Tag Archive : Operator

Operator CEOs headline LatAm Market Day at SBC Digital Summit

CEOs of major operators based in Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica and Peru are among a high-profile speaker line-up for the LatAm Market Day of the SBC Digital Summit.

Taking place on April 28, the second day of the groundbreaking online conference and exhibition for the betting and gaming industry, the content track will deliver in-depth insights on doing business in a region many international operators view as a huge growth opportunity.

One of the key sessions on the agenda is ‘The future of Latin American sports betting’, featuring a panel that includes JD Duarte (CEO, Betcris), Gonzalo Pérez (CEO, Apuesta Total) and Alberto Alfieri (COO, Vivagol). 

The experts, who represent some of the market leaders in the region, will share their knowledge of how local players differ from those in Europe, how that affects operations, and the most effective ways to engage with local sports fans. 

Duarte said: “It is supremely important for the industry to stand together during these hard times. At Betcris we look forward to this event where we can talk about the new challenges and focus on finding solutions.” 

Perez said: “I’m thrilled to be able to take part in such an important event as the SBC Digital Summit, especially during these times of global uncertainty. A big shout out to all the SBC team for their efforts to keep the industry informed and united.”

A sports-mad country that many believe offers huge potential for online sportsbooks is to be examined by the ‘Update on Brazil: Delays, decisions and a race for market share’ panel, which features Andre Gelfi (CEO, Suaposta Betsson), Arthur Silva (Head of Sports Operations, Sportsbet.io) and Neil Montgomery (Founding and Managing Partner, Montgomery & Associados). 

Gelfi said: “I’m looking forward to getting a detailed update on how colleagues in the industry are facing this unexpected challenge and sharing some reflections on how Suaposta Betsson is adapting to change in Brazil.”

The day will open and close with two sessions conducted in Spanish, beginning with ‘Regulación en Latinoamérica: oportunidades y desafíos para empresas europeas’, an investigation of the landscape facing European operators looking to break into the region. 

Speakers include Andrea Avedillo Builla (Head of Legal, Lazcano Sámano), Antonio Salord (Sales Director LatAm, Magellan Robotech), Karen Sierra (Director of Government Relations, GLI) and Sebastián Vivot (Manager of Modernisation and Information Technology, Lotba). 

The final panel will be ‘¿Qué sigue para Colombia? Lecciones del país pionero en la regulación del juego online en Latinoamérica’, focusing on the lessons from the successful regulated market in Colombia and the potential it offers to prospective new entrants. 

It features perspectives from a major operator, Julio Cesar Tamayo (CEO, Wplay), the regulator, Juan Pérez Hidalgo (President, Coljuegos), and the national trade association, Evert Montero Cárdenas (President, Fecoljuegos), to give a detailed and valuable overview of the market. 

The SBC Digital Summit runs from 27 April to 1 May 2020 and features six other conference tracks focused on Leadership in Betting, Leadership in Gaming, lotteries, payments, the US market, and digital marketing.

The thousands of delegates logging in from around the world can also take in a virtual exhibition featuring the latest offerings from the betting and gaming industry’s most innovative suppliers, attend the numerous product demos and special webinars at the exhibition booths, and make valuable new contacts in the virtual networking lounges.

Gambling Operator Kindred Group Confirms Job Cuts

Online gambling operator Kindred Group is cutting 75 jobs across offices around the world, a company spokesperson told media outlets in Malta where Kindred is headquartered.

The spokesperson pointed out that the company’s decision to cut its workforce had no connection with the ongoing health crisis that has gripped the world.

The planned layoff of employees is rather part of Kindred’s efforts to streamline its operations and cut costs where required.

As mentioned above, Kindred is headquartered in Malta, and it has 12 other offices around Europe, the US, and Australia. The gambling operator has just under 400 employees working at its corporate headquarters. Its locations in Gibraltar, London, and Stockholm also have between 300-400 staff members in each.

When contacted by Maltese news outlet Times of Malta, Kindred’s spokesperson said that they have not disclosed the number and nationality of employees at risk at each of the group’s locations, but noted that just a few jobs would be cut at its corporate headquarters.

The spokesperson went on to say that individuals at risk of redundancy are “spread across most of our markets” and that the action “follows previous communication regarding the group’s financial performance during 2019 and subsequent action to increase efficiency and reduce operational costs across the business.”

Making Operations “Leaner and Stronger”

The Kindred spokesperson explained that the decision for the looming job cuts was made after careful consideration and an exhaustive review of business operations within the group. That review was part of a wider review of Kindred’s cost base.

The redundancies are part of the group’s effort to make its business operations “leaner and stronger” so they can better support its objective to “deliver long-term, sustainable revenue from regulated markets.”

Kindred’s multi-brand portfolio is present in a number of regulated markets. Most recently, the company’s flagship brand, Unibet, has been expanding its US foothold where many states have liberalized their online gaming and sports betting laws in recent years.

Kindred plans to start a formal consultation process regarding the workforce reduction later this month.

The company’s CEO, Henrik Tjärnström, commented that putting “good colleagues at risk of redundancy is a very tough and painful decision, but unfortunately necessary as we adapt to new market realities.”

News about the looming job cuts at Kindred emerge shortly after Swedish online gambling provider NetEnt announced that it would lay off approximately 120 employees in its Stockholm and Malta offices as part of its full integration with Red Tiger.

NetEnt purchased the casino games studio last fall and has been gradually integrating its operations with Red Tiger’s to better position itself in the competitive online gaming space.

Source: Malta-licensed gaming company sheds staff

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on the day’s top casino news stories

Gambling Commission suspends two operator licenses, subsequently reinstating one

The Gambling Commission has suspended the license of two online operators with immediate effect, due to their failure to fully integrate the Gamstop self-exclusion scheme.

Dynamic, trading as Prophet, and Sportito had their licenses suspended, although Sportito’s suspension has been lifted since its subsequent integration; both operators remain under review.

In January, the Gambling Commission notified all licensed online operators they had to fully integrate with Gamstop by 31 March.

Dynamic’s license will remain suspended until the Commission is “satisfied the operator has fully integrated the Gamstop scheme and is fully compliant with license conditions.”

Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission CEO, said: “We have made it clear to operators we are ready and willing to use our powers to protect consumers, as this action demonstrates.

“Self-exclusion is an important tool to protect vulnerable consumers, which is why we made it compulsory for all online operators to be signed up to Gamstop by 31 March.

“One of the suspensions has now been lifted as the operator is now compliant. Our investigations into both operators continue.”

Giving the operator full control

At ICE London 2020, Gambling Insider spoke with Mark Woollard, Business Development Director at Pragmatic Solutions, about the company’s approach to working with operators and its development plans for 2020.

How successful has your ICE been so far?

Yesterday was very good. We’ve had a lot of people coming up to the stand. A lot of operators are interested in the platform and a lot of developers are interested in putting their content on the platform. The stand we have here is fantastic. It’s very open and we get a lot of people walking through here. So far so good. 

How important do you think events like this are for the industry?

I think it’s really important, especially for emerging markets where you maybe don’t have the contacts or partnerships in place already. For a platform business like this, it’s very easy for people to just look on a website and not necessarily get all the information. For potential clients, being able to look at our stand and come up to us and ask us what we do and how we can impact on their business is really important.

How do you attract and sell to potential clients in a room full of competition?

Our branding is very clear and clean. We also have an association with Pragmatic Play through the IBID Group which owns both businesses. It really helps that we are both here together. Then we’re also very clear in what we do. We’re IPA based, very modular and all the branding is very clear and concise. Instead of being over-complicated in what we are trying to offer, even on a stand basis with the branding, we’re trying to be very clear so when people come up to the stand they will know what we do straight away.

What are some of the most important developments you’ve seen in Pragmatic Solutions over the past year?

We’ve been trying to get our name out there in the market. As I mentioned, we are owned by the same business as Pragmatic Play which has got a huge footprint in the market, so our job has been to let people know that Pragmatic Solutions is a very separate business run independently. We are trying to let our customers know what we can do, how we can help them and the speed at which we can move. The past year has been about awareness in the market place and the next year is about trying to sign those big deals and get the operators across to us.

Last year, you received UK certification for your platform. How was this licensing process?

The platform is very able to go into new markets quickly so it wasn’t too difficult. It is very adaptable to market conditions whether that be in the UK or elsewhere, and we have a great compliance team. We’d actually done a lot of work for GLI-19 which is the gold standard for platforms across many different markets, so because we had already done that process the UK was just an additional box ticking exercise for us.

How do you plan on making an impact on such a competitive market as the UK?

We offer something very different because we give operators full control over their destiny and what they do. When you’re working with other platforms you may have to take their casino product, their bingo product, their sports and their live dealer. While we have those offers from different places in the market place, we allow operators to choose who they want to go with and then we integrate. We don’t put them into an internal roadmap where they’re competing with their home products.

That’s a real key difference for a market place like the UK. If you can control your offering and make that different, for say the UK territory versus Spanish territory, all on one system, that just makes for a much more powerful operation for an operator.

Outside of the UK, what are the other key markets for Pragmatic Solutions in 2020?

We’ve been focussed on looking into the US market. There is a big opportunity for the big US companies to own their own platform. We actually offer solutions to customers where we onboard them, we show them how good the platform is and then we give them the option to buy the source code which means that they then own their own instance of the platform. We can then help with training and help with updates. For the US market that seems to have been something that people are very interested in.

Obviously the UK and Europe is a very important space. One of our clients is 21.com and they’re obviously quite a European based business so we have a lot of experience with Maltese type operators. What we are trying to do is not concentrate on one specific market. We are open to all markets and can help facilitate what operators want to do.

What are the key challenges facing Pragmatic Solutions this year?

Platforms as a whole are not generally understood by a lot of people. Even at the conference here we’ve been asked ‘do I put my games on your platform?’ That would be an RGS platform. We’re a very different offering. We’re a core PAM platform, an online Gaming solution across all things like your back office, payments, and integrating operations. That awareness still needs to be elevated.

People don’t necessarily know what a PAM platform is or how it can benefit your business. We need to let operators know why having one supplier for your PAM and then integrating with multiple for other things is the best way forward – the more we can get that out there the better. It’s not as sexy a conversation as say slot games or bingo games but it’s probably the biggest conversation you are going to have because once you have a good core solid system you can build on top of that.

What is the absolute focus this year from a development perspective?

We are a very proactive business in that we want to keep up with regulations and what each territory requires from a platform, but we always work with client roadmaps. Some of the best feedback we have from our current clients is that they feel like they are building their own system. Once they put a request in of what they want to see, we make sure we facilitate it. We’re not reactive. We don’t see something on the market which could be that year’s best thing, integrate it and then operators lose out on resources. We react to what operators want and then we build on that.

Our 2020 roadmap will be dictated by what our operators want and what they see as the trends. You don’t want your platform to tell you what the trends are; you are the operator, you understand the players, so you tell us how you want to work and what you want to do. Then we will do that for you very quickly.

Philippine Taxman Punishes First Tax-Dodging POGO Operator

The Philippine Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) announced today that it has shut down a tax-dodging online gambling operator in Parsay City for failing to pay its tax dues on its 2019 earnings.

Synchronization Anywhere For You Inc (SAFYI) thus became the first Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) to be closed by competent regulators for failing to pay a recently introduced 5% franchise tax.

The BIR said in a statement issued earlier today that SAFYI was expected to pay PHP114 million in taxes on gross gaming receipts in 2019.

The Philippines launched its POGO program a few years ago. The move enabled the nation’s gambling regulator, PAGCOR, to issue licenses to companies interested to provide offshore gambling services from within the country.

Such companies usually target Chinese gamblers or customers from other parts of the region. According to recent PAGCOR data, there are currently 60 POGO license holders to operate on the territory of the Philippines. There are also hundreds POGO services providers that power POGO operators with the necessary software to conduct gambling activities.

PAGCOR last year announced that no new POGO licenses would be issued for an unspecified period of time, following pressure from Chinese lawmakers who told their Philippine colleagues that POGO companies illegally hiring undocumented Chinese nationals should be punished.

The New Franchise Tax

The BIR said in a statement today that SAFYI was the first POGO operator to be shut down by the bureau for failing to contribute 5% of its annual gross gaming receipts for taxable year 2019.

The government agency also noted that its Task Force POGO, together with the Philippine Department of Finance, remain committed to collecting all the required taxes from entities that have set up shop in the country and have been conducting gambling activities.

The BIR launched its crackdown on POGO companies failing to pay their tax dues last fall. The bureau closed several POGO service providers violating tax rules in the early days of its campaign against tax-dodging businesses.

It was last fall again when the Philippine government approved the proposed implementation of a 5% tax on all POGO license holders (franchises). The tax rate was enforced by Presidential Decree No. 1869.

Prior its implementation, POGOs were required to pay a 2% tax. Philippine lawmakers expect the higher rate to result in more than PHP20 billion in gambling money entering the nation’s coffers every year.

The government also approved the implementation of a 25% tax on POGO employees’ salaries, wages, annuities, compensation, remuneration, and any other emoluments, including honoraria and allowances, at a minimum annual threshold of PHP600,000.

The move aimed to help the nation combat the inflow of undocumented POGO workers, mostly Chinese nationals, that has been recorded with the boom of the POGO industry. The tax is also expected to raise PHP25 million annually.

Source: BIR shuts first POGO licensee for P114 million in tax deficiencies

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on the day’s top casino news stories

Skrill, NETELLER Now Available with Casino, Sportsbook Operator Betzest

Online casino and sports betting operator Betzest has added digital payment services providers Skrill and NETELLER to the list of payment methods already available to its customers.

Under a recently signed deal with the two eWallet providers, Betzest players can now use them to both deposit money to gamble on the Betzest website or withdraw their winnings. All Betzest accounts holders are offered real-time payments, the operator said in press release that hit the wire this week.

Both Skrill and NETELLER are owned by multinational online payments giant Paysafe Group. The two eWallet providers offer instant and safe transactions and are particularly popular with online gambling operators and their customers due to the quality of their service and the quick and effortless movement of gambling money between casino and sports betting websites and bettors/players.

News about Betzest’s partnership with Skrill and NETELLER came on the heels of a recently closed similar deal with another major eWallet. Earlier this month, the operator announced that it has added ecoPayz to its cashier and the payment solution is now available to its players.

NETELLER itself has recently teamed with another online gambling operator in a move that marked the payment solutions provider’s return to the Brazilian market after a two-year absence. Since December 2019, gamblers across Brazil have been able to use NETELLER to deposit and withdraw money with rapidly growing online gambling operator BetWarrior.

A Proactive Start to a Busy Year

The addition of more payment methods has been part of Betzest’s push to grow its operations. The online gambling operator opened shop in the summer of 2018 and has rapidly increased its presence across different markets as well as its offering in a bid to cement itself as a leading online casino and sports betting operator.

Of their partnership with Skrill and NETELLER, Betzest Founder and CMO Marius Filip said that they are delighted to announce another major partnership and that the two payment service providers “will play an essential role in helping Betzest to facilitate transactions in key European & International target markets.”

Mr. Filip went on that Betzest has had “a tremendously pro-active start to 2020 with a remarkable collection of world-class payment and casino providers on the way.”

Betzest announced late last month that it has obtained a B2C license from the Malta Gaming Authority. A license by the Maltese gambling regulator will now enable the operator to offer its casino and sportsbook services to additional European markets.

Of their newly granted MGA license, Mr. Filip said last month that they see it “as the biggest milestone” in their rapid expansion into EU and international markets.

Source: Betzest online casino partners Neteller and Skrill

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on the day’s top casino news stories

Author: Terry Davis holds a degree in Psychology, but it was after his graduation that he found his real passion – writing. Previously, he worked for a local news magazine.