, regulators and gaming operators that explores in more detail the ongoing debate surrounding land-based and online gaming. Click here for more information and to register.

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