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SiGMA

issue 4 SPRING/SUMMER 2016

COVER STorY Bit8 Boss Angelo Dalli

300 FREE FLIGHTS

for Affiliates to attend SiGMA16

SiGMA16: 16-19 Nov SAVE THE DATE!

NETWORKING EVENTS

Poker Tourney, Dinners, Drinks & Closing Night

GAMING IN MALTA UPDATE


Branders is branding, concepts & design. We take your branding to the next level by showcasing your entire business philosophy in all of your visual communication. A highly experienced international team takes your online brand miles ahead of the competition. We’re hiring! Affiliate Managers | Senior - Results driven, client oriented - Experienced iGaming affiliate manager - Native English / Native Swedish Graphic Designer | Mid - Experience in iGaming is considered an asset - Based in Malta inquiries@branders.rocks | www.branders.rocks

SuppClupp takes your customer support to the next level. A company entirely dedicated to your customers and VIP’s; focussing on the best customer experience and retention. Outsourcing your customer support means flexibility and experienced professionals, based on your companies needs. We’re hiring! Support Agent | German / Swedish / Dutch - Excellent English communication skills - Native German / Swedish / Dutch - Experience in iGaming is a big plus

inquiries@suppclupp.com | www.suppclupp.com


issue 4 SPRING / SUMMER 2016

Editorial & Contents | SiGMA

OFFICIAL PARTNERS

CONTENTS Malta regulatory update The headlines

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SEO meet up

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Educating the industry

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Cover story: Angelo Dalli

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Two years and counting! The show has gained a lot of momentum since its inception, with big brands joining the list of premium sponsors and exhibitors from previous years. The show has cemented itself as the best igaming expo in the Mediterranean, bringing together affiliates, operators, solution providers and regulators under one roof in the heart of the igaming industry.

Maltese talent under 40

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From affiliate to operator

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Doing business in Malta

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Binary options: guide to recent trends

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SEO and reputation management

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Shortly after the summit and a well-earned break we took heed of your feedback and will be introducing some interesting upgrades, including, but not limited to the following:

How to double your affiliate business

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Interview: Alessandro Fried

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Running at full speed

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• Conferences: We’re shifting all conferences to a bigger conference room within the hotel, with full AC! We’ve also established new partnerships to ensure that delegates receive the best quality content. • 300 Flights: Inspired by the movie 300, this year we’re giving away the equivalent in flights for affiliates from all over Europe. Exhibitors are encouraged to invite VIP guests, flights on us, and throw a string of hospitality events around SiGMA. After all, Malta lends itself quite well for hospitality. • Coffee: Last year’s ‘instant coffee breaks’ will be upgraded to ‘premium coffee breaks’. This was possible thanks to an exclusive partnership with Lavazza. • Free Lunch: We will also introduce free standing lunch on both days, giving delegates more time for business. • SiGMA Pitch: The idea of a ‘SiGMA Pitch’ should go down well with so many start-ups, innovators and investors. With so many mergers and acquisitions, expect some serious deals to be made in a Dragon’s Denlike environment. • Show Dates: Many wished for our dates to be farther away from BAC and EiG so we’ve agreed to shift the show one month away from Berlin and back to back with our friends from MiGS, creating a dynamite Malta Gaming Week.

Content marketing: all about chemistry

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A winning partnership

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Editorial

With the above upgrades, we’re building on the success story of the previous two shows. Interestingly enough, SiGMA has carved out a niche in the igaming events calendar - recruitment. Besides the usual business leads, an increasing number of exhibitors are relying on SiGMA for head hunting. Landing the right talent is no easy feat and with a solid workforce of 12,000 people, Malta provides the ideal recruitment backdrop. Tipico promoted Tipico-Careers last year. Expect more companies to jump on this idea and involve their HR department in budgeting for the show this year. We would like to nurture a long term, networking environment, predominantly with the SiGMA show itself, but also throughout the year with a number of networking events. True to our word, we have been able to connect an endless number of C-level executives, suppliers, operators and affiliates, and we look forward to welcome even more industry players to this igaming nucleus.

Online lottery: comprehensive overview 69 Building trust in binary

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Casumo Grand Slam

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Photo Gallery

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Solid growth based on trust

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An alternative payment system

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Who’s Who of the industry

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Editor: Eman Pulis Consulting Editors: Dennis Dyhr-Hansen & Anthony Medica Design: Nicholas Cutajar facebook.com/nicodesignmalta Photography: Aleksey Leonov Sales: Jarek Górny & Sophie Crouzet Hand delivered to business in Malta, executive lounges, Maltese embassies and government institutions. The magazine is also delivered by post to 4,000 leading gaming companies worldwide. For information regarding promotion and advertising kindly call (+356) 2131 4191 or email info@maltaigamingsummit.com maltaigamingsummit.com SiGMAgazine is published by Viking PC Health Ltd., Sundial Court, 7, Victor Denaro Street, Msida. MSD1604, Malta. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited without prior consent in writing. Opinions expressed in SiGMAgazine are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. All reasonable care is taken to ensure truth and accuracy, but the editor and publishers cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions in articles, advertising, photographs or illustrations.

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What has established our global reputation in the gaming industry? At the Malta Gaming Authority, our regulatory philosophy, organisational principles and culture are focused on player protection. Malta’s transparent legal framework and experience in regulating gaming has developed into a world class eco-system providing effective, innovative and efficient regulation. Our regulatory framework provides assurances both locally and internationally that fairness and transparency are at the core of everything that we do. To this effect, our licensees are associated with the highest levels of integrity and efficiency. Proudly recognised as a world class authority in terms of innovation, governance and diligence.

MALTA GAMING AUTHORITY Building SCM02-03, Level 4, SmartCity Malta, Ricasoli SCM 1001, Malta T +356 2546 9000 E info.mga@mga.org.mt www.mga.org.mt


Regulation | SiGMA

issue 4 SPRING / SUMMER 2016

The gaming sector in Malta By Joseph Cuschieri

Photos by Domenic Aquilina

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SiGMA | Regulation

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The gaming sector in Malta continues to show healthy signs of growth and buoyancy as evidenced by the increasing number of licences issued by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). The dynamism, innovation and new product streams of the Malta-based industry is all the more remarkable because it comes at a time when the Maltese jurisdiction continues to face multiple challenges. As will be featured in the Annual Report being published soon, in 2015 the Authority continued building on the major projects started in 2014, which included both internal and outward-facing initiatives. Internally the MGA carried on its human resource capacity-building supported by new systems, including a very advanced Microsoft CRM information system (a first for a regulatory entity) that is progressively being implemented over the coming months. The MGA moved to its new offices at SmartCity Malta in November 2015 with a transformed structure, innovative systems and above all a new ethos, as an effective, efficient and innovative governor and regulator of gaming in Malta. After an extremely intensive 2015, 2016 is proving to be the crucial year for the MGA and probably for the sustainable growth of the gaming industry in Malta. While Malta is addressing the challenges being faced in a structured, holistic and co-ordinated manner with other Government Ministries and entities, due to the significant changes in both technology and industry structure, Malta’s best response is its strategic re-positioning in the gaming world in order to sustain the already existent industry base and provide for new streams of growth, from which both Malta and the industry in general will benefit. The coming months will see the roll-out of the new gaming legislative framework, which will incorporate Malta’s new strategic direction into law. The new framework will be characterised by neutrality to allow for further industry development in the future; by coherence to allow for convergence and simplification of processes; and by a strengthened governance structure and mechanisms to ensure high levels of accountability, certainty and transparency in the Authority’s decisions, operations and processes. The roll-out will start with a new draft ‘Gaming Act’ that will consolidate all primary gaming legislation under one primary Act of Parliament, bringing in the much-needed legislative coherence for all the gaming sector. The new Act will also widen the scope of governance of gaming falling under the competence of the MGA to include all forms of gaming, from skill games to games of chance and all that falls in between, including channels of distribution. The new Act will also provide for the adoption of different regulatory approaches, solidly implanted in and guided by a set of explicit principles and policy objectives that will provide the Minister responsible and the Authority with the necessary latitude and power to govern/regulate gaming activities according to the risk presented by the same activities, business models and persons conducting them. The primary Act and the subsidiary legislation that will follow, will abolish duplication of regulatory and administrative requirements that have already been met and offer simplification and faster time to market new products for existent, compliant operators. There are a number of salient features of this second generation of gaming regulation for Malta,

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which, when approved by Parliament (envisaged for later on this year) will allow for the ‘development’ of the gaming sector, notably the remote gaming sector, but also other forms of gaming. ‘Development’ of the gaming sector in Malta may be too modest a word when compared to the MGA’s aims and vision for the sector. Malta, and the MGA in particular, is positioning itself to add renewed and innovative value to the already- existent industry base. The Authority has been and is in close dialogue with the industry players and, apart from the legislative framework, has identified a set of initiatives that will continue to add value to the operators and facilitate their growth and prosperity, whether internal or through acquisitions/mergers; whether through market and/or product diversification. Malta’s repositioning strategy, facilitated by the new governing regulatory regime and other applicable incentives,

Regulation | SiGMA

will also seek to foster a climate conducive to innovation and the hosting of new products and gaming market segments. Some parts of the world are being overtaken by the new wave of e-sports and other non-gambling games and Malta’s gaming sophisticated eco-system can adequately, if not exceedingly, support this segment. The future of Malta as the jurisdiction of choice and a gaming hub for gaming companies is exciting in spite of the challenges being faced. The MGA will continue its continuous dialogue with the industry operators and other key stakeholders in order to ensure that the Authority is in complete synch with their needs and technological development. Business friendliness does not have to compromise regulatory efficacy or indeed performance. Quality outperforms quantity and Malta is in that quest and realm, striving to maintain high regulatory standards coupled with innovation and market readiness.

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The Headlines | SiGMA

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The HEADLINES NOVEMBER 2015

EveryMatrix licensed in Denmark In November, EveryMatrix was granted a Combined Remote Betting and Casino licence in Denmark. Already licensed in the UK, Ireland, Malta, Belgium and Curacao, it was time for EveryMatrix to start operating on the booming Danish online gaming market. Ebbe Groes, CEO of EveryMatrix, said: “EveryMatrix has entered the Danish gambling market at a perfect time, a time where customers are seeking to get as vast a gaming offer as possible and we look forward to providing our operators with such options.”

NYX Gaming Group and 888 partnered up The new partnership saw 888 extend its portfolio with NYX online and mobile casino content, making it available on the operator’s Dragonfish B2B platform, as well as other bingo and casino verticals. Commenting on the agreement, Yaniv Schwartz, head of Dragonfish said: “This agreement allows Dragonfish to offer an even wider and exciting content portfolio to our bingo and casino partners.”

David Johnson, commercial director at NYX, added: “NYX boast the widest distribution network of real money wagering slots games in the online marketplace; the 888 OGS/CGS integration is a natural progression with one of our closest partners.”

Mr Green and Quickspin agreed on a content partnership Malta-based online casino giant, Mr Green, extended its portfolio with productions from Quickspin, a Swedish game developer. The deal allowed Mr Green users to gain access to popular titles such as ‘Crystal Queen’, ‘Razortooth’ and ‘Second Strike’. Andy Braithwaite, Mr Green’s director, said that Quickspin games and the promotional tools that support them offer operators “very good player retention rates and are excellent revenue generators.” Quickspin CEO, Daniel Lindberg said: “I’m really pleased to have entered into this partnership with Mr Green, whose mobile-first philosophy is very similar to our own.”

DECEMBER 2015

Malta Gaming Authority proposed new regulations plan The Malta Gaming Authority announced that it may propose new regulations for digital games of skill with prize. The MGA conducted

public consultations that showed the need to create a new regulatory framework concerning games that “are very predominantly and/or totally influenced by the skill of the player (and a negligible element of chance).” The authority discovered that such games should be regulated in a different way and distinguished from some of the other types of games of chance. Amongst others, the most relevant provisions will include subjects such as extending the scope of regulated games with prize including “pure skill games”, clarifying the definitions of different games, adopting various monitoring instruments and extending some of the functions and responsibilities of the Authority.

Cherry AB announced plans to go public In December one of the biggest Swedish gaming companies, Cherry AB who has offices in Malta, revealed plans to list shares on Nasdaq Stockholm later this year. Cherry’s board believes that the company is “well prepared” to be listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and that the measure “would increase the possibilities for institutional investors to invest in Cherry’s shares and create conditions of improved liquidity in the share. “A stock market listing on Nasdaq Stockholm gives an extra seal of quality for the company regarding its operations,” commented Rolf Åkerlind, Chairman of Cherry.

Casino Malta officially opened Casino Malta, the largest casino on the island with a 175 full-time staff, opened its doors in December. 011


SiGMA | The Headlines

The casino offers the latest slots and table games as well as a large modern lounge bar area and weekly live music events. With ambitions plans to set even higher standards, this casino is definitely one to watch.

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with two new regional offices in Montevideo, Uruguay and Kiev, Ukraine. The new offices form part of an overall international sales and service development strategy.

international league table with 34 exhibitors, followed by other wellrepresented countries - United States (23), Italy (18), Germany (13) and Spain (11).

“According to our practice of being as close as possible to our partners and our strategy of insistently expanding into new markets, we have doubled our efforts in Latin America by opening the second sales and service centre there,” commented Vahe Baloulian; BetConstruct’s CEO.

JANUARY 2016

Gaming Innovation Group announced new share offering Gaming Innovation Group, who is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, announced plans to issue 23 million new shares with a target price of NOK 1.95 (€0.20) per share. The company looks to raise an estimated NOK 45 million (€4.8 million) from the sale, which Swedbank Robur Fonder, a leading Scandinavian asset management firm shall be directing. The sale allows Gaming Innovation Group to “strengthen GIG’s financial position and enable the company to step up efforts to monitor strategic growth opportunities”, the operator noted. Robin Reed, CEO of GIG, said: “A strengthened balance sheet will allow us to pursue these opportunities as they arise. As part of the transaction, we have received a substantial and long-term shareholder.”

“At the same time, we are not overlooking our European home base, the eastern part of which will now be better served by our newly established and expanding Kiev branch,” he added.

Richard Carter joined SBTech as chief executive officer Gaming industry leader, Richard Carter, was appointed as SBTech’s new chief executive officer in January. Carter, former director of research at Deutsche Bank, was responsible for running the highly rated European equity gaming franchise for the past 7 years. Between 2003 and 2009, Richard worked at the London listed Stockbroker Numis Securities, as a key member of their highly rated Leisure and Gaming team. Carter was notably positioned at the forefront of several highly renowned global online gaming companies such as 888, 32Red and Empire Online.

FEBRUARY 2016

Malta the most represented nation at ICE

BetConstruct opened new regional offices BetConstruct, an award-winning developer and provider of online and land-based gaming solutions, expanded its global presence 012

Catena Media went public Catena Media, the Maltaheadquartered online lead generation company, opened a listing on Nasdaq First North Premier in Stockholm in February. From affiliates to super-affiliates; from a small start-up to a public listed enterprise - Catena Media became the success story that many industry practitioners dream about. “We welcome all of our new shareholders and look forward to be a listed company on Nasdaq First North” said Robert Andersson, the company’s CEO. “This is an exciting day for us and we are very motivated to continue our hard work in order to deliver profitable growth and increase shareholder value.”

Ulrik Bengtsson became the new CEO and president of Betsson AB

Malta was the most represented nation on the exhibition floor of one of the largest gaming shows in the world, ICE Totally Gaming, which took place in London.

Being an extremely successful CEO at Betsson Malta, Ulrik Bengtsson proved that he was ready for the big step ahead. He replaced Pontus Lindwall, who returned to his previous role as Chairman of the Board.

For those who need more proof that Malta is one of the hottest gaming hubs in Europe, then the flowing statistics should be enough. The Mediterranean island topped the ICE

“I have been a part of an incredible journey over the past four years with Betsson but I think that we are still only at the start of a structural


The Headlines | SiGMA

issue 4 SPRING / SUMMER 2016

transformation of the entire industry, which is enabled by a continued transfer of the activity towards online. In my role as CEO and President of Betsson, I will continue to ensure that, in the first instance, the group focuses on customers, and that innovation takes place where it is important for them. In this way Betsson will continue to gain market share. Our strategy to grow both organically and through acquisitions remains”, said Ulrik Bengtsson.

LeoVegas share and now welcome almost 30,000 new shareholders.” Notable new investors in the Malta licensed gaming giant include Catella, Handelsbanken, Swedbank Robur, Carnegie Asset Management, Keel Capital, Fonden Alcur and AMF Fonder.

Mattingley, who had been the executive chairman since 13th May 2015, became a non-executive chairman.

Gaming Innovation Group acquired Delta Markets for €4.2 million

MARCH 2016

Gaming Innovation Group (GIG), an international internet gaming company, negotiated an agreement to obtain the assets of Delta Markets; a Dutch based affiliate networking company founded in 2015.

888 Holdings appointed Itai Frieberger as new CEO One of the leading gaming companies, 888 Holdings, appointed Itai Frieberger as their new CEO in March.

LeoVegas public offering met huge interest The mobile gaming giant, LeoVegas, generated huge interest from Swedish and international investors when it got listed on Nasdaq First North Premier in Stockholm on March 17th. Commenting on the IPO’s huge success, Gustaf Hagman and Robin Ramm-Ericson, co-founders of LeoVegas, said: “Not even five years have passed since that spring evening when the concept for the mobile gaming company LeoVegas was born. We are happy about the extremely strong interest to invest in the

In the agreement it is confirmed that GIG will be paying a premium of €4.2 million ($4.6 million) for the acquisition, 30% of which will be settled through new GIG shares, amounting to 4,336,314.

Frieberger was promoted from the position of chief operating officer, which he had held since April 2011. In May 2015 he joined the 888 Holdings board.

Robin Reed, founder and chief executive officer of GIG, declared: “This acquisition will make Innovation Labs the local leader for referring paying users in the highly sought after and soon-to-be regulated Dutch casino market.”

Chairman Brian Mattingley commented: “Itai is admired throughout the online gaming industry and has been instrumental in the company’s development in recent years. He is therefore, without doubt, the natural choice to take 888 further forward in the rapidly growing online gaming market.”

“Innovation Labs has proven to increase organic growth when bolting on individual assets to our core referral platform. We are continuing to build out our distribution channel for the top performing brands in the industry, and look forward to deliver even more quality online resources for end-users.”

Meet Anthony, Sophie and Jarek Shortly after dust settled on SiGMA15 last November, we felt it was the right time to invest and grow the show into a landmark, international event. Serious growth requires a talented and motivated team and we couldn’t be happier to engage Anthony, Sophie and Jarek. Anthony brings with him a wealth of experience in business development, specifically in gaming. Sophie and Jarek will be handling all sales, marketing and reservations.

Anthony Medica Business Development anthony@sigma.com.mt (+44) 7701 301 206 Skype: anthony.medica1

Sophie Crouzet Sales sophie@sigma.com.mt (+356) 7777 3092 Skype: s.crouzet

Jarek Górny Reservations jarek@sigma.com.mt (+356) 7777 3092 Skype: j.gorny

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SiGMA | SEO Meet Up

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SEO MEETUP We’re proud to have sponsored this networking event - a loosely organised meetup for SEO professionals. We met on a cool day in February at Compass Lounge, Sliema Front, for a drink to share experiences and chat about the latest trends. We look forward to more events like this. hats off to the folks behind SEO Meetup.

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SEO Meet Up | SiGMA

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WE INVEST IN OUR PEOPLE. WWW.TIPICO-CAREERS.COM


Hot Jobs UX Specialist HR Business Partner Data Scientist FrontEnd Architect Software QA Engineer

THE SECOND YEAR OF TIPICO CAREERS Last year, the Malta-based German company Tipico launched a new employment opportunities website called www.tipico-careers.com through its subsidiary Tipico Careers. First had a chat with Tipico Careers brand manager Thomas Mahoney about the website’s development and how it is aimed at today’s dynamic jobseeker. With its headquarters at the Portomaso Business Tower in St Julian’s, Tipico offers a wide range of pre-live and live sports betting products delivered through cuttingedge mobile and online channels as well as through a top-class portfolio of approximately 1,000 retail outlets, predominantly in Germany.

our work, which is all about acquiring top talent and investing in our workforce,” says Thomas Mahoney, who is in charge of the Careers brand. The Tipico Careers site introduces newcomers to the company with a very innovative motion graphic animation called: ‘What’s in it for you at Tipico’ showing the company’s history, its position within the German market, its premium partner and the benefits one would enjoy when joining the organisation. Another video available on www. tipico-careers.com shows Tipico’s high-end offices based in the iconic Portomaso business tower, with an amazing view of the Mediterranean.

One of the key drivers behind Tipico’s growth is that it is an organisation that attracts young people with great tech skills, business understanding and an international outlook. This is why Malta was chosen as the hub for European operations because it offers a business-friendly environment with access to well-educated staff – both local and international.

Whenever possible, the company employs local talent, but some jobs are snapped up by people who make Malta their new home. And it is for these that the website also features an introductory video to Malta’s gems, gorgeous locations, the island’s culture, beaches and nightlife in the ‘Why Malta?’ section.

“Like the company, the Tipico Careers website is young, fun, innovative, intelligent and engaging. It reflects

“These days it’s all about attracting people and engaging them with initiatives through a multitude of

Data Architect instant and effective social media tools available on people-preferred, often hand-held devices. These include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Sykpe, Google+, Skype, Whatsapp, Xing and many others platforms,” Mahoney says. “At Tipico we very much believe that such tools are the way forward in terms of communication and we feel that they will take over the previous and current generation of online communication tools as we know them today. We enjoy using social media platforms to keep people updated with what the brand has to offer by engaging users via pictures, videos and related approaches.”

tipico-careers.com


NETENT PRESENTS

©2016 AUTHENTIC HENDRIX LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


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Education | SiGMA

www.igacademy.com

Educating the Industry: Gaming in 2016 BY JAime Debono Director, iGaming Academy

“Fast forward to today and we can fortunately say that the concept of an educational centre in Malta specifically addressing the needs of the Gaming industry has become a reality” So what is the next step in maintaining growth with obstacles such as competing markets and multi-jurisdiction license requirements? One area in which we have identified significant demand and vacuum is within the workforce, the backbone of the gaming industry, and its operators. The companies require specific knowledge-rich roles, and previous gaming experience is often a requisite for many positions. This restricts locals and expats, already residing in Malta, from tapping into current and emerging employment opportunities and drives company talent acquisition efforts outside Malta’s talent pool. Which begs the question, how do we bridge this gap? We decided to explore this need early in 2015 and found out that not only were locals looking for a potential gateway into gaming jobs through education but more importantly, the operators themselves needed to train their staff on gaming specific and compliance topics as part of their license requirement. This led to the formation of the iGaming Academy which initially offered introductory courses for candidates exploring careers within the gaming industry. Fast forward to today and we can fortunately say that the concept of an educational centre in Malta specifically addressing the needs of the Gaming industry has become a reality. Over 40 leading gaming companies with collectively over 5000 employees entrust us with the task of training their staff to industry exacting standards. Our training programmes have been developed in collaboration with topic-specific experts currently employed in leading roles within the industry.

It goes without saying that the Gaming industry has had a significant impact on the Maltese economy with over 8,000 employees working within this market in Malta. ‘The Land-based casinos and remote gaming companies together contribute more than €52 million a year directly to the national economy in the form of company taxes’ [Malta Gaming Authority] and ‘approximately 10-12 per cent contribution to Malta’s GDP’ [Gaming Malta, 2015]. Malta has clearly set a benchmark with business incentives and a moderate cost of living when compared to other EU states.

The iGaming Academy today offers over 15 gaming specific online and face-to-face courses covering topics such as AntiMoney Laundering (AML), Responsible Gaming, Information Security, PCI DSS Compliance and Introduction to iGaming, Online Sportsbook & Casino Management, Anti-Fraud & Payments Handling, Customer Relationship Management, Affiliate Management, Social Media Marketing, SEO and Customer Analytics.

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SiGMA | Cover Story

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A Love Affair with

I.T. & Mathematics From representing Malta at the International Olympiads in Informatics (IOI) back in the 90s to shaping Bit8 into the truly global player iT iS today, Angelo Dalli’s love for I.T., mathematics and entrepreneurship is loud and clear. SiGMA met with this inspiring CEO to find out more about the journey and his plans for the future.

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Cover Story | SiGMA

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Your offices are situated in the beautiful surroundings of Ta’ Xbiex, in the heart of the gaming industry. How important has this been for the growth of your business? Choosing the right location for your business is a very important decision to make, as it has a direct impact on the quality of work-life for employees, the impression that we make on our visitors, and in general the overall image of the company as a whole. We have chosen to invest heavily in the Ta’ Xbiex and Gżira areas, building a state of the art energy efficient office block that was purposely designed to accommodate the needs of fast growing, high technology companies like Bit8. Currently we are also building a second, larger office block that will be provide more than three times the current capacity of our building, enabling us to hit our growth plans. The pleasant and secure working environment, with good infrastructure and beautiful surroundings nearby, is constantly being improved in collaboration with the relevant local councils, enabling us to be more efficient and have a happier workforce in return. By the end of next year we will have secured over 7,000 square meters of high quality office space spread over two buildings adjacent to each other, which aids in fuelling our growth in the right manner. We have also shown long term commitment to improving our surroundings by encouraging the use of healthier alternatives to private vehicle transport, promoting green energy and waste recycling schemes; we have even been nominated for the prestigious Mies van de Rohe architectural award for our offices, due to the detail and quality we have put in into our design, infrastructure, and eco-friendly features that reflect our philosophy of quality and innovation. These values are reflected in everything that we do, from the products and solutions that we offer to the partnerships and alliances that we have built over the years. How long have you been in the business? Has it always been gaming? Or was Bit8 a transition from other sectors? How many people are currently employed with Bit8? I have been working in the IT industry for over 22 years, and have had the pleasure of being involved in various different industries ranging from enterprise business systems, intelligent transport systems, search technology, big data analysis and of course, gaming. Bit8 sprang up from our conviction that the platform should be a source of competitive advantage, not just a glorified transaction processing system. Together with my two co-founders, Keith

Galea and Brian Fenech, we set up the company and proceeded to gather input from over 50 different country and product managers in the industry. In this manner, the Bit8 platform ended up being highly relevant to the whole spectrum of gaming operators, ranging from small ones to large Tier 1 operators. Bit8 was, in a way, a logical evolution rather than transition, from other companies that I was working with in the gaming industry. We have grown over time, having had two external funding rounds, from a small team made up of a handful of extremely competent people to a team that is rapidly exceeding 80 people in size. Tell us a bit more about the global alliance with Intralot. How did it all start? What made Bit8 so attractive to the likes of giants Intralot? Bit8 is attractive to giant organisations like Intralot due to its availability of a superior, best-in-class platform that supported a wide range of gaming verticals, and that is supported by an innovative roadmap and solid business model, while backed up with a solid team of professionals. We have found a very good fit and strategic global partner with the Intralot Group. As a very well-established global player, Intralot will be collaborating with Bit8 on a variety of products and services, including both online and land-based operators who want to take their business online. A wide range of products, such as advanced player account management, loyalty management systems, lottery and sportsbook verticals as well as other products are being enhanced and developed between Bit8 and the Intralot Group. These will be rolled out worldwide in over 50 countries over the space of the next few years, giving Bit8 the global reach necessary to achieve our goals of becoming a global player. Bit8 has already started delivering exciting projects together with Intralot in different parts of the world, including Europe, Australia, Asia, and South America, dealing with large state organisations and national lotteries. Our global alliance represents the chance for us to leverage Intralot’s expertise in the global market and combine it with Bit8’s expertise in the online gaming industry and our superior platform and innovative technology. For Bit8, partnering with Intralot was a strategic, deliberate choice that we made from a number of possible alliances that we could have made. As

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SiGMA | Cover Story

a company, we wanted to have a global alliance partner that helps us achieve the necessary scale and global reach for our products and services, while enabling us to inject our innovative sprit, nimbleness, and depth of expertise in online gaming by growing as fast as possible. Will you remain at the helm of Bit8 for years to come? Is the company going through a phase of acquisition? Bit8 has evolved as a company over the years, with subtle shifts in the direction of our focus and also slight tweaks in strategy over time. We are going through an exciting phase of growing from a European-focused company to a truly global company that operates across multiple continents, not just countries, and that needs to offer a complete 24/7 service anywhere on the planet. This is an exciting transition that requires a re-tooling of the skillset needed within the company, and a general re-structuring of the company to build up the foundations – human resources, processes and infrastructure - to support operations on a much larger scale than we have done before. I am excited to be leading this process of transition at the helm and intend to continue doing so, seeing Bit8 achieve its goal of becoming a global company. I have always focused on continuous and incremental improvements while ensuring that there is a sound overall strategy behind our company and business. The main reason for success is our focus on providing real added value to our customers, ensuring that we invest in real innovation, research, and development while also personally taking an action-oriented approach. We believe that actions speak louder than words – and prefer to have team members who are implementers and get whatever needs to be done executed in the fastest and most acceptable manner. Our company has been described aptly as providing a blueprint for the future – a future where agile teams achieve a lot in a lean fashion. Regarding acquisitions, we are not currently looking into any form of acquisition in the short term, although we can never rule out opportunities that may present themselves from time to time, especially to increase our reach and operational resources faster than we can grow them organically. Most of your operation is based in Malta, still. Moving forward, with Intralot’s new partnership, it is assumed you will be recruiting more and more developers and other non-technical staff. How feasible it is to maintain all your operation in Malta? Is Malta’s educational system providing the suitable workforce needed to join this working environment? How tempting is it to relocate part of the operation to other jurisdictions with cheaper wages, such as in many East-European states? Currently, we are experiencing a lack of available trained people in our home country of Malta, which while auguring well for Malta’s economy due to low unemployment, places rather strict constraints on the amount and rate of growth that we can achieve. Due to the excellent job mobility opportunities offered in the EU, we have partially alleviated this constraint by relocating people from all over Europe, and currently we have more than 12 nationalities represented within our company. We are looking at increasing the size of Bit8 this year by over 25% and possibly up to 50% growth in headcount by the end of 2016. The sheer scale of the global 022

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opportunities that we currently have has created a large amount of career opportunities to work with Bit8, for both technical staff like developers, quality assurance, business analysis, operational, infrastructural and technical support staff, opportunities for experienced management who want a serious growth challenge that is not typically easy to find in Malta, and also other non-technical staff like sales and account management that help us offer a complete service and solution. We have invested a lot of in building up our Malta operations, and are already working on adding more physical space to support our growth, with room for an additional 150 people in Malta that should see through our projected growth for the next two years. Malta’s educational system is generally of a high standard, although the quality of technical education has gone down slightly in the last decade, due to the pressure of having to introduce shorter tertiary level courses that force educators to spend less time training our future workforce. In the short term this is a sensible strategy, however the downside of this strategy is that there has been an overall lowering of the quality of people available locally who are technically skilled. There are numerous measures being taken to address this, however the only real solution is to attract more local students to study technical subjects that are relevant such as software development, ICT courses, business and computing courses, mathematics, statistics, and so on. The gaming industry in Malta, together with other industries that depend heavily on technical skills, provide excellent employment opportunities that are rather unprecedented. The overall cost of running operations like Bit8 from Malta has risen considerably, mostly due to increases in human labour costs. Being a B2B operator, we are a more stable company than B2C operators, yet our business model is closer to a traditional software development company. The shortage of human resources in Malta leads to unnecessary competition for resources – which while probably good for employees in the short term – is making Malta rather uncompetitive when compared to countries like those in Eastern Europe, where the educational system is also good yet human resource costs are a fraction of those in Malta. As a company, we do now run part of our technical development outside of Malta with a development office in Bulgaria that is also experiencing rapid growth. The sheer volume and availability of appropriate technical staff in such countries, coupled with the lower overall costs, do make it attractive for fast growth companies such as ours to seek out to expand by opening offices in other countries. Our next aim is to grow by opening an office in Asia and South America and we are already looking at different options that enable us to offer a 24/7 offering using local resources around the globe. Having said that, Bit8 is firmly committed to continue expanding its operations in Malta, having built up one of the most successful IT company that is also one of the fastest ever growing. We have recently received the Best B2B application Award from the Malta Communications Authority, which underlines our strength as not just a gaming platform company, but as a quality software development company in general.


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Moving forward, where are we expected to see Bit8? In how many jurisdictions do you currently operate? And what is the timeline for the next 2, 5, 8 years? We envisage that Bit8 will become a truly global player in the gaming industry, servicing both online and land-based quality operators while building up the world’s most superior platform. We are adding more than 6 new jurisdictions this year and our aim is to have most of the world’s significant jurisdictions added to our operations within the next two and a half to three years. Bit8 is also changing strategy significantly to become more focused and offer more options on lottery content, building upon the strengths of our platform and our global alliances. In 5 years I envisage that our transition to a global status would be complete, and that will see the transformation of the team, processes, and services to reflect this over the coming years as we grow onwards and move upwards! Unfortunately I cannot predict much about an 8 year timeframe – but I do see that Bit8 will have a dominant position in certain niches in the industry, like lottery products for the online gaming industry and the use of artificial intelligence to make operators work smarter, not harder. We view ourselves as leaders in these fields, as it has not been our style to copy whatever the industry is doing, but rather create new opportunities for ourselves through innovative thinking. We have seen that over the years various platform startups have been launched, partially also due to our example of success, with some flattering us by trying to emulate different features in our platform and even adopting some of our well known catchphrases, which we take as compliments to our success. Naturally, we will not sit on our laurels and are aware that in this industry we need to adapt quickly and remain nimble enough for us to spot new opportunities and make the most of them whenever it makes sense within our founding vision. You have been involved in the industry for a long time, since its inception in Malta with various companies both in and outside gaming. How has this experience impacted the overall success of the business? The benefit of having over 22 years of experience in the IT industry, with over 10 of them in the gaming industry, is that it provides a long term perspective on what can possibly work, what probably won’t work, and what trends are potential winners. In Malta, I have been involved in the gaming industry since the very beginning of the remote gaming industry, when the Malta Gaming Authority (then known as the LGA) was set up. Way back then, gaming was regarded differently from the way it is being considered nowadays, with fewer people involved in the industry and definitely fewer Maltese that were somehow linked to the initial companies that setup in Malta. As a result of the overwhelming success of Malta as one of the premier gaming jurisdictions, we are now faced with a different mix of people who participate or are somehow linked to the industry. This has made it easier for us to explain what Bit8 does to a local audience, and there is an appreciation of the benefits that the gaming industry has brought to Malta. The overall experience in the IT industry, both from a technical and business point of view, has also proven to be invaluable, especially in the practical experience gained in raising funds for multiple businesses, growing them, and in some cases, exiting successfully (including exits on stock exchanges around the world). This kind of experience can only be learnt through action and practice – and a few failures dispersed among the successes – from which you learn, adapt, and emerge in a better position than before.

Cover Story | SiGMA

On a more personal level, tell us a bit more about your love for IT, mathematics. Which of the two is at heart – IT or entrepreneurship? Tell us some of your foibles, your fun stories growing up. Tell us also something about your own personal journey – you obtained your PhD at a relatively young age. I have always enjoyed IT and the underlying mathematics and computer science behind it; science in all its forms has always attracted me from a very young age. My initial introduction to computers was at a time when technology itself was not so advanced – amber monochrome screens, floppy disks, and processors that are probably now slower than your average air-conditioning unit processor were the norm. Learning how to develop computer code in those times presented challenges in terms of the resources available – which paradoxically forced you to focus on writing elegant code that performs fast. The constraints that you were faced with are virtually unimaginable today, although on the other hand, you have a lot of new, fast-paced technology that needs constant catching up with. By remaining active in the field and staying close to the technology, you can indeed keep updated of new developments in IT, yet the computer science foundations at the base remain relatively unchanged. I caught my bug for entrepreneurship in my early teenage years, when I realised that you can actually earn money by selling software – money which I promptly spent on teenage stuff at the time. Later on I became wiser, started saving some of that money and gained more life and work experience than most of my peers had done, which helped kick start my entrepreneurial career. One of the early events in my life that cemented my love for IT, mathematics and problem solving was my participation in the International Olympiads in Informatics (IOI), which is the equivalent of the Olympics for nerds, where the term ‘nerd’ is used as a compliment! This was way back in 1995, and at the time there was very little training available in Malta for anyone at that level – so I had to train using largely Eastern European sources at that time and also solve a lot of problems on my own at home. Every country sent a small team of four students who represented it on an individual basis, accompanied by two adults. I clearly remember our briefing before flying out where we listened to the usual approach of “the thing that matters is to participate” – which was statistically true, as Malta had never won in any such contest. I like to play to win – so I had replied “the thing that matters is to win”, which was met by rather sceptical looks. The event itself was held in the Netherlands, and took place over two gruelling days solving three different problems each day, for a total of six problems, while being marked using automated tests, which in 1995 was almost unheard of. On the second day, I managed to score a perfect score on one of the problems which secured my position in the overall rankings, and much to the surprise of our team leads, I managed to win a bronze medal, the first ever that Malta has ever won in an Olympics level event. I have always believed that to excel at a skill you need to perfect it and dedicate yourself to honing all that you had learnt up to that point. For this reason, I read for my Ph.D. in Search Engine technology in the UK at a young age – after having previously completed an M.Sc. in Malta. The whole experience of achieving the journey of obtaining a doctoral degree was thoroughly enjoyable, despite the years of hard work and research that you have to put into it. After three years, I ended up with over 22 peer reviewed publications and a lot of experience in presenting that still serves me well to this day. Going to live abroad also helped me gain further independence, which I recommend to anyone, especially those with an entrepreneurial streak. I have always believed that having a good foundation early on helps form a person’s character in the right way, and keeping an open mind to interesting new opportunities and developments ensures a fresh and innovative approach throughout.

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Malta | SiGMA

Maltese EntrepreneurS

Fuelling the iGaming Industry SiGMA met with six, young Maltese entrepreneurs to find out how they benefitted from a solid presence of online gaming business in Malta.

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Kristoff Zammit Ciantar

Nikolai Livori

Age: 37 Years in your industry: 15 Years in the igaming industry: 5 Number of employees: 16

Age: 31 Years in your industry: 10 Years in the igaming industry: 10 Number of employees: 15

Tell us a bit what your company does? InFusion Solutions is an IT consultancy and experienced solution provider. We offer a flexible approach with years of experience in business analysis and technical architecture. The modular and easy to use solutions that we provide are further enhanced by both technical infrastructure and human resources.

Tell us a bit what your company does? Yobetit was founded in 2012 by igaming veterans and data mining experts and has been operational since 2014 with Yobetit Surebets; a browser based sports trading platform. In 2016, Yobetit Sports was launched using the same proprietary technology which helps offer unbeatable prices on select markets.

Head quartered in Malta and with offices in Spain and representation in UK and Ireland, the company is today part of Mizzi Organisation, one of Malta’s largest leading group of companies. We are proud to have a portfolio of clients that include Bank of Valletta – Malta’s largest local bank, Medserv Group of Companies, Forbes Fone, the Malta Stock Exchange, the Malta Gaming Authority and international gaming companies such as Betsson.

Tell us a bit about the product / service you are offering to the gaming industry? The Yobetit Surebets utilises the mathematical phenomenon known as arbitrage which can be found in any type of trading. Our members make a profit regardless of the outcome by placing two or more bets simultaneously. Our engine scans the global odds market and not only creates exclusive Surebets but also highly competitive prices through the Yobetit Sports product. We are still working to expand that even further with Unbeatable Odds, Last Minute Deals and Bargain Bet Bundles.

Infusion – Solution Provider

Tell us a bit about the product / service you are offering to the gaming industry? InFusion have developed a number of powerful and bespoke solutions for the gaming industry, one of which includes FlexiTe. FlexiTe (Flexible Taxonomy Engine) is an advanced real-time business intelligence tool that maximises the value of Big Data and allows for the analysis of patterns and behaviour making the solution completely tailored to your needs. This tool will help present the information that the clients want to see, before they know that they want to see it! How did you adapt to the gaming industry? FlexiTe was tailored in such a way that it offers real time reporting of the data the igaming industry needs, such as spending pattern and budget, which in turn helps to understand the game that will be chosen beforehand. Furthermore, having this real time data would allow the site to present the right game to the right persona. One would want to present low threshold games to low-budget users to be able to let them play for as long as possible. On the other hand the high threshold games are instantly presented to the high-budget users so that they can maximise their winnings. Any suggestions for budding entrepreneur out there? Having an understanding of the industry, both IT & Web solutions as well as gaming. Once you understand both markets, developing a tailor made solution for them becomes easier. You also need a lot of patience and trial and error. You not only need to keep up to date with what the industry needs but also what the industry might need tomorrow.

Yobetit – Solution Provider

How did you adapt to the gaming industry? It wasn’t as much about tailoring our services to the industry, it was a matter of passion and experience coming together. I am a mathematician by education, and a creator at heart. Working for over a decade in the igaming industry, you can’t help but notice a lack of differentiation and innovation. Yobetit Surebets enabled me to bring together mathematics, data mining and igaming. The concept of arbitrage is nothing new but it had not yet been applied in a bookmaking fashion as Yobetit always takes one side. Funding and audience has not been an issue, I think the main barriers we faced was communicating our business model to regulators and other third parties. With an innovative model, it is essential to be concise and keep it simple. Any suggestions for budding entrepreneur out there? 1: Find a niche, 2: Be bold. In hindsight, Surebets was quite an ambitious product however it did target a niche and that’s where it all began. Most of the startups or fairly new igaming companies choose to focus on one area and do that really well, for example mobile or social. You have to find a way to stand out because the industry is saturated, particular in certain markets. There are many ways to enter the industry, and a myriad of suppliers, so solid research and benchmarking is crucial. You should partner only with those that share the same vision as you or share the excitement about your business model.

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Steven Grech

Adrian Sciberras

Age: 36 Years in your industry: 12 Years in the igaming industry: 2 Number of employees: 8

Age: 36 Years in your industry: 10 Years in the igaming industry: 3 Number of employees: 20

Tell us a bit what your company does? YakoCasino.com is an online casino, offering players from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Central Europe and other markets the chance to play their favourite slots, table games and live casino games from the industry’s top game providers - NetEnt, Evolution Gaming, MicroGaming, NYX and PlayNGO - in a vibrant and unique casino experience.

Tell us a bit what your company does? Fairwinds Management Limited together with Accounting Services Ltd and A+A Assurance Services Ltd, are a company formation and administration specialist offering a wide range of corporate and financial services. Our main services include but are not limited to forming Malta companies but also foreign jurisdictions, and all related services that a company brings along: company secretary service, book-keeping, administration, VAT returns, payroll, accounting and audits. Our setup is particular, in the sense that we are split in three different team - three different companies, but we operate as one single entity, under the same roof to provide a complete range of fully functional business operation services for our customers. Our collaboration and vicinity, and out young and dynamic team allows us to serve the client in all his business needs in an efficient manner. We believe that through the combined efforts of our staff, the diversity of skills they bring to the table, as well as the customer oriented methodology which we hold, our group can achieve the client’s objectives faster and more effectively.

Yako Casino – Operator

Tell us a bit about the product / service you are offering to the gaming industry? YakoCasino launched as a mobile-first design with personalisation at the core of our product proposition. The brand name “Yako” comes from Swahili and means “Your”, so YakoCasino translates to YourCasino. We wanted to offer casino players a distinctive casino product that places them at the centre of everything that we do, be it product, marketing and customer support with the aim of personalising every player’s experience. Personalisation isn’t just a buzzword at YakoCasino, we pride ourselves on data-driven-design and data-driven-marketing, with the aim of giving our players the best customer experience possible no matter what device they’re using. Our personalisation engine was built in partnership with Everymatrix and it tracks what customers play across their mobile and PC devices and recommends games based on their gameplay preferences in their “My Casino Lobby”. For example, if a player plays different games on their mobile device to their desktop, they will see different recommendations across their devices; recommendations such as “top picks for you”, “because you played Jack and the Beanstalk”, “Favourite games” and “Games that are trending now” on their chosen device. Here’s what a few of our players had to say about YakoCasino: “This is a brilliant online casino. Very easy to use and navigate around the pages. I’m very happy I joined this casino. Thank you.” “A good site which is not too busy. Some casino sites have too much stuff on their site so it will be difficult to find games and so on. Your menu is perfect. What’s more than perfect are your fast withdrawals!!!”. “I have found your site different and highly entertaining. I will be happy to start recommending you to my friends.” How did you adapt to the gaming industry? With YakoCasino’s unique brand proposition, the opportunity lay in creating a product that was different in terms of design and offering to what was already available in the igaming market, however with this opportunity came great challenges, such as finding a platform with an open and flexible enough API that could run our custom built front-end and execute our personalisation strategy. We found this partner in EveryMatrix. Our aim here was to hide any complexities away from the users’ experience ending up with an intuitive and clean user interface. Given my background is in digital, having worked in the UK for over 10 years leading user experience design and development projects across multiple industries for companies such as Nokia, The Economist, Universal Music, D-Link, Channel 4, Eurotunnel and Credit Suisse; I took learnings from these different industries and applied them to YakoCasino giving our product a unique twist when comparing it to all the other online casinos out there. Given that we haven’t yet completed our first year, there’s a lot more that we will do for YakoCasino – personalisation needs robust data and time whilst a great product always needs to be tested and tweaked. We’ll get there!

Fairwinds Management –Corporate Services

Tell us a bit about the product / service you are offering to the gaming industry? Mostly, and firstly, it’s the company formation that attracts customers from the igaming industry. Many foreign igaming clients and affiliate companies or individuals, relocate to Malta for tax benefit and we are here to tailor a package suitable to cover their needs. Business advisory and tax planning are core to our services as it all revolves around the fact that we offer the best solution for the client, depending on their needs, income, and targets. Once this step is done, ancillary services become part of the package we offer to our clients. How did you adapt to the gaming industry? The igaming industry in Malta certainly bought with it a lot of opportunities for everyone. Malta, combined with competitive tax rates, and an overall high quality of life, made it attractive to many, but once accountants and other corporate services providers understood the needs and requirements for them, this also brought along a lot of competition, which in my opinion is tough but mostly healthy. Adding value to our services, and building relationships which high demand clients was a challenge at first, which certainly helped our setup to grow and expand our services. Any suggestions for budding entrepreneur out there? Certainly, I would go for it, there are a lot of opportunities out there for everyone. At the moment Malta is offering a lot of openings to locals and foreigners to invest, grow and succeed so we should all make the most of it. With a good focused mind, dedication and determination, one is able to grow his or her own business and career effortlessly.

Any suggestions for budding entrepreneur out there? If you have a good idea, brand and a product that differentiates itself from the rest, then I would say go for it. There’s plenty of room for innovative products in the igaming industry whether you want to set out as an operator or a supplier. 029


SiGMA | Talent

Jaime Debono

Jonathan Caruana

Age: 28 Years in your industry: 8 Years in the igaming industry: 4 Number of employees: 7 operational staff + 15 trainers

Age: 30 Years in your industry: 8 Years in the igaming industry: 2 Number of employees: 7

Tell us a bit what your company does? The iGaming Academy provides ready to roll out courses that have been developed in line with the regulatory requirements and training needs of Casino and iGaming companies within many jurisdictions – such as UK (UKGC), Malta (MGA) and US (NJDGE).

Tell us a bit in detail what your company does? SMSwarriors offers all the required tools to use SMS marketing in your marketing mix. It offers an intuitive, easy-to-use interface which allows users to send bulk SMS to their contacts. Furthermore it offers an extensive API, allowing seamless integration with other systems, making it super easy for companies to send SMS, triggered at certain events.

iGaming Academy – Training

Our online and face-to-face courses cover topics such as Anti-Money Laundering, Responsible Gaming, Information Security, PCI DSS Compliance, Introduction to iGaming, Online Sportsbook & Casino Management, Anti-Fraud & Payments Handling, Affiliate Management, Customer Relationship Management, Social Media Marketing and Client Analytics. We are currently delivering training to over 5000 employees within companies such as Betclic Everest Group, Stanleybet, VideoSlots, Betit Group, LeoVegas, Bear Group, Winners Group, Skybet UK, Evolution Gaming, ComeOn, Mr. Green, Pala (US) who have taken up our training services not only to satisfy regulators but also enhance internal staff knowledge and awareness. Tell us a bit about the product / service you are offering to the gaming industry? The iGaming Academy offers a unique product to the industry in the form of training dedicated to the needs and requirements of the industry. We provide a suite of training courses in the Compliance, Operational, Marketing and Analytical aspects of the gaming industry, which are created and delivered by industry professionals with years of experience, both in their fields and within gaming. Furthermore, our training can be delivered in several different formats, to suit the needs of the client – face-to-face, e-learning or a blended version of the two. We also develop bespoke content to suit any company’s needs. How did you adapt to the gaming industry? The content of our courses is provided by our trainers, our partners and our course sponsors. Our trainers are all industry experts with years of experience in their respective fields and of course their individual topics. Our partners and course sponsors, leading companies from the gaming industry, provide content and on occasions have even provided the trainers on topics that they specialize in. Our vision was always to provide the industry with a service that did not exist, and as such we focus our content and our delivery to the requirements and standards of the gaming industry. What opportunities and barriers did you face along the way? We found a real need in the industry for the services we provide, and as the company was created to focus on the needs of the iGaming market, the way in which we work is adjusted to the style of the industry. Being based in Malta is of course also a benefit, as we already had relationships with many of our clients prior to the IGA being formed. A challenge we faced was instilling the importance of training within an industry which did not already have a dedicated training offering. When it comes to the needs of the industry, our approach of working with industry experts when developing our content and even partnering with clients to create new courses is aimed at addressing these needs directly and comprehensively. Any suggestions for budding entrepreneur out there? Yes, although the gaming industry is a competitive sector, from my experience I have never seen such as openness to collaboration – gaming operators and service providers are very willing to work with new starters and brands, if they feel their product and/or service is unique and complements their own business goals and visions. 030

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SMSwarriors – Solution Provider

Tell us a bit about the product / service you are offering to the gaming industry? Many bulk email marketing tools are available on the market, but sms marketing tools on par with these email platforms are quite rare. SMSwarriors fills this gap. Sending personalised, bulk SMS has never been easier. SMSwarriors has 2 main facets. The company offers an easy to use platform free of charge; no license fees are required, as well as an XML and HTTP API for developers to connect SMSwarriors services to existing systems. The SMSwarriors platforms allows users to import existing data from excel and csv format, and map the data to standard and custom fields. Custom fields allow gaming companies to map non-standard fields to the system. These are then used to filter data, in order to target the right players and audiences for the SMS being sent. Automation tools include automatic Birthday SMS, which are automatically scheduled every day to contacts who have their birthday and automatic country code addition to lists which don’t have numbers with country codes. SMSwarriors has a powerful engine under the bonnet which is able to processes hundreds of thousands of SMS in a way that the SMSes do not overload any network. How did you adapt to the gaming industry? SMSwarriors was born with the igaming industry in mind, therefore the process to target this industry was a more natural one. Every little detail counts. The igaming industry is a less formal industry, but requires specific needs that need to be satisfied in order for a business to be successful. Informality starts from the routes of the company – the name! Other informalities include using less corporate words for SMS package names, as well as using fun graphics in the marketing material and website. These go well with the informality and the fun-factor that the industry globally offers. On the other hand, the marketing message had to be clear and concise, making it clear what SMSwarriors is bringing to the industry. Complex pricing structures were avoided, and easy to use platforms as well as flexibility to integrate the system to existing ones was crucial. SMSwarriors offers an easy three tier pricing structure with flat rates internationally, as well as an extensive API which allows igaming companies to integrate SMSwarriors with their current business model without major changes. Of course, knowledge of how the igaming industry works was crucial in the process, and we had to create a marketing plan that targeted these needs. For example, SMS can be used to increase retention of dormant or inactive players, as well as to incentivise winning players to play more thus reducing their global winning. Any suggestions for budding entrepreneur out there? Knowledge of how the igaming industry works is crucial. Get to know as much as possible about this industry; it’s never enough! Most companies and people in this industry are open minded and ready to listen to new ideas and ways to increase business, but make sure that the idea is well planned and every box is ticked, else you will easily be put on the side-burner. You only get one shot!


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The Affiliate Program


issue 4 SPRING / SUMMER 2016

Affiliate | SiGMA

From Affiliate to Operator: Disruptive Trends You Need to Know

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Frank Ravanelli outlines some of the trends which will reshape eGaming and Affiliate Marketing. To know more, make sure to attend the panel he will moderate on the same subject.

Egaming is flourishing, because operators and affiliates alike found smart ways to monetize generational and other demographics trends. A new tide of game-changers is coming soon, and it is here to stay and reshape the eGaming world, for good. Here, we explore some of these trends. Is the device the message? Paraphrasing Marshall McLuhan: the device is the message. Different types of devices, different models, etc. You need to tailor your players’ experience to the interface they are using. You need to give them access through multiple devices. And be aware this is a two way communication: they type of device the players use to access your site tells you quite a bit about the UI you need to provide etc. If you cross-reference the multiple devices used by the same customer, you may also understand how much she/he invests in technology etc. If I use fairly expensive devices to access your site, I am likely more responsive to a VIP program than to two free spins... When one plus one equals a Royal Flush Virtual Reality has been coming and going for a while. The ones of us who were avid gamers already in the mid 90s, may remember the excitement of playing Doom in VR at gaming expos, through bulky headsets and other peripherals, that never made to the consumer market... But now VR is, well, a reality.

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If – as a platform provider or an operator - you add the immersive power of VR to the entertaining value of monetary gaming, you may have won the jackpot. VR is not only a way to access existing games, it also creates game flows that would have not been possible – or interesting – if experienced through a traditional monitor. eGamifying the World UK bookies have historically been ahead of the learning curve, allowing bets on almost every possible event in life. Now, technology allows to make every event “playable” and entertaining. National lotteries can be played from everywhere in the World, sometimes by getting agents to buy physical tickets from the respective issuers and sometimes with Companies who insure themselves to pay winners if the magic winning numbers come out. Improved risk-management and real-time, mobile UI (like in the case of Daily Fantasy Sports) are making every event an opportunity to play, if one so desires. Your Company is where your heart is eGaming has always been one the most globalized industries. Licensing is done in Country A, eProcessing in Country B, players’ support in Country C, and marketing in Country D. While there are clear regulations for operators about where Companies need to be located, affiliates have quite a lot of flexibility in choosing the seat of their


Affiliate | SiGMA

issue 4 SPRING / SUMMER 2016

“It’s safe to say that this event exceeded expectations and delegates are looking forward to next year.” Rebecca Liggero CalvinAyre.com

business. This makes necessary to understand the financial and legal consequences of incorporating in one place, versus another. And also of doing business as/with an operator incorporated where rules are clear and fair, like Malta for example, versus an operator incorporated in other jurisdictions. Making each transaction manageable, and commissionable Bitcoin is making cost-effective to accept players’ small deposits and gaming transactions. It is also making possible to reward affiliates for such transactions. Both things would have been impractical in a world ruled by the monopoly of banks, with high minimum fees. This is creating opportunities for operators and especially brokers. Some financial brokers are accepting mini-deposits and mini-transactions, in order to grow their Clients’ list. In return, affiliates are rewarded for life on the total financial value of these traders. Each individual transaction makes little difference for the broker and the affiliate. However, during a lifetime, such transactions become a majorrevenue.

by it anyway. There is a wave of mergers and acquisitions. It some cases, it will create massive value for players and share-holders (by having stronger financial resources to give a better service and unique gaming experience). In other cases, it will be just a way to cover for lack of innovation (“cannot grow organically, has money, will buy other companies instead of thinking creatively”). No matter the end result of the companies involved in the M&A, the cost of entering the industry to cater to the general market is growing, even faster than usual. But there are also growing opportunities to provide a boutique gaming experience to those niches that are too small for the new eGaming giants.

“SiGMA is an excellent networking and knowledge sharing opportunity for local gaming operators, service providers and other industry players seeking to operate in or from Malta. I believe that events like SiGMA can showcase Malta’s unique attributes and strengthen our position as a world class gaming jurisdiction” Joseph Cuschieri Executive Chairman, Malta Gaming Authority

These, and many more trends that you need to consider to grow your business, will be presented at SiGMA in November.

M&A: great opportunities, and risk to mask inertia I am listing this trend as last, because unless you are the CEO or on the Board of Directors of a major eGaming company, there is little you can do about this. But you will be affected

About the author:

Frank Ravanelli helps companies to grow their business through Performance Marketing. He manages and grows the affiliate programs of leading eGaming brands and eCommerce companies. Frank will facilitate a panel about disruptive trends in affiliate marketing, with leading experts in VR, BitCoin, DFS, and Binary at SiGMA16

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Online by nature, felt like real Reach out to your luck with EGT Interactive games. Anywhere you go, anytime you want they will bring exciting experience on the go.

EGT Interactive

Mobile: +359 882 12 18 85 sales@egt-interactive.com http://egt-bg.com/en/interactive/online


Doing Business in

MALTA SiGMA met with Valery Bollier, Fantasy Football platform Oulala’s CEO, to find out more about the benefits of setting business foot in Malta.

Photo by Vanina de Turckheim

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Eleven years ago you left France and moved to Malta in order to launch a new venture. Since then, people have often asked you; “Why Malta?” Can you tell us a bit more about your story? In 2005, I was the Marketing Manager and shareholder of a team aiming to launch ZEturf, the first competitor of the French horse racing monopoly. The first few years of legal battles were to be expected due to the illegality of competing within the state monopoly in France, despite being legal in Europe. Our decision to go with Malta as the base for ZEturf proved to be an excellent one when Malta strongly supported our cause and backed us up. After five years, following the reception of the Brussels commission’s opinion on the matter, France finally opened its doors to the competition. ZEturf’s current position, with more than 11% of the French market, would not have been possible without Malta’s constant and firm support by its side. Thus, when Benjamin Carlotti and I decided to create Oulala back in 2012, Malta was the reasonable choice without a shred of doubt. My extensive knowledge of the advantages of setting our start-up in Malta further reinforced my decision. One of these advantages includes the break-even point of Oulala that would have been 3.5 times higher had we set our company up in our home country. As a result, Benjamin moved to Malta and, together, we rolled up our sleeves and began putting executing our business. Choosing the right location is a strategic decision that can have vital consequences on the future direction of the business; and is not exclusive to the financial part of the business plan. When launching a start-up, it is imperative that one does not delegate an excess of energy over, for instance, Kafkaesque administrative issues. Here in Malta, we are able to focus on what matters the most for our startup company, which is critical since the survival rate of startups is dramatically low. Additionally, one thing I have observed in Malta is how carefully guided start-ups are, with the help of numerous business incentives specifically implemented to aid them. Within just a few years, Malta has built an efficient ecosystem for digital start-ups. Business incentives come from various official sources: Malta Enterprise, Takeoff business incubator and the Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Business, to mention a few. Moreover, it is essential to have relatively easy access to government officials and other important decision makers. For instance, February 2014 saw the Maltese Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business, Dr Chris Cardona personally visit our office to inaugurate Oulala. We also work closely with the Maltese regulator (MGA) to build a tailormade framework for our activity, with hopes that Malta will soon be the first European country to offer a specific license for skill games. Digital Malta In the worldwide race to attract start-ups, Malta has been very pragmatic in building a number of strong competitive advantages. Indeed, the overall system must sustain continuous improvement; however I believe that Malta should start directing its attention towards raising awareness of the brand “Digital Malta” in the start-up world. Similarly, I believe that Malta must utilise its successful business partners to promote Malta abroad and attract new companies from all over the world. Local startups can be highly efficient ambassadors in promoting the local ecosystem in exhibitions and fairs. This February, the Maltese community was possibly one of the largest present at ICE, the biggest iGaming conference in Europe. Despite this, the lack of integration as well as the absence of visual displays proving their pride within the Maltese industry clearly resulted in a certain lack of unity. At Oulala, we have 038

always been willing to participate in events that involved the promotion of Malta. It would be beneficial for Malta-based start-ups to follow as such in order to further our common interest in building an efficient local cluster. Our recent presentation of Malta’s first technology business incubator, known as TAKEOFF, brings innovators, entrepreneurs, mentors and investorstogether. This program is the perfect tool for technology and knowledge-based entrepreneurs as well as start-ups striving to transform their innovative ideas into market and investor-ready businesses. Less visible factors that are vital for success include Malta’s excellent education system and its modern and efficient health system. Indeed, my son was born at Mater Dei Hospital and I stood amazed by the outstandingquality of service. Moreover, Maltese people appear to have an incredibly positive vision of the future – most Maltese believe that tomorrow will be better than today. As a startup, being surrounded by such a positive atmosphere is crucial. Selling dreams Although lifestyle is not an entrepreneur’s primary concern during the first few years of the start-up process, the Maltese way of life helps attract young, talented people from overseas. The first 20-50 employees are critical for any company as they are the ones who build up the business and must bring substantial value to the table. Recruitment, however, proves to be a rather tough challenge for a start-up that cannot offer promising salaries. Thus, being located in Malta benefits the “human resources” strategy. In total, we aim to employ 43 employees over the span of three years. Our constant search for people with technical skills and previous experience is coupled with our search


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investors. We have been able to raise more than €2.5 million in investments to date from business organisations and business angels from Africa, India, England and the United States, including the Malta Enterprise and Google, which acknowledged Oulala as one of the most innovative startup businesses of 2014. Despite our satisfaction with the outcome of the first round of funding, we would have saved a lot of time and energy had we been able to do it locally. On a positive note, two of our investors fell in love with Malta during their meeting with us. In fact, one went on to purchase an apartment here while the other has decided to move to Malta permanently. In addition, more and more VC’s are now aware of where Malta is on a map. With a good communication strategy, Malta should be successful in attracting a good number of them in the near future. Supporting Malta in return Without Malta’s help, there is a good chance that Oulala might not even be around anymore, a fact that we are well aware of and will never forget. Therefore, we actively promote Malta wherever we go, as a gesture of our gratitude. I believe that any company that receives government funding to help their launch, as it was in our case, should in turn be willing to help inpromoting Malta as a destination for the next generation of companies.

for talented students from respectable EU universities and invite them to Malta, to work in a fast-paced, multinational environment. Start-ups that have not raised funds yet, should keep in mind that countless internship and student exchange programs in the EU involve students paid by Erasmus or similar organisations. Lack of local business investors Conversely, a disadvantage for startups in Malta is the limited access to funding. Currently, there are no active venture capitalists (VCs) and very few business angels. This lack of local business investors forces founders to look overseas for sufficient fundraising; though it is possible to arrange seed investments in Malta. The fact that investors want to invest locally, or at least domestically, means that Maltese companies trying to raise money abroad must overcome much larger challenges than those in London or California. The SIGMA pitch this November is a great initiative and I am sure the feedback will be very positive because demand from both sides is sky high. We know that there are business angels and investors out there, not necessarily involved in gaming, who are looking for the right investment opportunity. On the other side, there are several brilliant start-up ideas too – so the SiGMA Pitch should be able to bring those two ends together under one roof – and that’s brilliant. Furthermore, raising money is a task that is extremely time-consuming. The fundraising process involves founders spending most of their time meeting potential financial partners. Meetings abroad only increase expenses and result in a loss of precious time that is both vital and tight for founders of a startup. At Oulala, we had no choice but to look abroad for potential

At Oulala, we are now attempting to attract this very young industry to Malta. We believe that with our white label solution and the creation of a specific licence for our sector, Malta can rapidly become the place to be for a fantasy sports business in Europe. Malta is the future Benjamin and I strongly maintain that one day, all of us entrepreneurs in Malta will be proud to have been part of the pioneering force that contributes to Malta’s impressive expansion as one of the biggest digital hubs in Europe. Malta is an island of opportunity; Malta is a promise of a glorious future! Valéry Bollier has over eleven years of experience in the iGaming industry. He is a regular speaker at industry conferences and seminars, as well as a contributor to various BtoB publications. Equipped with a passion for Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and “Big Data”, Bollier is the co-founder and CEO of Oulala.com, a revolutionary fantasy football game which was launched three years ago.

About Oulala:

Oulala.com is the first European Fantasy football game to be a real skill game with more than 16,000 registered users. The monetised product features new gaming options such as team creation and live substitutions in order to offer the closest experience to football reality. The game is also available in white label for football clubs, media and the iGaming operators that are interested in having a Daily Fantasy Football plug and play solution. Recently, the company signed a unique type of partnership with Premier League leaders, Leicester City. It has a deal with Orange, and will shortly announce the BtoB agreement that it has signed with iGaming operators in Europe as well as other continents.

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THE PAYMENT SOLUTION FOR iGAMING Here’s why Global reach. Local presence A decade of experience in the payments world The widest portfolio of payment solutions The all-inclusive iGaming payments platform

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Binary Options a hands-on guide to the recent trends BY Tal Itzhak Ron and Aviya Arika

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SiGMA | Binary Options

“In a crowded calendar SiGMA was a personal choice for me to attend. Love the island, love the guys doing it. EveryMatrix is proud to be part of the inaugural SiGMA.” Ebbe Groes CEO, EveryMatrix

“Malta is a major and highly innovative hub for gaming services; SiGMA itself is a great opportunity for industry representatives and regulatory staff alike to access and share valuable expertise and networks.” Simon Planzer Planzer Law

A Binary Options Brokerage is an enticing creature. A seemingly simple way to trade fluctuations in global markets, with risks and rewards that would not shame a Formula 1 racer. Simplicity, though, is only what is above the surface in this case. Binary Options have raised so many question marks and controversy since their emergence around 2009, that it is very hard to say who’s right and who’s wrong, or to determine what lies ahead regulation wise. So what exactly are Binary Options? An easy to use exotic options type, which appears most popularly in the form of a high/low option, or a fixed return option. In English, it means that the trader gets access to stocks, indices, commodities, and foreign exchange and has to wager on the market’s direction and price at the time of the option’s expiry. If the trader believes the price is rising, he would purchase a “call”, and if he believes it will drop, he’ll put his money on the “put”. Now, the plot thickens. Buyers and sellers are not automatically matched to each other in the binary options market in such a way that the lost investment of one party is used to pay for the gains of the other party. A middleman is necessary in order to make sure that there is enough volume of trade so that buyers can get their orders matched to sellers and vice versa. This middleman is the market maker, and his job is to “make the market happen”, meaning to provide the market with liquidity. It gets problematic in unregulated brokerages, where market maker operations could open the door to a wide range of pricing irregularities such as stop hunting against traders’ positions. This is especially seen in the 60 seconds contract and other short term contracts in many online binary options platforms. The American CFTC has indeed punished many market maker brokers for such infractions. The unbelievably frequent emergence of so many binary options operators has resulted in the enforcements of regulatory requirements in various locations around the globe. New jurisdictions that joined the regulated list include Israel, Russia and the Netherlands. In the US, though regulatory requirements are not new, the first approval of a regulated broker was not granted until the passing year. Some of the most popular licenses are those offered by CySec (Cyprus), Isle of Man, Malta – for those who do not want to spend immense amounts of money- and UK, for companies with deeper pockets. Regulations vary not only in jurisdictions, but also in nature. Controversy over the proper classification of binary options is prominent; while some regulators see binary options brokers as financial services providers and others see them as gambling operators. The terminology is one of financial nature- users are called “traders” and not “gamblers”; technology companies call themselves “platforms” and operators are named “brokers”. CySec has a very clear take on this, as binary

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options are perceived beyond doubt as financial instruments. Binary options licenses are handled similarly to other investment services licenses (forex, CFDs, ancillary services), and licensing procedure is relatively not expensive and fast. CySec is a member of the MiFID, which enables the licensees to passport the license to other EU countries subject to the specific requirements. The opposite of CySec’s approach is that of the Isle of Man. The authorities there chose to include binary options as gambling, enforced by the OGRA (Online Gambling Regulation Act) and overseen by the GSC (Gambling Supervision Commission). Aside from the regulators who have distinguishable positions, there were several swingers such as the UK which is said to be planning to switch the regulatory framework for binary options trading from gambling to financial trading, and Malta which transformed binary options from gambling to financial services. Interesting legal developments also occurred in the Netherlands recently, where after a long debate regarding whether binary options brokers offering short term options should acquire an additional gaming license, the Dutch court concluded that binary options are undoubtedly financial instruments covered by MiFID, and that therefore there is not much room for interpretation and no need in a gaming license. From our view, the truth is usually somewhere in between. It would be safest to say that binary options trading is financial entertainment. This expression allows room both for the many undeniable financial characteristics of binary options websites, as well as for the speculative, high-risk nature of the activity and the fact that the operators are in position against their traders. The specific location of a certain brokerage on the scale between finance and gaming depends on the products offered on the website, which vary from one operator to another, such as the term of the options. Very short-term options are more likely to be viewed as gambling, because the prices fluctuate erratically, making whatever happens in the next 60 seconds or 5 minutes is highly unpredictable. Moving away from the gambling issue, there may be more room for confusion. We are witnessing a big trend of convergence between binary options and forex, and this trend will also have to be taken into account by regulators in the near future. But for now, it’s more important for existing brokers and newcomers to decide how they wish to approach it. Let’s elaborate- Binary options


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technology is becoming more like forex trading and forex trading platforms are simplifying in resemblance to binary options. This is why if one wishes to differentiate their clientele, then an Addition of binary products into Forex operations can contribute greatly, as having a simple trading tool available provides a solution to those Forex traders who may find systems too complex or who totally don’t possess the financial knowledge. It also opens up potential markets and audiences, and is without doubt a very good acquisition tool. Adv. and Notary Tal Itzhak Ron is a General Member of International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL), practicing in Hi Tech, Mobile Applications law, Digital Media, i-Gaming and Financial Entertainment law. Tal graduated from Haifa University School of Law (LL.B.) and Faculty of Computer Science (B.Sc.), and while working as a software developer at a publicly traded software company, NESS Technologies group, has further obtained a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Bar Ilan University (M.Sc). Tal established Tal Ron, Drihem & Co., Law Firm in 2003, focusing on Online Trading, Ad Tech, Hi Tech, M&A, Fin Tech and iGaming, quickly becoming one of the first international law firms practicing solely on these areas, advising top-tier international clients in these fields. Over the years, Tal gained extensive knowledge in Financial and Gaming regulation, International Taxation and Payment services. Today his team of highly seasoned attorneys and partnering professionals headquartered in Tel Aviv and operating from 8 offices around the world, offers an international one-stop shop for all legal, incorporation, banking, M&A and licensing needs.

Binary Options | SiGMA

Offshore and Gaming Specialist Aviya Arika is a seasoned gaming entrepreneur who has been involved in the gaming and binary options industries for years. Through handson experience combined with legal and financial academic degrees, Ms. Arika’s areas of work extend from offshore and international finance law to regulated licensing and gaming law, while she has a special interest in lottery, fantasy sports and e-sports. Ms. Arika assists many of the leading operators and affiliates in the gaming, forex and binary options industries. Her contributions to the field can be seen in articles published in leading financial and gaming publications, as well as in lectures and panels she has led in main industry events. Ms. Arika’s past work with the state prosecution has given her a fundamental knowledge in AML and other Criminal policies, knowledge that enables her to instruct and guide clients on malpractices and what not to do.

“Binary options technology is becoming more like forex trading and forex trading platforms are simplifying in resemblance to binary options.”

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The Importance of SEO and Reputation Management in iGaming By Sergio, Fibonacci Marketing

we assist our clients in turning their websites into serious money making, brand-building machines. With our expertise in search engine optimisation (SEO), we provide clients with a comprehensive service which will help them increase targeted traffic and establish online presence while building credibility and protecting their online reputation - but how does this play out in the iGaming sector?

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SiGMA | SEO

There are many who aspire to be the very next big affiliate, going to great lengths to design the ultimate affiliate website; however, without generating consistent traffic or a robust SEO strategy in place, the project will most likely crumble into a non-starter and money-pit. With SEO becoming evermore complicated, affiliates must either study how to do it themselves or bring in an agency like Fibonacci to help them generate traffic and increase site profitability. Likewise, promoting a website in the wrong way or not knowing exactly how to carry out reliable SEO could turn out to be worse than not carrying out SEO at all. Failing to establish and maintain legitimate or ‘white hat’ SEO practices can seriously run the risk of being registered as spam, or having the entire website delisted which is a near-impossible situation to get out of.

Why SEO? The online gaming industry is perhaps one of the most successful and profitable in the business world today, worth an estimated €100 billion in total globally. It follows quite clearly, then, that iGaming is also a highly competitive sector, with companies and websites constantly jostling for the top

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spot in search engine results pages in order to be right in front of potential customers precisely when they’re looking for the company’s specific products or services. While it is not essential for iGaming affiliates to have extensive knowledge of what SEO means and entails, it is strongly recommended that companies are educated about SEO ranking factors, even if they are not necessarily directly in charge of it and have opted to bring in a reliable and transparent service to take care of this complex area for them. The competitive nature of the iGaming industry often tempts some companies into more underhanded methods of beating rivals out of top search engine rankings. These methods, known in the digital marketing industry as ‘black hat SEO’, include planting viruses on competitor websites, creating toxic links to the site originating from questionable sources like click farms, and keyword stuffing, among other ever-evolving techniques. The proliferation of black hat SEO in the industry has lead Google (the search engine currently holds approximately 67.7% market share) is continuously waging war against it, with special attention to keywords. The


SEO | SiGMA

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“A top place on any search engine’s results page is a major priority for agencies and companies in general, however in an industry as competitive as iGaming, ranking well is an absolute necessity.” realm of SEO is one that is continuously shifting and evolving, requiring even the most prominent players in the iGaming industry to have the right professionals on hand to keep up with Google’s highly innovative nature (e.g. introduction of new algorithms which can dramatically drop SEO ranking form one day to the next).

Key Benefits Solid SEO capabilities are a truly integral part of any digital marketing strategy worth its salt. The overwhelming majority of companies do understand the importance of building and maintaining a strong online presence, and therefore invest a great deal of time and money in a mission to create the ideal affiliate site for a fantastic and straightforward user experience, but that’s not where the work ends. On the contrary - building an actual website marks the mere beginning of the SEO journey, getting ones foot in the door, so to speak. Even the most visually appealing and responsive websites can be rendered utterly ‘useless’ without strong SEO behind it; without a professional hand guiding SEO, a website is essentially invisible to the online world, meaning a colossal waste of time, money, and resources. Applying SEO to an iGaming company comes with a long list of benefits, but here are 4 key advantages to consider when looking to boost online presence and profit hand in hand with a transparent and SEO-savvy digital marketing agency like Fibonacci Marketing:

2. Return On Investment A sound SEO strategy means gaining unprecedented insights in the form of measurable and trackable results, thereby minimising ROI-related reporting issues by keeping track of basically every aspect of the strategy. The ability to measure data on such a truly granular level empowers companies with knowledge and an ability to review and reiterate strategy in order to continually improve ranking and boost traffic. Such detailed analytics offer affiliates a closer look at data relating to engagement and data on what keywords are leading users to the site, and precisely what keywords the website is ranking for.

3. Cost Effective Since strong SEO methodology pinpoints users who are actively searching for (in this case, iGaming products and services) online. The inbound nature implicit in a marketing strategy backed by legitimate SEO means that lead generation takes place in a far more cost-effective way than more traditional approaches like cold calling, which can be around 61% more costly.

4. Brand Awareness Clinching that top spot on any search engine results page (Google in particular) means increased exposure for a brand. Ranking high allows more people (and potential clients) to know about the brand while building and significantly boosting credibility, helping to instil trust in customers both old and new.

1. Increase Traffic A top place on any search engine’s results page is a major priority for agencies and companies in general, however in an industry as competitive as iGaming, ranking well is an absolute necessity. Strong SEO involves crafting informative, keyword-optimised title tags, meta descriptions, and quality content that will not only attract targeted traffic to the site, but also maintain the potential customer’s interest for as long as possible. 047


Join Games is a new software casino provider founded in 2014 by Luigi Spina and Borut Leban; two partners with ample combined experience and a shared vision for creative slots. The choice of the name Join symbolizes the merger of brilliant ideas by each valued team member for one, bigger purpose – that of becoming a reputable and trusted casino slot provider. Our casino games are built entirely in-house for licensed operators. We work with clients that own one or more of the following licenses: MGA, Curacao, Alderney, Isle of Man, Gibraltar and AAMS. We look forward to meet and work with new partners.

G2E Asia May 17-19 Exhibiting

SiGMA November 16-18 Exhibiting

Join Games Headquarters, 2C, 1st Floor, Forni Complex, Valletta Waterfront, Floriana FRN 1913, Malta t: (+356) 7928 4183 f: (+44) 33 0808 0004 e: marketing@joingames.net s: join.games (Malta)

www.joingames.net


Affiliate | SiGMA

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How to Double your Affiliate Business How to Double your Frank Ravanelli provides actionable strategies and tactics to grow your business as an affiliate.

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A drive for growth and genuine curiosity are major traits I see in most of the successful affiliates I work with. What it takes to grow

“As a fast growing gaming venture licensed in Malta we are happy to see a dedicated gaming conference established down here. We are looking forward to participating and exhibiting at SiGMA.” Johan Styren CEO, LeoVegas

First, make sure you’re ready to grow.That means scalability. You do not need to delegate everything now, but you need to be ready to do so, if you want to grow. Some easy steps: 1) Get to know which areas of your business are bringing most of your revenues 2) See if you are both efficient and effective in such areas. If so, do you still have time to invest in these areas? 3) If you are not both efficient and effective in your business key areas, or if you do not have any more time to allocate there, then get ready to delegate For example, if you get most of your results from media-buying, and you are good at it, and you still have time to invest in it, great! If your revenues come from media-buying, but you are already maxxed-out, get help or start using leaner techniques and technologies.

media channel comes with its own funnels, messages, conversion rates, etc. Third, increase the volumes of what works. You have created a scalable work-load for you and your team, you optimized your points of contact, now get more traffic. For example, if you are still doing direct media buying, considering using RTB and start focusing more on demographics and less on individual sites, putting in place a tracking system which can screen-out the good traffic sources from the unproductive ones. Fourth, analyze untapped verticals which are relevant to your audience. If you have bingo players, test to upsell entertaining slots games. If you have hard-core bettors as your key audience, provide high-adrenaline casino games. From eSports to Lotto to Daily Fantasy Sports and Virtual Sports, most of the eGaming verticals have good affiliate programs that can bring you more revenues, while enhancing the overall gaming experience of your audience. Diversify Your Traffic Streams

“At CalvinAyre.com, we want to cover the big conference and interview the best experts in the gambling industry. We definitely wanted to be in Malta to cover SiGMA” Bill Beatty Editor in Chief, CalvinAyre.com

Second, focus on your audience to streamline the points of contacts they have with you and the eGaming operators you promote. Visitors have different mindsets, depending on the channels you used to connect with them. If you want to convert them into customers, you need to resonate with your expectations. If you get visitors through SEO, depending on the keywords you target, you may get people who are almost ready to become players. You just need to provide the last mile, connect them with a relevant brand, and earn your commission. For example, if you rank high for “XYZ Casino Review”, you are reaching many players who have already narrowed down their potential eGaming venue to XYZ. You just need to give them a reason to act now – that can be a bonus, a highlight of something unique about that casino, etc. If you get your traffic through PPV, you will have to use a very different approach. You are basically doing “disruption marketing”, you better have a very compelling message to get the attention of your potential visitor. These are just some extreme examples, to show each marketing/

Taking insurance is a losing bet unless you make money in the process. If you are very efficient, effective and profitable with a given marketing strategy, make sure to dedicate a smaller amount of resources (15% or so of the total, including time and money) – to explore new strategies. For example, if you have a successful opt-in newsletter and you get subscribers through SEO, test the results of free or freemium infoproducts. You do not need to reinvent the wheel. Choose a competitor that is doing well with the strategies you want to learn. Use the business intelligence tools available to see where its traffic is coming from, and/or test the point of contacts used with its audience, by acting as a typical customer. See what you learn, what you can leverage, and what is incompatible with your current strategies, implement it, and benchmark the results. No business, not even a “lifestyle business”, can relay on only one strategy to get revenues.

About the author: Frank Ravanelli manages and grows the affiliate programs of leading eGaming brands, focusing on European and US markets. Frank will be discussing these ideas in more detail at SiGMA16 in November 2016. Make sure to attend his panel, together with othereGaming experts.

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iGamingJobsMalta.com Launches Locally

Life is too short not to enjoy doing what you do every day – is it time for change? iGamingJobsMalta.com is Malta’s first virtual job board created to, as the slogan goes, ‘bring talent and opportunity together’. Let me introduce you… The Maltese Islands have experienced a great influx of world-class companies operating in the gaming industry over the last few years, greatly contributing to the country’s economy and providing great opportunities to a myriad of disciplines. These companies consistently seek talent in the following areas: in marketing, creative design, software development, finance and admin and legal amongst others. iGamingJobsMalta.com offers a number of online presence options to companies operating in the gaming sector, in the form of:

• • • •

Vacancy Listings Company Profile Pages E-Banners Guest Blogging

That’s us, now how about you? Born out of the need to bridge the distance between HR Departments and what could very well be the next best thing to your organisation, iGamingJobsMalta.com offers useful, content rich career resources. Whether you’re already involved in the sector and are interested in looking around to see what else is available on the market, interested in setting foot into the exciting arena of remote gaming, or are sitting on the other side of the recruitment fence and would like to showcase your company values, philosophies and goals, iGamingJobsMalta.com offers a virtual space for the two to come together.

Kindly visit

www.igamingjobsmalta.com for more information


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B2B | SiGMA

INTERVIEW WITH

Bto Bet’s ALESSANDRO FRIED

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1

THE PRESENT

THE FUTURE TODAY Single Wallet System

Advanced player segmentation

Player Management System

Geo-localisation of players’ activity

Advanced Reporting System

Clusterization of the player’s behaviour

Business Intelligence Tool

Player happiness level

Automatic and Target Focused Bonus System Multi-brand Management System High Performing Anti-Fraud System Customised Management Betting Tool Risk Management Tools Betradar Data Feed and MTS Full Integration

Player’s performances graphic dashboard

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Reduction of resources Fraud prevention assistant Genius bonus Tool Smart game provider integration Game recommendation engine

100+ payment methods

You are known in the igaming world as an ‘industry veteran’. What has earned you this title? Tell us a bit more about your journey into gaming. I have been in the gaming industry for over 22 years. In these years, I have served as CEO and co-founder of different gaming companies. As an entrepreneur, I designed all the company products, their concepts and functionalities. I remember the industry in its very beginning where physical casino operators and slot machine suppliers were the only exhibitors at ICE London. At the time internet was at its peak and so most operators were thirsty to see possibilities to transfer their business online. It was around 2002 that, the company I had founded presented the first software to gaming companies. It was a breakthrough. The same company was the first to obtain the licence number 1 in remote gaming from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) which back then was LGA. This served as a catalyst to expand the igaming industry in Europe. The birth of BtoBet stemmed from the need to create an innovative and forward-looking product. My aim is to always offer the igaming and betting business an alternative solution which is one step ahead of the market. 13 offices, 700 employees, 3500 clients – figures that speak for themselves. Which factors would you indicate as critical in the success story behind BtoBet? Tell us a bit more about the company and its beginnings. Btobet group is a multinational IT company with over sixteen years of experience in software development, consulting and outsourcing projects. We specialise in designing, developing and implementing enterprise business solutions. Through BtoBet we are setting a new standard for igaming

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platforms. We strive to always anticipate the future needs of our global audience. The talent of our research and development team is the driving force which makes Btobet one step ahead of the market. Having an alternative product requires creativity and innovation, and this is what we do at BtoBet, to put it succinctly. Perseverance and persistency are our key to be successful in what we do our key to success. You and your team have recently extended BtoBet’s portfolio with a new interesting product called ‘B Neuron – intelligent sports betting platform’. In what ways can it help the operators? How can they benefit from implementing it? What makes the platform ‘intelligent’? B Neuron is a powerful cutting edge gaming and sports betting platform designed to add unique value to the operators’ gaming business, helping them to grow fast while limiting the risk in the competitive iGaming environment. B Neuron intelligently assists both the operator and the player, enabling the operators to reduce the manual procedures and consequently reduce operational costs. In essence, B Neuron built-in models and algorithms are monitoring the player behaviour and dues serving the operators recommendations and suggestions for their future preferences and actions. B Neuron gets the operator closer to the player needs and dues player happiness. While the other systems need the guidance of the operator, B Neuron guides the operator in setting up and managing his business especially when it comes to risk & fraud and player segmentation.


B2B | SiGMA

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One of the thirteen offices is located in Malta. How significant is this presence to the overall company BtoBet? How would you describe Maltese business ecosystem in relation to gaming? I have been living in Malta for the past years. I have seen an incredible growth in the quality of life. Malta has invested substantially in its infrastructure and this has been a prerequisite to keep attracting investment to the country. The iGaming industry employs over 8,000 people directly, and another 5,000 indirectly. This is a significant amount for Malta. Having an office in Malta for Btobet was and is appealing for different reasons. I must say that Malta has an attractive legal framework and I dare to say that it is one of the most structured and clear in all Europe. All this is attracting new talent to the country and it is also opening doors to the locals especially in the field of technology. Malta was wise enough to set up MGA. It was the first organ to regulate the iGaming market. MGA paved the way to the other European countries of how they should set up iGaming regulations and it served them as a point of reference. Most established companies have at least one office in Malta. The amount of gaming companies, including start-ups, speak for themselves.

helps the operator get closer to his clients and recommend to every bettor or player what can be of interest to him. We are firm believers in research and development in new technologies and this is what we will keep doing in the years to come. We appreciate your presence at SiGMA last year too and hope to see you again later this November. How important do you think it is for Malta to have its own expo? Is the market already saturated or is there room for the show in Malta to grow? Compared to ten years ago, the market has superseded any expectations and I’m sure that it will keep on the increase in the years to come. Malta, being at the centre of the Mediterranean is easily reachable via plane, and therefore travelling in and out of Malta is simple. Platforms like SiGMA, where you can discuss and share new trends is essential. It is also a means to exchange professional experiences in a smaller environment because at times bigger fairs in other countries can be distractive. Appreciate your time, Alessandro. We wish you the very best at the helm of this prestigious company.

Moving away from BtoBet – how do you think will sports betting look like in five years from now? In which area do you see the biggest opportunity for further innovations? Licensees must think of futuristic solutions and not get stuck to the present. They must heavily invest in research and new technology. We as BtoBet are working on tools to give our clients the tools to be able to study deeply their players. Today betting content is very vast, and as time goes by this will keep on the increase. As a result, bettors will find themselves bombarded with content which is of no interest to them and this can backfire on the operator’s business. Keeping this in mind, BtoBet is working on the first real Recommendation Engine which will be able to suggest to the bettor, bets which are to his interest. These will be based on the bettor’s preferences and behaviour. This is the only way to remain competitive and be successful in the industry. Talking about the future – what are the plans for BtoBet? How do you think the company will react to those changes you have mentioned? Due to the ever growing game offers, we at BtoBet are investing in research to continue refining one of our successful tools, the Recommendation Engine. This is a tool which Photo by John Cassidy - The Headshot Guy 057


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Affiliate | SiGMA

RUNNING AT FULL

SPEED

SuprNation, co-founded by seasoned iGaming entrepreneur Joakim Stockman, is on the verge of launching its biggest and boldest product to date. In this interview, Stockman talks about bold decisions, building long-lasting relationships and his love for the Maltese Islands.

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SiGMA | Affiliate

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New office premises in Malta for Joakim Stockman’s latest venture.

Joakim Stockman discovered a passion for design and user experience during his very first job within the iGaming industry with NordicBet in Talinn. “It was a time when poker was booming in the Nordic countries and I was recruited to manage the marketing of NordicBet’s poker product, which I did for a while before moving into more generic marketing related roles. The most interesting challenge I had during my time at NordicBet was to manage the complete overhaul of the company’s website, which let me work extremely close with the various product managers over a long period of time. That role, I think, gave me a much more in-depth understanding of gaming. Until that project I would have considered my strengths to be more generic and less iGaming-specific, but after spending a few years as Head of Online & User Experience I definitely felt I had a pretty good grasp of our products and their users.” After NordicBet, Stockman was recruited to manage the Betsafe brand soon after it had been acquired by the Betsson Group in 2011. It was the biggest challenge he had faced up until that point. “When I joined, Betsafe was only a week away from migrating to the brand new and, quite honestly, not entirely complete, technical platform that Betsson used to be. The Betsafe team was quite nervous about this migration and rightly so. The migration hit us extremely hard – we basically saw a 50% decrease in revenue and roughly half of the database abandoned the brand. The Betsafe team and I worked around the clock for roughly six months straight to save the business. Had we not had such a great and dedicated team in place during this critical time, the business could have easily continued its downward spiral, and Betsafe might not have survived to become one of the major players in today’s market. However, we managed to turn the business around completely - during my last couple of months at Betsafe, we were posting all-time highs on revenues and all of the important underlying KPI’s. I am definitely very proud of what the Betsafe team achieved during my time at Betsson!”

While Stockman enjoyed working at Betsafe, he wasn’t entirely happy with the company culture at Betsson, and left the company after a year to seek greener pastures. “That’s when I spoke to Henrik Persson about Betit for the first time. Henrik, along with Andre Lavold and Mikael Harstad, had decided to co-found a new iGaming company after their success with Betsafe. They offered me the position of CEO position and I quickly accepted - it was the perfect next step for me at the time because it was a very challenging role where I would get the opportunity to build and shape an iGaming company from scratch. I loved almost every minute we spent building Betit into what it was when I left.” But even Betit couldn’t satisfy Stockman’s thirst for entrepreneurship. Having started his first company at the age of 23, he always felt that somewhere down the line, he would be bitten by the bug again - the only question was when. “Henric Andersson, [former COO, Betit Group, and co-founder of SuprNation] and I were having a beer and talking about the journey we’d had so far with Betit. Almost jokingly, we said that we should do it ourselves. I guess it struck a nerve with both of us. We resigned from Betit quite quickly after that; it wasn’t more than a couple of weeks from when the idea first surfaced. It was a bit scary for me to take such big step without knowing exactly what the future would hold, but it was so obvious to both of us that it was the only way forward. And with hindsight I couldn’t be happier with the decision. After all, here we are about a year later, and SuprNation is running full speed and this year we’ll be launching what in my opinion will be the best product on the market.” It seems that more than a handful of people would agree – SuprNation has been receiving a lot of interest from potential investors. “There are a few reasons for that. First off, iGaming is no doubt a very hot, fast-growing industry where startups who know what they are doing can create significant value quite rapidly. Just look at the recent LeoVegas IPO. Professional investors probably recognize that. Second,

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© 2016 Western Union Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved. Western Union Business Solutions is an operating division of The Western Union Company. Services in Malta are provided by Western Union Business Solutions (Malta) Limited, a limited company registered in Malta (Company Number C22339) with its registered office at Il-Pjazzetta, Tower Road, Sliema, SLM 1605, Malta and which is licensed and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority to undertake the business of financial services in terms of the Financial Institutions Act.

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even though there are many new operations being started, I think myself and Henric are a good combo as founders. Both of our track records include successful start-ups, as well as managing large-scale existing operations within iGaming. Together we cover a rather broad spectrum of the necessary skill sets required to succeed within this industry. I can see why that might be interesting to an investor.” When it comes to affiliates, Stockman says SuprNation will be working purely on a CPA pricing strategy, without offering any revenue share agreements, and avoid traffic that’s focused around organic searches around SuprNation’s own brand name. “There are some affiliates who capitalize on ranking better than the operator on their own brand and we will simply avoid those because we don’t think it adds any value. Instead, we will be focusing on working with affiliates who will bring us traffic and customers that we would not expect if we only relied on our own marketing and SEO investments. I’ve sometimes heard that affiliates are hesitant to trust new brands, but that’s not the experience I’ve had with the brands that I’ve been part of taking to the market. If I were an affiliate I would make my decision based on two factors - whether I believe in the new brand and what the opportunity cost for me to start pushing that brand would be. In the end, if I were an affiliate who truly believed in the new brand I’d probably want to get in on that right away, rather than wait and see.” With his emphasis on building long-lasting relationships built on trust and mutual benefits, Stockman believes firmly that a company’s greatest asset is a strong, competent and highly motivated team. “To achieve that, it’s not enough to recruit the right people – you have to get the right type of culture as well. Culture eats strategy for breakfast – I’d take a strong culture and a weaker strategy in favour of a weak culture and a great strategy anytime. Since we spend so much time and effort on finding the right people to join the company, the last thing we want is to give any of them a reason to leave. We want everyone to feel that they are working with the best people at the best office with the best managers, in the best culture. Of course, it’s not enough just to say those things during interviews and around the water-cooler, you have put your money where your mouth is. Not only do we have an office with a garden, a pool, snooker, ping pong and foosball tables, we also believe strongly in work-life integration rather than separation, and kids, friends and family are more than welcome in the office any time. You know, next week my kids will be on Easter holiday and they just can’t wait to get a whole week at daddy’s office, because they have so much fun there! We’re working in a 24/7 industry where people are more or less connected one way or another all the time anyway, so why should you try so hard to keep your personal life away from your work? There’s much less friction if you allow them to coexist; but that must not only be true with regards to bringing your work home with you - it also means you must be allowed to bring your personal life to

work. Relationships that are built on one party trying to take advantage of the other never last.” Stockman is no stranger to the Maltese Islands - it was where he lived and worked during his time with Betsafe, and although he spent a lot of time overseas due to the nature of his work, he was also based in Malta during the Betit years, since the company was headquartered there. “We decided to place 100% of our operations in Malta and we made that decision after having experienced starting up Betit with the staff split over multiple offices. It’s not uncommon in this industry, but as a start-up you want to remain fast and agile, and you will never achieve as efficient communication and as strong a company culture if your team is spread out across multiple offices. Malta has a great pool of iGaming talent for us to tap into, and most of the companies we partner up with are present here as well. Rather than getting on phone conferences or Skype calls, we can meet our providers face to face on a frequent basis. I don’t feel new to Malta at all and it’s a great place to call home for an iGaming business. Personally I like it a lot - even though Marbella captures the top spot out of the places I’ve lived in. But nothing in Marbella can compare with Malta’s rocky beaches and crystal clear water. Now that summer is coming, I’m planning to spend most of my free time enjoying them with my children and girlfriend to the max!”

“We plan on flying down many of our affiliates to SiGMA16 and combine some quality networking with a bit of fun in Malta!” Dennis Dyhr Hansen MatchingVisions

“SIGMA is a nice place to meet business partners, old and new. Malta is the perfect place to hold a conference, simply because almost all Casinos operate from there and it is a great place to make big business.” Tuomas Jauhiainen Affiliate to Operator

All work and no play? Not in this building.

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Content Marketing | SiGMA

Content MarketiNG is all about chemistry

the FIVE pillars that will set you up for content success

By Stephanie Fiteni

Content Marketing is a lot like dating. The way you present yourself and the way you talk, act as a filter for whether people think you might be a good match for them or not. In an industry like gaming where the product is similar or identical to that of the competition everyone understands the value of differentiating themselves through customer service levels, usability experience and engagement and yet very few are using content to truly stand out from the rest by driving engagement. Most iGaming platforms provide the facility to collect massive amounts of data about customers and their behaviour. Whether you sell online games or gaming platforms, your customers’ pain points are where the gold is. By understanding the frustrations and online behaviour of your audience you can start getting some clarity with regards to what content might engage them. This is where brand personality and brand voice come into play. Your content needs to be based on a specific customer persona and reflect the true personality of your brand. A distinctive brand voice will help you weed out customers that perhaps would not be a good fit for your product or service. This is where getting it right is key. If you get the Brand voice wrong you could be getting the wrong customers and these will often not hang around for very long. No matter what you’re selling, improving the following content marketing pillars will set you up for success:

B2B Industry Experts and Free Advice As a Brand owner especially in Business to Business, purchases are based on trust. The only way to build trust without meeting every prospect is to have a highly strategic content marketing campaign. The main target of your B2B content campaign is to be generous. It may sound strange but the key element of success in Business to Business content is generosity. You need to give away enough information to truly help your customers take informed decisions. Somewhere along the process they will realise that you are a trust worthy expert in your field because you have truly helped them learn more about your industry and this has been proven to influence their purchasing decisions. B2C Marketing ecosystems In B2C content marketing becomes a little more complex. Most consumer products are similar in nature, like iGaming products, and differentiation through expertise is not an option. Alignment with influencers such as prominent personalities help position a brand and win loyalty however long term relationships require content marketing to be supported by marketing ecosystems that aim to build client relationships. There is a sizeable overlap between marketing and customer service tools. With the onslaught of social platforms the lines between customer service and marketing have truly become blurred as both work toward the same goal of creating customer loyalties and increasing sales.

Brand Personality and Core Values When creating content the key is getting your Brand voice right. You can only do this by being true to yourself and seeking clarity. To create the right Brand Voice companies need to look at their history (and founders), their core values and translate these into clear brand statements that drive commitment and inspire action. A Brand’s true personality can only come from knowing where its foundations lie and where it needs to be in the future.

Online Video By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco. The thin line between online content and PR is quickly disappearing and oftentimes your online presence carries some weight with regards to whether your PR gets taken seriously or not. Video has become a big part of Online PR and its significance will continue to grow.

Employer Branding and Brand Personalities Once the Brand personality and voice are established it becomes much easier to find employees that are the right match. Just like the dating metaphor if your personality and values come through clearly it will be easier for others to know if they are a good match for you. This creates longer lasting relationships and lower attrition rates.

In the next few years we will see the current surge of blog content evolve into more and more video. Although the gaming industry has so far not embraced live broadcasting in a significant way, we can be sure to see some important new developments in this direction this year. Video-on-demand and live broadcasting tools like Meerkat, Periscope and now also Youtube Broadcasts and Facebook Live are a strong indication that this trend is accelerating and will likely hit much faster than was originally predicted. 063


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05 Experienced, up-to-date and certiď€ ed professionals that can help in legal consulting and advising. Exclusive focus on the Central and Eastern Europe Gambling markets


SiGMA | Affiliate

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Partner SiGMA caught up with entrepreneurs and affiliate buddies Max Noremo & Magnus Karnéus Hall from Slotsia.com

Tell us more about the success story of your affiliate business; how did it happen, how did it all start? Can you take us through a journey in time, shedding light on some of the most remarkable moments, challenges and achievements in history? It hasn’t been a short journey, I can tell you that. We started out very small, creating our first website about three years ago. Back then we had no clue what we were doing, but we had the motivation to keep trying and failing until it worked. We also consulted our good friends in the industry, like Oliver Fagerdahl at Betsafe, who has been a great mentor. One day I remember clearly was when we made our first €100. We had, before that, not made a single penny, and we were not 100% sure this would actually work out. I guess that’s the success story put succinctly; to never give up on your dreams and to keep work hard. With Slotsia.com we tried to create something new. We wanted our website to look and feel more like a casino than a regular affiliate site. Trust, conversion and user friendliness were our keywords during the whole site-building project, and now we can see that a lot of competitors are using our ideas in their new sites, which, to us, is like a stamp of approval. In terms of the end user, what distinguishes your affiliate site/s from the many competitors out there? Can you name the traffic sources you currently have? I would say the design and the user friendliness. We’ve tried from day one to do something different and new, and I’m glad to say we succeeded with our goal. Competing affiliates, operators as well as regular people have given us great feedback on the website.

Photo by Picasa 066

Before starting the project we used friends and family as test pilots, getting them to visit loads of different affiliate websites. This would let us know what they liked and did not like, and also how to make the experience as easy as possible for the user.

What made you move to Malta and how was your experience settling here? Most of the operators on your site are also based in Malta – is this coincidental? We used to live here for three years and we have both missed the island since then. We started working together after we moved away and our goal since then has been to come back. Being able to work in a county filled with driven entrepreneurs really makes a big difference and, as you mentioned, being based on a walking distance from the operators we work with is definitely a plus! What’s next for your business? Do you plan on selling or merging? How do you plan on growing this business? Our next step is to go into new markets; in Scandinavia but also in Asia. There are a lot of exciting new markets as well as new products we are looking at. That’s a keystone in growing our business; branching out, reaching more users. What is your main source of traffic? SEO & content writing? Email marketing? SMS marketing? White Hat, Black hat, Google algorithms keep changing constantly. How do you stay afloat? Our main source of traffic is organic search, so SEO and content writing is a big part of it. By constantly keeping an eye on what competitors and other websites do, but also by trying (and sometimes failing) new methods of ranking. It’s definitely not easy to work against an algorithm which is constantly changing, but it’s exiting and very rewarding when you try something new that work. Do you work directly with the operators or did you find it easier to work with an affiliate network such as Matching Visions? What’s your relationship with these affiliate networks? How helpful have they been in helping your business take off the ground? We used to


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ship always work directly with operators, but this last year we have also worked with a few different networks. Both ways have their pros and cons, but I would say that an affiliate network such as Matching Visions really can save you a lot of time. A good example is at the end of the month when you have to do all the invoicing to a bunch of different operators. With Matching Visions, for example, you only need to invoice them; they take care of chasing all the operators.

Affiliate | SiGMA

We certainly hope to catch up over a pleasant dinner during SiGMA. What do you think of having a show like this in Malta? Have you ever attended SiGMA before? That sounds like a plan. We’ve only been to iGB Berlin and London so far, but this year we’re definitely attending SiGMA. We’ve heard so much about the conference, and since all the operators are already here, it’s quite logical to host such a show in Malta, to be honest. Plus, the island lends itself quite well for wining and dining. What are your passions outside the office environment? How do you spend leisure time outside work? Our main goal is to find balance, so we try to do a little bit of everything. We spend a lot of time with friends and try to enjoy life, which is not that hard living in Malta. Dinners and some shenanigans does of course also take place from time to time!

On an employee level, what makes employees stay with the company? How many employees do you have or plan on recruiting in the coming months? I think you can go far with a good environment where the employees get feedback and appreciation from their employers. At the moment we do not have any full time employees, but we’re looking at hiring content. E-sport, daily fantasy sport, binary; has any of these buzz words made it to the board room yet? Are there plans to delve into these markets? They definitely have, particularly e-sports. We used to play games when we were younger, and we are impressed with how big the e-sports market has gotten since then. Definitely something we’re going to explore further!

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Interview | SiGMA

Online Lottery a Comprehensive Review BY Tal Itzhak Ron and Aviya Arika Every attractive thing has its main source of attraction, its Mojo. Some believe that in the case of online gaming, this Mojo is the fact that this powerful hobby, which often becomes a profession (or obsession) for many called gambling, was twisted, turned, and plunked out of its physical geographical constraints into a global enterprise surmounting boundaries or COUNTRIES. This phenomenon is even more visible and meaningful in the case of Online Lottery. Lotteries, the good old government controlled product which was once able to offer to the betters only governmental financial assets in clearly restricted territories, and under predetermined, limited odds and jackpots- has transformed completely through online lottery, which broke any limitations of geography, odds and jackpots. This relatively new market, which started to rise above the radar only around 2014, has been growing steadily ever since and an increasing number of online operators want a bite of the big revenue cake that state lotteries have been baking for years. The breaking of geographical boundaries is the main accomplishment of the Lottery Messenger Model, which turned the traditional country-dependent lottery into a global market open to everybody, everywhere. This is the first model that emerged in the Online Lottery scene, and this is how it works: the player fills in a virtual lottery ticket and bets on numbers. Then, the operator uses a local agent in order to buy the real lottery ticket with the player’s selections. The player gets a scan of the ticket and in case of winning, the

agent collects the prize and funds the player’s account accordingly. From the better’s point of view, beyond the fact that foreigners can buy tickets enabling them to participate in lotteries outside of their domicile, this is a big improvement compared to the traditional lottery. Instead of going physically to buy the ticket and then having to check whether they won, they can just buy the tickets online and get notified instantly of their winnings, as well as participate in a much wider range of lotteries. However, the online advantage is also a disadvantage when encountering some users who are suspicious when they do not have the actual ticket in their possession. This is why, when one is keen on starting their own lottery website, proper legal advice should be received regarding the ways to make the website as legal and as consumer protective as possible. The Lottery Messenger model is also known as the Courier model and it relies on the traditional game rules of lottery and doesn’t really try to challenge them. Due to the simplicity of the model and the messenger-like

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SiGMA | Interview

role of the operator, lottery couriers often operate without gaming licenses out of the belief that they are not providing gambling services, but rather merely providing the citizens of the global village with access to existing gambling services. This position may or may not hold in different countries and we advise our clients and our readers to inspect the legal status of this model on a state specific basis, using experienced attorneys. In case you were starting to feel bored, do not despair for there exists a more revolutionary variation of the Online Lottery and that is the Lottery Insurance Model. The Insurance Model does not feature physical purchase of lottery tickets, but rather accepting the player’s bets on real lottery outcome and using a powerful insurance policy. This is how it works: the first stage is identical to the Messenger method- the player fills in a virtual lottery ticket on the online lottery operator’s website with preferred numbers. Then, the operator passes the player’s choices to the insurance company and in case he gets lucky, the insurance company pays out the prize to him. In the Insurance Model, the player does not actually participate in the lottery itself, but only bets on the outcome of it- kind of like sports betting. The betting element here makes it interesting, because unlike traditional lottery services, the player can bet on a range of numbers or

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even place side bets. For the operator, this model is much easier logistically, but also riskier because it bears a greater resemblance to gaming. Unlike the Courier Model, this model engages the operator in the game by making him bet against the player on the outcome of the lottery- and as we know, once the house takes a position, the door of the house is much more likely to receive a knock from the authorities. For this reason, online gaming licenses are much more popular and needed in the case of Insurance Model operators. The Isle of Man’s e-gaming license covers lottery operators, and the Online Gaming Regulation Act (2001) specifically identifies lottery as a form of online gambling. The definition of lottery in this act is very wide, as it includes any form of acquiring a chance by means of a telecommunication. Another popular regulator for lottery operators is the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), which was once named the Lottery and Gaming Authority (LGA). In 2001, it was rebranded out of a vision of broadening the responsibility area of the authority and uniting all kinds of licenses into one umbrella. The lottery license is, again, the regular online gaming license, which enables the operator to provide B2C gaming services and take a position against the players. A faster route towards regulated operation is purchasing a sub-license from a platform which owns B2B license. Well-


Interview | SiGMA

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“To conclude, the online lottery market provides a good opportunity to observe a developing market, which is constantly innovation although based on traditional concepts. We think it will continue to intrigue and draw attention across the industry, and we do advise you to stay tuned.” known actors in the field are Lottonetix and Lottotech, which have managed to dominate the online lottery platforms market. By the way of sub-licensing, the licensees can even start their own network of white labels, an interesting business option for those who have the resources for it. Beyond the mass of new operators entering this market as white labels or through labels of their own, the online lottery market faces many exciting forms of innovation in the present and the future. Some options may include the emergence of social lottery websites, online scratch cards, raffles, and instant lotteries. Even governments are following the online lottery trail and are starting to offer online lottery tickets. A minirevolution occurred in the US in 2011, when the DOJ responded to requests from Illinois and New York to sell lottery tickets online, and not be in violation of the Federal Wire Act. Assistant U.S Attorney responded to the request through a game-changing legal opinion, which upheld that nothing in New York’s or Illinois’ lottery plans involve sports wagering, rather than garden-variety lotteries and confirmed that the proposed lotteries are not within the prohibition of the Wire Act.

offers an international one-stop shop for all legal, incorporation, banking, M&A and licensing needs. Offshore and Gaming Specialist Aviya Arika is a seasoned gaming entrepreneur who has been involved in the gaming and binary options industries for years. Through hands-on experience combined with legal and financial academic degrees, Ms. Arika’s areas of work extend from offshore and international finance law to regulated licensing and gaming law, while she has a special interest in lottery, fantasy sports and e-sports. Ms. Arika assists many of the leading operators and affiliates in the gaming, forex and binary options industries. Her contributions to the field can be seen in articles published in leading financial and gaming publications, as well as in lectures and panels she has led in main industry events. Ms. Arika’s past work with the state prosecution has given her a fundamental knowledge in AML and other Criminal policies, knowledge that enables her to instruct and guide clients on malpractices and what not to do.

“With Malta being an important and well regulated iGaming jurisdiction in Europe, a conference like SiGMA was an absolute necessity. I look forward to participate at this event.” Ory Weihs XL Media

“We are looking forward to participate in the SIGMA conference in our home country of Malta, where we will share our vision for using our innovative gaming platform as a source of competitive advantage in a business friendly context that is well attended.” Angelo Dalli Bit8

To conclude, the online lottery market provides a good opportunity to observe a developing market, which is constantly innovation although based on traditional concepts. We think it will continue to intrigue and draw attention across the industry, and we do advise you to stay tuned. Adv. and Notary Tal Itzhak Ron is a General Member of International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL), practicing in Hi Tech, Mobile Applications law, Digital Media, i-Gaming and Financial Entertainment law. Tal graduated from Haifa University School of Law (LL.B.) and Faculty of Computer Science (B.Sc.), and while working as a software developer at a publicly traded software company, NESS Technologies group, has further obtained a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Bar Ilan University (M.Sc). Tal established Tal Ron, Drihem & Co., Law Firm in 2003, focusing on Online Trading, Ad Tech, Hi Tech, M&A, Fin Tech and iGaming, quickly becoming one of the first international law firms practicing solely on these areas, advising top-tier international clients in these fields. Over the years, Tal gained extensive knowledge in Financial and Gaming regulation, International Taxation and Payment services. Today his team of highly seasoned attorneys and partnering professionals headquartered in Tel Aviv and operating from 8 offices around the world,

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SiGMA | Employment

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Betting Connections Recruitment Solutions With over 30 highly skilled recruitment professionals, Betting Connections is the largest and most multilingual Recruitment Specialist solely dedicated to the iGaming industry.

As Recruitment and iGaming experts, we understand your needs as a job seeker and also the challenges that you may face along the way. Betting Connections is the link between you and your future employers, and we will be here to guide you through every step of your journey! Here’s a list of IGaming vacancies currently available:

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Paid Search Specialist – Malta Fraud & Payments Agent – Malta Payment and Fraud Operations Manager – Malta Affiliate Manager – Malta Marketing Coordinator – Malta SEO - Norwegian speaking – Malta SEO Swedish speaking – Malta SEO German speaking – Malta Head of Online Marketing – Malta Accounts / Office Admin Executive – Malta Swedish speaking Financial Assistant – Stockholm Junior Accountant – Malta Product Owner – Slovakia German speaking Website Promoter – Malta Swedish speaking Website Promoter – Malta German speaking Translator – Malta Norwegian speaking Translator – Malta Project Manager – London Project Manager – Japan Head of Operations – London Company lawyer / Attorney – Malta  Norwegian speaking VIP Executive – London Affiliate Director –Malta Affiliate Manager, Norway – Malta Affiliate Manager, Finland – Malta Affiliate Manager, Sweden – Malta Telesales Manager – London VIP Team Manager – London

For more information about all IGaming career opportunities available to you, contact us on: info@bettingconnections.com or call to speak to us on (+356) 2720 4520.

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Project Manager (Digital) x3 – London & Maidenhead CRM Manager – Malta UK and Australia Country Manager – Malta Head of Performance Marketing / Acquisition – Malta Senior Graphic Designer / Art Director – Malta HR Manager – Malta Office Coordinator – Malta Norwegian speaking VIP Manager – Malta Director of Traders – Bulgaria Senior Sports Analyst – Bulgaria R&D Group Leader – Bulgaria Sportsbook Marketing Team Leader – Bulgaria Payment Product Manager – Bulgaria iGaming Platform Product Manager – Bulgaria German speaking CS/Technical Support – Cork QA Engineer – Malta VIP Support Agents – Malta Turkish speaking CS – Malta Finnish speaking CS – Malta German/English speaking CS – Malta Norwegian speaking CS – Malta Danish speaking CS – Malta Danish speaking CS –Gibraltar Dutch speaking CS –Malta Dutch speaking CS – Gibraltar German speaking CS – Malta Senior Swedish speaking Customer Support – Malta or Remotely Senior Chinese speaking Customer Support x5 – Malta or Remotely Customer Communication Coordinator – Malta Finnish speaking Junior Casino Manager – Malta Affiliate Coordinator – Malta Gaming Service Coordinator – Malta Japanese speaking CRM – Malta Technical Support – Malta Technical Project Coordinator – Malta Senior QA – Poland Salesforce Developer – Gibraltar Salesforce Developer – Malta Client Developer – London

QA Tester – Malta Tech Support Analyst – Poland DevOps Engineer – Poland Database Administrator – Malta PHP Developers – Malta Ruby Developer – Malta Android Developer – Malta Java Developer and Network Architect – Malta Python Developer – Poland Software Architect – Malta IT Project Manager – London .NET Front End Developers – Malta .NET Developer – Belgium Frontend Developer (Russian speaking) – Malta Frontend Developers X 30 – Malta FrontEnd Developers x 2 – Slovakia FrontEnd Developer – Belgium Backend Developer – Malta Games Developer/Programmer – Japan Web Developer with Mobile Hybrid Apps Knowledge – Istanbul / Stockholm HTML/ Javascript Developer – Stockholm Senior Front End Developer – Malmo Senior Back End Developer – Malmo Senior Data Analyst – Malta Data Analyst – Malta UK Copy Writer – Malta NOC Engineer – Malta Banking Operations Analyst – Malta Data Architect – Malta Director of Infrastructure – Malta Data Warehouse Developer – Malta Community Managers x 5 (FINNISH, SWEDISH, DANISH, NORWEGIAN) – Malta Czech speaking VIP – Ireland Reconciliations Analyst – Ireland Marketing Specialist – Belgium Graphic Designer / Art Director – Belgium Junior Systems Administrator – Malta German speaking Games Presenter – Malta Content Writer - Malta German Content Writer – Malta Content Manager / Writer, Swedish– Malta Senior Swedish Casino Content Writer – Malta B2B – Relationship Manager/ Account Manager - Malta Account Manager – Malta Account Sales Manager – Malta VIP Coordinators (UK/Scandi/ German) – Malta Junior Legal Counsel – Malta Live Casino Business Manager – Malta Head of Parternships – Malta Junior Product Manager – Malta German speaking Live dealers – Malta Norwegian speaking Live dealers – Malta Greek speaking Live dealers – Malta Czech speaking Live dealers – Malta Dutch speaking Live Dealers – Malta Polish- Italian Live Dealers – Malta

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The Betting Connections team is committed to making your career development and job seeking process an enjoyable and successful one!

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Binary | SiGMA

BUILDING

TRUST IN

BINARY

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SiGMA | Binary

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He built his career in iGaming but Lars Kollind is on a new mission - to rehabilitate the typical approach to binary trading and make it a more trustworthy and appealing option for the Scandinavian market. Lars Kollind’s career in gaming started around 15 years ago, when he launched a poker venture that became very successful when the game was booming online. The business came to a halt after the 2011 crackdown known as Black Friday, hitting many major poker brands based in the US, which was what Kollind’s core business model was based on. However, his impeccable reputation carried him forward, and he was approached by Bet24 to become the firm’s Head of Poker, a role he carried out with great success. When Unibet bought Bet24, he held several leading C-level roles in a number of gaming companies. But he still felt as if he wasn’t utilizing his skills and experience to their full potential - so he decided to go solo. “A few years back, I realized that my vast and broad skills could be applied to consultancy. Since then I have been running my own gaming consulting venture, assisting both mature companies and start-ups to grow or launch,” Kollind says. With the launch of his own company, Kollind moved to Malta seven years ago to be closer to his customers and be able to meet them face-to-face whenever necessary. “Malta as a country is very accommodating to foreigners who want to start a business. Its tax system and business infrastructure are more developed than one might think. The only downsides are the pace at which things are done and the service level, which can sometimes be a bit frustrating, I’m from Sweden where we are used to certain things, and the structure I was used to doesn’t exist here.” However, he quickly adapted to his new home, and found that overall, there were more positives than negatives. “It’s also worth mentioning that Malta as a country has evolved dramatically since I moved here, so many things – from a business perspective and from a personal view – that were a hurdle a few years back are no longer an issue.” And Malta has proved to be a suitable base for Kollind’s newest venture, which has seen him move away from gaming and into financial trading - more specifically, the binary market. “Malta, Cyprus and Sweden were the logical countries for us to be based in, as our Scandinavian clients need to feel the comfort of European control. We are confronting the way binary is presented to the public today, focusing on the

Scandinavian market as it has shown the most restraint to the industry. Even though binary operators are seen at the same trade shows as gaming operators, it’s only because we share similar client demographics in some areas. The binary market is not a game and it cannot be approached as such. The numbers don’t lie - forcing profit and pushing to trade has not, and will not work in the Scandinavian market.” Kollind wants to change the way the binary market is portrayed by offering clients a highly competent operator that they can trust. “Many people in Scandinavia have trust issues when it comes to dealing with binary options, because of what they’ve seen from leading operators and their way of approaching the market. Our team has evaluated the approach used by our competitors for some time now and found that they are all making the same mistakes in client and personnel relations. Our staff needs to feel secure to be able to make the clients feel secure. We have decided to take on a more educational approach to build the much-needed trust rather than pushing hard-core sales. We are fully aware that this way of acquiring customers will take a longer time and will cost us more money. However, this is something that we are well prepared for. We will invest heavily so the customers feel safe and secure, and have trust in us and binary trading.” While Kollind is well aware of the power of affiliates and the CPA that some binary brokers pay out, he believes binary operators can’t move away from the gaming industry if they continue to use the same channels. “We are living in the era of social media and interactions. Link-sites are in the Scandinavian region seen as junkmail. That said, we have great experience working with affiliates, especially those which are specialized in binary. If they are open to the change in communication that is necessary in order to extend into the binary market, we want to work with them.”

“Malta as a country is very accommodating to foreigners who want to start a business. Its tax system and business infrastructure are more developed than one might think.”

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Last November SiGMA teamed up with Casumo to bring together some thirty of Europe’s elite affiliates for a Grand Slam that was held one day before the official start of the Summit. Affiliates had the chance to bring their business practices up to date with the latest strategies and strengthen their professional network in a leisurely environment.

Affiliate | SiGMA

The Casumo Grand Slam included activities designed to give affiliates plenty of opportunity to interact in a relaxed setting and, why not, find areas for collaboration between one drink and another. They were treated like royalty to champagne breakfast on the beach, powerboat rides and adventure activities around Malta, a five-star dinner and, finally, escorted to a networking poker tournament in exotic sports cars. “Imagine Europe’s best igaming affiliates all together under one roof—an affiliate manager’s dream; an operator’s dream; our dream come true,” is how Dennis Dyhr Hansen described the idea for this Grand Slam. Following this success in 2015, in an unprecedented move, the organisers decided to extend this hospitality treat to all operators exhibiting or sponsoring at SiGMA16. This year, operators are entitled to invite any number of affiliates in Malta throughout SiGMA. The organisers will absorb the costs of a whopping 300 flights. Hospitality goes a long way and, let’s face it, Malta lends itself quite well for a few days of wining, dining and networking.

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Photo Gallery | SiGMA

PHOTO GALLERY NETWORKING POKER TOURNAMENT: NOVEMBER 4TH 2015 HILTON HOTEL, ST. JULIAN’s

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SiGMA | Photo Gallery

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NETWORKING POKER TOURNAMENT: NOVEMBER 4TH 2015 HILTON HOTEL, ST. JULIAN’s

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CONFERENCES: NOVEMBER 5-6TH 2015 INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL, CONFERENCE CENTRE, ST. JULIAN’s

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CONFERENCES: NOVEMBER 5-6TH 2015 INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL, CONFERENCE CENTRE, ST. JULIAN’s

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EXPO: NOVEMBER 5-6TH 2015 InterContinental Arena, ST. JULIAN’s

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SiGMA | Photo Gallery

EXPO: NOVEMBER 5-6TH 2015 InterContinental Arena, ST. JULIAN’s

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Photo Gallery | SiGMA

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Photo Gallery | SiGMA

EXPO: NOVEMBER 5-6TH 2015 InterContinental Arena, ST. JULIAN’s

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SiGMA | Photo Gallery

EXPO: NOVEMBER 5-6TH 2015 InterContinental Arena, ST. JULIAN’s

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NETWORKING DRINKS: NOVEMBER 5-6TH 2015 TAPAZ LOUNGE, ST. JULIAN’s

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NETWORKING DINNERS: NOVEMBER 5-6TH 2015 CAVIAR & BULL, ST. JULIAN’s

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Photo Gallery | SiGMA

CLOSING NIGHT: NOVEMBER 6TH 2015 THE PAVILLION, WESTIN DRAGONARA, ST. JULIAN’s

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CLOSING NIGHT: NOVEMBER 6TH 2015 THE PAVILLION, WESTIN DRAGONARA, ST. JULIAN’s

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CLOSING NIGHT: NOVEMBER 6TH 2015 THE PAVILLION, WESTIN DRAGONARA, ST. JULIAN’s

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Photo Gallery | SiGMA

MORNING BRUNCH: NOVEMBER 7TH 2015 PARANGA, ST. GEORGE’S BAY

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Affiliate | SiGMA

Matching Visions:

solid growth based on trust So tell us, what exactly is Matching Visions, what do you do? Basically, we’re an online gaming network and we specialise in quality casino campaigns. As we’re based in sunny Malta, we have close connections to a lot of the operators and therefore, we’re able to get the most out of working with them. Currently, we work with over 100 brands, which gives our affiliates access to over 500 quality gaming campaigns. Our aim is to make our affiliates’ lives much easier, as they only have one login, one payment and one point of contact to deal with. We love affiliates and so far, it seems affiliates love us back! How did the Matching Visions adventure begin? Matching Visions was born in Denmark in late 2013 and began operating out of Malta at the start of 2014. We had many years experience in gaming and affiliation and saw a gap in the market to offer a complete solution for gaming affiliates. Therefore, we decided to go for it and joined forces with a successful media house based in Copenhagen and built the company from there - starting off with two employees in a tiny office. Since then, we haven’t looked back. Now we have a large office, with 10 employees and are growing rapidly. You mention 10 employees, tell us a bit about the team you have behind Matching Visions... We’ve always stuck by the motto that you don’t need a big team, you just need the right team - and that could not be more relevant than with us! We’re lucky enough to have a young, talented and fun team, with decades of experience in the gaming and affiliation sectors. With employees from the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Malta and even as far afield as South Africa, there’s a very International vibe to our office. This helps with the quality of service we offer our affiliates, as we can provide support in multiple languages, as well as providing top quality native texts and content. Our team may be small, but it is mighty!

Speaking of your office, we’ve heard rumours that you guys are very active in the social scene, can you tell us more about that? Yes we love to work hard and play hard, especially when it comes to our office environment. For example, we recently threw a Paddy’s Day party in our office for friends and business partners which was a huge success! We dressed the office up in green, and ourselves of course, and hired a live band to play in the afternoon. It was a great atmosphere and over 100 people came by for a drink and a catch up, which is always nice. In general, we love people and being social, so we often host VIP events, or take our partners out for nice dinners and drinks, as we feel it’s vital for building long term partnerships, plus it’s so easy to do in Malta.

You also are involved in the Malta sports scene, right? We couldn’t be happier here in Malta - great people, amazing weather and excellent business opportunities in general. We love it here and therefore, we like to do our bit to support the local sports community. For example, we sponsor one of the young Maltese boxers, plus a local football team. It’s good for the island and as a positive side effect, it also shows that we’re a good company, with good values, that can be trusted. We also noticed you travel a lot, do you have any big plans coming up? Yes, we love to travel and have been to Las Vegas and Thailand for conferences this year already. It’s great for us to see how different markets work and look for opportunities all over the globe - we’re planning some more exotic trips in the near future. More recently, we all attended LAC in London and exhibited outside of Malta for the first time, which was a huge success. We’ve just booked a stand to exhibit again at the Amsterdam conference, so you’ll be seeing a lot more of Matching Visions around the world, so keep your eyes open! What makes you stand out from other networks? When we started Matching Visions, we always said we’d do things the right way. Many networks have a bad reputation, especially surrounding payments to affiliates. We always pay and most importantly, we always pay on time! This is a major factor which contributed to our success and has earned us the great reputation we have today. Aside from on time payments, we have a state-of-the-art dashboard and stats delivery system, so affiliates can follow exactly how they’re performing very easily. We also host all materials in our system and insert tracking automatically, which further enhances the user experiences and makes life easier for our affiliates. Another important factor is the value we offer, as we have an array of special promotions and competitions every month, which keeps our affiliates hungry and our operators happy! What does the future hold for Matching Visions? Thankfully, we’ve had huge success with the network since its inception. We’ve reported steady month-on-month growth every month, so it seems we found a winning formula! Our next steps are to ensure that we continue offering the top quality service and value that people have come to expect. From there, we’re looking for global domination - we want to expand our services into as many countries as possible. In 2015 we entered the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Poland and more, so we want to continue to build on this for 2016. We also have a talented IT department who are working on some revolutionary new tools and features that should continue to set us apart from the competition for many years to come! 0105


Customer Service for your online gaming for your outsourcing for your start-up for a higher quality for more availability for the extra mile contact: info@extramile-services.com www.extramile-services.com


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Payments | SiGMA

SECURE MOBILE PAYMENTS Smartphones have become a big part of our everyday life and they offer infinite possibilities. We consume media, do bank errands, play games, communicate, and engage in many other activities. Seamless, a Swedish global mobile payments company, has capitalized on this phenomenon by applying their transaction switch technology to develop a mobile payment application called “Seqr” (pronounced ‘se-cure’) for consumers in 2012. Back then, Seqr was launched as a way to pay in physical stores, but quickly developed into a fully integrated payment platform for smartphones that works in pretty much all payment scenarios. Active on twelve markets, Seqr is headquartered in Stockholm Sweden, home of Betsson, Vera & John, Cherry and Expect and we sat down with Mr. Peter Boström, the company’s Director of Global Sales & Markets to discuss how Seqr plays its role within the iGaming industry. 0107


SiGMA | Payments

Why are you entering the gaming industry? When SEQR was launched about 3 years ago the strategy was to target physical everyday-purchase outlets, such as supermarkets, convenient stores, fast food outlets and parking to attract every-day-usage and create a consumer base when breaking into niche industries such as iGaming. We succeeded and here we are, with a varied consumer base and an offer to the iGaming industry that solves some of the traditional problems. Many operators think they have their payment system covered, with multiple ways. How is Seqr different? Seqr is much more than a payment method. All payment processes follow the same logic; scan a QR-code, enter pin, done. But that is just an enabler for a range of value-adding services that solves real problems for on-line and physical merchants. We can cover basically any payment situation where a user today would use cash or cards. The payment platform works for all types of funding but the dominating solution is through the direct debit network. Unique for Seqr is the ability to route transaction outside of the credit card rails to keep costs down. This makes it possible for us to offer the gaming industry the lowest transaction costs on the market. We feel that this combined with a simplified customer acquisition process combined with instant top up and withdrawal from customers’ gaming accounts and the highest level of KYC is a very strong offer to the iGaming companies. When you say simplified customer acquisition, what does that mean in reality? The iGaming customer acquisition process basically means that the user accepts an offer by clicking it and confirm the transaction by entering a personal PIN. As the user is registered with SEQR there is no need to fill in any personal details such as name and address. The user connects their bank account to Seqr, i.e. there is no need to fill in any card details. Just by clicking on an offer and enter their PIN the user has applied for a gaming account and made an initial deposit, a customer experience way simpler than existing methods. And, the user never has to leave the gaming site. To enable SEQR as a payment method a simple integration is carried out through a standard API. What is the added value to operators and white platforms in plugging Seqr? The added value is quite straightforward; cheap transactions, easy customer acquisition and easy and effective transactions to and from the gaming account. In addition the KYC and security levels are very high. To

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process transactions to, and withdraw from, the gaming account via the user’s bank account requires a bank standard KYC of the users. This is made once during the customer’s SEQR registration process. Tell us a bit more about how the model works? What makes it unique from other payment gateways? From the payments perspective, the main difference is that Seqr offers lower transaction cost due to the way we route the transactions. This is possible since we use our own transaction switch that has been in the market since 2001 and processes 3.7 billion transactions annually via more than 525,000 active outlets. But the big advantages are from a service perspective, where Seqr offers services that allows our customers to create new sales channels. For example, users can make purchases from various kinds of transaction points—cash registers, printed media, e-commerce sites, vending machines and many more. This is what makes it possible for SEQR to offer a very fast and simple onboarding process for the gaming operator’s customers. Are people ready to pay with their smartphone and give up the card? Consumers basically live with their smartphones 24/7. Question is how you use this fact to generate sales. The mobile payment industry itself is relatively new and changing the consumer behavior is a part of the concept. The possibilities with a smart device as the payment tool compared to a plastic card are huge, and the payment industry as such is going through radical changes due to this. A number of large, well known companies have spent tremendous amount of efforts to enter the mobile payments market, so the potential is with out a question there. As always when something new is introduced, that includes a change in consumer behavior. And that’s pretty much where the mobile payment industry is at right now. To give an idea of the SEQR market I can mention that somewhere between 5% and 10% of the total Swedish population has used Seqr technology to make payments. Considering how new the Mobile payments concept is that must be seen as an exceptional result within a very short time span. Could these all be potential players the operators could reach out to? Yes, of course! We have a wide range of channels that we can reach our users with campaigns and offers. We are also confident that the operators will see the advantages of the


Payments | SiGMA

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value-added services that Seqr offers and have an interests and motivation to promote Seqr as a payment tool to their users. How would the customer acquisition work? Once Seqr is implemented as one of the payment methods it is an excellent tool to drive sales and help you understand your gamers better. With Seqr you can turn any type of media into a customer acquisition channel and a sales channel. Place a QR-code and your message in the Seqr app, the operator’s app, on a gaming website, in social media. A user can then become a customer of for example the gaming operator just by scanning a QR-code and entering their PIN. All the user information is already in the app and the initial deposit is made using the same process. Gaming operators can convert marketing and advertising efforts into a direct sales channel just by using Seqr. We work closely with our partners to create joint campaigns and marketing efforts that boost each other businesses. You have proven that QR codes are far from obsolete. Tell us how this app is slowly, but steadily revolutionizing payment in online gaming. Yes, the QR-code has somewhat of a bad reputation. But that’s because it hasn’t provided any real value to the user. The QR-reader is integrated in the Seqr app and is a hundred times faster than people expect before trying it out. It is also the enabler to make transactions and create sales channels in a way that has never been done before. Just imagine that you can purchase something from a billboard while waiting for the bus by just scanning and pinning. No need to fill out any information, it’s already there and the product gets shipped to your door. You can sell anywhere! For the iGaming world the QR code enables an acquisition directly

from any printed media. Can you give an example of a collaboration from the iGaming industry? We only started approaching the iGaming industry in November 2015, so within a very limited time span we have reached quite interesting results. We launched our first commercial campaign with one of the well-known operators already over Christmas; one month after the go ahead was given. The conversion rate on that campaign was 30%, even with a limited concept. We have signed and are presently working with multiple operators and other actors within the industry with the plan to launch a full concept in the near future. Your headquarters are in Stockholm. With such a heavy presence of gaming operators in Malta, are you looking at setting up an office here? How do you plan on staying in touch with this community of C-level executives based in this five mile radius in St. Julian’s? Our strategy is to always build our own organization in each market we penetrate, for example, Belgium, Portugal, the US, UK, Romania, and Finland. At the moment we have a close partnership with a Malta based company that represents Seqr. We are looking at the possibility to make Seqr available in physical outlets in Malta and are in dialogue with Malta based retailers. When and where, the future will tell.

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Who’s Who | SiGMA

WHO’S WHO IN THE MALTA GAMING INDUSTRY Alistair Sparrow Affiliate Manager

21 Casino is a high-end, luxurious themed online casino. A younger player in the igaming industry, but ran by enthusiastic and experienced igaming professionals. 21 Casino offers players a simple, high-quality gaming experience. For affiliates we offer high default commission rates, different campaign types and high-quality promotional materials. www.21casino.com

Ofir Gerzon Affiliate Director

Since its inception in ’97, over 25M players have experienced 888’s exciting action, making it the largest e-gaming portal. The 888 Group headquarters are situated in Gibraltar and is operated by Cassava Enterprises (Gibraltar) Limited under a license granted by the Govt of Gibraltar. In Sept ’05, 888 Holdings made a successful initial public offering of its shares, which were traded on the London Stock Exchange. www.888.com

Claire Camilleri Gauci Director

Aid Compliance provides tailor-made compliance support and consultancy services to the financial services and gaming sectors both at pre and post licensing stage. After having worked with various leading institutions, the team at Aid Compliance have broad and hands-on experience as compliance officers, anti-money laundering officers, internal auditors and risk officers. www.aidcompliance.com

Dinos Stranomitis Director

Altenar offers a complete fully managed Gaming Solution. Our speciality is Sports Betting. Altenar product offering features of BetInAction Sportsbook software with premium content, 24x7 trading, risk management and business support. You can choose from wide range of Casinos. BetInAction Sportsbook solution is also offered as a flexible B2B module. www.altenar.com

Roy Pedersen Managing Director

All In Translations is the official translation provider for SiGMA and the preferred language service provider of companies like Playtech, William Hill, Betfair, Betsson and many more. Their high quality and service level is trusted by several of the biggest affiliates, platform providers, operators and developers. Both their translations and content writing services are available in 70+ languages, with quick deliveries and great value. All In Translations was founded in Malta in 2008 and have established themselves as the industry leading language service provider for the gaming industry. www.allintranslations.com

Pierre Lindh Managing Director

Ambassadör Events Ltd has become Malta’s leading event management company, specializing in event management solutions catered towards the Igaming industry. Over the past three years, we have developed internationally renowned brands such as ‘Events by Martin’ and ‘Showers’, delivering hotly anticipated events on all year around as well as delivering unbeatable B2B event management solutions and VIP concierge services. Our prestigious clientele include many of the established iGaming and finance companies based here in Malta and abroad. www.ambassador-events.com

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Geert Polmans Affiliate Manager

Amsterdams Casino is a veteran in the igaming industry, with a steadily expanding team. A strong brand with special monthly player promotions that offer unique engagement. We are offering our affiliates complete transparency, open communication and creative customized marketing materials with flexible solutions and campaigns to cater to your traffic. www.amsterdamscasino.com

Eero Villikka Affiliate Director

Anna Casino is run by the Maltese company Anna Casino Gaming Ltd. and is operating under an MGA license. The casino caters to primarily the softer gaming audience and is presented with a soft color scheme and a clear female touch. The brand focuses on elements such as trust, security and high value offers for regular customers. Net Entertainment, Play N Go, Microgaming and Spigo products make up the game environment. Anna Partners, the affiliate brand of Anna Casino, offers high value deals to affiliates with a focus on growth through customized promotions based on the specific target audience of the affiliate. www.annacasino.com

Ian Pellicano Managing Director

ApcoPay is a fully integrated payments solution, an all-in-one platform that provides clients with all they need to cater for multi-channel and multi-currency payment options through a single interface. The solution is designed to cater for high transaction volumes, scalability and continuous improvement. We are specialists in payment solutions with over 12 years’ industry experience driven by a passionate team of experts. With headquarters in Malta, Apco encompasses a blend of over 26 acquiring partners and over 150 payment options to 800 merchants in over 25 countries across the globe. www.apcopay.eu

Jon Grafton Creative Manager

Azure Malta provides Vacation Ownership opportunities, making dream vacations a reality. Azure tailors luxury club memberships to today’s demanding market and has fast become a worldwide leader in the Vacation Ownership industry. Providing exclusive membership opportunities at the prestigious Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Golden Sands, Malta and with a member base of over 5,000 families at this resort alone, Azure offers flexible usage options and luxury vacation experiences in some of the most sought after destinations in the world.

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Kristina Hambardzumyan Regional Director

BetConstruct is an award-winning developer and provider of online and land-based betting and gaming solutions. BetConstruct’s innovative and proven offerings include an extensive range of market-leading vertical products including Sportsbook, Sports Data Solutions, Agent System, Retail Betting Shop Solutions, RNG Casino Suite & Live Dealer Casino. www.betconstruct.com

Aiste Garneviciene COO

While most of the companies are offering traditional software platforms with classic casino games in the offering, Betgames. tv is thinking outside the box, trying to develop a unique niche in an industry that could stand an infusion of fresh ideas. We have introduced a revolutionary approach to live casino gaming and are confident that our live games offer our partners the highest quality, the most authentic and entertaining live gaming experience and the widest choice of unique content. We are constantly working on adding new cutting-edge games unlike any other on the market today. www.betgames.tv

Christofer Holmgren Head of Affiliates

Founded in 2012, Bethard Group consists of a team of passionate individuals whose vision is to create and promote extraordinary brands in iGaming. With five gaming sites up and running: Bethard, SverigeKronan, SverigeCasino, SuomiVegas and NorgeVegas, Bethard Group has managed to develop successful brands maintaining its energetic culture and fine identity. Our offices are located in Malta, where the team enjoys life and sunny days at its fullest. www.bethard.com

Ulrik Bengtsson CEO

Betsson is a unique venture of its own. Its story has become history in the Maltese iGaming sector. It is known as being the largest local employer in the sector and has an overwhelming story of success. Betsson has been welcomed in Malta and has become ‘Maltese’ throughout the years. The set up is done by skilled and professional individuals that contribute to its success. For Betsson, Malta is simply a great place to work and live in for skilled internet professionals. www.betsson.com


Who’s Who | SiGMA

issue 4 SPRING / SUMMER 2016

Allister Bajada Head of Affiliates

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Affiliate Lounge and its brands Betsson, Betsafe, Casino Euro and Cherry Casino are all part of the public listed holding company Swedish Betsson AB. Betsson AB invests in companies who provide quality gaming services over the Internet. The demand for transparency and auditing practices employed in public listed companies guarantees that your commission is always fair and 100% right. With a dedicated staff and a comprehensive back-end system, affiliates have support and guidance at hand. Affiliate Lounge strives to be the best partner regardless of the size of your company. www.affiliatelounge.com

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Kay Vella Head of Recruitment

Betting Connections is a leading provider of International IGaming Recruitment Solutions! With more than 30 highly skilled recruitment and career consultants, we provide the best and most personalised service in the industry. Utilising our unique ‘30 Step Recruitment Process’, which focuses on quality of communication, delivery of results and consistency of service, you can rest assured that all your recruitment needs will be met in a thorough, professional and timely manner. Your recruitment solution is our goal! www.bettingconnections.com

Angelo Dalli CEO

Bit8 is a gaming platform company that offers an innovative intelligent gaming backend and game content catering for current and future needs of modern gaming operators, both online and land-based. Available in both standalone and hosted versions, and complimented with a variety of professional services, our solutions provide a source of competitive advantage. Operators can customise additional modules to achieve the precise system that satisfies business needs, across multiple game providers, products and verticals and multiple channels. www.bit8.com

Marius Filip Senior Affiliate Manager

We are part of the Bonnier Group, one of the largest publishing and entertainment companies in Sweden since 1804. Evoke Affiliates (Bonnier Gaming) Ltd is based in Malta, and is a regulated online gaming company, we have been offering a thrilling and enjoyable online gaming experience to millions through brands that include Redbet.com, Heypoker.com, Whitebet.com, Bertil.com, Vinnarum.com and Mamamiabingo. com. The business remains true to its founding mission, to offer a fun and responsible gaming experience. www.bonniergaming.com

Jonathan Caruana CTO

Bonus Vikings is an affiliate platform providing top rated CPA and revenue share offers in casino, poker, bingo, sportsbook as well as Forex and binary. The parent company is Viking PC Health Ltd which operates from Malta, offering antivirus software. www.bonusvikings.com

Daan Mulder Creative Director

Branders is everything design. We are branding, concepts and graphic design. A highly experienced international team that takes every brand to the next level. Design that goes beyond visuals and communicates your business philosophy. Specialized in iGaming and service providers. www.branders.rocks

Alessandro Fried CEO

BtoBet, an online gaming solutions provider, is a pioneer in new technologies for iGaming operators and the betting industry by using technological intelligence as the main base for its products. Its unique, customizable, secure and flexible iGaming platform and Sportsbook software deliver unprecedented capabilities to drive Sportsbook and iGaming businesses. www.btobet.com

Louise North Business Development Manager

Callcredit Information Group is expert in managing consumer data for businesses across every sector, from financial services, retail and utilities to public sector, telecoms, insurance and many more. The Group is focused on developing innovative products and services to help businesses make smarter, more informed decisions throughout the customer lifecycle. www.callcreditmarketing.com

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Malta’s largest data centre facility Tailor made solutions to host your mission critical data and applications in a secure and scalable environment Our services: Hosting & Co-Location Carrier neutral Tier 1 international connectivity Nationwide fibre connectivity Managed services & cloud DDoS mitigation solutions 24/7/365 technical support

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issue 4 SPRING / SUMMER 2016

Meny Monka Director of Strategic Partnerships

Who’s Who | SiGMA

David Wainwright Director

CasinoCruise.com is a complete multi-vendor online casino gaming platform, offering over 1000 high-quality games from the world’s top suppliers and software developers. The brand showcases a multi-vendor gaming platform including Evolution Gaming and more.

Right from your home, smartphone, or tablet. CasinoTV is an online gaming experience featuring live games that stream directly from the acclaimed Casino at Portomaso, Malta. CasinoTV isn’t just an online gaming company—we’re a real live casino in the online gaming business.

CasinoCruise was also granted the IGB award for best affiliate program new comer. www.casinocruise.com

When you’re at our tables, you’ll enjoy the same high standards, excellent service and peace of mind as you would while playing in any one of the Tumus Group’s world famous brick and mortar casinos. www.casinotv.com

Christos Charistas General Manager

Casino Malta by Olympic Casino provides the most exciting casino experience in Malta. With a mix of Las Vegas type entertainment and the best customer service, they’ve created a unique ambiance of elegance and top quality. The 3000 square meter casino features 285 slots, 2 electronic roulette tables and 29 casino and poker tables as well as a wide sports betting and bar area. In addition, there is an EZ-Pay payment ticket system installed throughout the casino. The slot machines installed in the casino are the newest and most modern in the country, guaranteeing the highest world class level of entertainment and gaming. www.casinomalta.com.mt

Kristian Svensson General Manager

CasinoRoom.com is run by Ellmount Gaming and licensed by Malta Gaming Authority and the UK Gaming Commission. An established brand offering its customers a innovative product on all devices. Operating out of offices in Sweden, Curacao, Costa Rica and Malta. One of the fastest growing online casino operators world wide in 2015. www.casinoroom.com

Magnus Alebo CEO

Casino Heroes, formerly known as Casino Saga, was the first casino brand from Hero Gaming. It was launched in June 2014 and immediately took off to become the fastest growing online casino world wide. By playing traditional casino games of their choice (currently from Evolution, Quickspin, Play N’ Go, Microgaming, Yggdrasil, Betsoft and Netent), the customers progress in the Casino Heroes adventure by fighting bosses and reaching new regions. www.casinoheroes.com

Christian Ferreri Affiliate Manager

Casumo is an award-winning online casino based in Malta. By combining social and real money gaming, Casumo has built the world’s first casino adventure, where the player not only collects winnings, but also points and trophies for every round played. Through design, technology & innovation Casumo aims to disrupt a young but in many ways immature industry. Since the launch in 2012, Casumo is still one of the fastest growing online casino operators in Europe. www.casumo.com

Robert Andersson CEO

Catena Media is an online lead generation company. We generate valuable traffic to our clients using various online channels. We aim to build market leading web portals that best suit the needs of our client’s customers. We use our expertise to attract the desired leads and forward them on to our clients in the form of paying customers. www.catenamedia.com

Nadia Pace CEO

At Centrecom we are a multi-lingual International Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company offering back and front office services through our Contact Centre based in Luqa, Malta. Our contact centre is manned by native English speakers, as well as a multi-national team speaking more than seven languages – so that we can definitely speak your customers’ language. www.centrecom.eu

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SiGMA | Who’s Who

issue 4 SPRING / SUMMER 2016

Julian Kunimine Head Affiliate Manager

Chance Hill is a brand new online casino . The multi platform site features some of the best software providers around including Netent, Microgaming, and Endorphina to name a few. The site offers a modern design with no download required. Standing out for a relaxed approach and great service all players and partners feel like they are true VIPs. www.chancehill.com

Elaine Gardiner Senior Affiliate Manager

As one of Europe’s most established gaming brands, at Cherry Affiliates you will see your earnings blossom! Cherry Affiliates is a forward thinking, flexible and professional program offering up to 50% commission with no negative carryover when promoting our award winning brands: CherryCasino, EuroSlots, EuroLotto, SpilleAutomater, SveaCasino and SuomiAutomaatti. www.cherryaffiliates.com

Angela Tabone Director

Citadel Insurance operates with a forward-thinking strategy built on its established reputation as a provider of high-quality and value-for-money insurance products and services for both individual and business customers. The company offers an extensive and flexible range of products comprising of motor, home, marine, travel, business, professional indemnity and life insurance including retirement and savings plans, besides other tailor-made products designed around customer’s requirement. www.citadelplc.com

Stefan Jonsson Affiliate Director

ComeOn! is a Casino, Sportsbook and Poker site running its operations from Malta, operating locally in 10 languages. With their main focus on the Nordic regions, ComeOn! is the proud betting partner of Liverpool FC in Sweden, Norway and Finland. Besides the outstanding Sportsbook, ComeOn! only works with the best Casino game providers including Net Entertainment, Microgaming, Playtech, Play n Go, Yggdrasil and Evolution amongst others. ComeOn are at the forefront of new design and industry leading product features. www.comeon.com

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Anton Cristina Executive Director

CSL is a Systems Integrator with its own Data Centre Facilities, which are Tier 3 rated, Carrier Neutral and a very aggressive level of service for DDOS mitigation, with a total capacity of 2000 square meters of rack space plus a team of 24 technical resources skilled and experienced in delivering Cloud Services, Colocation, Managed Services up to OS level, plus BC&RS to our customers. We migrated many gaming customers to our data centre over the past 4 years and they will tell you that we can do it faster, better and cheaper. www.csl.com.mt

Stefan Jonsson Affiliate Director

Initially the affiliate platform of ComeOn.com, earn Affiliates nowadays gives access to 7 amazing brands, each targeting different geographies and player segments with their own unique brand identity and values. The earn Affiliates brands are: Comeon.com, Folkeutomaten.com, Mobilbet.com, Suomikasino.com, Casinostugan.com, Kasyno.pl and GetLucky. com. All brands are licensed and regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority and most brands hold the UK Gambling Commission license. www.earnaffiliates.com

Michael Golembo Sales Director

EGaming Online may be the only affiliate program you will ever need. All brands feature effective, workable promotions, solid player support, and conversion. The company guarantees that whether you are looking to promote one brand or all of them, EGO will work with you every step of the way. Their dedicated team of experienced affiliate managers provide 24/7 support in many languages. EGO offers buttons and text links in a variety of colors and sizes, along with free banners in a number of sizes, including custom made. www.egamingonline.com

Todor Zahariev Managing Director

EGT Interactive games are renowned throughout the industry for their intuitive gameplay that will captivate the current players and dazzle new players, encouraging them to return every day for more exciting iGaming entertainment. We are known for the iconic video slots and we also proudly offer classic casino favorites such as Roulette, Video Poker, Table Games and Keno. http://egt-bg.com/en/interactive/online


Who’s Who | SiGMA

issue 4 SPRING / SUMMER 2016

Jan Urbanec VP Sales

Endorphina is a software provider that offers a wide range of Flash-based slot games for online casinos. Games provided by Endorphina are remarkable for the stability of the system, circumspect logic of the client side and versatile API which allows several types of integration, a full report with statistics sent to the Client’s back office, etc. Choosing Endorphina means choosing a trustworthy provider of PROFITABLE ONLINE casino software. www.endorphina.com

Bernard Mallia CEO

Equinox academy is the training and education arm of Equinox Advisory Ltd. It specialises in the delivery of high quality training programmes designed to improve on-the-job performance, and is backed up by the Corporate services arm of Equinox Advisory Ltd. which conducts, among other things, industry surveys in relation to skills gap, trainig needs analyses and HR Audits. www.equinoxadvisory.com

Elaine Gardiner Senior Affiliate Manager

Niclas Johansson Affililate Manager

Established in 2013, Energy Casino is deemed as thriving and briskly developing casino which offers a wide range of cutting edge games from the land-based slots manufacturer Novomatic. Soon its game portfolio will be updated with games by Netent and Microgaming. Licensed and operated by Probe Investments Limited which is registered under the laws of the European Union member state of Malta, EnergyCasino is backed my multiple languages, currencies, expeditious support and it invariably entices enormous throngs of customers. www.energycasino.com

EuroSlots offersone of the widest variety of the leading games available online. The company’s motto is: “If the games are not good enough for our customers we simply do not publish them.” www.euroslots.com

Alex Capurro CEO & Founder

With over 15 years experience, EPG is the next generation one stop payment platform. We offer an online gateway with an ever growing list of over 210 different online payment methods and acquirers worldwide. EPG can offer any online merchant everything they need in order to process transactions online via one simple yet heavily secure API integration and a unique back office where non IT staff can maintain and configure payment accounts, create payment routing rules by drawing a flow chart on the screen using our custom built rules engine or prevent fraud. www.easypaymentgateway.com

Iwo Bulski CEO

Since 2003, E-Play is associated with the best quality of reliable source on gambling from e-casinos to legal studies. Information portal www.e-play.pl, printed magazine about gambling E-Play as well as numerous sites about the latest news, exclusive interviews, expert studies and reviews on all aspects of the gaming industry. In 2016 we launched the E-Play Online mobile app, in which we exhibit offers selected from gambling companies we cooperate with. The E-Play brand has been cooperating with leading industry organisations making us able to provide first-hand information and the best quality. www.e-play.eu

Ebbe Groes CEO

An independent software development company providing the world class gaming products for the iGaming industry, EveryMatrix was founded in 2008 by a visionary team of people. Their story and journey are special and they will present it at the Malta iGaming Summit in detail. Some of their Awards are: EGR 2013 Award – White Label Partner of the Year, EGR 2011 Award – Sports Betting Rising Star, EGR 2010 Award – Innovation in Sports Betting. www.everymatrix.com

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services

Joern Klister CEO & Founder

Extramile Services offers you an all-round customer service via phone, email, live chat or social networks, including also a structured quality and complaint management. If you are a start-up, want to improve your service quality or want good availability with a low price, the experienced team of Extramile Services is your partner. www.extramile-services.com

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Who’s Who | SiGMA

issue 4 SPRING / SUMMER 2016

Patrick J O’ Brien Director of Communications

EXANTE Limited was founded in March 2011 with its headquarters located in Malta. EXANTE is a next generation award winning brokerage company that aims to give its clients access to a broad range of financial instruments and markets. Our aim is to design, produce and support cutting-edge infrastructure for greater financial market accessibility and pricing transparency.We believe in liberal financial markets. Our vision is to become a benchmark for transparency and market accessibility in the financial intermediary sector. www.exante.com

Adrian Sciberras CEO

Fairwinds Management Limited is a company formation and administration specialist offering a wide range of corporate, legal and financial services. Our customer oriented methodology helps us achieve the objectives of our clients within a cost-effective structure in order to maximise their profits within legitimate and transparent business structures. Whether you would like to start up a company to operate your business or would like to avail of our back office administration services, Fairwinds Management will offer you a level of service which will exceed your expectations. www.fairwindsmanagement.net

Sergio Montebello Managing Director

Fibonacci Marketing is a results-driven marketing agency specialising in SEO, content creation, social media marketing, email marketing and online reputation management. Since inception, Fibonacci Marketing has grown to help companies in Europe, Asia and the USA to implement effective digital marketing campaigns. www.fibonacci-marketing.com

Mikael Gummerus CEO

Frosmo enables companies to modify any aspect of their online business, regardless of complexity. With our technological approach, you can develop your website faster than ever before. At Frosmo, our mission is to transform online experiences, and take the web to a whole new level, benefiting both businesses and consumers. www.frosmo.com

Boštjan Torkar Director of Business Development

GameART is an independent online casino software provider and developer, providing innovative games and cuttingedge solutions dedicated to online and landbased gaming operators. The company was founded in 2013 by a group of serial entrepreneurs who have had successful experience in the online and industry in the past 20 years and evolved into a premium B2B provider and developer with offices in Malta, Slovenia, Serbia and UK. GameART’s core business is the development of high quality slot games and gaming contents not only for online operators as well as VLT and casino industry in the regulated markets. www.gameart.net

Trevor De Giorgio Managing Director

As a worldwide pioneer, GREENTUBE GMBH is the leading developer of online gaming solutions, specialized in Casino gaming. Through longtime experience, excellent Novomatic and inhouse technology, as well as distinctive intuition for gaming trends, Greentube offers unrivaled gaming quality. Constantly complying with international regulation, we only offer our products in well regulated markets with precise regulatory frameworks. www.greentube.com

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Daniel Yuen President

Gunggo has been a Global Advertising Leader in the iGaming space since 2006. With expertise on both the Demand and Supply side of the industry, we have been the catalyst of success for thousands of iGaming campaigns, for some of the top operators in this market. www.gunggo.com

Robin Reed Managing Director

Hailed as one of the most successful online casino launches in history, Guts.com has seen rapid growth since going online in 2013. Focusing on key factors such as 24/7 customer service, fast withdrawals, a wide selection of games and recruiting some of the business’ top professionals, Guts continues to be one of the fastest growing online gaming providers in the business. www.guts.com

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SiGMA | Who’s Who

issue 4 SPRING / SUMMER 2016

Yancy Naughton CEO

HasTraffic.com is the traffic monetization side of the platform. If you are interested in capitalizing on the increased margins available by offering Zero Click redirects to advertisers, but do not want to build your own bidding platform then HasTraffic. com can help. Offer your internet traffic directly to the end consumers of the traffic, avoiding the high margins demanded by the likes of Google, Yahoo, Bing and the Second Tier Networks. www.hastraffic.com

Magnus Alebo CEO

Hero Gaming is a Malta based rising star company operating Casino Heroes (Europe/World), CasiTabi (Japan) and providing Wuxia88 as a B2B partnership for China. The company was founded in 2014 by a group of passionate and experienced iGaming professionals. The company has a vision of creating WOW! experiences for customers and partners and having the most engaged and loyal customers worldwide. www.herogaming.com

Anna Jonson Affiliate Manager

HonestPartners is the dynamic affiliate program of InstaCasino. com. InstaCasino is live since late 2015 and among the targeted markets you find Scandinavia, all german speaking countries, UK, Australia and Canada. A premium plattform and great CRM strategies is InstaCasino’s recipe of high conversion rates and loyal players. www.honestpartners.com

Wayne Said Business Development Executive

SG Solutions Limited has pioneered Apple products and services in Malta and has successfully represented the brand locally for over 30 years. iCentre is the only Apple Authorised Service Provider in Malta. As Authorised Service Providers we specialize in MAC product repairs, data transfer and recovery, upgrades and support as well as MAC system and software deployment in homogeneous and mixed platform environments. www.icentre.com.mt

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Tommi Maijala CEO

To date our company is composed of 100 ambitious individuals working in Malta and Estonia. The iGame team consists of a wide range of nationalities and offers its services in several languages. We cooperate with industry leaders such as Microgaming, Net Entertainment and Relax Gaming and serve to date around 1 million customers all over the world. www.igame.com

Jaime Debono Director

The iGaming Academy is a leading training provider to the lotteries and gambling industry. Our portfolio of face-toface and online training programmes include topics such as Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Responsible Gaming, Information Security, PCI DSS Compliance, Introduction to iGaming, Online Sportsbook & Casino Management, AntiFraud & Payments Handling, Affiliate Management, Customer Relationship Management, Social Media Marketing, SEO and Client Analytics. We are currently delivering training to over 40 gaming companies with collectively over 5000 employees. www.igacademy.com

Ben Clemes Managing Director

Who are we? We are entrepreneurs, innovators, iGaming enthusiasts with extensive industry experience. We have created and developed iGC using experts in each area to bring together a lean iGamingPlatform which we are proud to call iGaming Cloud. www.iGamingCloud.com

Roderick Briffa Business Development Executive

i-GSN is a dynamic Network of Companies focusing mainly on i-Gaming Turnkey solutions, offering a vast range of products and services. Apart from accepting ad-hoc Development projects, i-GSN can offer a fully customizable and very user friendly Back office, Sportsbook and Poker platform. Through our direct collaboration with several providers from the industry we can offer several RNG Games, Live dealer studios & casinos, all integrated into one back-office using a seamless wallet. We have a large variety of payment providers integrated to us and you may choose the best option for your Operation’s needs. www.i-gsn.com


Who’s Who | SiGMA

issue 4 SPRING / SUMMER 2016

Pierre Mallia Managing Director

iMovo works with customers to face business challenges from all sorts of directions – whether it’s increased regulation in the financial services industry, an increased need for governance in the public sector or the need to improve customer services in the face of increased competition. iMovo helps organisations to take advantage of new business opportunities by strategically using technology and innovation. www.imovo.com.mt

Ciara Kaneen Key Account Manager

Isle of Man Post Office can help you drive customer acquisition and retention with an integrated approach, using the power of direct mail. Their mission is to meet your every need with a holistic range of secure services that bring you peace of mind. Their secure data management services make sure you and your customers are protected to optimise your investment. They hold international standards for security and quality. ISO/ IEC 27001:2013 and ISO 9001. Discover more about what they can do for your business with their first class services. www.iompost.com

Luigi Spina CEO

Join Games Malta Ltd is a new Software Casino Provider founded in 2014 by a partnership between 2 professional business manager who have ample experience in the gaming industry and who share the same vision of creating an innovative Slot Concept. The choice of the name “Join” symbolizes the union between different ideas of the team who together work to reach the same goal; that of becoming a renowed Casino Slot Provider for our creativity. www.joingamesmalta.com

Ilan Nachmani Head of Affiliates

Karamba Affiliates brings the most innovative slot and casino gaming websites into the largest affiliate program. We’re 100% committed to bringing players to the best, fairest, and most trustworthy online gaming sites, and this is evident through the dedicated service we have always provided. We offer the leading slot & casino gaming brands, including Karamba.com and Hopa.com, as well as the dedicated Scratch2Cash.com gaming site, all of which feature an impressive portfolio of more than 200 slots, scratch cards, instant win, and casino games. www.karamba.com

Etienne Gatt IT & iGaming Recruitment Manager

Nearing a decade since it was established, KONNEKT is Malta’s leading professional recruitment agency. Operating in a number of industries, a dedicated in-house team specialises in recruiting candidates for the Information Technology and iGaming industries. We make use of an extensive international pool of active candidates, in order to ensure a long-lasting and rewarding relationship between your company and the ideal candidate. www.konnekt.com

Don Bush VP Marketing

Boost Sales, Beat Fraud with Kount Complete™. Kount helps online businesses simplify fraud detection and dramatically improve bottom line profitability. Our all-in-one, SaaS platform is designed for companies operating in all kinds of card-notpresent environments, including mobile. Merchants using Kount accept more orders from more people in more places than ever before. Kount Complete™ is easy to implement and easy to use. Kount’s proprietary and patented technology reviews billions of transactional data points every year and provides maximum protection for all size businesses. www.kount.com

Russell Mifsud Senior Manager

KPMG in Malta is one of the leading providers of audit, tax and advisory services. KPMG is effectively the largest provider of professional services on the island. As we work with our clients, both international and local, we bring our experience and knowledge to bear for the purpose of inspiring confidence and empowering change. We continue to build on past successes thanks to a clear vision, rigorously maintained values and, above all, our people. KPMG has recently acquired Crimsonwing plc. This will see the Microsoft Dynamics and eCommerce workforce rise to some 350 staff, including a 200-strong highly skilled in Malta. www.kpmg.com.mt

Johan Styren CEO

LeoVegas - Awarded iGB Affiliate Program of the Year 2016 LeoVegas is the innovation leader in gaming entertainment. The new LeoVegas Sport is the most intuitive, engaging and fastest way to bet on sports. LeoVegas’ multi-award winning casino currently offers the world’s strongest suite of casino games with 700+ games on desktop, mobile and tablet. This in combination with top-notch live casino entertainment in HD quality 24/7. Join LeoVegas’ award winning Affiliate Program of the Year 2016: www.leovegasaffiliates.com

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issue 4 SPRING / SUMMER 2016

Elad Tsafany Head of Business Devolpment

LuckyStreak takes the live casino experience to new heights by merging innovation, style and gamification into an engaging and rewarding live casino experience. We increase player value by integrating personalization features and reward hooks into the live gambling experience that create habit loops, which translate into more engagement and player stickiness. Built on the latest technology LuckyStreak’s live casino platform runs on a high grade, scalable and flexible infrastructure to deliver the optimal user experience for mobile and desktop. www.luckystreaklive.com

James Grech Managing Director

We are a team of specialists passionate about our work and with a common ambition to share learning experiences with people in the business community as well as with civil servants and civil society. This makes us the only professional training organisation in Malta that can offer cutting edge training programmes across a broad spectrum of topics. www.leadtraining.com.mt

Lorenzo Mulè Stagno Managing Director

Malta Business School has been running customised training for over 10 years on an extensive range of subjects to companies and public agencies and is licensed as a Higher Education Institution by the NCFHE Malta.

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Giorgos Papadopoulos Head of Acquisition

Marsbet is one of the leading online gaming company that operates worldwide. We insist on open, honest and fair relationships with each other, our customers and business partners. We believe this is the only way to do our business and make gambling enjoyable. Our mission is to create innovative, technologically advanced gaming concepts of top quality that pervade as many different environments as possible, bringing numerous physical and cognitive benefits to their users while they are having fun. www.marsbet.com

Connah Howell Publisher Manager

Matching Visions is one of the fastest growing affiliate networks in the industry and is offering its affiliates a long string of high value CPA and REV share deals with some of the best performing operators in the industry. Matching Visions also offers affiliates simplicity and security. Simplicity in the sense that affiliates will be able to promote a wide variety of gaming operators and receive only one summarised payment per month, directly from Matching Visions. Security in the sense that Matching Visions, through its large volume, has a large influence with operators, ensuring that affiliates get the best treatment and value available. www.matchingvisions.com

Joseph Cuschieri Executive Chairman

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is the single, independent, regulatory body responsible for the governance of all gaming activities in Malta, both online and land-based. www.mga.org.mt

Working with some of the best and most experienced tutors, our mission is to deliver high quality and applicable knowledge which can be translated immediately into practical use. www.mbs.edu.mt

Vasileios Kasiotakis CEO

Maltco Lotteries Limited was set up in 2004 shareholding by INTRALOT S.A. and high profile Maltese individuals. The company operates the National Lottery and other additional games: Super 5 lottery, Lotto, Grand Lottery, Scratchers (instant lottery), U*BET - Fixed Odds Betting and Horseracing, Quick Keno, Bingo75 and Fast Bingo through an extensive retail network. www.maltco.com

Karl Dukes Sales & Marketing Director

Mediahut are the leading supplier of specialist direct mail (physical mail) to the gaming industry. From initial acquisition and throughout the player lifecycle, we can print and personalise anything that drops through a letterbox. www.mediahut.co.uk

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SiGMA | Who’s Who

Malcolm Briffa Director of Business Services

Melita owns and operates Malta’s largest data centre. The purpose-built facility is fully perimeter-fenced and built to Tier 3 specifications. With more than 20 years’ experience as Malta’s leading telecommunications provider, melita peers directly with Tier 1 carriers Level 3 Communications and TeliaSonera. www.melita.com

Gustav Cuschieri Director

Mobilbet was founded by 4 industry veterans that are driven by the ambition to make the game that little bit more exciting, accessible and user friendly. That’s why everything at Mobilbet has been crafted towards supporting a gaming experience that suits our customer’s lifestyle, timetable and game. Mobilbet. com – Win anywhere, everywhere! Mobilbet is licensed and regulated by the European Union member state of Malta safeguarding the highest security standards in Online Gambling worldwide. www.mobilbet.com

Patryk Klimer Head Of Affiliates

Mr Green, voted ‘Online Casino of the Year’ for 3 years running and ‘Mobile Operator of the Year 2016’. We’re proud to say that the gentleman Casino is the fastest growing Casino online. A fair but fun approach to Casino entertainment is proving hugely popular with players and with growing markets alike. Hosting multiple game providers and unique promotions, you too can get your slice of the Mr Green pie today thanks to Mr Affiliate, the official affiliate program for Mr Green.com and your No. 1 partner for success. www.mrgreen.com

Enrico Bradamante Head of European Market Operations

NetEnt is a leading digital entertainment company, providing premium gaming solutions to the world’s most successful online casino operators. Since its inception in 1996, NetEnt has been a true pioneer in driving the market with thrilling games powered by their cutting-edge platform. With innovation at its core, NetEnt is committed to helping customers stay ahead of the competition. NetEnt AB is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm (NET-B), employs 750 people and has offices in Stockholm, Malta, Kiev, Gothenburg, New Jersey, Krakow and Gibraltar. www.netent.com

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issue 4 SPRING / SUMMER 2016

Xenophon Giannis Vice President, Sales

Nexusguard is the global leader in DDoS mitigation, protecting clients against a multitude of threats to ensure uninterrupted internet service. Nexusguard provides highly customized solutions for customers of all sizes, and also enables turnkey anti-DDoS solutions for service providers. Headquartered in San Francisco, Nexusguard’s network of security experts extends globally. www.nexusguard.com

Niklas Hellberg Managing Director

Nickes.Com Sports & Concert Trips is a tour operator offering travel packages to sporting events. Since 1997, we have arranged packages to all major football leagues/tournaments around the world, Formula 1, Tennis and much more. Packages included event tickets and accommodation. Plus flights, local transports, events before/after game if required. www.nickes.com

Veiko Krünberg Managing Director

OlyBet is freshly established online operations of the Olympic Casino brand. OlyBet’s Casino Suit includes Playtech, NetEnt, Microgaming, WMS, Novomatic, Evolution and other games, whereas poker enthusiasts are served over MPN network. New players are welcomed with competitive bonus and retained by bespoke loyalty program which runs in parallel with our landbased establishments - Olympic Casinos. Olympic Entertainment Group operates more than 100 casinos in Europe and employs over 3000 people in 8 countries. www.olybet.com www.olympic-casino.com

Chris Vella Group Chief Operating Officer

Pentasia is the global leader in iGaming recruitment. We provide permanent, contract and search recruitment services to leading businesses worldwide. With over fifty recruitment specialists and offices in Malta, the UK, Gibraltar, Ireland, Singapore and the USA, we are iGaming’s trusted recruitment partner of choice. To find out how our business can help change yours, visit us now at www.pentasia.com


issue 4 SPRING / SUMMER 2016

Johan Törnqvist Group CEO

Play’n GO is the leading developer of smart systems and games for mobile devices, terminals and websites. In addition to premium quality slots and table games, Play’n GO ensures its clients are equipped with superior back-office administration for reporting and unique marketing tools. Their Gaming Account Toolkit (GAT) is an independent e-gaming platform delivered with a comprehensive back office application. It now hosts over 100 games in more than 32 languages, including several bespoke games designed for some of the world’s leading casino brands. For more information about Play’n GO please visit www.playngo.com

Jason Prasad Head of Affiliates

Pokerstars Partners, is the affiliate program that supports Amaya Inc. brands, including the world’s largest poker site, PokerStars. Amaya brands have recently launched 2 new verticals; Betstars which currently host 28 Sports in 12 languages and online casino through PokerStars Casino, which offers slots, table games, video poker and live dealer games, both proprietary and from industry third-party suppliers. PokerStars Partners is managed by a group of seasoned affiliate specialists who bring value and growth to any type of affiliate. www.pokerstarspartners.com

Yossi Barzely Head of Sales & Business Development

Pragmatic Play is one of the fastest growing online casino game providers worldwide, offering operators a unique and innovative in-house library, with an unparalleled player experience that is second-to-none.

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Johan Friis Co-founder

PugglePay is a Swedish mobile payment service specializing in iGaming. Our unique service allows players to make deposits directly from their phone without any pre-registration or apps. PugglePay is integrated with most platforms such as DevCode, Easy Payment Gateway, EveryMatrix, Intelligent Payments, Playtech, PPRO, Safe Charge, SoftSwiss, TAIN and more. www.pugglepay.com

Peter Bugeja General Manager

PTL delivers tangible and measurable business value through the implementation of IT Business Solutions. PTL Services and Business Solutions cut across many sectors with specialisation in Banking, Retail, Hospitality and Health including Infrastructure and Managed Services. With main offices in Malta, PTL has also delivered solutions in North Africa and the Middle East through its channel partners. www.ptl.com.mt

Enrico Piccinini Senior Engineer

Quinel is an ISO 17020/25 independent testing lab, providing certification services for gaming. The company is located in Ta’ Xbiex and operates in regulated markets in the EU, Asia and America. www.quinel.com.mt

Our portfolio of 150 slots and table games is designed to create a thrilling gaming experience, driven by passion, excitement and skills. www.pragmaticplay.com

Danny Trieger Affiliate Program Manager

Comprising top gaming brands, Prime Partners has the experience and know-how to be the most profitable affiliate program you’ll ever use. Become a Prime Partner and let us impress you! We have a dedicated team of international marketing, analysis and affiliate experts ready to work with you. Plus, to make things extra easy, we take care of your marketing, advertising, accounting and analysis infrastructure. www.primepartners.com

Michael Holm Affiliate Director

The poker software on Redbet.com is powered by Ongame Network Limited. Ongame Network Limited has been Licensed by the Government of Gibraltar and regulated by the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner. Third party gaming operators approved by Ongame Network may operate under this license. Redbet Gaming Ltd and thereby Redbet.com is an approved platform subscriber for poker. The live casino software provider Evolution Gaming is certified by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. Betsoft Gaming Ltd are subject to the Alderney Gambling Control Commission and are hence not under the supervision of MGA. www.redbet.com

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P. Cutajar & Co. Ltd., Capital Business Centre. ,Triq Taz-Zwejt San Gwann. SGN 3000 Malta. Tel: 00356 21448466. Email: info@pcutajar.com.mt. P. Cutajar & Co. Ltd., Capital Business Centre. ,Triq Taz-Zwejt San Gwann. Wesbite: www.pcutajar.com.mt SGN 3000 Malta. Tel: 00356 21448466. Email: info@pcutajar.com.mt. Wesbite: www.pcutajar.com.mt


issue 4 SPRING / SUMMER 2016

Silvio Schembri Chairman

The Responsible Gaming Foundation supports good governance, awareness initiatives and enactment of regulations in order to protect vulnerable people in the gaming sector. The purpose of the Foundation is to collect funds for the promotion of responsible gaming through preventative and support measures. Hon. Silvio Schembri is currently the chairman of the Foundation. www.rgf.org.mt

Richard Carter CEO

Established in 2007, SBTech is a leading provider of interactive sportsbetting solutions and services and has become a global market leader within the online gaming industry in both regulated and traditional markets. The complete offering includes an innovative, dynamic and customizable suite of turnkey and fully managed solutions specifically designed for top gaming operators, existing bookmakers and land-based networks. www.sbtech.com

Peter Boström Director Global Sales & Markets

SEQR offers the gaming industry a simplified customer acquisition process combined with instant top up and withdrawal from customers’ gaming accounts, the highest level of KYC and the lowest transaction fees on the market. Launched in 2012, SEQR handles all kinds of payments from retail to e-commerce while creating new sales channels. SEQR is active on 12 markets and powered by Seamless Payments (Nasdaq OMX). www.seqr.com

Tore Friskopp CEO

At Sidekick we strive to help those of you who work with online marketing to become even more profitable. Our clients include SEO agencies, Affiliates and E-commerce businesses. We have worked with online content since in 2009. The company is run by Tore Friskopp who has worked with E-commerce and Internet marketing since 2005. At Sidekick, we have extensive experience in writing text that sells and in producing content for the web. Not only do we know how to create such text, we also know how it should be implemented in systems and used. www.sidekick-content.com

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Michael Golembo Sales Director

SkillOnNet provides the best value entertainment of the highest quality for casino players and the most state of the art flexible, customizable and user -friendly online gaming platform for their B2B Clients and Partners. With a decade of front line online gaming experience SkillOnNet have a fully customizable turn-key solution for your online gaming needs . Powering over 21 successful Online casinos come and find out how their ‘Winning Formula’ software solution can work for you! www.skillonnet.com

Alex Tomic Co-Founder

SlotsMillion, owned by ALEA, is the world’s first real-money virtual reality casino. SlotsMillion VR is fully functional, Oculus-ready, futuristic and features existing games from developers like NextGen, Microgaming and NetEnt. Nominated for several innovation awards, SlotsMillion VR ramps up players’ engagement levels and creates exciting new social aspects. www.slotsmillion.com

Pramod Kumar Singh Managing Director

SMTP Provider is one of the leading cloud-based email delivery service companies offering high quality & customized Transactional and Promotional email services with worldclass deliverability. We offer specialized services that enables our clients to keep track of sent & received emails, opens, bounces, unsubscribes, spam reports and more with the best deliverability, scalability and reliability. SMTPProvider users are located all over the world - the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, France, the Netherlands, Mexico, Spain, and other countries. www.smtpprovider.com

Natasha Tikasz Director of Sales

Sending personalized, bulk SMS has never been so easy and affordable. SMSwarriors is a new and easy way to send local and international personalized, bulk SMS. We’be been in the industry for a long, long time and understand well what the marketer needs. We’e put a great deal of energy into making SMSwarriors simple, reliable and effective. Introduce bulk SMS in your marketing mix and enjoy better results! www.smswarriors.com

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SiGMA | Who’s Who

issue 4 SPRING / SUMMER 2016

Kasper Kau CEO

Through innovation and ingenuity, Spigo lead the way in developing both customised, branded slots and casual games for the casino industry. Our unique products allow operators to stay ahead of the pack and capitalise on the ever growing casual gaming sector, creating a cross over where casual meets casino.

Thomas Mahoney Employer Brand Manager

Tipico Careers was launched in January 2015 and has since become an established careers brand within the online gaming sector in Malta.Tipico-careers.com displays the benefits Tipico has to offer, the company’s history and success story, its offices and a spotlight video about Malta. www.tipico-careers.com

Easy to integrate and HTML5 based, our portfolio includes casual games as well as bespoke slots games, where we work with clients to create a game tailored to localisation or branding needs. www.spigo.com

Ylona Schroevers Head of Acquisition

SuppClupp is the outsourcing solution to your support challenges. Specialized in customer support and VIP management, we tackle any challenge that involves support and retention. A flexible solution for all your support needs. Contact us to talk about all the different solutions available. www.suppclupp.com

Erik Hedberg Affiliate Director

Thrills Casino was founded by a group of casino enthusiasts with a clear goal: to bring colour and life to the world of casino entertainment. Our vast experience from the casino industry has taught us both what’s important to players and what could be done simpler and more exciting. The journey towards a more entertaining and colourful casino experience has started. www.thrills.com

Mark Debono Director

Systemato is a boutique online agency, staffed by internet marketing professionals and copywriters. We do nitty gritty, from planning and executing all kinds of internet marketing efforts, to managing social media campaigns, handling email marketing from A-Z, and writing top quality and SEO friendly website copy. In fact, we’re lucky enough to write for Betting Expert, Bettson, Highlight Media, Frontloop, and a few more. Founded and run by Mark Debono, an online advertising guy and copywriter, Systemato’s goal is to ensure you get your players to click, sign up, and deposit, using powerful copywriting techniques and our experience. www.systemato.com

Tal Itzhak Ron Advocate

Tal Ron, Drihem & Co. Law Firm - the award winning gaming law firm since 2003, boasts a team of 11 lawyers and jurists headquartered in Tel Aviv, part of a larger group of privately owned companies spanning 8 jurisdictions. The group, headed by Advocate and Notary Tal Itzhak Ron, focuses exclusively on Online Gambling law, Ad Tech and Financial Entertainment, representing the biggest names in these sectors and recommended by all leading platform providers as the first point of contact. www.rd-law.co.il

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Ondrej Lapides CEO

Established in 2008, Tom Horn Gaming is a leading casino software provider for online and land-based gaming operators, with offices in Malta, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Costa Rica. The company offers a comprehensive list of game titles for desktops and mobiles developed in-house. Integration is easily done with a simple API ready for several types of operations and the robust back office system includes a complete set of tools for land-based operations. www.tomhorn.eu

Gijs Liekens Sales Manager

VIP Response is an online marketing network. From our offices in the Netherlands, Spain, Canada and Malaysia we work worldwide in lead generation, affiliate marketing, mobile user acquisition, mobile subscription and list management. www.vipresponse.nl


issue 4 SPRING / SUMMER 2016

Stephen Ford Business Development Manager

Western Union Business Solutions is one of the world’s leading providers of cross-border business payments. With expertise in moving funds around the globe, access to over 130 currencies, and a global financial network spanning more than 200 countries and territories. www.mt.business.westernunion.com

Olga Finkel Founder & Partner

WH Partners is a Malta-based business law firm with focus and a sound reputation for its work in gaming and gambling, ICT, digital industries, privacy and data protection, financial services and e-payments, corporate finance, M&A and taxation. The firm has won international awards for its service levels and is ranked and recommended, together with its partners and lawyers, by the foremost independent legal directories. www.whpartners.eu

Mark Abela Schinas Head of Product

Wikibetting offers Social betting solutions that can be tailored to Operators specific requirements. Wikibetting is the first P2P social betting platform to be licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority under a class 4. The platforms tap into a new demographic of players and offer players a customised betting approach, where they can literally “Bet On Anything”. The revenue opportunity for the Operator is 100% risk free. It can also help with B.I, player acquisition and retention. The integration is a seamless streamlined process, which can be either a standalone setup or integrated into your current core platform as a product addition. www.wikibetting.com

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Ory Weihs CEO

Leading provider of digital marketing services XLMedia uses proprietary tools and methodologies to drive high value traffic to their clients’ websites. XLMedia runs their operations across a variety of vertical markets with specific expertise within the online gaming sector where they team up with some of the leading brands and portals in order to deliver quality services to their clients. www.xlmedia.com

Nikolai Livori CEO

Yobetit was founded in 2012 by iGaming veterans and data mining experts and has been operational since 2014 with Yobetit Surebets; a browser based sports trading platform. In 2016, Yobetit Sports was launched using the same proprietary technology which helps offer unbeatable prices on select markets. www.yobetit.com

Stewart Townsend Channel Director

Zendesk is a customer service platform. It’s designed for companies that want to create customer relationships that are more meaningful, personal, and productive. It starts by helping companies provide great support and then mature with selfservice and proactive engagement. The software is now built all over the world, by a growing group of talented, charming people. www.zendesk.com

Matt Lovett Managing Director

WOW Trk is a global affiliate network with over 400 direct and exclusive offers for affiliates to promote. We have offers available in a wide range of verticals; freebies, competitions, deals, gambling, gaming, dating and much more. Get paid per lead, action or click. We also offer a range of free tools to boost affiliate commissions such as tools to automate certain aspects of your ad space, automatically optimising ad space to get the best EPC or Conversion Rate. www.wowtrk.com

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Media Partners | SiGMA

MEDIA PARTNERS Ros Wade Managing Director

Asia Gaming Brief is an intelligence service providing up to date information for worldwide executives on gaming market issues in Asia. Our services include a daily eBrief featuring the latest news and headlines across 22 jurisdictions in Asia, and weekly intelligence articles for AGB members that go in­depth into specific markets or recent developments. Asia Gaming Briefings is our print magazine, published alongside the major global gaming shows, which provides essential jurisdiction updates as well as feature articles. www.agbrief.com

Ed Grundy Sales Manager

iGB Affiliate is the biggest provider of information, insight and analysis for the iGaming affiliate market. The affiliate facing brand of iGaming Business, iGB Affiliate specialises in providing high quality information to everyone working within the online gambling affiliate industry, whether through our events, publications or online content. www.iGamingBusiness.com

Garvan Keating Director EMEA

CountryProfiler Ltd is a specialist publisher of country information that assists corporations managing operations across national borders with trade, investment and relocation decisions. CountryProfiler is recognised by senior business executives, government representatives, institutions and global organisations as a leading provider of informative, insightful and actionable country intelligence. www.countryprofiler.com

Stephanie Fiteni Online Marketing Consultant

At Defined Branding we help our clients build strong, enduring brands that stand out and inspire loyalty. We believe in analytical research, strategy and creative digital solutions that engage the hearts and minds of your audience. We help our clients grow their businesses through sharp online strategies with a serious digital edge. We are a team of creative thinking ghost-writers and bloggers, branding creatives, content marketing specialists, online strategists, web developers, 2D & 3D artists and videographers. www.definedbranding.com

Rebecca Liggero Reporter

The well renowned CalvinAyre.com is participating again in SiGMA this November. The leading iGaming online publication has beenthe global destination for online gambling news, lifestyle information, conferences, industry shakers and event coverage since its inception. CalvinAyre.com is a non-profit website, aiming to be carbon neutral and encouraging other players in the online gaming industry to follow this philosophy. All profit generated goes to support initiatives of the Calvin Ayre Foundation. www.calvinayre.com

Zoltan Tundik Founder

EEG is the hub of igaming in Eastern and Central Europe and offers quality B2B services for companies looking to expand to this region. Whether you are looking for affiliate programs or operators, licensing and legal updates, recruiting or printed magazine, you will find an A-Z service on their portal. www.eegaming.org


SiGMA | Media Partners

Ollie Wood Global Sales Director

GamblingCompliance is the leading provider of independent business intelligence to the global gambling industry. We help industry professionals, advisors and investors reduce their regulatory risk exposure by specializing in legal, regulatory, political and market information; eLearning; and bespoke research; to understand what regulatory change today means for business opportunities tomorrow. Find out more at www.gamblingcompliance.com

Deepak Malkani Commercial Director

Gambling Insider is the premier event-driven B2B publication for the entire gaming industry. Full of current, compelling editorial, GI offers essential information to senior management worldwide, acting as an additional tool to advance understanding of key strategic issues. Accessible to members via print, online, Apple AppStore, Google Play and Kindle Fire. www.gamblinginsider.com

Michael Corfman Director

With nearly 15,000 registered members, the Gambling Portal Webmasters Association is the only professional organization of its kind. We are committed to supporting the success of our members, and all of our programs are designed based on this objective. Membership in the organization is free and is made possible by the support of our sponsor affiliate programs. www.gpwa.org

Natalie Lees Marketing Manager

Published bi-monthly, iNTERGAMINGi is read by thousands of online gaming executives around the globe. Each issue is full of industry news, analytical features, interviews with industry leaders and trade show reviews. It regularly includes regulatory updates and jurisdictional supplements. Each issue contains sections dedicated to the sports betting, casino gaming and affiliate sectors. www.intergameonline.com

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issue 4 SPRING / SUMMER 2016

Ruby Grima Film Maker & Music Producer

Pure Media Malta is an evergrowing company which specialises in producing various forms of visual film media from trailers, event features, TV Adverts, corporate films, documentaries, music videos & more, all with a creative touch & attention to the little things that are often overlooked. www.puremedimalta.com

Cristina Doganini Director

PressGiochi.it is a digital daily newspaper dedicated to the Italian gambling industry. All the elements of the industry are inside: Newslot, Vlt, casinos, poker, betting, bingo, lotteries, on- or off-line with editorial content, articles and interviews. In PressGiochi.it you can find information about companies, international and national events. www.pressgiochi.it

Andrew McCarron Managing Director

Sports Betting Community (SBC) is dedicated to raising the profile and coverage of gambling operators, software suppliers and industry start-ups in the complex and saturated online gaming market. It does this via its news website www.sbcnews.co.uk, its industry events such as Betting on Football Conference, Betting on Football Awards, Betting on Sport & London Baby, and is consultancy arm SBCmedia. www.sbcnews.co.uk


Showcase your brand in the heart of the igaming industry Fall 2016 The second edition of SiGMA took place in November 2015, cementing itself as the largest igaming show in Malta. Twice the delegates, twice the exhibitors, twice the conferences – this pretty much sums up the response we received since SiGMA took off in 2014. Some might still ask, “But why Malta?” Malta is host to some 300 gaming companies, 450 licenses and a strong workforce of 10,000. The idea of creating a platform to showcase the industry had been brewing in many minds until SiGMA took off in 2014. The SiGMA goal, ultimately, is to bring together the entire gaming community, from affiliates and operators through to regulators and vendors. If you’re looking at an exciting show where this industry can meet, learn and do business, look no further; SiGMA16 ticks all these boxes.

L-R: Honourable Jose’ Herrera (Gov. of Malta), Eman Pulis (SiGMA), Joseph Cuschieri (MGA)


SiGMA Closing Night

L-R: Speakers Steve Donoughue, Santiago Asensi, Justin Franssen

Following feedback, we identified EIGHT features that should make SiGMA16 a worthy investment: INDUSTRY TREND The three distinct pillars within the industry – solution providers, operators and affiliates – are coming closer together. Today’s affiliate, for instance, is fast becoming a successful operator within months. SiGMA is the only 360° igaming showcase in Malta that reflects this trend. TRUST Virtually all our exhibitors from 2014 and 2015 will exhibit again in 2016. SiGMA also won the trust of many exhibitors who did not take part before.

KNOWLEDGE SiGMA16 will feature five conferences and an investors session: 1 – Gamification; 2 – Payments; 3 – Affiliates; 4 – Regulatory; 5 – Binary: 6 – SiGMA Pitch. VALUE A free admission policy for affiliates and a low entry fee for all other participants is indicative of a solid turnout. Not bad for a show that enjoys worldwide coverage thanks to an exhaustive list of media partners.

RECRUITMENT With some 300 gaming companies and a solid workforce of 10,000 based in a five mile radius in Malta, you are likely to find the right talent for your company’s recruitment needs.

HOSPITALITY Great weather in autumn calls for free, open air networking events close to the venue itself. SiGMA16 will include networking pre-registration drinks, networking poker tournament, conference open bar drinks, closing party.

LOCATION Different format. Different organisers. Different crowd. Different affiliates. Different deals. SiGMA guarantees quality and quantity with 1 Expo, 4 Conferences, 40+ Affiliate Programs, 60+ speakers, 100+ Exhibitors and 3,000+ participants.

EARLY BOOKING Book your booth or sponsorship package by 31st March 2016 and enjoy a number of extra perks, including free hospitality flights from top gaming destinations, extra coverage on SiGMA publications and premium booth location on the expo floor.

CONTACT US Eman Pulis Partner info@maltaigamingsummit.com Call: (+356) 9926 3626 Skype: eman.pulis

Dennis Dyhr-Hansen Partner ddh@maltaigamingsummit.com Call: (+356) 9954 0187 Skype: dennisdyhr

www.maltaigamingsummit.com


“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Seneca (ca. 4 BC – 65 AD; Roman philosopher, dramatist, and writer)

www.kpmg.com.mt

© 2016 KPMG, a Maltese Civil Partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

Profile for SiGMA Group

SiGMAgazine Issue 4  

SiGMA is also responsible for SiGMAgazine, a bi annual publication shedding light on the remote gaming industry, specifically in Malta.

SiGMAgazine Issue 4  

SiGMA is also responsible for SiGMAgazine, a bi annual publication shedding light on the remote gaming industry, specifically in Malta.

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