a-unique-world-cup-–-on-and-off-the-pitch!

A unique World Cup – on and off the pitch!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

The World Cup is held every four years and this edition of the most famous football tournament on the planet is unique given the venue and the fact it sits right in the middle of the domestic season.

With that in mind, how does this affect user engagement and betting patterns over the course of this prestigious competition? We spoke to BETEGY CEO, Alex Kornilov who gives his insights into how successful engagement with players could be.

 

With football already Europe’s most popular sport, what new ways of user engagement have you put together for the World Cup?

This football season brought many ways to explore user engagement into the industry. The World Cup in Qatar is the real test to show the best approaches to customers’ experience. At BETEGY, we knew that online betting would thrive during the tournament, and we have managed to deliver creative visuals with live data from all the matches, which can be used in various formats and presented on different platforms.

 

The World Cup is being hosted right in the middle of the domestic football season across Europe. Does this make the World Cup more or less popular from a betting perspective?

The World Cup has always been one of the most significant events in the betting industry –  and I see no reason for this iteration to be less popular than before. In addition, the tournament duration has been decreased to 28 days, meaning more matches squeezed into a shorter space of time. This is definitely going to help keep the audience’s excitement and engagement at their highest.

The only competitor for the attention of sports punters will be the upcoming holiday hustle when people will be getting all set for the festive season. However, I don’t see that as a big risk. With football fans watching the biggest football event of the year from the comfort of their own homes, it’s an excellent opportunity to attract a new audience to the betting market.

 

A Middle Eastern country is hosting the World Cup for the first time. How is this unique environment playing to BETEGY’s strengths, given the majority of fans are watching from home?

With more fans watching football from home, keeping them entertained with the most high-quality offering and products is very important. Players in the industry will compete for the fans’ attention and will do their best to build a scalable relationship with them beyond the World Cup. Live scores, statistics, and betting prices in various markets must be delivered to the users’ screens with no delay and with the best look and feel. This is one of the aspects BETEGY is the best at – and we have thoroughly prepared to help our clients solve the pain points related to it.

 

With Europe not due to host another World Cup until 2030 at the earliest, is it a positive for technology and engagement that the tournament is being held in nations where football popularity is on the rise? 

The next World Cup will take place in 16 different cities across North America. This tournament is probably the most important in the context of how “soccer” has been promoted in the United States recently. On one side, the USSF and the MLS clubs have been working a lot to promote soccer locally by bringing top-class players into the league. On the other hand, the US has rarely stuck to the traditional European perception of sport and football in particular. Sport in the US serves its goal – to entertain the audience. Strategists at NBA or NFL would do almost anything to keep fans engaged and ensure all the remote viewers are enjoying the show.

Also, this new, next-gen audience is highly discerning  – which pushes the market to deliver innovative solutions and ideas to engage, excite and entertain. For sports tech and entertainment companies, it’s a huge opportunity and a challenge at the same time to find a key to the hearts and minds of potential new football fans. Some best practices for the US market are already known, so bringing football to new horizons is a certain path to making this game even more beautiful.

 

How can companies capture this new wave of interest?

US sports fans are already used to high standards of the content delivered to them. Everyone who wants to surf this wave of delight should definitely focus on innovation and quality. I’ve noticed that people love to know what’s happening on the pitch and, at the same time, are always willing to guess what’s going to happen next. The rise of technology helps to understand the game better, it gives birth to new betting markets, but it also helps companies enhance the users’ involvement in the game.

With the US online betting market opening, many players from the industry are seeking an opportunity to test their best offering on new audiences. Since soccer is undoubtedly on the rise, a chance to attract American bettors became a significant pull factor for most industry members – and we’re very excited with what we’re doing at BETEGY.

 

It has been 20 years since a non-European country won the World Cup. Do you think a European nation will win this prestigious tournament this year given the first round of results?

The first round has shown that football has advanced at all levels, especially geographically. For example, some national teams from Asia have had tremendous results against supposedly much stronger rivals from South America and Europe. And it’s not only about the result – those teams’ performance and style of play are a delight to watch. At this stage, almost any underdog has the chance to proceed to the knockout stages and refute the odds.

In my opinion, some Latin American national teams have a high chance of winning the World Cup. Still, they’ll need to deliver their best performance against the highly-experienced European contenders. It will be fascinating to watch it all happening. And may the best team win!

 

maximising-casino-cross-sell-during-the-world-cup

Maximising casino cross-sell during the World Cup

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

The excitement created by the World Cup is such that it doesn’t just mean huge potential gains for sportsbooks – there is also massive casino cross-sell opportunities to be had.

European Gaming spoke to Alex Bolton, Casino Manager at Mobinc, about the initiatives the company is taking to maximise this potential as the tournament gets into full swing.

 

How big an opportunity is increased sportsbook traffic to operators when it comes to their casino sites?

Sportsbook is just one of the pillars accredited to the success of casinos and there’s plenty more to offer players. That said, the demographic it captures is far more distinct compared to those seen in more traditional gambling models, because in most cases the customer’s enjoyment of watching live sporting events often precedes their interest in betting.

As a result, the opportunity to acquire this particular type of customer is not one that casinos should overlook. A winter World Cup represents a great opportunity for all operators who should expect a rise in engagement with the number of sports fans eager to get involved. The festive season always sees a jump in casino activity, so the synergy we can expect from a corresponding World Cup is incredibly promising. Those who are well prepared can also maximise their revenue by supplying entertainment during the event’s downtime and off-peak matches.

 

How do they attract sportsbook customers to play casino games if they have not done before?

There are several methods for casinos to cross-sell traditional slots to customers that have been acquired by their sportsbook. One of the more popular methods is to run slot-focused promotions on the sportsbook, which gives players the chance to win rewards that are themed around live dealer titles or slots. The key is to showcase the value and experience of these products without customers having to risk their own money.

Moreover, you can cherry-pick a range of particular products to cross-sell to sports bettors, this can certainly enhance their user experience, whilst increasing the overall retention rates. By picking the correct products operators can deliver the optimum betting experience that sports-bettors seek, allowing them to dip in and out while also enjoying the matches.

 

What sort of promotions have you got planned and how will players and providers benefit?

We have several promotions lined up which will be running over the course of the World Cup and we cannot wait to unveil them to our customers, including free spins, deposit bonuses and vouchers redeemable for World Cup matches. The event is guaranteed to be a spectacle and with it occurring once every four years we hope our themed initiatives will be enjoyed by players.

Additionally, with some targeted cross-selling we expect our partner providers will also enjoy a piece of the action in what’s guaranteed to be a very busy time for the industry. With the World Cup just around the corner, we’re eager to get started.

 

Are there regional variations at work here and how do you tailor your offering to specific markets or in countries with teams participating in the World Cup?

We’re delighted to see Canada and Japan qualify for the World Cup; two of the biggest markets we operate in. What makes this more exciting is the fact that this will be Canada’s first-ever appearance in the iconic tournament, allowing us to tap into a brand-new demographic.

Through strategic positioning, we’re aiming to significantly enhance the experience for our Canadian customers as they follow their nation during its exciting World Cup debut. Meanwhile, with Japan being a more experienced participant, their involvement captures a recurring demographic of football fans and we’re primed to take advantage of this.

 

How can casinos convert newly arrived customers on a longer-term basis?

In an extremely competitive environment, to secure long-term conversion operators must provide the best casino experience possible. The quality and quantity of websites facilitating gambling in the current market are incredible, and when the bar is this high there is simply no room for complacency.

The market is also in a constant cycle of change with regulatory and market developments happening all the time. With this in mind, it’s vital for operators to be on the front foot so that they can ensure they’re catering to these changes, whilst simultaneously delivering an exceptional customer experience.

During massive events such as the World Cup, when community spirit is high, word of mouth can do wonders to get new players on board. Ensuring these converted customers stick around as the event comes to an end is the next challenge for operators, but a fluid gaming experience is essential, as are the RNG and live dealer content that complement the sports betting experience.

retention-through-skill-games-w/araz-heydariyehzadeh-–-chief-commercial-officer-at-scout-gaming

Retention through skill games w/Araz Heydariyehzadeh – Chief Commercial Officer at Scout Gaming

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Check out our latest interview focusing on retention with Araz Heydariyehzadeh CCO at Scout Gaming

 

Do operators need to go beyond loyalty schemes and bonuses when it comes to retention? Why?

Retention in the iGaming industry is incredibly difficult to get right. Based on what we know from intenrally and from market research, it is much harder to keep players engaged with online betting brands than it is with other products in other sectors.

The most common retention tool used by operators is of course bonuses and loyalty schemes, and they do work when deployed effectively, intelligently and as part of a well planned marketing strategy. There are some big players in the iGaming industry, like Skybet, who do this very well.

If it’s not done well these incentives are really only effective for as long as the bonus lasts – once the free spins have been used up, the player is no longer motivated to remain loyal to that specific brand and can jump to offers from another provider. Loyalty schemes do keep players engaged for longer, but with most being tough to progress through, they too can have their limitations. Despite this, operators still throw big money behind bonuses and loyalty schemes in order to stand out from their rivals and keep players coming back.

It is important to consider the bigger picture, and other – potentially more effective – ways of retaining players. This means looking at the player experience being offered and identifying ways of delivering even more value and entertainment. For online sportsbooks, this could be launching skill games such as fantasy sports for the first time to give players a reason to return to their book each day, week, or month throughout the season. Operators can also run marketing campaigns and promotions around these games to take retention to the next level.

 

How can fantasy/social/skill games be used to drive retention rates?

These games are hard to beat when it comes to retention. The very nature of fantasy sports requires players to return to the operators site regularly. In the case of daily fantasy sports, players return to change theoir teams, set captains or make substititions, this deepends their engagement with the operators brand. Our latest data shows that the average player logs in four times a week to make changes to their team. This in part helps to drive some incredible stats for our partners. According to the indexed numbers of users in the Scout Network, there are clear indicators that fantasy sports and especially season-long games boosts retention.

Here are some highlights…

  • Churn after 12 months = 30% still active
  • Churn after 24 months = 20% still active
  • Churn on season-long fantasy tournament players = 50%+ still active in month nine
  • Acquisition = +15% more players on a yearly basis after launching fantasy sports
  • Time spent on site = fantasy players spend 20%+ more time than regular sportsbook players

Sportsbooks can expect between 10% and 30% of their player base to engage with fantasy sports products which in turn can significantly move the needle in terms of turnover and GGR.

 

What makes these games so effective when it comes to retention?

Playing season-long fantasy sports requires the player to log in each match day at the very least and usually over an eight-month period. That is certainly the case when tournaments are hooked up to large prize pots which is something we offer via the Scout Network. Fantasy really is a great retention tool by design, but it can also be used to drive cross-sell as, over time, fantasy players become trusting of and loyal to the operator’s brand. Indeed, we have measured a 45% increase in turnover and a 20+% increase in GGR on our partner’s sportsbook users that engaged with our fantasy products compared with those that did not.

 

How important is the skill element here? And what challenges does it present for operators?

According to a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, fantasy sports games reward skill rather than luck. This conclusion was reached after analysing thousands of win/loss records of fantasy players over several years. The indexed numbers in the Scout Network confirm this conclusion. Given the skill factor in fantasy sports games, players can train their skill set and apply their advanced knowledge of sports to improve their odds of winning. But similar to other skill games, this presents a challenge for operators.

To sustain a balanced game economy, measures have to be taken to ensure that all participants have a fair chance of winning and that even those who are new to the concept have an enjoyable experience. A game economy where only a small percentage of users have a chance of winning is unhealthy and ultimately drains that all-important liquidity from tournaments. That is why we carefully analyse games and ensure a healthy economy for all. This led us to make several changes to our popular Premier League Season game such as reducing multiple entries from single users, prohibiting certain tools used by high-volume players and softening rules around saving free transfers. This ensures that more casual users can come back to play the season game, thus improving retention rates even more.

 

How can these games be used in wider marketing activity to keep players coming back from more?

It is important to highlight that skill games are far more social and community-driven than sports betting and casino, and season-long fantasy games in particular add an additional dimension to the sport itself. This generates more fan and player excitement, and often throughout the entire season. Players can also improve their knowledge by embracing the community, chatting in the forums and researching insights and advice.

There is a growing content creator market directly involved with various forms of Fantasy sports which really taps in to the community feel for these types of games.

This is highly desirable from an operator perspective. Giving players a single ticket to a season-long fantasy sports tournament is not only cheaper than offering free bets or loyalty schemes, but the incentive lasts for the entire season. When this is combined with the social element of fantasy and how this helps to drive engagement further, it is clear to see just how powerful fantasy sports is when it comes to retention.

In terms of how to market fantasy sports, we have recorded cases where the addition of a targeted fantasy bonus such as a free entry ticket being added to a CRM email reactivation campaign has generated impressive returns. In one instance, the click-through rate was 25x the average and in another case, 2,000 inactive customers were reactivated within 24 hours of the email campaign being sent out.

q&a/twitch-bans-gambling-streamers-w/-michael-pedersen-cco-at-livespins

Q&A/Twitch bans gambling streamers w/ Michael Pedersen CCO at Livespins

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

What do you think of Twitch’s decision to ban casino sites from being streamed on its platform? 

Twitch’s decision to ban remote licensed online casino sites from being streamed from its platform has made waves right across the industry. But at Livespins, we have long expected this moment to come, and what is now certain is that gambling on mainstream media platforms is, and likely always will be, volatile. That is why it is important for the industry to control the space and provide a healthy, highly engaging and, most importantly, sustainable solution. The opportunity that sits at the intersection of gambling and streaming is far too big for us not to.

 

How has this situation come about? Has the writing been on the wall for a while?

The ban comes in the wake of a campaign to oust gambling from the platform after top-tier streamer ItsSlicker admitted to having a gambling problem. It’s fair to say some sort of ban was already in the works with recent events likely to have forced Twitch to act sooner rather than later. For us, the writing has been on the wall for some time now.

You just have to look at the surging popularity of slot streaming, the increased competition among streamers and the lengthens they have been going to grow and retain their following to see things would have to change. Many streamers were opting to play with increasingly large and unsustainable bet amounts as well as partaking in sometimes offensive studio behaviour to generate clips and moments that would gather attention online – behaviour that was also starting to gather the attention of industry insiders, watchdogs, and regulators.

More worryingly, to afford these large bet sizes and increased hours spent gambling, many streamers were becoming sponsored in one way or another and not disclosing this arrangement to their audiences. This meant they were essentially misleading their viewers to think that their gambling was being done with their own funds when the reality was very different. Add into the mix the recent ban on the use of gambling links and ads within Twitch streams and it was clear to us that the house of cards was about to come tumbling down.

 

What impact will the ban have on online casino brands, slot studios and of course slot streamers? 

It is going to take a little time for the true impact of the ban to be understood. Twitch has been a touch ambiguous when it comes to exactly who the ban applies to – online casino brands that hold a licence in the US, or from another reputable jurisdiction, can continue to use the platform while the ban appears to only apply to online casinos and not sportsbook, etc. Streamers that have built their brands on slot streaming will also be heavily impacted for obvious reasons. I think it’s fair to say Twitch will be off limits for most operators, slot studios and streamers for quite some time, if indefinitely.

 

Does this spell the end of the relationship between streaming and online gambling? 

Not at all. Livespins was founded on the insight that a significant player segment clearly loves the slots streaming concept and the opportunity to engage with a community of like-minded individuals, the authenticity of streamers over more rigid live dealers and the overall organic nature of the streaming entertainment experience. We wanted to retain all of those features but leave behind the unsustainable behaviour that we have seen on Twitch. Our platform does just that – it integrates directly into the online casino game lobby with our team of superstar streamers playing slots from our roster of approved studio partners.

 

How does Livespins allow casinos, studios, and streamers to leverage the tremendous popularity of slot streaming? 

We bring all three parties together in one powerful, responsible, compliant solution. For licenced operators, the Livespins stream takes place directly within their casino and allows them to generate revenues from the bet behinds that players can make via our unique system. For studios, they gain high levels of exposure among players but in an environment where said players can wager directly on the action happening in the game. We also pay studios to be on the platform, opening up an additional line of revenue. For streamers, we provide a platform for them to be able to do what they love while earning a living and the security that comes with being an employee and part of a big team.

But let’s not also forget viewers and players. Livespins allows them to not only watch the explosive action taking place across the reels, but also get involved in a direct way by betting behind each spin. This creates a group bet and a shared experience, but with each player able to select their own bet amount and number of spins. They can also interact with the streamer and each other throughout, as well as add reactions and emojis. This takes the foundation of what they could experience on Twitch and supercharges it.

 

How does it do this in a responsible way? 

Livespins brings the streaming entertainment we know to be so popular and puts it in the hands of the operator – those that are working diligently to create safe and sustainable play for their customers and who have the tools to do so. From the very beginning, we at Livespins have also worked relentlessly to deliver pure sustainable entertainment to players all over the globe. Our streamers are recruited by us, vetted and trained for months on content and responsible gambling. And, we ensure moderators 24/7 making sure we are building a healthy community.

 

What does the future have in store for slot streaming? 

Some might consider Twitch banning online casino from its platform as the end of slot streaming, but we see it as just the beginning. Livespins is the platform and product to allow operators, studios and streamers to unlock the massively untapped potential on the table here and to do it responsibly and compliantly. The appetite for slot streaming content is only going to increase, and we are here to help all stakeholders leverage this and provide socially-charged, highly entertaining experiences to their players.

 

q&a/twitch-bans-gambling-streamers-w/-michael-pedersen-coo-at-livespins

Q&A/Twitch bans gambling streamers w/ Michael Pedersen COO at Livespins

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

What do you think of Twitch’s decision to ban casino sites from being streamed on its platform? 

Twitch’s decision to ban remote licensed online casino sites from being streamed from its platform has made waves right across the industry. But at Livespins, we have long expected this moment to come, and what is now certain is that gambling on mainstream media platforms is, and likely always will be, volatile. That is why it is important for the industry to control the space and provide a healthy, highly engaging and, most importantly, sustainable solution. The opportunity that sits at the intersection of gambling and streaming is far too big for us not to.

 

How has this situation come about? Has the writing been on the wall for a while?

The ban comes in the wake of a campaign to oust gambling from the platform after top-tier streamer ItsSlicker admitted to having a gambling problem. It’s fair to say some sort of ban was already in the works with recent events likely to have forced Twitch to act sooner rather than later. For us, the writing has been on the wall for some time now.

You just have to look at the surging popularity of slot streaming, the increased competition among streamers and the lengthens they have been going to grow and retain their following to see things would have to change. Many streamers were opting to play with increasingly large and unsustainable bet amounts as well as partaking in sometimes offensive studio behaviour to generate clips and moments that would gather attention online – behaviour that was also starting to gather the attention of industry insiders, watchdogs, and regulators.

More worryingly, to afford these large bet sizes and increased hours spent gambling, many streamers were becoming sponsored in one way or another and not disclosing this arrangement to their audiences. This meant they were essentially misleading their viewers to think that their gambling was being done with their own funds when the reality was very different. Add into the mix the recent ban on the use of gambling links and ads within Twitch streams and it was clear to us that the house of cards was about to come tumbling down.

 

What impact will the ban have on online casino brands, slot studios and of course slot streamers? 

It is going to take a little time for the true impact of the ban to be understood. Twitch has been a touch ambiguous when it comes to exactly who the ban applies to – online casino brands that hold a licence in the US, or from another reputable jurisdiction, can continue to use the platform while the ban appears to only apply to online casinos and not sportsbook, etc. Streamers that have built their brands on slot streaming will also be heavily impacted for obvious reasons. I think it’s fair to say Twitch will be off limits for most operators, slot studios and streamers for quite some time, if indefinitely.

 

Does this spell the end of the relationship between streaming and online gambling? 

Not at all. Livespins was founded on the insight that a significant player segment clearly loves the slots streaming concept and the opportunity to engage with a community of like-minded individuals, the authenticity of streamers over more rigid live dealers and the overall organic nature of the streaming entertainment experience. We wanted to retain all of those features but leave behind the unsustainable behaviour that we have seen on Twitch. Our platform does just that – it integrates directly into the online casino game lobby with our team of superstar streamers playing slots from our roster of approved studio partners.

 

How does Livespins allow casinos, studios, and streamers to leverage the tremendous popularity of slot streaming? 

We bring all three parties together in one powerful, responsible, compliant solution. For licenced operators, the Livespins stream takes place directly within their casino and allows them to generate revenues from the bet behinds that players can make via our unique system. For studios, they gain high levels of exposure among players but in an environment where said players can wager directly on the action happening in the game. We also pay studios to be on the platform, opening up an additional line of revenue. For streamers, we provide a platform for them to be able to do what they love while earning a living and the security that comes with being an employee and part of a big team.

But let’s not also forget viewers and players. Livespins allows them to not only watch the explosive action taking place across the reels, but also get involved in a direct way by betting behind each spin. This creates a group bet and a shared experience, but with each player able to select their own bet amount and number of spins. They can also interact with the streamer and each other throughout, as well as add reactions and emojis. This takes the foundation of what they could experience on Twitch and supercharges it.

 

How does it do this in a responsible way? 

Livespins brings the streaming entertainment we know to be so popular and puts it in the hands of the operator – those that are working diligently to create safe and sustainable play for their customers and who have the tools to do so. From the very beginning, we at Livespins have also worked relentlessly to deliver pure sustainable entertainment to players all over the globe. Our streamers are recruited by us, vetted and trained for months on content and responsible gambling. And, we ensure moderators 24/7 making sure we are building a healthy community.

 

What does the future have in store for slot streaming? 

Some might consider Twitch banning online casino from its platform as the end of slot streaming, but we see it as just the beginning. Livespins is the platform and product to allow operators, studios and streamers to unlock the massively untapped potential on the table here and to do it responsibly and compliantly. The appetite for slot streaming content is only going to increase, and we are here to help all stakeholders leverage this and provide socially-charged, highly entertaining experiences to their players.

 

european-gaming-/-q&a-–-queen’s-award-for-innovation-danny-edwards,-chief-revenue-officer-at-synalogik

European Gaming / Q&A – Queen’s Award for Innovation Danny Edwards, Chief Revenue Officer at Synalogik

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

  • Congratulations on receiving the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Can you tell us more about the award and why you received it?

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are probably the top, and most prestigious, awards programme in the UK. There are several categories, in our case we won the Queen’s Award for Innovation.

We won the award due to our data aggregation platform, Scout®, and its contribution to fighting financial crime and helping organisations with regulatory compliance across both the public and private sector. Scout® has proven to deliver significant ROI for businesses across the gambling, insurance, banking, legal and public sector. In the gambling sector our clients include Entain Plc, Betway and Buzz Bingo.

 

  • What does receiving such an award mean to Synalogik and the team behind the business?

Along our journey we have been extremely lucky to get the support of some large multinationals and high-profile investors; however, receiving the Queen’s Award for Innovation has galvanised and given confidence to our team in different, in some ways more important, ways. We have always been driven by the desire to help and serve the wider public interest; therefore, to receive an independent award of this high calibre gives us an unmatched sense of pride that we are delivering on our mission.

With the sad news of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, it is with deep regret, but great pride that we realise we are now going to be the last company to ever receive HRH Queen Elizabeth’s Award for Innovation.

 

  • What makes your Scout data aggregation platform so effective?

Scout® is unique in its capability to aggregate data from open, closed, third party and proprietary sources, allowing investigators and analysts to query data efficiently and at scale. Scout® performs data collection in a fraction of the time it takes for users to manually log in and out of multiple data sources and investigation tools, even when looking at thousands of investigation points. Countless testing indicates Scout® saves up to 85% of their time compared to manual investigations.

This ability to aggregate all these data sources means that it is capable of automating complex enhanced due diligence checks and fraud investigations something that had not been possible before. Scout®, through saving time, enables your team to investigate more cases, in greater detail, at a lower cost; however, it’s benefits go beyond just time-consumption. It also improves the effectiveness of investigations by eliminating the human error and inconsistency that occurs when trying to compile reports and find links across information available in different browser windows and formats.

Synalogik was created in 2018 by experts from law enforcement, intelligence, and legal backgrounds, who were frustrated by the amount of time it was taking to pull together information when performing investigations manually. We therefore designed Scout® to include tools that would fundamentally address each of the pain points we had with the investigation process.  Besides wanting to create a single intelligence environment with a unified interface, we added automated report generation in numerous formats, the ability to visualise links between entities, the ability to clash data and do bulk uploads, an open source intelligence tool, risk and search workflows as well as the ability to break down data sharing barriers between branches and sub-brands with the Synalogik Knowledgebase.

 

  • It is now used by 25% of the gambling industry – how does it benefit operators and what upsides does it enable them to unlock?

Scout helps operators to enhance their EDD, AML, and RG processes by combining their third-party data with open-source information (including adverse media). This means that their analysts only need to log into one platform to perform all the required checks, which is then displayed in a downloadable report and in the workbench within Scout.

We have seen from existing customers that the time taken to perform an investigation has reduced by as much as 85%, which is then allowing their analysts to focus on other business-critical tasks.

 

  • Just how important is it for operators to meet the highest possible standards when it comes to affordability, AML, etc?

It’s incredibly important. As we’ve seen recently the UKGC are handing more fines out than ever to operators for failures, particularly around AML and social responsibility. I think operators understand that they are part of an ecosystem where it benefits everyone to ensure that laundered money is kept out of their businesses and that players can play in a fun way that is sustainable for their future and the future of organisations.

 

  • How can operators prepare for any tightening of regulations in markets such as the UK? How can your platform help with this?

Tightening regulations inevitably mean that operators need to get better at spotting possible signs of criminals trying to launder money and players hiding their true financial situation. It is crucial therefore to learn more about the possible sources of data available and the insights they can give into the challenges mentioned above.

Open-source intelligence is now a mandated and key source of information for operators. Synalogik has carried out extensive research around identifying and risk assessing vulnerable individuals. In one such case found on the surface an individual who appeared to have no apparent vulnerabilities, however, through investigating more OSINT data sources, we were able to find mentions of his gambling addiction on several forums. If we had only used a limited number of data sources, this would have been missed, creating the potential for harm to the player and the operator.

Our platform is the only one that takes a data agnostic approach to aggregation of data, meaning we work with our operator clients to integrate the data sources they need to complete their risk assessments and checks to the optimal thoroughness. Being able to automate search and risk assessments over all their data sources gives them the time and tools to investigate more cases, in more detail.

In addition, it helps to improve analyst decisions – manually cross referencing and collating data from multiple datasets in different browser windows can easily lead to human error. Scout® creates standardised, in-depth, and clear reports, leaving operators and their teams free to focus on decision making.

Scout® open-source intelligence tool enables operators to create highly targeted automated searches around keywords, proximity, timeframe, and document type, eliminating false positives, and getting them to the right information in seconds.

interview-with-nanocosmos’-ceo-oliver-lietz:-how-2022’s-launches-of-b2b-interactive-live-streaming-accelerate-the-igaming-and-betting-market-to-serve-increased-demands-for-better-user-experience

Interview with nanocosmos’ CEO Oliver Lietz: How 2022’s launches of B2B interactive live streaming accelerate the iGaming and betting market to serve increased demands for better user experience

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Nanocosmos, well experienced provider of the interactive live streaming solution nanoStream Cloud for iGaming and betting platform operators, was awarded once again by the Streaming Media European Innovation Awards 2022. What is the secret?

It is a great honor to be awarded two yours in a row. Since we entered the market of interactive live streaming, we have helped to shape it. Yet our biggest secret still lies in our customer approach. We work closely with our clients to deliver a service they can rely on. Our 100% stability and 24/7 operations are key differentiators for the gaming industry.

With the a new upgrade of nanoStream Cloud that we launched this year we built on the integrated approach, but added new features for successful interactive live streaming. Our live streaming platform and API spans over a wide range of areas such as Adaptive and secure streaming, ultra-low latency to enable real-time interaction, advanced analytics, live metadata support, stream protection, 100% stability and reliability at a global scale.

What makes your streaming solution work particularly well for iGaming and betting platforms?

When it comes to live casinos and sports betting it is all about a seamless user experience. One of the major advantages that we are very proud of is that our platform is very robust and stable with 100% uptime, for all networks on a global scale. In addition you have adaptive streaming and the integrated approach – it is not about just doing one thing well, but about bringing all components under one roof. This is to make sure everything from ingest to playout, from support to player and analytics works well and supports the profitability of iGaming and betting platforms. It serves end-to-end observability and helps companies to make decisions that will shape profitability, experience and efficiency. nanoStream Cloud is all about 24/7/365 quality of service and quality of experience for the entertainment services of our clients.

With the return of in-person shows – what were the major milestones of this year’s launches that were shared and what are they aiming at?

At ICE 2022 we launched the new version of our nanoStream Player to achieve and maintain sub-second latency, yet stability for even bad networks on all devices, anywhere in the world. This fall at SBC Barcelona we show enhanced adaptive streaming service not only by making it much easier for customers to manage their live transcoded streams. In combination with the new player, nanoStream Cloud is now positioned to cover both as part of the standard package: Interactive live streaming with the possibility to achieve sub-second latency, including live transcoding and adaptive playback.

In addition  nanoStream Cloud users can now ingest using the RTMP, SRT and WHIP protocols for WebRTC ingest for improving connectivity, especially for remote ingest locations and higher bitrates and customers can benefit from added misuse protection to secure their streamed content.

What innovation do you see ahead for the iGaming and betting industry? 

There is a lot of room for innovation to be picked up by live gaming and betting operators, based on live video to share with their player audiences. Trends like „fast betting“ on sports create new ideas by operators for new types of games. 

What core challenges do you help to solve for platform operators?

We have seen continuous growth in terms of the importance and the market of interactive live streaming. It is a great opportunity to engage anyone worldwide based on live video content. We at nanocosmos aim to empower our clients to deliver video-based games and bets to their viewers with a 360 degree angle, end-to-end.

https://info.nanocosmos.de/nanostreamcloud

interview:-how-merchants-can-use-payments-to-become-a-big-player-in-the-gaming-industry

INTERVIEW: How merchants can use payments to become a big player in the gaming industry

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Rio Broadfoot, Head of Gaming at Trust Payments, provides insight into how those who offer a wide range of alternative payment methods can win gamer loyalty and can come out on top.

1. Could you introduce yourself to our readers? Who are you and what do you do?

I am the Gaming Vertical Director at Trust Payments and have been with the company for the last 4 and a half years. I manage the European Gaming Sales and Account Management divisions within the business and have been in payments for the past 10 years, specialising in gaming for the last five.

I work with Trust Payments helping Gaming Operators optimise their sales and customer experience through speedy and seamless payments, loyalty, and data management. This creates truly Converged Commerce by connecting multichannel data from customers and interactions to deliver memorable, personalised and consistent customer experiences.

2. How does a smooth and trusted payment process offering a wide variety of services help gamers control their budgets?

It is crucial to ensure your players get the experience they deserve at checkout with a smooth and trusted payment process that includes instant deposits, withdrawals, and subscriptions.

By offering relationships and integrations with various relevant service providers and platforms such as Visa Verify, Mastercard Ethoca, and Chargebacks911, gamers can pay on their terms and help control their budgets.

Open Banking has become increasingly popular over the years. As a result, push payments have rapidly grown, and customers no longer need to share sensitive card information. In addition, gaming customers today prefer simple, quick, and personalised experiences.

3. Does the offering of different payment methods really become an order-winning criterion? Is it such an important aspect for gamers when choosing the gaming platform?

Absolutely. As the gaming industry is characterised by a constant cash flow spread across different time zones and regions, it is a significant benefit for companies and their customers to withdraw money using a convenient method.

4. Can in-app purchases elevate playing experience? Aren’t they regarded by players as another form of making them pay more money?

Yes. Mobile players spend more money more often, and the merchants who will profit the most from these trends are the ones that optimise their monetisation techniques. As the most downloaded games in 2021 were free to play (F2P), finding a payment gateway that supports in-app purchases and rewarded ads should be a priority for mobile game developers.

5. How does Trust Payments help iGaming providers achieve higher gamer loyalty?

Using the online experience Trust Payments has for payout methods and the SmartPOS technology available today for paying, we can facilitate a cashless experience using these tried and tested online forms in a brick-and-mortar Operator. Furthermore, with the advancement of tokenisation, we can automate the payout using technologies like Visa Direct to enable immediate withdrawal of funds, similar to receiving cash at a booth, event, or high street bookies.

Payment companies are focusing on new innovative technology to assist the transition to cashless gaming, like prepaid cards, loyalty points and wallet top-up systems. These are now all accessible from a mobile device, delivering ultra convenience for players.

6. Anything to add…?

The industry’s evolution now largely depends on regulators and developing payment models as needs change. With this, I am intrigued to see what the future holds for gaming, as innovative payment methods are widely accepted. It will be interesting to see the benefits in action. A secure, fast, and trustworthy pay channel will answer growing gamer demands and provide a pleasant experience when playing.

account-management:-the-evolution-of-customer-service

Account management: the evolution of customer service

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

A staple of many businesses since time immemorial and a vital cog in the machine for suppliers across the online casino industry – but how has it changed over the years to what we recognise today? How can best practices be evolved further? Kalamba’s Andrew Crosby examines.

Account Management teams – everyone has them, but what does it mean to be an Account Manager within the i-gaming industry? It’s obviously a critical role, but where do you think it sits within an organisation’s hierarchy?

For me, it sits at the top of the tree. The company’s AM team is the conduit of information, commercials, game presentations, promotional buy-in, and fundamentally the business relationship with the customer. Relationships with the customer can last for many years within the iGaming sector so it is a very good idea to retain quality staff who’ve built up these relationships over the years. I’ve seen it many times that where staff have moved on, ultimately the business suffers due to the new relationship that’s put in place. Obviously, this is not always the case but it’s certainly a risk to look out for.

 

Do you think that there is anything within account management in the online casino industry that you think can only be found there?

As the industry has matured the Account Management teams have become more corporate and in line with AM practices across various industries. Earlier there was a large learning curve for everyone in the industry but now there is a more standard practice between operators and suppliers in general I would say. I also think our industry has more entertainment than any other now with the sheer volume of suppliers available compared to 10 years ago but is still a vital part of relationship building within our industry.

 

We all know of the impact that Covid-19 brought to our working lives but many of its changes have been adopted and fostered since lockdowns were lifted – is this a positive evolution?

Working from home and being more flexible with working hours has changed the landscape and allows people a better work-life balance. Customers and suppliers had to adapt to online meetings and convey information differently from the norm of face-to-face meetings, it was difficult but if you were creative some meetings could be very informative as well as entertaining. The 9-5 working hours are now more flexible and I feel suppliers understand that an AM’s job can be over many hours and weekends so the flexibility has been widely received. As an example not having to rush out of the gym to make it to work at 9am, having these work-life balances really help with employee happiness. It’s also been a breath of fresh air getting back to face-to-face meetings, conferences, and work events and in my opinion face- to face meetings have always been the best way of conducting business and building strong long-term relationships.

 

What is expected from an account manager in 2022 that wasn’t a decade ago?

Account Management is driven by relationships over long periods and those relationships stay with that AM during their career. A decade ago there were only a handful of players in the market Playtech, Microgaming, Cryptologic, NetEnt and a few small studios. Now the competition is immense and with that, the competition to get your games prominent on operator sites, on release day and promoted is becoming increasingly more difficult. Account Management has now become one of the key if not the key department in the industry to achieve this now. When I applied for the AM role at NetEnt it was the first vacancy of that type I had seen after living in Malta for two years and at that point, NetEnt had four AMs, two in Malta and two in Sweden – I was handed sixty-five accounts on day one! Now the landscape has changed dramatically, and AMs can move around frequently if they are not suited to the company or are looking for higher salaries. This presents a new challenge in trying to keep valued members of the team. Work-life balance, good relationships with colleagues and always being there to support and mentor the Account Manager’s career will go a long way in retaining valuable staff members.

 

What are your most important messages to any individual or business looking to improve their account handling skillset?

Response times for me are the most important thing, and will always go a long way in relationship building. Being honest with your accounts is key, as is setting realistic targets. Always giving the correct information to your accounts builds confidence and trust in the relationship. With the development of regulated markets and increased competition, it has become incredibly important for AMs to build their knowledge in many different areas. It’s very different now compared to the .com era which now seems so long ago! I still remember negotiating and signing the first regulated market customer for NetEnt, which was also highly likely to be the first one in the industry, while on a train to Salzburg from Vienna. I think that Quickspin Co-Founder, Joachim Timmermans may still remember that one! 🙂

To sum up, being knowledgeable and timely in your responses is key, because of course, things can change at any time but I think that if you strive for these things, ultimately you’ll build successful relationships and a great account management function within any business.

 

interview-with-the-man-of-the-week,-rob-verdia,-head-of-products-at-nexiux-solutions

Interview with the man of the week, Rob Verdia, Head of Products at Nexiux Solutions

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Following their latest announcement about partnering with leading sportsbook solution provider Altenar, we sat down with Rob Verdia, Head of Products at Nexiux Solutions, to hear more about the partnership and of course their awesome products.

The global online gambling industry has its fair share of platform providers. What does Nexiux Solutions bring to the table?

It does indeed, but that has never deterred us from our mission to provide operators with access to the best platform, products and services in the market via our modular, cutting-edge Player and iGaming Platform. It is a one-stop shop for operators, allowing them to launch compelling online casino and sportsbook experiences to players in regulated markets around the world. They can also take advantage of additional products and services for compliance, CRM, player management, payments, customer support and more, providing them with everything they need to run competitive online casino and sportsbook brands. Despite having only made our debut in 2018, we have already signed some of the biggest names in the business including Stake, FUN88, SBOTOP and Sportsbet.io.

 

What makes Nexiux Solutions and its Player and iGaming Platform stand out from others in the market?

Nexiux Solutions is an innovative, agile and dynamic company that has put state-of-the-art technologies such as artificial intelligence and automation at the core of its Player and iGaming Platform. We have also made it modular, so we can bolt on additional products from leading third parties. This allows for multiple integrations for sportsbook, casino, payment and fraud solutions with minimal lead times and reduced overhead costs. Other highlights include a unique billing module, high levels of automation, a data-focused player experience engine and unlimited content integrations and aggregation. This comes together in a secure, compliant solution that operators can use with confidence to offer their players a superior experience at all times. As you said, there is a fair share of providers serving the industry, but not all platforms are created equal and the Nexiux Player and iGaming Platform sets the standard for others to follow.

 

Can you tell us more about your recent partnership with Altenar?

Of course. We recently strengthened our sportsbook offering by entering a strategic partnership with Altenar. This means we can now offer a fully managed sportsbook solution via Altenar, whose software delivers the stability of an established product but with modern features such as a wide range of sports content sourced from multiple data partners. It also includes risk management, trading and 24/7 customer support, allowing our operator partners to deliver the best sports betting experience across both desktop and mobile. The provider also holds certifications in prestigious markets such as the UK, Malta, Romania and Ontario, allowing us to help our partners launch in these jurisdictions for the first time or strengthen their position if already live.

 

In addition to casino and sports, esports betting is also part of your product offering. Is this now a must for operators looking to engage the next generation of bettors?

The rise of esports and esports betting has been meteoric, and its steep upward growth trajectory looks set to remain on course for many years to come. Esports betting not only allows operators to engage the next generation of players/bettors but provide existing customers with new betting experiences and opportunities. It can also act as a key differentiator for brands looking to get the edge on the competition. Of course, once an esports bettor engages with their brand, there are plenty of opportunities to cross-sell that player to other verticals such as traditional sports betting and casino, especially if the operator stocks games designed to appeal to this customer demographic and in particular crash games.

 

Just how important is the platform when it comes to operators being able to differentiate?

It is vital. The platform is the foundation of the sportsbook and/or casino and delivering an engaging, seamless and entertaining experience is the difference between success and failure. This is not just regarding the games stocked in the lobby, or offering personalised bonuses, but more fundamental things like customer onboarding, payments and platform stability. Big bonuses may initially draw players to a brand, but they don’t keep them playing there for long. In order to boost acquisition and retention, operators must provide the absolute best experience to their players. Again, this is why the Nexiux Player and iGaming Platform is modular, allowing us to quickly and easily integrate products, services and solutions from expert suppliers. Ultimately, this is what allows our operator partners to stand out from their rivals.

 

Where is the industry heading in the next 12 months and what are the key challenges operators will face?

I think it is clear that the industry will continue to regulate and consolidate, and this provides both challenges and opportunities for operators. Compliance is now a key focus and to be compliant operators need to power their brands with the latest technologies that are agile and nimble; this is the only way to keep up with different requirements in different markets. They need to be compliant while also ensuring players have a reason to engage with the brand over others in the market. This is a big ask considering the sheer number of casinos and sportsbooks for players to choose from. Of course, those that meet and overcome these hurdles will rise to the top and capitalise on the tremendous opportunities available in jurisdictions around the world, and here at Nexiux Solutions, we look forward to helping many leverage the power of our Player and iGaming Platform to do just that.