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To ensure even higher degrees of efficiency, we have dedicated Remote Gaming Desk Coordinators, whose sole objective is to deliver exceptional service to our gaming clients.

What are the main mistakes that many iGaming companies make when starting up? It is a well-known fact that the gaming industry is lucrative, and this sometimes leads to individuals entering the market without the necessary experience and without having done the necessary market research.

Another common mistake is failing to define their strategy and products well enough, and this reflects in the legal and compliance setup.

Over the years BDO has gained in-depth experience and knowledge in what is required, to ensure that the start-up process of gaming companies runs smoothly.

Therefore, we have built a methodological approach to the process in order to further ensure that our gaming clients can also effectively set-up and obtain the applicable licence within the shortest time frame.

As an advisor, I would highly recommend that entrepreneurs seek our advice at an early stage, prior to setting up their intended.

That way, we can leverage our experience to guide new gaming companies on the optimal way forward both in terms of efficiency and effectiveness.

What are the three things that you would advise startups to consider before kicking off iGaming operations? A sensible approach would be to conduct specific research with respect to the critical business fundamentals, as well as the experiences that potential customers are presently demanding.

Whether you are new or an industry veteran, always seek advice from consultants on the latest legislative changes within the jurisdiction you are considering.

Such changes may affect your operation, your financing and your profitability, which ultimately means the difference between winning and losing.

Players are spoilt for choice with many platforms to place their bets. Product innovation and player experience are critical factors to success.

From your experience, what is the average profitability of iGaming companies and what should these companies be targeting?

There are many factors that affect profitability within this sector. For example, an online casino that is heavily dependent on affiliation to drive its traffic will have a different cost-base to those platforms who invest in building organic traffic.

One must also consider at what stage of life the company is. Companies in their first two to three years of operation would not generally make any net profit since they would be focused on reinvesting any available funds into marketing, with the sole aim of growing their brand, and as a result their turnover.

In terms of auditing a gaming company, what are the big issues that you encounter? Many gaming companies use custom software to run their business.

This means that an auditor cannot assume that everything has been recorded. As auditors, we are obliged to confirm that the financial statements reflect what is in the system and therefore, we look closely at their IT systems to understand the transaction flow.

Auditors also need to have the right knowledge and understanding of the gaming industry and its different contractual obligations and operations.

Needless to say, regulatory and tax issues are quite significant for gaming companies, particularly in relation to their online operations, due to a constantly changing environment in multiple jurisdictions.

There is also a global dimension to consider - many gaming companies may have a base in Malta, however, they are very likely to have structures in other jurisdictions such as Israel, UK, Sweden, Denmark and Gibraltar.

In fact, I would say that there are hardly any structures that involve only Malta. Our BDO network, present in different countries, provides immense support in other jurisdictions and global auditing services.

When advising on a merger or an acquisition, what areas are you looking into? These transactions are typically very complex because they are likely to involve different jurisdictions, with several structures in each jurisdiction and therefore wide tax and legal implications.

VAT registered person, since this entails that the operator would be unable to claim any credit for input VAT.

In reality, since online casino operations are deemed to be electronically supplied services and, therefore are deemed to take place where the customer, in this case the punter, is established, the online casino operator would be required to collect Maltese VAT only when the customer is established in Malta.

In any case, since the supplies are deemed to be taxable for Maltese VAT purposes, the online casino operator would be able to recover in full all input VAT incurred or self-assessed.

In addition, the changes should lead to a reduction, and in certain cases the complete removal, of the use of a non-Maltese entity in a joint-venture setup.

Can you describe the ideal Chief Financial Officer for a gaming company? That is, comfortable operating with lightning speed, in a continuously changing environment where profits are high, but risks are also very high.

The ideal CFO must be fully capable of setting financial policy and direction for the gaming company to ensure efficient control of financial resources and maximisation of profits.

Positive; we will see more growth driven by new technologies and enhanced customer experience. Corporate substance is becoming increasingly an issue.

Corporate substance is mandatory for companies to benefit from refunds and other mechanisms. New company formations require appropriate physical presence, registered employees on their books and all other requirements typically associated with the activity of the company.

New VAT guidelines will come into force in January. What will change for operators in Malta? Although an exemption from tax is generally believed to be a positive status, this is not the case for a.

He has more than 22 years of professional experience in accounting, business development, IT consultancy, company restructuring and finance.

He is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 15 years post-qualification experience. Growing the brand internally by developing a robust and well-rounded employee experience that has its employees singing praise at the Saturday night dinner table!

Just like the rest of Videoslots, our HR department has also been through some exciting winds of change. Lorraine, who was one of the first to join the company has recently been assigned a new role, focused around employer branding.

This will see new and improved changes, not only in the way we promote ourselves externally but also how we retain and grow our people.

We want our employees to feel proud and cared for. As part of our new learning and development strategy, Justin was recently brought on board to develop this crucial function.

He will foster a continuous learning culture as well as support our internal branding though the strengthening of HR processes.

His background in coaching and organizational psychology offers our staff the necessary support to develop themselves personally and professionally.

From a branding point of view this year will see her focus on strengthening our talent acquisition processes. Gemma our most recent addition will oversee the whole function and ensure that our HR strategy is aligned with our organisational objectives.

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Robin Reed, CEO of Gaming Innovation Group GiG , says disruptive and innovative start-ups can today take advantage of a strong and mature iGaming ecosystem to grow their business, but good tech needs to be at the heart of every new challenger brand.

Can you tell us more about the roots of GiG and your business model? The predecessor of GIG was a poker forum and social network called Donkr.

We launched it during the Facebook boom when we figured poker players would not want to discuss their game in their Facebook feeds. We wanted to put an end to this and decided to launch Gaming Innovation Group in in order to work towards our vision to make iGaming an open and connected ecosystem for the benefit of all.

The first milestone was the launch of White-label Guts. We wanted to control the front-end and customer service to improve the user experience.

Guts grew quickly and to pursue our vision, we had to obtain our own licences. We wrote our own platform from the first line of code.

We sold the platform in order to enable a sharing economy. By integrating suppliers and operators, we could avoid them having to do duplicate work, thus freeing up resources to improve the UX for all stakeholders.

In , iGamingCloud was launched following the vision of making the iGaming industry lean. In we also went public on the main stock exchange in Norway, in order to gain access to the capital markets and to turn GIG into a liquid instrument.

From there we proceeded to create a publishing business and called it GiG Media. Too many people are writing with a one-sided view on our industry.

We wanted to highlight all the amazing products and services on offer. Since then, we have built one of the largest affiliate networks in the industry through organic and acquired growth.

Today, we are the largest affiliate in the Nordics in terms of Google traffic. Some of them are only coming into play as we speak and in the near future;.

Today, the company employs more than people. Fuelled by our vision to open up iGaming, we are aiming to become the most influential company in the industry.

As an investor in B2B and B2C products, what criteria do you look for when choosing a company to invest in? We would want to see a core group of dedicated, insanely knowledgeable and motivated staff, who are in for the sport.

While not a fully fledged solution, there would need to be good tech at the heart of the business. They would need to be socially conscious and inspired by regulatory compliance.

Most importantly, however, they need to be absolutely relentless and committed to improving the user experience. Many companies actually say there is very little innovation happening within the iGaming industry.

Do you agree with this statement or do you have a different point of view? Over the past decade, the iGaming industry has seen a lot of iterative innovation, but very little disruptive innovation.

This is probably due to the heavy regulatory burden, however, it is also due to bad habits within the industry; I expect this to change though. The world of tech is accelerating its pace of innovation, which is spilling over to our industry and creating a lot of opportunity to re-shuffle the value chain.

GiG runs its own accelerator programme. Why did you choose to do this and what meaningful impact does it have on the business?

Rather than simply investing financially, we align products and start-ups with our eco-system and we can.

We are also working on a knowledge-sharing programme of educational events and gettogethers for programmers and techies around the isle and a broader CSR initiative.

This will be a non-profit which seeks to inspire, promote and celebrate entrepreneurism for a better and even more progressive Malta.

By collaborating with the many great existing organisations and individuals around the isle, we can ultimately make Malta an even more successful iGaming hub and reap the benefits down the line.

How do you see Malta performing as a place for start-ups and what elements could be improved? Malta has performed exceptionally well in recent years.

To continue scaling horizontally and vertically, one needs to attract top competence, and grow the standards of everyone involved in the eco-system.

The governmental bodies need to be frontrunners in this process and enable and facilitate growth by rapidly developing education, schooling, infrastructure and culture.

Finally, I would also like to add that hard-working people thrive with a great work-life balance. Beautiful nature, healthy leisure and recreation options, are some keywords.

We now have the best opportunity in the history of the island to create a sustainable and environmentally friendly future. Growth through acquisition is one of the main drivers for iGaming companies to grow their market share.

From your experience, what are the main challenges when integrating an acquisition? Neither can the challenge of leadership. Making people who were in control of.

BIO Robin Eirik Reed started his iGaming career as a community manager before founding and operating several iGaming-related businesses.

After that has been achieved, everything can be sorted, and I guess the generalist solution is: When you put smart people together and empower them, beautiful things happen.

As a foreign investor, what do you believe Malta needs to do to remain attractive and competitive as a location for iGaming companies?

We are recruiting peak numbers of people in iGaming every month, with an increasing amount of people needing housing and schooling.

Employees have been increasingly voicing their concerns about the pressure on the infrastructure.

Rental prices are soaring in central areas, and it is tough to get your children into the international schools. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly challenging to attract the best talent.

This is the time to invest on a grand scale into infrastructure and to distribute the wealth amongst everyone and develop Malta even further, for the decades and generations to come.

How do you see the gaming landscape evolving over the next five years? These days there are a range of established companies operating on strong platforms.

This is a trend which is guaranteed to continue over the coming years. These companies have a sustainable edge in their culture. They are in a position to consolidate, and it is becoming very hard to compete with them at a large scale.

That said, there has never been a better time for start-ups. The differentiation is the quality and targeting of your business.

The infrastructure and technology is so powerful these days, and the industry has grown much larger. One can quickly tap into the eco-system and reach scale with something disruptive and differentiated.

GiG has enjoyed great success. Where do you want to go from here? We want to bring something new and innovative to the world of sports betting.

It will allow sportsbook operators to design their front-end for all of our APIs, and we are designing our own odds from the ground up.

Our most ambitious B2C start-up to date is called Highroller. And then there is the new adventure we have embarked on with setting up our own games provider, GiG Games, in Marbella.

Can you tell us a bit about Hero Gaming and its beginnings and explain where the company stands today? Hero Gaming was founded in and went live with its first brand in June , which was then called Casino Saga.

I have personally worked many years in the gaming industry, being CTO at Betsson and Betsafe and co-founder of Casumo.

After I left Casumo when the company moved completely to Malta I had an idea that the gamification of casino could be taken even further.

I then started to outline the concept of Casino Heroes, where players move forward on a map, find treasure, can jump between islands and collect Rubies - the extra currency of the site.

Since its launch, Casino Heroes has been very successful, especially in the Scandinavian countries, but now also with its recent launch in the UK market.

Casino Heroes also has a Japanese version, called CasiTabi. What was your route to market and how long did the process take from idea to market?

I started off as a programmer and still love technology. I think that the most interesting things happen at the intersection of brands, creativity and technology; so deciding to build our own platform was key to our success.

It took us one year to build the platform and launch the first brand. Many iGaming companies are offering the same products.

How did you define your unique selling points and how difficult do you think it is today to position a start-up in this industry?

Hero Gaming is the leader in gamification of gambling, so our unique take in our brands is always to give the players an extra game, loyalty programme or feature that makes it more fun and gives the player extra reasons to stick around.

Being a start-up in this industry is becoming increasingly harder. The amount of money needed for marketing is becoming very vast and the added regulatory challenges are a burden on us all.

It can be done, but to be successful you need to stand out in the market. What were the big challenges that you encountered in terms of funding and financing a new gaming company, and how did you rise to the challenge of securing investment?

I was lucky to have a good name in the industry, so receiving money for Hero Gaming was not that hard. I am glad to say that it was a very good investment for the investors, and we do all we can to make it become better every day.

To scale up you have to be very smart with the means you have. One core problem is knowing how much money should be put into brand-building marketing activities.

Doing tactical acquisition marketing is easier since you can quickly measure what works and what does not.

In the case of long-term brand building, you need to let it play out for several months before seeing an effect and it can become very costly.

We have managed to grow our business a lot and are now approaching people, so naturally organisational issues will occur.

To me, something that helps in a growing company is to have a company culture that makes things run smooth and avoids office politics.

Can you mention three areas that Malta could improve on in order to make it even more attractive to start-ups and early stage companies from the gaming industry?

Many companies are quickly reinvesting profits and often spending a significant share on marketing. It is understandable and in most cases reasonable.

However, I think that some companies go overboard here, and it can create a culture that profit is not important at all.

With the added taxes and costly compliance requirements, it can put companies in a bad spot over time.

Looking back at your journey, is there anything that as a founder you would have done differently? I think that one would always do some small things better if done again, but none of these would be vital in my case.

How would you rate Malta as a start-up location? Quite good; Malta is a nice place to find good people and the weather, culture and language are also plusses.

The first one would be to work fast to becoming more efficient as a society. Make processes - ranging from better internet banking to getting a personal ID - faster, more reliable and digital.

The second one would be to focus the educational system more on innovation and creativity, and the third one would be to market Malta as a good option for young entrepreneurs throughout Europe.

I think the best start is to become players themselves. We forget what it is about; when it is fun and exciting and when it is not.

If you play, you can understand what is missing in the market and go all in on that. On a more personal level, what was your route into the iGaming industry?

I played my first Black Jack hand when I was 18 years old in a club, and my cards were 10, 9 and the dealer got 8, Jack.

At that point I understood the rush and the feeling that gambling gives you. When I studied at university I created my first casino site that was really an affiliate site for a download casino called Casino Lux.

I went around the Casino Cosmopol in Malmo and put up signs on the cars to promote my online casino, highly illegal probably.

We have been servicing gaming companies since the onset of the industry in Malta. We provide a one-stop shop service, assisting in corporate structuring, tax planning, licensing, VAT optimisation and compliance, accounting and audit services.

We are also approved MGA compliance and systems auditors, and have been serving in this role for the past seven years. We make it very clear to clients that they should not look at Malta as a tax base.

Companies need to have substance in Malta, and this means more than just an office and a few employees. The Malta operation needs to add value to the group, and decisions must be taken from Malta.

The iGaming industry has evolved and matured during the past years. How has your client profile changed? There have been calls for greater tax harmonisation in the EU.

The industry has definitely grown and matured, and so has its outlook and approach. When we started around 15 years ago, many of our clients had limited substance on the island.

They had a licence, but only small office set-ups. Since then, some of these clients have grown and developed into large companies, with a number of them listed on stock exchanges around the world.

Corporate governance is much more relevant today than it was a few years ago. We also see an environment where, for some time now, there have been several mergers and acquisitions.

Larger companies are acquiring smaller operators and start-ups, whose strategies are often geared towards a buy-out.

Moreover, transfer pricing for the acquisition of intra group services would also need to be analysed in this context.

However, most of our clients are already developing their structures with such a framework in mind. We have a number of listed companies in our client portfolio, and they are very much ahead of the game.

When a new client comes through your door, what kind of approach do you take to meeting their requirements? Looking at the other end of the spectrum, what are the most common mistakes you see in start-ups and early stage companies?

We first need to understand their product and what markets they are planning to operate in, so that we can advise them on the licensing part.

Subsequently, we tackle the issue of VAT structuring, because the same product might be vatable in some markets but not in others.

In the case of group structures, we proceed to guide our clients with regard to which companies within the group should acquire which services.

From a tax point. The industry is maturing, and entering the market is not easy. Innovation, focus, leverage, resilience and experience are all elements that should be present in every successful start-up.

Our experience indicates that start-ups typically require anything. Estimating the required cash burn and ensuring a sufficient capital base at the onset remain critical.

Meanwhile, exploring the application of B2B platforms in business models may reduce initial capital requirement, risk and lead time.

A brand new Gaming Act will enter into force in What are your thoughts and opinion on the content of the new legislative package?

The riskbased approach to regulation that the MGA plans to adopt is very positive. It is time to move away from a rule-based approach and take a more in-depth look at operators and their risk profile, and then regulate accordingly.

This approach should also reward companies that invest in their systems and achieve certain certifications.

So far, we have only seen the draft regulations, and not the technical requirements. The industry is now eagerly awaiting these as sometimes the devil is in the detail.

Operators dislike uncertainty, and we really want to know as soon as possible when the new regulations will apply. Although I also understand that there are certain processes that need to be followed that are beyond the control of the MGA.

Many iGaming operators comment that compliance and regulation are among their biggest challenges. Do you share this view? Having said that, I am more of a realist than an alarmist.

Firms are already familiar with Data Protection Regulations, and many have policies and practices in this regard. In my opinion, it is not a question of reinventing the wheel, but more of adapting and fine-tuning.

Some companies say that they find it difficult to find the balance between AML and data protection and are concerned regarding potential crossborder issues.

Are these concerns justified? AML places an obligation on entities to carry out due diligence, and in doing so collect and process personal data.

In contrast, GDPR seeks to limit the personal data collected and processed. GDPR will bring on new cross-border challenges and complications, where Data Protection Commissioners in multiple countries may be handling the same complaint.

Compliance departments of iGaming companies have grown and become much more important today than they were a few years ago. Although the industry was initially hesitant, I believe that in the medium to long-term this will serve as an opportunity to remove certain stigmas and perceptions.

Consolidation is already happening, and this will lead to an industry with fewer and larger players. Innovation and technology have always been at the heart of the iGaming industry.

As the players continue to grow and mature, greater emphasis will be placed on efficiency. I expect to see greater investment and initiatives in the automation of operational processes, reducing cost and improving player experience.

Understanding customers through business intelligence and data analysis will also continue to play a critical part in product innovation, personalisation and optimisation.

On the other hand, I would really like to see in the near future, a solution to the multi-jurisdictional regulatory regime within the EU. This is currently overly testing on compliance departments, and probably adds little value to the bottom line.

At the end of the day, there needs to be greater mutual respect, cooperation and recognition between regulatory authorities.

I strongly believe that Malta can play a key role in realising this vision. Melita has grown into the leading quadruple play provider in Malta.

We are market leaders for TV services, we deliver approximately half of all broadband Internet connections in Malta and now also have more than , active mobile subscribers.

Over recent years Melita has completed substantial infrastructure investments. Together with the investments of our competitors these have enabled Malta to be placed at the top of the European charts for next-generation broadband coverage.

We have invested in a nationwide 3G mobile network, a submarine cable connecting Malta to mainland Europe, the construction of a tier III state-of-the-art data centre for co-location and hosting services, as well as the roll-out of Melita WIFI — the next-generation WiFi service providing seamless superfast connectivity across Malta and Gozo.

We had plans to join forces with Vodafone Malta but decided not to go ahead with the merger as we were unable to meet the conditions stipulated by the competition authority.

However, this decision does not really affect our future plans, and we will continue investing in our network. You recently said that Malta will soon have the strongest and fastest telecoms network in Europe.

Can you tell us more about your plans and priorities? Malta already has a very strong telecoms infrastructure, and we want to build on this.

In Malta we have recently introduced gigabit speed internet. Malta will soon have a gigabit infrastructure on the fixed side everywhere, and this is something very unique.

We will see it rolled out in many urban areas but not in the entire nation. On the mobile side, Malta has three networks, two of which are currently already quite advanced.

Now we will invest significantly in our network as well and upgrade it to the latest 4. Even 5G is around the corner.

I can very well imagine that Malta will be the first country to deploy 5G in Europe, and we are expecting this to happen in or We will also further invest in our connectivity to Europe.

Our international connections to the big Internet Exchange points on the continent are exceeding Gbps now and will soon be fully redundant with the use of multiple carriers on land, as well as full redundancy over a second undersea cable.

I think it is fair to say that traditionally many companies used to look first at what our competitor GO, and in particular their data centre, had on offer.

But we are firmly committed to strengthening our B2B offering, and the upgrade of our data centre was just the first step.

Over the past years, we invested quite significantly in our datacentre, and this has put us in a very strong position. These investments have helped us to attract some well-known brands in the gaming industry.

Can you tell us more about the data centre services? We have recently extended our data centre and effectively doubled our capacity. Our data centre has been built to Tier III specifications and covers a fully fenced footprint of 10, m2.

This means the facility is also the largest and most unique of its kind in Malta. The take-up has been quite positive with client racks hosted doubling year on year.

We run a mature and nationwide fibre optic network and provide our data centre peers with leading Tier 1 providers. We offer access to redundant submarine cable links towards mainland Europe, as well as private leased circuits for international pointto-point Ethernet connections.

Not only do we score high in terms of diversity of access, but we are also very quick. For instance, in the past it used to take between three to six months to deliver a circuit from Malta to Milan.

Due to our recent investment, it now only takes a couple of weeks. This is of particular interest to gaming companies who need their own secure route.

Many companies comment on the high cost of bandwidth in Malta. I can say that as soon as we introduced our own submarine cable and our own data centre, we forced the cost per megabit down drastically.

Some customers may still view bandwidth costs as high as they are still tied to legacy agreements with other providers, which are a result of a time when the infrastructure in Malta was less well developed and Malta had less competition.

We are always happy to talk to igaming and other companies and help them reduce their hosting and connectivity costs.

When compared to mainland providers it is also fair to say that Maltese operators do face additional costs when delivering connectivity because Malta is an island.

Melita owns the infrastructure as far as to Sicily, but from then onwards we need to buy access, so we have very little influence on pricing.

Most companies see cost as a whole. The slightly higher cost of the broadband as a result of being far away from mainland Europe is cushioned by the fact that operations here generally cost less.

It is also a fact that on the retail and the business side we offer a competitive packages comparable to European pricing. In terms of bandwidth, the question is always how much sharing the business can accept.

Do you see a way that Malta could become, while not the cheapest in Europe, still a competitive option? We are approaching another digital transformation with the Internet of Things IoT , and Malta is a great place for trials and testing of new technologies considering the level of connectivity available and the incentives that the government is putting in.

Businesses are increasingly using remote workers. How can Melita help companies connect and manage this mobile workforce?

In Malta, companies can get our 1Gig internet speed at home. If they are based in another location somewhere in the world, we would usually advise to set up a virtual private network VPN , which will be the most cost-effective solution.

One segment that I think will see massive improvements in the coming years is customer care. I joined 18 months ago and since then, we have already made huge improvements.

I also have no doubt that we will drastically improve the telecoms infrastructure. We have always stated that we are committed to our plans, no matter whether the merger with Vodafone goes ahead or not.

In addition to our own plans, I think we also need to look at bringing more telecoms infrastructure underground.

This requires a joint effort by all stakeholders. Responsibility The iGaming industry can be difficult to navigate due to its ever-changing regulatory landscape.

Operators have to focus not only on their legal responsibilities, but they also have to act ethically says Dr Ian Gauci, Co-Founder of Afilexion Alliance.

What gap in the market do you seek to fill? At that time, we realised that while both firms were already amongst the leading mid-tier firms in their respective fields, our combined expertise and experience created exponential value to our clients.

Today, Afilexion Alliance has one of the most comprehensive advisory and support services portfolios for gaming regulators and law makers, gaming operators, gaming platform providers, affiliates and service providers to the gaming industry.

We focus on areas such as corporate law and services, insurance, administrative law, taxation, gaming, data protection, technology law, cryptocurrencies and blockchain, as well as fintech and regtech.

Coupled with a strong litigation department and our business-focused approach, this enables us to provide a degree service to our technology clients, which is something few other outfits are able to offer on the market.

From a legal point of view, what are the biggest issues that your iGaming clients are dealing with at the moment? Undoubtedly the diverse laws, regulations, risk parameters and compliance obligations in the different countries they operate in.

This ultimately boils down to disproportionate costs because of lack of harmonisation. The 4th AML directive brings about more focus on evidencedriven and risk-based approaches to AML and counterterrorist financing.

The gaming operators will build upon their existing AML compliance programmes and put more focus on applying technology and effective indicators for a robust risk-based approach.

From this angle, I see this as an evolution of what they were already doing, especially for those operators licensed in Malta and the UK, who de facto were already following the 3rd AML framework.

It could also improve confidence in customers and transactions, and thus potentially pave the way for a better understanding and appreciation of the gaming industry by banks.

Can you give us a brief overview of the regulation and what operators should do now to prepare for it? The current data protection regulation already aims to strike a balance between individual privacy rights while still allowing data to be used for business purposes.

The GDPR builds on this premise when it comes into force on 25 May , but it also brings significant changes to the existing data protection regime.

For instance, the data subject — the player of an online casino — will be empowered with extended rights and remedies and afforded more protection, while there will be more obligations on Data Processors and Data Controllers.

The territorial scope has been increased, while regulators and data subjects will be notified of data breaches. There will be a requirement in certain instances to appoint a Data Protection Officer, as well as hefty fines for noncompliance.

My advice to operators would be to implement these data-subject centric criteria as part of corporate governance.

This needs to be translated in a living privacy programme, which needs to be nurtured and updated constantly from May onwards. Responsible marketing is becoming ever more important.

The UK has come down hard on iGaming companies and forced them to remove characters that could appeal to children. I fully endorse this step, but operators also need to grow up and take on more responsibility, and be more ethical and prudent in what they do, as well as more savvy.

If these criteria were followed, there would have been no need for the bad publicity dished on UK media, which is harming the whole gaming industry and a knee-jerk reaction to mitigate the damage.

From our end, we always advised our UK-licensed gaming clients to fully respect advertising guidelines, and we are glad that our clients appreciated our advice, and consequently are not affected negatively by the recent regulatory moves.

However, my advice would be that a gaming company should act prudently, reasonably and responsibly. Where something is wrong and disproportionate, even though not clearly illegal or unlawful, they should avoid it.

In my view gaming companies, particularly given the highly technological background, stand to benefit immensely by tapping into the whole new ecosystem, which Malta wants to endorse and officialise.

The benefits could be endless. Blockchain, given that it is foundational technology, may bring about a new paradigm in the gaming industry starting from innovative payment methods, and the day-to-day running of their business; to regulatory compliance, and innovative services, as well as more robust security and trust parameters.

In terms of crypto-payments, what are the key challenges and opportunities for iGaming companies? Cryptocurrencies will undoubtedly bring about innovative facets for the gaming industry, for payments and settlements, intelligent and legitimate funding and innovation through ICOs, as well as massive cost savings.

There are also however some challenges. Given that cryptocurrencies are not yet regulated and harmonised, nor are they seen as regulated legal tender, they create a grey area for operators, players and also authorities.

This also means it will be difficult for gaming operators to comply with AML regulations. There are also other factors which can have negative effects on the gaming companies, such as: How do you expect the industry to develop in Malta and globally in the coming years?

In your opinion, what is most important in order to be successful in the iGaming industry today? Over the years the online gaming sector evolved and transformed itself.

I see a lot of commonalities with sectors like telecommunications and the financial services industries.

The online gaming industry has become more cut-throat, sophisticated and structured, as well as fast-paced. My advice to whoever wants to make a real positive impact in this industry today is to have a thorough understanding of the dynamics of the industry, as well as the regulatory terrain and new value streams.

Plan well, build a strong knowledge of regulatory approaches and lead by innovation. Augmented Reality Kostandina Zafirovska of Btobet is convinced that Augmented Reality will shortly become an important tool for iGaming companies and urges operators not to underestimate the level of innovation that is required to stay ahead in this industry.

BtoBet is a multinational company with 20 years of experience in IT, software development, telecommunication and e-commerce; we widely invest in technology research and development.

BtoBet is a true partner in technology, offering a standalone platform and services for the iGaming and sports betting industry.

BtoBet allows licensees to be unique and stand out in the market, giving them the possibility to personalise their offers through a stable, flexible and scalable cloud-based platform, tailored for sports betting and iGaming business, both online and mobile.

We aim to expand a lot over the next few years, and for this reason we still consider ourselves as a start-up, even though we have grown a lot, especially during We now employ people and have offices in Macedonia, Serbia, Italy and Malta.

Malta hosts the commercial and marketing centre. We are driven by the desire to challenge industry standards and perspectives when it comes to innovation and technologies.

Our platform is supported by Artificial Intelligence — a form of machine learning — and a sophisticated Recommendation Engine.

The system collects and analyses player data, behaviour, activities and preferences, and then predicts what players would like to bet on next and makes suggestions.

The software basically guides the operator to make the best decision for the management, acquisition and retention of players.

We also developed our platform as a B2B product, whereas platforms. The privacy of players is something very delicate and sensitive and operators must be very attentive when choosing their technological partner.

BtoBet is a trusted technology partner for operators seeking a reliable platform provider that has the capability to aggregate all the available content while providing players with a seamless customer journey.

Can you explain this a bit more? We still see very little automation in the iGaming industry, and staff spend countless hours monitoring player behaviour.

The innovation of AI, in combination with the Recommendation Engine, enables operators to automatically cluster users according to their interests and preferences, manage them across all channels and provide them with cross-channel marketing solutions.

This system also automatically identifies potential fraud and notifies the operator, allowing licensees to take actions promptly, guaranteeing more secure and automatic business management, thus cutting the costs compared to manual labour.

Players today are pretty tech savvy. The millennial generation is entering the iGaming market, and although most companies are targeting them, only a few are fully embracing the latest digital trends and developments.

I am pretty sure that we will soon see Augmented Reality AR playing a greater role in the industry. I think both operators and suppliers often underestimate the level of innovation that will be required in the future to stay relevant.

The iGaming industry has changed significantly over the past five years and navigating that landscape has become much more complicated. There is so much more content available, and there are so many new regulations to follow.

This means setting up is not only time-consuming, but also a costly exercise, and it gets even more complicated if an operator wants to target players in three to four different markets.

The technology nowadays is advanced and the development of a technological platform takes some years. New entrants will probably achieve more with less money and in a shorter time frame.

For this reason, they should choose a robust platform and reliable technological partner, allowing them to focus more on their operations.

What role do you believe AR will play in the industry? Inhabiting a fully-immersive computer-generated world is a seductive idea. AR is changing the gaming industry and creating interactive entertainment, offering players an extremely appealing gaming involvement in response to their desire for a new and exciting gaming experience.

Sectors such as automotive, e-commerce and trading are already implementing AR in their systems by adopting AR combined with geo-positioning.

In this way, they guide consumers while choosing products and offering them a more enjoyable buying experience. There is no reason the iGaming sector cannot do the same.

Entering markets in Africa and Latin America has long been on your priority list. Which markets have you entered already and what was the strategy driving this decision?

The domestic betting markets have changed in a very dramatic way, and the evolution of the mobile payment system is influencing the growth of sports betting in African regions.

We are expanding our business in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria with wide growing potential for the sports betting industry.

Kenya differs from other African countries and represents the place where mobile betting has seen the largest expansion to the detriment of retail.

Additionally, I firmly believe that the widespread use of mobile payment is changing the landscape of retail business in Kenya and in other Eastern African countries such as Tanzania and Uganda.

At the moment, Western African regions are not enjoying the same technology payment and mobile evolution as the East side, but they will get there too.

What markets still offer growth opportunities? Africa still has a lot of potential for European companies, including small markets such as Botswana.

However, I think one has to be quick and enter within the next two years before the market will become saturated. South America should also be looked into since it is still developing.

We are now eagerly waiting for Brazil to issue regulations. Our target by is to make a massive impact on the market as a reliable technological partner in the iGaming and sports betting industry worldwide.

From this perspective we are working on getting licences in new markets in Latin America and Europe. She has over 17 years of experience in Computer Science Engineering.

Her specialty is designing and developing IT software products aimed at improving customer experience and simplicity of use. For all your hosting and fibre connectivity needs: Contact us on sales melitadatacentre.

Stronger Ties between Video Gaming and iGaming David Hawkins, Managing Director of Exient, says that if iGaming companies want to offer a more entertaining experience to their players, they should look to the video-gaming industry for inspiration.

Can you tell us a bit about Exient and explain what type of games you produce? Exient has been around since the year and throughout the years we have produced games for the biggest brands within the industry, including Fifa, Need for Speed, The SIMS, Angry Birds and many more.

Many game developers have one big title in their portfolio; we have around We still do that, but in more recent times we are also taking out licences ourselves.

We also work with an iGaming company: They have a product called Power up Poker. We did all the visuals for it, but did not do any of the coding or games design.

Based on your experience, what can the videogaming industry bring to the iGaming industry? First of all, our visual and audio quality typically is much higher compared to the standards of the iGaming sector.

We tend to be inspired by movie quality reproduction and aim for that in our productions. Also, we are very focused on the user experience. I think the iGaming community could take advantage of our experience in this regard.

We tend to develop games at a much faster pace than the iGaming industry. We need to know very quickly if a game is going to be successful and have to adopt a fail-fast approach.

We are also a bit quicker in game development because our industry is not regulated. Many iGaming companies want to make their products more social, fun and appealing, but often face regulatory constraints.

From my experience in video games we observe that children want to grow up quickly, and a mature character can be as appealing to them as cartoon characters can be.

In fact, they often like mature characters more because they represent what they aspire to be. Look at Disney for instance, every Disney princess is a teenager and typically older than the core demographic.

So an actor at a certain point in time, will in digital form eternally retain that look and at that age. We can also augment the actor with skills and qualities for a character which may not be those of the actor, for example stunt work or other specialist skills demanded of the character one is trying to create.

We are talking about a more authentic character than the real actor can portray. I think this is very interesting technology for iGaming companies.

We should work on building stronger ties between the two industries. So how did your relationship with PokerStars come about? If I remember correctly, they actually approached another videogaming company in the UK, but they pointed them to us because.

This is another difference between video-gaming and iGaming - video-gaming companies share what they do. The iGaming industry is very secretive about everything they do.

They are afraid that their competitor might get to know it. It is the most sincere form of flattery, and frankly without going through the process to arrive at the creation, one can copy but, more often than not, will not understand its value.

I believe our industry will improve by sharing our knowledge and experience, and we will get collectively better. However, I also liked the fact that we had easy access to decision-makers.

I had the feeling that they wanted to build up this industry. I was hoping that we could build this sector together.

We still kept our UK office in Leamington Spa though. Malta in many ways offers a plug-and-play environment, and I think many British people feel very much at home here.

However, although my initial hopes were that we could create a David Hawkins is the cogame development ecosystem on the island, The video-gaming industry has come founder, owner, and CEO of EXIENT, an internationally three years later I have to say that thus far we under fire due to the increased use of renowned award-winning have had limited success, but there appears to be pay-to-win loot boxes, which are virtual developer of video games.

This industry needs highly purchase through video games with real across various technology technical and creative people, and so far we have money.

More importantly, Malta is sensation one feels when gambling. Included not tax competitive on the world stage.

Video games suck up a lot of cash before Loot boxes are a gambling product. There is no as: What is needed in my opinion is other gambling products.

Recently, Apple added The Sims and Need For investment and development support, ideally a requirement that loot box odds are displayed Speed. The reason Independent Games Developers Association , he has an honours as well as some support for investors.

I believe the industry had been getting away with it is that degree in Computer Science. Malta really needs to look at what competing the player is not receiving money back, however, locations are offering such as Canada, the UK, they are receiving value.

In the iGaming industry it is very different, as players believe there is a change that they France and Finland, and then create its own system.

With costs rising in Malta, it is actually cheaper for us to operate from the UK may win money or a prize.

In video games the value is in the entertainment, and it at the moment. Of course, matched betting is nothing new. However, the practice has become noticeably more organised of late as a slew of slick-looking sites armed with odds-matching software, calculators, tutorials and forums have burst onto the scene.

An odds-matching process that was once plotted using spreadsheets and by trawling the internet for matched betting opportunities is now automated, making it considerably simpler and quicker.

Even by conservative estimates, the site is raking in seven figures annually just from subscriptions.

According to web traffic statistics specialists SimilarWeb, Profit Accumulator attracts around one million visitors a month, with users hanging around for an average of 11 minutes and clicking on 19 pages.

As well as an accomplished video extolling the virtues of matched betting, together with member case studies, rival subscription-based site OddsMonkey includes caricatures of the strong team, mimicking the vibe of a tech start-up.

Even so, Michael Rasmussen, head of acquisition at Panbet Marathonbet Group , describes matched betting today as organised bonus abuse.

As soon as you have got a new company out there that opens up a bonus they have an army of matched bettors killing them on their bonusing.

David Archer founded sports betting affiliate network Biggerbet in but recently launched MatchedBets. Although perhaps not a life-changing sum to most, risk-free profits like this are certainly not to be sniffed at, especially if a cash-strapped undergraduate.

Traditionally a low-margin operator, Marathonbet decided to provide its first new customer offer in August Bonus abusers and matched bettors were quick to pounce, says Rasmussen, adding that the promotion cost his firm seven figures.

He estimates similar amounts are lost to matched bettors across the industry. That way, the bookmaker just sees a losing account.

Buccioli, unsurprisingly maybe, refutes the suggestion that this is all organised bonus abuse. The two disciplines have not only gotten married, they have gone on to have some amazing link-building babies!

You have a fantastically well-built site. Your on-page SEO is the best it can be, with optimised titles, amazing meta descriptions and a page load speed that would impress Usain Bolt.

Getting people to link to your website is still pretty much key and this is where SEO and PR work best together.

First up, the two teams need to work together to think up campaign ideas that can attract links back to the site.

PR land has a rich pedigree when it comes to getting high domain authority news and online sites to naturally link back to a site, and this is what can make the difference when it comes to search rankings.

When a big story breaks that your company is well positioned to comment on, you can get links by being super quick in getting your reactive statement out to the media, and by super quick, I mean within minutes of a story breaking.

A few rules for this: If you have related content on your site, make sure that you include this link with your statement to give journalists a reason to link to you.

Great link-building success for brands can also come from creating content that is hosted on their own site which is interesting to both consumers and media and very shareable.

This can be anything from fun microsites, e. There are thousands of online tutorials about how to create brilliant content that will get interest from the media and ultimately links, but the benchmark is simple: When you are brainstorming ideas, this is the test you should apply to every idea.

In addition, you need to think about how you can position the story or content in a way that makes the journalist or news site need to link to your on-site content in order to help the consumer, or better tell their story.

So far we have talked about how public relations people can get links to help the SEO team out, but one of the best examples of the two areas working hand in hand is strategic guidance with regard to the types of links to get.

Sometimes these sites are quite niche, so bespoke content or articles will need to be thought of, pitched to the relevant journalists, written and then submitted.

This is not a quick and easy task and can be far more time-consuming than other types of public relations link- building, but the pay-off makes it more than worthwhile.

The final area where I think a public relations approach can enhance SEO performance is link reclamation. This is where a big news or high-authority website has written a story about your website but not necessarily given a link back.

This is a good example of where the two disciplines have very different approaches. SEO has historically been a bit clumsy about this and a first date is probably a good analogy.

When the SEO team approaches link reclamation the first date they just thunder in and try for a big old snog straight away ask for the link.

The PR approach is more about building the relationship, getting to know the person and then, when they think the moment is right, leaning in and going for a more delicate kiss, probably getting this job done quicker and more successfully in the long run.

Kathryn Farrell of Digital Fuel Marketing unpacks the factors and trends set to shape and disrupt digital media and marketing over the next 12 months.

That old pearl of wisdom has never rung truer than in the world of technological innovation, where change happens fast and often. Mobile is surpassing desktop, social is crushing search, and messaging apps are outdoing email.

Here, we take a look at some of his observations, combining this with some predictions for the year ahead from the team here at Digital Fuel Marketing.

The age group watch the least amount of TV, rarely read a printed newspaper or magazine, and is the least likely to listen to the radio. They are, however, glued to their smartphones more often than any other age bracket.

While several other platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat have tried to stake a claim to that elusive third position behind Google and Facebook, none of them, not even Yahoo or AOL, have ever come close.

The bell tolls for legacy TV Blodget also argued that for the next 20 years, digital disruption will focus on TV.

According to Blodget, traditional TV has passed its peak and the average time spent watching linear TV is falling.

Subscriber-based services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, plus Apple TV installations, are growing rapidly in user numbers in the US and in international markets where available.

Modern TV networks are better in providing the kind of service we all demand in OTT networks allow us to watch what we want when we want to, anywhere, on any screen.

The convenience of this speaks to the way we want to consume our entertainment in So, what does it all mean?

With there are many legacy networks, too few of these have sustainable viewer bases and access to the great content needed to attract new audiences, which is scarce and in great demand.

Couple this with the declining audiences for traditional strongholds such as televised sports, and mergers and partnerships will become the way for many traditional networks to survive.

Thankfully, underlying ad revenues are still substantial enough to allow these networks to weather the storm as combined entities.

Instead, Blodget pointed to social video as the next big thing. The likes of Veeroll, Animoto and Kizoa offer both free and paid-for video production tools highly compatible with all of the main social media networks.

When your social video content ticks all of the above boxes, the opportunity is massive for marketers. The key is testing messaging and video length, and optimising for audience types.

Even small brands can watch analytics to iterate and improve results faster. Look at what worked best over the past year and double down on those channels, topics and tactics.

Analytics can also help bring about predictive customer service, providing personalised experiences for consumers based on likes and preferences.

This technology will also predict what consumers need based on patterns in their customer journey, allowing for customer service agents to reach out before a problem even arises.

Predictive analytics will become a must-have to understand and retain users. New standards will allow reach and engagement to be meaningfully compared across Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.

Plus, put your pedal to the metal a little if you can. If you can keep quality up while publishing more frequently, you might be surprised at how well the added content catapults you to the next level of visibility in less time, particularly if you factor in SEO strategy.

Influencer marketing will take a bow Authenticity will take centre stage and brands will return to micro-influencers to build it.

Brands need to lean on real-world influencer events and activations to create more organic non-scripted content that naturally drives higher engagement, while agencies will gravitate toward live-streaming and real-time social media platforms.

Equally, brands will depend increasingly on those micro-influencers that demonstrate high engagement in niche, more targeted verticals.

With improvements in influencer marketing tech, agencies will be able to hit precise target demographics, verticals, locations, etc. Smaller agencies will need to adopt the use of marketing tech platforms in order to compete, especially as the industry looks toward using mass numbers of micro-influencers.

An experienced PR professional specializing in the gaming sector, her career spans more than 18 years and three continents for both land-based and online gaming entities - Crown Casino Melbourne and Mansion.

As such, now is the perfect time for affiliates to update their marketing strategies for the year ahead. It also seems likely that AMP will soon play an even bigger role in the conversion funnel.

Savvy affiliates will therefore get ahead of the mobile search curve by obtaining AMP certification for their sites in Verbal search enquiries are typically more detailed than typed searches due to the respective effort involved.

The very same iPhone user interested in a horse racing punt will also search for apps within the App Store. However, shrewd affiliates will be as much focused in on their messaging as the mediums with which they communicate this.

They can consider filming talking-head video reviews of new casino content. Topicality is also key, so affiliates can restyle themselves as brand journalists for their operator partners.

Beyond their own content, affiliates can also enrich their sites using the written and video content of the brands and software providers they promote.

For higher traffic affiliates, this could include sponsored advertorials and guest posts from operator partners. As much as they focus on expanding their on-site content, affiliates are advised to ensure that individual content pieces are concise.

Dense content pieces and short videos are highly supportive of social media marketing. Recent social media platform developments also offer affiliates new marketing opportunities.

Facebook Live, unveiled last April, and Instagram Stories, launched in August, allow affiliates to target players with live videos.

As a Premier League match progresses, a sportsbook affiliate can provide live commentary on how the game plays out. New promotional opportunities Of course, at the heart of affiliate marketing are the brands an affiliate is partnered with.

In , affiliates can increase their revenue opportunities by diversifying the verticals they promote and also targeting emerging markets.

In terms of verticals, the rise of eSports betting — wagering on competitive video gaming such as Dota 2 and League of Legends — allows sports betting affiliates to target traffic beyond their usual customer personas of traditional sports fans and dedicated punters.

With established sportsbooks like Pinnacle and standalone operators such as Unikrn offering eSports betting, affiliates have multiple opportunities to promote the vertical.

Affiliates can also consider expanding in new markets in Ahead of possible regulation, affiliates can consider experimenting with developing sites targeting the Portuguese-speaking country of million.

While Brazil poses a language barrier for many affiliates, this is not the case for Pennsylvania. However, the latest legislation is still awaiting approval by the state Senate after passing the House in October.

Forward-looking European affiliates will look west to the US and Brazil in , while considering new verticals like eSports betting that diversify their offering and allow them to target different traffic sources.

At the same time, they will also ensure their content marketing becomes more sophisticated in , featuring live video and dense content, and that they leverage the new channels of app store advertising and voice search as well as AMP-certifying their web pages.

Her role focuses on overseeing the in- house team of affiliate managers for igaming brands operating in Europe, the US and other global markets.

Because last year they witnessed many high-profile trade sales as businesses within the supply chain sought future growth opportunities and scale or to protect market share within their part of the igaming ecosystem.

Some felt this signalled the industry was in contraction, however it is far from it. For others, heralds change to existing business models due to mergers and buyouts, as well as access to smarter technology, which assists in the battle to attract and retain gambling traffic sources.

The affiliate industry in igaming is coming of age, can compete with the very best digital marketing agencies, and is poised to lead the charge and unleash a wave of evolution and innovation.

HTD human to device The buzz and hyperbole around conversational commerce and the evolutionary transition from mCommerce continue to dominate Silicon Valley and media headlines.

Humans love to chat and are using messaging platforms for just about everything in our busy, connected lives via mobile devices. Messaging is so straightforward and intuitive it can be regarded as a killer application.

Some gambling companies are already dipping their toe in the conversational space. Sky Bet recently launched its new virtual recruitment chatbot, aimed at improving recruitment of the brightest minds in its business see Figure 1.

Likewise, many sports fans are turning to another Sky Bet chat application, once again virtually hosted by Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling.

Echoing the future Not only are we experiencing a wave of message-initiated chatbots, but now have conversational interfaces and devices that can hear, understand and respond to your every need.

Amazon is leading the way and has invested multi-millions in developing an ecosystem for the Echo product family.

The services range from voice interaction; music playback, playing games, making to-do lists; setting alarms; streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, and providing weather, traffic, and other real-time data rich information.

The Lex service allows developers to build conversational interfaces into any application using voice and text; thus Amazon starts to control the whole ecosystem with bots that can be deployed directly to chat platforms, mobile clients and IoT devices.

These conversational interfaces will continue to become meshed into the digital fabric or our lives. We simply have too much information at our finger tips and too many apps to navigate.

We need a filter or an equivalent of a PA, and a personal digital assistant provides that, a single point of contact, conversational interface that effectively helps control our working and social lives.

Bots for user acquisition? Many start- ups are using bots as a way to scale their business and user base quickly.

Take for example Swell Yeah! A bot deployed on Facebook Messenger had over , users. For the igaming affiliate industry looking to attract a younger, more digital-connected audience that has some affinity to slots, bingo, poker, sports betting, or indeed esports, conversational bots just might be the way to go.

Messaging platforms and connected smart devices may be largely unchartered territory for affiliates. He is the resident iGaming futurologist of BetOlimp and one of the co-founders of esportsbet, a resource for gamers and sports bettors who wish to start betting on eSports.

ROOM 2 The new website brings you: The new website brings you: The truth is, having a plan lets you stay ahead of your competition and keeps you focused on the market.

Having the energy to build confidence back up is sometimes a struggle that requires a lot of effort to drive ideas forward. This is where having a solid plan comes into play.

A plan can help rebuild your business mindset, ensure focus and help stimulate momentum to tackle the next challenge. Running an affiliate business is hard work.

It requires high levels of self- motivation to achieve goals. Affiliates that have solid strategies grow through good planning and building a support network they can rely on for the down days.

Make time for planning No business grows without a solid strategy in place to target expansion. It sounds obvious but how many small business owners really take a day out to look forward and plan where they should be focusing energy and investment?

I believe there are two key areas of focus in that should be on your planning radar. Below are a few pointers on this to help you get started: Some of my favourite sites that will help you be time- efficient are: Betalist lists the latest apps in beta and tools created around admin and marketing automation.

Rufus — allows you to send smart personalised automated messages to your social media followers, engage your audience and make them feel special from the outset.

Using new tools to improve efficiencies within your business can help you save time and grow revenue. Are you looking ahead — do you see niche verticals and customer target opportunities?

Savvy affiliates are using their customer data to diversify their offerings and investigate opportunities to transfer customers or re-monetise them longer term.

For example, poker players have a natural aptitude for daily fantasy league games, card and table game players could be a valuable niche to pursue as casino-profiled clients.

Esports, social games and DFS all cross over with gambling. Looking at these broader opportunities allows you to consider your future focus for revenue expansion.

Simple and relevant campaigns can be the most effective, there is nothing to lose in trying something new. Ask for help and stop your failure turning into a self-fulfilling prophecy Being afraid to appear weak or vulnerable often hinders our ability to collaborate and talk about what is going right or wrong.

Collaborative partnerships foster better marketing relations and can stimulate growth. Use your data, research your environment and ensure you remain on target to deliver your plan.

Finally, follow these five steps to improve your plan and get your business back on track when knocked: Take a break — Taking a step outside of your business to get some headspace is one of the best things you can do when facing adversity or challenge.

It can refresh your mind to approach a problem in a new way. Evaluate what you can control and change — Data is all about the numbers in our business.

Having a look at where you can gain a better perspective can often lead to great insights for change. Look at how you can overcome the problem you just experienced, make notes when uncertainties crop up and plan effectively to overcome them then build these changes into your strategy to avoid problems arising again in future.

And continue planning to get it right. Monitor your results — Make sure these changes are working for you. Use your real-time data, check your analytics and monitor the results and uplift.

These things are just as important as the plan to change — and work 4. Do you have a reality check to determine how bad is BAD?

You are always your own worst critic, just remember that. Talking about a problem with someone outside your business, whom you trust, can help put things into perspective after a particularly bad period.

A problem can often be something you can easily fix and the beauty of digital is that you can change and monitor data in near real-time. Having a support structure and like- minded peer group around you can play a key role in making your start-up successful.

There is a lot riding on it from your viewpoint, especially in the early stages, and having experienced support can really make a big difference and provide valuable perspective.

Take the time to make one, as it will help to keep your business growth focused and position your strategy against that of your competition. Your business will grow as you do and letting go of the bad experiences quickly is the best way to focus on the road forward, which will ultimately lead to success.

Lee-Ann has worked at Paysafe since , where she has developed and implemented online marketing and B2B digital acquisition programmes that deliver revenue growth.

Lee-Ann is also the founder of AffiliateFEST — an annual accelerator academy focused on digital education for igaming affiliates www. ROOM 1 steps to drive business.

They are the largest generation globally, made up of roughly 1. By , Millennials are projected to have the greatest global spending power of any generation, outweighing the next wealthiest generation by about three trillion dollars.

When it comes to driving engagement with a Millennial audience, affiliate marketers need to shift away from some of the more traditional means of acquisition.

Things that might have worked in the early days of the web have become stale tactics that Millennials can ignore all too easily.

The foundation of any successful Millennial marketing initiative rests in the capacity to develop personal, thoughtful relationships.

This takes time, but it can lead to a much more significant lifespan, and in turn, a much greater customer lifetime value.

The four strategies outlined here are some of the more practical means of shifting your marketing efforts to appeal to Millennials, without the need to dramatically overhaul your business.

The malleability of information means that it can tell you almost anything, and now more than ever, it is accessible and, in most cases, understandable.

The key, however, is knowing where to find it and what to look for. Data comes in all shapes and sizes, but perhaps the most readily accessible information is available on your website, your affiliate tracking system or on social media.

Narrowing this data down by selecting only Millennial users will allow you to better understand their habits, their interests, and ultimately allow you to craft better marketing messages that will lead to greater results.

The term has become so broadly used that most marketers see it as a blanket title covering a huge range of consumers. You need to think deeper.

Your data will allow you to understand some of the idiosyncrasies that differentiate one audience segment from the next.

This data can then be used when crafting hyper- targeted marketing initiatives. Personalise everything What your data tells you should lead to the development of hyper-targeted content strategies, which are campaigns built around some of the more personal details showcased by segments of your audience.

Millennials are flooded by branded content and advertising — subtle or explicit — all day long. It is estimated that in the last 30 years, consumers have gone from seeing about branded products or advertisements per day, to more than 5, Simply put, it is too easy for Millennials to ignore just another ad.

You need to appeal to them on a personal level. To generalise a medium like that misses the huge opportunity that still exists with email; nurturing your Millennial audience through personal, relevant, and offer-driven email content is a great way to drive up conversions.

Cold emails or bombarding them with generic offers will fail. Carefully constructed nurturing campaigns that aim to connect with a prospect on a personal level and share information or offers that are relevant to the individual have a great chance at succeeding.

Segmentation and list analysis will be crucial, however, to driving that engagement. Capturing the Millennial market, an audience that lives and breathes on mobile devices, is impossible if you ignore mobile media.

This holds true for everything from the creative media you use, to the placement of your email calls-to-action, to the landing pages you select for a campaign.

It also extends to the operators you choose to work with on a given campaign. As an affiliate, you have control over a fairly significant portion of the customer journey.

Initial contact, interest, education and the first action in the conversion process — the click to the operator — are all under the control of the affiliate.

The operator, however, needs to be prepared for Millennial engagement as well. When choosing the offers you plan to promote, ensure they are, at the very least, mobile ready.

The ability to segment campaigns on platforms like AdWords and Facebook by medium means that you should be constructing your campaigns on mobile separately from the campaigns you launch on desktop.

The only way to truly stand out from the crowd is to provide some degree of value to your Millennial audience, enticing them to engage with your content and come back for more.

Value comes in many forms, and part of the ongoing analysis of your data will be to determine what your Millennial audience perceives as value and how best to provide it.

When it comes to content — whether it is in written, graphic or video form — your goal should be to enrich the experience of the user by the time they make their way through it.

All of these provide a benefit to the consumer, and double as a means of showcasing your expertise. This means prospects keep coming back for more content, and are far more likely to click on the link you provide as opposed to venturing elsewhere.

Conclusion Millennials may seem complex and elusive, but the truth of the matter is that they are simply consumers like any other, weighing their options based largely on utility.

Maturing during an era of recession has led to a fairly high degree of price sensitivity, but the information marketers have access to is so comprehensive that carefully tailored marketing campaigns will supersede a lot of the reservations Millennials have about taking action.

When you build out your next campaign looking to drive affiliate traffic, consider utilising some of the strategies outlined here.

You might be surprised at how effective a few extra steps can be. He has helped develop data-driven strategies in markets ranging from gaming to not-for-profit.

Corey regularly writes for international publications, and has been featured at conferences and summits around the world.

The Nordic Affi liate Conference will take place on the 6th - 7th April, in Stockholm and is expected to bring together the key affi liates, media agencies, advertising networks and operators working within the region.

Attend conference workshops that will focus purely on the Nordic igaming affi liate market. Expert speakers will provide information on hot topics, trends and technologies relevant to the Nordic market.

After all, affiliate marketers are in constant competition for the same scarce resources and the ones who evolve better strategies are the ones who survive.

The Internet was one of those asteroids, as was social media. Similarly, if you ignored social, chances are that others were able to outperform you.

Software that can think, learn, and make decisions. It makes decisions better than you, faster than you, and with every decision it learns even more.

We stand at a brink of a new era, for business and society, and how you choose to react to AI will make the critical difference in how you, and how your company does, over the next years.

Do you need to hire a team of expensive machine learning specialists? Leverage open source systems and build your own neural networks? Or is there another way to leverage the benefits of AI?

And where can those benefits be realised today? Fortunately, marketing is an area which is ripe for improvement from AI, and companies are bringing forward products which can leverage AI to solve the specific problems you face each day.

How much should I spend to get them? What creative should I put in front of them? What product s do I pitch when they hit my site?

Will a special offer help? What words, images and layouts will close my prospects best? Want to get ahead of the AI learning curve? Here are just a few areas affiliate marketers should keep their eyes out for: Ad performance is moved by a complicated series of levers.

Snappier copy can help. So can more efficient bidding and smarter targeting, among other factors. Artificial intelligence is particularly well-suited for the task.

Because machine learning is skilled at finding subtle relationships and patterns that elude even the most seasoned data scientists, a smart AI can find the exact mixture of ad copy, audience targeting, and spend that produce the best leads and customers.

What if they want to reach out and ask you a question? More and more sites in a variety of industries are looking to chatbots to Insight-Evoloution or Extinction.

Chatbots are natural language AIs that can carry out conversations in real time with users. You can train them to tell users about new offers, lead them to preferred sites, help with billing, or really any questions you think they should know the answer to.

And a little guiding light can be the difference between a conversion and a bounce. Check out Wizeline and Inbenta for some of the latest work in AI chatbots.

AI for conversion optimisation For a lot of marketers, conversion rate optimisation CRO has long been a smart way to test and evolve strategies that work better than the current status quo.

These ideas can be anything from changing the headline or image on your homepage to the affiliate offer you present your visitors. But advances in AI are poised to give forward-thinking affiliate marketers a leg up on their competition, even those that are actively testing right now.

Artificial intelligence unlocks a type of optimisation that has long required a team of dedicated data scientists far outside the budget of most affiliate marketers.

Multivariate testing means trying not just A vs. B but all your marketing ideas at once. It means plugging in new content on every level—from the headline copy and image size to the offer itself.

The AI will immediately start testing those ideas and finding which are promising. It can then use a branch of AI called genetic algorithms to really start evolving your site.

It combines all those promising ideas, trying different mixtures, testing and tweaking constantly until the AI settles on the best combination of the ideas you gave it.

This can amount to thousands— even hundreds of thousands—of potential combinations, the stuff that would take years to test.

And in the end, sites typically see double-digit growth in key KPIs. Get to know your customers better than you already do You might note a common thread between all these AI applications: They help marketers understand how to incentivise searchers, how to message prospects, what questions users have, and what offers move the needle.

Not only that, but they all help evolve your site and survive in a competitive landscape where extinction is more the norm than the exception.

In the coming technological landscape, adaption is going to be key. Evolution is going to be the norm. AI learnings happen quickly and even a quarter can be the difference between a thriving affiliate site and another face in the crowd.

Since , operators and platform providers have progressively adopted the option to accept cryptocurrencies from their players, by implementing the funnels to accept these funds and enable the games.

In the big picture of cryptocurrencies, bitcoin is the first, the biggest and the most relevant for gambling. Bitcoin gambling has evolved in recent years to become a complex market of games and products including casinos, sports betting, poker rooms, dice, lottery, esports, live games, fantasy sports and more see Figure 1.

Since mid, we have seen a major change in the market where a range of new platform providers and operators have sprung up to serve the bitcoin audience, and also helping to educate players in the advantages of playing with bitcoin.

The fear of the unknown and some early negative press that provided initial barriers to uptake are receding, and behind it is coming huge growth.

More players are comfortable with and looking to deposit in bitcoin, more operators are preferring to accept bitcoin deposits, while games providers and live dealer studios are also adapting to realise the advantages, combining to accelerate development of the igaming market at a faster pace than before.

As the operational side experiences growth, marketers and affiliates are also able to realise the opportunities this shift in the market presents, by using bitcoins as their preferred commission payment method.

However, some of the affiliate managers at the operators now accepting bitcoin alongside with real-money are not aware of the differences of this emerging audience and its needs, still having much to learn more about marketing funnels and conversion strategies for holders of bitcoin.

The same can be said for the internal strategies and education being developed for their existing player database.

Bitcoin gambling market by product coinpoint. This adoption offers both small and large affiliates a wide range of opportunities to research bitcoin casino affiliate channels, and start executing their marketing techniques.

To conclude, the future looks bright for the market, seeing not only growth in bitcoin adoption in terms of trading the coins, but also in terms of usage.

Demand is correspondingly increasing as the number of operators supporting bitcoin among their deposit methods grows on a daily basis. Meeting these challenges will only make the market stronger, paving the way for all those involved in what is shaping into an exciting new period for the igaming industry.

He started CoinPoint in early as a dedicated bitcoin-related, one- stop-shop agency. Ever since, he has been working with affiliates to generate targeted traffic, run media campaigns and much more.

Today CoinPoint is a market leader in the crypto coins market for affiliation, marketing, integration, security and content, also consulting for several big groups.

Let us introduce you to our new and exciting Affiliate Academy Program! If you want to lead the way, smash your targets and keep on top of the latest news, then look no further!

Let us hear you ROAR! Join LeoVegas Affiliates on Facebook fb. This includes regulated products and legalised operator types within each country, and any impending market updates.

Sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino, bingo and lottery. Licences for sports betting and horse race betting are available for private operators on a regional basis within Austria whereas poker, casino, bingo and lottery are controlled by the monopoly, Austria Lotteries.

An appeal challenging Austrian tax legislation is seen as a test case by other offshore operators targeting Austrian business.

The Austrian government put forward a proposal to block unlicensed offshore operators targeting the country, although next steps are unclear. All products are available to private operators save for lotteries, which are reserved exclusively for the monopoly provider.

The regulator recently introduced rules to prevent live casino products being offered to players unless the dealers are physically in Belgium. The potential for EC infringement proceedings remains.

Sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino, bingo and lottery excluding raffles and instant lottery games. The Bulgarian regulator has subsequently issued licences, including to a number of international operators, and recently removed the restriction on Gibraltar-based applicants.

The change from a turnover to a GGR tax-based system has prompted a number of operators to apply for a local licence. Private operators can only be licensed to offer online gambling if they obtain a land-based casino or betting licence.

However, on 5 March the Croatian government notified a draft bill which seeks to embolden the position of the monopoly and local operators.

The draft bill still stipulates that only land-based casinos and betting operators can apply for a licence. ISP blocking is also proposed.

The receipt of a Detailed Opinion from the EC stalled the legislative process and there have been no developments since.

Sports betting, horse race betting and lottery. OPAP have a monopoly over lottery operations; sports betting licences are available to private operators.

Cyprus regulated online betting in July , although a licensing regime was not established at the time. On 2 August , the regulator announced its intention to implement an online sports betting licensing regime, with applications for such licences accepted for a one-month period only from 3 October to 3 November Following the closure of the licensing window, the government announced they would implement blocking measures with the publication of a blacklist, and warned local ISP providers that they would face fines for failures to block sites offering unlicensed gambling products.

EU and EEA-based operators are able to apply for licences which, if granted, will become valid from 1 January Lottery will remain reserved for the monopoly.

Under plans introduced by the Ministry of Finance, licences had been expected to be granted to successful licence applicants by November Sports betting, poker and casino licences are available to private operators.

Bingo, lottery and horse race betting fixed odds only is controlled by the state monopoly. The Danish online gambling regime went live on 1 January ISP-blocking measures are active in the jurisdiction and the Danish Gaming Authority has been granted an injunction in order to block operators and suppliers that have been targeting Danish customers without the requisite licence.

In December, the government adopted two amendment bills which create specific licences for fantasy sports operators, as well as bring about certain new match- fixing and AML measures.

Licences for all gambling products are available for private operators save that the monopoly has exclusive rights to lottery. As of June , only 16 operators are licensed in the jurisdiction, 12 of which operate online gambling.

A new law which introduces new player protection measures and relaxes certain online sports betting advertising restrictions came into force in June Further amendments introduced in January extend the application of self-exclusion lists to lottery and sports-betting players.

The monopolies have recently merged into one state entity as of 1 January In November , the EC also withdrew infringement proceedings. Active enforcement measures are in place restrictive marketing for offshore operators and ISP blocking.

Sports betting, horse race betting, poker and lottery. Private operators can obtain online licences for sports betting, horse race betting and poker.

The monopoly has exclusive rights to lottery. France is a regulated market that has been sanctioned by the EC. Parliament announced that it would conduct a full review of French gambling legislation in On 7 October , the Digital Republic Act came into force, allowing international poker liquidity.

Other provisions of the Act include the introduction of a new mechanism allowing players to self-limit the time spent playing games such as online poker and provisions relating to the organisation of e-sports tournaments.

Schleswig- Holstein, a small Northern German state, regulates sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino and bingo. The other 15 states of Germany currently only permit sports betting and horse race betting.

Private operators can no longer obtain licences in Schleswig- Holstein, and those in existence will expire on 30 June In the other 15 states, horse race betting licences are available at a regional level but the position surrounding the 20 available sports betting licences is still uncertain.

The licensing regime in Germany is in a state of flux. The tender for 20 Federal sports betting licences was abortive, following a number of appeals by operators who were not granted a licence.

Amendments would allow all operators that fulfilled the minimum requirements in the sports betting tender to receive temporary licences and the cap on sports betting licences would be removed.

If passed, the amendments are scheduled to enter into force on 1 January The state of Hesse has adopted a formal policy of tolerance similar to that of a quasi-licensing regime but the regime was suspended on 15 November All licences are available to private operators save for lottery, which is reserved exclusively for the monopoly provider, Camelot.

Any operator that transacts with, or advertises to, British residents requires a licence from the Gambling Commission. From 31 March , licensed operators are required to source gambling software from Commission-licensed businesses.

This is subject to an ongoing judicial review by a Gibraltar trade association and its questions regarding its compatibility with European law.

The Treasury is confident that it can defend its position. On 5 December , the UK government published its responses to the consultation on freeplay tax treatment for remote gaming, announcing that the first use of freeplays will be taxed and winnings will be brought into the duty calculation at the end of the re-wagering process.

The changes are set to be included in the DC-EU regulation-v1. All products are exclusively reserved for the monopoly providers although 24 transitional licences for private operators remain active, with all products permitted.

The licensing regime in Greece like Germany is also in a state of flux. The Greek government granted 24 transitional licences to operators in December enabling them to keep transacting with Greek residents.

However, in March , the government notified draft legislation to the EC which effectively rescinds the licences; a position criticised by the EC.

The fate of the 24 licences is still unclear. Amendments to Hungarian gambling law came into force on 1 October which allow only two land-based casinos to hold remote casino concessions.

The regulator has since issued fines against unlicensed operators who continue to target the market. ISP blocking of unlicensed sites has occurred since June Online betting regulated since August Ireland is in the process of updating its legislation which will create a comprehensive online gambling regime and payment restrictions.

All products available to private operators save for lottery which is reserved for the monopoly provider. However, it is currently not possible to obtain a licence in Italy.

A recently passed Stability Law introduces various measures affecting the remote gambling industry, including tax changes and plans for tighter advertising rules.

The law will provide for the award of new online gaming licences lasting for six years. The tender process for the award of the licences has been delayed, but it was recently announced that these would be issued in Q1 of The general prohibition on gambling appears sufficiently wide to cover all forms of online gambling.

Sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino, bingo, lottery. Private operators can apply for a local licence but not in relation to lottery products.

These include changes regarding hosting servers abroad, audit requirements and the cloud environment. Malta plans to introduce gambling legislation during to modernise online gambling rules.

On 19 August , the Government of Malta notified the EU Commission its draft Skill Games Regulations , which would establish a regulatory framework for skill games for prizes.

Monopoly for all products. After two years of parliamentary debate, the Dutch Lower House approved the Online Gambling Bill which will introduce an online gambling licensing regime in the Netherland, expected in early In the interim, the regulator has started to implement enforcement measures.

In November , the regulator levied its highest ever fine on two gambling operators for continuing to target Dutch players. In May , a Dutch court upheld fines issued by the regulator in the first such case to go to trial.

Sports betting, horse race betting and lottery Operator Type: Online gambling is reserved for its two monopoly providers: Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto.

The monopoly has extended its offering to include live betting, e-bingo and casino games in an attempt to redirect traffic from unlicensed sites.

However, the new government is understood to be considering a limited licensing regime for foreign operators. The government is preparing a white paper on how best to regulate the gambling sector, which was scheduled to be presented to Parliament in late Sports betting and horse race betting.

From 3 September , licences are available for companies with a representative in Poland as opposed to a local establishment. Legislation enacted 1 January only permits betting and only four licences were granted to local companies Fortuna, Milenium, STS and Totolotek.

The amendments provide for the establishment of a blacklist of unlicensed operators and the introduction of ISP and payment blocking.

The amendments will come into force on April , with the exception of provisions relating to enforcement which will come into force on 1 July Once implemented, the amendments will preserve the right of a state-run monopoly to operate online casino and poker games.

Lottery games and land-based fixed odds sports betting remain reserved for a monopoly. There is no deadline for the licensing window or limit on the number of licences that may be issued.

Delayed technical standards were introduced in December , paving the way for operators to certify their online systems to obtain a licence.

The regulator is known to have granted five licences. Sports betting, horse race betting, casino, bingo and lottery. Lottery games remain reserved for the monopoly.

The Romanian government passed legislation at the end of that allows entities within the EU to apply for a licence, imposes a reform on licence fees and eliminates many but not all of the tax burdens placed on player revenues.

The Gambling Law as amended introduced a legal framework for a fully regulated online gambling market, and requires licences to be held by online gambling operators, as well as software providers, payment processors, affiliates and testing labs.

After some delay, the secondary legislation which fully implemented the new licensing regime came into force on 26 February All products are operated by the monopoly save that land-based sports betting operators can offer services online due to a legal loophole.

In November , a bill amending the existing gambling legal framework was approved. The amendments, which entered into force on 1 January , include the introduction of ISP and payment blocking of illegal online gambling offerings in the Slovak territory.

The supervisory function in respect of ISP and payment blocking measures will not be active until July Whether amendments will also be made to introduce a formal licensing system remains unclear.

Online gambling must be operated by land-based casinos or lotteries and, as a result, only the monopoly holds online licences in Slovenia. The Finance Ministry notified secondary regulations for the operation of online gambling services to the European Commission on 17 August

Going back on the principles of leadership, the knowledge and experience of persons engaged in this function is of the essence in ensuring that good filters are in place. Malta has the opportunity to be a truly global centre for the gaming industry, similar to what New York, Hong Kong and London are terminator i ll be back the admiral casino prater industry. At this point, there is enough data to determine the next step: We are happy that, even though there is still stigma attached to gambling in Japan, the Japanese government was able to acknowledge the potential in our business model, which goes above and beyond a basic distribution business. Game development is a highly technical Beste Spielothek in Rainberg finden, which requires very specific skills. At best, it means they got your attention and are gsn casino free tokens more motivated. Can you tell us a bit about Exient and explain what type of games you produce? To conclude, the future looks bright for the rizk casino free spins, seeing not only growth in bitcoin adoption in terms of trading the coins, but also in terms of usage. Why are affiliates failing on generic phrases? They would need to be socially conscious and inspired by regulatory compliance. Trended gambling search themes December November Source: This mirror casino see new and improved changes, not quentin halys in the way we promote ourselves externally but also how we retain and grow our people. However, regulation has also developed and affected the industry. The amendments will come into force on Aprilwith the exception of provisions relating to enforcement which will come into force on 1 July

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We look forward to welcoming you at this show in the heart of the iGaming industry and have little doubt that everyone will walk out a winner.

Eman Pulis Consulting Editors: Hand delivered to various expos worldwide, executive lounges, Maltese embassies and government institutions.

The magazine is also delivered by post to 4, leading gaming companies worldwide. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited without prior consent in writing.

Opinions expressed in SiGMAgazine are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. All reasonable care is taken to ensure truth and accuracy, but the editor and publishers cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions in articles, advertising, photographs or illustrations.

Some would argue that the iGaming sector is now saturated and that the industry is growing at a slower rate and is, or will be, dominated by a smaller number of mega-operators.

Indeed, this is a development of every industry sector but, myopia and stagnation are not features of this dynamic and innovative sector. New products, channels and business models are continuously being brought in line at a fast pace in the quest of becoming more efficient and effective in providing a player experience better than their rivals on the market.

The gaming regulatory scenario in the EU and beyond is yet extending the country by country regulation, subjecting operators to national licensing regimes and thus the duplication - or rather a multiplication - of regulatory compliance mechanisms and costs by operators which, outside of their base in Malta, operates in other EU and non-EU markets.

The political climate to reverse this trend or indeed use lessons learnt to develop any form of uniformity in regulation seems to lack the necessary appetite at the national level or indeed by the European institutions.

This is expected to be the norm for the immediate and medium term in all markets. It is with this in mind that in the 3-year plan launched in , the MGA set to, progressively, consolidate and reposition Malta as a centre which fosters excellence, efficiency, and an intelligent and responsible gaming industry.

The regulatory overhaul is now being progressively rolled out. Prior to the white paper, the MGA has published various policy papers and, importantly, the draft regulations concerning Skill Games notified to the Commission in August and the Legal Notice which exempts Fantasy Sports Games from the current regulatory requirements.

The generally new and innovative approach, which the Government and MGA are proposing in the new legislative framework for the governance of the sector, co-existing with more traditional mechanisms of regulation, are being.

While the MGA has soughtinput from various and a wide of stakeholders, all parties are encouraged to provide any feedback they think is appropriate in order to make this new regime a winning one for all involved in the sector.

The new regulatory regime is a cornerstone of the consolidation and repositioning strategy by Malta in the global gaming sphere. However, both Government and MGA are well aware that there are other critical contributory factors that sustain this important and economically significant industry in Malta.

The focus is indeed to strengthen this position as as we move forward, in order to support its investments in innovation, diversification, operational and regulatory efficiency, skills development and long term success.

One of the challenges Malta faces, like a number of other jurisdictions, concerns direct taxation. It is no secret that Malta does not agree with EU tax harmonisation, or measures that will have a similar effects.

Malta is today also endowed with a fully developed and sophisticated eco-system of infrastructure and services that support the i-gaming industry along with its dynamic development.

While Malta may not provide the lowest cost of total operation, it offers one of the most reliable, costefficient, transparent and business-friendly environments for the industry, which is valued by hundreds of operators.

This dynamic environment provides a advantage over other potential jurisdictions for both start-ups and bigger established businesses to relocate as the numbers continue to show, year on year.

We will continue to support the existing ecosystem and take the necessary measures to address any shortages or new needs that growth has brought or may bring about.

The MGA conducted a multitude of studies, and have listened to various individual stakeholders highlighting the need of certain skills and competencies.

In the Government will be revising its measures in order to make it even more attractive to secure and retain the right skills and competencies in Malta.

The Gaming Institute will also be launched and commence its operations to provide the professional development of industry specific competences necessary.

There will be other initiatives and projects during the coming year, which will continue to cement our resolve and commitment towards this sector.

These may be peripheral to the regulatory structure and processes. Simplifying establishment and operation by gaming companies, this will create equally, if not more exciting and innovative projects.

Malta is the best place to meet colleagues, other operators and suppliers on a regular basis. It is so much easier doing business with people whom you know in real life.

The fact that so many colleagues decided to put their faith in us and become partners in our journey is amazing. This growth has given us the ability to add more tools to our system, integrate new 3rd party content providers, and bring on board a wealth of new sources.

Tell us about the market trends from your experience over the last three years. The two main trends in the last three years have been regulation and competition.

The growth of regulation has been great in terms of opening up more acquisition channels and improving public perception.

However, it has also increased operating costs for gaming businesses. We are also seeing increased competition, with more small and medium operators in the market now offering different unique selling points and targeting different market niches.

Overall, these two trends have led to many operators feeling the squeeze on their margins. While revenues have been growing nicely, profits are lagging for many companies.

How did you cope with these trends? We have been able to adapt gradually to the new operating environment by implementing methods to cope with multiple markets and changing regulations.

We are currently preparing to enter our sixth regulated market, and have already launched several casino apps in the ones in which we already operate.

Our team is very experienced with the process of gaining regulatory approval. Something we do differently, rather than just better, is lifetime value estimation.

We have developed an analytical system with a formula to identify the likely lifetime value and cash flow of a player after just a few days in the system.

When I say lifetime value, I mean it. We can tell our operators a few days after they start a campaign what their players are really worth.

This means that they can quickly reinforce their. The industry is currently too competitive to waste money on ineffective marketing.

Now that is almost behind us, I can summarise and say that it has been a successful year for Aspire Global in terms of new white label operators.

To what do you attribute this success? It was indeed a very good year. The most significant reason for this growth is that we have great partners.

They are achieving success working with us, and because of this, they are recommending us to others. No salesperson is as effective as a happy customer at generating new business.

We are always delighted when our operators are successful. We enjoy very close relationships with all our partners and care for their businesses as though we own them ourselves.

We want to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks and is forgotten. From your experience what are the 3 most important things for your potential partners?

Through years of experience in the market and by undertaking in-depth research, I can conclude that firstly partners are looking for a platform provider that offers a full turnkey solution.

It must be capable of doing everything the operator needs. Secondly, platform stability is vital.

Do you think anyone can become an operator? The path to success is to focus on what you do best. Our business is designed to provide a solution for this sort of person.

By taking care of the operational side of things, we free them up to focus on marketing their own world-class product.

Who are your potential partners? Broadly speaking, we work with three main types of companies. The first is existing brands that want to improve their profitability.

We also work with affiliates who want to become operators. We take care of all the operational tasks, so the main change they see is being able to own their players and keep more of the revenue.

Your business model is a little different from those of other platform providers - can you explain how and why?

Our guiding principle is to create genuine partnerships with our operators. The two most notable things that are different about our business model are our scalability and ability to charge based on Net Revenue.

We will be introducing Sports Betting, which will be a new vertical for most of our partners. Adding a mark-up to these external services is a hidden source of income for some providers, but can create a conflict of interest.

This is not the industry standard, but we believe that it is the best way to fully align our interests with those of our partners.

What can you offer to to operators that are unique? In terms of acquisition, we offer different apps for different countries.

Once they have acquired the players, we offer them over in-house games that they will only find in our network.

The variety of options offered by the combination of our proprietary games and a wide selection from third party providers increases player satisfaction and lifetime value.

We are also planning to launch in our sixth regulated market. Moderator There are various emerging trends in betting.

Players can now compete against each other using a combination of betting skills and strategic game play, rather than betting against the house.

There are also new possibilities where a player can get one or more selections wrong but still win. At the operator level, can the running costs be optimized and can the requirement for tied up cash collateral be removed?

In this animated discussion we will explore the increased popularity of fantasy sport and its role in European markets.

What are the emerging trends between the two sources of traffic? Are the two business models kept distinct or is a more seamless omni-channel experience the way forward?

Many affiliates merge or sell their business to bigger affiliates or operators. This has resulted in the biggest affiliates, the ones making most of the acquisitions, able to leverage their position for bigger CPA and rev share deals with operators.

Is this creating a situation where smaller operators are struggling to penetrate the market? White Hat - Google Law v. Law of the land Gary R.

In this heated panel discussion, four experienced speakers will battle it out on stage. Are there any legal implications?

SMS and Email Marketing: The presentation is a must-attend for operators, software developers and all CMOs. Google Search have been training machine learning algorithms since Deep neural networks, modeled loosely on the human brain, represent the new challenge for SEOs.

Just how can modern SEOs compete with machine intelligence? Welcome Address and Opening Remarks Hon. Are the new, MGA-granted licenses generating more jobs in Malta?

How are they affecting already established license holders? What are the seeds that we should sow to maintain our attractiveness as a Gaming jurisdiction?

What are the risks and potential benefits? What are the data protection implications? However the pace of consolidation is not set to slow down.

The consolidation trends are led by the need to increase scale to fund rising costs arising from tax changes and compliance costs, access to technology and mobile penetration as well as competitive pressures and the drive for market share.

The discussion will look into the new opportunities to leverage these new innovations, VR, payments, smart CRM systems, data insights and engagement, emotional biometrics.

Whichever way you look at it, VR defies normal business metrics and for very good reason — because it is unlike any medium consumers have experienced to date.

Brand and business owners say we want to be involved but how do we connect Virtual Reality to a business model that works for us?

Defining and engaging the audience, the power of game mechanics and how to engage the masses for small sums, with high volumes.

Game mechanics are important features to include in an offering to millennials. The majority of millennials never gambled but often played games.

Can game mechanics, gamified strategies and immersive gameplay engage the masses in playing games for small sums, but in high volumes?

Could DFS and eSports be scratching the surface of something far deeper? Cyber risk - what is it? What risks am I running? Do other parts of the business understand their incident response role?

Have I got the right balance of controls? The events have thus far been rolled out in the Isle of Man and Gibraltar, so it is extremely satisfying and rewarding to join our KPMG member firms in actively partaking in an event that has progressively evolved into one of the most reputable and sought after events in the global eGaming calendar.

With the event securely established in both the Isle of Man and Gibraltar, delegates have since gathered annually to discuss contemporary and perennial issues.

Topics have been as diverse as remote gambling, the requirement to balance economic freedoms with consumer protection and the need to raise tax revenue, changes in online payment technologies and their impact on regulators, operators, customer acquisition as well as many others.

The eSummit has successfully attracted high calibre speakers and panelists from multiple facets of the industry.

This has, in turn, acted as a veritable pull-factor in attracting the intended targeted audience of C-level executives, operators, regulators and government decisionmakers — basically the movers and shakers of the industry.

Due to the high-quality content at the eGaming summits, the event has progressively attracted an increasing number of representatives from complementary industries, such as telecommunications, data hosting, corporate services, law and payment facilitation.

It is interesting to note that the events have always attracted delegates from outside the host country. Today, the eGaming Summit is unquestionably international, with the majority of attendees stemming from across Europe.

The comprehensive and dynamic nature of the eGaming Summits have meant that all of the major changes and controversies affecting the eGaming industry since the inaugural summit is provided with the right forum whereby participants can engage in an interesting debate where the exchange of opinions and ideas is solicited in an open and transparent manner.

The Remote Gaming sector continues to be one of the most dynamic and innovative industries in the world. Indeed, the industry has transformed dramatically since the first eSummit took place seven years ago.

While the content covered at the eSummits has, from year to year, changed considerably and been adapted to reflect the reality on the ground, the blueprint — under which themes are divided into local and global iGaming issues, with industry leaders sharing their knowledge and experience on each and every delegate participating in the discussion — remains unchanged and has been hugely successful.

We have been rigorously and methodically preparing for this event and we are very satisfied with the final program. It promises to be a thought-provoking day, filled with knowledgeable industry specialists, who will share their experiences and provide in-depth insight in their relevant area of specialisation.

Our intention is to provide meaningful and practical tools to our audience, in order for them to apply this insight into their own operations.

The major outcome from this event is envisaged to revolve around the usability, validity and applicability of the sessions. The KPMG eSummit in Malta promises to be a lively day, which will be delivered through a combination of short presentations accompanied by topic-centric panel sessions.

We are going to be time conscious but value-driven. Should you wish to gauge a further appreciation of the themes that are set to be discussed on the day, then kindly refer to our advert on the inside front page cover of the SiGMA magazine Why have you decided to partner up the KPMG eSummit with SiGMA this year?

SiGMA has grown from strength to strength since its inception 3 years ago. It is the largest Gaming event on the island and is garnering much support by carving a reputable niche as a yearly calendar mainstay in the international arena.

The Malta-based iGaming Academy, a trailblazer in industry training and education has announced that it will be joining forces with SiGMA to present its biggest training event to date.

The Forum will deliver comprehensive, current and relevant content and has been designed for any individual who strives to hold a successful position within the iGaming industry.

Each participant will be provided with a unique training package, suited to their interests and professional demands with the workshops delivered by experienced iGaming professionals who are also proven iGaming Academy Trainers.

As every business leader will testify, sourcing and securing the right talent is no easy feat and with a solid workforce of some 12, people, Malta provides an ideal recruitment backdrop.

A day has been dedicated to product specific topics, such as Sportsbook and Casino management — and introducing one of the newest contenders for a market share — eSports.

And to wrap it up, all participants will be given free entrance to the expo as SiGMA delegates, providing a unique opportunity to build and grow networks, in what is an established networking environment.

Panel number 1 will be discussing the delicate subjects of Skills Shortages, Emerging Employment trends and the Legal, Tax implications of same.

With the knowledge of leading legal, audit and recruitment firms, the contribution to the discussion will be invaluable. This panel has an HR base with a regulatory spin.

The ability of employees to create, innovate and develop products of their own, which they are passionate about is important.

Giving these employees the opportunity of growing and providing time for their own creations can prove to be crucial in engaging the right employees and also retaining them.

The first panel will start by discussing the reasons and evolving trends behind skills shortages, with candidates capable of software development being a prime example of the situation faced by many firms around the world, with demand exceeding the supply of available talent.

The panel will discuss ways of mitigating these shortages through different methods, mainly through targeting of more EU candidates and third party nationals, using remote working, providing Internships and partnering with outsourcing providers.

With the continuously growing number of opportunities available, digital workers are more careful in analysing their career choices, and will look to join a company whose culture fits their own.

The last method can assist firms by helping them plug into a readily available workforce, and is easily scalable according to client needs.

The second panel will have a greater focus on Employee Engagement for Digital Workers. This HR toolkit assists organisations by using a number of methods which research has shown to have an effect on happiness and loyalty demonstrated by employees.

Such tools include Training and Development, Rewards and Compensation, Technical Challenges, Positive Working Environments, Diversity in the working place and the possibility for employees to thinking outside the proverbial box C Castille is a specialist recruitment firm for tech, finance and executive careers.

Their proposition is consultative and knowledge based, providing clients and candidates with an expert view and a specialist network.

Are you a startup? Seeking mentors and investors? It is a dynamic and fresh way to experience competitive entertainment and needs a new approach when it comes to betting.

Their business model rests on incentivized advertising, selling virtual good and providing B2B services focused on eSports.

They are now ready to provide operators with white-label eSports betting platforms. They are developing artificial intelligence algorithms and apply them to professional team sports.

From a simple video, their algorithms are able to locate the players, the ball and the referees, to identify automatically each player and to understand tactical aspects.

This London-based start-up offers a range of high-quality instant wins where players are in charge. From their award-winning skill game shows to instant win with cash out and gorgeously engaging scratch, Gamevy combines innovative game design with massive jackpots and a focus on a broad demographic of players.

Try the games here. You can play the games for real money on Lottoland, MarathonBet, Betsson and other operators as Gamevy rolls out the games across Europe.

Nextwin is not a bookmaker, but a social game. SportsbookCloud is a massively scalable, high-performance sports betting platform.

The company uses the most sophisticated Database services on the market giving their clients unlimited odds compiling capabilities.

SportsbookCloud is helping Operators transform their business into immersive omni-channel experiences. They automatically manage the complexity of unlimited scalability.

InboundMuse is a digital marketing consultancy helping mature B2B companies get more customers online. They provide all the knowledge, skills, and processes needed to completely transform the way to find, close and keep clients.

It is a platform that uses algorithms and visualization to show the most important facts and conclusions in a nice, graphical way. Sporticos monitor online discussions about upcoming games, learn the sentiment and combine it with stats as an element of its prediction algorithm.

Sporticos track tipsters around the world and accumulate their expertise for smart betting. Currently, it has 8 language versions and over 1 million users on a monthly basis.

BetUP is a unique tournament game that asks predictive questions during live football. Players select what they believe will happen next, through a host of fun and innovative questions.

This fun game format allows both experienced sports bettors and novices to BetUP against each other on a level playing field, and challenge themselves with a combination of skill and luck to predict the action.

In , Morten was acknowledged as one of the 50 most significant people in the world within the Gambling Industry by Gambling Intelligence.

Her entrepreneurial and innovative drive is supported by 10 years experience in online marketing, and 5 years in iGaming. She specialises in digital marketing, user experience, technology, operational efficiency, data, and CRO.

Ory is an industry expert, who has been heavily involved in iGaming and digital advertising for over 10 years. Mitsuya has extensive experience in TV and music production and artist management in his previous roles where he worked on many prominent international artists and projects with major brands, such as Yamaha and MTV Unplugged.

In he became an independent consultant and established a music media agency called Life Is So Cruel. He worked for a variety of projects around the world providing foreign countries with Japanese content, which he will continue to do in the iGaming industry.

About Kleing Group AS: Klein Group consists of a group of companies with different investments within the iGaming industry, e-commerce, real estate and venture companies.

Klein Group is fully controlled by Morten Klein. Optimizer Invest is a Scandinavian venture capital company headquartered in Malta.

The company helps young businesses and entrepreneurs to develop their full potential for profitable growth. The founders and owners have a successful track record in iGaming, and therefore primarily invest in consumer-oriented and online businesses.

XLMedia is a leading provider of digital marketing services. The company uses proprietary tools and methodologies to generate high-value traffic.

XLMedia operates across a number of verticals with specific expertise in the iGaming industry. The Group partners with over online gaming operators in more than 20 countries.

Nikolai Livori was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Yobetit earlier in however, he co-founded the company in Malta in and since then has spearheaded major strategy and technical shifts.

In this position as the CEO, he has assumed the overall responsibility for Yobetit including product, business and technology strategies. David drives new products, strategy, and innovation, working as a consultant for gaming operators and product suppliers, and running an iGaming incubator — www.

Yobetit is a sports arbitrage bookmaker with its main product being a browserbased Sports trading platform. Yobetit scans the global sports odds market and then presents unique cross bet arbitrage opportunities to its members.

Go Beyond Investing enables individuals to access angel investing as an asset class through its unique platform, tools, training and expert angels.

David has 14 years experience in the gambling and technology sectors. We are a consultancy, a startup incubator and seed fund for the sports betting and iGaming space.

Ganapati Plc is a group of innovative game studios, production companies and media platforms. They have a series of successful social networking apps which are available in Japan and are currently developing a series of unique slot games which will be released globally over the next 12 months.

Admission is free for all SiGMA attendees. So the timing seemed right for a careers convention to help meet the increasing demand for talent. Between 2pm and 6pm on Day Two of the expo, the doors will open to graduates and IT developers who are looking at the possibility of a new career in iGaming.

Those attending will be entitled to shop around the expo floor as well as attend a conference on Human Capital and Performance.

Networking drinks and the closing party will also be accessible to the Careers Convention attendees. The organizers are signing the brightest, most experienced speakers from within and outside the industry, including TED speakers, covering a range of themes and paving the way for some animated panel discussions.

However, this year, it also wants to serve the purpose of recruitment in Malta. Through this event we want to create a bridge between students and the betting company world where great employment opportunities exist.

The organisers have lined them up for you: For further information visit www. Participants can enjoy some drinks and pre-register for their badge during the networking reception, beating Thursdaymorning queues.

Following the networking reception, an ice-breaking poker tournament will be held on Wednesday evening. Free for all delegates With a majestic casino underneath the expo, it was only a natural move for SiGMA to have a welcome party at the same casino, courtesy of hosts OlyBet and Casino Malta.

Cutajar, for all of our coffee breaks. At the end of each summit, sponsored networking drinks will be held at Tapaz Lounge, outside the InterContinental, Bay Arena.

These coffee breaks are an excellent opportunity to meet fellow colleagues and exchange business cards.

We recommend HR departments with a booth to be present at those times! AskGamblers is an extremely important site for casino operators and, through its stringent requirements for certified casinos, contributes to creating a better iGaming industry.

In a statement to investors, Unibet disclosed that iGame Group had managed to meet its initial performance targets set for the financial year ending 31 December Catena Media acquired AskGamblers.

Commenting on the launch, Marcin Sapinski, a representative for the startup gambling company, said that they are extremely excited to be introducing the new casino to the online gambling market.

Sapinski further noted that they want to make their players feel special and to know that they matter to the online gaming brand. LeoVegas launched sports betting product After the initial public offering on Stockholm Nasdaq in March , the mobile casino LeoVegas went live with its sports betting product named LeoVegas Sport.

I am very proud of our employees who have enabled us to launch a product that will bring mobile sports betting to a new level. Both Cherry and ComeOn are growing considerably faster than the market as a whole, which facilitates further investments in existing brands and continued expansion in new markets.

We will add several strong brands and will profit from the strong entrepreneurial spirit within ComeOn. Our vision is to make the industry an open and connected eco-system and we will all benefit from the commercial and operational synergies.

Mr Green launched Sportsbook product MrGreen extended their portfolio with a Sportsbook product powered by Malta-headquartered provider Kambi.

Malta-licensed operator launched its sportsbook ahead of schedule announced in February - a few days before the UEFA Euro Together, we have managed to build the Sportsbook in record time thanks to our new, efficient product platform.

We have built a Sportsbook of the same high quality as our online casino. This reality required a new development office so that we can offer the same high-quality products and respond to the latest demands of our clients for responsive desktop and mobile solutions.

Romania is the latest regulated European market to license the company, which allows it to continue expanding its existing portfolio of awarded permits in numerous regulated markets such as UK, Ireland, Portugal, and more.

We are therefore very pleased to continue our commitment with Fortuna Dusseldorf as a partner for the new season. Alan Alden, Director at Kyte Consultants, commented: We aim to offer Tipico released Prepaid Deposit App in Germany Tipico strengthened its service offering by launching a brand new prepaid payment application for customers in Germany.

With this prepaid app, sports bettors can top up their account easily via smartphone; the application is available for free download on both Android and iOS.

Prepaid cards are available in several shops across Germany, tobacconists and tobacco shops, grocery stores, gas stations, and various other providers guarantee an area-wide service.

Furthermore, the Tipico Pay application always leads the customer to the nearest point of sale, on the shortest route available.

The Malta Gaming Authority announced that daily fantasy sports will no longer require a gambling license. The company will initially assist the trade body by undertaking a scoping study which will help to shape the development of the National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme.

It will then support and advise the RGA during the implementation process which could take place before the end of This decision towards the skill based licensing framework is expected to attract an extensive arrival of new operators to this small Mediterranean island as well as propelling Malta into the very center stage of DFS action in Europe.

RGA chief executive Clive Hawkswood commented: This will include premium virtual content such as horse and greyhound racing, virtual football, tennis, Real MMA Fighting, keno and lottery.

BetConstruct is happy to put its distribution power behind Golden Race content. We are confident that it will contribute to the success of both companies.

BetConstruct entered into an agreement with Golden Race to provide their virtual sports clients the full range of Golden Race virtual sports content.

Meet the Shortly after the dust settled on SiGMA15 last November, we felt it was the right time to invest and grow the show into a landmark, international event.

Anthony brings with him a wealth of experience in business development, specifically in gaming. Sacha, Sophie and Jarek will be handling all sales, marketing and reservations.

Nice to have you with us, Ben. Did the tiny state meet your expectations to date? Malta has exceeded expectations and I am always overwhelmed with the level of talent and warm personalities that we find on the Island to join Gaming Innovation Group.

I admit we are all really excited about the move next year to what is arguably one of the most technologically advanced and and, as you say, sexiest buildings in Malta.

We have always had really great offices in Malta but I think this one is going to take the cake. More and more EU states are introducing their regulatory frameworks, asking for specific licenses to operate in that particular jurisdiction.

Is this trend paving the way for an eventual relocation to another jurisdiction? With such brands operating in multiple continents, how relevant is Malta?

Malta is a great country to have an HQ and we have been really fortunate to find great talent on the Island and it is not that hard to convince people to move to the sunny Med.

There have been so many remarkable moments over the past 3 years but the moments that stand out the most would be launching Guts, moving into the GB building into.

Growth of course has its challenges to overcome but despite the growth we have always maintained an amazing company culture and provided an environment where people are inspired and can inspire others.

Deciding to build, what is now known as iGaming Cloud turned out to be a monumental moment and I still have found memories of our first stand at ICE in possibly the worst location as we booked it so late.

Our first client, Betspin, going live was very special and was a proud moment for everyone that put their heart and soul into the development of the platform as was the migration of Guts to IGC in Something very inspiring is that we keep creating remarkable moments so I am sure next year when you ask me the same question I can add a lot to the above list.

Has the company seen a sporadic growth in employees? And has this growth slowed down creativity and increased red tape? On an employee level, what makes employees stay with the company?

För att avrunda recensionen av Energycasino kommer här en summering av positiva och negativa erfarenheter av spelsidan. Snabba utbetalningar, stor variation av spel och fina jackpots ger slutbetyget 4,2 av 5 möjliga.

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Sammanfattning av Energycasino recension — scam eller inte? These findings are part of the iGB Affiliate Survey , an independent research project commissioned by iGaming Business.

The full report is included on the iGaming Business Intelligence Centre. To view this please visit: I also want to go into some of the macro SEO trends which are coming through for and how these fit in with my ideas that: Some history I have this odd experience of being both an affiliate and a casino operator.

As Nick the affiliate, I have a large share of a site called ClubCall. And for those who know, sports news is quite hard to monetise for affiliates.

So I have this interesting perspective where I love affiliates and I dread them. I need affiliates to bring in business. As an aside, about six years ago I worked for a large igaming operator as head of search.

Using publicly available information I did some calculations on what affiliate commissions would cost a tier 1 operator per month from conversions that come through brand phrases.

If that tier 1 operator got aggressive with affiliates and pushed them out of the most converting brand phrases, that would probably cover the whole of their SEO spend and give them some change.

In the case of Oshi, we live by our affiliate relationships. Brand reputation is why I think affiliates deserve to rank on brand phrases.

Reputation As you know, there are three different types of key phrases: When you are seriously considering something, you are looking for information to help you make a final decision.

In other sectors like technology, consideration phrases are dominated by online publications which give reviews of the latest products or whatever.

Gaming affiliation is ridiculously profitable when you get it right. There is such a massive economic incentive to produce content that will influence Traffic-The great brand-v3a.

Very simply, whoever gets the best conversions and biggest ongoing revenue stream is the best operator. This, in turn, means those operators which pay out the most, are on the whole the best on customer satisfaction.

Of course, there are lots of horror stories about rogue operators. When a random potential customer starts looking around on the search engines for the best operator, if the whole search ecosystem is loaded with different affiliates telling you which operators are the best, eventually those potential customers start forming opinions and at some point they register with a few different operators.

I think the igaming search ecosystem is driven by profit-motivated propaganda. I love affiliates ranking on my brand phrases.

If I was in technology, and I had a product, I would put it out with reviewers, they would say what they thought, their unpaid, unbiased reviews would rank and that would be it.

In igaming, I have a service, I put it out with affiliates, they say what they think and if they like my casino and they think it has a good chance of making them money, they will say good things about it.

AskGamblers has nailed something very few affiliates have got right: People believe what AskGamblers says. It helps them make a positive decision about joining Oshi.

We are also really lucky to have GamblingBitcoin. This happened because Marko Csokasi, our affiliate manager, did a great job of building relationships with all of these affiliates.

He is a nice guy who is easy to work with and he has been able to tell the Oshi story about product innovation, not being evil and doing our best with customer experience.

It meant these powerful and influencing affiliates reviewed us well. If only one affiliate was nice to us, it might be interesting, but having every single affiliate on our most important brand phrase praise us, means that potential customers will be more inclined to join Oshi and so everyone wins.

To summarise about 1, words: The search ecosystem As part of my background research for this article, I had another look through two articles which talked about SEO trends for , where about 80 search experts gave their opinions.

I also reread the Searchmetrics ranking factors report for Intent Seth Besmertnik, Conductor chief executive: By making something your customer needs — something that solves their problem — you will win the algorithm of the future.

It is about being the stand out leader in the field for, at the very least, your business name. What one thing do you really stand for?

This is not just an update, but a systematic change to how Google evaluates and positions websites.

The main task for SEOs and online marketers today is the creation of relevant content that is targeted towards the specific user intention, which can vary greatly depending on the search query.

Generally speaking, content is relevant when it provides answers to as many questions as possible, and when it deals with the most important aspects of a topic.

This is how we define holistic and comprehensive content. Why are affiliates failing on generic phrases?

Users want to see operator websites, because they are looking for a casino that is online, or they want to make a bet online through an online bookmaker.

My point is that Google is all about satisfying user intent and this is why Searchmetrics says the most powerful ranking signal of all is, in fact, click- through rate.

Google search results should be a meritocracy, where the sites that rank the highest are the ones users want the most.

And finally this is happening. What is the user intent around a brand? Because you serve a more useful purpose to the user than some social media, or corporate blah blah blah.

You are helping users make decisions. And Google knows that. In short, the outlook is good. The dominant affiliates will come through because they find the right balance between satisfying user intent and making money.

AskGamblers does it really well and in a less commercial way, Casinomeister. They answer a big question: The right links still help to rank, so affiliates can be aggressive with this.

Herein lies the reason I think affiliates are going to be around for years to come. He then founded 90 Digital, the successful igaming SEO agency, and in saw an opportunity to launch Oshi casino.

From an SEO point of view, it requires resource allocation, long- term planning and preparation, water tight execution, and is never free of risk.

This a protocol that allows secure communication between computer networks, such as the browser on a local computer or the server serving the content being accessed.

However, HTTPS is not without challenges, which is why, until now, only a mid-percentage5 of the World Wide Web has been using this secure protocol - but this number is growing steadily.

Some of the challenges include: However, the long-term benefits do outweigh the challenges. This guide primarily focuses on addressing the content move challenge of moving content from an SEO point of view.

Users see this reflected as green bars with company names in the browser address bar. As such, using commercial SSL certificates for now is recommended for commercial websites, as it will still be possible later on to switch to other options Any certificate is fine in principle.

In my experience, for Google it makes no difference and any SSL certificate is fine, but it can make a difference for the users of the website see Figure 2.

It is better to choose a SHA2 certificate e. SHA1 certificates have been downgraded for this reason by most major browsers. Server implementation To implement the SSL certificates on the server infrastructure, check with the hosting provider, the IT team or the web developers.

If using server name indication, double check in the Analytics data of the current website if certain old browsers, which do not support SNI14, still frequently visit the website.

Once the server has been setup with a SSL certificate for the domain name on port , the setup and the server environment needs to be checked and validated.

All errors, if any, have to be resolved before continuing. To avoid any issues while updating the website for the move to HTTPS in the next steps, it is recommended to create a separate home directory on the same server or another server instance and forward the HTTPS traffic to this.

If any of the first three mentioned assumptions are incorrect, then be sure 8 https: How to move your content to a new location17 on the official Google Webmaster Blog.

Moving a small website e. As part of the strategy, the following question also needs to be answered: How long will the HTTP version still be accessible?

The factors to consider will be different depending on the size of the website, the availability of the IT support team, and the organizational structure behind the website e.

While this guide cannot address the last two points for every website, the first point is definitely something to consider from an SEO point of view.

This translates to the available crawl budget. If a search engine bot crawls an average of Example of volume of pages crawled by Googlebot per day Utilise server log files To make sure search engine bots do not waste crawl budget, first double check the server log files and find out which URLs have been crawled by each search bot in the last two years or longer, if possible.

It will also be helpful to know how often each URL was crawled to determine priority , but for this process all the URLs are needed anyway.

Moving forward, this guide will focus primarily on crawl data from Googlebot. For smaller sites, Screaming Frog Log Analyser19 can do this task rather easily.

How to export URLs from server logs using Screaming Frog Log Analyser It may also be necessary to ask the hosting provider of the website for the log files.

If there are no log files available for the last two years assuming the website is not brand new , start logging as soon as possible.

Without log files, the organisation will miss out on vital and crucial SEO data, and ignore important analytical business data. How much of the website to move?

At this point, there is enough data to determine the next step: To calculate the number of URLs to move, gather the following data: Chances are, in this case, that the entire domain will be re-crawled by search engine bots within three to four weeks - depending on the internal linking structure and several other factors.

Chances are that, in this case, it will take a long time for Googlebot to re-crawl all URLs of the entire domain, and as such it may take longer than the standard few weeks to recover in Google search results.

If the site is really big, then another option is on the table. While waiting for a significant number of URLs to be re-crawled, the canonicals are used to move the content.

For this to work, site owners are dependent on the website canonicals signals to be trusted by search engines. This includes all assets internal to the website, such as robots.

This data will be necessary towards the end of the prcess, to double check if the move has been successful. If the website is too big, e.

This can be done by utilising robots. Use the following code snippet in the robots. This step is optional and heavily dependent on how quickly the website can be moved.

If it can be moved in less than a few days, there is no need for this. This method can also be used to safely test most aspects of the move, before letting search engine bots know about the move.

This advice may feel like cold comfort, however, if you find yourself a victim of a negative SEO campaign. What is negative SEO? But today, negative SEO requires more thought and strategic planning.

However, they can also be used by black hat SEO specialists in a more negative way as part of a negative SEO campaign.

How important are reviews? A difficulty exists in separating authentic reviews from the spammy inauthentic reviews, which is why they are often used for negative SEO purposes.

This stage is the most important part of the campaign, as frustrated, annoyed people will often leave a negative reply, expressing all the frustrations experienced from previous communications with the bot.

How expensive is it to set up a campaign like this? How can you stop it? Unfortunately, not much can be done to completely stop these negative SEO tactics as there are no definitive tools available to completely remove the negative feedback spread.

However, you can minimise the damage and safeguard your business to a degree, by constantly monitoring your online reviews to identify early if you have been attacked by a negative SEO tactic.

There are many tools you can use, but the below are some of the best options to have in place. The set-up is quite simple and there are no advanced features, but the service is completely free.

Most website review platforms do not allow business owners to delete negative reviews. In most cases they can delete a negative review only if it violates their terms and conditions.

Reputation management experts have recommended that the best way to counteract negative reviews is by replying to negative feedback. If a review has been triggered by spam, making it null and void or fake, you can always provide clarity to your audience by replying and explaining the real reason for the negative feedback.

Furthermore, the option also exists to flag it up with Google. The relatively little that you can do to erase the effects of a negative SEO campaign is a bitter pill to swallow for many online businesses.

We recommend minimising damage from negative and unauthentic reviews by responding to any negative review in a professional way, and by motivating your happy clients to leave you positive reviews on as many review sites as they can.

When deletion is not an option, the quantity and quality of reviews counts. They say prevention is better than cure and we encourage you to be on guard against negative SEO tactics.

Key takeaways from the search theme analysis, as shown in Figure 1: Trended gambling search themes December November Source: Rather than focussing on search volume alone, we have applied our Organic Value Score to discover the brands with greatest market share across the highest value commercial terms.

Casino — In the most valuable vertical of casino, Skyvegas. Bingo — In bingo, shown in Figure 3, GalaBingo. Referrers also command a higher share of organic search value in the bingo vertical than in casino, with WhichBingo.

Affiliates such as Pokerlistings, Cardschat and Top10pokersites. PI Datametrics Gamma Report rocketbingo. For more information and a demo, please visit www.

Even the biggest igaming companies all have their own design teams, which include user experience UX designers. My journey over the past five years has taken me on a long, winding road that started with SEO, then led me down the path of conversion rate optimisation CRO , which in turn then led me to UX design.

Part of the reason you may see dated sites do well despite looking ugly is because they have quality content, they format their site properly and sometimes that ugly look earns the trust of the user.

Sketch is the new standard of website design and it is a faster tool for creating designs. I can make websites faster in Sketch than I can in Photoshop and once you start using Sketch it is impossible to use Photoshop again to design websites.

Sketch is also extremely fast and easy to make website wireframes and layouts with before you apply a design.

No doubt there are amazing website designers out there still using Photoshop, but when I know a designer is using Sketch, I know they are an up-to-date designer.

I treat it like a filter for talent. As much as I use Sketch as a filter for finding good UX designers, I think by the end of the year more and more designers will be using Sketch.

Therefore, using Sketch as a keyword filter for finding talent will become less relevant. By limiting yourself to only Sketch designers, you would be cutting off a massive part of the world that uses Windows.

When searching for designers or posting a job, mention Sketch as a required skill. Put mobile UX first Just making a website responsive is not good enough anymore.

That should be done on a phone. The process of buying a lottery ticket will be mainly a mobile thing. Knowing how important mobile is, it is important to map out the entire user experience for mobile users and put more emphasis on your mobile design than you do for your desktop design.

With design tools like Sketch, it makes it much easier to have your mobile designs alongside the desktop version — so your only excuse for not doing mobile wireframes and designs would be laziness.

If you want to take your mobile user experience to the next level, you can prototype the entire experience with one of the numerous prototyping tools that exist.

These tools have come out of nowhere and they make mapping out your wireframe, layout and testing faster than previously possible.

You could save your designers and programmers a lot of time by being able to provide an answer to how your entire mobile user experience should be.

One tool that is receiving a lot of praise is proto. Typography matters You may wonder if typography is really that important. It is more important than you think and affects everything you do every day, including reading this article.

Typography covers the choice of font, font colour, font size, typeface, line spacing and even line length. Imagine if everything you read had ONLY this choice of font.

If you start adjusting all of these aspects of your CSS for your website, you will definitely influence your website metrics such as bounce rate, time on site and pages per visitor.

Some examples of typography that will negatively impact your website include too many types of fonts used, too light of a font on a white background, similar fonts and backgrounds with too little contrast, and line spacing that is too large or too small.

To learn a bit more about typography check the Wikipedia https: When hiring a designer, ask if they include in their designs or have examples of typography UI kit in their portfolio.

Content marketing and formatting Maybe content marketing is a bit of a distraction from the point of this article, but if you are going to make the effort of making a site look good, make sure you also put effort into the quality of the content.

A good design is no mask for poor content. For some people that initial impression always makes a big difference.

Giving your users a summary of your content with hotlinks and breaking things down into lists is what can elevate your content and make it more effective.

Their decision to read it all or not happens quickly. This takes us on to formatting your content. This is something that many websites totally miss the mark on.

Your site metrics such as bounce rate, time on site and pages per session will all be influenced by the formatting of your content.

Here is a quick checklist for your content formatting: It takes time to write a good article and it takes even more time to add in all the formatting.

Using bold, italics and underline helps to accent the important parts of your paragraphs. However, statistics show that users are more likely to click on links when available, and that means more time on your site and more pages for them to visit rather than leaving them high and dry and bouncing away.

In addition to adding more for a user to download and slowing down the website, my assumption is that part of the problem was that video is a distracting element.

The video would get users to watch what was happening but it was without sound and not much in the way of text. The call to action becomes the furthest thing from their mind and you have a site that probably underperforms compared to one with a static image.

Regarding parallax scrolling sites, these were trendy in the past few years and you might see some examples of this on affiliate programme pages. Ultimately, these have the same issue as the video background website — it impresses users, but at the expense of losing them from making the next step of signing up or getting to the next page.

The good and bad of affiliate sites Every so often I get asked for help on a website or network of websites that were once shining stars but have fallen from grace.

I have also seen the evolution of some affiliates and their network of websites. Many years of experience have given me enough insight to see what I think is important for affiliates to focus on for this year and beyond.

So here is my take on what some affiliates are either not doing right — or at all — and what others are doing that makes them more competitive. Surprisingly, I see more casino sites copying the Casumo design than SlotsMillion.

I expect its design to continue to be the most copied affiliate design out there for this year, much like in the past few years.

Slower loading websites are going to struggle to outrank faster loading websites. Not only is this an SEO problem, but slow loading websites will lead to lower sales, higher bounce rates and less page views.

Sites with thin content are eventually going to be outranked by sites with richer content. It helps to work smart but this all comes down to who hustles the most.

If your competitor is creating better content, and more of it, then they might be winning a slice of the pie at your expense. Both provide free software and there are many additional free templates which you can use.

You can find good Ghost templates at marketplace. There is also a large supply of free themes at github.

If you are looking for a better design you can find numerous themes for either CMS at themeforest. Finding a UX Designer If you have a budget and want a custom designed website then your job should be finding the right UX designer.

Good places to find talented designers include: By specifically searching for a UX designer rather than a website designer, you are going to notice a different skill set of applicants.

A designer will make your website how you ask for it, a good user experience designer will challenge you and ask tough questions help make sure you design the best site for your users.

You can post a job looking for UX designers or you can search for candidates. If you want great designers, search keywords and categories for UX, user experience design and maybe throw in Sketch as a keyword if you want designers who use Sketch.

If you need a designer, we can help and whatever the budget is, we can find a solution. By specifically searching for a UX designer rather than a website designer, you are going to notice a different skillset of applicants.

A designer will make your website how you ask for it, a good user experience designer will challenge you and ask tough questions to solve a problem to help your users.

Is it time for a new design? Look at the four casino portals listed below, all of which were redesigned in , and this should give you enough reasons to consider having your site redesigned.

Your designs should be an evolution of your site. He is the founder of adventures. He has launched many affiliate websites, focusing on both players and webmasters, and offers a unique webmaster coaching service.

While he wears many hats, his main focus is on UX design and conversion rate optimisation. This year looks set to be another eventful one for developments in search.

Switched-on marketers and agencies are always looking for a way to keep ahead of the curve, and will provide plenty of opportunities for those agile enough to embrace them.

Here are the key things on my radar for this year and some thoughts on how we as an industry may need to adapt to capitalise on them.

In basic terms; are we speaking to customers in the right way and giving our searchers what they want to see when they click? Getting this right is critical to PPC performance and delivering efficiency.

Mobile and voice will be an exciting year for mobile, especially with the launch of local ads in maps, promoted pins and an increase in searches happening through voice commands.

The key driver of mobile success this year will be to make the most of local traffic, by ensuring your campaigns are equally broken out by local store or physical location.

Get ahead by testing and trialing new products as soon as they release. Regardless of whether this turns out to be true, voice search is definitely becoming far more commonplace.

We now have, as standard, doubled the onscreen real estate for our messaging, with much more emphasis on paid ads than ever before.

The usual suspects This year will continue to showcase new products from the usual suspects, like image sitelinks, new extensions and possibly new audience-targeting options.

The key for me here is not just to use these new features, but really target and understand what messaging and which features will work best to help you achieve your goals.

Try not to just fill the space for the sake of it, but actually think about whether you are being relevant enough to the searcher.

There are lots of third-party tools out there to help bulk testing of ads if the task is daunting. Channel integration as a whole will need to be a key focus for marketing teams, not just with the obvious paid channels, like social and display, but also with SEO and CRO.

According to a study undertaken by McKinney, companies which invested in their digital capabilities and had multiple touch points were 2.

As the number of different touch points grows, developing an understanding of attribution is more important than ever — as the potential for opportunity grows, so does the potential for wastage.

Those who try, test and embrace the challenges of this rapidly changing discipline will quickly find themselves leading the pack and soon be looking forward to the evolutions and revolutions will inevitably bring.

All in all, an exciting year ahead! She is adept at utilising multiple channels to deliver best-in- class strategy and performance.

The benefits of scale are very real, and the heavily funded affiliates with serious technology behind them are at a significant advantage in such a competitive environment.

Technology - There is a stronger need for advanced technologies than ever before, both on the yield management side as well as in media buying bidding, optimising, data management and so on.

Affiliates lacking these capabilities will be left behind. Those that have invested heavily in both their back end and optimisation system to be able to work in scale, and have a diversified revenue stream across different products and platforms, will have the edge.

Regulation - New gambling regimes are an opportunity for affiliates with the bandwidth to take advantage, founded on a combination of better offerings and products on the publishing side as well as know-how and tech to exploit new media opportunities in regulated environments.

Corporate governance - Given regulatory changes, we should see the larger players address regulatory issues and ensure they are working according to local laws.

So what will hold for the affi liate space? IGB Affi liate asked its carefully selected panel of experts for their predictions on the year ahead.

COM I see being a fantastic year for sports betting affi liates. TV advertising of gambling products pre-9pm will end with affi liates being the biggest winners, as some of the millions of pounds spent here is shifted to affi liates, who will show a far better return than TV.

This will be great news for most sports betting affi liates with a lower cost of sale, meaning accounts generated will become more profi table, and more quickly.

Many betting shops will be forced to close as stricter regulation on machines makes them less profi table, meaning even more attention will be diverted online and to sports betting affi liates.

COM should be a year of big movement in the igaming industry on all fronts. In addition, the igaming business itself will continue to change.

Once dominant brands such as William Hill look vulnerable and exposed now, so a big merger would protect them. I have seen a lot of strong, small brands built over the last three-to-four years and many are now ripe for acquisition.

The betting business should profit further from AI. However, there is a trend among affiliates towards self-built and tailored solutions, away from platforms such as WordPress.

Cross-platform tracking and additional ad-blocking will continue to be a headache for the operators and, of course, affiliates. Getting to grips with voice search.

Alexa and other assistants are only the beginning. Voice search needs one question and provides only one answer, eliminating the need to click links.

Engagement is the new currency. Do everything you can to be that engaging affiliate site people love. It is beneficial to monitor not only backlinks, but also reviews and mentions.

Due to high competition in the industry, some competitors will use negative SEO tactics, so make sure you monitor your backlinks profile daily.

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