BETBY ready to make an impact at SiGMA Europe

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European Gaming talks to Chris Nikolopoulos, CCO at BETBY, about the sportsbook supplier’s expectations for the European regulated landscape, and what to look out for from the provider as the calendar ticks towards a new year.


Is it feasible to expect more growth across the continent?

As a business, we are highly optimistic about the growth potential across Europe for 2024. The continent’s deep-rooted passion for sports and betting continues to be a driving force behind this expected growth. The surge in online wagering, the increasing embrace of legal and regulated markets, and the rise of mobile and in-play betting all contribute to a promising outlook for the continent.


Are there any untapped markets ready to explode?

From our perspective, there are certainly untapped markets poised for significant growth. Key markets in Central and Eastern Europe, like Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, are further embracing the potential of the online gambling industry. These nations represent exciting opportunities for expansion. Furthermore, we’re closely monitoring the flourishing niche market of esports betting, which continues to show great potential and will only grow in the coming years.


How European-focused is BETBY’s 2024 commercial roadmap?

Our commitment to the European market is unwavering, and this dedication is at the core of BETBY’s 2024 commercial roadmap. We are actively expanding our presence in Europe, and our sportsbook software and solutions are tailored to meet the specific needs and preferences of European operators. We’re equipped to provide the technological edge they need to succeed in this vibrant region.


What will be the focuses of the European market in 2024?

In 2024, the European market will prioritise several key areas, and esports betting is among the frontrunners. It continues to gain traction globally, and Europe is no exception. Operators and platforms offering comprehensive and competitive esports betting solutions will enjoy a strategic advantage.

Additionally, responsible gaming and player protection will remain paramount in the European market, as it rightly should be. Regulatory compliance and the upholding of a secure and equitable gaming environment for players will continue to be of utmost importance.

From a broader perspective of technological advancements, we anticipate a growing emphasis on personalisation and user experience. Operators that can deliver tailored and immersive experiences for players will stand out, and we’re ready to support them in achieving this.

In summary, BETBY’s approach is perfectly aligned with the European market’s trajectory in 2024. We are committed to helping our partners navigate the dynamic European landscape and stay at the forefront of industry trends and developments.


Strategies for Cultivating Player Engagement: Insights from Head of SOFTSWISS Sportsbook Alexander Kamenetskyi

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Alexander joined the company in May 2020. He has more than 26 years of experience in Sports Betting and Gambling. His expertise lies in betting trends, iGaming sports industry analytics, product development, and product team management.


From your perspective what are the most significant issues confronting betting and gaming companies?

Within the iGaming industry, two core objectives take centre stage: player attraction and player retention. In this context, two pivotal aspects demand our attention.

Firstly, if we take a closer look at the strategies and products of B2B companies, it becomes quite evident that many of them grapple with truly understanding what players really need. Secondly, in the world of betting, it’s not just about offering a product, it’s about making sure that product actively engages players.

What is more, it’s imperative for a bonus system to operate like a well-tuned instrument in the operator’s hands. It should allow them the flexibility to finely adjust the player journey from the moment they step into the project and keep them engaged for the long haul. We are talking about creating an environment where players are not just involved but genuinely interested.

At the same time, we understand that players may want to explore other gaming projects. Our key objective here is to ensure that once they switch to another platform, they immediately come to realise that our bonus system offers a more captivating and user-friendly experience. They might not be able to explicitly explain why, but they will unmistakably feel the distinction. This remains the foundational principle behind our development efforts.


What do you think about such methods of keeping attention, as gamification?

We all have this inner child inside us, right? And we often end up telling that inner child to put away the toys. That’s where gamification steps in. It’s like this cool trick where even apps that have nothing to do with games sneak in some fun stuff.

In the financial sector, there’s this interesting bank app that cleverly incorporates gamification principles. Now, you might think banking is far from gaming, but this app offers some cool incentives. Imagine getting extra cashbacks, cool avatars, and bonuses just for using the app actively. For instance, when you buy tickets to three different countries, they reward you with a ‘traveller’ avatar. They’ve even got this central character, a cat, that you can interact with, turning your banking tasks into a fun gaming experience.

It all comes down to our basic need to play, something we usually hold back on. But when you sprinkle in a bit of fun, engagement shoots up. We start getting into missions and quests, and that keeps us coming back for more. That’s exactly what these app developers are after – they want to keep us hooked. So, we keep coming back to take care of our virtual cat or spin that wheel because, let’s be honest, missing out on those means fewer bonuses. Plus, we are all in on those weekly missions to boost our ranking. It’s all about that core principle – making it fun to keep us around.


How can an operator gain player loyalty? 

Throughout my years in this field, I’ve come to truly appreciate the power of personalisation. It’s a game-changer that goes beyond the allure of bonuses or the thrill of gamification. 

Within our operations, we have specialised departments like retention and VIP retention. Their mission is to treat each VIP player as a unique individual, not just another customer. It’s about understanding that VIP players have distinct needs and preferences. By promptly addressing their requests and concerns, we make them feel genuinely valued. This principle isn’t confined to the betting world, it’s a universal truth. Bonuses certainly add excitement, but they’re just an extra layer.

When it comes to engaging with VIP players, I have frequently witnessed various scenarios. Sometimes, players approach with questions that have nothing to do with the project itself. They might ask for directions or assistance with entirely unrelated matters. Those who actively step in to help in such situations often become heroes in the eyes of the players. It’s akin to creating a bond where players instinctively look to us for any need, whether it’s related to placing a bet or seeking guidance on entirely different matters. It’s about cultivating a reflex in the player that says, “If I need something, I know where to go.”

When considering regular players who are not in the VIP category, it’s imperative to gauge their retention levels. For example, a company might use a system featuring five retention levels based on player profitability. Employees are assigned KPIs, which might include elevating their clients to the next retention level. Based on their performance, employees can also progress to the next level. This strategy has proven to be highly effective.

Furthermore, when discussing player retention, I would pay attention to recommendations. For instance, consider a scenario where we inform a player that their favourite team is scheduled to play today, but one of the key players is sidelined, and the team is facing issues with their striker. Our approach isn’t about misleading the player; it’s about establishing trust, knowing that maths will do the rest.

Another effective approach to engage players is by introducing tournaments, quests, and jackpots that encourage friendly competition among players. These diverse tools can be harnessed to incentivise players to participate in various activities. For instance, the operator might announce that all bets placed on the International  2023 will contribute to a specific jackpot. This strategy motivates players to actively partake in these actions, enhancing their overall experience.

When discussing betting with odds, it’s important to keep in mind that our profits are linked to the margin. Unfortunately, this fundamental concept is often overlooked by many operators in the betting industry, even those with extensive expertise. It’s common for them to disregard the critical point that a bookmaker’s earnings aren’t intricately tied to the odds they present but are, in reality, shaped by the margin they can uphold.

In certain tournaments, we encourage players to engage in a competition for a shared prize pool. These tournaments come with two key limitations: firstly, the prize pool is fixed for that specific tournament, and secondly, there is a time limit since the pool gradually decreases if players are not actively involved.

Moreover, we can design tournaments where players receive rewards for specific in-game actions or achievements, adding an extra layer of excitement and engagement to the competition.


At SOFTSWISS, what are your primary areas of focus when it comes to designing and enhancing your products?

We have three main criteria in mind. The first two are super important, while the third serves to complement them.

Firstly, we always look at the player’s needs. Keeping players engaged and interested is a top priority. Secondly, we’ve got what the operator needs. We want to motivate players to do things that are not only fun for them but also good for the operator. Like, encouraging bets on live and express events – it’s a win-win. Lastly, there’s market trends. We are always keeping an eye on what’s hot and what’s not because we know other operators are doing the same. We want to stay in the game and make sure our players have the latest and greatest.

And let’s not forget about the importance of automation. The smoother and more automated these tools are, the better they work for both operators and players.

Diving into the finer details, let’s examine what a player really needs. Ideally, betting should be effortless for them, requiring minimal thought, and in return, they should receive bonuses for their actions, serving as a catalyst for their engagement. It’s imperative that players feel acknowledged, encouraged, and valued – just like that.

When it comes to bookmakers, their main objective is to motivate players to bet on live and express events. This is all about boosting player engagement. However, operators generally prefer not to invest excessive time and resources into managing bonuses and customisation, as it can be a challenging task.

Another challenge revolves around content. It involves the need to brainstorm ideas, create content, publish it on the site, promote it to players, and most importantly, ensure that they engage with it. Many companies maintain dedicated departments to handle these tasks, specifically focusing on content management. Unfortunately, this can result in substantial financial overhead as these departments need ongoing maintenance and resources.

Our system empowers operators to effortlessly create new bonuses in a matter of minutes. Even for bonuses that were issued in the past, it takes less than a minute to relaunch them. The brilliance of our system lies in its ability to automatically generate T&C and banners, completely removing the need for operators to get involved in this process.

Furthermore, when a bonus reaches its expiration date, our system removes the associated banner and all related content automatically. This means operators don’t have to spend their valuable time and energy on content management. In essence, we strive to save our partners precious time and streamline their operations. With our product, we aim to shift operators’ primary focus towards attracting more traffic while automating repetitive tasks, ultimately making their workflow much more efficient.

The SOFTSWISS Sportsbook comes equipped with integrated gamification features, including exclusive industry bonuses and jackpots, providing both players and operators with a wide array of enhancements to elevate their gaming experience. Beyond the typical sports betting bonuses, the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook boasts four entirely unique bonuses that play a pivotal role in substantially boosting player engagement – Hunting Bonus, Hunting Tournaments, Lootbox Bonuses, Freebet Booster.

Another challenge that operators often grapple with is determining the right value for bonuses. It’s essential that players receive bonuses that match their betting activity and continue to entice them. This balance is critical in all areas of betting, whether it is online casinos, offline casinos, or sports betting.

The main obstacle here is finding a way to reward smaller players appropriately without overly lavishing them with bonuses. For instance, it wouldn’t make sense for a player betting just 1 euro to receive a whopping 100 euro bonus. Conversely, it’s equally vital not to underwhelm high-value players. It can be quite awkward when a VIP player, who is wagering substantial amounts, is offered a mere 100 euro bonus. Finding this balance is a delicate yet crucial aspect of our work.

The real challenge here is to make sure we automate this system effectively. Fortunately, we’ve got it covered through our Hunting Bonus. Our system operates seamlessly in automatic mode, guaranteeing that players who consistently bet larger amounts, like 3,000 euro, get the free bets they deserve.

The SOFTSWISS Sportsbook smoothly integrates with various platforms, seamlessly collaborating with their CRM systems and features. This eliminates the need for extensive operator retraining, allowing them to continue working with familiar tools and processes. Additionally, it offers enhanced customisation options for a more personalised experience.

More importantly, this flexibility extends beyond SOFTSWISS platforms. Operators are not confined to using platforms exclusively developed by SOFTSWISS. They can effortlessly incorporate our Sportsbook functionality into a diverse array of platforms, whether within or outside the SOFTSWISS ecosystem.


What business metrics can be improved with gamification tools and bonuses?

The operator can offer a bonus for the next month if a player’s deposits exceed 1,000 euro for the current month, given that the player typically deposits around 800 euro. In this scenario, even if the player’s current deposits stand at 800 euro, and they may not have the full amount readily available, there’s a strong likelihood that they will make an additional 200 euro to qualify for the bonus. This action automatically elevates the player’s status or level.

By focusing on a player group that typically places an average bet of, let’s say, 5 euro, the operator can implement a unique bonus strategy. For instance, for players who achieve a winning streak in football bets with a wager of 7.5 euro, every third successful bet activates a 10 euro free bet. As players persist in their betting activities and progressively raise their average bet, often without being consciously aware of it, the operator witnesses a natural 50% increase in their average bet size.

Consequently, the operator anticipates a corresponding 50% increase in Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR). While the bonus component of the operator’s expenses does increase in this scenario, it typically remains around 25%, and the GGR surges by 50%. In essence, the operator gains an additional 25% in overall revenue.

Regarding bonuses, operators in both casinos and sports betting often fail to address a crucial aspect: defining the bonus offer’s purpose. Operators must precisely determine their incentive goals, whether it’s increasing deposits, raising the average bet size, or prolonging player engagement. Bonuses should be strategically tailored to encourage players to take particular actions that align with the operator’s objectives.

When implementing a bonus, it’s imperative to recognise the intended impact on a particular metric and establish clear, measurable criteria for assessing its success. This clarity ensures that bonuses are not just a perk for players but also a strategic tool for driving desired outcomes in the operator’s favour.



SOFTSWISS is an international iGaming company supplying certified software solutions for managing gambling operations. The expert team, which counts 1,500+ employees, is based in Malta, Poland, Georgia, and Belarus.  SOFTSWISS holds a number of gaming licences and provides one-stop-shop iGaming software solutions. The company has a vast product portfolio, including the Online Casino Platform, the Game Aggregator with thousands of casino games, the Affilka affiliate platform, the Sportsbook Platform and the Jackpot Aggregator. In 2013 SOFTSWISS was the first in the world to introduce a bitcoin-optimised online casino solution. interview: Bringing AI-based betting to Europe

Reading Time: 5 minutes has already firmly established itself as North America’s most exciting AI-personalised betting providers – with major deals signed with the likes of Playtech, AWS, Kambi and Nascar, as well as multi-million dollar investment from some of the biggest funds in the industry, including SeventySix Capital.

With exciting plans to cross the Atlantic and bring the AI betting revolution to Europe, we caught up with’s Co-Founder and President Jason Angelides, to talk through the tech behind providing individual personalised betting offers for each player.

For our European readers who might not yet know about’s success stateside – can you talk us through your company and what you bring to the market?

Sure.  Thank you for your interest in our business.  Our business really is all about the end user and making the betting experience easier, more engaging, and most importantly – driving retention.  I understand that that claim is somewhat cliche, but in the case of, it’s completely true.  We do this by harnessing the power of our proprietary AI – providing technology that personalises the end-user experience and takes into account the specific preferences of each individual player to give them a unique and fully tailored betting experience based on their preferences.

I use this analogy a lot – think of us as the technology behind what powers the way Spotify helps listeners find and discover new music via automatic suggestions.  Or how Netflix, or any other leading video service, puts the content you want directly in front of you without being prompted. Of course, this personalisation really streamlines and improves the user experience with navigation, discovery and selection.

Just like with Spotify and Netflix, we provide what can broadly be termed an AI-driven personalisation platform, and it’s a true gamechanger for operators when it comes to creating a

much more personalised experience for their end users.  It is a proven method of driving engagement, retention, and customer lifetime value – and in my view, the technology that will transform betting and iGaming in the years to come.

How much of a game-changer do you see AI being for the European market? How essential is it to improving the European UX and what are the real benefits in terms of engagement and incremental revenue?

We see AI and personalisation being a game-changer globally – and Europe’s certainly no exception. Being one of the world’s most advanced markets when it comes to the end-user experience, we’ve already seen how much of a difference-maker personalisation has been for leader companies in other verticals such as Search, Advertising, Social, E-Commerce, Video, Music and Retail.

Winners in all of these industries have mastered delivery (ease of consumption) and delivering an individually tailored UX for each customer. For example, Netflix and Amazon first made it easier to consume their offerings, and then via the extensive use of data, they then honed personalisation to the point that it has become synonymous with their product.

We’ve already covered how Spotify’s hyper-personalisation AI keeps customers engaged by consistently suggesting new music that aligns with their listening preferences. The number of resources they’ve channelled into AI-driven personalisation has ensured that it has become the dominant music streaming platform with little or no competitors to take them on.  And, nearly 35% of Amazon’s sales come directly from personalisation efforts while 56% of these shoppers are more likely to be repeat buyers. We see the gaming industry as being no different.  It’s really just the next tech sector where personalisation will create meaningful revenue benefits.  Thus far, no one has emerged as the winner in iGaming, and we’re here to change that.

In terms of adoption – are you one of the first to be offering AI-based personalisation for sportsbook and casino? Do you see Europe as being slower to adopt than the US?

Yes, we are certainly one of the first, if not the only company taking a different approach to addressing the problem.  There are some legacy providers that utilise different methodologies, but we are certainly breaking new ground in the space. We actually have received over 30 claims of our Omnibus patent (which is part of our proprietary AI) – so I guess we are doing something unique!

I believe the major advantage we have here is how long we have been doing this as a business.

The last company we founded built personalised fan engagement experiences for viewers across North America.  That company, largely because of its personalisation platform, was bought for millions by Comcast and now powers some of the largest personalised sports video portals across Sky TV, NBC, and Comcast Xfinity.

In terms of the adoption of personalisation in the EU, I think the interest and pace of adoption are going to be equally as aggressive as it is in the US right now.  The EU is a mature market with established players that can meaningfully impact their businesses with AI and ML.

While the US is innovating more with personalisation, the US is still a growing market so there are many other things happening at the same time such as new market rollouts and platform migrations that can get in the way. Europe on the other hand, is an established and mature market – where tech solutions to give operators an edge over the competition are already in hot demand.

You recently launched Personalised Same Game Parlays in time for the US football season, can you see products like these being easily adapted for European betting habits – such as pre-match accumulators for soccer?

Absolutely.  It’s all about making things easier and more entertaining for the end user – regardless of the market or sport.  In the case of our Personalised Parlay generator (or accumulators, as we would call them in Europe), instead of the user having to bounce from screen to screen to create a Parlay / Accumulator, our system automatically generates the parlays for the end user based on their preferences. This helps the gaming operators as well since many of them use manual processes for putting specialised offers in front of their customers.  Now this can be customised around user preferences automatically, which is real gamechanger for engagement and retention.

Last but not least – looking at the European market, what’s your take on the current state of play here in comparison to the growth of sportsbook in the US over the last 5 years?

That’s hard to answer in just a few words but certainly, the adoption of iGaming in the US is nothing but astounding.

While not without its hiccups, iGaming will no doubt continue to expand as a form of entertainment in the US markets as more and more states begin issuing licences for online casino.

I think what is really notable about the US in comparison to the EU (and indeed the rest of the world), is how AI and personalisation are at the forefront of the US growth strategy.US operators clearly understand that they cannot compete without product differentiation and multiple ways to monetise their customers.

We can see this with the shift into entertainment. So many more brands are now taking this to the next level by providing an ecosystem that is so much more than just a place to make a bet or play a casino game.

Fanatics, for example, who really are a major online retailer of licensed sports merchandise, is now going full bore into the iGaming space, and at the forefront of its strategy is personalisation.  To put this into perspective – this is like Amazon when it was just selling books. So much more now lies ahead. In the future, just like Amazon, you can expect Fanatics to offer a lot more, whether it’s shirts, merchandise, NFTs -you name it. Of course, AI and machine learning driven personalization are going to be at the forefront of their strategy.  The same goes for the other leading companies in the US.

Of course, given we’re leading the AI adoption charge, we see this a very good for iGaming as competition, and the search for differentiated will always lead to innovation. For companies like us at – we’ll be here to provide that technology and truly power the next era of innovation.


Interview with Lars Kollind, head of Business Development at Swintt

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Having enjoyed a stellar start to 2023 during which the company signed countless high-profile partnerships and entered a number of new regulated markets, we caught up with Swintt’s Head of Business Development, Lars Kollind to learn a bit more about the in-demand software studio and what we can expect to see from them in the coming months.

Can you tell us a bit about Swintt’s history and how the brand started in the online gaming industry?

Swintt was founded in 2019 by David Flynn, who came into his role as CEO with a huge amount of industry experience and a great reputation within online gaming. He was soon joined by another David – David Mann – and over the years Swintt grew from these two employees to the 40 we have today. In that time, David Mann progressed in his role from CCO to current CEO, with David Flynn moving over to the board of Glitnor Group, the parent company of Swintt. From those humble beginnings, Swintt has forged a reputation as one of the industry’s go-to software providers while developing over 110 slots and live casino releases.

What sets Swintt apart from other software companies and how do you differentiate your products?

The quality of our team makes a big difference. Over the years, we’ve assembled a talented group of industry experts that has allowed us to forge really strong relationships with all our customers. From a product perspective, however, the biggest differentiating factor is probably our recently launched SwinttStudios partnership program. This initiative is genuinely unique when compared to other aggregator partnership programs as we really go all-in to support the studios we work with, from the initial onboarding onto our RGS through to technical, commercial and marketing support later on.

Swintt has partnerships with some of the industry’s leading online casino operators. Can you tell us a bit more about how you develop these relationships and what they mean for the brand’s growth?

This again goes back to the talented team that we’ve put together. Everyone employed at Swintt shares the same attitude and values that have helped to form our company culture over the years – and they’ve all been in the industry long enough to know how to form good relationships with customers. I think this has enabled Swintt to build up a very strong reputation within the industry, which of course makes it far easier for us when we approach new partners as they know we’re a name they can trust.

What does the process look like for developing a new casino game at Swintt from concept to launch?

From a conceptual perspective, the first thing is to look at the competition and see what’s popular in terms of mechanics and themes. This can be done via market research or by having account managers speak to operators to see what’s popular or gaining in popularity on their platforms. Once a concept is decided it then moves onto the games team for development and we’ll often try to add a unique Swintt spin – like we do with our Xtra series – to bring something new to the market. After launch, we pay close attention to feedback from customers, streamers, and affiliates to further refine this process.

Swintt has expanded into a number of new regulated markets recently – can you tell us a bit more about where you’re currently focused and some of the challenges you’ve faced while getting there?

Generally speaking, our goal is to always try and ensure our games are available in as many regulated markets as possible. We’re going to be live in the UK soon – which is something we’re all very excited about – and customers can expect to see a big push on that front. Beyond that, some of the other markets we’re really focused on include Ontario, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece. In terms of challenges, ensuring you’re compliant with each country’s regulations is a big one, but also catering for player tastes in each market as well – something we do really well with our SwinttPremium and SwinttGames portfolios.

What industry trends and themes are getting popular now and how is Swintt responding to them?

This obviously depends a lot on the market you’re operating in, but I’d say players are generally getting more demanding in terms of what they expect from a game. These days, it’s important to be innovate and ensure you bring something new to customers – and this is what we try to do with our Xtra series of games. These titles all combine immersive themes with ground-breaking bonus mechanics, such as the unique Tiki free spins feature found in our popular Aloha Spirit XtraLockTM slot.

How does Swintt ensure games are fair and safe and what steps do you take to maintain player trust?

Player safety is at the heart of everything we do at Swintt and we always make sure we follow all the rules regarding player protection in every market that we operate in. In terms of maintaining player trust, we try to get as close to the end user as possible by taking on board any feedback we get from streamers and affiliates. We also do everything we can to portray gambling purely as an entertainment.

What’s Swintt’s vision for the future of online gaming and how are you working to shape that future?

We believe online gaming will continue to grow and we hope regulations will become more reasonable – for players, game providers and operators – to facilitate that growth and not drive customers to unregulated sites. In terms of how we’ll work towards this future, Swintt will continue to support player protection and responsible gambling by adhering to all applicable laws in the regulated markets we operate in while also promoting casino gaming as an entertainment.

Can you tell us about any exciting new projects that Swintt customers can expect to see this year?

We’ll be onboarding more boutique studios into our SwinttStudios program, but we will also be focusing on our in-house development and produce more titles for the next generation of casino player via our SwinttGames line-up while continuing to provide classic slots from the SwinttPremium range. In terms of specific titles, we’ll be continuing our partnership with Vinnie Jones for two exciting upcoming releases – The Crown Reloaded and Crazy Footy – the latter one of which we’ll be promoting at our SBC Barcelona stand where guests can also enter a fun penalty shootout competition to win great prizes!


Greek Aspirations: A Legal Perspective on Soft2Bet’s Entry with General Counsel David Yatom Hay

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In a market as dynamic and heavily regulated as iGaming, making the right move at the right time is crucial. As Soft2Bet sets its sights on the Greek iGaming arena, we had the opportunity to speak with the company’s General Counsel, David Yatom Hay. With an eye for detail and a knack for navigating complex regulatory landscapes, David offers invaluable insights into Soft2Bet’s strategic entry into Greece. In this exclusive interview, we delve into the legal challenges, market prospects, and what it really takes to make a mark in a new territory. Stay tuned as David Yatom unveils the intricate layers of Soft2Bet’s Greek Odyssey.

Can you describe the process and challenges, if any, faced in acquiring the A1 License in Greece?

We have the privilege of closely collaborating with the Hellenic Gambling Commission, and we deeply value their commitment to assisting us in securing this license. Their efficient processes, combined with the expertise of our compliance team, have made our interactions seamless. Our team’s prior experience in securing our recent operating license in Greece further streamlined our recent endeavors. Our compliance professionals have continuously been diligently working on multiple license applications, showcasing their proficiency in securing any license the company sets its sights on.

How do you think this B2B license will change Soft2Bet’s operations within the Greek market, particularly in relation to your recent acquisition of the Greek B2C License?

Securing a license was not only a regulatory obligation for our operations in Greece but also a pivotal step in our long-term company strategy. This move strengthens our B2B approach and empowers us to extend our advanced technological solutions to other operators, including those in the Greek market. With this license, we can cater to both existing and prospective operators in Greece. We pride ourselves on our distinctive products and designs, which give us a competitive edge. We are now ideally positioned to provide these specialized services for operators looking to elevate their offerings, design, user experience, and overall technological operations.

Soft2Bet has a demonstrated commitment to operating within regulated markets across Europe. How does the Greek market fit into your larger European strategy?

Soft2Bet consistently seeks opportunities in regulated markets and remains alert to possibilities for obtaining relevant licenses. While numerous European markets are filled with operators, the Greek market is distinct. It’s competitive but not yet oversaturated, offering Soft2Bet a chance to showcase its gaming expertise. As we move forward, Soft2Bet is committed to broadening its reach to additional regulated markets, emphasizing its dedication to growth and excellence.

Finally, can you share a bit more about the future plans of Soft2Bet, especially in relation to your growth and expansion in other regulated markets?

As mentioned earlier, we continuously strive to secure more licenses and broaden our reach into established and emerging markets. We aim to evolve as a supplier, and the recent acquisition of our B2B license in Greece underscores this strategic vision. Additionally, we remain committed to enhancing our technological capabilities and elevating the gaming experience we offer.

 You mentioned that obtaining this license exemplifies the best of partnerships with HGC. Can you elaborate on the nature of this collaboration?

Soft2Bet is thrilled about the recent B2B license acquisition in Greece, and we have exciting plans for its utilization. Our primary focus is to leverage this license for our B2C operations, ensuring a seamless and efficient process for our own platform.

However, our ambitions don’t stop there. In parallel with our B2C endeavors, we are determined to support and enhance our B2B expansion efforts. Soft2Bet is committed to extending our platform’s capabilities to existing operators in Greece and welcoming any new operators aiming to enter these markets in the future.

What sets us apart from other turnkey providers is our product’s excellence, exceptional design, and player experience including, specifically, our gamification features. These unique qualities not only enhance our own operations but also provide an unparalleled edge to other operators who choose to collaborate with us.

We firmly believe that our services will be a game-changer for operators in Greece, and we are hopeful that they will recognize the value we bring to the table. Soft2Bet is ready to offer top-notch support and expertise to all operators who make the smart choice of partnering with us.

With this recent B2B license, Soft2Bet is poised for an exciting and successful journey in the Greek market, and we look forward to making a positive impact on the industry.

This license enables Soft2Bet to offer supplier services to operators in the Greek market. Can you tell us a bit more about the services you plan to offer?

This license allows us to offer gaming and betting platform services – which is the core of our solutions at Soft2Bet. Our tech especially stands out for its unique gamification features, extensive localization, and broad capabilities for personalization – three crucial aspects of modern iGaming solutions, demanded by all operators striving for leadership positions in any given market. These highly gamified, locally relevant solutions that can be adjusted to certain needs and requirements of the Greek audience, are already anticipated in the market and, I believe, will help us secure a decent share among other providers.

Soft2Bet is dedicated to enhancing its technological offerings. How does the acquisition of this license align with your technology roadmap?

We are always working on innovative technologies and unique features that differentiate us from other providers. Our user-friendly platform with wide customization capabilities, combined with our gamification and localization services, sets us apart from competitors. There’s great demand for these products and services, and we are committed to expanding our reach in Europe and beyond, to ensure sustained growth. Our Greek license is another crucial step in realization of this strategy.

As you focus on expanding your B2B engagements, what types of collaborations are you looking to foster in the Greek market?

Our goal is to reach out to both current and prospective operators in the market to provide our technological package. We are eager to collaborate with operators who share our vision of achieving great things and are searching for innovative solutions to elevate their businesses.


Exclusive Q&A w/ Nick McDonald, Account Director at Fujitsu

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Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your role at Fujitsu?

My name is Nick McDonald, and I am an account director at Fujitsu focused on iGaming.


Can you tell us about Fujitsu and its background in iGaming?

Fujitsu has been working with customers globally in the iGaming industry for around 7 years. In that time, we have continued to grow and evolve our offerings in this space and can now provide and deliver iGaming technology solutions alongside our partners in over 100 territories. Our latest campaign is also being supported by Intel, one of the leading tech companies in the world, with their experience helping us to take our iGaming campaign to the next level.


Can you tell us more about the iGaming products that Fujitsu provides?

There are a number of different offerings we have in the iGaming space. Our core is manufacturing data centre technology, focusing on hybrid cloud, servers, storage, and similar technologies.

However, how we deploy and support these tailored to iGaming companies sets our products apart. One of our primary offerings is PRIMEFLEX. This tried and tested technology solution has helped customers change how they approach cloud and data storage.

One of our main goals is to assist customers on their Cloud journey.  Many customers are in an area of Cloud Chaos right now, and we can help support them and work alongside them to help them navigate this and find new solutions in helping them choose the right cloud for the right workload.

We support this journey for iGaming customers by enabling them to utilise our Uscale offering. This allows customers to have their own on-premise technology infrastructure but consume it as a service, giving them the best of both worlds.


Your services to iGaming companies are largely based on data. Tell us about that

The amount of Data generated in the iGaming space is huge. We at Fujitsu, alongside Intel and our ecosystem of partners, can help iGaming companies by utilising skillsets and technology platforms to get the best value from that data and ensure any data generated is kept secure and compliant.


In terms of compliance and regulation, how can Fujitsu help iGaming companies?

Fujitsu, alongside our ecosystem and software partners, can stand up and support varying technology stacks in all regulated territories today. They can approach markets knowing they are backed up and supported by one of the largest global IT providers in the world.


Fujitsu is committed to sustainability, can you tell us more about that?

As a company, we have made a significant commitment to sustainability and have implemented various initiatives to address environmental and social challenges, The company’s sustainability vision is centred around the concept of ‘Human-centric Innovation’, aiming to leverage technology to create a more sustainable and prosperous society. Our partners must share this vision, which is why we work closely with Intel on our iGaming products.


Who are you currently working with in the iGaming industry?

We currently work with a handful of the largest platform providers in the iGaming space, and we have predominantly been focused on these for the past few years. We are now beginning to look for more customers to help in this space following the success we have seen with our products.


Why should iGaming companies choose Fujitsu?

One of the biggest reasons iGaming companies choose to work with Fujitsu is our flexibility. We do not have a one-size fits all approach with our technology. Instead, we work with a range of Hybrid and Cloud software vendors to help customers on their journey.

We also have a huge ecosystem of partners we can work with regarding delivery or hosting within territory backed up by support from Fujitsu, one of the world’s largest Global IT service delivery companies. We continue to be very people-centric and understand the need to pick up the phone and speak to someone about being able to deliver different forms of technology somewhere quickly.


Moving forward, how will you evolve your offering?

Fujitsu, with support from Intel, will continue to invest in our Hybrid Cloud offerings and our growth in the iGaming industry.  AI will also be a big growth area for us, helping to create technology stacks and solutions for AI. We also want to ensure customers are looking at AI for the right reasons and delivering these solutions for the better.


Exclusive Evoplay interview on Italy: “We’re creating high-quality games that can really appeal to Italian players.”

Reading Time: 5 minutes


Italy is arguably Europe’s second biggest gaming market and the most interesting when it comes to retail vs. online – with 80% or more players still part of the land-based scene.

We caught up with Evoplay CCO Vladimir Malakchi to hear the latest on their plans for capturing the market, as well as how the award-winning studio’s games are proving to be a real asset for their latest Italian partners.


Congratulations on Evoplay’s multiple deals as you expand into Italy! Can you tell us a bit more about your recent partnerships and your plans for further growth in the market?

Thank you! We’re very excited about our recent partnerships and our plans for further expansion. We entered Italy back in 2020, and, over the past three years, we’ve ensured constant growth in players’ interest, trust and openness towards trying out our latest titles.

I truly believe that the key to any commercial success is the partnerships and connections we build with the operators we work alongside. As a result, we are very proud to work with some of the country’s biggest brands. Last year was by far our best yet, securing deals with the likes of Tuko Productions, Scommettendo and Sportbet. Our award-winning slots and instant games have proven to be a real differentiator, and we’re delighted that the feedback has been so positive.

On plans for further growth, we’re strongly focused on building our partner relationships even more, as well as creating high-quality games that can really appeal to Italian players. Our unique gamification tools will no doubt be key to this and are a strong factor in our focus on boosting engagement. So, in short, we’re very excited about Italy’s potential, and we’re confident that our unique approach will continue to resonate with players and partners alike.

What has been the principal driver behind Evoplay selecting Italy as a key market for growth? How would you summarise Italy’s online audience and demographics?

Our main drive here is the increasing adoption of online gaming from land-based. The numbers are clear to see; the online market revenue is projected to grow by 6.69% annually between 2023 and 2027, reaching a total volume of €3.68bn. On audience and demographics, the country is incredibly broad and diverse – which means significant opportunity. There’s a potential market of up to 20 million people for online, with a ratio of approximately 60:40 of male vs. female.

Given that near-parity, we can pursue plenty of creative options. The 25-34 age group is the largest segment, so demand for innovative entertainment is on the rise – which is a gap that Evoplay is serving well! It’s also good to note the level of smartphone penetration – with over 80% of the population using new generation smartphones, game content should be heavily mobile-optimised.

As well as being one of Europe’s biggest gaming markets – Italy also has a unique retail heritage with as much as 90% of gaming still happening offline. What strengths can you offer to operators to provide a platform for conversion into the online world?

Italy’s land-based gaming heritage certainly sets it apart from the rest of Europe. Online gaming holds distinctive benefits such as convenience, a greater variety of games, and of course, bonuses and promotions such as tournaments and quests. I believe that in-game and out-game gamification tools can effectively drive player engagement and improve conversion efforts for sports bettors and offline players. And, of course, those in-game and out-game gamification features add to the whole thrill of playing online, creating a community.

At Evoplay, we pride ourselves on our ability to create immersive and engaging games offline with strong visual and audio elements that can create an experience as exciting as a real casino. We believe that this is particularly important in the Italian market, where players are accustomed to the sensory experience of playing offline and improving conversion efforts for sports bettors and offline players. As a result, we focus heavily on our unique range of gamification features and incentives for our partners.

In addition, we also work closely with our partners to ensure that our games are integrated seamlessly onto their platforms, making it easy for players to access and play them. We understand that trust is a key factor in Italy, so we emphasise ensuring that our games are secure and reliable.

Onto slot types – what gaming trends are you seeing for Italian players and how are you catering to that demand? Which of Evoplay’s games is performing the best?

It’s common knowledge that football is Italy’s favourite sport, and it’s a huge industry with millions of people betting on it. This has had a significant impact on gaming trends in the country. Instant games have become particularly popular, providing a nice contrast to the wait for live sports fixtures when betting. Players love the instant results they get from these games, and it’s a refreshing change of pace. So of course, football-themed games work perfectly for this. Another trend we are seeing is that Italians love to play chicken-themed titles, so this is certainly an avenue we’re continuing to develop!

We are always looking to stay ahead of the curve and provide our Italian players with the latest and most innovative gaming experiences. Classic slots, video slots, in-game gamification elements, out-game gamification, tournaments, and quests are trending heavily, and we’re actively catering to that demand. Our current top-performing games in the Italian market are Penalty Shoot-out, Fruit Super Nova Game Collection, Elven Princesses, and Hot Triple Sevens. These games are loved by players for their engaging gameplay, stunning graphics, and exciting bonus features.

As a truly innovative studio, how can you help online operators improve their conversion efforts for sports bettors and offline players? What can you offer that’s different?

Sports, and indeed sports betting, is an essential part of the Italian fabric. We understand that importance, and we’re proud to offer RNG-based games that provide a unique sports betting experience.

Our games are also designed to be integrated seamlessly with sports betting platforms, which means that players can quickly switch between gaming and sports betting, with the same action enjoyed across both. Evoplay’s RNG-based Football Pack is a vital component of this commitment as it offers a unique and exciting experience that adds to the overall thrill of the betting experience.

Testament to this is the success of our Penalty Shoot-out. This instant game is unique because it features an innovative betting method that keeps players engaged and excited. As players navigate through the game, they experience a realistic penalty shoot-out where they get to choose the nation they want to represent and aim for goal.

Last but not least, what’s Evoplay’s vision for Italy 2023 and 2024? What are your plans for growing even further in the market and entertaining players?

Our vision for Italy in 2023 and 2024 is focused on growth and continued innovation. The market is a core part of our European strategy, and we’re committed to providing the best gaming experiences possible for players here.

To achieve this, we’re launching new games of different types that are tailored to local audiences. Especially exciting is that players can expect another game in the Penalty Shoot-out series. Additionally, we’re also preparing our next flagship game, which is truly fresh and unique, and we’re confident it will be a real hit with players here.

We’re also providing our partners with different game packages that include marketing activities and engagement opportunities. We also see plenty more opportunity in transitioning land-based players to online, which gamification will be a key driver towards achieving.  We make calculated data-driven moves, so we will be gathering all the data and feedback from our operators and based on the collected information, we will prepare our next steps and make predictions for 2024.


Exclusive Altenar interview: The latest on the Spanish market

Reading Time: 2 minutes


The Spanish market is one of the most exciting in Europe. With the likes of mobile sports betting on the rise to take on the dominance of retail, we spoke with Alejandro Cazorla, Sales Manager at Altenar, about the current situation in the region and what he thinks players will be drawn to over the next 12 months.


Altenar has really made a name for itself as one of the Spanish market’s fastest growing tier one sportsbook suppliers – can you talk us through your 2022 success and your major partnerships?

It’s truly amazing. We have great trust in our product delivering the desirable content, features and technologies to any given market space. Spain’s landscape is growing increasingly competitive in nature, and we’re finding that our high levels of customisation and a drive to continuously improve our technologies has been key to our 2022 success and hopefully the cornerstone for plenty more achievements to come.

We have partnered with some major players in Spain’s betting market such as Casino Gran Madrid, Jokerbet, and Paston, and from their players and their expertise we’re able to implement the required changes or customisations to better service their sportsbook needs.

What do you believe has been key to making Altenar’s sportsbook standout to prospective Spanish partners? How much do you tailor your tech and UX to suit local players?

We have a truly 360-degree operating system, with the ability to compile reports for a host of needs, as well as extensive must-have content, multiple industry-leading official data providers, and the ability to handle large and increasingly complex data sets from 1000s of bets placed around the world at every minute of the day.

From our growing banks of data, we’re able to better tailor our sportsbook features, content, and backend essentials. Whilst we implement new technologies into our UX, such as widget technology, our operators can ensure brand diversification in a competitive market, making sure they truly standout.

How much do you see Spanish players being unique in terms of betting habits? Is retail still proving to be as popular as it was pre-pandemic?

Over time, we’re seeing a significant increase in Spain into mobile and online betting, as opposed to retail, however at present retail is still the favoured pastime for Spain, so it still remains the dominant channel. I expect mobile and online betting to continue to prove increasingly popular over the next 12 months, so it will be interesting to see where the land lies with this at the start of 2024.

Last but not least, looking at your extensive experience in Spain, what are your predictions for the market in the year ahead? How much do you see the sports betting market evolving and growing?

I predict that we’ll see a lot of change, with more players arriving at the realisation that betting can be a fun form of entertainment.

We will also see global sports events back in full-swing and the start of the new football seasons in August and September will see a sharp rise in bets placed. Finally, as I touched on before, I expect to see a greater adoption of mobile betting which could see increased usage for Spain. Overall, I think the Spanish market is in for an exciting 12 months.


Q&A w/ Jean-Pierre Houareau, CEO at Live Solutions about the Romanian market

Reading Time: 5 minutes


What is the state of play in the Romanian market?

In 2019, the Romanian gambling market generated a total revenue of €1.5 billion, representing an increase of 12.5% compared to the previous year. This growth was driven primarily by the online gambling sector, which accounted for nearly 25% of the total market share.

The Romanian gambling market is regulated by the National Gambling Office (ONJN), which oversees licensing and regulation of all forms of gambling in the country. In recent years, the ONJN has implemented stricter regulations for online gambling operators, including mandatory technical standards, responsible gambling measures, and increased taxation.

Despite these regulations, the Romanian gambling market continues to attract new players and operators. In 2020, several major international gambling companies received licenses to operate in Romania, including bet365, Betfair, and 888 Holdings. Additionally, the Romanian government has recently announced plans to further liberalize the gambling market, including plans to allow for the construction of large-scale casinos in certain areas.

It is worth noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the Romanian gambling market, as it has in many other countries. During the pandemic, many land-based casinos and betting shops were forced to close, leading to a surge in online gambling activity. It remains to be seen how the pandemic will continue to impact the Romanian gambling market in the long term.


How are your games helping operators to unlock the market’s full potential?

Here at Live Solutions we have created of its kind casino tables games with video chat which currently no other provider offers. In our opinion, operators can create differentiation for themselves by offering unique, innovative and engaging games to attract and retain players.

Our features are nothing if not unique and innovative and are available in 55 languages which can help to drive players towards new content.

The incorporation of this technology within the gaming space can offer a more immersive and interactive gambling experience. These new technologies can help to create a more engaging and enjoyable experience for players, which can lead to increased player loyalty and retention.

Overall, by offering a wide range of innovative and engaging games, operators can meet the needs and preferences of players, differentiate themselves from their competitors, and create a more sustainable and successful gambling market.


Why do you consider Romania to be such an important market?

Romania has a population of over 19 million people, making it one of the larger markets in Europe. This represents a significant potential customer base for gambling operators, both online and land-based.

The Romanian gambling market is relatively new and has been growing rapidly in recent years, which has attracted a lot of interest from international gambling companies. This growth is likely to continue as the Romanian economy continues to develop and the demand for gambling entertainment increases.

Romania has a relatively low tax rate on gambling activities, which makes it an attractive destination for operators looking to minimize their tax liabilities. This has helped to attract new operators to the market, which in turn has increased competition and driven further growth.

As a member of the European Union (EU) Romania benefits from EU regulations and protections. This provides a stable regulatory environment for operators and helps to ensure the safety and security of customers.


Do player preferences differ from other markets? What does localisation look like in Romania?

Player preferences in the Romanian gambling market may differ from other markets due to cultural and demographic differences. However, there are also many similarities between the Romanian market and other European markets in terms of player preferences.

In terms of localisation, many international gambling operators have adapted their products and services to meet the needs and preferences of Romanian players. This may involve translating their websites and games into Romanian, offering local payment methods, and providing customer support in Romanian. Some operators may also offer localized promotions and bonuses that are tailored specifically to the Romanian market.

Additionally, the ONJN has implemented strict regulations for online gambling operators that require them to offer games that are appropriate for Romanian players. This may include games that are popular in Romania, such as traditional card games like Baccarat or Rummy, as well as popular slot games.

While there may be some differences in player preferences in the Romanian market, many international gambling operators have adapted their products and services to meet the needs of local players, and the ONJN has implemented regulations to ensure that operators are offering appropriate games for the market. This localisation helps to ensure that the Romanian gambling market remains attractive and accessible to both local and international operators.


What is the competitive landscape like? Is there room for operators to enter and claim solid market share?

While there are some established operators in the market, there is still a significant amount of competition and opportunities for new entrants.

In the online gambling sector, there are a number of international operators that have entered the market, including major players such as Bet365, 888 Holdings, and PokerStars. Additionally, there are also several local operators that have been successful in the market, including Superbet, Fortuna, and Netbet.

In the land-based sector, there are a number of casinos and slot parlours operating in Romania, including the famous Casino Bucharest and Palace Casino.

The ONJN has implemented strict regulations for online gambling operators, including technical standards, responsible gambling measures, and increased taxation, which may present some challenges for new operators entering the market. However, these regulations also help to ensure the safety and security of customers and provide a level playing field for all operators.

Overall, the Romanian gambling market offers opportunities for new operators to enter and claim solid market share, particularly in the online gambling sector, which has seen significant growth in recent years. However, competition is strong and new entrants will need to offer attractive products and services to compete with established operators.


What are some of the challenges being faced?  How can they be overcome?

There are several challenges facing the Romanian gambling market, including:

Increasing taxes: The Romanian government has increased taxes on gambling activities, which has put pressure on operators’ margins and profitability.

Stringent regulations: The ONJN has implemented strict regulations for online gambling operators, which may make it more difficult for new operators to enter the market and compete with established operators.

Competition: The Romanian gambling market is becoming increasingly competitive, with many established operators and new entrants vying for market share.

Problem gambling: As with any gambling market, there is a risk of problem gambling, which can have negative social and economic consequences.

To overcome these challenges, operators and regulators can take several steps, including:

Collaboration and advocacy: Operators can work together and with industry associations to advocate for more favourable tax and regulatory policies.

Innovation: Operators can differentiate themselves by offering innovative products and services that meet the changing needs and preferences of players.

Customer protection: Operators can invest in responsible gambling measures, such as self-exclusion tools, to help protect vulnerable players.

Localisation: Operators can adapt their products and services to meet the needs and preferences of local players, which can help to build brand loyalty and increase market share.

Education: Operators and regulators can work together to educate players about the risks associated with gambling and promote responsible gambling behaviours.

Overall, by working together, operators and regulators can help to create a sustainable and successful gambling market in Romania that balances the needs of operators, players, and society as a whole.



Exclusive Interview: Jonathan Power, Founder and MD of Voxbet

Reading Time: 9 minutes


European Gaming talks to Jonathan Power, Founder and MD of Voxbet, about the company’s rise to prominence in the sports betting space and making waves in genuine innovation with its latest betting microphone for sportsbooks.

What was your industry background before you started Voxbet as Onionsack in 2006?

My background was in fintech. My co-founders and I had a background in modernising banking tech for the big UK and Irish banks in the 1990s. We did that until the mid-2000s, and I was always very keen to have my own gig. I wanted to enable something that would enable people to conduct value transactions by text message. This was before the smartphone, but we built a platform that could prove it was you who sent the message. We came up with a number of applications for that technology, but the target was fintech and person-to-person payments.

What I knew from my experience with fintech was that the banks won’t touch anything that hasn’t been proven in another industry. We did a few things. We had person-to-person payments, share trading, we offered the buying of concert tickets, but we chose sports betting. You could make a bet by writing what you would write on a betting slip and sending it in a text message. We would read the text message and know who you are. If it was a high-value transaction, we would prove it was you that sent it by calling you back and taking a print of your voice.

I took a punt that the betting industry would try something like that. I went to a trade show in November, and we went live with the Tote in the UK the following June. It was a time when you could get things done. I never left the industry, and even though I say I’m from a fintech background, I’m actually more from a sports betting background now, in terms of years served.

Did yourself and your partners know much about the sports betting space going into it?

I did as a punter, but I didn’t know who to talk to. I took a stand at a trade show and we did well out of it. From there, we did deals with William Hill and Paddy Power, so we built a nice little business out of that. Smartphones then made text betting quite niche quite quickly, but people who bet with us via text in 2006 still do that with us now. We made a massive pivot (in branding terms, more so than technologically) to move into voice betting about a year-and-a-half ago, and we’ve been Voxbet ever since.

With text betting, what would a supplier offer as opposed to an operator saying “text us on this number”?

We would have read the message and understood it. Everybody is uniquely identifiable by their phone number, so we would know it was you, we would know you had the device in your hand, and what it is you wanted. There was about an 80% chance we could read the message and place the bet automatically, before sending you back confirmation, and there was about a 20% chance we wouldn’t understand it with 100% certainty; in which case we needed a call centre agent to bring some human intelligence to the interaction. That’s the platform which is up and running and it’s still used in a number of places, but it’s not what we’re presenting to everyone now. Everything now is all about voice.

When it came to the voice tech, what did your research tell you about what was missing in that space and were many other suppliers offering it at the time?

There were two things we noticed. The first is that tens of billions of dollars are being spent on voice by big tech companies. Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and IBM all have massive products in the voice space and have spent tens of billions acquiring companies in that space. They have made a huge bet on the future of interacting digitally being voice.

The other factor is an awareness that there’s so much content on the sports betting side now. When sports betting sites first went online, it was more or less taking the shop coupon and putting it on a web page; it was that simple. When Google launched in 1997, there were two million websites in the world; there are now two billion. One sports betting site now offers more than two million things you can bet on, but there was still a way of navigating things before Google entered the scene, where you would go through layers and layers of menus. That’s a poor user experience and it’s not an experience for people other than existing gamblers who have had no choice but to use that system. Young people won’t use it like that. If Spotify was laid out the way a sports betting site is laid out, nobody would use it; it would be unusable. People are used to getting what they want everywhere else online.

This wasn’t something sports betting suppliers had tried before, and it actually turned out to be much more difficult than we expected. We thought we could plug into the existing engines like Google and IBM. They work really well to about 90%, but then they apply artificial intelligence which can change what a customer is saying to something that they didn’t say. Sporting parlance is quite unique. If I said to Google that I wanted a £20 treble on Liverpool, Leeds and Coventry, it will say you want £20 travel to those places! That’s actually a benign example and there are some brand-damaging examples. It’s not the sort of thing you could launch with the kind of mistakes those engines can make, so we’ve had to adapt to that and come up with something specific to sport.

How did you go about creating the technology that could iron out those issues you mention?

We knew an awful lot about sports betting language from our text betting days. We started out on the assumption that if you could understand a bet which is expressed in words, you could understand a spoken bet. But as I say, it did turn out to be more of a challenge than we thought it would be.

The way we have fixed that problem is by creating a dictionary where the only thing that dictionary understands is sporting terms, and we recompile that dictionary every hour, based on which events are on. We’re working on the assumption you won’t bet on something today that starts in a week’s time, and the universe of what you’re trying to understand becomes too complex if you look too far ahead. I’d say 99% of our traffic is for events happening soon. If it’s not accessible by voice, it’s still accessible the old way. You can make the problem much smaller if you say people are betting in this space right now, and then you recompile the language to be relevant to sports betting in this moment. If you keep recompiling it, it will then be phenomenally fast and accurate.

Does this work just as well then if I want to bet on a complex Betbuilder as much as a single match?

It’s working on racing at the moment, and it will do anything up to the most complicated place bot in one hit. You can say ‘£5, place bot,’ and call out all your horses. The target is to eventually include Betbuilders. Once we can do that on horse racing, we will know we can do it on other sports as well.

So how many sports can it work for right now and what sports are you planning to expand to?

In English, the rollout will be in three phases. The first is for horse racing, which is ready to go. The second is for football, which we’re working on, and the third phase is everything else.

How significant could this be for operators, in terms of the percentage of bets that could be placed this way?

That’s something we will begin to understand after we launch. We’re working on an integration in Asia, and in the UK, it will launch before Cheltenham. We don’t know yet, but what we do know from our text betting metrics is that the people who want the easiest way of betting are the people who bet a lot. The average user of a betting app might bet 12-15 times per month. The average user of text betting in France for example bets 160 times per month. Simplicity appeals to those who interact a lot with sportsbooks, and they’re very important customers who are currently poorly served by having to do a lot of digging.

Are you particularly looking at younger demographics within the serious bettor demographic?

We’re after two key demographics. The first is more important in value terms rather than volume terms, so for those who know what they want, we want to give them an easier journey. The second cohort is younger people who engage digitally with their voice every day already. They use interfaces like Spotify and TikTok, and have never had to navigate something like a sportsbook, so that’s a key market for us as well.

Would I need to be logged into the app to use the voice technology?

The intention with our bet mic is that you’re inside the app. We give operators a widget that they can put on their homepage. You press and hold the microphone, say what you want and let go. That then brings you to the betslip.

How compatible would that be then with something like Alexa?

Alexa won’t work for this. It was something we looked into. We did demos on it and it looked impressive when it worked, but the problem at the moment is that Amazon will translate what a customer said to Alexa, and it just gives you the transcript. Amazon has to do that without any context of what you said, so it’s actually phenomenally impressive that it comes even close, but most of the time, it doesn’t come close enough. You can get it to work, but it doesn’t work at a high enough level of accuracy. At the moment, I would say ours will work 99% of the time and produce exactly what you said. It becomes much simpler when you have context, but that means you can’t use tools like Siri and Alexa, because they work without context.

How challenging will it be to get across to people that this is a different way to bet from what people are used to? How will you change people’s mindset and make this the first thing they think to do with a betting app?

People of my age learn from younger people. I see my children do something and then I start doing it. It’s partially going to be down to operators to get it across to their customers that there’s an easier way of doing things. When you see a microphone, you tend to know what it’s for. If you see a microphone on the homepage of a sportsbook, you will wonder if you can just speak your bet.

The likes of Waterhouse VC  have invested in your business. What has that investment been used for specifically and are you still looking for further investment?

Industry heavyweights open doors and their evangelism is transformative to us as a company, because people really listen to them. We use the word ‘ubiquity’ 10 times a day, and that’s our target. We know that when the right innovation hits the industry, everybody wants it. That’s what happened with in-play betting, cashout and in-game multiples, and we think this is in the same category. Those investors can change this from being a niche product which a few people think is cool to something that will become ubiquitous. We’re not looking for further investment. We have a trading business with our text betting, and that’s something we will look at, but not right now.

What is their equity in the business?                                                        

A lot of deals like that these days are structured with underlying options. They’ve bought a small piece but they’ve got an option for a bigger piece. I’d advise any innovator to look at offering industry evangelists deals that are structured like that, because it means they’re not penalised for the value they create. They can buy more at the same value as when they joined the business, even when it’s worth significantly more. All of them have put their own money in.

Does their collective ownership come to around 10% or less than that?

I’d say collectively it’s around 10%, but they have options to go nearer to 20-25%.

What do you think really needs to improve in the area of voice technology and how will you take it on a level?

I think the big tech in this space is amazing and I wouldn’t want to be seen to be in any way critical of it, but they’re working without any context. If you use Google’s voice dictation, it’s phenomenally accurate, but it is having to do that without context. You’ve got so many things happening in a sportsbook, and even if you want to ask about events in the next three hours, it’s too much to ask Google to understand that model, because there’s too many terms.

I think the big tech engines aren’t sufficiently adaptable to customer-facing scenarios in a B2B sense, but the business knows the context. I could be at an insurance company, and I know when someone sends me a voicenote over WhatsApp, they’re going to be talking about making a claim or wanting a renewal. The amount of language that’s relevant in that scenario is a very small fraction of what they’re able to understand, but because they’re open to understanding everything, they get more wrong. I think the ability to configure their platforms for a very narrow context is what makes us different.

How many operators have you partnered with and how many will you go live with at Cheltenham?

We have one media company which we will go live with, and they work with 10 UK bookmakers, so there will be bets placed with this at up to 10 major UK bookmakers.

Going forward, which markets will you focus on?

English is a priority. Everybody wants to focus on the US, but for us, we are also focusing on the Chinese language. We’ve got our platform working for the Asian market, so if we can do that, we can do anything. English will be the priority, but our biggest customer is PMU in French, which is easy for us to do. We’re undecided but we will take the opportunities where they come. A new language requirement will take about a month for us to get it working.

Do you have a target for the number of sites you want to be live with in the next few years?

We want to be live on at least 100 sites in three years and want to be on almost every site within five years.

How will the technology evolve over the next few years to allow that to happen?

The voice technology that’s out there is good enough. It will really depend on whether operators want to offer a chat-style user interface, where a customer can say: ‘I want to bet and I fancy Liverpool to beat Spurs tonight. What will the price be if put 20 quid on that?’ That’s not our approach. We just want customers to say: ‘£20, Liverpool to win.’

The whole area of what’s happening with ChatGPT and AI could change what user experiences people want and how they want to engage. I think people want to engage with technology as though it’s technology and want to engage with people naturally. It would be sad if people wanted to engage with technology as though it’s a person, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.