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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

Iforium announced as MAIN STAGE SPONSOR at CEEGC Budapest 2019

Zoltan Tundik

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A multi-award-winning B2B software development company focused on providing next-generation gaming solutions to sponsor the 4th edition of the CEE Gaming Conference.

 

With just a little over a month to go until, the 4th edition of Central and Eastern European Gaming Conference, also known as CEEGC Budapest, kicks off we are honored to announce that in 2019, Iforium will be the Main Stage Sponsor of the event.

The recently announced sponsor in one of the companies who is very active in most European jurisdictions and recently also expanding to the USA.

The 4th edition of CEEGC Budapest is taking place on the 24th of September at the Ritz-Carlton Budapest and if you would like to meet up with the Iforium team, make sure you look up Phil Parry (CEO at Iforium) or Andrew Cairns (Chief Operations Officer at Iforium).

If you are attending CEEGC for learning, there is good news for you, in 2019, the agenda of the conference will focus on Regulated Central and Eastern European jurisdictions, The Balkans, Emerging CEE jurisdictions, D-A-CH region, and a special IMGL MasterClass about the gambling industry in North America. Besides the compliance panel discussions, key industry figures will share their insights about compliance versus innovation, blockchain, fintech, eSports, artificial intelligence, loot boxes, and many more trending topics.

Make sure that you are among the delegates of CEEGC Budapest this year for a new and engaging format that is going to increase the engagement and interaction of the attending delegates.

Register here or View the Agenda!

Browse the official event website for more details: www.ceegc.eu

About Iforium

Founded in 2006 and based in the Isle of Man, Iforium is a multi-award winning B2B software development company focused on providing next-generation gaming solutions.

Gameflex™ is Iforium’s innovative casino aggregation and seamless bonusing platform. It combines over 8,000 games from 100+gaming vendors and is available to multi-channel operators via single and seamless API integration.

Iforium are the proud recipient of the EGR B2B IT Supplier of the Year Award and CEEGC Casino Awards 2017 & 2018. Iforium is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission and by ONJN in Romania.

For more information please visit https://www.iforium.com/

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CEEGC 2019

UltraPlay announced as Registration Sponsor at CEEGC Budapest 2019

Zoltan Tundik

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A modern technological company with the core ambition to offer an innovative approach to the online gaming industry to sponsor the 4th edition of the CEE Gaming Conference.

The Central and Eastern European Gaming Conference, also known as CEEGC Budapest, has been created in 2016 to facilitate networking, deliver quality content and push innovation in the CEE region by bringing together gaming and gambling industry peers under one roof.

The recently announced sponsor in one of the companies who has been at the forefront of the industry in the region and has also pushed beyond its borders.

We are honored to announce that UltraPlay has chosen to be the Registration Sponsor at the 4th edition of CEEGC Budapest, which will take place on the 24th of September at the Ritz-Carlton Budapest.

In regards to supporting CEEGC Budapest as a Sponsor, Lyubomira Petrova, CMO at UltraPlay, stated the following: “CEEGC gives in-depth analysis and thought-provoking ideas of the market’s regulation as well as trends, innovative concepts, and overall growth of the region and beyond. We are looking forward to this year’s edition where a special place in the conference is dedicated to eSports with a discussion panel on the entire movement which is not to be missed.

In 2019, the agenda of the conference will focus on Regulated Central and Eastern European jurisdictions, The Balkans, Emerging CEE jurisdictions, D-A-CH region, and a special IMGL MasterClass about the gambling industry in North America. Besides the compliance panel discussions, key industry figures will share their insights about compliance versus innovation, blockchain, fintech, eSports, artificial intelligence, loot boxes, and many more trending topics.

Make sure that you are among the delegates of CEEGC Budapest this year for a new and engaging format that is going to increase the engagement and interaction of the attending delegates.

Register here or View the Agenda!

Browse the official event website for more details: www.ceegc.eu

About UltraPlay

UltraPlay is a modern technological company, founded in 2010, with the core ambition to offer an innovative approach to the online gaming industry by providing advanced betting solutions focused on sports and eSports betting, live betting, white-label, online casino and blockchain technology.

Assembled by a team of iGaming professionals with vast experience in betting product development, operations, eSports and marketing, UltraPlay is a trusted partner for delivering superior sports software and odds products to its customers. Learn more about the company here: www.ultraplay.co

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Conferences in Europe

NetEnt announced as Main Stage Sponsor at European Gaming Congress Milan (8 November – Radisson Blu Milan)

George Miller

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The second edition of European Gaming Congress receives the support of the leading provider of premium gaming solutions as Main Stage Sponsor.

We are happy to announce that NetEnt has chosen to support the second edition of European Gaming Congress (EGC), which will take place in Milan (Italy) on the 8th of November at Radisson Blu Hotel Milan, as Main Stage Sponsor.

We are happy to have the opportunity to once again work together with the team at NetEnt and organize one of our most awaited conference of this year. During the past 3 years, we had and have a great collaboration with the leading provider and we can certainly say that all the feedback received from the operators that have connected with NetEnt at our conferences have been of the highest gratitude. Make sure to be in Milan this November at the must-attend European Gaming Congress and meet the team yourself”, stated Zoltán Tűndik, Co-Founder, Co-Owner and Head of Business at European Gaming Media and Events.

The European Gaming Congress (EGC) and Southern European Gaming Awards (SEG Awards) are specially designed to bring together industry experts, regulators, operators and service providers from all across Europe in order to discuss burning issues some of the markets are facing when dealing with compliance in licensing, operation and marketing.

The congress is organized yearly in autumn, gathers +125 C-level executives and gives the opportunity to discuss collaboration opportunities, learn about compliance updates and harvest the tech & marketing-related information which is presented by industry leaders from the ever-evolving international gambling industry community.

The second edition of the yearly must-attend conference of the gambling industry will focus on bringing new content and a different angle of view from the already established and emerging market.

The discussions include compliance and investment opportunities in regulated jurisdictions such as Italy, Malta, Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the United Kingdom.

Besides the regional focus, the agenda includes an exclusive IMGL MasterClass™ will also shed light on hot topics such as Marketing for Operators in Regulated Market, Big Data, AI and payments.

You can register here or view the provisional agenda here!

More info: www.europeangamingcongress.com

About NetEnt

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 a cutting-edge platform. NetEnt is committed to helping customers stay ahead of the competition, is listed on NASDAQ Stockholm (NET–B) and employs almost 1000 people in Stockholm, Malta, Kiev, Krakow, Gothenburg, Gibraltar, and New Jersey.

Visit www.netent.com for more details.

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