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European gaming giant Kindred has joined iDEA Growth as its newest member and its 25th overall. The online gambling trade group was founded by industry attorney Jeff Ifrah to advocate for legalization and regulation in the US.
Here’s Deputy General Counsel Liv Biesemans, on behalf of Kindred:
“Kindred Group is delighted to join iDEA and contribute more than 20 years of experience gained from global markets. We have continuously advocated for fact-based policymaking, and with our core focus on sustainability and responsible gambling, we believe we can make a meaningful contribution to iDEA.”
Known abroad for its prominent Unibet brand, Kindred is a brand-new player in the US online gambling market. Unibet Casino recently made its US debut in New Jersey, and the group will soon enter Pennsylvania under a separate partnership with Mohegan Sun Pocono.
The domestic expansion of state-regulated sports betting following the fall of PASPA acts as the primary impetus for European companies, like Kindred, to cross the pond.
The list of iDEA Growth members features some of the biggest names in the game, including:
But iDEA is not just about the big-time operators; the organization seeks to represent every corner of the mobile gaming industry. Other members include the law firm Saiber, game developers NetEnt and Gamesys, payment processor Worldpay, and media outlet PlayNJ.
Ifrah highlighted the importance of this broad inclusion:
“With iDEA Growth members representing every vertical in mobile gaming, we have built an effective lobbying force to support federal legislation that is backed by facts and demonstrates data integrity; to educate state lawmakers on the financial benefits and to ensure the best consumer gaming experience that is safe and regulated.”
While it does work with lawmakers, iDEA Growth is not just another lobbying firm.
The group provides a bevy of resources on its website, including a draft of what it considers to be model legislation. Its preferred framework draws heavily from the NJ online gambling law, and rightly so. A supplemental research paper entitled “Economic Impact of New Jersey Online Gambling” reinforces the benefits of following in the footsteps of the Garden State.
Here’s what its data looks like:
This analysis of secondary and tertiary impacts helps give lawmakers a more accurate view of what online gaming offers. And to avoid any accusation of bias, iDEA asked academics from the International Gaming Institute at UNLV to conduct a peer review.
Such research and communication with policymakers are critical as the appetite for expanded gambling grows in the US. With states taking idiosyncratic approaches to regulation, the industry, as a whole, risks permanent fragmentation.
IDEA Growth provides a valuable, unified voice advocating for best practices to protect customers and promote regulated online gambling.