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Exclusive Interview with Dennis Tsalikis (CEO at Fantasy Sport Interactive)

Niji Narayan

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Photo credits: European Gaming Media
Reading Time: 6 minutes

It is always nice to catch up with successful people and get a glimpse into their extensive knowledge. This week I had the pleasure to interview a serial entrepreneur with extensive experience in setting up and managing businesses in diverse sectors. Dennis Tsalikis is co-founder and CEO of Fantasy Sports Interactive, an entrepreneur who decided to combine his passion for Fantasy Sports with his skill in establishing successful businesses.

Dennis has an engineering background and prior to starting his own business ventures, he was employed at Vertu.

After establishing his Higher Technical Education with a University degree in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering and gaining hands-on working experience as a CNC operator at N. Bazigos S.A, Dennis proceeded to acquire a Master’s Degree (MS) in Composite Materials, from London’s Imperial College. Below is our exclusive interview with Dennis, hope you enjoy it!

Let’s begin with a few words about yourself. Our readers love to know how top-class entrepreneurs describing themselves.

Dennis: Fervent. Down to earth,with a positive outlook. Demanding, but fair. Always striving for the best, first and foremost for my people and then in terms of personal accomplishment.

You have studied engineering and science in some of the foremost institutions in Europe, and have had a stellar industrial career. What made you switch to something seemingly different like betting and fantasy sports?

Dennis: For me, engineering and science are the foundations of constructive thinking and a solid professional background. Our Co-Founder, Bill Mexias, and I, got to know fantasy football while working in the UK at Barclays and Vertu respectively, as a team-bonding activity in the workplace. We immediately realized that fantasy football would become the next big thing in gaming and we could see that fantasy sports were the perfect option, combining innovation with great business potential.

You have made your debut in the gaming sector when you co-founded Bet4theBest.com? Did the launch and subsequent performance of the company go according to the plans? Would like to hear your experiences?

Dennis: Bet4theBest was my debut in the gaming industry, an amazing and most positive experience. We managed to establish a tight-knit and effective core team, sharing a common passion in fantasy sports and skill gaming. Internally speaking, we learned a lot in this difficult and demanding journey, while on a collective, industry level, we were part of a generation of operators that managed to bring Fantasy Sports in Europe and to the spotlight. We are most proud about being the first licensed fantasy sports operators in Europe to launch under a wide and impactful marketing strategy, including mass media such as the newspapers and the radio alongside digital marketing. Furthermore, Bet4theBest was a successful Proof of Concept and a product that caught the attention of the UK fantasy football audience, one of the most mature and demanding audiences in the industry.

It has been close to a year since you launched Fantasy Sports Interactive Ltd.  How is it going now? Would like to hear some stats and details about major deals.

Dennis: Fantasy Sports Interactive (FSI) is the next level of our Fantasy Sports business venture and the main, B2B act after our B2C opening. During our original business planning, we had foreseen the future need of the market for reliable white label fantasy sports solutions. Our platform has been designed to increase customer attraction, enrich Marketing strategy, provide competitive content and an exciting gaming experience. Our tailored offering led us to a very satisfying first year, featuring a partnership with Gauselmann’s subsidiaries, Cashpoint and Xtip, in progress, a successful World Cup launch and ongoing collaboration in Africa with Africabet.com and a couple of more projects, including our future launch in India with Indus Games.A very important piece of information I can share with you now, is the development of an exclusive, breakthrough Fantasy product, which we plan to announce at ICE 2019.

It is already a crowded market of gaming software developers. What makes Fantasy Sports Interactive stand apart in the crowd?

Dennis: The winning combination of Fantasy Sports Interactive is that variety, versatility and innovation. Our goal is to offer original products going beyond standard market formats and this is what makes us stand apart. Our We make customized fantasy products for fantasy sports betting, social gaming, skill gaming, in mobile-first, online and retail formats. We offer back-end support services, flexible marketing solutions and consulting, making results and meaningful customer relationships a top priority. However, the most important part of FSI is our team, which is high-skilled and most experienced in the fantasy betting industry.

In the USA sports betting is likely to grow significantly in the coming years, following a recent US Supreme Court order that allows states to decide on legalizing sports betting. What are your thoughts on the development? How it is going to affect the gaming industry, and gaming software developing companies in particular?

Dennis: I think that everyone in the iGaming industry was expecting the US market  to open at some point. The PASPA court ruling made this possible and it is groundbreaking, since it opened the doors to a wide market of consumers who have been seeking to enjoy legal and regulated gaming services for some time now. The US audience is one of key importance; It has a strong affinity for Fantasy Sports, but at the same time it needs further education in betting and igaming. The skill gaming element is very important and this will require software companies to become more versatile and flexible. This is why we feel that FSI is ready for the US market, with a mature, tested product, combining fantasy sports with betting options.

Fantasy sports have been evolving all the time. How do you see it developing further in the near future, amidst the rise of new disruptive technologies?

Dennis: Indeed, Fantasy Sports have evolved greatly, from the classic season-long model, to the various daily fantasy options available today. I think that contemporary technologies and the lasting internet boom will lead to further progress and gamification, with more clear and mature fantasy products developed around instant and social gaming. Gaming technology will evolve under a customer-centric model, with bet types where the user has full control and a wide range of options to choose from.


Here are a few more details about Dennis and FSI:

Dennis chose to exploit his industrial background and expand the valuable experience he gained in business, by shaping Genesis World Trans, an international cargo services company, which already counts 12 years of successful activity.

While being the Managing Director of Genesis World Trans since 2008, Dennis continued to explore all aspects of business activity and decided to pursue his entrepreneurial vision, by founding one of the first Fantasy Sports Companies in Europe.

In 2014, together with Bill Mexias, he Co-founded “Bet4theBest” – a B2C fantasy football company based in Malta and Athens and the first step of an innovative and ambitious business plan targeting the contemporary iGaming industry.

Bet4theBest operated under a soft launch since 2014 and its official launch within the UK in 2015, was marked by organized and intense marketing activity. Traditional wide-range marketing channels such as the newspapers and the radio (The Racing Post, Daily Star, Daily Mirror, talkSport), were combined with digital marketing activity and a well-known brand ambassador in retired footballer and BBC pundit Jermaine Jenas.

Bet4theBest is licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority and the UK Gambling Commission, servicing all locations covered by both Authorities. The company kept operating, offering a variety of fresh and competitive fantasy football games to consumers, until 2017 and served as a Proof of Concept for the white label products of the upcoming Fantasy Sports Software Company, Fantasy Sports Interactive (FSI).

Dennis Co-founded FSI in 2016, keeping the business core and philosophy of Bet4theBest, while further growing its dedicated team and the company’s caliber.

FSI is based in London and has an active branch in Athens, as well.

Under Dennis’s leadership and with an experienced team, the Business and IT divisions have been constantly developing the company and its Fantasy Sports products, aiming at continuous evolution and successful partnerships.

FSI already boasts two important iGaming partnerships, one already launched for the World Cup with Africabet.com and one being a work in progress with Gauselmann’s sportsbook subsidiary companies, Cashpoint and Xtip. In the meanwhile, the team has been working on projects yet to be announced, as well.

About FSI:

Fantasy Sports Interactive offers the most complete range of fantasy sports gaming options. It has been the first company to launch fantasy betting services in Europe through its own fantasy sport product, Bet4theBest, and gain hands-on B2C and marketing management experience.

Powered by our innovative platform and deep insight in fantasy sports betting and skill gaming, we provide tailored white-label solutions to iGaming operators, lotteries and business companies seeking a modern and effective customer acquisition tool.

We offer companies the opportunity to create an engaging, competitive and fully licensed iGaming product that fits each operational model like a glove.

FSI has developed the optimal Fantasy Sports Solution for every operator:

A complete software offering for the iGaming industry, designed to increase customer attraction, enrich Marketing strategy, provide competitive content and an exciting gaming experience.

Our offering includes:

  • Fantasy Sports gaming products
  • social gaming concepts
  • fantasy sportsbook and betting formats
  • online, mobile-first and retail options
  • backend support services
  • full adaptability in terms of Regulatory frameworks

For more details contact: [email protected]

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Daily Fantasy Sports

Scout Gaming launches 1 Million Euro Fantasy Premier League Season Game

George Miller

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Scout Scout Gaming launches 1 Million Euro Fantasy Premier League Season Gamepresents preliminary Q1 revenues and the initial COVID-19 impact
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

As the leading B2B fantasy sports provider, Scout Gaming Group is following up last year’s “quarter of a mill” Premier League Season Game by offering €1,000,000 guaranteed prize pool for this season. With 50,000 available seats at €25 each, the competition promises to pay out 1,250 prizes, with the 1st place securing €200,000. The tournament will be available for Scout Gaming’s clients in the world-wide network.

Scout Gaming’s seasonal game has similarities to the popular official Fantasy Premier League game with regards to budget, number of players, and some of the scoring rules. There are prizes for best manager per month and even per game week. A side tournament for the high rollers is provided as well, with a hefty buy-in of €2,625.

“We are very pleased on a global basis, first time ever, offer a life changing money prize pool for the upcoming start of Premier League. Outside the US, Premier League is considered to be number one Fantasy Game, the official Fantasy Premier League, free-to-play game, which currently attracts between 6-7 millions players has experienced heavy growth the recent years. On the backbone of that and the general interest from our partners enables us to provide this record-breaking prize sum”, comments Andreas Sundal, CPO and Co-founder, Scout Gaming.

Even with the season game around the corner, Scout Gaming Group is first and foremost a sports game provider focusing on the player performance, by offering a wide variety of sports and leagues with real money DFS buy-ins and prizes, including: NBA Basket, NHL hockey, an increasing set of Esports, MLB baseball, NFL football, UFC Mixed Martial Arts, Grand Slam tennis, IPL Cricket and of course soccer and several of local leagues globally.

Additionally, Scout Gaming Group is a pioneer in offering betting markets on fantasy points duels, matchups, and over/under fantasy points. Using the same scoring system as for DFS, it is possible to set up duels between players from different matches, and even from different sports.

“We have a clear focus on offering the most interesting betting products for player-oriented bets, including both traditional DFS, but also above stated markets and other newly developed products. Even after the American reregulation, DFS is an essential product on the American sports betting market – something that is spreading world-wide as well. We are very pleased to so far been entrusted from a couple of leading operators, including for example the market leader in Greece, Stoiximan, the state-governed leading Norweigan operator Norsk Tipping among others”, continues Andreas Sundal, CPO and Co-founder, Scout Gaming.

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Daily Fantasy Sports

DraftKings Extends Stats Perform Deal

Niji Narayan

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DraftKings Extends Stats Perform Deal
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

DraftKings Inc. has extended its deal with the US-based sports data firm Stats Perform. The deal provides DraftKings access to Stats Perform’s unparalleled sports data feeds for use in its daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests and DK Live, the company’s play-by-play fantasy app.

Through the partnership extension, DraftKings will incorporate Stats Perform data from a multitude of professional sports leagues, including the NBA, MLB, NHL, WNBA, FIBA, CFL, college football, men’s college basketball and most top soccer leagues worldwide.

“We are proud to continue our partnership with DraftKings to create a fun and exciting DFS experience for sports fans worldwide. Using Stats Perform data, DraftKings has sparked innovation and dramatic growth within the fields of predictive sports analytics and digital entertainment. As interest in DFS continues to grow, we look forward to our continued work with DraftKings to power a new wave of AI-powered sports statistics that drive new insights and opportunities for the DFS experience,” Steve Xeller, Chief Revenue Officer of Stats Perform, said.

“DraftKings has become a premier destination for skin-in-the-game sports fans. Our growing list of DFS games are extremely popular and require fast and accurate data for fans who are following along to games in real-time. Through our longstanding partnership with Stats Perform, we have developed an important layer of trust between our customers and the sports data they interact with. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Stats Perform as we expand our offerings in the U.S and abroad,” Ezra Kucharz, Chief Business Officer of DraftKings, said.

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Daily Fantasy Sports

NOTICE TO ATTEND THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF SCOUT GAMING GROUP AB

George Miller

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NOTICE TOScout Gaming has been nominated for the EGR B2B Awards for the 4th consecutive time, in the category Fantasy Sports Supplier ATTEND THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF SCOUT GAMING GROUP AB
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

The shareholders of Scout Gaming Group AB, are hereby given notice to attend the Annual General Meeting to be held at 1:00 p.m., Monday 25 May, at Advokatfirman Delphi, Mäster Samuelsgatan 17 in Stockholm. Registration and entry commence at 12:45 p.m.

NOTICE OF PARTICIPATION

Shareholders who wish to participate in the proceedings of the Annual General Meeting must:

  • be entered in the shareholders’ register kept on behalf of the Company by Euroclear Sweden AB, as of Monday 18 May 2020, and
  • notify the Company of its intention to participate, no later than Monday 18 May 2020.

Notification of participation shall be given in writing to Scout Gaming Group (publ), Attn: Årsstämma, Kaptensgatan 6, 3tr, 114 57 Stockholm, Sweden, or by e-mail to [email protected] Such notice must contain full name alternatively company name, personal identification number or organisation number, address, daytime phone number and, where applicable, information regarding any attending representative or counsel (maximum two).

Personal data obtained from the share register kept by Euroclear Sweden AB, notice of attendance at the General Meeting and information on representatives, proxies and deputies will be used for registration, preparation of the voting list for the General Meeting and, where appropriate, the minutes of the General Meeting. Personal data is handled in accordance with the Data Protection Regulation (European Parliament and Council Regulation (EU) 2016/679). For full information regarding the Company’s handling of personal data, please refer to the Company’s privacy policy, https://www.scoutgaminggroup.com/privacy-policy.

NOMINEE-REGISTRERED SHARES

In order to exercise their voting rights at the Annual General Meeting, shareholders whose shares are registered under a nominee must temporarily register their shares in their own name, so the person concerned is registered in the share register kept by Euroclear Sweden AB, no later than Monday 18 May 2020. Such registration can be temporary.

REPRESENTATIVES AND POWER OF ATTORNEY

A person not present at the annual general meeting may exercise their right at the Annual General Meeting by a written, signed and dated Power of Attorney. The Company provides a Power of Attorney form at the Company’s website, www.scoutgaminggroup.com. The Power of Attorney form may also be collected at the Company or ordered via e-mail on the above address. If the Power of Attorney is issued by a legal entity, the registration certificate or equivalent authorization document, in regards of the legal entity, must be attached. To facilitate the entry at the meeting, Power of Attorney, registration certificates and other equivalent authorization documents must be available to the Company at the above address at the latest on Monday 18 May 2020. Please note that the possibility of having a representative or proxy exercise the shareholder’s voting rights at the Annual General Meeting requires that the shareholder has made a notification to attend the Annual General Meeting and is included in the share register in accordance with the above.

PROPOSED AGENDA

  1. Opening of the Annual General Meeting
  2. Election of Chairman at the Annual General Meeting
  3. Preparation and approval of the voting list
  4. Approval of the Board of Directors’ proposed agenda
  5. Election of one or two persons to approve the minutes
  6. Determination of whether the Annual General Meeting has been duly convened
  7. Address by the CEO and presentation of the annual report
  8. Resolutions regarding:
    1. adoption of the income statement and the balance sheet and consolidated income statement and consolidated balance sheet;
    2. allocation of the Company’s earnings in accordance with the duly adopted balance sheet; and
    3. discharge from liability for the Board of Directors and the CEO
  9. Determination of number of Directors and number of Auditors and any Deputy Auditors or registered auditor firm
  10. Resolution on fees for the Board of Directors and the Auditor
  11. Election of Directors, Chairman of the Board and Auditors and any Deputy Auditor or registered auditor firm
  12. Resolution on editorial changes of the Articles of Association
  13. Resolution on authorization for the Board of Directors to resolve on new issue of shares
  14. Closing of the Annual General Meeting

INFORMATION ON PROPOSED DIRECTORS

As stated in the notice to attend the Annual General Meeting the major shareholders’ propose re-election of the following four (4) ordinary Directors until the end of the next Annual General Meeting: Jörgen Ragnarsson, Carla Maree Vella, Atle Sundal and Anders Enochsson. Furthermore, Hans Isoz is proposed as ordinary Director until the end of the next Annual General Meeting. Anders Enochsson is proposed to be elected as Chairman of the Board of Directors. The current Chairman of the Board of Directors, Rolf Blom, has declined re-election. Descriptions of the proposed Directors can be found on the Company’s website.

NUMBER OF SHARES AND VOTES

The total number of shares in Scout Gaming at the time of issuance of the notice is 17,501,592, which correlates with the numbers of votes in the Company.

SHAREHOLDERS REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

Pursuant to Chapter 7, section 32 and 57 of the Swedish Companies Act (Sw. aktiebolagslagen), the Board of Directors and the CEO shall provide information at the Annual General Meeting, regarding circumstances that may affect the assessment of a matter on the agenda, or the Company’s economic situation or the Company’s relation to other group companies, if any shareholder requests so and the Board of Directors deems that it can be made without material damage to the Company.

DOCUMENTATION

Accounting records, audit report and the Board of Director’s complete proposals and other documentation required according to the Swedish Companies Act will be available at the Company’s office as stated above and on the Company’s website www.scoutgaminggroup.com no later than the date required by law. Copies of the mentioned documentation will be sent to those shareholders who request it and provides their postal address. All the documentation will also be presented at the Annual General Meeting.

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