Mark Watts started in the online gambling industry in 2005 and based on the Isle of Man for 6 years, with microgaming since 2006, Watts is specialised in the online casino merchant management for Poker, Bingo and Casino. Core markets included Europe, Canada and Australia as well as emerging markets Asia, LATAM and Russia.
In 2012, he moved to Data Cash/MasterCard as Head of Gaming, London. Focused on acquiring, gateway card processing and APM’s, his core verticals were sportsbook and Casino.
Watts joined paysafecard in August 2014 as Head of Gambling based in Gibraltar. He is responsible for merchant acquisition, retention and input into new territories.
How did you find your start in the industry and how did you arrive at your current position?
Watts: After working in IT for 8 years, managing direct sales teams, it was time for a change. An add sparked my interest and I took a chance. The person who interviewed me turned me down initially, however I persisted with him and never looked back.
What do you think the industry will look like in five years?
Watts: A difficult question. Each country or territory has it’s own complexity. Mature markets are at a position of established regulation, taxation and operate within the controls set out. Self exclusion and social impact will become more of a topic as time passes by. Emerging markets need to be realistic on how to regulate and agree taxation for gambling revenue. Also any licence applications need to be at a level which will
allow new entries to capitalise on the opportunities available.
Mobile will dominate at 90% of all gambling revenue with live bets becoming more of the preferred option in time. Players will ultimately desire simplicity.
Eventus: If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be and why?
Watts: Implement gambling taxation the same on all verticals for all game types. Countries should adopt the GGR model (Gross Gambling Revenue); This would place all verticals on the same operating path.
Eventus: What advice would you give your younger self, starting out in the Gaming Industry?
Watts: Take a leap of faith, secure funding and go for it. Become an operator in a market I would feel comfortable entering.
Eventus: How is the global gaming industry responding to the liberalisation of gambling regulations in and the growth in demand from India?
Watts: Slowly, unless you start local and find socially, secure resonsible partners it is difficult to gain traction. Invest wisely and focus on key goals.
Eventus: What are the innovative products that can be offered in the current market and are you looking to expand your offering?
Watts: India has a strong leverage on cash and solutions need to be delivered. paysafecard is the perfect payment solution for this market, as it enables everyone to pay online with cash, no bank account or credit card needed. Consumers first buy a paysafecard voucher with a specific value with cash in a local sales outlet, and pay at their favorite online shop by just entering a 16-digit PIN.
paysafecard, part of Paysafe Group, is a global market leader in online prepaid payment methods, available in 47 markets at more than 600,000 sales outlet.
Eventus: In your own words, describe what you believe SPiCE 2019 to be.
Watts: A new platform which provides the perfect opportunity to meet like minded businesses and to build new strong relationship with local partners and customers.
Eventus: What do you look forward to by being a part of SPiCE 2019?
Watts: It will be a learning curve for me, I am an open book and willing to listen to any business models which would generate significant revenues. Any merchant focusing on Mobile in the gaming space in India is my focus.