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Relationships between Regulators, Operators and Affiliates Storming the iGaming and Financial Industries discussed at Prague Gaming Summit 3

Zoltan Tundik

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From left to right: Assaf Stieglitz (President, Odds1x2 Holdings) and Tal Itzhak Ron (Chairman & CEO at Tal Ron, Drihem & Co., Law Firm) at Prague Gaming Summit 2018 - Photo credits: European Gaming Media and Events
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

The third edition of Prague Gaming Summit, held on the 12 of March 2019 at Vienna House Andel’s Prague, will open with a thought-provoking and energizing panel discussion of operators, service providers, affiliates and expert lawyers. The experts of the panel will present a case study about the Affiliate-Operator relations and how it has been influenced by the regulators choices in 2019 and beyond.

Tal Itzhak Ron (Chairman & CEO at Tal Ron, Drihem & Co., Law Firm), along with a panel of industry experts will dissect the topic and answer a burning question of the industry, the Affiliate-Operator relations can be strained at times, so what should each party look for in a partnership in order to make sure it runs smoothly?

Find out what operators look for in a trustworthy affiliate, and discuss how we can all play a part in improving industry relations across the board. In this exclusive session affiliates, operators, lawyers and regulators discuss topics storming the industry.

  • As the compliance in the UK and Malta tightens – how do operators and affiliates embrace these changes?
  • Are players looking for other markets due to these compliance requirements?
  • As initiatives like trustly “Pay N Play” disrupts the way players open account –  what is the future of player acquisition and how can such initiatives propagate the tightened UK market?
  • As key personnel shift between the Malta Gaming Authority and Malta Financial Services Authority – can blockchain technology and cryptocurrency be the future basis for the iGaming industry?
  • What is the current M&A landscape for operators and affiliates?
  • How are the relationships between operators and white hat affiliates evolving as affiliates programs trim their affiliate partners? Are the big networks, which work on contracts with operators going to totally change the affiliate industry landscape?
  • What would the affiliate world look like a year from now with all the regulatory changes and the US opening for business?

The panel members will be:

  • Assaf Stieglitz (President, Odds1x2 Holdings)
  • Amir Mikay (Co-founder, TrafficLightMedia)
  • Yoav Dotan (Co-Founder, Affiliate Cruise and Genesis Global)
  • Stephanie Attias (Global Head of Regulation, Tal Ron, Drihem & Co.)

Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to engage on the subject of operator and affiliate relations at Prague Gaming Summit 3! You can Register here or View the Agenda

Whether you are a new to the industry or a veteran, Prague Gaming Summit offers the opportunity to learn something new and be part of a group at the forefront of gambling industry in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, Germany and Liechtenstein.

The Summit will approach all regulatory and compliance related aspects of the mentioned markets and will also highlight some trending topics such as the relationships between Regulators, Operators – Affiliates, MasterCard’s new requirements for Online Merchants (CFD, FX, Gaming, Crypto), understanding millennials (with emphasis on eSports, Daily Fantasy Sports an Virtual Sports), outsourcing for gaming companies, IT security, AML, KYC, CSR.

Several topics will also focus on the use of AI in sports betting industry related Big Data and in Responsible Gambling.

The program will also include a very important IMGL MasterClass that will aim to sharing the latest insights by the International Masters of Gaming Law experts about advertisement banning.

Full details about the event can be found on the official event website: www.praguegamingsummit.com

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Affiliate Industry

XLMedia Announces Plans to Recover Casino Vertical

Niji Narayan

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XLMedia Announces Plans to Recover Casino Vertical
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Global digital performance publisher XLMedia has provided an update for the year ended 31 December 2020.

For the Full Year 2020, XLMedia expects to deliver revenue of approximately $54.5 million and adjusted EBITDA of approximately $11.5 million (excluding transformation costs and share-based payments).

As detailed in the first half results in September, the Company is pursuing a multi-track approach to recovering the Casino vertical, where a number of sites were penalised by Google early in 2020. This process is being carried out in conjunction with a fundamental rationalisation of the asset portfolio, significantly reducing the overall number of sites and upgrading the quality of those remaining, with a concentration on highly-engaging content and enhanced functionality to drive increased traffic and build consumer loyalty.

The approach to recovering the Casino vertical is an orderly combination of, i) submitting to Google for reconsideration certain sites which have been rebuilt in-house or in conjunction with a partner, ii) developing some entirely new sites, where this is the better strategic option, iii) de-indexing sites which are immaterial and may have a negative impact on the authority of the premium websites, and iv) disposing of sites which no longer fit with the direction of the business.

“We have now completed the core development work on all the rebuilt sites we will take forward and have commenced the submission process to Google for reconsideration. To date, we have been successful in having the penalty removed for three of the ten sites we wish to recover, Casino.pt, Casino.gr and CasinoKiwi.co.nz. Learnings from both successes and initial rejections are being applied to the ongoing refinement of the remaining sites and we will resubmit those sites in due course. We will provide a further update on the Casino recovery process with the Financial Results for the Year Ended 31 December 2020, currently expected on 13 April 2021,” XLMedia said.

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Affiliate Industry

Leadstar Media named 6th fastest growing tech company in Sweden by Deloitte

George Miller

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Leadstar Media named 6th fastest growing tech company in Sweden by Deloitte
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Igaming affiliate Leadstar Media have enjoyed great success in recent years, and have recently been named the 6th fastest growing tech company in Sweden by the british multinational professional services network, Deloitte.

Leadstar Media operates affiliate websites in over 40 markets and has 35+ full time employees. The company increased their revenue more than 1700% in the past 4 years which helped them to earn the number six spot on the prestigious list

Leadstar Media achieved the growth without any external investments or acquisitions. They mainly operate sportsbook comparison sites and continue to launch new products and services regularly. No less than nine new products were launched in 2020 and 14 new employees were hired, according to an interview with Eskil Kvarnström on Affiliateinsider.com

By focusing on search engine optimization their products acquire organic traffic in high volumes from Google. Leadstar is the top affiliate in many of the markets they operate in and they enjoy a strong presence in Google Search results.

Kvarnström specifically pointed out Casinodealen.se as a product that has taken major steps in the Google rankings. The fact that many people have started betting at home instead of going to the brick and mortar shops due to lockdowns is another factor the affiliate company has benefited from. 

“There are many reasons why this has happened so it’s hard to pinpoint one. For example we’ve launched an additional nine products in seven new markets. Our Swedish casino product Casinodealen.se has taken major steps in the rankings, and, as I stated previously, many more people are at home searching for betting sites online.” 

Historically, Sweden and the rest of the Nordic countries were Leadstar Media’s main markets, where they have eleven products. Today only a small portion of their revenue stems from the Nordic countries due to the fact that they are constantly launching products in new and emerging markets. 

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Affiliate Industry

Handling Player Disputes with Non-Licensed Operators: Online Poker Case Study

George Miller

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Handling Player Disputes with Non-Licensed Operators: Online Poker Case Study
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

At brick and mortar casinos, poker players can get into all kinds of disputes ranging from the wrong amount of rake taken from a poker pot to someone breaking the rules at the table. The procedure for solving the dispute goes as follows: The floor is called to evaluate the situation and then a final decision.

It’s easy to notice most cases of a player breaking the rules when you have security cameras all over the place. At online poker tables, the situation is different though. You can’t see what the players are doing at their computer while playing cards. Recently, cases like using various tournament hand charts or real-time assistance software during gameplay have been discussed widely in the poker community. While it’s almost impossible to completely prevent those, handling player disputes should be relatively straightforward in case someone is found cheating. You ban the cheater and reimburse lost money to players who have played at the same tables with them.

What if you’re playing on a non-licensed poker room instead? The case gets much more complicated right away. While every operator has interest in protecting their players from cheating at the tables, having any kind of guarantee of that is nearly impossible. Worse yet, if affiliates are working with non-licensed operators as well, they might get into a tough spot if their players lose their money in against colluders or users of RTA software.

In this article, team members of Beastsofpoker.com discuss various aspects of solving player disputes as an affiliate and what kind of safety measures you should have with non-licensed poker operators. Let’s start with monitoring the games:

Monitoring the games for potential risks

The most common cases of fraudulent activity at the online poker felts are collusion and use of prohibited software. The third significant risk is the counter-party risk on unlicensed poker clubs. Depending the rules of the poker room, players might be able to use software like trackers during gameplay but any software that directly assists you in the decision-making is strictly out of question.

Collusion

Detecting collusion is much easier than detecting real-time assistance software usage, especially if the colluders do not use sophisticated strategies to hide what they’re doing. By monitoring a cash game or tournament table for 10-20 minutes, you can usually notice if something doesn’t add up with players’ actions.

Forbidden software

There’s not much you can do as an affiliate for detecting forbidden software unless you happen to play the games regularly and notice weird patterns by yourself. RTA users might try to play on licensed poker sites as well, so this risk is present no matter where you choose to play online poker. The only practical way to prevent your players from getting abused is to make sure the gambling operator has a security team to monitor the games for these cases.

Before you choose to promote a certain brand or an online poker club, it’s recommended to do a bit of research. Browsing through a few internet forums is not enough in this case. You should reach out to players and other affiliates on how it’s like to work with this brand, and if possible, meet the people behind the brand in person. Even after everything seems to click on paper, you might have to give your players a guarantee on their deposits, which can obviously be a big risk. Still, you don’t want to end up in a situation where a player has a dispute and nobody is able to reimburse them or handle the complaint properly.

Leveraging industry relationships to solve disputes

We’ve countered several cases where players have been unable to claim their winnings from a poker room. On licensed poker sites, the cases are usually about the player breaking some of the site’s T&Cs, which results in their winnings being frozen or the operator being shut down due to running out of cash.

While there’s counter-party risk in every business, with non-licensed operators the players will have a hard time to get reimbursed in case the operator runs out of money or refuses to pay a player if they conclude some T&C s have been broken, since there’s no regulatory body to handle the disputes. This leaves affiliates with just one option with player disputes: Negotiating with the operator.

From player’s point of view, having their account opened under an affiliate brings added safety. If something goes wrong with the gambling operator and the player feels like he is out of luck, the affiliate can try negotiating with the operator to get things sorted out. Again, there are no guarantees that the negotiations end up with a satisfying result for all parties involved. Yet, it’s definitely worth a try.

Final words

In general, preventive measures are easier to set in place than and preferrable to handling player disputes & trying to fix damage that has already occurred. As an affiliate, you should be prepared to help your players with any disputes, whether they were abused by other players breaking the rules or an operator confiscating their winnings. Lastly, it’s never a bad idea to keep up-to-date with the latest dispute resolutions procedures by following industry news.

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