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Exclusive Q&A with Sandra McWilliams of SIS

George Miller

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Exclusive Q&A with Sandra McWilliams of SIS
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Always on: any day, any time
Sandra McWilliams, Sales Director at SIS, talks to European Gaming about the development of their 24/7 Live Betting Channels as SIS looks to drive further progress in 2019

European Gaming: What was the motivation behind your recently released 24/7 Live Betting Channels?

Sandra McWilliams (SM): Consumers are so used to having everything on demand due to recent technological advances – such as streaming a box set on demand, and accessing millions of songs at the click of a button.

An unmistakable market trend is that consumers value being able to access their preferred form of content on their own terms. More specifically, within the betting & gaming market, bettors shouldn’t have to wait for their next engagement opportunity, and now, bettors can access betting on racing opportunities every three minutes, with the launch of our new 24/7 Live Betting Channels.

These 24/7 Live Betting Channels provide bettors with regular betting opportunities throughout the day, across all time zones, at times that suit them. It is important that there is quality content in all time slots to engage bettors around the world.

European Gaming: To what do you attribute this scaling demand?

SM: I think the demand has always been there, it’s just been a question of knowing how to service it effectively. Especially when it comes to serving a global network of partners, which goes to the heart of SIS’s status as a truly worldwide supplier of betting content. Trite as it may sound, content remains king. You’ve just got to understand how best to package it, so that every operator gets something that’s really relevant for them, wherever they are on the map.

European Gaming: Do you think the needs of the bettor have changed?

SM: I expect they haven’t. I think our innate tastes and desires largely stay the same. The difference is the ability to deliver what the customer wants– and that’s a combination of technology, allied to the distribution model. Up until the mid-2000’s it was commonplace for consumers to have to wait each week to watch an episode of their favourite programmes but now with the proliferation of streaming services we can binge watch an entire series on demand. Consumers have wanted the ability to watch their desired programmes at times that suited them but both technology and the distribution models prevented them from doing so, until now. The same is true in the betting industry, bettors have always wanted to see the content they are betting on but it hasn’t always been possible until now.

European Gaming: How are you able to fill the channels with content that cover all hours of the day?

SM: We’ve made a concerted effort to boost our racing portfolio, adding quality live racing from racecourses across the globe. Last month we announced a partnership with Tote Media to distribute live pictures from the Latin American Racing Channel’s (LARC) meetings. The agreement expanded SIS’s Latin American horse racing suite to over 4,500 races per year, with racing from Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Peru. It also showcases some of the elite racecourses in the region, such as Hipódromo Argentino de Palermo, Hipódromo Chile, Club Hipico Santiago, San Isidro, Monterrico and Gavea. These rights acquisitions follow similar distribution deals with Kranji Racecourse in Singapore, and the Melbourne Racing Club and Thoroughbred Racing South in Australia (in association with RMG) to further bolster a truly international portfolio of premium horse racing.

European Gaming: Explain the format on offer across these live channels?

SM: We can provide these channels as an end-to-end solution to both online and retail operators, featuring live streamed pictures, data, on-screen graphics with betting prompts and an extensive range of markets and prices. These new channels are delivered in a ‘Watch and Bet’ format and provide attractive and profitable short-form content throughout the day, with a betting event every 3 minutes.

To maintain quality events at all hours of the day, it features exclusive, world-class live UK & Irish horse racing, with international horse racing from Dubai, Latin America, Mauritius and South Korea, as well as UK & Irish greyhound racing. In addition, these events are interwoven with market-leading virtual horse and greyhound races to maintain engagement levels.

European Gaming: Do these channels allow for customisation at all?

SM: Absolutely, there’s an option for operators to customise the channels in order to brand them to their specific requirements. This ensures that operators can adjust the product to meet their own individual needs. We can accommodate bespoke partner logos, time zones and languages for commentaries, plus on-screen graphics and betting triggers.

European Gaming: Are there any major operator deals in the works as we start the build up to ICE 2019?

SM: I’m happy to report that we have a number of tier-one operators already lined up to take our 24/7 Live Betting Channels before the end of the year. Naturally, we plan to add to that pipeline between now and ICE in February. As the leading supplier of 24/7 racing, we hope that our stand at ICE will prove the first port of call for operators looking to provide their customers with frequent betting opportunities.

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Interviews

50 flavors of Endorphina at London event in 2019

Zoltan Tundik

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

When it comes to international exhibitions there are certain exhibiting companies that immediately catch attendee´s attention with their promo. As usually, Endorphina was one of these companies during the main igaming event of the year – ICE London.

What was Endorphina´s booth all about then?

This time, Endorphina wasn´t playing any games and brought in a guest star from the US – Erik Cavanaugh, who has already won the hearts of millions with his passion for dancing and challenging stereotypes of a dancer’s body. Erik’s been viewed over 90 million times worldwide and his fame is still rising. His videos and interviews were published by major publications like People Magazine, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Forbes, and more. During each performance there was a crowd watching Erik, cheering and admiring his graceful moves. Trust us, it was an impeccable performance!

We had a chance to ask Erik about his feelings regarding the event:

“I am so excited to be performing with Endorphina at ICE London and getting to show to the attendees that Dancers Come In All Sizes! This is my first time ever performing live in Europe and I couldn’t be more excited!”

Endorphina´s stand was buzzing all the time. Many people came to try their luck in Wheel of Fortune to win a huge collection of prizes – from witty branded cans, a very own Endorphina cookbook or custom Endorphina slides and branded socks. Provider´s slides and socks with designs of successful game titles were the most popular prizes and made more than one attendee of the show come back to their stand for a second chance to win it. And the rest was exploring provider´s latest games and business opportunities.

Did you witness the guy who impressed America with his charm and talent at the show? Or did you win some of the branded goods? Let us know!

 

Learn more about Endorphina: https://endorphina.com/about

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Interviews

When responsible gaming fails, problem gambling takes over, then there’s Gamban!

George Miller

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When responsible gaming fails, problem gambling takes over, then there’s Gamban!
Reading Time: 6 minutes

 

2018 was the year in which gambling operators and regulators moved up a gear in how they ensure responsible gaming is fully supported. 2019 is the year that software lends a helping hand. While many players enjoy betting on slot games, sports events and online casinos, problem gambling is a very real condition that can affect millions of people around the world.

In this iGaming Q & A session, Slotsquad looks at how software and technology can play its part in assisting problem gamblers online. Speaking with Gamban, we learn about the smartest and most effective software in the world for blocking online gambling sites and apps. Designed to block gambling and nothing else, it is the least intrusive, most intelligent and simple to install blocking software of its kind.

As we continue our journey to understand the iGaming industry, everything from how games are built to how casinos are regulated, we talk with the software experts fighting in the corner when responsible gaming fails. In a much anticipated Q & A with founder and CEO of Gamban, Jack Symons, we talk about the product, the future and how casino sites can do more to support players.

10 Questions with Gamban Founder and CEO, Jack Symons

Q1. Firstly, thanks for talking with Slotsquad. While most players know about online casinos, slot games and welcome bonuses, they don’t necessarily know about this side of the industry. Can you tell us about Gamban and how the software is making a difference?

Absolutely! Gamban blocks access to online gambling. You install the software on any and all of your devices and it stops your from accessing all gambling sites and applications – everything from bingo and poker to slots, skins gambling and casual trading. It’s designed to be as lightweight and effective as possible. Thousands of people are using the software and we are pleased that overall the software is helping so many people.

Q2. It’s very clever how Gamban is able to block thousands of online gambling sites, how does this part of the software work?

There are two approaches to this – and we have spent considerable time researching and developing different technologies. I should start by saying that each platform is considerably different as we work within the confines of what is and isn’t possible on each operating system.

However, underpinning each application is a powerful DNS system that automatically identifies gambling URLs, in addition to manual checking. We are always prepared to radically change the approach depending on what will make a better, simpler and more efficient product.

Q3. Do you ever come across websites that are wrongly designated as gambling domains? I guess this could be frustrating.

It’s not common. This was a bugbear of previous alternatives when I was setting up Gamban. What annoyed me most was finding I was blocked from [for example] restaurant websites, presumably because they, like casinos, use ‘chips’ – maybe that’s why? But sometimes the most innocuous sites were blocked and this was unacceptable.

On the rare occasion someone finds an inaccurately blocked site with Gamban, we can change this very quickly. We spend considerable time debating sites that fall between gambling and investing and regularly review the blacklist and whitelist.

Q4. Given the rise of internet gambling and mobile casinos now providing all-access around the clock, responsible gaming is being tested more than ever. Does Gamban provide one account that blocks access to gambling sites on multiple devices, including mobile phones?

Gamban can be installed on multiple devices – iOS, Android, Windows and Mac. We are exploring other emerging platforms, including Oculus (virtual reality), Playstation and Xbox. We aren’t intent on replacing willpower altogether but applying friction from the on-demand, omnipresent online gambling, where willpower alone isn’t enough for many.

Q5. Self-exclusion software can help problem gamblers and potential problem gamblers avoid contact with gambling websites, but it requires self-exclusion. Is Gamban a type of self-exclusion software and how does it differ from other types of this technology? Is it the best?

Gamban is self-exclusion software. It was designed knowing that individual operator self-exclusion is meaningless when there are thousands of other sites you can sign up and play on. However, the general consensus is that layering multiple self-exclusion tools (specifically financial spend blocking, the self exclusion register and gambling-blocking software) protection is more effective.

Gamban, Gamstop, Monzo. It works for me – I use all three and I cannot gamble online.

Q6. Gamban is independently evaluated with very good results. Can you please translate this for players, what does it mean and who evaluates Gamban?

Towards the end of last year, GambleAware commissioned an evaluation into the effectiveness of gambling-blocking software. The evaluation was undertaken by an agency in Birmingham and investigated Gamban, Betfilter, Gamblock and a number of similar but tangential tools in the access control space (parental control software). Gamban scored well in blocking functionality, yet cost was considered a barrier for some.

Q7. I see that Gamban software was selected by GambleAware to provide blocking software to its gambling support network. This is quite an achievement and a great endorsement that shows the capability of Gamban, you must have been pleased? And it’s free for players in the UK!

I’m very pleased with the results but our challenge is constantly evolving and we need to ensure our product is optimised for all platforms and updates to operating systems. The product has never been in better shape than it is today – and we have several major updates coming soon. Gamban is indeed free for players in the UK – people just need to contact one of the network of Gamcare treatment providers, including Gamcare and the National Gambling Helpline.

Q8. According to the UK Gambling Commission, tougher ID checks will be brought in to make sure self-excluded gamblers cannot cheat the system to place bets. Is it difficult to manoeuvre around the software in cases like this and if so, how do you see future updates improving Gamban?

This is essential for Gamstop to operate effectively and we fully support tougher ID checks to prevent gambling harm. If this fails, as it may do, Gamban provides a good level of protection. It’s been designed to be difficult to circumvent but we cannot stop someone buying a new phone or factory resetting.

As far as self-exclusion goes, our challenge is to create enough friction to stop people acting on impulse. But this is where financial spend blocking comes in useful too. If I ever want to gamble with three self-exclusion tools applied, I would have to apply a lot of creativity to act on impulse. Device, bank and ID – these are three difficult things to bypass.

Q9. Every year, the iGaming industry holds numerous events to promote marketing strategies, games development and online casino networking. Does Gamban get invited to these events? After all, casino operators and regulators support responsible gaming, don’t they?

Yes, we are always happy to be part of the discussion but we are keen to see change. What we want is more consistency in the way self-exclusion is delivered. We are pushing for a standardisation in the way self-exclusion is distributed and managed. Gamban has a role to play in this but we fully respect that fact that other systems add a lot of value to the individual trying to stop gambling. A lot of the events we go to seem to pay lip-service to the problem but I’ve seen quite a change over the past three years in the industry’s attitude towards responsible gambling.

One of the more interesting conversations I’ve been involved in is with the banking industry as a whole. Internet Service Providers, banks and other verticals have an opportunity to help individuals struggling with gambling addiction, as well as operators and regulators.

Q10. Lastly, how do you feel the future of online casinos and gaming sites looks from your perspective? Do you see Gamban and other self-exclusion technologies moving more towards operators and perhaps integrating with casino sites? For instance, name recognition etc to prevent players from signing up once they have chosen to bypass self-exclusion rules?

I’m surprised by how little innovation there has been in iGaming over the past five years, to be honest. Where I see a lot of industry focus on predictive behaviour, player insight and security, I feel the iGaming industry is in a position to be so far ahead of this – and yet, there is little that distinguishes one site from another. So little consistency. So much proprietary development is derailing effective cross-platform solution development and results in fragmented and disjointed support mechanisms for individuals going through one of the hardest processes imaginable.

What I would like to see is more engagement with the current self-exclusion ‘eco-system’ – more sharing, more collaboration and more integration of existing solutions. Until the bare minimum is achieved (an individual spelling out ‘I HAVE A PROBLEM’ to an operator and being offered anything close to a helpful, practical and effective strategy), I find it hard to take operator-funded ‘innovation hubs’ and ‘incubators’ little more than a ‘innovation’ branding exercise.

Once the bare minimum is being achieved, there’s potentially light at the end of the tunnel for the industry. Thousands of children who are playing games with gambling elements combined – I often wonder what will happen in a decade – are these children going to be playing on slot machines or will they continue playing games? Will gambling be able to compete with gaming or are the two products sufficiently different.

The point here is that a lot of innovation is going into responsible gambling technology – would it not be better to concentrate on making the products more engaging, interesting and powerful? The market will provide RG solutions to problem gamblers – operators just need to support and get behind these tools.

 

Source: Slotsquad 

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Interviews

Enteractive to bring player reactivation to the stage at ICE London 2019

George Miller

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Enteractive to bring player reactivation to the stage at ICE London 2019
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Enteractive CEO Mikael Hansson talks to European Gaming about his company’s first ever appearance at ICE and why adding the human touch to customer engagement along with new technology will drive players to re-deposit with operators

 

European Gaming: This year marks the first time that Enteractive will be exhibiting at ICE London, what was the thinking taking a stand at the ExCeL London?

Mikael Hansson (MH): Strategically, and along with us celebrating our 10th anniversary, it’s the perfect time for us to showcase our leading player retention solutions to the wider industry. The company has grown considerably in recent times with our recently launched (Re)activation Cloud now live with many operators across Europe, and ICE London gives us the ideal platform to speak to a wider audience.

Our debut appearance at the exhibition also comes at a time when regulatory changes are having a major impact on the global gaming industry, and we feel that our products can make a real difference for operators. We specialise in player reactivation, which will become a major focus in the marketplace over the coming months as regulators introduce stricter marketing procedures that will make it even harder to attract and acquire new customers.

European Gaming: What will Enteractive be exhibiting at stand N9-252? Do you have an exciting new product that you are showcasing?

MH: We’ll be exhibiting our innovative new (Re)activation Cloud service, which is an AI-driven platform built for large-scale personal player retention, as well as strengthening customer loyalty and improving responsible gambling measures. Through (Re)activation Cloud, operators can re-engage their player base with our industry leading one-to-one personal player conversations, resulting in up to 50% of players re-depositing.

Following a seamless API integration, CRM managers will have access to a real-time dashboard that gives them the ability to monitor player survey results, as well as responsible gambling measures, while all scheduling and optimisation is AI-driven.

European Gaming: What sets Enteractive’s approach to player reactivation apart from your competition?

MH: We’ve been specialising in player reactivation and retention for more than 10 years and implementing the human touch to our approach has been a major factor in our success. This personal approach helps operators to understand exactly what their players want from their gaming experience. Rather than send them a generic email bonus offer, we find that talking to them directly can be beneficial in finding out their likes and dislikes, as well as other circumstances that may influence their gaming habits.

Along with this, we have invested many resources into our technology, which complements our personal approach. Our (Re)activation Cloud, gives an operator full control of their reactivation campaign, whilst investing in full security and responsible gaming.

European Gaming: How will new technology like artificial intelligence enhance the process of player reactivation?

MH: Leaning on a cloud platform that incorporates artificial intelligence will significantly improve the method of player reactivation. Operator marketing teams will be able to deploy a procedure where they can automate how players are approached, pinpointing exactly who should be contacted, at the ideal time, and understanding why they are being approached in the first place.

New technology will also help to enhance security measures when contacting players. The introduction of GDPR means proper procedures need to be in place to handle sensitive customer information and storing such data via a cloud platform ensures it is safeguarded.

We firmly believe that incorporating modern technology, alongside the traditional human touch to player reactivation, will drive engagement and revenues for operators, as well as securing the long-term

Enteractive will be at stand N9-252, exhibiting its full range of player retention solutions. To find out more or to book a meeting, please contact info@enteractive.com.

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