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Kindred Futures Challenges Voice Driven Betting

Niji Narayan

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Kindred Futures Challenges Voice Driven Betting
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Kindred Futures, the innovation arm of Kindred Group, has launched the first-of-its-kind prototype for voice-driven betting.

The prototype is built in partnership with tech start-up Artificial Solutions. It makes use of the tweaked Google Action to facilitate voice betting on six top European football leagues & competitions. It provides a hassle-free betting experience and has the potential to redefine the way the users bet in the future. “Google was a great foundation for us thanks to its years as a search engine, meaning it had a wealth of data on a broad range of topics that its speech recognition understood. But despite this, it still required many hours of tuning and training to build the recognition of nuanced betting terminology and phrases” says Michael Franklin, Natural Language Lead at Kindred Futures.

The prototype was developed after 80 hours of extensive testing, during which more than 9,000 betting phrases were inputted to find out betting terms were understood and what were missed. Mark Jones, Head of Presales at Artificial Solutions said: “Speech recognition has made massive leaps over the last few years, and it’s now reached that tipping point where it’s good enough to be used to explore the future of voice-activated betting. This pioneering conversational AI application means Kindred Futures is in the perfect position to exploit voice technology moving forward.”

Will Mace, Head of Kindred Futures describes the project as “an experiment to see whether the technology was at a level or standard to cope with the nuance of sports betting.” He continues: “Delivering great experiences for our customers is at the forefront of what we do, making the best use of cutting-edge technology to deliver the products and services they want, or may require in the future.”

The product is in prototype mode now. When it is fully developed, it can be plugged into smart personal assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Cortana.

To find out more about Kindred Futures, visit http://www.kindredgroup.com/kindred-futures

Niji Narayan has been in the writing industry for well over a decade or so. He prides himself as one of the few survivors left in the world who have actually mastered the impossible art of copy editing. Niji graduated in Physics and obtained his Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. He has always interested in sports writing and travel writing. He has written for numerous websites and his in-depth analytical articles top sports magazines like Cricket Today and Sports Today. He reports gaming industry headlines from all around the globe.

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R. Franco Digital’s Portfolio Brings In Espresso Games’ Products

George Miller

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R. Franco Digital’s Portfolio Brings In Espresso Games’ Products
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Franco Digital and Espresso Games have disclosed their cooperation agreement whereby the Italian developer’s games will become integrated into IRIS, the Spanish subsidiary’s technological platform.

BETPLAY, an online gaming platform owned by Corredor Empresarial – the major gaming operator in Colombia– will be the first of R. Franco Digital’s customers to enjoy more than 40 titles developed by the Italian company and certified in Colombia. From then on, all operators integrated with IRIS will have new slot, roulette, blackjack, baccarat and poker games available for themselves and their customers.

According to Rubén Loeches (CMO, R. Franco Group): “This agreement is another step forward in consolidating IRIS, our open omni-channel platform that continues to grow and add new gaming integrations, means of payment, sportsbook… to provide operators with the best and most powerful supply of contents for their business.”

Vera Motto (LatAm Regional Manager, Espresso Games) said: “We could not be happier with our entry into the Colombian market with the main operator in this market, and with the start of this co-operation with such a prestigious organisation as the R. Franco Group. This is the first step in our expansion in this area which will soon go far beyond.”

 

ABOUT R. FRANCO DIGITAL:

Franco Digital is the digital division of the R. Franco Group, leader in the gaming industry with 53 years’ history and more than 300 professionals. It was created as the Group’s vehicle to face new industry challenges by providing national and international gaming operators with global solutions.

 

ABOUT ESPRESSO GAMES:

Espresso Games® is a world-class casino content producer with a unique quality and Italian style. Special features games lead to gain two world patents for the RACEPOT and REELPOT® systems, which further ennobles their extensive portfolio of casino, slot and special games. An optimised architecture provides for seamless integration and includes every essential feature for operators: mobile support, back-office, multi-currency and multi-language, bonus system and much more, in addition to a stable and robust environment for players.

Espresso Games® is certified in Italy, Colombia and Spain.

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Evolution Gaming Interim Report Jan-Mar 2019

George Miller

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Evolution Gaming Interim Report Jan-Mar 2019
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Evolution released its Interim Report for January-March 2019.

First quarter of 2019 (Q1 2018)

  • Operating revenues increased by 54% to EUR 79.3 million (51.6)
  • EBITDA increased by 64% to EUR 35.9 million (22.0), corresponding to a margin of 45.3% (42.6)
  • Profit for the period amounted to EUR 28.6 million (16.5)
  • Earnings per share amounted to EUR 0.79 (0.46)

Events during the first quarter of 2019

  • Good leverage from investments made in 2018
  • Roll-out initiated of several new games including MONOPOLY Live
  • Several new customers live – DraftKings (USA), Lotoquebec (Canada), Svenska Spel and ATG (Sweden)

Summary of the first quarter

Summary of First Quarter Jan-Mar 2019

Comments from CEO Martin Carlesund:

Evolution has been off to a strong start in 2019, both in terms of growth and profitability. Revenues in the first quarter amounted to EUR 79.3 million, corresponding to an increase of 54 percent compared to the first quarter of 2018. EBITDA amounted to EUR 35.9 million with a margin of 45.3 percent. With a favourable start to the year and with high confidence in the upcoming product launches, we currently see good conditions to finish in the upper end of the previously communicated range of 44-46 percent EBITDA margin for the 2019 full year.

An important explanation to the development is that we now can leverage from the investments made in 2018. Throughout last year, we expanded studio space as well as customer environments and the number of tables in line with the increasing demand from our customers, and we can now see how all of this pays off. It is our assessment that Live Casino as a product vertical will continue to take market shares in 2019 and why we consequently will continue to invest based on our customers’ demands in our studios also going forward. A demand driver is the fact that we are broadening the Live vertical with new products that appeal to completely new end users. In that way we can address a considerably larger part of the total online casino market.

As highlighted already in the year-end report, we showcased 10 new games at ICE in London in February. This equals not only a record-amount of game launches in one single year, but also the addition of entirely new game categories. It is important to note that the new games haven’t had any extensive effect on the quarterly growth, as the roll-out has just begun – it will take time before all the games are available for the end users, and it will then take time for end users to discover the games. However, already now we can establish that one of the main attractions – MONOPOLY Live – has been off to a historically strong start both in terms of player counts and gaming revenues. We are immensely proud of this launch, which we believe redefines the essence of Live Casino entertainment. The unique mix of Live Casino and RNG with augmented reality technology provides something completely new in the market. On a similar theme, we will soon launch our unique live game show Deal or No Deal Live. Both these titles prove how we to a larger extent are focusing on more entertainment for the player, and we are well under way to create a whole new product vertical in our game lobby that we refer to as Game Shows. Through this, we expand to a much broader group of end users and consolidate Evolution’s position as the leading innovator in the gaming industry. That we have been given the opportunity to work with world-famous brands such as MONOPOLY and Deal or No Deal provides even more power in our efforts.

Besides developing brand-new game types, we also continue to innovate our core – the classic table games. This year we look forward to the launches of Free Bet Blackjack, which is the most popular variety of Blackjack at land-based casinos, and our new poker game Side Bet City. We will also expand into dice games with Lightning Dice, building on the success of Lightning Roulette, as well as our take on Sic Bo – Live Super Sic Bo. This means that while we, through the above-mentioned game shows, can reach new end users, we also strengthen our leading offering that appeals to traditional Live players.

The market development in the quarter has been good, not least underpinned by increasing regulation. During the quarter, we went live with customers such as DraftKings in the US, Lotoquebec in Canada, and Svenska Spel and ATG in Sweden. We can establish that the share of Live Casino increases among the operators in more or less every newly regulated or re-regulated market.

With hard and focused work and high energy throughout 2018 and in the first quarter of 2019, we have taken our product portfolio to a whole new level, broadened our own market and created a new market for the industry, which in our perspective makes the gap between ourselves and the competitors wider than ever. Our launch pipeline has never been as strong as it is now. Hence, it is my absolute opinion that we have solid opportunities to further extend the distance to the competitors and strengthen our leading position during the remainder of the year.

Presentation for investors, analysts and the media

CEO Martin Carlesund and CFO Jacob Kaplan will present the report and answer questions on Thursday, 25 April 2019 at 09:00 a.m. CET via a telephone conference. The presentation will be in English and can also be followed online. Number for participation by telephone: +46 8 5055 8355 / +44 3333 009 267. Follow the presentation at https://tv.streamfabriken.com/evolution-gaming-group-q1-2019.

 

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Central Europe

KFC to hold its first esports championship in Central and Eastern Europe as part of KFC BATTLE

George Miller

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KFC to hold its first esports championship in Central and Eastern Europe as part of KFC BATTLE
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

This year an international youth project KFC BATTLE will include a tournament for amateur teams from Central and Eastern Europe. This will be the second consecutive esports tournament as part of the large-scale youth project, now in two different esports disciplines – Dota 2 championship for teams from Russia, Kazakhstan, Belorussia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Georgia and a tournament in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for teams from Central and Eastern European countries.

Six winning teams of KFC BATTLE: Esports will be determined at the project’s Grand Finale to be held in Moscow on July 13-14. Two CS: GO teams and four Dota 2 teams will compete for the prize of a completely covered trip to a major esports championship in their favorite discipline where they can see the world’s leading professional teams play live: the winning Dota 2 team will visit The International 2019, and the winner of the CS: GO championship will go to The StarLadder Berlin Major 2019.

KFC BATTLE is a large-scale international project of the restaurant brand for young talents in different spheres from street basketball and singing to rap and esports. Last year was the seventh time KFC organized KFC BATTLE and the first time the project was accompanied by an esports tournament, signifying the brand’s interest towards young people engaged in a dynamic world of esports. The tournament attracted 4,415 esports enthusiasts from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus etc. The winning team of the KFC Esports Championship, Whites, scored a quota in the Dota 2 finals of the 2018 Russian Esports Cup, held by the Russian Esports Federation, as well as a trip to Europe. The team’s captain Alexander “Ceyler” Popov was also honored as the Cup’s MVP and later received an invitation to play on a professional level by a CIS team The Pango.

This year, for the first time in the history of KFC BATTLE, Central and Eastern European teams will also be able to compete in the esports tournament. To engage as many CEE esports fans as possible, it was decided to hold an esports championship in one of the most popular esports disciplines in the region, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. In order to compete in the final stage of the tournament CEE teams will go through a qualifying stage consisting of open and closed online qualifiers on FACEIT to determine two leading teams. These teams will then compete in the concluding Grand Finale in Moscow. Open qualifiers for KFC BATTLE will take place every weekend day from May 11 to June 2. Closed qualifiers both for Central and Eastern European teams and for teams from Russia, Kazakhstan, Belorussia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Georgia will take place on June 7-9. Registration in the tournament for CEE teams is available at this link. The championship is open to any amateur team consisting of players aged 14 to 30, and participation in the championship is free.

Follow the news of this season of KFC BATTLE on the official website.

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