Soo Kim, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Bally’s Corporation, delivered the perfect keynote presentation today to raise the curtain on this year’s SBC Summit North America. In an interview with CNBC’s Contessa Brewer, he talked about a range of issues, including the impact of the Covid pandemic and the blurring of lines between sports betting and gaming.
Describing the Covid experience – which saw Bally become one of the first companies to close its casinos – Kim spoke of the uncertainty around the reopening process, despite the majority of staff having expressed a willingness to return to work.
He told delegates: “I remember at the time saying, do we really want to be open? This is crazy. But 75% of our people wanted to come back in and go to work, and the customers came and we were making twice the amount of money we’d made in the prior year. So that gave us a little optimism. This latest variant, I think we’ll survive.”
Turning to the current shape and state of sports betting, Kim noted: “There’s going to be so much more growth and evolution of the product, that the product that you see today that’s defined as sports betting – I think that that will not look the same in a few years. We’re living in a great and exciting time because it’s just the beginning. It’s like the new world.”
Hinting at the changes the sector will face in the next few years, he added: “I think the opportunity in gaming has never been larger. I feel lucky to be part of it and we’re all part of it here. In less than three years almost 35 states have fully legalized sports betting. There’s efforts in another 12 or 13 states going on currently. It’s insane how quickly we’re embracing mobile sports betting, which is mobile betting.”
“Sports betting is going to be ubiquitous – it’s going to be always on, all the time. There’s always going to be something to play along with. And think how large that market will be. I think we’re only just scratching the surface.”
The Bally boss finished his address by saying that the US mobile gaming sector needs to look towards Europe, a market he described as being 10 years ahead of the US. “Responsible gaming is coming,” he warned.
About SBC Summit North America
SBC Summit North America 2021 takes place this week and features eight high-level conference tracks addressing key issues related to industry leadership, technology, regulation, payments and compliance, the future of sports betting, igaming, marketing strategies, and investment.
Visit the SBC Summit North America website for further information about the show and to book tickets.