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Exclusive Interview with Matt Howard (Director of Sportsbook Solutions), speaker at Vienna International Gaming Expo 2018

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I am delighted to share with you my latest interview which focuses on sports betting solutions in the online gambling industry with emphasis on Risk Management and Fraud detection.

Matt Howard is the Director of Sportsbook Solutions, a premium sports betting advisory and management firm located in the UK and serving businesses worldwide. Matt has worked for and with some of the largest operators and suppliers in the sports betting and gaming industry, amongst them William Hill, Betfred, Totesport, BetConstruct, Aspire Global, BetRadar, BetGenius and Digital Sports Tech.

Matt will be a speaker at iGaming Knowledge Seminar and at the Millennial Gaming Forum, which are part of Vienna International Gaming Expo 2018. (more details here…)

I would like to thank you for spending time to answer our questions. First I would kindly ask you to shortly introduce yourself and also speak about the company you represent, Sportsbook Solutions.

Matt: Thanks very much! I am Matt Howard and I am a consultant and director of the company Sportsbook Solutions. Sportsbook Solutions comes from noticing the lack of skilled people currently working in sports betting, in terms of operational Trade and Risk Management mainly. As the industry expands into new regions there are obviously also issues in terms of local skill if there is no background in sports betting in that region. Sportsbook Solutions provide outsourced Sportsbook Management Services to clients worldwide to solve both these issues for them. We work depending on each client’s requirements and budgets; so we may compile extensive reports for some clients, whereas with others we provide entirely outsourced, dedicated sportsbook management teams. We only staff with Tier 1 trained employees and believe this makes us completely unique and premium.

You have rich experience in gaming and gambling industries since you have been giving advice to clients for a long a time on different aspect of this industry. Why did you choose this industry and which are the areas you are most interested in and give you the most success?

Matt: In the UK we grow up around betting and it has extremely close ties to sports. I was a huge football fan and also very good at Mathematics so being able to combine these two interests and skills with sports betting was a great fit! I was fortunate enough to start my career with one of the world’s largest firms, William Hill, and have always been keen to take on new and interesting challenges in the 14 years since I started my career back in Leeds!

What can you tell us about the projects you have worked on so far, and the difficulties and successes you have experienced?   

Matt: I have been lucky enough to work in both B2B and B2C and with companies of all sizes and stages of their lifecycle. I have also worked in every department within sportsbooks and in the most senior roles operationally, too. I think this gives me a unique perspective on how to manage sportsbooks effectively and with an in-depth understanding of how the suppliers also work to be able to both identify weaknesses and also to work to eliminate these areas.

There are always some difficulties and these can come down to a lack of processes, budget constraints and sometimes a lack of skill and expertise also. I am a huge fan or process and organization and I always start from here. Some of the major successes I have had have been project managing the first integration between the Margin Maker console and BetRadar, rebranding the UK’s oldest sports betting company and, most recently, in leading the BetConstruct sportsbook to be the largest B2B sportsbook currently available. This included increasing their clients by over 100%, increasing turnover by over 300% and increasing profit margins on sports betting by over 50%.

Risk management and fraud detection are major goals of Sportsbook Solutions. How can you help other companies who operate in this domain to be more efficient considering these two major aspects of the industry?

Matt: One of the areas Sportsbook Solutions consider to be suffering in the industry is Risk Management. The rise of pooled resources and automation have been good in many ways, but we don’t feel this is true of Risk Management. A goal of our company is to provide personal management to our clients businesses and Risk Management is a hugely personal process for every company. As a very simple example a start-up sportsbook would benefit from much tighter control of Risk Management than an established brand who has found their place in the market. Our clients typically increase their profitability by over 25% by working alongside us because of this personal level of management. This is not only Fraud of Player Management either. What is rarely discussed is Risk Management of the Limits and Margins of a sportsbook. One of the most regular issues we see is that the pooled nature of these areas on Turnkey Solutions means that areas are both losing too much and others are restricting profitability. The combination is very damaging to profit margin. The good thing is this can be changed and the solutions allow you to do so.

What is your personal opinion about the European gambling industry and could you make a comparison with the market that you know better and the European situation in terms of gaming and gambling?

Matt: I have worked extensively in Europe (even at William Hill I focused on their Spanish operation) so I consider this to be one of my main markets. What is happening now is a huge growth period in terms of new businesses because of the much lower entry cost. The issue we see mostly is a lack of professional advice or management. We feel that no business should enter into a market without knowing what they are getting involved in, this is where Sportsbook Solutions comes in!

What upcoming events is the company focusing on nowadays and how prepared is the company for these events?

Matt: We are still quite a young company and we plan to attend as many events with a sports betting focus as we can. However, we are also very careful not to do this at the expense of our existing client’s management. So, we pick carefully the most interesting events in terms of content, attendees and business opportunities. VIGE appealed to us because it ticks all the boxes, but the focus on millennials really caught our eye!

Please, tell us more about the future plans of Sportsbook Solutions.

Matt: Our plans are to keep trying to educate the sports betting industry that things can be improved with personal management. We hope this leads to us being able to work with more clients, but we also feel just by making people think more about how their business is being managed will see improvements, which will be good for everyone and drive the industry forwards.

 If you could change anything in the world of gambling what would that be?

Matt: I would hope to change the idea that Trade and Risk Management are ‘old school’ concepts. We are a forward thinking company and we understand that the days of doing all the odds in-house are over. But, the basic principles of these two areas are what define the profit margin in sports betting more than any other area.

What are your future plans regarding you career and where would you like to travel the most?

Matt: I hope my career sees Sportsbook Solutions become a successful and respected service provider within the industry. I have no intention at all of leaving sports betting as I truly find every day interesting and exciting, even after 14 years!

In terms of travel I have been very fortunate to travel extensively in my professional and personal life. I would love to see more of South America and consider it a huge business opportunity also, so hopefully I will be able to combine the two!

If you want to meet Matt in person or networking with the biggest names of the Sports betting, Casino, VR/AR, Marketing, eSports, DFS, Virtual Sports and Crypto industry, make sure you attend the Vienna International Gaming Expo.

With this occasion, I would also like to thank you for following my interview series and for sharing these information with your colleagues and partners. If you would like to be featured in an upcoming interview, please send me an e-mail to reka.szalo@europeangaming.eu and I will happily get back to you!

 

 

 

Reka is an Experienced English second language teacher with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Skilled in Microsoft Excel, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Translation, Foreign Languages, and Lecturing. Strong education professional with a Bachelor’s Degree majored in English Language and Literature/Letters. Reka is in charge of conducting the exclusive interviews on European Gaming and our printed magazine

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CEEGC 2019

BtoBet announced as Digital Sponsor at CEEGC 2019 Budapest

George Miller

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Leading iGaming technology provider BtoBet shows further support for CEEGC Budapest.

The 4th edition of the yearly Central and Eastern European Gaming Conference takes this on the 24th of September at the Ritz-Carlton Budapest, and we are happy to announce the continuing support of BtoBet as Digital Sponsor of the event.

We are blessed to have such amazing support from BtoBet for the past 3 years and we would like to express our gratitude towards the team for making things happen in the gaming industry. BtoBet has come a long way and is among the top providers today. Make sure to attend CEEGC Budapest to meet their team at the conference!” stated Zoltán Tűndik, Co-Founder, Co-Owner and Head of Business at European Gaming Media and Events.

Along with the announcement, we would like to also create a reminder that the Super Early Bird Rate will expire in a few days (30 June) and those interested in attending the event, should act fast to get the discount. Register here!

About BtoBet:
BtoBet is a multinational company and is part of a group with 20 years of experience in software development in IT, telecommunication, e-commerce, and banking, strongly committed to technology and widely investing in technology research and development. The experience gained at the forefront in these advanced environments, compared with the more recent gambling industry, allows BtoBet to be visionary with a deep understanding of the requirements of the market, catching changing trends and anticipating bookmakers’ and operators’ needs. BtoBet is a true partner in technology, offering a standalone platform and services for the iGaming and Sports Betting industry. It counts on a very talented, continuously trained development team and day to day management support to clients. BtoBet allows licensees to be unique in the market, by giving them the opportunity to completely personalize their offers for Sports betting and iGaming business, online mobile, and retail.

Make sure you take advantage of this unique opportunity of learning and networking with the gambling industry in the CEE and Balkans region via the CEEGC platform which is committed to bringing together industry shareholders and government officials from the region on a yearly base.

Register here or View the Agenda!

Browse the official event website here: www.ceegc.eu

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Blockchain

The Growing Use of Blockchain by Start-ups and SMEs with Alexandra Karpova (Co-Founder & CEO at Millennium Communications) at TCE2019 Prague

George Miller

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The Growing Use of Blockchain by Start-ups and SMEs with Alexandra Karpova (Co-Founder & CEO at Millennium Communications) at TCE2019 Prague
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

The inception of new technologies has always been cataloged as a disruptor. There has never been such a technology that can carry the ability to disrupt ordinary business practices around the globe. Blockchain technology applications have only recently come to light, but are becoming more relevant and its potential only continues to grow. The wide use of Blockchain has been recorded also in the startup-up and SMEs companies and the booms are yet to come.

There are many ways in which businesses can already use blockchain and they depend on the industry in which they operate. In the real estate industry, there are marketplaces for renting or selling properties on blockchain-based P2P marketplaces. The same goes for the insurance industry, where blockchain-based applications already manage claims. The hype goes on and we can see the use of blockchain-based security applications in the IoT industry.

We must also mention logistics, where companies can tap into blockchain-based platforms that monitor and track freight movement. The list goes on and we are seeing these implementations on a daily base.

Small businesses can get ahead, innovate and build an edge with blockchain transformation by using blockchain-based services as well as creating their own apps on top of blockchain – decentralized apps, or DApps. Finally, businesses can already use smart contracts to regulate and govern relationships and agreements with other entities.

Most importantly, we can see that the biggest way in which blockchain technology is going to revolutionize SMEs is its ability to develop smart contracts.  All thanks to smart contracts, remote and autonomous consensus between two parties can be done through a single click on a self-reliant infrastructure that can help SMEs grow beyond their wildest imagination.

As a decentralized system, there is no need to pay intermediaries and both the enterprise and the consumer save a lot of money. Plus, the fact that blockchains are immutable makes it a lot more secure than traditional systems.

The organizers of PICANTE Tech Conference Europe are putting together a panel discussion that will focus on this revolutionary new trend can positively impact your Start-up/SME and what implications it will have for the future.

The panel discussion will be joined by Alexandra Karpova (Sasha), Co-Founder & CEO at Millennium Communications, who will bring the latest information about the widespread use of Blockchain.

About Alexandra Karpova

Alexandra is the CEO of Crypto PR Lab, the top blockchain and cryptocurrency public relations firm. She has eight years of experience in leadership roles in blockchain, finance, real estate, luxury concierge management, and marketing in New York. She managed a real-estate rental agency as well as founded Millennium Communications. She worked for top brands Morgan Stanley, CITI, Douglas Elliman Real Estate and luxury concierge LVH Global. Alexandra brings her knowledge of business and an extensive network of high-net-worth individuals eager to invest in new projects to Millenium Communications. She holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from Baruch College, NY.

PICANTE Tech Conference Europe is designed to bring both people and knowledge together and provides the excellent ecosystem of networking and learning opportunities without interruptions with emphasis on comfort and communication. After learning from genuine world-class experts and wayseers, meeting achievers shaping the B2B ecosystem, all attendees will get the chance to grab a drink and relax while networking at the evening social gathering.

REGISTER HERE or BROWSE THE AGENDA/PROGRAM!

Seats are limited (Super Early Bird Rate – valid through 30th of June)

About PICANTE Media and Events

PICANTE.today is a news publishing website which digests/hand picks the latest news about technology, entertainment, lifestyle, finance and politics and serves them to their readers and subscribers daily.

As a responsible learning source, the team at PICANTE Media and Events are committed to 3 main principles:

Trusted and Reliable Reporting & Publishing

The articles and press releases on their website are all published from verified sources.

NO Psychological and Emotional Manipulation

The editorial team and marketing team do not aim to produce emotional manipulation and always stay away from news, press release and articles that produce fear, anxiety, racism or show any sort of cruelty towards animals and humankind.

NO Fake News

PICANTE.today ensures readers will never find any “directed” lies on the news portal as the team has taken an anti-fake news standing point from their inception.

For more details, visit www.picante.today

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CEEGC 2019

Bulgarian gambling industry becoming more and more interesting for international companies

Zoltan Tundik

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EGT Interactive Legal Counsel / Compliance Manager to share industry insight about the Bulgarian market at CEEGC 2019 Budapest.

Recent headlines in the gambling industry media outlets have reported that the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance has appointed Alexander Georgiev as the new Head of Bulgaria’s State Gambling Commission, however, there has been quite a few movements in the region that need mentioning.

The former head, Maria Filipova, is appointed as the deputy chairman of the Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) and is now in charge of the Investment Activity Supervision Division.

The naming of the new and now former Head of Bulgaria’s State Gambling Commission comes after the dismissal of Ohnemir Mitev, who was accused by media publications in regards to the commissions’ inaction against the aggressive advertising of gambling on national televisions.

Besides the shifts in the state-wide industry management, there have been quite a few large names mentioned that have entered the market or established strategic offices.

Kambi Group plc is now powering the international sports betting expansion of Bulgaria’s National Lottery JSC after the two companies strengthened their partnership by signing an extended sportsbook agreement.

The new deal which is already in effect enables Kambi to continue to provide its Sportsbook and managed services to the National Lottery JSC’s 7777.bg brand in Bulgaria and in addition, support the operator’s planned entry into Moldova this summer.

Scientific Games has also successfully launched the first in a series of online slot games with National Lottery Bulgaria and within 24 hours following the initial launch of nine player-favorite digital games, the games generated over a half million Euros in sales.

Scientific Games’ partnership with National Lottery Bulgaria builds on the Company’s presence in regulated European gaming markets, where it is reaching new players with a portfolio of immersive online games. The launch in Bulgaria included globally renowned favorites like 88 Fortunes®, Giant’s Gold®, and Rainbow Riches™. Scientific Games plans to launch more titles with National Lottery Bulgaria in 2019 to entertain a broader audience and drive player engagement.

Microgaming, one of the industry’s leading software providers, is also now live with National Lottery AD to provide its award-winning poker platform in Bulgaria.

The major poker deal, signed through Prima Networks Limited, marks the first time that Microgaming’s poker network has been made available in the Bulgarian market. The move is in line with Microgaming’s strategic goal of continuing to expand its presence in key regulated markets.

All these movements are recorded on the supplier side, however, when we examine the operators’ side, it is a totally different story. However, this doesn’t mean that the industry isn’t booming at the moment in Bulgaria.

The Bulgarian Trade Association of Manufacturers and Operators in the Gaming Industry’s (BTAMOI) has reported in at the end of 2018 that the country’s online gaming revenues showed a growth in the last financial year. The industry paid €57 million in taxes to the government, which corresponds to a 17 percent rise year on year. BTAMOI said in a press release: “For the period 2017/2018 the gaming industry in Bulgaria has shown very good results at a national level, based on the country’s upward economic performance.”

The online gambling segment in Bulgaria represents about 10 percent of the country’s total gambling market. The segment posted revenue of €89 million in the nine months to September 30, a spike of 30 percent compared to the figure same time last year.

At the 4th edition of the yearly Central and Eastern European Gaming Conference, which takes place on the 24th of September at the Ritz-Carlton Budapest, Georgi Dimitrov, Legal Counsel / Compliance Manager at EGT Interactive will join the “Regulated Central and Eastern European jurisdictions” compliance panel discussion and share the latest insights on the subject and how Bulgaria can be a good opportunity for operators to expand in regulated markets.

About Georgi Dimitrov

Georgi Dimitrov is a legal counsel at EGT Interactive Ltd., with a focus on legal, regulatory and technical compliance matters related to the iGaming industry. He specializes in international gambling regulation and provides guidance on licensing and certification frameworks, policy drafting, and compliance processes. His line of work involves communication with local stakeholders in the business such as testing labs, regulators and operators. He has background in company structuring, M&A, business and corporate development and extensive expertise in competition law. As a lawyer, he has advised the Bulgarian operations of large-scale corporate clients and public authorities.

Make sure you take advantage of this unique opportunity of learning and networking with the gambling industry in the CEE and Balkans region via the CEEGC platform which is committed to bringing together industry shareholders and government officials from the region on a yearly base.

Register here or View the Agenda!

Browse the official event website here: www.ceegc.eu

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