by Mateusz Mazur

Elisabeth Isaksson: “We anticipate securing a licence in New Jersey very soon”

In an exclusive interview with Elisabeth Isaksson, Head of Regulatory and Compliance at Soft2Bet, we delve into the transformative landscape of iGaming regulation over the past decade and the pivotal adaptations undertaken by Soft2Bet to remain at the forefront of the industry.

How has the regulatory environment in iGaming changed over the past decade, and how has Soft2Bet adapted to these changes?

The iGaming industry originates from an incredibly entrepreneurial and innovative background and has gradually evolved into a field requiring immense expertise, largely due to increasing saturation and complexity in regulation. Numerous countries, primarily in Europe and the Americas, have already adopted new legislative frameworks to accommodate the constantly evolving industry, with other jurisdictions following suit. Soft2Bet has diligently followed and capitalised on these changes and obtained licences in numerous countries to penetrate new markets.

Practically, this entails continuously ensuring that our technology and processes align with the licence obligations of each new jurisdiction we enter. Leveraging our platform technology extensively, we achieve scalability and efficiency, facilitating rapid compliance with regulations across multiple markets.

In 2023 alone, we successfully obtained new licences or executed successful market launches in multiple jurisdictions, including Greece, Romania, Sweden, Denmark and Italy.

Additionally, we anticipate acquiring further licences this year. Without revealing too many surprises, I can confirm that we anticipate securing a licence in New Jersey (US) very soon, and we are preparing for a launch in Ontario shortly, having already received a licence from the Alcohol and Gaming Commision of Ontario.

This marks an incredible leap forward in our journey, and we take pride in the remarkable efforts of our teams, enabling us to swiftly progress to this stage. While navigating compliance in diverse and rigorous jurisdictions presents challenges, achieving numerous objectives within a relatively short time frame is a testament to our collective dedication and capabilities as a group.

What are the most significant regulatory challenges currently facing the iGaming industry, and how is Soft2Bet addressing them?

Ensuring compliance in multiple and complex regulatory environments whilst also progressing the business expansion at speed is not always an easy feat, and requires diligent effort and close cooperation between teams in every area of the business.

We take great care in ensuring the platform is compliant, but also flexible enough to support multiple solutions that satisfy complex regulatory requirements. We also spend significant time and resources educating and training our teams so they develop the expertise to meet regulatory requirements and ensure the entire business can work in a cohesive manner to achieve our licensing and business goals.

The scope of these projects requires major coordination between our different departments, but it is also a great example of the holistic and comprehensive framework that Soft2Bet provides.

The coordination of efforts may be one of the toughest challenges an iGaming company can face when it comes to regulations, but when it comes to licensing another very important element of our work is making a careful assessment of the cost-benefit ratio.

Assessing which countries to enter on the basis of the tax rate, licensing costs and potential for return on investment is vital to understanding our goals and is an extensive part of our continuous regulatory and compliance focus.

When done right, compliance is a business partner and an enabler of our growth strategy.

What are the key considerations when Soft2Bet launches a new product or service in a regulated market?

As mentioned above, forecasting and achieving realistic ROI are key considerations, as well as the potential for reform of regulations or constructive interactions with regulators. All these factors influence our outlook and will continue doing so. Keeping an eye on political changes and future regulation is also important to make sure what we build can achieve longevity in the market.

How does Soft2Bet’s compliance team adapt its processes to effectively manage the diverse requirements of different jurisdictions?

This is done by streamlining processes and product implementations to make them as efficient as possible. It enables us to ensure maximum compliance at scale: by using an established methodology that identifies common features and areas of overlap across different jurisdictions we are able to establish an approach to each jurisdiction that we know comes with a high degree of security, conformity and corporate responsibility at its core.

This strategy also enables us to remain flexible, accommodate variations between licences and allows room for creativity. These are attributes that we have demonstrated on numerous occasions with our unique capability to launch at speed across different markets in the past 12 months.

Quality assurance is also very important in this process and involves a continuous assessment of compliance levels in every jurisdiction where we operate. It also comes as part of ongoing efforts to provide peace of mind to regulators, B2B partners and, ultimately, to players.

And as mentioned, education, training and empowering our staff is also key in creating efficient collaboration and making sure the necessary expertise is established before the initiating new projects.

What role does technology play in ensuring compliance across the various markets in which Soft2Bet operates?

To a large extent technology is what enables us to operate on such a large scale and at such speed, whether that means adapting to specific compliance requirements or tailoring product features for an individual country. Soft2Bet places a lot of value in being forward-thinking, and always aims to use the most up-to-date technology and tools both for the business and for our compliance work. Machine learning and AI are examples of tools that can be incredibly beneficial for growth, but also when it comes to strengthening responsible gambling processes.

How does Soft2Bet ensure that its compliance efforts also contribute to a positive user experience for players?

Providing a UX that is positive and compliant has been key to much of our success. Taking Betinia, our leading brand in the Nordics, as an example, we have introduced a set of gamification features where players can earn points as part of stadium and city builder features that see them engage with the product and return to it on a consistent basis. Whilst it does not include any bonus features for our Swedish brands, as this is prohibited under the regulation, it does add a layer of fun to the player experience, and after all that is what our brands are all about; fun and games!

This enhances the player experience significantly and really sets out brands apart. As the gamification features are a separate layer to the bonuses that come with our games offerings, they provide an experience that is genuine and product-led. We believe this is a major differentiator for Soft2Bet when compared to other platforms out there and is a key factor in making us attractive to potential partners choosing a platform.

In what ways has Soft2Bet’s approach to regulatory compliance influenced its partnerships and business development strategies?

Partners are looking for a comprehensive package that offers security, efficiency and a unique selling point and I am glad to say that we offer the whole product range. This includes a full platform solution with strong Managed Services, PAM, payment options, a very large games portfolio as well as speed to market – the ability to launch quickly and in full compliance of regulated markets. Our B2C background and focus on adapting to new regulations has enabled us to create a technology package that delivers major benefits to our B2B partners because we understand their needs and priorities and know how to address them.

Compliance is very important to both Soft2Bet and our partners. Our ability to help them navigate all the multi-jurisdictional regulatory hurdles with speed and confidence with regard to product, marketing, payments, anti-money laundering or RG initiatives plays a key role in attracting partners to Soft2Bet.

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