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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 2018

Romanian Gambling Industry update with Cosmina Simion (NNDKP) at CEEGC Budapest 2018

Zoltan Tundik

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Budapest – 20 August 2018 – Since the regulation of the Romanian gambling industry, most of the large brands have obtained licenses to offer their services on the territory of the country. There is no doubt that the industry in the region is booming when it comes to licensing, but what makes the Romanian markets so popular among regulated gambling markets in this part of Europe.

We are honored to announce the latest speaker who will join the “Focus on Eastern Europe” panel discussion and share the insights of the Romanian gambling industry.

Cosmina Simion (NNDKP – Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen) an expert, who is often quoted in the industry portals and magazines and has extensive knowledge about the up and downs of the gambling industry in Romania compared to other jurisdictions.

About Cosmina Simion

Cosmina Simion co-heads the Gaming and Consumer Protection & Advertising practices of NNDKP, a preeminent business law firm in Romania. In addition to the gambling industry, her practice focuses on IP/IT, media & entertainment and online industries, having acquired a strong expertise in these fields in her 19 years of professional activity.

In the gaming field, her experience encompasses the full range of regulatory and operational gaming aspects, assisting betting and gaming operators, software & platform suppliers, financial services providers, auditors & certifiers, industry relevant associations or marketing affiliates.

Cosmina has also been actively involved in the review and drafting of the gaming legal framework (primary and secondary legislation), including representing clients before the Romanian regulator.

Previous coordination roles include heading the IP, media and technology practice of a Tier 1 global law firm, and acting as an in-house counsel at a US media group.

Cosmina is acknowledged as Leading Individual in the field of Gambling law by Legal500, being the only Romanian lawyer included in the highest band of the rankings.

She is a General Member of IMGL.

Make sure you grab your seat in time and attend the most prestigious boutique style gaming event which gathers C-level executives yearly in one of Europe’s most visited city. Register here!

You can browse the full agenda and already confirmed speaker list on the following link.

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CEEGC 2018

U.S. Gambling Market Opportunities debated at CEEGC 2018 in a special IMGL MasterClass with Jeremy Kleiman (Partner at the New Jersey law firm of Saiber LLC)

Zoltan Tundik

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Budapest – 16 August 2018 – The industry portals are full of news about the gambling industry in the U.S. and this flood of data started when the Supreme Court paved the way for gambling to become legal nationwide.

The online and land based gambling industry is incredibly vast and sophisticated through the whole of Europe. Thus, investment in the U.S. market by overseas companies is a certainty and some are focusing really hard on it.

While this will make the market more competitive, the U.S. market poses a few unique challenges. For example, many gambling companies won’t necessarily know how to properly launch the U.S. market with new products. Gaining the insights necessary to succeed starts at the top with a strategic plan that’s driven by advanced technology.

As mentioned earlier, the IMGL MasterClass™ – US Market – Gold Rush or Opposite for European Operations (panel discussion) is the result of the extensive debates and talks, which leave many questions un-answered by European operators. That question being, expanding through Europe or aiming for the American dream.

We are honored to announce that Jeremy Kleiman, Partner at the New Jersey law firm of Saiber LLC, will join the IMGL MasterClass and share valuable insights as an “inside expert” of the market.

About Jeremy Kleiman

Jeremy Kleiman is a partner at the New Jersey law firm of Saiber LLC and a member of the firm’s executive committee.  His law practice focuses on gaming, regulatory and business law, representing casino operators, gaming equipment manufacturers, technology providers and financial institutions involved in the gaming and lottery industries.  He specializes in gaming-related corporate, regulatory, licensing and compliance matters, with an emphasis on the online and mobile gambling and sports betting industries.

Prior to rejoining the firm, Jeremy served as Executive Vice President, Regulatory & Business Affairs for Coastal Development, LLC, a developer, investor and operator in casino resorts and racetracks.  In that role, he was responsible for the company’s legal affairs, government relations and compliance functions, as well as sourcing, negotiating and executing on a number of business transactions.  Jeremy’s background and experience on the business side of the gaming industry uniquely positions him to counsel and advise clients on transactional and regulatory matters while understanding the clients’ business objectives.

Jeremy had previously been a member of the Firm and head of its Gaming Law Practice Group prior to his time at Coastal Development.  He advised financial institutions, gaming equipment manufacturers, lottery providers and casino operators on all matters related to licensing, compliance and other regulatory matters.

Jeremy is a co-founder and director of iDevelopment and Economic Association (iDEA), an industry association seeking to grow jobs and expand online interactive entertainment business in the United States through advocacy and education.

Jeremy serves on the Board of Trustees of the International Association of Gaming Advisors, is a past Chair of the Casino Law Section of the New Jersey Bar Association, and is a member of the International Masters of Gaming Law.  He is a frequent panelist at gaming industry conferences.

Make sure you grab your seat in time and attend the most prestigious boutique style gaming event which gathers C-level executives yearly in one of Europe’s most visited city. Register here!

You can browse the full agenda and already confirmed speaker list on the following link.

Quotes about CEEGC Budapest from attending delegates

Rafal Nowak – iGaming Sales Director at Mobiyo

“A week after the Budapest Gaming CEE conferences, I’m still discussing the topics brought up there with fellow delegates. Thank you Zoltan Tundik for organizing an informative an well shaped event on this, often underestimated iGaming territory and good luck with the next one!”

Roy Pedersen – CEO & Chief Editor at All In Translations

“For All-in Translations’ 10 Year Anniversary Tour we decided to attend more smaller conferences. Zoltan and Betty are much of the reason for this. They have a unique way of giving a personal touch to the events they organise while at the same time keeping them highly relevant. CEEGC Budapest was another great example where we felt truly welcome, and at the same time it was great for business.”

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CEEGC 2018

Expect to be pampered at CEEGC Budapest by Altenar, welcoming our latest sponsor

George Miller

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Budapest – 15 August 2018 – We are excited to announce a new type of sponsor for the third edition of the most prestigious boutique style gaming conference in the CEE region.

For the first time ever, we are introducing a “Pamper” sponsor and it is our honor to announce that Altenar will be the company to take this spot.

When the team at Altenar suggested this custom sponsorship, we were simply amazed by their inventiveness. We are really excited to meet such partners who will surely give a moment of pampering for our delegates at the conference.” said Zoltán Tűndik, Head of Business at European Gaming Media and Events.

Altenar will be the official Pamper, Pen and Paper sponsor at the third edition of the Central and Eastern European Gaming Conference and Awards, which will be held in Budapest on the 25th of September at the Ritz-Carlton.

Make sure you grab your seat in time and attend the most prestigious boutique style gaming event which gathers C-level executives yearly in one of Europe’s most visited city. Register here!

You can browse the full agenda and already confirmed speaker list on the following link.

Quotes about CEEGC Budapest from attending delegates

Rafal Nowak – iGaming Sales Director at Mobiyo

“A week after the Budapest Gaming CEE conferences, I’m still discussing the topics brought up there with fellow delegates. Thank you Zoltan Tundik for organizing an informative an well shaped event on this, often underestimated iGaming territory and good luck with the next one!”

Roy Pedersen – CEO & Chief Editor at All In Translations

“For All-in Translations’ 10 Year Anniversary Tour we decided to attend more smaller conferences. Zoltan and Betty are much of the reason for this. They have a unique way of giving a personal touch to the events they organise while at the same time keeping them highly relevant. CEEGC Budapest was another great example where we felt truly welcome, and at the same time it was great for business.”

About Altenar

Altenar is a provider of sportsbook services to licensed gaming operators, ranging from ‘software-only’ product offers to the provision of a fully managed sports betting platform stack. Our software is developed and operated in-house, whilst being powered by premium quality data feeds.

For more details, visit www.altenar.com

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