Connect with us
European Gaming Congress Milan
SIS

Interviews

Quick chat about business with John Pettit, Managing director for UK, Ireland, Asia and Australia at Playtech BGT Sports

Zoltan Tundik

Published

on

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Following the deal which has been reported in June, when Playtech BGT Sports has strengthened its partnership with Betfred with the addition of 250 widescreen terminals to its network of retail outlets.

Back then, John Pettit, Managing Director for UK, Ireland, Asia and Australia at Playtech BGT Sports said: “We have seen continued growth in turnover from SSBTs and expect this trend to continue throughout the summer and into the new football season when they go live.”

We got curious about how business is evolving for Playtech BGT Sports and we have managed to get in touch with the man to squeeze out some answers to our burning questions. Below is the short Q&A we had with John:

Q:What challenges have retail sportsbooks faced in recent times and how do SSBTs help?

John: The rise of online and mobile sports betting has reaped significant rewards for operators. But there is no denying this has sometimes been at the expense of the industry’s retail sector. This has many to the mistaken conclusion that one has a future and the other doesn’t. Yet that couldn’t be further from the truth. The evolution of retail sport betting through self-service betting terminals is playing a huge part in retaining existing customer bases and introducing a new generation of sports bettors to the high street betting experience. At Playtech BGT Sports we’ve been able to harness brand new technologies with an unrivalled range of products and markets that would once only have been able online. This not only includes a huge range of sports and leagues from around the world, but a comprehensive range of numbers betting services that are just a few taps of the screen away on an easy to navigate machine. As a result, I think retail sports betting with the right terminals has a very bright future.

Q: How important was it to add the Betfred terminals ahead of the new football season?

John: We are in the midst of a football frenzy, the World Cup has captivated the attentions of billions of people, including those who bet in retail establishments around Europe like Betfred. Acquisition numbers are likely to be high and we are making a determined effort to ensure terminals are equipped with even more markets and products for the new season. This will provide operators with every chance of retaining those customers going forward. Part of that strategy is to increase the number of terminals customers at operators like Betfred can use. But we can also offer more and products on these terminals than anyone else too, so it is a question of delivering quality as well as quantity.

Q: You launched your MatchAcca product to coincide with the World Cup. Tell us more about that.

John: MatchAcca gives customers the chance to combine several selections into a single bet, boosting excitement levels as well as their potential returns. For example, an England fan watching this summer’s World Cup could back Harry Kane to score at any time, over 10.5 corners and Belgium to miss a penalty all in one bet. Usually deemed conflicting markets, this product, the first of its kind in the retail sector, uses AlgoSport algorithms enabling these markets to be priced up. Not only does it enhance the user experience, the operator benefits from a high-margin product without the need to go over the counter. In short, it gives customers a more personalised betting experience should they want it, or greater control over the types of bet they can have.

Q: What can we expect from Playtech BGT Sports in the remainder of 2018?

John: We are always looking to push the boundaries of what can be achieved as we continue to grow the Playtech BGT Sports brand. The World Cup is obviously a huge talking point at the moment and that momentum is sure to continue all the way into the beginning of the new domestic season. As well as ensuring we continually improve current offerings and markets, we will also seek to add new products to ensure our operator partners have a comprehensive range of options for their customers. We will also be giving operators the chance to build their own bespoke coupons, adding a further layer of branding within a bespoke offering.

 

About Playtech

Playtech is a market leader in the gambling and financial trading industries. Founded in 1999 and listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, Playtech has more than 5,000 employees in 17 countries.

Playtech is the gambling industry’s leading software and services supplier with more than 140 licensees globally, including many of the world’s leading regulated online, retail and mobile operators, land-based casino groups, government sponsored entities such as lotteries, and new entrants opening operations in newly-regulated markets. Its business intelligence-driven gambling software offering includes casino, live casino, bingo, poker and sports betting.

It is the pioneer of omni-channel gambling which, through Playtech ONE, offers operators and their customers, a seamless, anytime, anywhere experience across any product, any channel (online, mobile, retail) and any device using a single account and single wallet. It provides marketing expertise, sophisticated CRM solutions and other services for operators seeking a full turnkey solution.

Playtech BGT Sports was created in 2016, following the acquisition of Best Gaming Technology and integration of other Playtech businesses into one sports division. Founded in 2005, BGT has been at the forefront of retail technology in the betting and gaming industry ever since. Its self-service betting terminals provide an automated wagering experience to customers in a variety of countries around the world. The terminals deliver a comprehensive variety of broadcast, data, and pricing models that are flexible enough to allow Playtech BGT Sports’ many operator partners to integrate their own pricing feeds and liability management practices into the system. Playtech BGT Sports offers products and services across both land-based and digital platforms and has a global footprint spanning four continents and multiple languages. For more information about Playtech BGT Sports please visit www.best-gaming.com

Playtech’s Financials division operates both on a B2C and B2B basis. Its B2C focused offering is an established and growing online CFDs broker, operating the brand markets.com. Its B2B offering includes the division’s proprietary trading platform, CRM and back-office systems, as well as its liquidity technology platform which provides retail brokers with multi-asset execution, prime brokerage services, liquidity and complementary risk management tools.

 

After starting out as an affiliate in 2009 and developing some recognized review portals, I have moved deeper into journalism and media. My experience has lead me to move into the B2B sector and write about compliance updates and report around the happenings of the online and land based gaming sector.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Comments

Interviews

High 5 Games CEO: How innovation is driving our tentpole games strategy

George Miller

Published

on

High 5 Games CEO: How innovation is driving our tentpole games strategy
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

New York-based slot developer High 5 Games built its reputation in the land-based sector and is now on the charge to make a name for itself in the online and mobile environment by delivering exciting new games to the European market and beyond.
Anthony Singer, CEO of High 5 Games, talks us through the company’s tentpole games strategy and how it will create new gaming experiences never seen before.

 

European Gaming: You’ve recently announced a new strategy that will see High 5 Games (H5G) distribute regular tentpole games to the marketplace, what was the thinking behind this new approach?

Anthony Singer (AS): We’re on a mission to deliver ground-breaking new games to the industry that will excite players, while also driving traffic for our operator partners. H5G slots to this day create a buzz on the casino floors all over the world, but we’re now also focused on developing content that is designed specifically for the remote gaming markets. Driven by operator and player demand and feedback, this sharpened strategy will bring a high standard of games built from scratch.

European Gaming: Much of these games are set to include innovative features, what exactly can we expect to see in these titles?

AS: Innovation in games development is paramount in moving the industry forward. We’re big fans of slots and play them constantly, so we’re always looking at ways we can bring something new to the user experience. One of the standout features that H5G has brought to the market recently is Power Bet. This energetic tool, which boosts wins for 30 consecutive spins, is already proving very popular with players.

Another example is the Spin-crease feature that was integrated into our Triple Double Da Vinci Diamonds release. This fun mechanic locks more valuable symbols as the total amount bet increases, which is highlighted on the left-hand side of the reels. The total amount wagered is counted across all sessions, which allows users to return to the same position from when they last played.

In addition, these games will be backed by our innovative promo engine, which produces adaptive promotional offers driven by each player’s behaviour. For example, the AI-powered platform will push extra free rounds depending on the current gameplay, which helps to engage players for longer periods and increases dwell time.

European Gaming: Given H5G’s experience in the land-based sector, how are you approaching the development of the new online/mobile first games?

AS: In recent times we’ve done a hugely successful job in optimising land-based content for the online market, and with a slight adjustment to our approach to game design and development, these new tentpole games will allow us to further enhance the gameplay. It’s a really exciting period for us, as this new strategy will help us to incorporate features that are targeted more for online and mobile users. The online environment allows for greater creativity and flexibility, and there are no boundaries to what we can achieve going forward.

European Gaming: 2019 has seen H5G ramp up its presence across Europe, how are your games performing so far with your new operator partners?

AS: It’s no exaggeration to say that 2019 has been a standout year for the company, packed full of new operator partnerships and market expansion. It’s great to see so many of our games now live across numerous tier one operators in Europe, with H5G titles including Way Out Wilds and Triple Double Da Vinci Diamonds becoming a real hit.

After securing our Maltese licence, we built on our momentum by going live in Sweden on the first day of the new regulated market opening up, and we recently secured games certification in Denmark. In the long term, High 5 Games has eyes for global expansion and our presence in Scandinavia is strategically central to growing the business internationally.

European Gaming: Do you have any further plans to extend your presence in the European market? Are there any particular regions you’re looking to target?

AS: Absolutely – we will launch in Spain and Italy in the next few months, and are preparing to enter Portugal and Romania, with exciting new deals and game releases on the horizon. We’ll also continue to expand in our homeland, as state legislators roll up the regulatory market shutters and open the gates to online casino content. Our recently completed direct integration and launch with the Stars Group means we want to be available to all their markets.

European Gaming: What can we expect from your next game release from your tentpole series?

AS: Our latest release Shadow of the Panther Power Bet brings a new twist on one of our classic releases, this time designed specifically for the online RMG market. With an expanded grid, this 8×5 slot follows the part man, part beast as he emerges from the darkness to navigate his way through the jungle.

As the title suggests, this new version now includes the Power Bet feature for the first time. There are four different Power Bet options to choose from, where players can turbo charge their wins for 30 consecutive spins at the cost of 10x, 20x, 30x or 40x the current stake, creating an exhilarating gaming experience. We’re excited to offer these new tentpole games and are sure they’ll become a big hit with players.

Furthermore, the game is supported by our unique promo engine that allows operators to push bespoke offers. For instance, the promotional platform offers a 50% discount on the entry to our Power Bet feature and works as an effective acquisition tool for operators.

Continue Reading

Interviews

STATE OF PLAY – Frank Fahrenkopf interviews Martin Storm on the industry state of play

George Miller

Published

on

STATE OF PLAY - Frank Fahrenkopf interviews Martin Storm on the industry state of play
Martin Storm & Frank Fahrenkopf
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Frank Fahrenkopf, former Founder & President of American Gaming Association, and current Non-Executive Director, BMM Testlabs interviews Martin Storm, BMM’s CEO on the industry state of play.

Fahrenkopf:
BMM’s 2019 business performance has been strong after an impressive 2018. What do you attribute continued growth to?

Storm:
Frank, BMM continues to outperform. We maintain our emphasis on test and certification, everywhere around the world for gambling products. We remain focused on organic growth – Revenue up 29% and EBITDA up 46% in 2018, and 2019 looks very good too. For the longest serving gaming lab that’s operated successfully for nearly 40 years, we repeatedly outperform our segment CAGR of 5-6%.

We continue to rate first among global labs for quality of testing, time-to-market and customer service. We rate first because of our people, our talented leadership, management and staff. It’s truly a privilege to work with them all, as their professionalism, commitment and care make growth happen for BMM. What a differentiating factor they are.

Fahrenkopf:
The gaming testlab market around the world is dominated by BMM and GLI, who certify more than 80% of all gaming products. Even with GLI’s acquisition of NMi in Europe, it seems that BMM is growing appreciably in the online test segment. How did that happen?

Storm:
In the early years I did not want to invest in the online test segment due to our focus on U.S. licensing and U.S. legislative restrictions, even though we wrote the first comprehensive set of gaming standards for Online Gaming in 2001. We had a look at TST some 10 years ago as a possible acquisition but the culture and numbers didn’t work for us. Then GLI’s acquisition of NMi in 2017 made available some very talented staff who chose BMM as their new home. We committed to them and their results have been remarkable.

Our European online business is growing at some 40% CAGR and can continue to do so into foreseeable future. Large online customers wanting to go everywhere can only choose BMM or GLI in online, so we are both competing actively for that business, and we win our fair share.

Fahrenkopf:
Speaking of GLI, while BMM has been very strong in international land-based testing markets for many years, it still remains the challenger brand in the U.S. Now that the jurisdictional gap between the companies has closed materially in the U.S., what should we expect next?

Storm:
Any major supplier in the U.S. that wants its slot machines and gaming systems certified, understandably wants a certification process that covers all the jurisdictions in a market to maximize product sales opportunities, without having to spend additional funds to test a second time for a handful of jurisdictions not initially covered. Because only GLI has complete jurisdictional coverage, it has essentially guaranteed itself of the vast majority of business within North America. While BMM is working on the last handful of tribal jurisdictions (from more than 300), GLI continues to offer free tools and services for jurisdictional exclusivity, effectively depriving major suppliers of competition among gaming labs, costing those same suppliers millions of dollars per annum. The time for real competition amongst labs in the U.S. is now, and its nearly here.

Fahrenkopf:
Has this exclusivity enjoyed by GLI served the U.S. gaming industry?

Storm:
It has certainly served GLI very well. James Maida, CEO and Owner, and Kevin Mullally, VP of Government Affairs, have worked very closely together in many jurisdictions over many years now developing regulatory relationships that have maintained those exclusive positions. When combined with their government lobbyists and tribal representatives, James and Kevin have been a very formidable and intimidating team.

But to answer the question directly, no, I don’t believe GLI’s continuing, effective monopoly for Class III games certification has served the gaming industry well. Having only one lab that can test for all jurisdictions in the U.S. has been inordinately expensive for gaming suppliers and operators, as a material inefficiency in the gaming industry. Industry experts have told us that testing costs have been too high for too long. With competition limited, testing performance has been slow – it seems to have taken GLI more than 10 years to make process and quality improvements in pursuit of BMM’s performance. And we know that testing quality is lower in markets serviced by only one gaming lab, as evidenced by the high number of product revocations. In my opinion, and others, GLI exclusivity in just a few gaming markets is the premium paid for by the gaming suppliers and their operator customers, and also regulators through administration and management overheads.

Fahrenkopf:
What happened in Illinois – that was huge news?

Storm:
The wonderful news is that BMM is now licensed in Illinois through the new Illinois Gaming Board. This major U.S. commercial gaming jurisdiction will now allow multiple qualified labs to service gaming suppliers and compete for business with the state itself, and the many suppliers who have reached out to me are thrilled. Thanks to all those that supported us all these years.

Fahrenkopf:
So what’s next for BMM?

Storm:
Frank, we are keeping it simple. We continue our focus on land-based gaming testing and certification, and have advanced our position in aligned segments that we can command over time – online and sports betting, machine inspections and cyber security. That combined with market access completion with tribes, enhanced operational coverage, staff development, and productivity evolution will see BMM grow its leadership amongst gaming labs in the U.S. and worldwide.

Fahrenkopf:
Martin, thanks for the update.

Storm:
My pleasure Frank.

Continue Reading

Interviews

Gamingtec CEO: How to build a start-up in the iGaming industry

George Miller

Published

on

Gamingtec CEO: How to build a start-up in the iGaming industry
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Sapar Karyagdyyev, Gamingtec CEO, talks to European Gaming about the growth of the company and shares his tips on how to start a business in the iGaming industry.

 

1. What made you interested in the iGaming field of entertainment?
I had already been working in the iGaming industry for five years when the idea for Gamingteс came about. We started the project in London, in 2013, as part of Offside Gaming. The problem we set out to solve was the slow speed at which new White Label projects were developed and launched. Most B2B companies relied on legacy technologies, which caused delays. It was obvious that only new technologies and a different resource setup could change the speed of the service and launch new projects more quickly. Our speed and efficiency has become our competitive advantage and we work hard to preserve it. We also rely heavily on our partners, as there are a number of tasks that need to be delivered on their side. Therefore, we usually only collaborate with companies that truly understand the iGaming industry and its challenges. Finding the right partner is a crucial part of the working process for us.

2. Can you give any tips to companies that want to start an iGaming business?
To build a fast-growing and profitable project, you should choose the target market very carefully. Realistically assess your capabilities and ensure that the marketing strategy is thought out properly. Choose the most appropriate strategy, according to the country and legislative system: traffic, sponsoring, flyers, TV ads, or even word of mouth.
Whilst developing your company, pay attention to the quality of the team and the company culture. Hiring qualified specialists and looking for enthusiasts that can develop the project is an ongoing process. You will need specialists that not only get the job done, but can offer smart and profitable solutions.

3. What service do you provide to your partners?
Every client and partner requires an individual approach. Sometimes, we provide full turnkey solutions and other times, selected services only. Gamingtec does not develop games or payments. Instead, we find companies that specialise in it and we integrate the best products into our platform. This, in turn, allows us to focus on our core speciality, which is high-quality turnkey product.
That is what we are really good at: we can find the right and the best products, put them together and offer the final solutions that work in the most effective way.

4. Could you describe your clients? Who are they?
Most of our clients are media companies with an access and experience in acquiring customers. By partnering with us, such companies receive tools and solutions that allow us to build a profitable business.
Less often, we work with large affiliate networks; companies that decided to start their own operator businesses. Most of the time, such clients do not take into account operating costs and fail to generate a profit. Our task is to explain all the nuances of operating the business, and the costs and risks involved, so they can implement these into their business model.

5. What do you think about innovations in the betting industry? Is cybersport as promising as many experts say?
Since the last shift towards live betting and faster markets, the sports betting industry has not changed much. This shift happened over five years ago and most of the products in the industry have been commoditised by now. There has been a notable shift in the source of innovation from product providers to operators, which I think, is partly explained by the lack of innovation from product providers. When you are operating in highly competitive conditions with very similar products, you have to find the innovation elsewhere in order to stay competitive and grow.

As for cybersport, I think this is just a new type of product to be offered to customers, in combination with everything else in the portfolio. I do not believe it will be a success on its own. The main audience is underage and, like any other responsible company, we have a duty to protect them from the exposure to gambling.

6. Is there anyone who has impressed you with their approach to business? Who is an example for you? 
I really like Amazon’s approach. They work with third parties, until they develop a similar level of expertise and then launch their own versions. This approach allows them to offer clients a good level of service to start with and then they can take it to the next level by perfecting the process with an in-house solution. For instance, at the very beginning, goods from Amazon in the UK were delivered by Royal Mail. Gradually, the company built its own delivery system. The results are amazing: same-day delivery, weekend delivery and higher margins, perhaps.

7. What principles do you follow when developing Gamingtec?

I follow our code of conduct principles: celebrate diversity and create opportunities for all specialists, regardless of their age, gender, or nationality. In particular, during the last two years we have increased the number of female employees, from 10% to 36%. When we hire people, we look at their competences and skills, not their gender, or religion. However, age diversity is a challenge that we are yet to tackle.

When it comes to our offices, we try to facilitate teamwork and find channels of communication between employees. To build a cohesive team, we hold team-building activities. I really like the framework developed by Patrick Lencioni, which he describes in his book, ‘5 Dysfunctions of a team’. This framework enables employees to work through five distinct problematic areas: trust, conflict, commitment, accountability, and results. It is a never-ending process through which we strive to achieve transparent and honest communication. I believe that our company should be a place where employees trust each other, are open to discussions and debates, are ready to commit to decisions and assign responsibilities and, of course, accomplish significant goals for our company, as well.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
NSoft

Global Gaming Industry Newsletter – Weekly Digest (sent every Wednesday)

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from European Gaming Media and Events:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here. Read more about European Gaming Media and Event's Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Subscribe to our News via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to our news and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Latest by author

Trending

Notice for AdBlock users

We are constantly showing banners about important news regarding events and product launches. Please turn AdBlock off in order to see these areas.

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary Cookies

We use cookies to make our website work including:
- Remembering your search settings
- Allowing you to add comments to our site

There is no way to prevent these cookies being set other than to not use our site.

Our own cookies

Advertising

Cookies are widely used in online advertising. Neither us, advertisers or our advertising partners can gain personally identifiable information from these cookies. We only work with advertising partners who work to accepted privacy standards such as http://www.youronlinechoices.com/uk/iab-good-practice-principles.

You can learn more about online advertising at http://www.youronlinechoices.com . You can opt-out of almost all advertising cookies at http://www.youronlinechoices.com/uk/your-ad-choices although we would prefer that you didn’t as ultimately adverts help keep much of the internet free. It is also worth noting that opting out of advertising cookies will not mean you won’t see adverts, just simply that they won’t be tailored to you any longer.

We fund our site by showing adverts as you browse our site. These adverts are usually managed by a partner specialising in providing adverts for multiple sites. Invariably these partners place cookies to collect anonymous data about the websites you visits so they can personalise the adverts to you, ensure that you don’t see the same adverts too frequently and ultimately report to advertisers on which adverts are working.

Advertising Cookies, Banner Adverts

Analytics

We use cookies to compile visitor statistics such as how many people have visited our website, what type of technology they are using (e.g. Mac or Windows which helps to identify when our site isn’t working as it should for particular technologies), how long they spend on the site, what page they look at etc. This helps us to continuously improve our website. These so called “analytics” programs also tell us if , on an anonymous basis, how people reached this site (e.g. from a search engine) and whether they have been here before helping us to put more money into developing our services for you instead of marketing spend.

Analytics and Anonymous Visitor Statistics Cookies

Social Sharing Cookies

So you can easily “Like” or share our content on the likes of Facebook and Twitter we have included sharing buttons on our site.

Cookies are set by:
The privacy implications on this will vary from social network to social network and will be dependent on the privacy settings you have chosen on these networks.

Social Website Cookies