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Coexistence of physical and digital – a story of 2020 betting business

George Miller

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Coexistence of physical and digital - a story of 2020 betting business
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Isaac Asimov beautifully described an overlapping relationship between physical and digital, eventually leading to the unifcation of the two in a god-like creature. Does the betting business story end like this?

by Ivan Rozić, SVP of Global Sales and Business Development at NSoft

In November 1956, Isaac Asimov published a science fction short story called “The Last Question” which beautifully describes an overlapping relationship between physical and digital eventually leading to the unifcation of the two in a god-like creature.

Slowly but steadily, we have been following this path for decades, but 2020 has shown us physical and digital are still very much separated.

Betting business in 2020 – a prequel

With huge countries such as the USA, Brazil and India starting to open up and regulate gambling and betting, 2019 was a big morale booster to the entire igaming industry and growth throughout 2020 was inevitable for everybody involved. But instead of launching all those new projects, operators and suppliers alike were left reinventing their existing solutions for a new world we started living in from the early days of 2020.

With the physical aspect of our lives so abruptly taken from us, each and every person in igaming immediately scratched every retail-oriented project and started working on the digital. Virtual games and esports frenzy set the stage for the following months during which operators tried their best to provide desperately needed content for punters and providers followed suit.

Endless video calls during which we all came to a profound understanding of prof. Robert Kelly and his famous live interview for BBC were all based on digital. NSoft, being a virtual games provider, was going above and beyond in supporting existing and new partners with additional online content. Not only did we form and dedicate additional teams for all online integrations of our content but we also gave our in-house virtual games completely free of charge during April and May.

What 2020 have brought to us and what we have learned

At this point, NSoft’s monthly revenues were tarnished as we were heavily dependent on our partners’ retail business. Needless to say, we were able to fully sympathize with all of our partners which lost big chunks of their business due to lockdowns.

Steadily, COVID’s grip on the physical started to loosen in most of the markets and NSoft’s revenues sprung back to life fueled by our record online numbers. But we at NSoft are very much aware that we are still far from seeing retail business as it once was. The physical part of our lives is still but a shadow of what it once was and it will take a long time to get back to the pre-COVID world we all long for. So we drew some important lessons which will help us navigate the deep waters we are all in.

Lesson one – online frst sportsbook solution

NSoft is one of the few sportsbook solution providers in the market which is able to integrate and adapt to any third-party online platform. Our prematch and live solutions are running on multiple platforms at the moment attracting new users for our partners who were previously casino-oriented. During 2020 we decided to heavily invest in the digital aspect of our sportsbook solution by adding cashout, backend AI models and a completely new UI for all of our existing and new partners.

We aim to provide a top-of-the-line sportsbook solution that gives the operator ease of mind regardless of its size and ambition. It can be integrated as an iframe solution with customized frontend design done by NSoft or as an API-based solution ideal for UI savvy companies looking to build their own unique frontend.

You can handle your own risk management or put your trust into the industry-leading MTS solution brought to you by NSoft and Sportradar. Either way, you will receive a completely bespoke solution carefully catered to your needs with dedicated teams working on your project.

Lesson two – physical does not become digital on its own

For the last decade, NSoft’s virtual games have revolutionized retail business for our partners across the globe. We have seen NSoft’s virtual games growing retail businesses across Europe, Africa and Latin America regardless of punters’ habits and local specifcities. Game design, the retail platform’s stability and vast experience in handling operational headaches that retail operators go through made our virtual games an essential source of additional revenue for all our partners.

Unfortunately, the transition of this content into digital was not as successful, mostly due to our previous focus on making the virtual games portfolio perfect for the retail environment.

Throughout 2020 all of our virtual games went back to the drawing board. Our in-house teams of experts worked hard to learn from digital users’ behaviour on our virtual games and incorporate their direct and indirect feedback into a fresh digitally oriented spinof of our most popular virtual content. We are now ready to “unleash” them to production with all of our existing and new partners and witness a true digital transformation of revenue-driving powerhouses like Lucky Six, Roulette, Virtual Penalties and many more.

Lesson three – physical will be back

As mentioned earlier in this article, we are still very far from digital and physical unifcation, which means retail will be back to full strength. It’s hard to predict whether it will take months or years to get there, but we are already working hard to greet everybody back by making our Seven retail platform more fexible than ever. NSoft’s in-house products already featured in Seven retail platform have already proven themselves on the ground with our pre-match and in-play betting solutions running on tens of thousands of devices across more than 40 markets worldwide.

This includes a vast network of betting terminals which will surely drive retail for years to come. With our in-house products already going from strength to strength over SSBTs, we decided to open our retail and SSBT platform to third-party products. You can now utilize NSoft’s state-of-the-art hardware peripherals management which cuts years of development and millions in investments needed to support the range of printers, scanners, bill acceptors, card readers and monitors. NSoft already supports it all and keeps adding more.

Finally, 2021 will be all about getting back to business as usual, but the lessons learned throughout 2020 will undoubtedly impact the igaming industry for years to come.

Gaming

MaxBill Conducts the Analysis of Post-COVID Innovation in the Gaming Industry

George Miller

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MaxBill Conducts the Analysis of Post-COVID Innovation in the Gaming Industry
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

The Gaming industry had a blast in 2020, growing 12% in revenue. This is a stark contrast to many other economic sectors that shrank during the global health crisis. What’s more important, this boost is predicted to continue its effect in 2021. This rapid growth has pushed many gaming companies to transform and implement innovative technologies, to keep up with the trends. It was projected that automation of the internal processes, use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Augmented Reality, etc. will be a huge part of the gaming landscape in 2021.

As a digital transformation provider, MaxBill constantly analyzes the state of innovation in the fields relevant to our clients and partners. We believe that deep understanding not only of our client’s business, but industry as a whole, is necessary for developing the best and most fitting solution. In particular, it is crucial to get a better understanding of where the majority of the companies stand after the pandemic.

Right now MaxBill conveys a short and fully anonymous survey that will give us valuable insight into the current state of the gaming industry. We expect to get valuable data for analysis during the next 4-5 weeks. Shortly after we plan to distribute the resulting report along with corresponding recommendations, so that all interested companies would get an idea of where the industry realistically is.

All professionals belonging to the gaming sector in any capacity are welcome to participate in this research: it is free and anonymous.

If you are curious to see what the report might look like, you can check out similar research that was conducted for the utility industry. Keep in mind, however, that each sector has its specifics, so the resulting documents can differ accordingly.

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Gaming

Live streaming sponsorships platform inSTREAMLY raises €1.1m

George Miller

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inSTREAMLY raises €1.1m
(L-R) Szymon Kubiak, Damian Konopka, Maciej Sawicki, Wiktoria Wójcik.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

The Warsaw-based start-up wants to be the go-to platform for all streamers to grow and monetise their passion and for brands to work with streamers to reach Gen Z viewers

Live streaming sponsorships platform inSTREAMLY has raised a €1.1m seed round led by Supernode Global to expand into new markets.

Founded in 2019 by a team of live streaming and marketing professionals, inSTREAMLY has built a platform that enables all streamers – regardless of size – access to brands and to participate and execute sponsorships.

Colopl Next and PKO TFI were also involved in the investment round and previous pre-seed investment was secured from SMOK VC, which is run by Paul Bragiel, an investor in Niantic (PokemonGO), Unity, Uber, and Stripe.

The global live streaming market is valued at $70bn and expected to rise to $184.27bn by 2027. It is extremely difficult to execute brand sponsorship deals for the live streaming market, so typically only the largest streamers with millions of followers are able to work with large brands, leaving the majority of streamers without access to brand deals. With inSTREAMLY’S technology and platform, all streamers gain access to deals previously reserved for the top 0.01% and brands are able to access a large and highly engaged community of micro-streamers, delivering the same amount of impressions, but much better conversion rates than with larger streamers.

While the industry average CTR for paid ads is 0,7%, a recent campaign with 956 streamers achieved a 4% CTR, demonstrating that smaller streamers are able to draw more engagement, which brands such as Netflix, Samsung, PlayStation, Adidas, and Reebok, among others, are capturing through inSTREAMLY’s platform.

“I personally know how life-changing it can be for a small streamer to get their first revenue from streaming. It makes you believe that you can turn your passion into a career. With the new funds, we will be accelerating our expansion to new markets and aim to deliver the best opportunities to streamers worldwide,” says Wiktoria Wójcik, co-founder, inSTREAMLY.

“We see massive potential in how inSTREAMLY is democratising sponsorship opportunities for the live streaming ecosystem and believe the team’s deep understanding of the market and passion for streaming will be a key component to their success. We’re incredibly excited to lead this round and look forward to supporting inSTREAMLY as they expand their platform into new markets.” – says Phoebe Arkell, Supernode Global.

“Media agencies and large brands are currently facing difficulties in building a sales message that would be engaging for the Generation Z. inSTREAMLY fills this gap. The value of the Company is built for all current shareholders, and we believe it will be a part of inSTREAMLY global success.” – Krzysztof Tokarski, Managing Director at PKO VC.

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Compliance Updates

GambleAware Calls for Mandatory Levy in Gambling Act Review Consultation

Niji Narayan

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GambleAware Calls for Mandatory Levy in Gambling Act Review Consultation
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

GambleAware has published its submission of Call for Evidence to the Department of Digital Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in response to the Gambling Act review.

The submission outlines ongoing issues in the gambling sector found by GambleAware, with a particular focus on the prevention of gambling harms and research to inform policy.

It comes in response to the UK government’s December 2020 review of the 2005 Gambling Act. As part of the review, the DCMS launched a call for new evidence to investigate issues such as spend limits and how gambling affects young adults.

The findings are intended to inform changes to the 2005 Gambling Act.

Most prominently, GambleAware continued its advocacy for a mandatory levy to fund research, education and treatment (RET) related to gambling and gambling-related harm.

Currently, British gambling law requires licensed British operators to donate a portion of funds to responsible gambling initiatives, but there is no minimum on how much should be donated.

GambleAware reported that in the last twelve months, it received £15.6m in voluntary donations, a rise from £11m the previous year. In June 2020 the Betting and Gaming Council pledged £100m to GambleAware on behalf of the 4 largest gambling operators in Britain: Bet365, GVC Holdings, Flutter Entertainment and William Hill.

“The voluntary nature of the current arrangements results inevitably in uncertainty of funding year to year and to significant variations in cash flow within the year,” the submission reads.

“This unpredictable funding model represents a significant challenge given that a key function of GambleAware as a commissioning body is to provide assurance to funded services about recurrent income streams so that expert clinical teams can be established and sustained to provide treatment and support for those who need help.”

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