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The future of retail: Talking betting terminals with Altenar

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

As Altenar continues to go from strength-to-strength in the online space – we caught up with Sales Manager Alejandro Cazorla to talk all things retail and the sports betting expert’s plans to bring a truly next-gen in-shop betting experience across Europe and LatAm. 

Having already launched their next-gen betting terminal with Golden Palace in Belgium, we got ready to cover all the goal posts – through retail technology, player demographics and the keys to bringing the new generation of players into betting shops.  

Talk us through Altenar’s plans for your high-tech terminal for global markets – what makes your product stand out from the crowd? 

Our solution is a terminal with a difference, developed from the ground up to represent one of the most advanced terminals available on the market. We’ve designed our retail offering to be as tech-first as possible, with a view to placing it at the forefront of the technology space.

This approach means we’re able to offer an advanced betting experience that is individual to each partner – ensuring no front-end shortcut is the same – but also the technology that ensures each product will be continuously updated and upgraded in real time with as little as one click.

Combining central back-office management, highly advanced tracking and performance tools, as well as telemetry, close to zero downtime is the priority. The goal is to create a truly next-gen betting experience that will bring new demographics into retail shops.

Localisation is another key factor, and by bringing this concept to the terminals, it is highly likely to enhance the consumer experience. The objective is to give operators the ability to deliver a personalised in-shop experience with retail technology that can truly cater to specific markets and player preferences.

Your initial success with the terminal across selected markets has seen Altenar’s terminal live with Golden Palace in Belgium – what potential for European retail estates do you see right now? 

It should be a key part of every major operator’s channel. Thanks to our resounding success across selected Belgian and LatAm retail estates, Altenar is now ready to scale its product globally across the 13 markets it is licensed in, including the UK, Malta, Spain, Colombia, Denmark and Sweden.

There is plenty of potential here, as we’ve built our product to suit the player of the future. We’ve got some unique, first-of-its-kind retail tech built into the product, which can be utilised to offer our European and LatAm retail partners something that can’t be found elsewhere. In addition, the front-end, built to offer multiple shortcuts, is sure to give operators an individual edge.

In terms of futuristic UX, and other features, how far has in-shop betting technology come in recent years? 

The new generation of player wants personalisation, easy-to-access shortcuts and a betting experience that makes it as in-line with the social experience they’re looking for as possible, and we have come incredibly far in catering to these demands.

The future of betting terminals is all about delivering a betting experience that is individual to each partner – ensuring no front-end shortcut is the same – but also the technology that ensures each product will be continuously updated and upgraded in real time with as little as one click.

Additionally, the massive changes we’re seeing in terms of the back end bring a whole new level of centralisation to operators. A robust back end enables operators to manage multiple terminals from a single back-office access and check not only financial performance or the number of bets, but also allowing them to check their application performance in general, like RAM usage, CPU usage. The level of functionality extends to keeping track of, for example, ink status and how the different components in the terminal – the way the technology is evolving is changing the way we meet the needs of the consumer.

How can the retail betting experience appeal to new demographics of players, and how key is the transactional process with terminals towards that? 

Personalisation is key to making all of this work. The modern-day customer expects a high-quality UX, the likes they are accustomed to seeing on streaming platforms and social media. For that to happen, the UX and customer experience needs to be futuristic, easily navigable and, above all, personalised to local preferences – just as they would expect for any app on their phone.

Of course, the back end is what makes that happen, and the Spanish market is a great example of how we’re going to optimise the transactional process to work perfectly for Spanish players. We know La Liga and regional teams are a serious part of the betting mix, so we’ve front loaded our bespoke Spanish UX to deliver the exact sporting markets we know players are looking to bet on the most. We are repeating this for each of the 13 key regulated markets we’re live, to ensure that each partner has their own customised experience.

Last but not least, talk us through your vision for Altenar 2022 and beyond – which markets will be key this year for Altenar’s retail team? 

LatAm and Southern Europe have a very strong retail heritage, and players really value the social element of betting in-shop over online. For this reason, I anticipate we’ll likely see the most initial activity from Altenar in Spain and our partners in LatAm.

Further north, Scandinavia and the UK are strong markets and ones that will be especially receptive to our new product, especially given how we we’ve done with our Belgian operator partners on the retail scene there. Granted, retail and in-shop betting is less popular there, but with a terminal like ours, which is the most advanced of its kind, we can truly make a difference.

Interviews

Exclusive Q&A w/ Rory Credland, Head of Strategy at Next.io

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Q&A w/ Rory Credland, Head of Strategy at Next.io
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

  • Could you provide an overview of the upcoming Next.io summit in May?

We are hosting our 4th annual NEXT.io event in Valletta on 15 – 16 May. With a global delegation of 5,000 attendees, Valletta’24 is more than just a conference; it’s where groundbreaking ideas and innovations converge. In addition to the leadership stage, we host several side tracks on marketing, investment, HR, sustainability, technology, emerging markets/jurisdictions – plus a new track on personal development. As we expect over 5,000 attendees, we have also increased our networking space with a new hall dedicated to more exhibitors, entertainment area, lunch, and a chill-out zone. Finally, our recent partnership with Ask Gamblers will ensure greater affiliates and operators in attendance, so as you can see there is definitely something for everyone and the event promises to be one of endless connections and activities.

 

  • What speakers or panelists can attendees expect to hear from during the summit?

We have tailored the event to make this event the pinnacle of the iGaming industry, offering unparalleled networking opportunities and insights from 300 industry-leading voices. We have many c-level speakers attending including Angus Nisbet, VP Gaming, BetMGM, gaming industry expert Paris Smith, Lahcene Merzoug, CEO. PressEnter, Francesco Postiglione, CEO, Casumo, Martina Akerlund, CEO, CallsU, Jeffrey Haas, Chief Growth Officer, William Hill, Todd Haushalter, CPO, Evolution Group, Tim Heath, General Partner, Yolo Investments plus an amazing keynote to kick off the start the event. We have two amazing keynotes to kick-start day 1 and 2 of the event, so I urge you to check out our agenda via

 

  • Can you share any insights into the format of sessions and discussions planned for the summit?

We like to change the formats and concepts up at NEXT.io compared to the norm that you see at other organisers. For instance, we base our talks at 30mins max to ensure that it is short and sharp straight to the point discussions and a limited number of speakers on each session so that more interactive discussion and debate can be had. We also are putting the CEOs under the spotlight this year – think Mastermind – with each CEO – one by one – under a “spotlight” for 10mins with direct questioning from the host. Should be awesome and insightful.

 

  • How does Next.io ensure diversity and inclusivity in the selection of speakers and participants for its summits?

Internally we take an active stance to ensure that there is a cross selection of speakers to this regard based on our own internal metrics. Wherever possible we encourage new speakers to be put forward by their organisations or through connections that we make – this allows for new and different perspectives on the discussion to hand which make the event and tracks interesting and informative for the audience.

 

  • What unique networking or collaboration opportunities will be available to participants during the event?

For two years ago we have designed NEXT.io Valletta to be a festival week of iGaming, encouraging people to arrive for the week to take part in our activities we have on the Monday and Tuesday before attending the event on Wednesday. This year we have Golf, Padel, Run Club plus many networking events taking place from Tuesday through to Friday night, so check out the website where you will be able to find more information.

 

  • How does Next.io leverage technology or innovation to enhance the summit experience for attendees, whether in-person or virtual?

We have a unique advantage hosting the event at the MCC in that the main stage is built like a theatre – so with use of such a big stage we can use LED screens which allow for animation and interaction on screen as well as several attendee applications which ensures they get directly involved with what session is taking place and have an input into the direction of the questioning.

 

  • What motivated Next.io to choose Malta as the location?

NEXT.io head office is based in Malta, so it felt a natural fit to organise our flagship event within the country and at one of Malta’s iconic venues – The Mediterranean Conference Centre – with epic views over the harbour and Mediterranean Sea. When NEXT.io was formed the company had amazing support from the Maltese Gaming Authority who backed us at the time and so since day one we continue to use Malta to host what we feel is becoming an event on everyone’s calendars.

 

  • How does Next.io ensure that its summits provide a platform for emerging voices and perspectives alongside established leaders and experts?

As mentioned previously we like to continuously promote not only the established experts but also the leaders of tomorrow. Our Advisory Board is instrumental in that regards as they also have an ear to the ground as to whom is best to suggest for topics and discussions. I think what works best is a mix of experience and new to crate that interesting discussion on stage.

 

  • How does Next.io plan to capture and share the insights and outcomes from the Malta summit to extend its impact beyond the event itself?

We record our main stage sessions and use this through our awesome marketing to promote the event long after it is over via access on our news part of the website. In fact, we never see an event having an “end” more of a continuation to the next show as we promote what was and what is new for the following year. Continuous dialogue with our audience and clients is important to ensure consistent messaging and allows us to react to what market forces are in play at the time.

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Interviews

BetGames Classic roulette launch w/ Andreas Koeberl, CEO

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BetGames Classic roulette launch w/ CEO, Andreas Koeberl
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

You’ve just launched your own spin on the casino classic roulette – what prompted this move and why now?

AK: Our mission is to help our partners convert their recreational punters into casino players, organically, resulting in lower CPAs and higher retention rates. In practice, this means instead of throwing massive bonuses at your players, you use a curated set of games, features and targeted bonuses at a way lower cost. We already deliver the initial part of this journey and have now added arguably the most classic game of all time to ensure we don’t lose those players to the competition.

 

Some may consider such a launch as brave given how saturated the market is with versions of the game – how have you built the trademark BetGames DNA into your version?

AK: The products we launch are all key parts of the puzzle to convert bettors to casino, rather than being efforts to attack the big established brands in the market. Roulette is a commodity and what’s the point of entering a price war we can’t win due to lower scale? The crucial focus is the player conversion journey and a seamless experience – not having to switch lobbies and staying with the supplier you trust. We didn’t reinvent the wheel, so to speak! I don’t think the fancy studios with robot arms and seven different cameras add any value in our core markets. We focused on a slick player experience with a professional presenter quality. We have kept it simple and targeted.

 

Do you have certain markets in mind for this latest launch? Are we seeing RNG table games surge in popularity in LatAm, for example?

AK: We’re focusing on our existing markets and LatAm initially. This is one reason why we launched the game without a continuous stream during the placing of bets, reducing data consumption. What we have learned from some of our existing games, and certainly from our most popular examples, is that our players (who are generally more sports savvy) enjoy silence and focus during betting. Thus, we have top-notch quality presentation during the spin but a quiet, slick betting experience during the dwell time. This helps to save players’ data, particularly in markets where developing infrastructures are a challenge. LatAm isn’t very developed yet with live content, and one of the main reasons for that is partly poor infrastructure. Quick, data-light products like RNG games remain popular because of that.

 

You’ve seen a lot of success in LatAm and Africa – are the requirements of developing markets hugely different to those of the more established when you are developing products?

AK: Africa is special because it is an extremely superstitious market – trust and ease of use are everything. LatAm is more demanding on the localisation front. People want Brazilian Portuguese or Latin Spanish, even though they often play games muted – this makes it tricky. From a live perspective, both markets are still in their infancy. RNG develops quicker, but still has huge potential. We will see what the new regulations in areas such as Brazil, Peru and Chile will bring in terms of market development.

 

Is the widening of your product portfolio indicative of a long-term shift of focus for BetGames? Will we see more of your more traditional lottery and card-based games?

AK: We follow a niche strategy and want to add incremental value for our partners. We have seen a lot of new competitors entering the live dealer space aiming to take on the likes of Evolution, Playtech and Pragmatic Play. Most of them failed or at least experienced a hard landing in terms of commercial success. The big players, especially Pragmatic and Evolution have massive scale, giving them significant competitive advantages, which lots of smaller or new studios often underestimate. A 24/7 live operation comes with enormous challenges and OPEX and the rev shares on commodities like roulette are getting smaller and smaller. So, we will stick to our mission and USP. If a partner wants a roulette environment, we are capable of delivering, but it needs to make sense. Hence, we aren’t neglecting our core to become a supplier of roulette and blackjack specifically.

We’ve grown our portfolio over the years to accommodate constantly shifting player trends and technology and will continue to do so, remaining agile, relevant and making informed decisions on a product offering that suits global markets.

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Interviews

Sponsors Spotlight: iGaming Mastery Insights by Atlas-IAC and its CMO, Bogdana Yavorskaya

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Sponsors Spotlight: iGaming Mastery Insights by Atlas-IAC and its CMO, Bogdana Yavorskaya
Reading Time: 7 minutes

 

Ahead of the highly-anticipated Prague Gaming & TECH Summit, organizer HIPTHER is thrilled to introduce and put the spotlight on the companies and people that help make the magic happen: our conference sponsors! These innovative, accomplished professionals and teams make magic happen every day, and they will be joining us at the Prague Gaming & TECH Summit 2024 taking place on 26-27 March, to share insights, network and collaborate with you! Get to know them, connect, and meet them in Prague!

In this Sponsors Spotlight Interview the #hipthers meet Bogdana Yavorskaya, Chief Marketing Officer at Atlas-IAC, the Badge & Bracelet Sponsors of the upcoming Prague Gaming & TECH Summit. Bogdana will be a Speaker at the Summit, offering valuable insights at the panel about “iGaming Mastery: Innovative Strategies in Marketing, PR, and Retention”.

 

Hello Bogdana, thank you for this interview. We are delighted to get to know you, and introduce you to our readers! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself and your current role at Atas-IAC?

It’s a pleasure to chat with you. I’m the Chief Marketing Officer at Atlas-IAC, where we’re all about pushing the boundaries in the exciting world of iGaming.

My journey in marketing spans a whopping 18 years, and I’ve had the privilege of delving into various aspects of this dynamic field. From crafting effective marketing strategies to diving deep into media planning and optimization, I’ve had my hands in all sorts of exciting projects.

Before joining the team at Atlas-IAC, I had the pleasure of working with some incredible international brands like Coca-Cola and Danone, where I got to flex my marketing muscles and help shape their success stories.

What excites me most about my role here at Atlas-IAC is the opportunity to innovate and drive meaningful change in the iGaming industry. It’s a fast-paced world, but with my wealth of experience and passion for what I do, I’m always up for the challenge.

One of the major aims for me is to show how strong the brand of Atlas-IAC is and how fantastic our product is. Due to a competitive environment, building a strong brand is essential for our industry to establish trust, gain a competitive edge, foster customer loyalty, optimize marketing efforts, ensure regulatory compliance, and attract talent and partnerships.

In addition to our focus on brand strength and product excellence, at Atlas-IAC, we are committed to promoting responsible gaming practices together with our partners. Authenticity, transparency, and responsible gaming practices are crucial for fostering trust and loyalty among players of our partners. The significance of responsible gaming practices in promoting a safe and sustainable gaming environment and preventing problem gambling is one of our key priorities in fostering responsible partnerships. We provide our partners with specific tools for responsible gaming. For example, Atlas-IAC implements self exclusion mechanics in our risk management tools, allowing players to set their own limits for their bookie or casino games

I’m thrilled to be part of such an innovative team, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Atlas-IAC and the iGaming industry as a whole.

 

Let’s get to know Atlas-IAC! Can you please introduce the company, and share with us how Atlas-IAC’s next-generation platform is revolutionizing the iGaming industry?

Atlas-IAC is a B2B provider of a next-generation platform for iGaming operators. Our core priority is our partners and product. We cooperate with the iGaming industry by broadening product ranges, adhering to regulations, refining marketing and customer relationship strategies, and adopting offerings to local markets.

We are really proud of our Sportsbook which can be integrated in 2 days. Our platform is scalable and automatic. Atlas-IAC stands as a robust, scalable, and dependable iGaming solution with 99.8% uptime, among the highest in the industry. Continual enhancements ensure lightning-fast, intuitive Sportsbook functionality, instantaneous bet settlement, uninterrupted casino gameplay, real-time risk management, state-of-the-art anti-fraud measures, and adaptable market expansion.

Rooted in collaboration and mutual growth, we remain steadfast in our mission to empower partners, share expertise, and deliver a superior product that underpins their success.

 

One of Atlas-IAC’s strengths is its rapid Sportsbook Integration. How does this feature contribute to enhancing operators’ marketing efforts and attracting new players?

We are really proud of our in-house developed Sportsbook. It stands out as a top choice for those aiming to kickstart or expand their sports betting venture due to its full automation. What sets it apart are its meticulously crafted features, designed to drive heightened engagement among players, consequently boosting the average check value and elevating the player’s lifetime worth.

Our commitment extends to continuous product refinement, accompanied by an individual approach for each partner. We are providing them with the flexibility to integrate specific modules aligned with their business objectives. Our customization process is tailored to address the unique demands of each operator, ensuring seamless functionality, appearance, and behavior precisely aligned with their vision.

In the iGaming industry, Sportsbook platforms play a vital role in enhancing operators’ marketing efforts and attracting new players. Sportsbook offers real-time betting options during live sports events, creating an exciting and immediate wagering experience that appeals to sports enthusiasts. With a diverse range of betting markets, including niche sports and specific outcomes, Sportsbook platform caters to various types of bettors, expanding the operator’s target audience.

Operators leverage Sportsbook to offer attractive promotions, bonuses, and incentives, such as sign-up bonuses and free bets, to entice both seasoned bettors and newcomers. Moreover, the cross-platform accessibility of Sportsbook platforms enables operators to reach a wider audience, including mobile users who prefer betting on the go.

Overall, Atlas-IAC’s Sportsbook contributes significantly to operators’ marketing efforts by offering dynamic betting opportunities, personalized promotions, and seamless accessibility across devices. With an outstanding uptime of 99.8%, we hold firm confidence in both the quality and growth potential of our Sportsbook.

 

With Atlas-IAC’s focus on automation and maximizing profit for operators, could you elaborate on how your platform facilitates effective communication and collaboration with partners in the iGaming ecosystem?

We have managed to strike the perfect balance between meeting our partners’ needs and injecting excitement into their players’ experiences. With Atlas-IAC’s Next-Gen iGaming platform, partners gain access to a comprehensive suite of tools, empowering them to manage their entertainment business seamlessly, free from technical worries.

We’re dedicated to tailoring our products to suit each partner’s unique requirements, priding ourselves on our flexibility. Whether it’s developing specific modules or customizing features, we’re always ready to adapt to individual needs, and this is our undeniable advantage.

Thanks to the fully automated and flexible Atlas-IAC platform, our partners have tools for effective communication and marketing strategy in the iGaming ecosystem. We offer must-haves for our partners. For example, the Personal Odds Boost feature allows offering an individual odds increase for a specific player, regardless of the type of event (either Pre-match or Live), or Combo Boost which lets players see the real-time odds increase as they add more events to their bet slip. It is a simple yet powerful way to let players put their knowledge of sports to the test and boost their reward.

By streamlining workflows, enhancing efficiency, and prioritizing player relationships, our platform enables iGaming operators to excel. We’ve developed a bespoke CRM tailored to the nuances of the iGaming realm, simplifying player communication, bonus distribution, progress tracking, and necessary activity restrictions — all in line with the latest responsible gaming standards.

 

What are the markets that Atlas-IAC works with, and how do you tailor marketing communications for different regions and audiences?

Atlas-IAC operates globally, starting from Latin America to Europe, Africa, and Asia. As a B2B company, our target audience is our partners who engage with iGaming enthusiasts worldwide. We employ innovative marketing strategies tailored to various segments of the iGaming audience, including millennials, casual gamers, and high rollers. We always keep a close eye on emerging market trends in each region.

Firstly, I’d prioritize conducting comprehensive market research, as we usually do at Atlas-IAC. It enables us to gain insights into the preferences, behaviors, and cultural nuances of our target audiences across various regions. With these insights in mind, we focus on creating content that resonates with each local audience. This includes using language, imagery, and themes that are culturally relevant and familiar. For example, soccer is the most popular sport to bet on in Brazil, while in Great Britain, some of the most popular forms of sports betting involve placing bets on horse racing, dog racing, and soccer, so communications on our sportsbook solutions for operators in these markets will be different.

To effectively reach diverse audiences, we have to segment our target market. This allows for more tailored messaging to specific groups. While some trends are common globally, such as nearly 35% of the population having placed a sports wager in the past 12 months, people have different reasons for betting: wanting to win money, enjoying the excitement, finding sports more interesting, liking the competition, or viewing it as a hobby. Additionally, there is a worldwide trend of rising mobile gaming, the integration of virtual reality and augmented reality experiences, and the emergence of esports betting. Mobile gaming has made gaming more accessible than ever before, attracting a diverse audience, including casual gamers, older adults, and even non-gamers, due to the simplicity and convenience of mobile devices. These insights help us to communicate effectively with our target audience. A simple example: We have our automated fast sportsbook API and actively use it in our marketing communications because we understand what our partners need to succeed in mobile gambling. Our marketing strategy is based on providing solutions the company is able to offer our partners, regarding market trends. We use personalization in our communications and select the appropriate marketing channels for each market.

 

Looking ahead to 2024, what are Atlas-IAC’s key priorities and plans in terms of expanding into new markets or enhancing its existing offerings?

We are experiencing a surge in integration requests from operators across diverse regions, indicating a growing demand for our solutions. Our primary focus is on expanding into regulated territories, particularly in Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa, and South-East Asia.

Our priorities for 2024 are threefold. Firstly, we aim to contribute to the sustainable development of our partners. Secondly, we intend to further develop our platform by implementing new technologies. And thirdly, we are committed to meeting the demand for our product across various regions globally.

The cornerstone of our strategy is maintaining a competitive edge in the market. We firmly believe that our in-house developed sportsbook stands as one of the best available. Our overarching goal is to cultivate reliable partnerships and drive innovation in the iGaming industry through our cutting-edge platform and its solutions.

 

As a panelist on “iGaming Mastery: Innovative Strategies in Marketing, PR, and Retention,” what unique insights or strategies do you plan to bring to the discussion, considering Atlas-IAC’s expertise and offerings?

Recognizing the pivotal role of mobile gaming in propelling the iGaming revolution is crucial. With the exponential surge in smartphone usage worldwide, harnessing mobile platforms for gaming experiences becomes imperative. Our strategy involves leveraging the power of our Sportsbook API solution to deliver seamless and captivating gaming experiences for our partners’ clients. It promises to be an intriguing discussion, touching on various trends, such as the transformative potential of immersive technologies like VR and AR in reshaping the iGaming landscape. Additionally, we’ll explore the surging popularity of esports betting as a key trend in the iGaming industry. Moreover, we’ll delve into topics like targeted campaigns and partnerships, brand building, and the importance of responsible gaming and communication.

 

Thank you for this informative interview, Bogdana! We look forward to meeting you at the Prague Gaming & TECH Summit, and hearing your valuable insights on iGaming PR, Marketing, and Retention Strategies.

 

Join us in Prague to connect with Bogdana and the Atlas-IAC Team: Get your Tickets to the Prague Gaming & TECH Summit Now!

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