RORY ANDERSON: Bookmakers have a battle to find value in football sponsorship BETTING NEWS 8
VIVA ESPANA: Key products and services that will be on show at this month’s EiG ESSENTIAL GUIDE 18
ON TRACK: Betfair in line with expectations despite a 13 per cent drop in revenue BUSINESS 42
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£5.20 (€8.30) • ISSUE:109 • OCTOBER 2013 • www.betting-business.co.uk
PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON WOULD BE WITNESSING A BLOW TO UK PLC WITH A 15 PER CENT GROSS PROFITS TAX
Commission proposes ban on mixing funds REGULATION
he UK Gambling Commission is planning to ban the practice of comingling customer and company funds by operators as the regulator aims to increase protection for consumers when operators go out of business. While it recognises that such a ban wouldn’t necessarily ensure greater protection, it suggests that ‘it may help to provide earlier indication of financial stress’. The Commission is consulting on the level of protection for customer funds and has put six options up for consideration: Segregated accounts, a ‘Quistclose’ trust (in which funds are specifically for one purpose), insurance against insolvency, an independent trust account, a reserve held by the regulator, and rules for specific gambling products (remote poker, in particular). The regulator said: “In considering the issues for a minimum level of protection, we wish to balance the advantages of protecting customer funds against the additional costs to both operators and customers. The additional burden must be in line with the potential risks, and must be balanced against the potential risk that customers may opt to seek out unregulated gambling.” The Commission also said that it ‘considers it appropriate’ that where a common wallet is offered to customers by a Commission-licensed operator that all customer funds, regardless of source, should be held in one or more customer accounts which are afforded the same level of protection. Among the other issues up for discussion in the consultation are the actual definition of customer funds, the flexibility needed depending on frequency of reconciliation, whether the demands are disproportionate on smaller operators and the requirements on where customer funds may be held.
T Tax rate should be ‘no higher than 10 per cent’ A study by KPMG has suggested that the UK’s proposed point of consumption regulation will not work under a 15 per cent gross profits tax. TAXATION
he government needs to drop its remote gaming tax to 10 per cent if its point of consumption licensing regulation is going to be a success, according to a report by KPMG. The study, commissioned by The Remote Gambling Association (RGA), has concluded that the Treasury’s proposed 15 per cent rate is likely to undermine the legislation’s aims and that unless the rate of gross profits tax is set at ‘no higher than 10 per cent’, and makes allowances for companies to offset costs associated with bonuses and incentives, then a considerable slice of remote gaming business will migrate to the ‘grey market’. It also stressed the importance of getting the tax regime right
first time. According to the KPMG report: “The dangers of introducing the proposed rate of 15 per cent immediately are: firms are unable to recover their costs and either go out of business or are forced to operate in the grey market; and/or a very large number of UK customers switch to buying gambling products from offshore duty avoiding providers because they are able to offer lower priced, more attractive, products. If either of these come to pass, then it may be difficult to reverse these consequences with a subsequent reduction in the tax rate.” The government’s proposals to maintain the current position where some player bonuses in bingo, poker and casino gaming are not tax deductible will
further damage the ability of licensed and taxpaying operators, who will already be required to meet a significantly higher tax burden, to compete with those overseas operators who will continue to target the UK market without holding the requisite licences or paying tax. RGA chief executive Clive Hawkswood said: “It is vitally important that the government does not repeat past mistakes. It needs instead to set rates of remote gaming and betting taxation that give operators a realistic chance of being competitive in what is an inherently international market.” Hawkswood said that the RGA will continue to engage with Treasury to ensure the impact of any tax changes is fully understood by the government.
He also pointed out that the online gambling industry is a UK success story and already contributes significantly to UK Plc in terms of jobs, marketing spend and corporate taxes and that this could be put in jeopardy by the government’s plans. He added: “We argue strongly that any rate above 10 per cent GPT is not sustainable in what is a very mature market where consumers already know what level of value and choice to expect. In two reports, Parliament’s Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee has already urged the government to get the tax regime right and it is in the interests of all concerned that HM Treasury takes note of that and all of the evidence which points to a sustainable rate being no higher than 10 per cent.”
News ASHLEY FOX’S REPORT ON IGAMING HAS BEEN ADOPTED BY EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT (© EUROPEAN UNION 2012)
EU online gaming report approved with mixed blessings While the gist of MEP Ashley Fox’s report on online gaming is to get the European Commission to prosecute illegal laws, the fine print leaves something to be desired. EUROPE
he gambling industry has given a qualified welcome to an EU resolution which recommends that breaches of EU law by Member States’ gambling regulations should be more stringently policed. The European Parliament adopted a report, led by British Conservative MEP Ashley Fox, containing a wide range of proposals for the EU and Member States to take forward in view of the upcoming new European Parliament and Commission in 2014. European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) secretary general Maarten Haijer said the vote in favour of the report highlights the growing interest of the EU to take action and responsibility in this area. “While the report does not call for harmonisation of the sector yet, it supports new EU action in many areas such as customer e-verification and improved cross border cooperation. These initiatives are crucial to streamline identification procedures, simplify licensing procedures and remove unnecessary administrative burden for cross border operators. “Last but not least, the vote confirms, in line with previous parliamentary reports, the political support from the European Parliament for the Commission to finally launch infringement procedures against those Member States that continue to breach EU law. This is the only way to ensure an attractive and competitive regulated offer, and prevent consumers from turning to more competitive but
unregulated websites.” However, the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) has warned that the report also repeats flawed consumer protection arguments to justify the retention of barriers to market entry. Worst still, the passing of the report means there is considerable support for restrictions on certain betting products, ostensibly to protect the integrity of sports. The RGA has branded this as ‘wrong’ and ‘ineffective’, pointing out that there is no evidence to suggest that certain types of bet when offered by licensed operators present any noticeable matchfixing risks. Related to this, it is very unclear why a report about the regulation of online gambling should include support for ‘a sports betting right’ which is essentially a commercial rather than a regulatory issue. ESSA, the licensed betting industry’s integrity body, is also concerned that restrictions on the types of bet offered will fail to have any positive impact on protecting sporting integrity. “It is fundamental to recognise that corrupters actually seek to manipulate the more mainstream markets with higher liquidity, not smaller niche markets such as the number of corners or penalty kicks,” Ali stated. “As Europol and others have confirmed, match-fixers bet primarily on unregulated markets. There is no evidence to support limits on regulated betting, which would be an unjustified
restriction on trade based on unsubstantiated integrity grounds. The result would be to push consumers towards unregulated operators not burdened by such restrictions and where no integrity monitoring takes place. That is clearly not in the interests of consumers or the protection of sporting integrity.” The resolution also raise the issue of a sports betting right – opposed by both the RGA and ESSA. Ali commented: “There is no integrity basis for the introduction of a new fiscally-motivated right promoted by some sports. Apart from the cost of their own internal security systems, licensed betting operators already make large-scale investments in sport and pay significant sums to regulators to protect betting integrity. Those operators should not also have to pay for the corrupt activities of sports’ own participants colluding with criminals and utilising the unregulated market.” RGA CEO Clive Hawkswood added: “Although we are dubious about some of the measures called for in this resolution, we are hopeful that it will put further pressure on the Commission to act against Member States that do not comply with EU law. Compliance with the rules of the Internal Market should be the number one priority for IMCO. Many serious infringement proceedings have been outstanding for five years already and we cannot believe that Commissioner Barnier will not rectify that situation before he leaves the Commission in 2014.”
Ladbroke British bli Australia is suddenly awash with bookmakers from the British Isles as the biggest betting brands attempt to colonise the online sportsbook sector.
adbrokes has become the latest bookmaker to expand into Australia by agreeing to acquire one of the market’s fastest growing online sportsbooks - Gaming Investments Pty Ltd (GIPL). Ladbrokes said that the purchase extends its global reach by providing a low cost entry into the regulated and growing Australian sports betting market. GIPL’s business includes Bookmaker.com.au Pty Ltd, operator of the online bookmaker Bookmaker.com.au and Panda Gaming Pty Ltd, operator of an extensive racing and sports focused affiliate network in Australia. Ladbrokes’ chief executive officer Richard Glynn said: “The acquisition of this fast growing business represents an excellent opportunity for Ladbrokes to establish a strong presence in Australia, in line with our strategy to extend geographic reach to
RGS returns to Brussels This year’s Responsible Gaming Day will be held on 28 November at Bibliotheque Solvay in Brussels and ask ‘The EU and online gambling – where next?’ Moderated by Jacki Davis, journalist, broadcaster and Europe commentator, Responsible Gaming Day will again be holding a
public roundtable discussion. The event will bring together a broad spectrum of EU and national stakeholders to take stock of online gambling regulation in the EU on the occasion of the first anniversary of the Commission’s action plan on online gambling. The roundtable discus-
sion will focus on: whether national regulation of online gambling in the EU facilitated the existence of an attractive legal offer to consumers; The implementation and achievements of the Commission’s action plan; and What future policy options for online gambling in the EU?
Paddy Power breaks ground with space bet
LADBROKES IS THE LATEST BRITISH BRAND TO ARRIVE IN AUSTRALIA (JACQUES GRIESSMAYER)
Although late to the party in terms of the Australian market, there are plenty of shifting sands there for a brand to make a quick impact. The dominant land-based gambling brands, such as Tatts and Tabcorp, have struggled to manage the transition online leaving the door open for the recent UK invasion. Ladbrokes’ Damian Cope suggested that it was never too late in any market – citing the collapse of Nokia’s dominance in the mobile phone sector – adding that further acquisitions were on the agenda: “We see this as our first step into Australia. The primary focus is head down for the next three to six months and if we do line up another partnership, that’s a bonus on top.”
kes continues blizzard of Oz key regulated markets. At launch Ladbrokes Australia will have a highly experienced management team who are strongly incentivised to achieve further customer and revenue growth over the coming years.” The acquisition will see Ladbrokes acquire GIPL under its newly formed Australian arm ‘Ladbrokes Australia’ for an initial consideration of A$22.5m (£13m) plus an earnout payable at the end of three years which is based on the EBITDA for Ladbrokes Australia for the year ending 30 June 2016. Launched in February 2012, Bookmaker.com.au achieved circa A$400m in amounts staked for the year to 30 June 2013. Led by founder and CEO Dean Shannon, the business has a strong senior management team and skilled technology operation with extensive experience in the sector. As shareholders, the senior management team are
highly incentivised to deliver future growth. Similarly to the William Hill acquisition of Sportingbet Australia, this transaction includes ownership of an independently developed betting software platform created specifically for the Australian market with innovative product features, integrated with a tailored affiliate platform, a mobile platform and a number of mobile apps. It is unlikely that Ladbrokes will roll this out to the rest of its markets anytime soon though as the bookmaker has just signed an extension deal with platform provider OpenBet until 2016. The new website Ladbrokes.com.au is to be further developed utilising Ladbrokes extensive range of sports betting markets. It will also benefit from GIPL’s extensive network of racing and sports betting affiliate sites in Australia which has helped drive efficient cost per acquisition.
Ladbrokes Australia, which is expected to make a small profit in the year ending 31 December 2014, will be overseen by Damian Cope, Ladbrokes international and group strategy director, who reports to Richard Glynn. GIPL’s operations will continue to be based in Brisbane under Dean Shannon. The company added: “The senior management team will be retained and as shareholders are strongly incentivised to continue to drive growth in the business. Ladbrokes will be the primary brand for the business with existing brands continuing where appropriate. “Positioning itself as a fun and modern betting brand, an active marketing campaign will be launched shortly focusing on the Spring Racing Carnival which encompasses a 65-day racing programme throughout the state of Victoria, culminating in the 2013 Melbourne Cup.” Ladbrokes’ entry under its own brand into the Australian
market may have also had an influence on how William Hill plans to tackle the market. The firm now owns three Australian brands - Sportingbet, Centrebet and Tom Waterhouse - and the issue is further muddied by Paddy Power’s similar sounding Australian operation Sportsbet. Hills CEO Ralph Topping told the Australian Financial Review: “You’ve got confusion of brands and you have to look for a unifying brand. They’re all strong brands but I believe the strongest brand of the lot is potentially William Hill.” Although the terms of the recent acquisition of Tom Waterhouse means that brand will still be around by 2015, it seems that Topping has convinced himself that his company’s main brand is the best option going forward: “This is not a gut reaction, it’s based on an assessment of the marketplace. William Hill is 80 years old. This is not a flyby-night brand.”
promotion by Paddy Power in order to celebrate reaching 1m Facebook Likes has seen the bookmaker take the first bet from ‘space’. Via a free entry prize draw, Paddy Power offered one customer the chance to win £1m by correctly guessing the outcomes of a weekend of Premier League matches. A helium-filled balloon was then launched into near space carrying a payload of the low tech computer Raspberry Pi, a modified GPS unit, an altitude sensor and a small radio transmitter. When the payload reached a height of 100,000 feet (30km) above Earth, the radio transmitter sent a trigger signal down to a ground station. The trigger signal placed a bet using a web link to Paddy Power’s secure web servers. In a final twist, which encapsulates Paddy Power’s tone on the Facebook platform, a picture of John Terry in full kit the appeared on the payload, lampooning his appearance at Chelsea’s Champions League winning celebrations in 2012. The competition was won by Dean Saunders of Kent, who failed to win the bet but was handed a £5,000 consolation prize by the bookmaker. Saunders commented: “It was great to have the chance to win £1,000,000 but if Paddy fancies sending anything else in to space I wouldn’t object to it being Big Sam and the rest of the managers who let me down.” Paddy Power media relations manager Féilim Mac An Iomaire explained that the firm has achieved 1m Likes by knowing what people are looking for on Facebook and constantly delivering engaging and relevant content. He added: “Many of our Facebook fans are customers of ours but a large proportion of our likes can be attributed to people who don’t bet but who enjoy our tone of voice on the platform.” He added that Facebook is a very useful tool from a marketing perspective: “It’s a cost effective way of engaging with our punters and building their affinity with the brand.” In a momentous month for Paddy Power on Facebook, the bookmaker also launched a beta version of its ‘Paddy Power In-Play’ Facebook app making it the first time real money betting is available on the social network. “We think the game will add a level of social engagement to online betting, and will give customers visibility of, and the opportunity to engage with, other users,” said Paddy Power CEO Patrick Kennedy. “For the operators who will be able to get this right, Facebook will be a huge opportunity.”
SPACE AGE COMMENT 38 BettingBusinessInteractive • OCTOBER 2013
iGaming GEOFF FREEMAN: ‘WE BELIEVE THE FEDERAL SOLUTION IS BEST’
New MD for ‘outperforming’ Metro Play MOBILE
etro Play, the mobile gaming arm of the Metro free newspaper, has shuffled its pack just a few months into its operation. Jamie Walters, previously executive director at Metro Play, has taken up the role of managing director at the mobile gaming operator, in a move that sees Rory Miller-Cheevers become head of commercial for the business.
mented: “Jamie and the team have done a terrific job, with Metro’s new gaming business coming a long way from the inception of the idea to this point in its journey. As we accelerate the growth of Metro Play, focused leadership is essential in order to continue to nurture and scale the business. I’m looking forward to seeing what the coming months hold for this
‘Bad actors’ should be banned from US market Geoff Freeman, the new CEO and president of the American Gaming Association (AGA), still wants firms who operated in the US post-UIGEA to be banned from the market as ‘bad actors’. He is speaking at the EiG Expo in Barcelona on 8-10 October. UNITED STATES
hat do you see as your biggest challenge over the next 12 months? I put the challenges in two categories. The evolving issue of online gaming in the United States is certainly a major challenge; what’s going to happen, where’s it going to happen, how is it going to be regulated? There are a lot of questions right now that need to be answered. That will continue to be a challenge over the next few months, whether we do it on the federal level or whether we proceed at a state level there are many challenges to overcome. On the broader association industry front, the major challenge that I see is determining where common causes fall and helping to develop the next set of objectives for the AGA. Our industry has always been aligned around preventing harm so the next big challenge is figuring out how we can grow our industry and help make it thrive in the United States and around the world. The short-term challenge I expect to be online gaming.
How easy is it to keep tabs on all the different developments that are happening around the country? One thing that has been interesting to see in this industry has been the multitude of trade publications, the experts that are out there, the great websites carrying news. There’s no shortage of information to be found. We have a great team here at the AGA who really have their finger on the pulse of what is happening across the industry. So across those sources I feel that we’re very much up to speed with what’s happening. The key is knowing how 4
we effect what is happening. That’s something we need to answer in the days weeks and months ahead.
we support and why we support something. If the market continues to move at a much faster pace at state level we will have to evaluate the direction that we go.
Is federal regulation of online gaming a pipe dream? I think the jury is out on whether or not something will happen on a federal level. I know Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid remains committed to doing something at a federal level. There are others who share his passion, but we don’t know if there is a critical mass that shares that passion, so we will continue to pursue a federal solution. However, the market is moving at a much faster pace at the state level and our industry certainly isn’t going to be left behind. As an industry we’ll have no choice but to hedge our bets and go where the opportunities are. But we’ve been on record for several years that we believe the federal solution is best and we are hopeful that we can still make progress in that direction.
Will online sportsbetting ever be accepted by US sports? This is an issue that has been raised with me by several folks. It’s not an issue that the gaming industry has high on its priority list right now. I think the industry understands well the dynamics and the challenges inherent in this issue and the unlikelihood of expanding sports betting. So we have a lot to learn on that issue, but to date it’s not been a high priority given the prospects for change. I do believe New Jersey is very interested in accessing sports gaming and that’s a decision they’ve made at a state level and they are leading the charge there. By most accounts the deck is stacked against them, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be successful it just means it will be challenging.
Could a federal bill come in too late? As the market moves ahead, depending on when the federal government chooses to act, it is possible that the federal government could be undoing what at that point is working at a state level. We would have to consider what we thought of it at that time. Right now, however, we are in a situation where we can still be positive about the prospects for a federal solution. Even if there is federal movement it is possible that you could ‘grandfather’ in some of the States who have already made some movement. We have to as an industry be malleable as to what we support, how
What about firms that have previously serviced the US market? The AGA’s position for a long time has been that bad actors – those that remained in the market after 1 January following UIGEA - should be penalised and if possible prevented from participating in the marketplace. The simple truth is that these entities flouted American law and took American dollars, invested those American dollars to enhance their marketing and technology and now they want to use it to their competitive advantage. That is as antiAmerican as it gets. Our position on that is well known.
JAMIE WALTERS: ‘METRO PLAY IS OFF TO A GREAT START’
Metro Play was only launched in June, but the firm says that in this time business has outperformed expectations with player numbers and revenues ‘significantly exceeding forecasts’. Walters commented on his promotion: “Since launch Metro Play is off to a great start; rapidly expanding in terms of its customer base, products and staff numbers. I’m looking forward to focusing fully on this fast growing, mobile-led business and driving forward with our ambition of being the UK’s number one mobile gaming brand.” He added: “Ensuring the business continues to deliver a strong performance and delivers on its four core values - trust and fairness; fun and social; quick and simple; and quality and innovation, is essential. A key focus for us at the moment is on hiring additional talent to add to our outstanding team, and to continue to build on our product offering.” Linda Grant, managing director at Metro, com-
dynamic brand.” The Alderney licensed operator has also just achieved GamCare Certification, recognising its commitment to player protection and responsible gambling. Walters commented: “We’re delighted to have been awarded GamCare Certification. Player protection and social responsibility are extremely important to us as a business as we look to deliver on our promise to customers. GamCare certification is a fantastic, independent validation of the approach we take.” GamCare chief executive Dirk Hansen added: “GamCare Certification is accredited to companies that successfully implement the GamCare Player Protection Code of Practice. GamCare worked closely with Metro Play’s responsible gaming team throughout the certification procedure to ensure high standards of best practice. Through GamCare Certification Metro Play Plc demonstrates its high level commitment to player protection and responsible gaming.”
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INTRALOT has been distinguished with the Gold certified award in ‘Social, Environmental and Ethical Governance’ by the European Business Ethics Network (EBEN), following a comprehensive assessment process. This year, the award received by INTRALOT has been extended and especially recognises top performance in the sectors of Business Analysis including, for the first time, best practices in Corporate Social Responsibility & Reporting and effective IT management. INTRALOT HAS BEEN RECOGNISED
Mobile investment paying off for NetPlay TV
Momentum building in Italy for 32Red
NetPlay TV’s extended growth in the first half of this year has been helped by mobile and tablet users… and Big Brother.
etPlay TV, the listed live gaming specialist, has been reaping the rewards from investment in its mobile channel as the operator continues to gain new ground in the second screen entertainment stakes. The company has seen a 36 per cent growth in net revenue, 17 per cent growth in EBITDA and 44 per cent growth in basic earnings per share in the first half of the year, with over a quarter of revenues emanating from the mobile channel. CEO Charles Butler explained: “I am pleased to announce that following such a strong 2012, the company’s growth trajectory has continued with significant increases in all of the group’s KPIs. “Our investment in mobile and tablet continues to deliver positive results, and accounted for 28 per cent of net revenue during the period. In addition, our accelerated investment in pure online marketing is continuing to have a positive impact. This complements our existing TV marketing and represents the group’s broadened marketing strategy, which
underpins both our current and future growth.” In addition, mobile and tablet also make a significant contribution in recruitment as they account for 34 per cent of all new depositing casino players. The group also made significant investment during the period into pure online marketing, to complement its expenditure on core TV marketing. This strategy has contributed to a robust set of half year-on-year core KPIs, with a 31 per cent increase in new depositing casino players to 32,618, a 32 per cent increase in average quarterly active depositing players to 29,311 and 36 per cent increase in net revenue to £14.2m. Pure online marketing has now been adopted as an integral part of the group’s marketing strategy. During the first half of the year, it accounted for £1.9m of total marketing expenses, an increase of £1.5m or 377 per cent over the prior year. Butler explained: “The new player recruitment costs are higher than the average for the period, however early indications are that due to the targeted nature of this marketing the player value is also higher than average.
This increase in pure online marketing has led to an enlarged player base and has already started to show positive results, with net revenue from these players increasing by 167 per cent during the period.” During the period a new three year broadcast deal with ITV was signed in April. The Jackpot 247 brand is now aired on ITV six nights a week from Monday to Sunday, an increase from four nights a week Monday to Thursday. TV and associated marketing has performed as expected during the period with an increase of 28 per cent to £4.7m leading to a 27 per cent increase in net revenue from these players. Butler added: “Operating expenses include both variable costs (e.g. software licensing and payment processing fees) and fixed costs of production. Consequently these have only increased by 26 per cent while net revenue has increased by 36 per cent. Administrative expenses have increased by 11 per cent during the period due to an increase in staff and related costs as the company increases its operational and marketing teams.”
2Red CEO Ed Ware is confident that his firm can make a splash in the Italian sector, with the firm’s slow start in the market starting to gain some momentum. Speaking during 32Red’s interim results, which once again saw record revenues and underlying EBITDA in the six month period, Ware explained: “While early trading in the Italian market has been slower than expected, there continues to be month on month improvement and with our new Bologna partnership, we remain confident that Italy will develop into an important and lucrative market for 32Red.” Revenues for the six months ended 30 June 2013 increased 15 per cent to £19.0m, with top line growth resulting in a 39 per cent increase in underlying EBITDA to £2.5m. Profit before taxation after start-up losses in Italy of £0.6m totalled £1.3m Ware added: “We are pleased to report another strong performance both in terms of revenue growth and in underlying profitability, which has continued into the second half of the year. Our strategy remains to invest in marketing to regulated markets with a constant focus on maintaining the best user experience enjoyed by new and existing players alike.” The 32Red casino remains the core of the business, generating 91 per cent of underlying revenue in the first half of the year. Ware commented: “The strong growth in active players, up 34 per cent in the half, was reflective of an increased focus on CRM and of our on-going commitment to delivering a ‘second to none’ customer service proposition.” Revenues from 32Red Poker remained flat in the first half of the year, while revenues from 32Red Bingo and 32Redbet were down on the previous year. The company said it intends to invest further funds to market the 32Red Bingo product, which should not only improve its performance but also drive additional customers to the 32Red casino, while it continues to explore its options with regard to a fit-for-purpose sports betting product.
CHARLES BUTLER: ‘MOBILE AND TABLET CONTINUES TO DELIVER POSITIVE RESULTS’
ANALYSIS NetPlay TV has also revealed that Q3 has continued in the same vein as the first half of the year, with average daily net revenue up 17 per cent. This was despite the exceptionally hot July impacting player retention, causing the total number of players to drop. While this arrested the net revenue increase for July back to 2 per cent, average daily net revenue post-July has reverted back to strong growth - increasing by 29 per cent on Q3 2012. The Group’s first major sponsorship deals, of Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother also proved ‘very successful’ in the recruitment of new players and helped contribute to average daily new depositing players Q3 to date increasing by 38 per cent on the same period last year.
Partypoker.com relaunches with a social face and improve their game. Missions help players improve poker skills win.party has launched its but there are also great extra newly revamped partyrewards for completing them: poker.com operation, cash; tournament tickets; marking a ‘significant first step’ in bonuses; and more. the integration of social features The firm has also incorporated into the real money gaming envi‘Achievements’ into its offer. ronment. Every time a player collects an The phase one release, which Achievement, it will boost their has just launched, contains several score which they can show-off to new features and a fresh new look, their friends via their profile page logo and interface, as the company and activity feeds. attempts to mix the best of the old Players can also easily search with the new, in a player-friendly and add friends via screen name, environment. email address or by looking up While available on Mac and PC contacts from their email address in download and no download The refreshed next generation Click Lobby, unique to Party- their preferred games and use the book. The revamped account page versions, Partypoker’s mobile online poker product integrates poker.com, which offers the Favourites tab and lobby filters to now offers our players a one-stop product is available on Android great new features into real money player all of their favourite games narrow their search for the perfect location to provide a list of Real and on iOS app for the first time, gaming. The new poker table also at a glance making finding a cash table. Balance, Bonuses, Loyalty Points, with more of the all new desktop now sports a smooth racetrack game or tournament to suit their It has also introduced ‘missions’ New or active promotions, Tourfeatures being introduced in a shape and a cleaner table. style easier. With Filters and to give players targets to aim for, nament dollars and Messages in later phase. The new features include a 1- Favourites, players can highlight challenging them to try new things account inbox.
BettingBusinessInteractive • OCTOBER 2013
THE NEW PARTYPOKER.COM LAUNCH HAS BEEN SUPPORTED BY AN AD CAMPAIGN
Record mobile jackpot
Spin Palace player Gabriel L has won a life changing £3.7m on Microgaming’s Mega Moolah progressive jackpot – the largest mobile jackpot win in history. Debbie Taylor, Spin Palace Casino Manager said: “As a loyal player at Spin Palace Casino, we are thrilled for Gabriel L. It is a great win for him; the biggest Mega Moolah progressive pay-out on mobile.”
The B2B approach has allowed 888 to be one of the first Europeanbased operators to start taking US customers again.
WYNN RESORTS HAS TURNED TO 888’S AAPN
LOCUS THE BEST
88 has entered the regulated US market for the first time after completing a trial period with the World Series Of Poker (WSOP) brand, owned and operated by Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE), in Nevada. The launch marks 888’s first regulated real money offering in the US with additional brands and regulated states due to follow later this year. 888 successfully concluded its iGaming Service Provider (IGSP) certification and licensing process with the Nevada Gaming Commission, earlier this year, and received approval from the Gaming Control Board to commence an initial field trial of its first real money, regulated poker offering in the US with CIE, which will be supplying their expertise and funds on marketing. The launch of WSOP in Nevada follows 888’s selection, as part of a consortium and teaming with lottery provider Scientific Games, to operate Internet Gaming Systems and Services for the Delaware State Lottery. 888 has also filed for CSIE licenses in New
888 starts US operation with WSOP Jersey and both states are due to go live later this year. Brian Mattingley, CEO of 888, commented: “The launch of the WSOP brand in Nevada is an important milestone for 888. Almost seven years to the date since we took the decision to exit the US market following UGIEA, 888 is returning to the states by powering the marquee WSOP brand.” Mitch Garber, CEO of CIE, commented: “Four years ago we embarked on this strategic effort with 888, acknowledging its industry leading gaming platform, and as importantly its reputation as a trusted partner which was en-route to receive its Nevada accreditation. I’m excited to see we have met our goals in making this
Wynn's online offering in New Jersey and Nevada, as well as other US states as and when they become regulated. AAPN will provide Wynn with its poker, casino and back-office platform, in addition to additional operational services. Mattingley said: “This is exactly the type of partnership we’ve envisioned when we formed AAPN with our partners Avenue Capital. The challenge of establishing a robust, entertaining offering with ample player liquidity is prospect a reality, in what I nership with Treasure one of our prime goals, in am sure marks a new era Island Casino in Nevada. direct continuum to 888’s for US regulated gaming.” AAPN will also help success in other regulated 888 announced in March Wynn Interactive get online markets such as Spain and that it aims to launch the after entering into a part- Italy. Wynn’s market foot888.com brand across the nership with the subsidiary print and reputation will US through its All Ameri- of US casino resort opera- allow it to leverage our can Poker Network tor Wynn Resorts. Under technology and products (AAPN) joint venture with the agreement, AAPN will as it did so successfully in Avenue Capital and part- now develop and deploy the land-based world.”
888’s US strategy is gaining plaudits both sides of the pond, especially after securing a deal with the last remaining major casino operator without a partner – Wynn Resorts. James Hollins of Bell Pottinger commented: “We regard this as a significant coup for 888 that is setting itself up as the go-to operator of B2C and B2B online gaming services in the US, with this Wynn agreement adding to those already established with Caesars (now line in Nevada), Treasure Island and the Delaware State Lottery. Notwithstanding clear uncertainty over potential market size and timing of regulation for a number of US states, we see material profit upside potential for 888 and retain our BUY recommendation.”
Bodog mobile for Canada CANADA
d Pownall, global PR director at Bodog Brand, believes that the industry needs to start perceiving tablets and smartphones as separate channels in order to get the most out of both platforms. Pownall made the comments with the launch of Bodog Canada, a new market which is already geared up to the smartphone and tablet player. He said: “I think tablets will play a huge part in Canada and the industry needs to start seeing the smartphone and the tablet as different entities rather than lumping both under the term ‘mobile’ as this is increasingly inaccurate. I think fundamentally the market will
BODOG CANADA’S MARKETING CAMPAIGN
BettingBusinessInteractive • OCTOBER 2013
breakdown by similar percentages to what consumers have in Canada but certainly it’s the first market that will start with tablet/mobile within the ratio of where people play.” Online gaming in Canada is relatively new to the country but as a result is one of the first to have launched in the mobile era which has seen such enormous growth in the European markets over the last few years. The Bodog Canada’s Mobile Casino is both iOS and Android-friendly, supporting iPhone 3, 4, 4S and 5 as well as tablets and iPads. Bodog Canada’s casino manager, Marianne Hughes, commented: “Having a mobile friendly casino is an obvious step to take and one which we have been keen to launch for
some time. If the European market is any kind of gauge this will be very popular in Canada and gives us a great first mover advantage here.” Pownall said the Bodog name was already strong in Canada and anticipated the market being similar to that in the UK. He commented: “The brand was launched in Canada and the brand’s founder, Calvin Ayre, is Canadian so its roots very much belong there. Sports betting is certainly the leader by miles in Canada (particularly NFL & NHL) so its most like the UK in the respect that its sports betting lead. Other big European markets like Italy, France and Germany have large volumes of poker players which is far less prevalent in Canada.”
Locus Gaming’s Jack Gold Casino has won the award for Best Mobile Site at the inaugural Mobile Gaming and Gambling Awards. It comes less than nine months after former Ladbrokes directors Ed Andrewes and Mick D’Ancona launched Jack Gold following the setup of Isle of Man-licensed Locus Gaming. CEO Andrewes said: “We’re chuffed to bits to win this award so soon after going live. We set out specifically to differentiate ourselves from the rest of the market and deliver a tip-top user experience - whatever device customers choose to use. To win Best Mobile Site shows we’ve achieved that.” Among the other winners on the night were Paddy Power, William Hill, Rank Interactive, and PKR 3D Poker. CLASSIC SLOTS VIA INTERTOPS
Intertops Casino has just given players hundreds of additional new games to choose from with the introduction of elegant new Intertops Casino Classic. Players can use their usual Intertops account to try games like Agent Cash and Amanda Panda or big jackpot games like Mega Money Mine and Pay Dirt in a stylish new setting. “We invited some players to help us beta test the new games and the feedback has been incredible,” said Intertops’ casino manager. “I think some of them thought we were adding one or two new games so they were pretty excited when they realized we had actually given them more than a hundred new slots and a big new selection of casino table games to choose from!” LESS FRICTION FROM PROBABILITY
Mobile operator Probability has become the first gambling company to go live with the new direct carrier billing service on mobile. Players can typically deposit money with Probability in less than five seconds and removes the need to register payment details before making a deposit. Players are able to deposit up to £30 a day using the service. Probability CEO and co-founder Charles Cohen said: “Our players expect frictionless payments thanks to the heavy use of in-app purchases on their smartphones. With this technology from Boku, and their deep integration with the mobile network operators, Probability is now able to match that convenience at an attractive rate commercially.”
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Asian Handicaps need a rebrand for Europe
FIGURES FOR WIGAN’S FA CUP VICTORY WERE ‘MIND-BLOWING’
Rory Anderson, CEO for Europe at 12Bet.com, discusses getting the most out of football partnership and the image problem for Asian Handicaps. INTERVIEW
ing from Asian Books is also a contributing factor to this bet types growing popularity. I think in general, punters also now understand it’s simply not as complicated as they may have initially thought. One of the factors holding this bet type back in the UK is its name. For me, it would make more sense to call it ‘Football Handicap Betting’. Because that’s what it is. Calling it Asian Handicap Betting seems to give Europeans the impression that it’s not for them.
Championship, and if the club are there or there abouts around Play Off time, then I am sure we will get our money’s worth. The squad is strong and I know they are taking their first foray into Europe very seriously, so this too is exciting. However, there is no doubt that the Premiership is where we want to be, which is why we went on to secure the Stadium Sponsorship deal with newly promoted Crystal Palace.
How difficult is it to find value in football sponsorship? Has it You’ve sponsored Wigan Athletic become easier now that clubs are during their greatest season - has signing up regional partners? the fact that they are in Europe in It’s getting harder to find good, the Europa League cushioned the cost effective deals. I always blow any of their relegation from believed that Betting Partnerships the Premier League from a shirt were inflated LED (perimeter advertising) deals. And now you sponsor perspective? We got some great exposure have Regional Betting Partners, it during the FA Cup final. The global means betting brands are paying viewing figures were mind inflated LED rates and foregoing blowing. However, in the end it the product category exclusivity was bittersweet due to the club’s they used to get with Betting Partsubsequent relegation. We pay a nerships. This clearly equates to reduced sponsorship fee in The less value for the advertiser. As an
Racer brings horseracing to Israel
ACTION IMAGES / ALEX MORTON LIVEPIC
o you think the UK market will ever embrace Asian handicaps? Asian Handicap betting won’t ever overtake 1X2 in terms of popularity in the UK. However, there is room for this bet type to continue to grow, much in the same way that while Texas Hold’em will always be the most popular form of online poker, there are a number of poker players who prefer to play Omaha, typically because they feel it is more skill-based. In the UK this bet type tends to be more popular with those who bet in a professional manner. People bet Asian Handicap as there is more value there. The draw is eliminated so there are only two outcomes, win or lose. This means there is more chance of the punter winning. You are not going to win hundreds of pounds from small stakes. However, you find yourself doubling up more frequently. The sheer volume of advertis-
phones any time soon? As I understand it, the migration to smartphones from WAP in Asia in terms of sportsbook is happening. However, WAP will still have a part to play in the next few years in countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, and parts of China. In these countries, smartphones are popular amongst the more affluWAP is reportedly 70 per cent of ent groups. The breakdown in the Asian sportsbook mobile South East Asia was more or less market. How key is your WAP 65/35 a year ago in favour of WAP. service to your business? Do you There has been a shift, and more envisage a migration to smart- recently it’s closer to 50/50.
industry, I would like to think we understand value, and as a consequence, I think demand from our sector may have peaked this season. Unfortunately from the football club’s perspective, this current level of spend from the betting industry cannot last forever.
PMU rolls out its betting products in Switzerland
oto, The Israel Sports Betting Board, has launched horserace betting in Israel under the new brand Racer. The new operation sees Israel join the international consortium of horserace pool betting in UK and Ireland. The pool is led by GBI Racing, the international provider of breed TV broadcasting and media services, racing content, data and promotions to international wagering operators worldwide. Racer offers a wide range of betting options every day, with the international commingling of pools allowing Israeli punters to bet simultaneously on the same races with other punters worldwide and gain the same options and odds. The races and all relevant information are broadcast live from GBI centre in London on screens at the POS and on Toto website. It is also translated and localised in real time in order to ease the betting experience for the non-English speakers.
10 BettingBusinessInteractive •
he French retail betting monopoly PMU and Swisslos (Inter-district Lottery located in Switzerland) have signed a partnership for the sale and distribution of PMU products within their operating regions. Commencing at the start of last month, the deal will see PMU’s entire betting portfolio progressively be rolled out through six districts and forty outlets. After a successful collaboration of more than 20 years with the Loterie Romande, the PMU is continuing its development and expansion of its horseracing products by partnering with Swisslos, the lottery operator in German speaking Switzerland. All PMU products will be offered to German-speaking consumers and they will bet into the common pool. To maintain consistency for the consumer, each outlet and operation will be iden-
T TOTO CEO ITSHAK LARY WITH THE FIRST HORSERACING BET
Toto CEO Itshak Lary said: “Racer opens a new era of consumer experience based on a combination between both new technology and updated consumer demands. Horserace betting is really a new growth engine for our company since it will attract new customers. Israelis are fast adapters of new games and gain a natural curiosity towards special platforms. This combined entertainment and sports experience suits well Israeli character.” Until the end of the year Toto will open 150 Racer dedicated
POS over the country. All of them are designed with the brand name typical characteristics which differentiate them from other gambling brands. Betting is also available though internet and mobile phones. Toto chairman Zach Fishbein added: “It is always great challenge to customise a new gaming platform especially in a country with no horse race tradition. We presume that Racer will play in the years to come a major role in the growth of our income and will enable us to increase our contribution to society.”
tical for data and information. All French races along with the current PMU offerings of foreign events will be available for the consumer to wager on, with each outlet broadcasting the race live via Equidia-Pro. Initially Swisslos will offer forty outlets to consumers and these have been divided into six districts where a licence has been obtained to sell PMU products (Aargau, Bern, Luzern, Solothurn, Thurgau and Zurich). The next plan for Swisslos is to identify additional distribution sites and locations to increase the network more extensively. Finally, Swisslos has obtained approval for an additional eight districts (St Gallen, Schwyz, Zug, Glarus, Schaffhausen, Obwalden, Nidwalden and Appenzell) and the roll-out within these districts will progressively occur. The immediate aim of the PMUSwissloss Partnership is to achieve approximately 50 operating outlets by the end of 2013.
STEPHEN LEE HAS BEEN GIVEN A 12 YEAR BAN FROM SNOOKER
Tim Bristow and Geoff Baldwin have resigned as directors of the Bwin.party with immediate effect. Bristow was an independent non-executive director from the pre-merger Party Gaming, while Baldwin was a shareholder representative. Chairman Simon Duffy brushed off the resignations: “These changes are in line with the intention expressed in the company’s 2012 annual report to reduce the size of the board.”
Australian judge asserts national law
ACTION IMAGES / PETER CZIBORRA LIVEPIC
Bookmakers support match fixing sanctions
Stephen Lee, a world number 5 snooker player, has been banned for 12 years by the WPBSA after it found him guilty of match fixing. INTEGRITY
ike O’Kane, chairman of ESSA the integrity body for licensed betting operators, stated that his organisation ‘fully supports tough sanctions against any player, official or other party that engages in corrupt activity designed to manipulate sporting events to defraud bookmakers and their customers’. Commenting following the decision to ban Stephen Lee for 12 years, O’Kane stated: “Detailed information regarding the amounts, types of bets and the individuals placing those bets were vital elements in that decision. Licensed betting operators work closely with regulators and sporting bodies and have done much to drive corrupters away from regulated gambling markets.”
However, O’Kane advised that his organisation ‘remained vigilant’ and employed sophisticated security systems designed to detect suspicious betting. “Licensed operators have a clear business need to maintain the integrity of sporting events and it is pleasing that when such corrupt activity does occur it results in effective action to punish the individuals involved. “Unfortunately, some other sports are not as active in this area lacking effective rules and sanctions and with poor financial records, notably safeguarding players’ wages. Such poor governance issues are allowing fixers to infiltrate certain sports and that is an issue that needs to be addressed as matter of urgency.” He also warned against unsubstantiated and knee-jerk reactions to limit the markets offered by regulated betting operators, such as inplay betting, as a remedy to address match-fixing. O’Kane fully supports recent comments made by the British Gambling Commission on this issue that ‘any threat to sports betting integrity can be managed without the need to ban what is a very popular activity’. “As Europol and others have detailed, match-fixers bet primarily on unregulated markets which are not subject to any restrictions. Any attempt to impose market restric-
tions on licensed operators would have the undesirable effect of pushing consumers towards the unregulated market, which has no transparency or accountability and would be virtually impossible to monitor,” he stated. “There is simply no evidence to support limits on regulated betting markets which would be an unjustified restriction on trade based on unsubstantiated integrity grounds. Such market limitations would put licensed operators at a clear disadvantage and be of no benefit on integrity issues.” Between February 2008 and April 2009, Stephen Lee was in contact with three different groups of people all of whom placed bets on the outcomes of his matches or on the outcomes of frames within his matches or on the exact score of his matches. This took place in seven matches
over four tournaments. The bets were placed by three groups of people. The first were organised by his then sponsor who opened multiple betting accounts with various associates. These accounts were used to place the bets. The second group were coordinated by his then manager who placed almost identical bets. The third was an individual known to Lee who placed the same bets independently of the other two groups. The total amount bet on these matches was in excess of £111,000 leading to winnings of over £97,000 for the persons placing the bets. In one case the person collected the successful bet and placed the half of the winnings into Lee’s wife’s bank account. Jason Ferguson, the chairman of the WPBSA, said: “We take no pride in having to deal with such serious issues.”
ANALYSIS Sporting integrity has been big news this month, given the recent arrests in Australian football, the arrest of 14 members of an international corruption syndicate in Singapore, the life bans handed to the 14 El Salvadorean National Team players for match fixing and IPL life bans for Shantha Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan. In a way it is disappointing that Stephen Lee didn’t face any possible criminal prosecution for his actions. That he didn’t was down solely to the Crown Prosecution Service as the police and Gambling Commission had spent two long years collecting forensic evidence around the situation. Such a move would have sent out precisely the right signals that match fixing is not tolerated in the UK.
Bookmakers get advertising exemption
THE ISSUE ORIGINALLY FLARED UP WHEN A YOUNG LUIS SUAREZ WAS FEATURED ON A BETTING ADVERT
keting communications for gambling products The move follows concerns raised by the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) over CAP’s online remit extension and its application to betting websites, which led CAP to consult publically on the amendment. Before March 2011, when betting websites were regulated only by the Gambling Commission, marketers were permitted to use individuals under the age of 25 when they were the subject of a bet being offered – for example, a footballer to score first
12 BettingBusinessInteractive • OCTOBER 2013
during a game – provided that the depiction showed the player in the context of the bet being offered and not in a manner that might promote the gambling operator or gambling more generally. CAP took the decision to consult publically on the matter as, whilst it recognised the technical nature of the industries’ concern, it believed it important to ensure that any changes would not result in significant harm to children or an undermining of the protections offered by the Code. Following its evaluation
ACTION IMAGES / JASON CAIRNDUFF
he Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) has agreed to amend the codes regarding gambling to allow the use of sportspeople under the age of 25. CAP writes and maintains the UK Advertising Codes, which are administered by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). After a consultation period with the industry, CAP is to create a ‘narrow and targeted exemption for betting websites’ to the rule prohibiting the appearance of individuals who are, or appear to be, under the age of 25 from appearing in mar-
n Australian state judge has asserted his country’s authority in an international dispute involving online bookmaker Centrebet and a Norwegian customer who played on the site using fraudulently obtained money. In 2009, Bjarte Baasland filed a claim for damages in a Norwegian court against Centrebet and Bet365 after he lost 70m Norwegian kroner (£7.2m) betting on internet gambling sites, claiming that the bookmakers were negligent in allowing him to gamble the money. In 2010, the Supreme Court of Norway ruled it had jurisdiction to hear the matter because Centrebet was clearly targeting the country. The bookmaker has a Norwegian bank account, a dedicated home-page, freephone telephone number and took Norwegian currency for bets on Norwegian sporting events. However Justice Graham Hiley of the Northern Territory Supreme Court has ruled Centrebet, which is now owned by William Hill, did not owe Baasland any money and that Australian law prevailed. Centrebet, which is licensed in the Northern Territory, claimed that Baasland had breached its online terms and conditions as punters must agree that they are gambling with their own funds. As Baasland had the money and disguised how he was spending the borrowed money, Centrebet said it was not liable for his losses. Judge Hiley agreed. Baasland’s situation is well known in Norway as he is the son of a Bishop in the Church of Norway, who was forced to resign when the case became public. Baasland has borrowed the money from family and friends and disguised the losses by saying he had made bad investments on dot.com start-ups. The family went bankrupt and his mother, who had also borrowed money from friends from him, was also accused of fraud.
of the consultation responses, CAP said that it is satisfied that a narrow exemption to restore the status quo prior to CAP’s online remit extension is justified. The exemption relates only to a place where a bet can be placed directly through a transactional
facility, for instance, a gambling operator’s own website and is subject to a further content restriction to ensure that depictions are only used to illustrate a bet and not to promote a gambling operator, a service offered or gambling in general.
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Toland pushes for legalisation
Eamonn Toland, Paddy Power’s president of North America and one of the keynote speakers at Brasilian Gaming Congress on 18-20 November, has claimed the problem of corruption is magnified enormously in jurisdictions where there is no legal, regulated sports betting. He commented: “In a market the size of Brazil, with billions of Réals at stake, the obvious way to thwart corruption is by legalising and regulating sports betting.” EAMONN TOLAND
Democratic election win key for US sports betting
BETTINGBRIEFS REVENUES UP AT IG GROUP
Mickey Charles, CEO of international real-time sports wire service The Sportsnetwork, will be appearing at this month’s EIG discussing the future for US legislation. Here he shares some of his strident opinions on the matter.
MICKEY CHARLES: ‘ONLINE BETTING WILL BE ACCEPTED IN THE UNITED STATES’
ill online betting ever be accepted in the US? Yes, online betting will be accepted in the United States and the largest hurdles in the way of that are the irreverent, radical, indigenous, zealous, rightwing south, the Republican and Tea Party politicians as well as finding a pathway to capture tax revenues from the ‘action’ that will take place.
Can those be overcome? Of course, but only during the next political term of four years if the Democratic Party maintains its residence in the White House, with Hillary Clinton as the first female president of the US. Millions are encouraged to spend tens of millions hourly, daily, weekly on a lottery that cannot be won unless you are the one in 175m holding the ticket to the future of your family for decades to come. Encouraged by the very same governments that deride
gambling, for example, on a sporting event due to the participation of humans and how they may fall prey to criminal influences. While earning $20m annually? Right! That argument went into the trash truck twenty plus years ago. It will start with licensed areas, like Nevada, and then spread to others where gambling is permitted, endorsed and enjoyed by the populace. Might it be on a state by state basis as opposed to a Federal stamp of approval nationally? Possibly and even likely. But, is the money in Kansas, South Dakota and Buffalo or in New York, California, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida, etc.? Need I respond to that? Further, the discovery of permissiveness regarding wagering offshore by US citizens for a taxable share of that revenue looms quietly in the background and all those who cannot now return home out of fear of arrest and incarceration will be embraced by family and friends once again.
Position, so they say, is everything in life and gaining a position now for what inevitably lies ahead is not the worst investment a gaming organisation will ever make. If sportsbetting were to be allowed, would it kill off the fantasy sports games that are so popular at the moment? Of course not. They are two different segments of the population and, yes, occasionally overlap. Those who partake in fantasy sports games fancy themselves aficionados and are seeking a challenge to be better than those who make the same claim. The punter, or player, wants two things; the action and the win. Chocolate can, and will, exist side by side with vanilla. Further, the investment in a wager will invariably be greater than the one in an on-going fantasy game. You’ve previously said the online gaming industry had a lot in common with the
online porn sector. Is this still the case? Well, not exactly what I said. Perhaps the level of degeneracy that abounds, that captivates, entices and beckons has similarities but what I actually pointed to was the web design and intricacies put into a porn site effort that might be emulated. In the beginning of the rise of the internet, there was an apparent creative chasm that was notable. For whatever reason(s), the porn industry seized upon that and was very creative in presentations, the obvious aspects and enticements aside. However, some decades later, that is no longer the case. Inventive abounds, imagination is at the forefront of every effort in the sports sector, enticement and retention are the order(s) of the day. What gambling might have learned has already been improved upon tenfold or more. The pupils have become the teachers and it is a good thing.
What can sporting content provide to a gaming website? Oxygen, blood, more users, interaction and staying power. The gaming website might be a receptacle of money that is put forth in an effort to increase its size by attempting to determine the outcome of a particular sporting event. But that is not enough. The person placing the wager is very much desirous of all the sports content he can accumulate, from by-the-second updates of the action on the field to a plethora of content that is its own educational resource for assisting in the determination of the team upon which to wager. Every facet of content, as we provide at The Sports Network, is important to the person placing the bet, for obvious reasons, and the to the organisation taking the wager in an effort to help them determine the very best odds to place upon the event. EIG PREVIEW ESSENTIAL GUIDE 18
Betfred launched new £10m marketing strategy
Spread betting firm IG Group has reported revenue for the first quarter of its financial year was £93.6m, 15 per cent ahead of the same period in the prior year, which was a particularly quiet quarter for IG and the wider industry. Client activity this year was strongest early in the period in response to heavy falls in equity markets on the back of QE tapering fears in the US and concerns over the Chinese economy. Revenue was well ahead of last year in the UK, Europe and Rest of World, but behind in Japan and in Australia, with the performance here impacted by subdued consumer sentiment ahead of the recent election and the weakness in the Australian dollar. ASA RULES AGAINST TIPSTER SERVICE
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint against an advert by tipster website winningseasy.com. The ASA commented: “We acknowledged winningseasy.com’s comments that they did not guarantee success. We also accepted that the body of the ad quoted profit figures based on the past performance of the service, which winningseasy.com believed had been adequately proofed. However, even if that was the case, we considered a number of claims related to the likely future performance of the service.” It added: “We told winningseasy.com not to make profit claims for their service, unless they could demonstrate that that level of profit was achievable by their customers based on their tips. We also told winningseasy.com not to imply consumers were very likely or certain to achieve a profit in future.” GOAL DROUGHT BONUS
etfred.com has developed a new brand strategy and creative direction as part of a £10m UK marketing investment. Designed to celebrate the fun and friendly nature of the customer experience and products, the new ‘You’ll love a bit of Betfred’ campaign will encourage betting and gaming fans to focus on the enjoyment of interacting with the brand. The campaign signals a renewed commitment to growing the company’s customer base in the increasingly competitive UK betting and gaming industry. With large numbers of consumers still finding the
tomers are treated to their own special celebration each time they engage with the brand through one of its products. Across all the adverts there is a ‘carnival’ surprise as musicians and dancers appear to celebrate the moment of interaction with Betfred. The TV campaign from THE NEW BETFRED BJL will see the first usage AD IS PART OF A of Betfred’s new strap line £10M CAMPAIGN ‘You’ll love a bit of Betfred’ as the brand moves to focus UK betting market an intim- ment from the experience. on its commitment to the idating and often unwelFocussing on the fun and ease and enjoyment of the coming place, Betfred.com friendly nature of the betting experience. will be looking to attract Betfred experience, the Chris Sheffield, managincreasing numbers of new TV campaign revolves ing director at Betfred.com recreational users looking around the concept of ‘The said: “Betfred is all about for a greater sense of enjoy- Personal Carnival’, as cus- the customer experience
14 BettingBusinessInteractive • OCTOBER 2013
and the enjoyment of being able to get involved in the action regardless of the result. The personal carnival concept from BJL conveys that perfectly, emphasising the welcoming, inclusive personality of the brand and the importance of the overall experience to our customers.” Tom Richards, creative director at BJL, added: “Unmistakeably feel-good and unashamedly enthusiastic, what better way to celebrate the Betfred experience than with a personalised carnival, particularly as we edge towards the spectacle of the 2014 World Cup in Rio.”
Spread betting specialist Spreadex saw profits soar in August after a run of lowscoring live TV matches and upsets including Cardiff’s 32 win over title hopefuls Manchester City. Marketing communications manager Andy MacKenzie said: “Spread betters generally like to buy total goals, shirt numbers and goal minutes so it’s not been great for punters so far this season with just 58 goals from 30 games. However our traders are predicting between 1022 and 1037 goals in total this term. At the top end of the spread that’s another 979 goals from 350 games, so an average of 2.8 goals per game from now until May.”
Gibraltar association joins EGBA
Commission educates councils on machine legality MACHINES
In a bid to raise its profile among the decision makers in European Parliament, the industry in Gibraltar has teamed up with the EGBA. PARTNERSHIP
he Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) has become an affiliate partner with the EU’s online gaming body the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA). The arrangement has been put together with the aim of assisting EU policy makers to learn more about online gaming in Gibraltar and allow the Gibraltar based remote gambling industry to input on important industry matters at international level. GBGA chief executive Peter Howitt said: “I’m delighted to announce our partnership with the EGBA. It represents an important milestone for our organisation and the Gibraltar operators that we represent. Partnership with the EGBA will allow us to work in tandem with the EGBA to better represent Gibraltar gaming operators in the EU on key issues relating to consumer protection, anti-money laundering and effective regulation within the context of an increasingly
competitive environment.” He added “As well as learning more about how EU policy makers carry out their work, we hope that policy makers will gain a better understanding of online gaming, how the Gibraltar industry works, and why Gibraltar is one of the world leaders in the online gaming industry.” EGBA secretary general Maarten Haijer commented: “We are very pleased to be working with the GBGA. Not only does the GBGA represent a significant portion of the EU’s online gaming offering, but both organisations share the vision of a strictly regulated, cross border industry with high standards and consumer protection as priorities. We are therefore thrilled to welcome the GBGA to the fold.” It has been a busy month for online gambling in the EU with a new pronouncement on the legality of gambling monopolies. In its preliminary ruling on the joined Italian cases Biasci et al, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has confirmed again the principle that
Member States cannot restrict the national gambling market to protect the commercial interest of incumbents or for other economic reasons. The Court adds that national laws which prohibit cross-border gambling, irrespective of the form in which that activity is undertaken, are in breach of EU law. The ruling confirms in particular that: • “national legislation which in fact precludes all cross-border activity in the betting in gaming sector, irrespective of the form in which that activity is undertaken […] is contrary to Articles 43 EC and 49 EC” • Member States must refrain “from protecting the market positions acquired by the existing operators, by providing, inter alia, that a minimum distance must be observed between the establishments of new licence holders and those of existing operators.” • The CJEU reminded that, if a national “[licensing] provision was not drawn up in a clear, precise and unequivocal manner […], an operator cannot be
MAARTEN HAIJER: ‘THRILLED TO WELCOME THE GBGA TO THE FOLD’
criticised for deciding not to apply for a license in the absence of legal certainty […].” • “the principle of equal treatment, the obligation of transparency and the principle of legal certainty that the conditions of a tendering procedure [..] must be drawn up in a clear, precise and unequivocal way” Haijer commented: “We very much welcome the Court’s crystal clear conclusion that Member States cannot preclude cross border gambling activities in the EU. It confirms the CJEU’s regulatory ‘red lines’ which member states cannot be allowed to cross. The time has come for the Commission to enforce those red lines in Member States’ national law – if needed through infringement proceedings.”
ANALYSIS Gibraltar’s recent travails over its border with Spain notwithstanding, the jurisdiction feels its needs more weight to its standing within the EU. The peninsular is a unique member of the Union and with the business there weighing up legal challenges to the UK’s proposed point of consumption tax, it clearly feels it needs a louder voice to get its point across. It also makes sense from the EGBA perspective, given that a considerable amount of the igaming business is based on Gibraltar it could be argued that what is good for the Gibraltar industry is good for the igaming industry – from an EU perspective at least.
Social gaming bodies create ISGA MERGER
he Social Gaming Association and the International Social Games Coalition are to merge their respective organisations to create a ‘unified international voice to educate the public and policy makers on the social games industry’ and to represent and further the interests of the industry. The newly consolidated organisation, to be named the International Social Games Association (ISGA), will represent social games companies worldwide, from established global operators to up-and-coming startups. It is intended that the
16 BettingBusinessInteractive •
STUART TILLY: ‘ISGA WILL GIVE THE INDUSTRY A SOLID AND POWERFUL PLATFORM’
ISGA will provide a powerful and effective voice for the global social games industry at a time when
many changes in the way people access, play and pay for games are taking place. In this context, the ISGA’s core objectives will be to educate and inform the public, policy makers and regulators on what the industry does, how it works, and the value it generates for the digital economy. The ISGA will work to develop and promote a unified set of socially responsible values to its members aimed at safeguarding the consumer whilst also protecting the dynamic and innovative nature of this popular form of entertainment. ISGA’s members have
he UK Gambling Commission’s Local Authority Liaison Unit (LALU) has held a training event at Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council with the aim of educating councils about their role in gambling enforcement, with cracking down on illegal gambling at the top of the agenda. Over 90 delegates from local authorities and police forces were shown what to look for when checking suspected illegal gaming machines, as well as being provided with updates on the latest legislation and guidance on gambling. The event was arranged following concerns raised by councils about illegal gaming machines and the requirement for more information and training to address the problem. More than 150 unlicensed and illegal gaming machines have been seized by agencies working with the Commission across England in the last year. The Gambling Commission’s Rob Burkitt, who co-presented the training said: “This was a great opportunity for the Commission to pass on its expertise to local police and council officers on what to look for when dealing with illegal gaming machines, as it’s important they know the difference between machines that are legal and those that are not. “Supplying gaming machines or making them available to the public without the appropriate licence or permission is a criminal offence. By their very nature, illegal gaming machines are unlikely to comply with Gambling Act licensing objectives which are aimed at ensuring gambling is conducted fairly and openly, protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling, and keeping crime out of gambling. “All of these can have an impact on local community safety and so we regularly support councils and police forces across the country on joint operations to remove illegal gaming machines.”
been told that they will benefit from greater support from an enlarged leadership team combining each respective organisation’s executive boards, with Luc Delany appointed as CEO and current chairman of the Social Gaming Association, Stuart Tilly, appointed as a non-executive board advisor. The merger was welcomed by Paul Mathews, currently chairman of the International Social Games Coalition and of the new ISGA: “I’m pleased to be able to announce that our two groups are joining forces we’re looking forward to representing the great work
done by social games companies around the world together.” Tilly added: “The merger between our respective organisations is a continuing sign of the industry’s commitment to advancing its socially responsible agenda and the ISGA will give the industry a solid and powerful platform to do so.” Andrew Hughes, founder of AbZorba Games, added: “This merger demonstrates the importance that our industry places upon working together, no matter how big or small, to provide a collective and unified voice to represent this vibrant industry.”
The French domestic league will now be available on Betradar’s Live Channel
New virtual game firm VIP has a knockout first product licensed by the Klitschkos
GTECH lottery customers gain access to Net Entertainment’s ground breaking slots
Betfred.com extends its contract to continue using CallValidate software
Betting Business Interactive Edition
Playing the game EiG 2013 takes on the Barcelona style again with products and presentations aiming to help online operators pass muster in a competitive marketplace. Essential Guide to EIG 18
Tri-channel approach SIS and Ladbrokes have launched a new, bespoke three-channel service for the chain’s 2,490-plus shops in the UK and Ireland. The new channels - ‘Live’, ‘Link’ and ‘Virtual’ - replace Ladbrokes’ previous TV and audio channels 31
Essential guide to ... EiG Timing it
Registration for EiG, which is held at Fira Barcelona again, opens at 0900 on 8 October with the Exhibition opening on 1100 and the conference starts at 1300.
The Mix and Mingle session held in the EiG Expo hall on 8 October between 17:15 – 19:00 allows visitors to continue to network and build new relationships after the first day at EiG.
Kicking off The Kick-off Social, from 1900 on 7 October is the perfect opportunity to start networking early before EiG begins. It is held at Ocaña which is located just a couple of minutes’ walk from La Rambla on the Plaça Reial one of the most emblematic plazas in Barcelona.
This year’s official Party sponsored by SafeCharge, will be open to all delegates, speakers and exhibitors to EiG. There will be a complimentary bar between 9pm - Midnight at Bling Bling club, which is a 15 minute car journey from the Renaissance Barcelona Fira.
Implementers the key in Barcelona Kate Chambers, portfolio director responsible for EiG at Clarion Events, explains what visitors to EiG this month have in store. his is the 12th EiG show. How are you keeping the event fresh? Keeping an event fresh is the key challenge facing every organiser across every business sector but it is particularly the case in the iGaming space which is driven by technology but of course controlled by regulation which differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Quite simply EiG stands or falls on its ability to deliver relevant and compelling content. I trust that visitors to Barcelona will welcome what is a dynamic new format and a raft of additional features all of which have been introduced in order to deliver enhanced value and with that even more reasons to attend what is Europe’s definitive iGaming business event. We have been working with our various stakeholders to ensure that we deliver a three day event which chimes with the needs of the market. The new EiG agenda includes features tailored to meet the needs of what we’ve identified as iGaming’s ‘Implementers’ - the tranche of senior executives who are responsible for applying a strategic vision to an organisation. In response to requests for smaller and more targeted learning sessions EiG will feature 11 specialist Workshops and Networking Groups at which attendance will be limited to just 50 delegates. The Networking Groups have been designed to provide the ‘Implementers’ with a bespoke programme created to meet their specific requirements and operational needs. Open and lively debate is also guaranteed courtesy of the EiG Tutorials which will feature insightful industry presentations held within a central networking area. The new look EiG still has networking and learning at its core. EiG’s Breakfast With... session comprises a focused group discussion with an influential keynote speaker. A range of different industry stakeholders will be on hand to challenge conventional wisdom, facilitate debate and stimulate in depth exploration of the subject matter. The EiG Power Talks provide an opportunity for delegates to receive inspirational insight from thought leaders who have been recognised by their peers throughout the year for their contributions to the business. The CEO debate is a once a year chance to discover how the C-Level opinion formers who are helping to fashion iGaming, see the future.
Who attends EiG? Which markets are represented? One of EiG’s key strengths is the breadth of the audience and the number of markets it attracts. In Barcelona we will have iGaming operators covering all of the verticals - casino, poker, and sportsbetting. There will be a broad spectrum of start-ups in addition to the entire supply chain for iGaming operations from game developers to payment providers, lawyers, CRM specialists, fraud prevention and security specialists. The on-going interest in the convergence between online and social gaming will be reflected by the attendance of social games developers. We have experienced an increase in interest from the land-based casino sector, with both the European Casino Association and the American Gaming Association attending and speaking at the Congress. Both bingo and lotteries have operators which are operating online and the telecommunications sector will also be represented. As you can see from this overview, EiG has a very broad appeal which encompasses the sectors’ thought leaders and, as we discussed previously, the implementers. Which speaker are you looking forward to hearing most? With over 100 speakers it’s obviously difficult to narrow it down to what you might term a single ‘must see’. However there are two which have captured my imagination and which I will be intrigued to listen to. In no particular order, the Breakfast with session on the last day of EiG featuring Isadore Hall of the Californian State Assembly is essential viewing for anyone interested in the US and wanting to know the very latest state of play in what is widely predicted to be the most profitable online poker market in the USA. The Presentation, from one of the most distinguished commentators on California’s legislative process, is being followed by a discussion and debate involving other key US stakeholders including Geoff Freeman, President and CEO of the American Gaming Association, Jan Jones-Blackhurst, Senior Vice President, Communications and Government Relations Caesars Entertainment, Victor Rocha, Owner & Editor, Pechanga.net, Honorable Jon C Porter, CEO, Porter Gordon Silver and Mickey Charles, CEO, The Sports Network. The Breakfast session is being moderated by the highly respected Gene Johnson, Senior Vice President for Market Research and Online Studies at Spectrum Gaming Group.
Becker to serve up new games
Life’s a pitch
One of the great personalities of tennis Boris Becker - will be on hand to officially open this year’s event. ix-time Grand Slam champion, Olympic gold medallist and Youwin Brand Ambassador, Boris Becker is set to open this year’s European iGaming (EiG) Congress & Expo. The sporting legend, who is now an accomplished broadcaster and businessman will open the 12th annual edition of the expo, which features 100+ thought leaders and 80+ exhibiting companies alongside a compelling and content rich programme of events including 11 specialist Workshops and Networking Groups, EiG Tutorials, Breakfast With... sessions, the CEO Debate, as well as the EiG Power Talks which feature some of the outstanding business leaders in iGaming. Confirming the news, Clarion Events’ Kate Chambers said: “For over a decade EiG has been a source of inspiration for European iGaming businesses and we are absolutely delighted to be able to
ach industry event with any longevity has its own particular atmosphere. The overwhelming one at EiG in recent years has been entrepreneurship. Since the introduction of the Start-Up LaunchPad sessions in 2008, which introduced Dragon’s Den concept to the igaming sphere, there has been a vitality of ideas and no shortage of innovations looking to push back the boundaries of what is still a relatively fledgling industry. The organisers have built on this aspect once again this year with the introduction of The Pitch. It’s made-up of a series of 15-minute ‘power pitches’ delivered by visionaries who will be presenting their landmark products, with the EiG audience deciding on a winner using hand held voting devices. The beauty of this approach is that ideas beget ideas and even if a delegate isn’t impressed at any of the products pitched, it will still get them thinking. An event powered by ideas is not one to be missed.
welcome such an inspirational sportsman to open EiG 2013 with its dynamic new format, powerful content and additional new features. EiG is also about leaders and the new role Boris enjoys as youwin.com’s brand ambassador is a testament to his continuing high profile and his success both as a respected media personality and as an entrepreneur.” John Faley, marketing director at youwin.com, added: “Boris Becker is synonymous with ambition, drive, success and champion status, and I cannot think of a better way for youwin.com to contribute to EIG 2013 than giving our brand ambassador the opportunity to officially open the show with a bang. At youwin.com we are very excited about EiG, and will be in Barcelona to showcase our trusted product portfolio and to network with likeminded colleagues from across the gaming community.”
ISLE OF MAN. WHERE YOU CAN FIND A WINNING BASE FOR YOUR E-GAMING BUSINESS The Isle of Man is home to many of the world’s leading gaming brands and software developers, which is no surprise when you consider that the Island offers: Ŕ Government support and commitment to the gaming sector Ŕ 100% player protection Ŕ No hidden costs Ŕ Fast licensing process Ŕ Low SBUFTPGduty based on Qroﬁt Ŕ Low-cost operating base Ŕ World-class resilient IT infrastructure Ŕ$PNQFUJUJWFUBYQBDLBHF Ŕ Skilled staff Ray Davies, e-Gaming Development Manager Tel: + 44 (0)1624 682365 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Essential Guide to ... EiG US
California dreaming of deregulation
Learning on the job his year sees the introduction of EiG Tutorials which have been launched to supplement the learning and knowledge retention process through a series of interactive talks by experts on payments, ID Verification, Geolocation, Fraud, Technical Compliance and Legal advice - all crucial components of the regulatory process. In addition, there’s a dedicated meeting area where delegates can ‘Network to Learn’ with peers in the regulatory field.
According to some, the presence of Isadore Hall of the Californian State Assembly is reason enough to attend EiG. his year’s EiG is set to finish with a flourish following official confirmation that chairman Isadore Hall of the Californian State Assembly has agreed to give a Keynote Talk over breakfast to explore the legislative process in California. Hall, whose session runs from 10.00 to 11.30 on Thursday 10 October, will share his insight as an Assembly Member on the state of play in what is widely predicted to be the most profitable online poker market in the USA. The Keynote, from one of the most distinguished commentators on California’s legislative process, will be followed by an informal discussion and debate involving key US stakeholders including Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, Jan Jones Blackhurst, executive vice president, communications and government relations at Caesars Entertainment, Victor Rocha, owner & editor at Pechanga.net, Honorable Jon C Porter, CEO of Porter Gordon Silver and Mickey Charles, CEO, The Sports Network. The Breakfast session is being moderated by the highly respected Gene Johnson, senior vice president for market research and online studies at Spectrum Gaming Group. Speaking ahead of EiG, Isadore Hall said: “Regulated internet gaming presents an exciting opportunity for California. How the Golden State enters the world of iGaming has been the subject of spirited debate for many years. Before California goes ‘all in’ in iGaming, there are several policy issues to consider. I look forward
ISADORE HALL: ‘AN EXCITING OPPORTUNITY FOR CALIFORNIA’
to speaking with international leaders at the EiG 2013 to learn about best practices and policies to ensure a secure, responsible and wellregulated iGaming platform in California.” A spokesperson for EiG organiser Clarion Events, said: “I believe that it speaks volumes for the status enjoyed by EiG that the Conference team has been able to bring together what is arguably the most influential group of commentators on US online gaming to Barcelona. EiG is about delivering access to the key players and nowhere is that more evident than in the Breakfast with Isadore Hall. Delegates will be able to participate in discussions centering on the newly regulated states of Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada as well as tracking the progress on the efforts for federal legislation. They will also be able to establish how reasonable it is to plan for multi-state compacts and liquidity pools in a boardroom style discussion with the major players from the lottery, tribal gaming, commercial casino and regulatory authorities. The breakfast session with Isadore Hall on its own is a major reason to attend EiG.”
15:00 - 15:20 From Payments and Fraud to Conversions and Big Data departments 15:40 - 16:00 Fraud, ID verification, Geo-location and Security 15:00 - 15:20 How to increase conversion to deposit and verify player identity at the same time 15:40 - 16:00 The Security challenge: A secure service with excellent consumer experience 16:20 - 16:40 The 4th EU AML Directive & Online Gaming - Reflecting 6 Months Debate on the Proposals 17:00 - 17:20 PCI Security Standards Council
Technical compliance and testing
Insight into the mind of a fraudster Attendees at EiG will have a unique opportunity to discover what motivates the fraudsters who attack their websites. elegates attending the forthcoming EiG will gain a unique insight to the motivations, mindset and most importantly the methodology of Britain’s most successful card fraudster. Tony Sales, who at the height of his criminal ‘career’ was defrauding retailers, finance houses and financial institutions of £30m through false identities, credit cards and other fraudulent schemes, will be sharing his insight in association with payments and ID credentials validation specialist Jumio. The one-hour workshop interview will highlight how Sales stole player identities, maxed-out payment cards, and targeted different operators and platforms during a six-
TONY SALES: APPEARING ON THE WEDNESDAY OF EIG
year criminal career, while offering a unique opportunity for businesses to understand how they are targeted by organised crime gangs, and what to do about it. Speaking ahead of his appearance at EiG, Sales explained how his ‘skills’ can be applied to the gaming industry. He said: “I could gain the login details of a customer of a gaming website. I would only play small to start with and maybe work it for several weeks, depending on how much the customer had in their account. I could then
change the customer address to match a card I have then simply cash out the customer’s winnings straight into the account I would have control over. Customers’ addresses are stored in the back end of the gaming sites. So now I have the customer’s address I can take my bankcard straight into the bank and change the address, as I have captured on video recently. Then I just change the card details on the site - it’s as simple as that!” Jumio’s European marketing director David Pope will be interviewing Sales at EiG. He stated: “Fraudsters love online gaming, in their spare time and in their work time. The best way to beat the fraudsters is to get inside their minds and understand the how, the what, the why and the when of their fraudulent activities. By hearing about Tony’s crimes and techniques to defraud gaming sites, we can make the industry more resilient to card fraud losses.” ‘Interview with a convicted fraudster… how card fraudsters target gaming sites’, sponsored by Jumio, will take place on Wednesday 9 October from 12.00 to 13.00.
15:00 - 15:20 Building Bridges: Supporting The Industry Through Global Collaboration 15:40 - 16:00 A guide on how to enhance the relationship with your partner test laboratory and how to make sense of technical compliance in today’s complex European and American jurisdictional landscape. 16:20 - 16:40 Responsible Gambling - the Regulatory Race to the Top" with a sub-title "Can operators lead the race to a standard or be left holding the chequebook? 17:00 - 17:20 Babel fish - how to be technically compliant within multiple jurisdictions
Legal Insight 15:00 - 15:20 Bulgaria: Between blacklisting and stable business opportunities 15:40 - 16:20: How to enter the US iGaming market? 16:30 - 16:50 Greek Betting and Gaming market: A Greek drama or are we getting closer to a regulated market? 17:00 - 17:20 The advantages of operating in a regulated market and how to get in it
BettingBusinessInteractive • OCTOBER 2013
Essential Guide to ... EiG BIT8
Infinite backend possibilities for all operators
The drivers of online deregulation
BIT8 FOUNDERS ANGELO DALLI, KEITH GALEA & BRIAN FENECH
Exhibiting at EiG for the first time, platform developer Bit8 has used its knowledge base to provide customers with what they require. Anyone who has spent more than a minimum of time working within any field of an iGaming operator will unavoidably have been frustrated by the limitations they face, be it setting up a bonus, preempting fraud or simply offering their players the exact product and service they themselves envision. This sense of imposed limitations was shared by the founders of the new, and dare we claim the best, platform to enter the market. Bit8 was established in 2010 and is attracting an ever growing number of operators using its platform and modules, ranging from new operators to large established operators including a few of the top 20 online casinos in the world. Our values are simple: we provide operators with the tools needed to maximise player lifetime value, allowing them to focus on delivering an awesome player experience with less resources and without limiting their possibilities to what
they can offer to their players. Having been started by people with experience from all areas of iGaming, the company had an excellent basis for knowing what a player wants and what an operator needs to be able to offer. The end result was a platform that offers an innovative intelligent gaming backend which caters for the current and future needs of modern gaming operators, both new and established. The Bit8 platform offers an advanced bonus system that works across multiple game suppliers and cross-product, promotions and tournaments, and seamless wallet integration. The data mining and player segmentation coupled with an artificial intelligence rule engine and CRM add-ons give a cutting edge to operators while maximising retention and the overall player lifetime value. The platform automatically learns and adapts to the operators’ specific needs and operational circumstances through its flexi-
ble system of player segmentation and templates that work across multiple brands and sites. On the acquisition channel side, the Bit8 platform is equally at home on desktop, tablet and mobile sites. Special middle layer technology for mobile sites and sportsbooktype sites enables faster data updates and more responsive applications to be created. One of the pet peeves of the Bit8 founders was the time and resources wasted on extracting and importing data from different systems, having to go through several steps and perhaps development to set up a great enticing bonuses and many more time wasters. The Bit8 platform automates a wide variety of laborious manual work, from marketing campaign setup and targeting, identification of revenue optimisation opportunities, automatic data drilldowns and adaptive user interface that shave off hours of work, while making operations less dependent on specialised skills and making the whole process more efficient.”
Fractional cash-in ‘will become industry standard’ The new football pool bet with a £10m weekly jackpot has had a good start to the season and CEO Bernard Marantelli is hoping to recruit more B2B partners at EiG ow pleased have you been by an ‘all or nothing’ basis. We believe the launch of Colossusbets? fractional cash-in will be soon be It was hard to know what to exindustry standard. Social media pect, but we have over 5,000 cusgenerally and the inclusion of tomers to date, betting an average Michael Owen as our brand amof £40,000 per week. We would bassador has also been a great suchave liked more, but people in the cess. What has worked less well industry I have spoken to tell me has been the conversion of nonthis is an impressive start and I am BERNARD MARANTELLI gamblers. Whilst they have been often reminded that Betfair had attracted by the £10m headline less than 50 customers on their first weekprize, some have found elements of the end. game and the cash-in a little confusing. It is a lesson that what may seem extremely obviWhat aspect has worked particularly well? ous to existing gamblers, can confuse the The public and industry reaction to our frac- novice player. tional cash-in option has been exceptional. Can you explain your B2B approach? We have seen this on Twitter and by emails Every sportsbook out there is currently selland phone calls we have received. Players ing an almost identical product, with the love the optionality this feature provides – only differences being between sign-up giving them control over their destiny and removing the totally binary element of tradi- bonuses and offering 13-8 when a competitional multi-leg bets. Even the ‘cash-out’ op- tor is offering 6-4 on a selection. Given we tions now being provided by Betfair, William are offering the first lottery-sized prizes for sports, as well as fractional cash-in, we are Hill and others, are offered to the player on
providing something uniquely different. As such we allow our B2B partners to have a real USP to recruit clients. Another feature of the Colossus pools which our B2B partners like is its ‘stickiness’, as players come back to check cash-in offers and take some money off the table, as well as monitoring the remaining units in each pool and working out which pools are likely to rollover. We have signed several partners already, including BetVictor, Boylesports, Betdaq, 32Red, Koolbit and Muchos Poker. We have more B2B deals imminent and are generally very pleased with the B2B reception we have received. Are you already planning for next year’s World Cup? We will be offering a guaranteed £10,000,000 pool during the World Cup, together with a series of other games. Our World Cup planning will begin in earnest at the start of 2014 when qualification has been completed and the draw has been made.
AGA chief Geoff Freeman is one of the keynote speakers at EiG and he will be discussing the ever changing legal situation in the US. merican Gaming Association (AGA) president Geoff Freeman has high hopes for this year’s EiG Expo in Barcelona. He explained: “We’re excited to go to EIG. It’s my first opportunity to attend this event. My main priority is to learn and to network and to come home a more informed person than I was went I first went to Barcelona. I’m very impressed with the list of attendees that are expected to be there and the opportunity to learn and network looks to be off the chart and I’m excited to be part of that.” Freeman is a keynote speaker at EiG and will be talking about the efforts to legalise online gaming in the US. “I think there are a variety of factors driving online gaming,” he said. “One of those factors is that we are a dynamic industry that evolves to meet the needs of our customers. If you look at Las Vegas who would have imagined that you have poolside cabanas and other things where customers would be spending so much of their money. But the industry adapted to the interest of our customers and I think the same is true of online. There is a critical mass out there that is expressing an interest of playing online, hence our willingness as an industry to adapt to what our customer wants.” Freeman believes another driver is the continuing demand for playing online – the AGA estimates that Americans are still spending billions of dollars illegally online. Freeman believes that there needs to be adequate consumer protection in place and that the systems are as regulated as they need to be. He added: “I think the third major driver for being active on this front is to make sure that as an area is regulated it’s done in the most sensible, practicable and efficient manner. Landbased riverboat gaming has far too many duplicative and inefficient regulations out there already which cost the industry significant dollars. They harm our abilities to grow and add jobs. So if we can get in on the front end of online gaming then we can help regulators to achieve what they want to achieve without harming the business and its ability to thrive. That would be a win-win for all parties.”
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Essential Guide to ... EiG NET ENTERTAINMENT
The benefits of branded slot games
Simon Hammon, Net Entertainment’s chief product officer, discusses the benefits of branded slot games ahead of the launch of South Park randed games provide excellent value to the operator, supplier and customer. But it’s not just about selecting the right brand, the hard work is the execution to ensure the best rates of investment. Branded content is an important segment of Net Entertainment’s mission to create better games, yet our own IP remains the overall driving force behind all our slots. They help complete our high quality portfolio that provides our complete gaming solution. Having the right brand can result in excellent player acquisition for casinos, while it also enables operators to reach out to a new demographic. At ICE 2012 we launched ‘Scarface’ video slot, which is one of the truly iconic films and that has a massive following. The main protagonist, Tony Montana, is a particularly recognisable character that helps draw players to the slot game. Once they start playing our Scarface video slot they become accustomed to the excitement of the games and migrate to other products. At Net Entertainment we have found that branded games can often generate higher player life time values. Our latest slot release, South Park, is one of the most popular shows ever
Ahead of the charity’s presence at EiG, GamCare CEO Dirk Hansen explains how the problem gambling organisation can help online operators protect their customers. SIMON HAMMON
broadcast. It has been running for 16 series and appeals to a wide audience of players. Acquisition value can be measured in various ways, but we can often see that branded games significantly increase all metrics in this area. Branded content also offers diversity and credibility by being aligned with companies like Universal Pictures and Comedy Central. It means that players feel at home when online and are encouraged to play slots. With some brands, such as South Park and Scarface, their sheer presence on the site also works for operators as their credibility is instantly enhanced. From an advertising stand point it can lead to new deals as they also want to be aligned with brands like South Park and Scarface. Creating and working with these types of brands is great fun when developing game concepts. It does however represent certain challenges along the creation process as we adhere to brand values. South Park’s Bonus Games feature for example allowed us to really push ourselves creatively in order to make the game as enjoyable as possible and I’m sure they will reap huge awards. These types of projects inspire our employees to strive for greater levels of quality, pride and innovation.
hat services can you offer the remote industry? GamCare offers an accreditation scheme and blended training solutions that encompasses both remote and land-based operations. GamCare’s Code of Practice for the remote sector provides a framework for social responsibility and player protection that applies to the particular context of an online operation. GamCare uses this Code of Practice to audit the industry operator and provide feedback with a view to providing an award of GamCare Certification. We also provide social responsibility training for staff and consulting regarding responsible practices GamCare training programmes are delivered in person and also through our e-learning platform GamCare ExTra. In response to Operator demand we created a Level 2 Interaction programme and over the past year we have delivered the workshop in Gibraltar, Malta, Guernsey and the UK.
With an award winning CEO and a platform providing one of the largest selection of games on the market, NYX Interactive has lots to talk about at EiG.
Do you hold social responsibility programmes outside of the UK? Yes, GamCare has an international arm where we can offer certification, training and consulting to operators outside of the UK, as well as to jurisdictions who may want to replicate the arrangement that has been established in the UK. GamCare also sponsors an online forum, PlayRight especially created for Responsible Gaming Managers to enable dialogue around best practice in player protection and the sharing of ideas, research and education.
YX Interactive CEO David Flynn has scooped a major award for his work with the platform developer – where he has been named Swedish CEO of 2013. Flynn was acknowledged by Acquisition International’s 2013 Business Excellence Awards which ‘recognise strategic thinking and successful executions’. The awards are voted for by the 53,064 subscribers of Acquisition International Magazine along with 26,831 of ‘the world’s top tier management’. The award has been recognition of Flynn’s success handling the development of the NYX Open Gaming System, which has gone from strength to strength since it launched and includes content from a growing number of developers. These include NextGen Gaming, Igaming2go, 1X2gaming, Sheriff Gaming, Bally, SHFL, Aristocrat, Amaya and Elk Gaming. Interestingly the list of partners includes a fair number of developers from the international land-based casino sector, which appear to be using OGS as a way of getting opera-
How does GamCare fund this activity? As GamCare is a registered charity in the UK, our charitable aims are fulfilled by a range of funding sources. The primary funding is for helping problem gamblers and their families through a grant from the Responsible Gambling Trust. These monies are designated for treatment and advice specifically, and are therefore maximised to reach as many individuals as possible with the most effective services we can. GamCare Prevention and Education initiatives are designed to inform all players about responsible gambling and to support betting and gaming professionals to identify the player who may be at risk of losing control. For our social responsibility training and certification schemes, we charge fees at a nominal rate to fund this activity as the treatment grants do not apply. We consider ourselves to be in the best position to certify gambling operations from the responsible practices position, as we understand the perspective of the problem gambler more fully through our Helpline and treatment programmes.
Flynn takes CEO award N
DAVID FLYNN: SWEDISH CEO OF 2013
tors interested in their interactive content. Flynn commented: “We started out looking at OGS as a fast route to market for innovative content and also some boutique suppliers. Then on the platform side of our business we’ve done some integration deals with some of the bigger US suppliers and they became interested in OGS. Because we’ve rapidly increased the number of customers on OGS, it became the platform of choice I would say in terms of games distribution. First and foremost because the games providers can keep hold
of their content and they are fully in control of it. On top of that we have signed and gone live with about 20 customers in the year with another 10 about to go live, so that’s rapid growth within the timescale. “Initially I think operators do come to us for a mobile solution. But I think they also come to us now because we have a very strong portfolio of content and also because as soon as the content providers make a game live then it is live through OGS within half an hour. We’ve kind of become the platform of choice for the providers form the US who are very particular about who they work with.” Indeed it NYX’s mobile offering – MOVE powered by NYX OGS – has one of the most extensive content ranges available on the market. Flynn explained: “We’ve tried to focus a lot on the mobile side of content to make sure that everything we do is mobile going forward. There’s a lot of games in there already. Interestingly it’s almost half and half HTML5 vs Flash, so we have a really strong portfolio.”
ACTION IMAGES / MATTHEW CHILDS
Essential Guide to ... EiG SPORTING SOLUTIONS
US sports growth continues for sportsbooks
A ‘COMPLEX, TACTICAL SPORT’ LIKE AMERICAN FOOTBALL TAKES DEEP TRADER EXPERTISE
Sporting Solutions managing director Simon Trim explains what it takes to win with US sports. With the 2013-14 NFL season recently underway and the NBA campaign about to tip off, now is the time for sportsbooks to seriously consider their US sports offering. Extending the betting window has become a necessity for sports betting companies as they battle for market share and US sports are the perfect way to do this. American football, basketball and baseball are popular all over the globe, but providing a full-service offering (from pre-event and especially through in-play) can be very challenging, not to mention expensive. Sporting Solutions is the leading B2B provider of US sports. Our service provides sportsbooks with a rapid and cost-effective
method of expanding coverage, providing automation of event management, prematch pricing, in-play pricing and resulting. Automation is complemented by powerful trading tools which allow traders to configure the service for their target market and manage liabilities across multiple events simultaneously. For sportsbooks that want to take more control we also offer direct access to our market-leading models. All our services are delivered via our award-winning, cloudbased Connect Platform with plug ‘n’ play betting engine integration reducing IT costs and accelerating time to market for our customers. Expanding US sports coverage isn’t
straightforward. To trade a complex, tactical sport like American football, for example, it takes deep trader expertise. Finding knowledgeable and talented US sports traders isn’t easy, particularly when it comes to in-play. They must have an indepth understanding of the game and all its nuances, as well as be willing to work unsociable hours. At Sporting Solutions we continually invest in our trading team to deliver the best possible service to our customers. In September we launched the Trading School of Excellence, a post-graduate course, in partnership with Salford University, as part of our on-going commitment to trading development.
To offer a comprehensive service requires continuous investment in modelling capability. Sporting Solutions’ long trading heritage has enabled us to develop and refine trading models for the full gambit of US sports: professional and college American football and basketball; baseball and ice hockey. Our investment in market-leading models means we are able to offer our customers the widest coverage and the deepest set of markets, while maintaining and enhancing their margins. This year we will be showcasing our services at EiG in October. We invite all visitors to stand 160 where you will enjoy a warm welcome and a live demonstration of our award-winning services.”
ISLE OF MAN
Best bar none
Manx gaming industry still growing
Head of product channels Neill Whyte discusses what Microgaming has up its sleeves for EiG. EiG is back in Barcelona for the second year and Microgaming is once again sponsoring the renowned EiG Bar, the networking hub for the three-day event. Exhibitors will be able to grab an all-important morning coffee or a lunchtime snack from the purpose-built bar, which takes centre stage on the expo floor; an ideal meeting location. Next to the Bar is Microgaming’s dedicated demo and VIP area where we will be presenting our latest offerings, spanning our online, mobile and land-based services. Microgaming’s mobile solutions will take pride of place; this year alone we have added 20 HTML5 mobile games to our portfolio, taking the HTML5 total to 37. Overall, we offer more than 100 mobile-specific games, compatible with the ever-increasing range of mobile and tablet devices. Having invested significant time and resources into the expansion of our mobile product, we believe we offer the best solution in the marketplace. Only last month we announced the industry’s largest ever mobile gaming win, a staggering £3.7m jackpot hit on HTML5 Mega Moolah. With Microgaming comes Quickfire, which currently supplies its gaming content to over 188 brands worldwide. What’s more, on average two new operators are launching onto the platform monthly. Recent deals with giants of the gaming world, including William Hill, Sky Vegas and 188BET, signify Quickfire’s leading position in the provision of online gaming content. Quickfire provides operators with the perfect
solution to gain access to Microgaming content through a hasslefree integration process. The MPN’s had a busy summer and has plenty to talk about having launched a number of exciting features in recent months such as Blazing Cannon as well as a new Mac OS client. In the past few months, the MPN has welcomed OlyBet, Red Star and Paf to its network, and there are still more deals to be announced. EiG also provides the opportunity for us to showcase our leading solutions for regulated markets. Through Prima Networks Limited, Microgaming’s software is live in Spain, Denmark, Italy and Belgium. Our presence is increasing; recent deals with Cogetech in Italy and Danske Spil in Denmark, who represent a major proportion of the Danish gaming market, affirm our position as a leading software supplier in regulated markets. And, of course, Microgaming will be displaying its latest blockbuster slot titles, including Playboy and The Dark Knight Rises online slot. Microgaming now offers over 650 casino games; the largest suite in the industry. Recent new additions include Dolphin Quest, Paradise Found and Dr Watts Up; and we’ve got some exciting game launches in the pipeline.”
The Isle of Man is still excelling as an igaming hub with double digit growth for the sector over the past few years. survey of leading e-Gaming companies by the Manx e-Gaming Association (MeGA) has revealed that the sector grew by almost 15 per cent in 2012 and is forecast to continue to do so in 2013 with an estimated further 10 per cent growth. The sector now provides over 775 diverse and skilled employment opportunities, compared with 230 people employed in the sector in 2006; making it one of the major success stories within the Isle of Man’s dynamic and growing economy. Participants of the survey were also asked to record how much they spent in the Isle of Man (other than on salaries) to help determine the sector’s contribution to the economy. The survey recorded a 10 per cent year on year increase to £175m excluding capital spending. The total ‘tax take’ rose to £16.4m. Over the last 18 months, the number of e-Gaming licensees in the Isle of Man has grown from 39 to 55. Prospects for new business in the sector also remain positive, with increasing numbers wanting to secure an Isle of Man licence. Peter Greenhill, head of e-gaming development at the Department of Economic Development, said: “The results demonstrate the continued contribution the sector has made to the Island’s economy, not just in terms of taxation paid to the Government but also in terms of job creation, particularly given the difficult economic climate over the last few years. We are also encouraged by the number of additional jobs that have been created in the sector since this survey was completed. “The growth in the e-Gaming sector has also acted as a catalyst for companies with similar requirements, such as ICT and e-businesses, to consider locating on the Isle of Man. Attracting these companies will not only provide support to the existing licence holder base but also further diversify the portfolio of businesses that make up the Isle of Man’s cluster of e-Gaming businesses and help the sector to continue growing. “I am delighted with the close liaison & working relationship we enjoy with MeGA which is indicative of the excellent public/private sector cooperation that exists in the Isle of Man.”
Essential Guide to ... EiG WILLIAMS INTERACTIVE
Bringing gaming floor expertise online
Betradar a real Live wire
Williams Interactive’s vice president & chief operating officer Jordan Levin explains what his firm brings to the igaming table. ow transferable is your expertise from the land-based casino environment? Our land-based experience positions us nicely for iGaming success. One of our biggest strengths is our exclusive library of authentic Vegas-style slot games representing nearly two decades of innovation and development by WMS Gaming; these themes and game engines represent some of the most beloved casino content in the world, and we’re seeing a great reception of this content online. From player-favourite games in The Wizard Of Oz franchise to the smash-hit Colossal Reels game engine (powering KISS: Shout it Out Loud! and Spartacus Gladiator of Rome themes), we’re able to leverage our expertise in providing the world’s most compelling player experiences to deliver unique and entertaining content previously unavailable online in both free-play and wagered markets.
You operate Jackpot Party - does this help you understand your customers’ business more? Absolutely. The operation of JackpotParty.com, and the whitelabel B2B JackpotParty.be built and managed on behalf of Groupe Partouche, gives us invaluable player engagement experiences that benefit our Game Server customers. Not only can we leverage performance data to verify our product strategy and ensure we’re prioritising launches that align with the trends and preferences we see from online players, but we can leverage our Managed Services experience to optimize the marketing support we provide our
Game Server customers so they can best position our games with their players. Has your Play4Fun Network put you in a good position for when the US igaming market opens? Regardless of the timetable for online wagering in a casino’s jurisdiction, we believe it is imperative they begin building an engaged online player community today. In current Play4Fun Network deployments we’re seeing outstanding engagement that provides opportunities to engage players and drive incremental trips to the casino floor with the mobile and web marketing tools built into the platform. Long-term a casino can leverage their online player community for wagering as that develops, but they can immediately benefit from the convergence between online and offline gaming experiences by driving round trips between their P4F and casino floor to increase the value of their current player population. Can you give us a preview of your igaming product strategy? From a technology perspective our new mobile platform launches this year, leveraging cutting edge HTML5 and an adaptive responsive game design that provides a high-resolution gaming experience regardless of tablet or mobile device. We also have a strong cadence of upcoming game launches providing gameplay unlike anything else online, including the debut of the Double Money Burst game engine powering our Elvis: The King Lives theme, our first under this iconic brand.
Automation for the people
RICHARD HOGG: ‘AN EXCELLENT SOLUTION FOR ODDS MANAGEMENT’
Richard Hogg, CMO at Betting Promotion, explains why Betting Promotion has developed a new tool for odds management in a dynamic market. Sports betting is a complex business to operate. Once you have all the sporting events you want to have your customers betting on, you need all the odds. The odds should be competitive but not so far out of line you just attract the ‘shrewd’ money. Many companies will use a complex system of external data feeds and in-house resources to deliver the odds and then based upon amounts bet within the system and changes in the market externally prices need to be changed accordingly. Outsourcing is not common place for the larger organisations who like to retain inhouse expertise. For start-ups this is a viable option to save on these costs until the business grows to a significant size. For existing operations outsourcing the markets that they use for window-dressing is most defi-
nitely an option. Also using third party tools to manipulate odds to better manage the risk is also a viable option as their in-house staff will still have ultimate control. With this in mind Betting Promotion has been working internally and with third party suppliers to enhance its offering to provide such a service with a new tool. This tool provides an excellent solution for odds management in a dynamic market, subject to rapid changes and continuously updating, hence the need to respond quickly to changes with minimal error margins. The factors that characterise the tool are: automation; customisation; flexibility; and compatibility. Because the tool is automated, the time for odds compiling is reduced, errors are minimised, and reaction time to odds
changes is faster. The tool can be customised by creation of specific margins divided by sport, country, league and match, even independently from each other. Through our algorithms, at the moment we can offer more than 100 side bets, and if there’s the need to set specific models we can integrate them for a flexible management of all customer’s needs, to offer users a wide and competitive choice. Easy integration into many platforms and back offices, compatibility with leading odds providers, make our platform an advanced tool, essential for companies constantly growing. The result is a bigger return on investment, increased productivity and profitability, with the same range of markets, shift of workforce from simple data entry to much more profitable and productive risk management.”
When it comes to live betting information, Betradar is going from strength to strength as it adds Rugby Union and Darts to its portfolio. etradar, supplier of sports and betting related data, has extended its live betting program and can also now offer Live Odds for Darts and Rugby Union. Betradar’s live betting turn-key solutions provide a large variety of sports, including Football, Tennis, Basketball, Baseball, Ice Hockey, American Football, Handball, Badminton, Volleyball, Beach Volleyball and Futsal. The launch of Live Odds services for Darts and Rugby Union extends Betradar’s live coverage to 13 sports. This portfolio extension was made possible by the acquisition of SportStat, a UK based sports data provider. SportStat delivers fast, accurate and reliable sports data to the betting and media industry. Specialising in Rugby Union & Rugby League, Darts and Snooker, SportStat is the official data collection partners to the International Rugby Board, Rugby World Cup, World Snooker, the Professional Darts Corporation, and many leading rugby union and league clubs. In total, Betradar’s coverage amounts to over 11,000 live events around-theclock each month. Betradar will be increasing the list of sports to be covered live during the forthcoming months with Table Tennis, Snooker, Cricket and Rugby League to be offered. Furthermore, the company’s live betting services can be tailored for all types of businesses – from small retail outlets to big online operations. Over 150 bookmakers already use Betradar when it comes to live betting. “The challenge for bookmakers to further increase the number of sports to be covered live will continue to be of importance. The collection and updating of live sports data and the trading of live odds requires many resources and substantial financial investments. Our turn-key live betting solutions allow bookmakers to offer their clients a diverse live betting portfolio without the need for cost intensive live trading operations”, said Erik Lorenz, managing director sales at Sportradar. Betradar’s live betting solutions allow bookmakers to externalise these labour intensive tasks and to simply and effectively deal with them. The company provides everything needed for creating, managing and closing a vast sports betting offer.
Sporting Solutions is a trading name of Spin Services Ltd, a member of the Sporting Index group of companies.
The home of American sports Only Sporting Solutions can offer a full range of automated data, pricing and trading tools across NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and NCAA. Our US sports service has been built upon a heritage of proprietary price development and trading expertise. This level of experience ensures our range of markets and
quality of prices stand apart from all others. We help our partners grow their US sports margins and revenues - and we have been doing it for years. If you would like to enhance your US sports service meet us at EiG, visit sportingsolutions.com www.sportingsolutions.com or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Retail B2B Retail Listings
B2B content R et ai l
B2B epos R et ai l
Major SSBT for BGT Ladbrokes has selected BGT as its software provider to power the rollout of over 1,500 selfservice betting terminals across UK shops, making the bookmaker the biggest operator of ‘SSBTs’. Commercial director John Pettit commented: “SSBTs are part of our wider strategy to evolve the retail offer by giving customers access to more markets and betting opportunities, such as betting in play.” FOOTBALL
B2B marketing R et ai l
ACTION IMAGES / JOHN SIBLEY
French football on Betradar’s Live Channel
THE DOMESTIC EXPLOITS OF ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC AND HIS PSG TEAMMATES WILL BE AVAILABLE ON BETRADAR’S LIVE CHANNEL
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With two of the summer’s biggest selling clubs in its domestic league, French football could be one to watch this year.
making sense of the gaming industry
B2B signage systems R et ai l
portradar, a leading supplier of sports and betting-related data, has announced an agreement with the international media company MP&Silva to licence the exclusive retail right for the French Ligue 1. This contract includes a minimum of 125 matches for the current running soccer season and started with the live transmission of the match between Toulouse FC and Olympique de Marseille on Saturday 14 September on Betradar’s Live Channel for retail betting operators. This deal extends the co-operation with MP&Silva, guaranteeing the license for over 500 annual sporting events. The acquired media rights package includes for Soccer the French League 2 and Coupe de la Ligue, the American Major League Soccer (MLS), a package of ATP 250 Tennis tournaments, the ACB Spanish Basketball League, the Handball EHF Champions League, the Ger-
man Handball-League HBL, and a various number of additional international rights. The acquired media rights packages will be distributed in Betradar’s Live Channel, which was launched earlier this summer. The streaming channel for betting shops operators is the first product ever that combines customers’ live odds, live statistics and, most importantly, live pictures of sports events around the world on one single screen. Within a few weeks, several hundred betting shops have already integrated the Live Channel, and have shown themselves to be enthusiastic about the success of the product, and have subsequently increased their businesses turnover significantly. Sportradar’s managing director of media rights, Joern Anhalt, welcomed the conclusion of both contracts with MP&Silva: “Through these deals, we gain top-class international sports for our Live Channel for
our retail betting customers. The Ligue 1, equipped with international tops stars like Falcao, Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, is an absolute highlight for our customers and will for sure increase the customer satisfaction in the betting shops. Certainly, our focus is to provide our clients with live sports content during their entire opening hours. To achieve this ambitious goal, we will continue to further expand our media rights portfolio.” Peter Hutton, chief operating officer at MP & Silva, said: “We are delighted to expand our cooperation with Sportradar to include Ligue 1. French football is growing on a year-on-year basis in popularity and viewership both domestically and internationally. Having it as part of the betting offer Sportradar will only intensify this process as well as give fans live access to some of the most powerful and skilful football action in the world.”
SIS helps develop 3 channel approach IS and Ladbrokes have launched a new, bespoke three-channel service for the chain’s 2,490-plus shops in the UK and Ireland. The new channels - ‘Live’, ‘Link’ and ‘Virtual’ - replace Ladbrokes’ previous TV and audio channels, and broadcast a combination of live racing, preview pieces, graphics content and virtual events. Paul Tilling, Head of Broadcast at Ladbrokes, said: “The SIS partnership was extended to allow us to fully control the service we provide into our shops across the UK and Ireland, and to take an extra channel, to deliver a more integrated and richer broadcast service to our customers, with more betting opportunities than ever before.”
LHMC ARE HIGH QUALITY DISPLAYS
Intralot has it made in Taiwan ntralot, through its participation as a major shareholder in the Taiwanese joint venture LotRich Information Co. has been selected as the technology provider by Taiwan Sports Lottery Corporation (TSLC), following a tender process. Intralot offered TSLC the necessary support to bid for and win the 10-year licence to operate the Sports Lottery, to which the major prerequisite and criterion was the competence and experience
LADBROKES HAS REVAMPED ITS LBO CHANNELS
of the technology provider. The 10-year betting technology supply contract of Intralot will commence in the beginning of 2014 and run through the end of 2023. As the technology provider of TSLC, Intralot will offer all the necessary software and hardware for the successful 10-year operation of the Sports Lottery, including the LOTOS Horizon Platform, the B-On platform, the iFlex betting platform, all running on Intralot’s Central System LOTOS O/S.
Intralot will also offer 1,200 Photon terminals to be installed in PoS countrywide and 1,200 LOTOS Horizon Multimedia Controllers (LHMCs), used for displaying high quality betting information, as well as offer all related systems’ and software maintenance. Moreover, in cooperation with the other members of the consortium, it will provide on-site system support and countrywide betting POS terminals’ maintenance and repair.
Racing UK signs up Sky ky has become the exclusive sales agent for Racing UK’s commercial TV service on satellite (excluding bookmakers) that alongside its existing At The Races coverage, makes Sky the home of horse racing for pubs and clubs looking to boost daytime profits. The deal is separate to Racing UK’s residential service. The move allows licensed customers to feature full coverage of every UK and Republic of Ireland race, at every race course, through a discounted Racing Pack subscription that combines Racing UK and At The Races. Licensees with two screens can take this a step further by simultaneously showing both dedicated horse-racing channels to guarantee a race every few minutes.
Rugby in a new light viva Premiership Rugby and its new broadcast partner BT Sport will break new ground this season with a series of on-screen innovations. After a six-month consultation period that involved all 12 Aviva Premiership directors of rugby, chief executives and media managers, a new TV strategy has been agreed with the objective of bringing fans closer to the game. The innovations include: Dressing Room cameras, a pre-match pitch walk which will see BT Sport reporters interview players dur-
AUSTIN HEALEY AND BEN KAY PRESENT BT SPORT’S RUGBY COVERAGE
David Ross Fabrications Ltd ing their warm-up, interviews with coaches during matches, half-time player and coach interviews and the introduction of kicking tee camera and lineout cam giving viewers unique angles.
GAMING MACHINES Forceful game G Gaming has launched its Star Wars A New Hope game to licenced betting shop customers after securing an exclusive licence from Lucasfilm. The game follows the story line of the 1977 blockbuster movie and utilises instantly recognisable music from the original soundtrack. Rick Mountney, director of content development of SG Gaming, said: “The ability to offer licensed content to customers across multiple sectors further strengthens our position as a leading content supplier. Using state-of-the-art graphics and original soundtrack elements, we’ve combined the Star Wars: A New Hope film with fully immersive and innovative gameplay, which should prove to be a big hit with players across all of our target sectors.”
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SPECIALIST SUPPLIERS OF METALWORK TO THE BETTING INDUSTRY FOR OVER 16 YEARS UNIT 1E PECKLETON LANE BUSINESS ESTATE PECKLETON LEICESTER LE9 7RN TEL;01455 823721 FAX;01455 828339 EMAIL;email@example.com www.davidrossfabrications.co.uk Photographs courtesy of Coral Racing & Chisholm Bookmakers
Sportsbook B2B Sportsbook Listings
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Mkodo business development director Mark Gibson has warned operators to check their apps: “The release of the iOS 7 operating system will provide a substantial presentational change for end users and something that app designers will need to accommodate.”
Affiliate site www.freebets.com is to sponsor the Cheltenham’s 2m 5f Handicap Chase until 2016. David Archer said: “I have been going to Cheltenham for around 30 years now so I am delighted to sponsor such a valuable and important race on Festival Trials Day.”
Manila enveloped Supplier EveryMatrix has opened an Asian office in Manila, Philippines. The office will be spear headed by Ian Sherrington, taking on the role of business development manager for the region.
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VIP announces Klitschko-branded virtual boxing
B2B publications S po rt sb
KLITSCHKO EXPERTISE HAS GONE INTO THE NEW VIRTUAL PRODUCT
While the 1980s gave us Daley Thompson’s Decathlon, the latest sporting simulation has more of a knockout punch. making sense of the gaming industry
B2B trading services S po rt sb
n innovative Virtual Boxing Product has been announced by a brand new challenger in the virtual games arena. Virtual Intellectual Projects (VIP) is launching a state of the art boxing game product at the EIG conference in Barcelona, and the company is hoping that it will pack a knockout punch. The new approach sees virtual games given personal approval by some of the biggest names in sport and in this case boxing heavyweights Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko are putting their names to the product. Predrag Popovic, director of VIP, said: “This new venture is a step up in class for the virtual games industry. I and my fellow directors have planned this for the last
year and have now commissioned Veros Digital to produce the game. Veros Digital Partners, the new venture of Dave Mousley and Jonathan Mills who virtually invented the industry, will work closely with VIP over the coming few months to make sure the quality of graphics and game play is far beyond anything the industry has seen to date.” VIP also said that the game has been developed using the technical knowledge and experience of the Klitschko brothers. Popovic added: “Many people do not realise that both Vitali and Vladimir are PhD in Sports Science. They have been involved in all of the planning stages and have contributed to both the concept and the action sequences. One of their main requirements was that the game had to be
graphically superior to any other virtual product on the market. We have achieved this. It was also the brothers’ wish that the game be accessible and bring the true spirit of the ring to the players, again as you will see this is certainly the case.” This is the first of a full portfolio of products that VIP will be launching over the next couple of years. And the firm anticipates that it will have the only suite of virtual games that will be suitable for lottery, fixed odds and pari mutuel operators. The company said: “They will all be of the same ‘heavyweight’ quality and each will be produced in conjunction with a top performer from that sport. Ice Hockey, Football and Cricket are already in the planning stages. VIP will also have an extensive range of skill games available.”
Genybet gets into sports betting
Totel up to the Ocho otelFootball has increased its global footprint by forming a supply partnership with Ocho Gaming, the leading operator and provider of online gaming to the Latin American market, though its JuegaOcho.com brand. The agreement will see JuegaOcho.com members presented with a localised TotelFootball offering this season, ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. “This partnership with Ocho Gaming marks an important step in the growth of our business and demonstrates the worldwide appeal of TotelFootball,” Keith McDonnell, TotelFootball’s business development director. “Our strategy is focussed on increasing the reach of our product as we strive to become the global destination for fantasy sports betting.”
eny Infos, which publishes horse racing website Genybet (www.genybet.fr), is taking advantage of strong growth in French online sports betting market, to launch its own sportsbook. The IT solution (front office , back office, fixed and mobile website), full sportsbook, odds compilation, and associated risk management are provided by Sportnco, the B2B Venture of France Pari, whose global sports betting solution is now used by four of the nine sports betting operators still licensed by ARJEL (Joaonline , NetBet, Geny and France Pari). Genybet players can now - from a single game account - bet on horse races as well as on more than 32,000 sporting events per year, in thirty different sports: pre-match fixed-odds, live betting and also pool betting offer managed in common pool by Sportnco for its four B2B customers. Hervé Schlosser, CEO and founder of France Pari, said: “This new release con-
DATA Players can Bet Smart n partnership with Opta, Bet Smart Media has launched Opta Trends, an innovative new tool for bettors to easily find data-supported trends for upcoming English Premier League matches. The insights give bettors the confidence to place a bet, which has been shown to stimulate betting activity for B2B partner brands. Bettors can filter data to instantly see how a team has performed historically under situational factors. Bet Smart Media president Jesse Learmonth, said: “We are fervent believers that every bettor should have access to tools and content that helps them make more confident betting decisions, whether that be on their desktops, tablets, or mobiles.”
firms the attractiveness of Sportnco sportsbook for all e-gaming operators in France. It also strengthens Sportnco leadership on the French market, and shows how the company, in a difficult market environment, has been able to keep its B2B customers, providing them fast growing and profitable ventures. It legitimises company strategy, now mostly focusing on the development of its B2B activities, in France but also at a more international scale.” Indeed, Sportnco has also just launched www.feelingbet.fr on behalf of sports betting forecasts site FootballFeeling.
iGaming Red Star on MPN Microgaming’s Lydia Melton has welcomed Red Star to the MPN: “We’ve launched a flurry of exciting features in recent months, such as Blazing Cannon, which Red Star players will be able to enjoy. It’s a great time to be joining the MPN.”
Paf gets Mac poker
Spud-u-like Microgaming has also released Couch Potato - a three reel slot filled with colourful and sharp graphics. The game features a wild, multiplier symbol to boost player winnings, with a maximum jackpot of 15,000 coins.
Hospice donation The Microgaming Health & Care Trust has donated £5,000 to equip the Hospice Isle of Man’s new minibus with a wheelchair lift, oxygen holders and a manual side step to facilitate easier access into the vehicle.
Åland-based operator Paf is live with the MPN’s new downloadable Mac OS software. Running in the Adobe Air framework, the new client has the same functionality as the MPN’s ‘instant play’ client.
Net Entertainment gives GTECH lottery exclusivity
BJÖRN KRANTZ: ‘DELIGHTED TO PARTNER WITH GTECH’
GTECH lottery customers now have access to Net Entertainment’s ground breaking slots after the two firms teamed up. TECH has signed an exclusive Game Supply Agreement with Net Entertainment, allowing GTECH’s current and future World Lottery Association (WLA) customers can have access to a large selection of some of the best-performing online casino games. Net Entertainment’s expanding library of successful titles means GTECH can help WLA customers build an entertaining and sustainable online casino gaming program with short time-to-market. “As our lottery customers create or expand their online casino gaming programs, they are seeking proven, successful products that they can implement seamlessly and quickly,” said Renato Ascoli, general manager, GTECH S.p.A. and president, GTECH Products and Services. “We expect that our agreement with Net Entertainment
will meet our customers’ goal of generating revenue in support of the communities they serve by providing their players with a firstclass online gaming experience.” GTECH’s relationship with Net Entertainment began in July when it signed a licence agreement to provide games to WLA member and GTECH S.p.A. subsidiary Lottomatica Scommesse S.r.l through its lottomatica.it and totosi.it domains. “Net Entertainment is delighted to partner with GTECH, a global leader in the regulated gaming market, giving us the opportunity to bring our games to WLA customers,” said Björn Krantz, chief of GMO and MD Net Entertainment Malta Ltd. “GTECH has been trusted by lottery customers for decades to provide reliable, high-integrity gaming products, and we believe Net Entertainment’s online games portfolio fits perfectly with GTECH’s product strategy.”
GTECH has also launched its new Poker Platform, along with its Mobile Poker for iPad tablets, featuring ergonomic thumbbased game play, at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas. This new playing experience is offered on GTECH’s newly launched Interactive Platform. The new Poker Platform has been completely re-designed and rewritten to include additional features, with further releases scheduled over the coming months. It is scalable and flexible, giving customers the ability to tailor it to their specific needs and player base. The new platform has all the features of a modern and robust poker platform, and it has been designed to address the changing dynamics of online poker. Special emphasis has been placed on preparing the platform for multiple channels and networks. It is accessible through mobile browsers and through the Apple Store, and
is iOS7 and iOS6 compatible. The industry-first, thumb-controlled tablet game play delivers a comfortable experience for gamers that can only be achieved through GTECH’s new poker solution. Simply put, GTECH’s app allows all of the poker playing functions to be carried out by the player’s thumbs, to accommodate the landscape position gamers typically prefer when playing on their iPads. GTECH’s tablet solution features a userfriendly touch interface that utilises swipes, taps, and gestures, mimicking natural tablet handling and providing easy access to exciting game actions. In response to the ever-growing importance of mobile specifically in North America, GTECH has prioritised the development of top-performing games for mobile devices, including player favourites from the popular Spielo casino games library.
POKER Perfect poker gameplay he launch of a product based on artificial intelligence (AI) is set to revolutionise the game of No Limit Texas Hold’em poker according to developer PokerSnowie. PokerCoach is a learning tool based on the ‘perfect gameplay’ approach of PokerSnowie, allowing players to analyse their hand history and pin-point errors, while also ranking their play and providing measurable ways to improve. PokerCoach is an accessible product for players of all levels: Olivier Egger, co-founder of PokerSnowie, said: “Our AI will assist poker players of all abilities to improve their level of play, and ultimately help to level the playing field. The PokerCoach product is based on self-improvement, and isn’t concerned with the analysis of opponents.”
B2B iGaming Listings
WMS to supply William Hill long-term
illiams Interactive has entered into a long-term strategic relationship with William Hill to supply its full portfolio of WMS online slot games to William Hill Online casino. Through integration with the Williams Interactive Remote Game Server, players will have access to an unrivalled content portfolio of WMS slot games. The relationship provides William Hill online casino access to this library of authentic Las Vegas-style games for desktop, tablet and mobile gaming platforms, and further expands the global audience for WMS and Williams Interactive premium casino slot content. The games are planned to be available to William Hill players by the end of calendar 2013. William Hill director of gaming James Curwen said: “I am very excited by the close relationship that has been created between William Hill and Williams Interactive. Our players will soon enjoy the extensive portfo-
iG am in
lio of unique online WMS casino content including games on the innovative game engine Colossal Reels and exciting licensed themes Bruce Lee, The Wizard of Oz, Star Trek and Kiss. This is a thrilling milestone in our history of offering the best in gaming entertainment online.” Orrin J. Edidin, president of WMS Industries and CEO and president of Williams Interactive, added: “William Hill is one of the world’s premier gaming brands, with a vast, engaged community of savvy online gamers. Providing their players access to our deep portfolio of proven WMS Gaming slot content on multiple devices represents another landmark endorsement of our extensive library of authentic Las Vegas-style casino content. We look forward to the entertainment our game content will provide their player community and the great success we will achieve together as our partnership grows in the coming years.”
robability Jones, a boutique creative partnership focused on the development of innovative formats for the gaming industry, has announced the licencing of four of its formats to Betsson Group through NYX Interactive’s OGS platform. David Newstead, partner and co-founder of Probability Jones, said: “I am delighted that our first four game releases have won the approval of both one of Scandinavia’s largest casino operators and one of the world’s leading independent e-gaming platforms.” Laszlo Keczer, head of central gaming at Betsson Group, commented: “The integration of Probability Jones’ games on NYX OGS has provided us with a perfect solution to connect our loyal players to this compelling new content.”
5050 chance ew casino game 5050Sports, which incorporates officially licensed archive video clips, has launched with variants on boxing, cricket, football and darts. 5050Sports gives players a straight ‘yes or no’ choice as to whether an incident will occur, for example ‘Will it be a boundary?’ Once the selection has been made - the odds on BetVictor are always 5/6 - an accredited RNG shows a short video clip relating to the question and the bet outcome is determined within five seconds. BetVictor’s Eoin Ryan said: “Despite its simplicity 5050Sports is in-
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credibly innovative. It is effectively the firstever branded heads and tails - and is attracting traditional sports bettors as well as games players.”
MOBILE Mirrorball dancing lumbee, the London-based social casino startup, has reached 500,000 downloads of its iOS version of Mirrorball Slots, just two months after launch. Both the iPhone and the iPad are proving very successful for the London-based startup. Mirrorball Slots boasts over 1.5m MAU’s and 350,000 DAU’s across Facebook and iOS. Plumbee is now looking to move fast and launch an Android version in the coming months. Marketing director Samer Ragheb said: “We are delighted with the results of our marketing efforts. 20 per cent of all our active users are now using the mobile version of the game. These are really great numbers, especially in this highly competitive category.”
100 line HD game release obile operator Probability has launched Mayan Moola, its first 100 line HD Slot game. Featuring completely new maths, Mayan has a minimum line
stake of just 1p. Charles Cohen, CEO and cofounder, said: “Themed adventure games remain extremely popular with our players and our first 100 line HD Slot, CHARLES COHEN Mayan Moola is no exception.” HD Slot Mayan Moola is available to all UK players active on Probability’s own brand casino LadyLucks and Moobile, plus via its ‘White Label’ partner game lobbies. Mayan Moola will be released to players in the Italian market over the coming months.
PLATFORM BetTech launches FMS etTech Gaming has launched its Fully Managed Solution (FMS) - a costeffective ‘business in a box’ offering that provides a fast and hassle-free entry to the burgeoning igaming market. This turnkey solution incorporates the BetTech Sports module and, where regulation permits, is ideal for land-based casino and sports book operators looking to go online or large media companies planning to host their own unique, branded web and mobile wagering product. “It is perfect for companies that want to tap into the huge opportunities that are out there, but lack the capacity, knowledge and experience required to run the operation in-house,” said BetTech Gaming co-founder and international CEO Mark Bosman.
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Back office Garcia expands reach
Independent payment processor SecureTrading has appointed Todd Garcia as head of US sales as it further expands its presence in the United States. He said: “SecureTrading is already well established in the US and I’m eager to help expand its reach even further.”
Roboreus, creator of innovative geo-based lottery game GeoSweep, is rebranding as Geonomics as part of its continued expansion of locationbased offerings. Alongside the rebrand, the company has recently added to its portfolio second-chance offering Treasure Hunt for the US lottery market.
Greater capacity Problem gambling charity GamCare has deployed a specialist contact centre solution incorporating intelligent agent desktop and webchat from mplsystems. The deployment will increase the charity’s client handling capacity without requiring additional specialist counsellors.
High ranking The Test People has come 44th in the 13th annual Sunday Times Tech Track 100 league table, which ranks Britain’s one hundred privately owned technology, media and telecoms companies with the fastest-growing sales over the last three years.
Gaming customers hit by ‘identity impatience’
CUSTOMERS WANT A QUICK AND EASY PROCEDURE
Operators need to make sure their identity checks are streamlined as their customers are likely to go elsewhere. xperian, the global information services provider, has revealed that customers are only prepared to spend four minutes on average undergoing identity verification checks before they abandon an online gaming transaction, despite the channel’s relative convenience. This is the lowest tolerance time across all sectors studied, and compares to five minutes for retail transactions, and six minutes for transport. The new study reveals the degree to which identity and security procedures continue to be a source of annoyance for consumers and are often a cause of lost business for online gaming sites and other service providers. Experian’s analysis reveals almost half (45 per cent) of UK adults have backed out of an online transaction after becoming frustrated over the length and complexity of the identity validation and security checks. It identified that of those who have abandoned an internet-based purchase, nearly half (47 per cent) took their custom to a competitor after becoming irritated with the process, one in five (20%) gave up completely, while one in six (17 per cent) tried again at a later date. Using Mosaic, Experian’s demographic profiling, the
survey found that the Elderly Needs group, characteristically pensioners in their 70s, 80s and even 90s who are no longer as physically active as they were, are the most patient sector of society, with only 32 per cent having completely left a transaction in the last 12 months. In contrast, the Upper Floor Living group, typically young, single adults on limited incomes, was found to be the least patient with 43 per cent saying they had abandoned one or two deals due to lengthy security checks, and 16 per cent admitting to having done so ‘frequently’. As more business is conducted online, one in two UK adults believe transactions are becoming increasingly time consuming (49 per cent) and complicated (53 per cent). The Rural Solitude group, typically those living in small, isolated villages with poor access to broadband, were most frustrated, with three quarters (72 per cent) believing verification processes are becoming more complex, significantly higher than the national average. Nick Mothershaw, director of identity & fraud at Experian, commented: “Identity verification is becoming an increasingly important part of e-gaming operations, particu-
larly as the online industry for this sector grows, and the process of dealing with consumers face-to-face is becoming less commonplace. However time-consuming they appear, identity checks are in all our interests, not only protecting businesses from fraud but also individuals.” “Identity impatience” proved greatest in the online gaming environment with consumers only willing to endure a four minute wait before opting out. Whilst only a short window of time, this is an increase of one minute on 2011 figures, suggesting we are more forgiving than two years ago. Mothershaw concluded: “Customers are looking for a quick, easy procedure when opting to partake in online gaming. The more straightforward the system, the better this is for both the customer, as well as provider. Our research shows that e-gaming businesses are at risk of losing out on trade as thousands of consumers are taking their custom elsewhere. It is therefore vital for online gaming outlets to make sure the transaction process is as fast and simple as possible, without compromising the level of site security, in order not to miss out on business.”
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TRAINING eLearning course developed usiness intelligence specialist GamblingCompliance has launched its new eLearning solution with initial courses on Responsible Gambling and AntiMoney Laundering and the option of bespoke courses to meet specific training needs. The courses are practical, interactive and engaging using industry-specific scenarios and examples, interactive maps, and large question banks to test understanding. The courses are delivered on an online Learning Management System (LMS), allowing quick deployment, easy access and full reporting on the progress of each learner. CEO Greg Kilminster commented: “eLearning is an effective way to train employees on key topics and an easy way to keep an audit trail to demonstrate ongoing compliance.”
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etfred.com has extended its contract to continue using Callcredit Information Group’s CallValidate software to verify its online customers, for a further 12 months. CallValidate helps to protect against identity impersonation and payment fraud by checking not only the customer’s identity but also that the card details and bank accounts belong to that customer. The automated system has enabled Betfred.com to make better use of its resources by cutting down on the need for lengthy manual checks to be carried out when a fraudulent transaction is suspected, while also providing a seamless transaction process for genuine customers. Dennis Luckett, head of fraud prevention, risk and payments, Betfred.com, commented:
“Callcredit has offered us a quick, robust and reliable system to verify identity and payment details for new and existing players, removing lengthy manual checks and improving customer acceptance rates. We are extremely pleased with the service we have received and it is for these reasons that we have chosen to continue our partnership with them.” Sadie Guymer, business development manager at Callcredit, said: “Identity personation and payment fraud still remain significant challenges within the gaming industry. Our CallValidate tool is a proven and reliable solution for gaming operators to use to identify both pre-paid and non UK cards, in addition to credit and debit cards and we are delighted that Betfred.com have chosen to continue working with us.”
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major investment for our company, so we had to ensure that we selected network products that would give us long-term value,” says Scott Hanson, cofounder and technical director of Ardenta. “BIG-IP products give us the headroom to grow our business and expand our customer base for many years to come.” SCOTT HANSON
nline games provider iSoftBet and retention automation software company Optimove have inked a deal with the aim of providing iSoftBet customers with the most successful marketing campaign optimisation technology on the market. iSoftBet’s system will be provided to customers with the Optimove technology already integrated, ensuring that operators can deploy highly effective marketing campaigns quickly and efficiently. “iSoftBet platform operators will get great value from using Optimove's retention software,” commented iSoftBet’s sales manager Luci Apostolou. “We have seen terrific results from operators who have already implemented this solution and we are looking forward to seeing similar results on the rest of the iSoftBet platform.”
IT F5 backs up Ardenta ervices provider Ardenta has built a multi-tenanted IT infrastructure that delivers high security and exceptional network performance using F5 BIG-IP Application Delivery Controllers. With the F5 solution, Ardenta has been able to create an IT infrastructure specifically designed to meet the needs of multiple simultaneous customers. “This project represents a
Yazino sees the Lightstreamer eswit, a leader in real-time data streaming solutions, has renewed its deal to supply its Lightstreamer real-time data streaming technology to Yazino, the specialist in in-sync, cross-platform social casino gaming. Lightstreamer is a massively scalable solution for pushing live data over WebSockets and other web protocols to up to millions of concurrent users. It has been deployed by Yazino since 2011 to handle the live game interaction, including the real-time delivery of key game information and communications. The new agreement means Lightstreamer will continue to play a vital role in facilitating the unique synchronous, multiplayer environment and live interaction of Yazino’s games on both web and mobile platforms.
SECURITY App proptection etNames has launched a mobile app monitoring and enforcement solution which provides brands with a monitoring solution for mobile marketplace stores that is designed to identify pirated, coun-
terfeit, copycat or IP-infringing apps. CEO Gary McIlraith commented: “The explosion of mobile consumers means that apps are transforming the way the internet is accessed and becoming one of the primary channels for organisations to interact with customers. Approximately 80 per cent of mobile smartphone minutes are now consumed by apps and as the use of mobile devices continues to surpass PCs and laptops, cybercriminals are increasingly turning their attention to the growing mobile economy to make money from fraudulent activity.”
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Awarding pursuit IMS-SCA has been named as ‘Winner of Best Risk Management Company’ at the annual COGS awards. Supported by the Institute of Promotional Marketing, The COGS Awards recognise the companies that provide outstanding service in support of promotional marketing campaigns. PIMS-SCA forecast promotional response rates and provide redemption coverage to hundreds of promotions across the globe every year. Every promotion they cover is backed by ‘A’rated insurers, guaranteeing complete financial security and peace of mind for their clients. PIMS-SCA’s MD Mark Kimber commented: “This award cements our status as a leading Fixed Fee and Prize Coverage provider and we are delighted to have been recognised by our industry peers.”
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Comment Paddy Power’s question of lace
andrew mccarron viewpoint addy Power recently set social media alight and it wasn’t for its audacious bet from space marking 1m Facebook followers. No, what set keyboards clicking was the bookmaker’s partnership with gay rights lobby group Stonewall, which aimed to ‘tackle homophobia’ in football by getting players to wear rainbow coloured laces. While the Paddy Power campaign is very laudable,
several football clubs refused to participate. Why? Well because of the involvement of the world’s most mischievous bookmaker of course. Paddy Power, instigator of some of the most audacious ambush marketing ever, backing a high visibility campaign requiring the active participation footballers. I’m sure there were only altruistic motives behind the move. Especially with a tag line of ‘Right Behind Gay Footballers’. Unfortunately, not everyone else agreed and several Premier League Clubs refused to participate, with some even citing that an antihomophobia campaign would be contrary to their contracts with existing betting and gaming partners. It has even been suggested that Paddy Power’s recent billboard posters targeting individual footballers, usually outside their own home grounds, might have also
engendered some ill feeling against the rainbow laces campaign. Plus while the bookmaker said it wasn’t taking bets on the possibility of there being no gay footballers (a quadragintillion to one, apparently), it probably has taken a bet based on sexuality in the recent past. While these small pockets of opposition may not have made a dent in the campaign, it is perhaps the first inkling of Paddy Power’s abrasive marketing strategy starting
to have implications. Let’s face it should UEFA ever allow betting sponsors for its major tournaments, it is doubtful that Paddy Power will ever get a look in after its Nicklas Bendtner branded pants celebration last year. The problem with Paddy Power’s ‘anyone is fair game’ approach is that sometimes that includes people in authority who may bear grudges. And they could make life difficult in the future, especially over politi-
cally sensitive subject such as gambling. Still from Stonewall’s perspective, the campaign was a huge success as it leveraged Paddy Power’s marketing nous to raise awareness of the issue. From the bookmaker’s perspective, it was massive hit as for the price of a few thousand multicoloured shoelaces it received national and international exposure as the Paddy Power name was indelibly linked to the campaign –
moreso it might be said than Stonewall’s. But Paddy Power should get kudos for its involvement in such an issue-based campaign and its success could encourage other firms to get involved, simultaneously softening the perception of the gambling industry. Who knows, in the future it might be commonplace to see an ad extolling the virtues of the latest live betting options, while highlighting the plight of the Eurasian Wryneck.
Operators need to shoulder the burden of proof With the Gambling Commission conducting test purchasing, barrister Anna Mathias of Joelson Wilson’s Licensing & Gambling Team is warning bookmakers to ensure their age check policies are working. he late August bank holiday weekend already seems a distant memory, but the Gambling Commission used it to announce its latest round of underage test purchasing, which continues. The Commission said that tests of smaller adult gaming centre and independent betting shop premises earlier in the summer had revealed some weaknesses in operators’ systems for identifying and challenging youngsters who enter the premises hoping to play gaming machines. Those tests were conducted in collaboration with local authorities and the police, and focussed upon access to gaming machines by young people who did not seek interaction with staff first, in order to assess operators’ ability to identify and prevent underage gambling. In the past, the Commission has carried out test purchasing whereby the youngsters did interact with staff by, for example, visiting the cash desk for change. This gave staff the chance to identify and challenge them. In the
38 BettingBusinessInteractive • OCTOBER 2013
tests earlier this summer, the Commission found that, in over half the cases, young persons were able to access premises and play the machines, reflecting, it said, its concerns that certain sections of the industry do not have sufficient safeguards in place. The Commission further said that it was expecting to see an improvement in results as the programme, which was due to last
schemes available to them. The approach of the Commission under this latest initiative is consistent with its May 2011 Guidance Note on Test Purchasing. It will not generally prioritise the practice in sectors and on themes where operators have their own arrangements for monitoring compliance. It will inform the sector potentially affected of its intentions, in general terms, before the exercise starts and it will re-test premises that fail a short time later. Additionally, the Commission will aim to inform operators at the earliest possible opportunity once the testing of all of their premises is complete, to enable them to ‘for the next few months’, contin- conduct any investigation or reued. No doubt it will make known training that might be necessary. its findings in due course. It is the operator’s responsibilExempt from the programme ity to inform its staff of the have been those operators who have outcome of test purchasing, to persuaded the Commission that manage that outcome and to they are effectively monitoring their secure future compliance. policies, either by using third party Dependent on the results of the testing companies and sharing the exercise, operators may be results with the Commission, or required to supply details of an who are members of trade associa- improvement programme. tions that make test purchasing As I mentioned, the responsibili-
ties of the Commission and of licensing authorities overlap when it comes to enforcing the law on underage gambling. Generally, the licensing authority is responsible for securing compliance within its geographical boundary, whereas the Commission focusses more on issues which might be of wider significance and have the potential to have an impact at a regional or national level. The fact that the Commission is working in partnership with licensing authorities on this project is an indication of its concerns that certain sectors of the gambling industry appear to be demonstrating weaknesses across the board. Operators who have yet to be tested should certainly refresh their minds in relation to their policies and procedures for identifying and excluding those who are underage, ensure that all relevant staff are clear about their obligations in this regard and know how best to meet them, and check to see that all supporting documentation, including training records, for example, is complete and up-to-date.
MOBILE AND TABLET GAMBLING SUMMIT London, 4th-5th November 2013
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que ŧOperator marketers on the unique approach needed to successfully lly brand and market mobile products ducts et ŧThe growing potential of tablet gambling and the unique opportunities and challenges this platform offerss ming ŧThe socialisation of mobile gaming ents and how building social elements in to you mobile product has become increasingly important nt ŧLeading technologists discuss the devices, technology and trendss which are changing the gambling ling experience
Advantages in looking flash
The Gambling Commission’s Julia Mackisack says the Commission welcomes the gambling industry’s views on proposed changes to the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice.
Darren Williams, EMEA director of operations and sales engineering at Whiptail, wants to test your memory. he gaming industry is heavily built upon the constant flow of customer and business data. Whether it’s responding to new information for marketing, customer feedback, or supporting online transactions, time-efficient data management from cost-effective IT infrastructure can be the difference between winning big and having to fold. Gaming brands, more than any other, must be able to cope with fluctuations in information demand and make fast business decisions, to say nothing of the effective running of business-critical core IT cost effectively. At the centre of all effective data management sits the beating heart of a company’s IT – storage. This has traditionally been hard disk drive (HDD) based, but now solid state drives (SSD) using ‘flash’ technology provide a solution that can drive huge business performance and efficiency. Gaming companies must be fast and responsive to customer transactions - any delay could be a lost bet. Slow IT can cause customers to spend big on a competitor, so for gaming companies, backing SSD makes sense. SSD technology is newer and essentially runs quicker, quieter, cooler and cheaper than HDD. This is because traditional hard drives spin little platters of magnetic tape at high speed. Since they have moving parts it takes a little time to read and write the data, and the friction generated creates heat. In addition, the moving parts can occasionally – literally - crash. In contrast, solid state storage keeps the same data on silicon chips, moving information at something a lot closer to the speed of light (1000s of times faster than mechanical hard disk storage). They don’t need to get up to speed as they are always ready for action, and so they don’t need to keep powered up all the time, running more cheaply and with less cooling required. They are also a lot more stable – they don’t crash like HDDs do. So what does this all mean for a gaming business? With much faster storage, customers can access odds and games much quicker, and transac-
Gambling Commission proposes changes to codes and conditions
he Gambling Commission has recently opened a consultation on proposed changes to the conditions and codes that govern the gambling industry. The changes are designed to enhance consumer protection and provide further clarity about what is expected of licensed operators. While the majority of the suggested changes will affect those who offer gambling facilities via websites or phones, a number – including some potential advances in protecting customer funds – could also apply to premises-based businesses. The proposals are contained in documents published on the Commission’s website at www.gamblingcommission.g ov.uk. We are already engaging with the major trade associations but individual responses from licensed operators are very welcome. The easiest way to make a submission is using the specially designed response form on our website. The proposed changes make it clearer that we expect licensed operators to work with us in an open and cooperative manner and include: • a proposal that operators should name their third-party resolution service, such as the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS). • a requirement on businesses who hold customer funds in customer accounts to do more to protect those funds in the event of financial difficulties – a rating system is proposed to provide more information to customers about how far the money in their accounts is protected. • in addition for web-based operators, tighter controls on
tions happen nearly instantaneously, even during the busiest periods. Storage will no longer be a limiting factor in the speed of the business. When it comes to OpEx, gaming companies run a lot of IT, often incurring high maintenance costs for all that infrastructure. IT needs power to run, but it also runs hot and needs to be cooled, which in turn needs more power… SSD instantly reduces the total cost of ownership for the reasons listed above: The drives require around 20 per cent of the power to run compared to HDDs, and produce negligible amounts of heat, so cooling costs are greatly reduced at the same time, further slashing power consumption. The physical size of SSD arrays can also be smaller than HDDs because of the reduced number of parts, so there’s also the potential to reclaim some data centre or office space by reducing the physical IT footprint. The significant reductions in IT OpEx alone make SSD an attractive proposition, but the benefits are most keenly felt when it comes to business performance. The physical read/write speeds
40 BettingBusinessInteractive • OCTOBER 2013
of HDDs put a limit on the numbers of operations they can handle each second. This means that organisations often have to prioritise key applications so the most important receive preferential treatment, adding unnecessary time to the IT manager’s workload as they optimise and test software and hardware components. Crucially, flash storage technologies can read/write significantly faster than HDD, offering up to 250 times more data throughput than HDD, so the need to tweak and write code to specialise the IT estate is greatly removed. With smoother running and faster storage, IT managers are then able to focus on other areas, such as projects which help to boost the company’s profile in a crowded marketplace. With ever-increasing volumes of data being processed, and customers ever more likely to switch if they don’t get the smooth experience they crave, fast-paced businesses like the gaming industry need to differentiate, and one way is through performance and customer experience. SSD can make that happen in a flash.
access to poker networks and the introduction of restrictions on the use of payment processors. • on-course bookmakers following rules set at a racecourse, such as standard each-way terms, will no longer have to explain how those rules differ from Tattersalls’ rules At this stage, the Commission is not proposing any significant changes to social responsibility aspects of the licence requirements. Depending on industry progress in demonstrating commitment to the licensing objectives further prescription may not be needed. For example, development of the new voluntary industry codes on social responsibility is very welcome – these codes will help to show the public that operators are ready and willing to build corporate social responsibility into everything they do. As the Commission’s chairman said in a blog earlier this year: “opportunities for growth and innovation depend on the gambling industry demonstrating – and convincing the public – that it is genuinely committed to keeping crime out of gambling, keeping gambling fair and protecting its customers from harm”. The consultation period runs until Wednesday 4 December and most of the proposed changes are expected to take effect next Spring. This is ahead of planned government reforms requiring all gambling firms targeting the British market to be licensed by the Commission. Now is the time to get involved and have your say to help the Commission to maintain a fair and balanced approach to regulation while keep gambling fair and safe.
“If there is a shop that is being opened or reopened and I’m not the one doing the opening or re-opening, I feel as though I have failed.” Broadcaster Derek Thompson writes about his unusual target of opening a betting shop a week in his new autobiography
‘My trophy sits on my mantelpiece’ here have been so many highlights to pin it down to one would be quite difficult. My trip to Singapore was truly spectacular, from start to finish; my partner and I were treated like royalty. Everyone was so enthused about the whole competition winner, which really touched me. Singapore itself was fantastic, and the people were so warm and friendly. The Singapore cup was amazing; it was really popular and to watch it live was an unforgettable experience. The shops in Singapore were on another level. Having only 17 shops in Singapore and all owned by the Singapore Turf club, has its advantages. The square footage was a lot bigger than your typical UK shop - they were more like a casino size. The shops were also on two to three levels and the status of clientele you were determined which level you visited. All shops were members only and the only product they showed was horse racing. They had self service terminals and EPOS tills at the counters. However, the opening hours were a lot different, they only opened 4 days a week Wed/Fri/Sat/Sun and opened one hour before racing. When I spent an afternoon in a shop, it was very busy and had a
probably the 4thought TV interview on Channel 4; it did have me squirming in my orange seat ever so slightly. I’ve recorded the interview and I watch it from time to time thinking: ‘if I got through that I can get through anything’. Appearing live on the Morning Line was quite nerve-wracking too, but all the guys at Channel 4 made me feel right at home. I even sat and had breakfast with Graeme Cunningham and Nick Luck after filming. How lucky am I? My trophy sits on my mantelpiece inbetween my son’s swimming trophies. It spent a few weeks in the shop for all the customers to see, and has been up and down the M1 to my home town of Middlesbrough for all my family to see. My year is coming to an end and the final 52 for this year’s competition were announced in the Racing Post last month. I’m quite sad my year is coming to an end; they are going to have to fight me for the trophy. I jest! Honestly. I just want to wish all this year’s contenders all the luck in the world, and they are certainly in for an amazing year one you don’t good mix of both men and women, on BBC, as well as going down to want to end. The sponsors of the albeit over the age of 45. the start of a race in a Landrover award - SIS and The Racing Post – Among the other highlights of at Ascot. In fact I could go on and need to be thanked for recognismy year has been presenting the on... ing all the hard work all the teams snooker trophy to Mark Selby live My most nerve-wracking was to back in the shops.
William Hill’s Barbara Berki reflects on her experiences as the Racing Post/SIS Betting Shop Manager of the Year.
BARBARA BERKI (RIGHT) WITH HER PARTNER DANIEL WOODCOCK (FAR LEFT) BEING LOOKED AFTER IN SINGAPORE
GLU’S BIG HIT WAS DEER HUNTER
BETFAIR IS HOPING THAT ITS EXCHANGE EXPERTISE WILL HELP ITS SPORTSBOOK STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD
Business interactive publisher GB Media has Bnessetting appointed Emilie Beau as marketing and new busidevelopment executive. Beau previously worked at
Betfair on track despite revenue drop The decision to focus on ‘sustainable’ markets is still causing pain in the balance sheet for Betfair but it could well be worth it in the long run. REPORT
etfair chief executive Breon Corcoran has declared that the b e t t i n g exchange is on track to meet its full year expectations after a Q1 performance that went to plan, despite revenue dropping 13 per cent. The dip was partly attributable to the absence of a major football tournament in the period, but was mainly reflective of the firm’s new focus on ‘sustainable markets’. In fact the company reported that its ‘sustainable revenue mix’ increased to 77 per cent of group revenues compared to 73 per cent last year. Underlying EBITDA was up 16 per cent, driven by cost savings, while Underlying EBITDA margin improved by 6.8 percentage points to 27.5 per cent. Corcoran commented: “The business is continuing to show that it can compete more aggressively and efficiently in our key markets. We now operate from a far more sustainable revenue base and saw a 10 per cent increase in active customers in sustainable markets in the period. “We have introduced Cash Out to our Sportsbook, enabling customers to lock in profits on singles and accumulators, bringing the first of many Exchangebased features to the product. To coincide with the new football season we recently launched our biggest ever TV advertising campaign. The season has started well and, in August,
42 BettingBusinessInteractive •
the number of active UK customers increased by 26 per cent, contributing to doubledigit revenue growth in sustainable markets.” However the unsustainable markets are not being kind to Betfair’s comparatives this year, with some markets experiencing law changes which made them far less profitable. The firm commented: “The year on year impact of this regulatory change in the four most affected countries (Greece, Germany, Cyprus and Spain) was £6.5m. In addition, our increased focus on sustainable markets and subsequent cessation of direct acquisition marketing investment in jurisdictions with insufficient regulatory visibility has continued to have an adverse impact on revenue growth. The revenue impact in these countries, however, continues to be smaller than previously expected, particularly in the Exchange business.” These factors led to a 13 per cent decline in revenue to £90.4m as a whole with revenue from ‘sustainable markets’, defined as the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Malta, Gibraltar and the USA, down 7 per cent. Revenue from other markets was down 28 per cent. Exchange revenue growth was affected by Euro 2012 falling in the prior year comparative period, as well as the withdrawal of the product from a number of markets in FY13, but Betfair said that adjusting for these factors, Exchange revenue was up 4 per cent. It’s the new ‘traditional’
sportsbook approach that has really been rocking the boat though with the volume of bets on the risk sports products doubling during the period. Despite lower gross win margins, sports revenue from sustainable markets was up 52 per cent. Lower international revenues, driven by market exits, meant that overall revenue was up 18 per cent. Games revenues were down 31 per cent, driven predominantly by significant declines in international markets as well as weak margins in risk products and a continued poor poker performance. Betfair US revenue was up 11 per cent, boosted by the five year exclusive deal which commenced in March 2013 to provide Advanced Deposit Wagering in New Jersey. As with many remote operators, Betfair showed some strong growth in the mobile channel, with revenue up 53 per cent. The number of active customers in sustainable markets was up 10 per cent to 396,000, driven by the new sportsbook. The number of actives in other markets was down 31 per cent at 134,000. Betfair also has an interesting metric to measure its cross promotion abilities: Core products per active customer over a rolling 12 month period are up from 1.52 in Q1 FY13 to 1.58 in Q1 FY14. The firm said that the increase was driven by the improvements made to its sports risk product, as well as additional cross sell into games.
ANALYSIS Given that the first quarter of this financial year has a strong comparative period that included the Euro 2012 tournament (which generated £7.8m of revenue) as well as revenue from a number of markets that Betfair has exited from or significantly reduced its product offerings in as a result of regulatory change, a drop in revenue was probably to be expected. At least Breon Corcoran’s strategy to focus on the more traditional sportsbook appears to be paying off, at least in the short term, and providing more than healthy growth figures.
GBM on a short-term contract co-ordinating the media company’s highly successful Casino Investors Congress in Batumi Georgia, before returning to Marseilles to complete her Master of Science in Management. She will be responsible for implementing GBM’s magazine marketing campaigns as well as identifying and developing new business opportunities in the gaming industry space. Director John Sullivan said: “I am delighted that Emilie has joined the team at GB Media. We have a number of very exciting projects planned across our portfolio of b2b titles and marketing services division over the coming months and I felt it was imperative to recruit a marketing specialist who is multi-lingual to help bring these projects to fruition.” EMILIE BEAU
pioneer Vincent Caldwell has returned from the eof hisGaming states to operate from the Isle of Man once again. One first roles since returning has been to become an eGaming Ambassador for Manx Telecom, the island’s major telecommunications firm. Manx Telecom via its hosting solutions data centre last year supported over US$10bn in wagers, and can have over 200,000 players at any one time. Caldwell is best known as a founder Betinternet.com, but recently has been working in American racing with US Off-track LLC and Racing 2 Day LLC. He commented: “Manx Telecom approached me when I got back on the islands and I was only too pleased to work with them. They already service some of the biggest egaming operators in the world, such as Poker Stars and Paddy Power, and I hope to help them attract even more customers.” VINCENT CALDWELL PICTURED WITH CLARE BALDING
Games has revealed how it wants to set up its SWMScientific executive structure after its pending merger with Industries. Post-merger, the senior corporate executives of Scientific Games will remain in their current roles, including A. Lorne Weil, who will serve as chairman and chief executive officer of the combined company. Operationally, the Company will be organized into two industry groups - Gaming and Lottery. The Gaming group is expected to be composed of the core WMS Gaming business; Scientific Games’ server-based gaming business headquartered in the U.K.; Gaming-related systems businesses of both Scientific Games and WMS; and Williams Interactive. The Gaming group will be led by William J. Huntley, who will serve as executive vice president and group chief executive of Gaming, reporting to Weil. The senior management team of the Gaming group will report directly to Huntley and includes group managing director of SG Gaming UK Phil Horne, as well as Jordan E. Levin, Brooks H. Pierce, Ken S. Lochiatto, Scott D. Schweinfurth, Frederick M. Gabbard and Steven W. Beason. Orrin J. Edidin will assume the role of senior vice president, strategy and business development of Gaming, while Steve Frater will continue as executive chairman of SG Gaming UK. aming testing laboratory BMM Testlabs has promoted G Travis Foley to EVP Operations - BMM Americas. In this role Foley will oversee BMM’s North and South American laboratory operations as well as the Technical Compliance and Quality programs. Foley has been with BMM for two years and is a former chief of the Technology Division of the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Martin Storm, BMM’s global president & CEO commented: “Travis Foley is a real asset to BMM, his technical and compliance knowledge and ability to work with clients is second none. I am pleased to welcome Travis into this expanded leadership role.”
Glu raises dough Social games developer Glu Mobile Inc, which has worked with Probability in the past, has raised US$15.2m (£9.5m) from a public offering, of which $14m will be used for working capital and other general corporate purposes, which may include growing Glu’s publishing business, further investment in the GluOn games-as-a-service technology platform and the acquisition of, or investment in, companies, technologies, products or assets that complement Glu’s business.
Gala Coral set for strategic review? Reports suggest that bookmaker Gala Coral could well be heading to the stock market.
wedish games developer Net Entertainment is continuing its head to head battle with the Swedish Tax Agency over a disputed tax bill after the authority dismissed the firm’s appeal. Net Entertainment announced in January that the Swedish Tax Agency had decided to impose additional taxes on Net Entertainment in the amount of approximately SEK92.1m (£9.1m) concerning fiscal years 2007-2010 after a tax audit concerning Net Entertainment NE AB. The firm commented: “The Swedish Tax Agency stated in its’ decision that the transfer pricing that had been applied between the Swedish based parent company Net Entertainment NE AB and the Malta-based operations is not motivated. Thus, the Swedish Tax Agency gave certain agreements between companies within the Net Entertainment Group a different legal interpretation and economic substance than what Net Entertainment and its expert advisors PwC and the law firm Lindahl do.” Net Entertainment disputed the assessment of the Swedish Tax Agency and filed its unsuccessful appeal in May of this year. Net Entertainment insists that it has followed applicable laws for taxation of its operations, which is also supported by the experts that the company has consulted on the subject. Net Entertainment has said that it will now continue the appeal process in the Administrative Court and that it does currently still not see grounds to make a provision in the accounts for possible additional taxes related to this matter.
ritain’s biggest non-listed bookmaker Gala Coral could be set to relinquish the title if coverage in the media is anything to go by. Sky News has reported that the gaming group’s hedge fund owners are investigating an exit strategy which could value the operator at over £2bn, roughly double the group’s value of three and a half years ago. The report stated that the company’s shareholders have approached a number of investment banks about a strategic review of the business that would kick off in the coming months. While soft on detail, it has been speculated that said the shareholders and management were ‘openminded’ about the outcome of their review of the company’s options. However a flotation would put Gala
Net Entertainment taking tax agency to court
GALA CORAL’S OWNERS ARE INVESTIGATING AN EXIT STRATEGY
Coral within touching distance of the FTSE 100, where William Hill resides. However another approach would be the divestment of some of the group’s operations – only this year it sold off its land-based casino interests to its main competitor the Rank Group. Alongside its sizeable UK retail betting operation, it also has a sizeable Italian betting business under the Eurobet brand and has a 45 per cent market
share of the UK bingo sector with its Gala Bingo brand. The firm’s Q3 business saw turnover 9 per cent ahead of last year and gross profit was £6.4m or 3 per cent ahead, reflecting growth in all businesses, except Gala Retail. Gala Coral’s bookmaking business makes roughly twice as much as its bingo operations. In 2012 the group recorded revenues of £1.19bn and generated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and
amortisation of £280m. It wouldn’t be a massive surprise if the group’s owners were looking for an exit strategy after 3.5 years, especially as some of them opted to exchange debt owed to them by the group for equity at the time. With an apparent appetite from investors for large scale and established firms to take the IPO route, such a development would seem to benefit several parties.
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ACTION IMAGES / JULIAN HERBERT LIVEPIC
Ante Post: What the bookies say
While football under the guise of the Premier league, Champions League and World Cup Qualifiers continues to entrance punters, racing will be hoping its British Champions Day on 19 October will steal back some of the limelight. ctober kicks off with one of the highlights of the racing year and certainly one of the biggest betting races for our customers of those which take place on foreign turf, the race in question is of course the Prix De l’Arc de Triomphe and we’ll be hoping as many familiar British and Irish trained horses make their way over the English Channel for the weekend. On a footballing front, the action continues to come thick and fast with the Champions League fixtures a welcome midweek highlight. We were delighted with Celtic making the cut as their pres-
shops with the stars of the flat making the most of their moment in the spotlight. This day is becoming increasingly popular for our punters, and we hope it will continue to drive interest to our non-racing customers. The football season is also at full throttle, with the Premier League shaping up to be most exciting for years. How often do we see Manchester United at 4/1 to win the league? We have seen money for the red ALEX DONOHUE devils, and expect the price Public Relations to tighten over the coming Ladbrokes weeks. We will see which British teams kook good to The third British Champi- qualify from the Champions Day on 19 October will ons League group stages. be another hectic day in the Celtic must overcome a
ence in the competition gives match turnover a real shot in the arm, especially north of the border. Finally, another event with real significance in its regional heartland is the Suepr League Grand final which promises to be a thrilling game. At the time of writing, the play-offs are just getting underway and we hope for a close final which should see turnover, both in-play and pre-match soar.
The Premier League will continue to throw up mouth-watering encounters, with the Manchester teams generating lots of MICHAEL CORBETT interest and the Champions Managing director League allowing Wales’ Corbett Sports Gareth Bale with the chance to show the entire An exciting month of sport world why Real Madrid paid lay ahead at BetVictor and a world record £83.5m to irrespective of where your acquire his services. allegiances lay, there will A recent Oddschecker be something for punters study found BetVictor have far and wide to sink their the best prices, most often teeth into. Flat racing builds on English and European towards its end of season football, for the second confinale, before meetings at secutive season; this is no Ascot, Longchamp and time for resting on our Santa Anita. Not to mention laurels. Charlie Hall Chase Day at Wetherby and Chel- JACK MILNER tenham’s Showcase PR BetVictor meeting 18-19 October. very tough draw, with Arsenal being backed by our punters at a generous 33/1 to lift the trophy.
My Diary Ludovico Calvi Italian-born Ludovico Calvi is GTECH’s senior vice-president of betting, as well as head of betting for Lottomatica and CEO of Lottomatica Betting Ltd, where he manages the largest sports betting network in Italy. s we move from summer to autumn it is an incredibly busy period for our organisation, and for the industry as a whole, thanks to the close proximity of two of the most important and prestigious betting and gaming shows on the calendar. These are exciting times. Our parent company, Lottomatica
44 BettingBusinessInteractive •
THE HILTON TOWER BRIDGE PLAYS HOST TO THE MOBILE AND TABLET GAMBLING SUMMIT
Group, has changed its name to GTECH S.p.A., which is now a single, unified company that provides its customers with a complete source of solutions across all channels – including machine gaming, systems, mobile and interactive, sports betting, and lotteries. By bringing the company’s formerly separate business units
together under a unified, single customer-facing structure, GTECH is taking the final steps to effectively deliver comprehensive gaming solutions that meet our customers’ evolving requirements. These changes came into effect before Global Gaming Expo (G2E), and I and the team were busy communicating this to delegates in Las
Vegas – just as we will be in Barcelona at European iGaming Congress (EiG). The iGaming market is growing at a frenetic pace, and this will only increase as it continues to open up in new territories and regions. These tradeshow events are invaluable to the industry, providing the platform for us to meet, share thoughts and ideas, make new contacts and, most importantly of all, do business. The GTECH integration and rebrand will offer our present and future interactive customers numerous benefits. These include the fact that successful, playertested SPIELO VLT and innovative casino content can be ported to the interactive space, while the company can offer the ability to provide iLottery initiatives and solutions using iGaming technology for World Lottery Association customers, with whom GTECH has many existing long-term and indepth relationships.
OCTOBER 1-4 IMGL Autumn Conference, Grand Hotel, Oslo, Norway 3 BOS Bookmakers’ Trade Fair, Wolverhampton Racecourse 3-6 The Barcelona Affiliate Conference 2013, Barcelona 8-10 European iGaming Congress & Expo, Fira Barcelona 8 IMGL Reception at European iGaming Congress & Expo (EiG), Gran Hotel La Florida, Barcelona 17 EASG Seminar: Social gaming / gambling: Threat or Opportunity, Tour & Taxis Building, Brussels, Belgium 21-23 Eastern European Gaming Summit (EEGE Expo), IEC, Sofia, Bulgaria 22-23 World Regulatory Briefing USA, Philadelphia, PA. NOVEMBER 4-5 Mobile and Tablet Gambling Summit, Hilton Tower Bridge, London 6-7 The Social Gambling Conference 2013, Dexter House, London 7 BISL Conference, Kia Oval, London 11 RGA AGM, The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London 18-20 Brasilian Gaming Congress, Rio de Janeiro 20-22 National Association for Gambling Studies Annual Conference, Crowne Plaza Coogee, Sydney Australia DECEMBER 1 – 4 The Second Asia Pacific Conference on Gambling & Commercial Gaming Research (APCG2013), Kaohsiung, Taiwan 9-12 40th annual Global Symposium on Racing & Gaming, Westin La Paloma, Tucson 25 Christmas Day JANUARY 23-24 Mobile Games Forum (MGF), Dexter House, London, 23-24 Social Gambling Workshop, Dexter House, London, 23-24 Social Games & Virtual Goods Forum 2013 FEBRUARY 4-6 ICE 2014, ExCeL London 5 Fire & Ice by Lyceum Media 7-10 The London Affiliate Conference (LAC) 2014, Earls Court Exhibition Centre
Second day for SGC The second annual Social Gambling Conference will be extended across two full days this year on 6-7 November. Once again taking place at Dexter House in London, the additional day will allow delegates to delve deeper into debates surrounding industry risks, socially responsibility and regulation. Key industry speakers include Enteraction’s Andy Rogers, Evan Hoff of Velo Partners and AbZorba Games’ Andrew Hughes.
Intralot of support for Brazil congress
WRB to cover patchwork igaming legislation With three states already legislating for igaming in the US, the latest WRB will be asking what happens next? EVENT
t is crunch time for the states of New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, which are expected to prove the business case of their decisions to legalise and regulate internet gambling. It has been reported that at least a dozen other states are considering following in their footsteps, but have adopted a wait and see approach, in expectation of the revenue results that the newly launched iGaming frameworks will have produced. State legislation of iGaming will be the main topic of discussion during the World Regulatory Briefing on 22-23 October in Philadelphia, PA. State legislators from Florida, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania are amongst the keynote speakers who will debate when and how online gaming can be a sustainable revenue source to the state, what is the appropriate cost/benefit ratio analysis that should be made prior to implementing iGaming in various regulatory and licensing scenarios and what local circumstances influence the creation of a particular regulatory and taxation framework. The timing of the conference should also be optimal to analyze the first
results of the launches in Nevada and Delaware from the perspective of revenue they will have generated, the impact on the existing land-based operations and the effect on consumer addiction to gambling. Joined by regulators from New Jersey, Nevada, Arizona, Iowa, California, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Alderney, Malta and Canada, and by a high-level line-up of industry experts, WrB’s political speakers: Florida Representative Jim Waldman, New Jersey Assembly member John Amodeo, Delaware Representative Helene Keeley and Democratic Chairwoman of the Pennsylvania House Gaming Oversight Committee, Rosita Youngblood, will additionally share their views on the feasibility of increasing the states’ revenue from iGaming by pooling liquidity across state borders and creating multi-state compacts. Representative Jim Waldman (FL – District 96), president of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States, commented on his involvement in the World Regulatory Briefing as a speaker: “NCLGS has spoken in favour
larion Events, the successful team behind ICE Totally Gaming, has welcomed global gaming powerhouse Intralot as Headline Sponsor of the Brazilian Gaming Congress. The event takes place 18-20th November at the prestigious Winsor Barra Hotel in Rio de Janeiro. Intralot will join three of the major discussions relating to these topics, including the opening discussion on how Brazil can maximise the positive effects of these major sporting events through the safe regulation of sports betting; taking stock of the current regulation of gaming and best steps forward; and how lotteries can continue to innovate in the region. Intralot’s MD for Latin America Nikos Nikolakopoulos said: “We have entered the Brazilian market in 2008 aiming to exploit the numerous business opportunities in this promising market and further enhance our presence in the wider region of Latin America. In 2010 we forged a partnership with LEMG-Loteria do Estado de Minas Gerais (Loteria Mineira) with the mutual target to offer innovative gaming solutions for the benefit of the Lottery, the State and its players. “We are glad to support the Brazilian Gaming Congress as the Headline Sponsor, since we believe that such initiatives, which encourage the dialogue between the lottery professionals, are crucial for the further development of our sector.”
C JIM WALDMAN: IN FAVOUR OF STATES’ RIGHT TO REGULATE INTERNET GAMBLING
of states’ right to regulate internet gambling. I am looking forward to discussing with fellow state legislators, regulators and industry representatives the optimal route to the legalisation of iGaming that will respect requirements and needs and of the local population and of the existing industry stakeholders.” WORLD REGULATORY BRIEFING: USA 22-23 October Sheraton University City Hotel Philadelphia, PA
TRAINEE AREA MANAGERS (Gaming Operations)
s #OMPETITIVE 3ALARY "ENEl TS s .ATIONWIDE
Praesepe are a major success story in the UK gaming industry; as a progressive, expanding organisation we are seeking dynamic, driven and ambitious individuals to join our national operations team, with a view to forming our next generation of Area Managers as the business continues to grow. Ideally you will already have management experience and will have worked within a multi-site, branded leisure, retail or hospitality organisation, with an impressive track record in delivering EBITDA and owning proﬁt and loss responsibility. You should be able to demonstrate commercial awareness, outstanding organisational and communication abilities and be skilled in motivating a team to consistently achieve and exceed targets. You need to possess a strong, inspirational personality, displaying passion, determination and a drive to succeed, as well as being highly resourceful, dynamic, efﬁcient and ﬂexible. Your ability to bring creativity to the business and to seek out new and innovative methods to enhance our operations will be key to your success as you develop your knowledge and experience in readiness to
move into a role with multi-site responsibility. Initially you may be allocated to work at a number of our existing locations/venues as part of your development and as such, you must be totally ﬂexible and able to locate yourself anywhere in the UK. In return for your enthusiasm, hard work and commitment, you will receive a competitive basic salary along with a range of beneﬁts, including bonus opportunities, pension provision and excellent opportunities for further career development within a progressive, rapidly expanding business. If you think you have the skills and desire to work within a business that is as eager for you to succeed as you are and are looking for long-term career potential, then contact us now. Send your CV along with details of your current remuneration package to firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively by post to Amanda Julian, Operations Team, Praesepe, Seebeck House, 1A Seebeck Place, Knowlhill, Milton Keynes MK5 8FR.
CRICKET IS A MAJOR DRAW FOR SPREAD BETTING PUNTERS
Indices remain the most popular markets for financial spread betters to trade on, with the UK 100 and Wall St 30 getting most of the attention. These markets are a weighted index, with the price based on the performance of the share prices of the companies listed. They offer a great opportunity for short-term traders to try and make a profit as well as for speculators to take a view on a longer-term picture. The American and UK indices are always heavily traded by Spreadex clients, however, with the German elections taking place in September, we’ve seen slightly more business than usual on the Germany 30 with clients getting involved in a steady upward trend helped by Angela Merkel storming to a third term as the country’s chancellor. FX follows a close second in terms of the most popular asset class for investors to trade on, but
ACTION IMAGES / PAUL CHILDS LIVEPIC
TOP TEN RETAIL BETTING (UK) EVENTS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Horseracing - Betfred Ebor Handicap Stakes, York Domestic Football - Man Utd v Chelsea Golf - PGA Championship, Oak Hill GC Horseracing - Stewards’ Cup Handicap Stakes, Goodwood International Cricket - England v Australia 4th Test, Durham Rugby League - Wigan Warriors v Hull FC, Challenge Cup Final International Football - England v Scotland Horseracing - Juddmonte International Stakes, York Tennis - US Open, Flushing Meadows Domestic Cricket - Twenty20 Finals Day, Edgbaston
Chart supplied by: Betfred. Data for August
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
International Cricket - Zimbabwe v Pakistan 1st Test International Cricket - Zimbabwe v Pakistan 2nd Test Domestic Football - Man City v Man Utd International Cricket - England v Australia 5th ODI International Football - Ukraine v England International Cricket - England v Australia 2nd ODI Domestic Football - Arsenal v Tottenham Domestic Football - Swansea v Liverpool Domestic Football - Liverpool v Man Utd International Cricket - England v Australia 4th ODI
Chart supplied by: Spreadex. Calculated on volume of bets. Data for 1/9-23/9
Domestic Football - Man City v Man Utd Domestic Football - Liverpool v Man Utd Domestic Football - Arsenal v Tottenham International Football - Ukraine v England Tennis - Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal - US Open Horse Racing - St Leger Horse Racing - Ayr Gold Cup International Football - England v Moldova European Football - Manchester United v Bayer Leverkusen Domestic Football - Swansea v Liverpool
Chart supplied by: BetVictor. Data for 1/9-23/9
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Paddy Power William Hill Winner Bet365 Betfair Betfred Ladbrokes Stan James Boylesports Coral
Chart supplied by: Freebets.com. Data for August
Paddy Power - If favourite doesn’t win (Week 1 Premier League games) Paddy Power - If Van Persie scores (Man U v Chelsea) Paddy Power -If Hull win trophy (Challenge Cup Final) Paddy Power - If England don’t win (England v Scotland) Bet365 - Sky dogs 2/1 (Champion Stakes - Romford) Paddy Power -If Blackburn win (Derby v Blackburn) Betfair - Cashback if Van Persie scores (Man U v Chelsea) Betfred -If Top Batsman out for a duck (T20 England v Australia) Boylesports - if Man Utd fail to beat Wigan (Community Shield) Boylesports - if team captain is top 1st inns run scorer (Ashes 3rd Test)
Chart supplied by: Freebets.com . Data for August
TOP TEN BOOKMAKERS FOR MONEYBACK OFFERS
TOP TEN SPORTS SPREAD MARKETS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
TOP TEN MONEYBACK OFFERS FOR JUNE
TOP TEN ONLINE BETTING MARKETS
TOP TEN GLOBAL POOLS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
GBR - Colossus Bets - The £10,000,000 Colossus - E11,834,300 SWE - V75 - Jagersro - E8,905,932 ESP - La Quinella - E7,125,143 GBR - Classic Pools - E3,550,290 SWE - V86 - Solvalla - E2,528,765 GBR - Colossus Bets - La Liga Pick 6 - E2,366,860 GBR - Colossus Bets - Premier League Pick 6 - E2,366,860 SWE - V64 - Bjerke - E1,209,984 GBR - Goal Millions - E1,183,430 GBR - Bodugi - Big Game - E1,183,430
Chart supplied by: Colossus Bets. Calculated by biggest pools/guarantees over a week’s period during the month. One entry per bet type. Data for 1/9 - 21/9
THE £10,000,000 COLOSSUS
ALL OTHER BETS ARE LOWER LEAGUE 46 BettingBusinessInteractive •
TOP TEN ONLINE CASINO PERFORMANCE
SPONSORED BY COLOSSUSBETS
RESPONSE TIME (SECS)
ng on the spread Andy MacKenzie, marketing communications manager for spread betting firm Spreadex, explains the motivations behind some of his firm’s customers and what they like to bet on.
Gold also attracted plenty of interest particularly after jumping 4 per cent on the US Federal Reserve’s decision to maintain its easy monetary policy and avoid any tapering of its quantitative easing. Sports-wise and the first two Zimbabwe v Pakistan Tests recorded the highest amount of bets from Spreadex clients. Cricket is perfectly suited to spread betting with clients able to bet in-play on batsmen runs, bowler performances and the fall of the next wicket to name just a few selections. With Test matches potentially lasting five days, there can be thousands of bets placed on a single match one day internationals also attract healthy amounts of business. That said, football
TOP TEN FINANCIAL SPREAD MARKETS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
UK 100, Daily Wall Street, Daily Germany 30, Daily Spot, EUR/USD Spot, GBP/USD UK 100, Dec Spot, AUD/USD Gold, Daily Oct Wall Street, Sep Spot, USD/JPY
Chart supplied by: Spreadex. Calculated on volume of bets. Data from 1/9 - 23/9
attracts the most amount of bets overall and the most popular match this month was a rather one-sided Manchester derby that saw City run out 4-1 winners. In general terms, spread betters usually like to buy Total Goals, Shirt Numbers, Bookings,
Corners, Total Goal Minutes etc so that they are betting on an eventful game. And they weren’t disappointed with goals and action aplenty at the Etihad resulting in a big payday for quite a number of our punters! It was a different story in
York - Convivial Maiden Stakes York - Great Voltigeur Stakes York - Juddmonte International Stakes York -EBF Galtres Stakes Goodwood - Oak Tree Stakes York - Darley Yorkshire Oaks Goodwood - Blackrock Filllies’ Stakes York - Acomb Stakes York - Lowther Stakes Goodwood - New Ham Maiden Fillies Stakes
Chart supplied by: Totepool. Data for August.
Chart supplied by: Oddschecker. Calculated on market share of betslip clicks from Oddschecker.com. Data from 1/9 - 23/9
Bet on our easy-to-play weekly pick 7 football game.
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TOP TEN BINGO SITES 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Chart supplied by: Gomez. Data for 15/9-22/9
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(1) tombola (2) Jackpotjoy (3) Gala Bingo (4) Mecca Bingo (5) Sun Bingo (6) Foxybingo.com (7) Costa Bingo (8) Wink Bingo (9) Paddy Power Bingo (10) Sing Bingo
Chart calculated by: www.Hitwise.com. Ranked by visits. Data for August.
TOP TEN CASINO SITES 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
(1) 888Casino (-) Monte Carlo Casino (6) 32Red Casino (3) Sky Vegas (4) William Hill Vegas (5) Ladbrokes.com Casino (8) All Slots Casino (7) Bet365 Casino (-) Supercasino (9) Paddy Power Casino
Chart calculated by: www.Hitwise.com. Ranked by visits. Data for August.
TOP TEN POKER SITES
RESPONSE TIME (SECS)
Jenningsbet Poker - 0.55 888 - 0.74 Bet365 - 0.96 PokerStars - 1.22 Paddy Power - 1.31 Unibet Poker - 1.54 Poker Room - 1.57 Bet Victor Poker - 1.64 Stan James - 1.77 Betsson Poker - 1.88
Bet365 Betfair William Hill Betfred Ladbrokes Paddy Power Sky Bet At the Races Oddschecker Coral
Chart calculated by: www.Hitwise.com. Ranked by visits. Data for August.
TOP TEN ONLINE POKER PERFORMANCE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
(1) Betfair (2) Bet365 (3) BetVictor (4) Paddy Power (5) William Hill (6) Ladbrokes (7) Coral (8) Stan James (9) Skybet (10) Betfred
Bet365 - 0.64 Boylesports - 0.99 BetVictor - 1.24 Totesport - 1.33 Betfair Sports - 1.36 Jenningsbet - 1.49 Ladbrokes - 1.60 Sporting Index - 2.09 Gamebookers- 2.46 Coral Sports - 2.72
Chart supplied by: Gomez. Data for 15/9-22/9
TOP TEN FOOTBALL BETTING WEBSITES 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
TOP TEN SPORTSBETTING SITES
RESPONSE TIME (SECS)
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Jenningsbet Casino - 1.13 Bet365 - 1.44 32Red - 1.48 Totesport- 1.53 888Casino - 1.56 PartyGaming - 1.80 Betfred Casino - 2.02 William Hill - 2.25 BetVictor - 2.47 Betsson - 2.53
Chart supplied by: Gomez. Data for 15/9-22/9
TOP TEN ONLINE SPORTSBOOK PERFORMANCE
TOP TEN UK HORSERACE POOLS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
England’s goalless bore draw World Cup qualifying draw with the Ukraine, which saw striker-less England cling on for a point to improve the likelihood of them making it to Brazil and resulting in a much better result for Spreadex. The other top markets all came in the Premier League, which got off to its slowest start ever in terms of goals per game this season. After the first three rounds of games, the English top flight was averaging less than 2 goals per game. Those seeking entertainment should fear not though, as the Spreadex traders are predicting the final number of Season Total Goals to come in between 1012 - 1027; that’s an average of 2.7 goals per game at the top end of the spread.
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(1) Sky Poker (8) 888Poker (3) Pokerstars.com (2) Global Poker Index (-) 888Poker Greece (5) Poker Tube (7) Bet365 Poker (-) PKR (10) SharkScope (9) Paddy Power Poker
Chart supplied by: www.Hitwise.com. Ranked by visits. Data for August.
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