Category Archive : gambling

The demand is still there, operators and affiliates just need to tap into it

Harel Falk, VP Sales at Solitics, is confident there is still player demand during the coronavirus pandemic, as long as affiliates and online gaming operators are willing to pivot to other verticals.

Naturally, operators and affiliates offering mainly sports betting products have suffered a significant fall in revenue since the pandemic started, causing mass sporting cancellations.

However, online casino and other verticals have seen an uptake in volumes. Falk has even seen examples of online trading companies generating more turnover in the last three months than the whole of 2019.

Falk tells Gambling Insider: “The COVID-19 crisis has negatively affected sports betting operators. Almost all of them have been putting their efforts into transitioning their business to casino, e-sports and other verticals.

“Our dedicated teams have been working around the clock to support this transition, by making sure the data is transferred and the automation is implemented.”

Solitics is a real-time data management and automation company that enables B2C brands to personalise their players’ experience based on all their data, to increase conversion and retention.

With gaming companies forming 60-70% of Solitics’ revenue, Falk sees plenty of opportunity for online gaming companies.

Asked what advice he would give operators and affiliates during the coronavirus pandemic, he explains: “It’s pretty obvious to say their source of income has shifted.

“There’s an expression that goes ‘the cheese has moved’ and my advice would be to find the new sources of cheese.  There are tons of opportunities out there.

Falk also believes affiliates should be quick to decide how they pivot, not letting any revenue opportunities pass them by and increase the amount of verticals they operate in.

The Solitics exec says: “I’m sure there are loads of players searching for new outlets. Affiliates should take advantage of this and shouldn’t wait.

“They should increase the range of what they’re doing, the verticals they’re working in, and try to take advantage of those opportunities. The demand is there, it’s just a question of tapping into it.”

You can read the full interview with Falk in Trafficology April, to be published soon. Click here for the March edition.

Bloomberry Resorts creates hospital for COVID-19 patients

Bloomberry Resorts Corp has completed the conversion of its Manila sports venue into a hospital.

The company made a decision to turn the Rizal Memorial Sport Complex into a medical facility to fight the coronavirus and has constructed an emergency treatment area for those suffering from COVID-19.

Bloomberry Cultural Foundation initially turned Ninoy Aquino Stadium into a 116-bed unit that can house patients, has nurse stations and provides temporary furniture.

The makeshift hospital is now finished and, with its completion, the company has requested new permits to expand its efforts.

Bloomberry then moved on to create an additional 108-bed unit; construction is expected to be finished by the end of next week.

The second phase started on 8 April, after the announcement that the Philippine government extended the lockdown of the country’s main island Luzon until 30 April.

Bloomberry Resorts Corp stated it is happy to help in the fight against the pandemic.

Many of Bloomberry’s casinos and facilities will remain closed for the foreseeable future, both in the Philippines and outside.

Solaire Resort, a large complex in Manila, closed its doors mid-March, while Jeju Sun Hotel and Casino in South Korea is also temporarily closed until further notice.

Greece’s proposed licensing fees “out of line” according to IBIA report

The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) has criticised the Greek Government’s plans to set a 35% gross gaming revenue (GGR) tax rate for operators and proposals to introduce high licensing fees.

While the IBIA welcomed the Government’s decision to update its online gambling regulations, which was submitted to the European Commission in January, it has a number of concerns regarding the proportionality, effectiveness and reasoning behind some proposals.

Under particular scrutiny was the high GGR tax rate imposed on operators, which the IBIA said is particularly high and will act as a deterrent for operators applying for licenses, directly impacting consumer activity in the regulated market.

The IBIA added the proposed online betting license fee of €3m ($3.26m) for seven years is extortionate compared to the rest of the European market, where annual fees range from £2,200 (£2,734) to £19,333 in the UK.

The IBIA report said: “The approach proposed by the Greek authorities in relation to licensing fees is out of line with international norms.

“IBIA does not believe the burdensome licensing fee proposed and high taxation in Greece will prove successful in attracting operators or maximising the consumers channelling to that market.

“There is a clear danger many consumers will continue to be attracted to betting products in other more fiscally advantageous markets, negating Greek regulatory markets.”

The IBIA also mentioned its concerns about “discriminatory” player age restrictions, with 21 the minimum age for online gambling in Greece.

It urged the European Commission to request Greece reduce the online gambling age to 18 to be consistent with other EU countries, saying the current age restrictions raise EU competition law concerns, favouring OPAP products which can be accessed by customers aged 18.

SBTech joins forces with ORYX Gaming

SBTech has signed a partnership with ORYX Gaming, a Bragg Gaming Group, for its wide-ranging portfolio of casino content and marketing tools. 

The agreement will see ORYX’s entire RGS portfolio of casino and slot content made available to SBTech’s platform partners. 

The direct integration into SBTech’s iGaming platform will allow its platform partners quick and easy access to a library of over 250 games available via ORYX RGS, including ORYX’s proprietary content and games from partnered studios such as Gamomat, Kalamba, Golden Hero and Givme Games.

Gamomat Games offers over 100 titles exclusive to ORYX with features including unique side-game jackpots that have proven to be extremely popular with players. Golden Hero is the only real pachislot content provider in the iGaming market worldwide and ORYX holds the exclusive distribution deal for its content in Europe. SBTech partners will also have access to Kalamba’s content which offers advanced game mechanics and features that improve KPIs, increase acquisition, retention, monetisation and player engagement.

SBTech has a wealth of industry knowledge and experience, and powers some of the fastest growing and best performing operators in Europe; including Virgin Bet and Mansionbet, which will soon be able to benefit from a variety of unique and localised content as well as advanced marketing tools such as promotions, leaderboards, tournaments and jackpots through a single seamless integration.

ORYX is licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and the Romanian National Gambling Office (ONJN) and is compliant, certified or approved in 14 other major jurisdictions.

Letizia Angelo, Commercial Partnerships Director at SBTech, added: “We are delighted to add ORYX’s content to our award-winning iGaming platform further expanding our casino content mix for our partners. SBTech is committed to driving partner revenues in all verticals and by adding ORYX’s extensive range of gaming content we will continue to do so in these challenging times.”

Matevz Mazij, Managing Director of ORYX Gaming, said: “We’re thrilled to announce yet another partnership in what has been a very successful period for us in terms of growing our partner network of top operators and successful integration with Tier 1 platform providers. SBTech powers some fantastic betting and casino brands in many regulated jurisdictions which will give us access to a new and wide-reaching player base.”

Belgian Gaming Commission sets new limit on weekly stakes

Belgium’s Gaming Commission (BGC) aims to have stricter regulations during the coronavirus pandemic. It announced a €500 ($543) stake limit, which will reset weekly. It’s primarily aimed at the online gambling sites while the country’s land-based facilities are inactive.

The rule is mandatory for all licensed operators as well as players.

Players also have the right to tighten restrictions individually so they can lower the total available sum and the operator needs to comply immediately. At the same time, the player has the right to restore the weekly limit to the original amount within three days of the reduction.

The Commission also asked players to remain vigilant and inform the organisation of any license holders that refuse to obey the new limit. As protection for the players, any money spent above the €500 will be returned to the player and the unlawful operator will be sanctioned by the BGC.

The regulation took effect soon after Magali Clavie became the new president of BGC. Clavie, a former president of the Superior Council of Justice, replaced Etienne Marique on April 6.

The BGC emphasised that it’s meant to inform people of the potentially harmful effects gambling can have while the country is in lockdown. “While gambling has never been the solution to any problem, the current situation could see people spending more time on the internet especially on gaming sites,” the Commission said in a statement. “In addition, many people lose social control because they are alone at home.”

Kambi to defer executive salaries and apply for government support

Kambi has announced a series of cost-cutting measures and will apply for financial support packages from the Swedish and UK governments.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic bringing major sport to a halt, Kambi has announced “strong” Q1 revenue expected to be in the range of €27.5-28.0m ($29-30m), with its cash balance at the end of the quarter in the range of €45-47m.

In the last week, however, the sports betting supplier says revenue has been as low as 25-30% of Q4 2019 levels.

Based on the measures Kambi plans to implement, operating expenditure in Q2 2020 will be 10-20% lower than Q4, with “associated savings in capitalised development costs” of 20-30%.

The measures put in place, along with certain by-products of the current situation, include:

  • Applying for financial support packages designed to protect jobs, recently announced by Swedish and UK governments
  • Kambi board members, its CEO and executive management have agreed to salary deferrals of 20%, 15% and 10% respectively
  • Significantly reduced travel and marketing costs
  • A freeze on staff recruitment and a substantial reduction in data costs associated with fewer sporting events

Kambi, though, did warn the “unlikely event” of the sporting calendar remaining this inactive would create an average quarterly cash outflow of between €7m-€9m after Q2.

Gambling an ‘easy target’ for UK Government after coronavirus pandemic, say barristers

The gambling industry could be seen as an easy target for the UK Government as it looks to raise funds in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Richard Littler QC and Ian Whitehurst from Exchange Chambers.

The two barristers believe the Gambling Commission could start to base fines on a gambling company’s turnover, being handed greater power by the Government with public support in favour of coming down harder on the sector.

In a press briefing, Littler QC and Whitehurst outlined the political landscape gambling finds itself in, especially in light of societal concerns surrounding the industry, and that the UK Government has “set its sights” on gambling.

They wrote: “There is a risk of the Commission becoming judge, jury and executioner with operators becoming compliant for fear of something worse occurring.

“The risk is dramatically increased if the fines in future are or could be linked to the overall turnover of the corporate enterprise.

“Following the current COVID-19 crisis, there will no doubt be an increase in licensing and regulatory activity across a number of industrial sectors, with a view in substantial part to generating funds for the Treasury.

“The gambling industry will not be immune from further regulatory activity and may be perceived as a somewhat ‘easy mark’ in a changed political and economic landscape.”

Given the current climate, the barristers believe there is a “substantial risk” the UK Government and Gambling Commission will continue to “flex their muscles,” viewing gambling as a low-risk source of revenue and “easy political capital.”

Key Benefits of the Online Conference on Betting Business During the Pandemic

Betting in face of COVID-19: Key Benefits of the Online Conference on Betting Business During the Pandemic

On April 17, Smile-Expo will hold an online conference for the European market – Betting in face of COVID-19. This event is dedicated to the peculiarities of operating a betting business during the quarantine imposed by different countries because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Best practices of overcoming the crisis, a heated discussion about relevant betting areas and networking in a new format – all of this will be available to the conference audience!

The event starts at 11:00.

Who will speak at the online event?

The conference will bring together representatives of the European betting market, members of sports associations, as well as providers of betting products and services.

Speakers will include:

  • Harry Lang, Founder of Brand Architects;
  • Ian Smith, Integrity Commissioner at Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC);
  • Mark O’Sullivan, Assistant Manager at KPMG Malta;
  • Martin Wachter, CEO & founder of Golden Race;
  • Ivan Alonso,General Manager at Club Nacional de Football (Uruguay).

Experts will talk about betting market changes caused by the cancellation of sports matches and explain how to grow businesses within the crisis. They will examine the most sought-after betting lines and the future of the industry. 

Besides, speakers will thoroughly analyze the features and prospects of such betting directions as traditional, virtual, esports and fantasy sports.

Tickets to Betting in face of COVID-19at the best price

Smile-Expo is carrying out a special offeronly from 6 to 10 of April. Buying a ticket to the online conference, you can obtain the second one for free.

Two tickets will cost just€100 during the offer. Their price will increase after April 10.

Hurry up to use the special offer and buy tickets to the event at a profitable price!

Reasons to visit the event

All participants of the online conference will discover how to save and enhance their businesses in the context of the pandemic. Moreover, listeners will be able to establish favorable contacts, find new customers or potential partners. 

Core advantages of the online event:

  • Networking in a convenient format.A general chat room will allow all attendees to introduce themselves, present their companies and fields of interest. Therefore, participants will realize easier whom to make an acquaintance with and continue communication in the future.
  • An opportunity to talk directly to speakers and sponsors. The organizers will create an individual chat room on WhatsApp, adding all speakers, sponsors andparticipants of the conference. They will be able to ask their questions to each other and share expert opinions.
  • No risks for health.With the conference being held in the online format, participants won’t have to risk their health to join the event.
  • Free access to useful content. Speakers’ presentations and event video recording will be sent to emails of each participant.

Organizer and date of the event

The Betting in face of COVID-19online conference will take place on April 17, 2020.

The event is organized by Smile-Expo, an international company with experience in conducting offline events dedicated to the potential and prospects of gambling. 

 Buy tickets to the event at the best price and get a chance to find out about anti-crisis strategies of betting business operations!

SBTech expands into South Africa with Bet.co.za deal

SBTech has made its first move into South Africa after signing a partnership with online and mobile sports betting brand Bet.co.za.

The deal will see Bet.co.za incorporate SBTech’s Lucky Numbers product and form an integration with BetGames.TV, enabling players to bet on live lottery draws and live games.

The supplier has also tailored its trading and risk management strategy for the market.

Andrew Cochrane, Chief Development Officer of SBTech, said: “We are thrilled to enter another major regulated market with Bet.co.za, one of South Africa’s premium gaming operators.

“A significant amount of collaborative work has taken place behind the scenes ahead of this migration and going live with Bet.co.za marks a key milestone in this ongoing partnership.”

SBTech has implemented key measures during the COVID-19 crisis to ensure the wellbeing of its staff and commitment to its partners.

The supplier is continuing to work closely with its third-party data providers to ensure a calendar of events, while also offering its suite of alternative products, such as esports and casino.

Last week, SBTech took the decision to power down its data centres after its partner sites were targeted by a cyber attack.

According to the supplier, the impact of the downtime was minimal for partners on the revenue side.

Betting & Gaming Council to envelop Senet Group assets and responsibilities

The Senet Group will has over its assets and responsibilities to the Betting & Gaming Council (BGC) on 8 April.

Previously a responsible gambling body for the UK market, the Senet Group was established in September 2014 – but it hands over its duties as part of the BGC’s commitment to drive safer gambling across the industry.

The BGC was formed as an amalgamation of the Remote Gambling Association and the Association of British Bookmakers, and it now continues the centralisation of influence within the UK gambling sector.

The Senet Group currently manages the MOSES retail self-exclusion campaign and oversees the ‘When The Fun Stops Stop’ campaign.

Gillian Wilmot, Senet Chairman, said: “The collaborative ethos at the heart of the new Betting and Gaming Council now offers the opportunity to combine resources to deliver safer gambling initiatives at scale.”

Brigid Simmonds, Chairman of the BGC, said: “The cross-industry collaborative approach pioneered by Senet became a blueprint which made the creation of the new Betting and Gaming Council possible.

“I would like to thank the Senet board, headed by Gillian Wilmot, and the team led by Sarah Hanratty for their hard work, dedication and the legacy they leave through the Safer Gambling Commitments, which provide a roadmap for raising standards across our industry. We look forward to building on that work.”