EEGReport Magazine: Well, I can certainly tell you that I am glad that we are in a new year, a year which looks even more promising that 2015 did. You guys managed to end the year in full swing with a new location for BAC, which now took place in Berlin. What is the outcome of the event? Where the number up? Feedback for new faces, etc.? We want to hear all about it!
Alex Prat: BAC turned out to be an amazing event for both exhibitors and delegates and to be honest from my perspective it was one of our best events since starting 10 years ago.
With the move to Berlin we were obviously nervous of what the turn out would be like but the industry came out in force and we surpassed our targets by a huge amount generating an increase of 37% year on year in terms of actual delegates coming to the show. On top of this we had an increase of 10% in stand space with lot of new operators coming on board for the show.
But don’t just take my word for it – Check out these testimonials from attendees:
“As an affiliate we find these conferences invaluable, BAC provided us with a great opportunity to meet so many global partners, all under one roof enabling us to strengthen existing relationships and make many new ones. The conferences are always lively with plenty of industry expertise and insight provided from the various talks scheduled across the two days. Overall, certainly not an event to be missed by affiliates or operators,” said Anna Woodward, Commercial Manager at Easyodds.com.
“BAC2015 was amazing!! Beginning from the great location in Berlin, it was a big pleasure to take part in this event. Not only the Operators has been in focus on this Conference, also a lot of good old Friends and a huge amount of Affiliates was there, so networking was perfect! I really hope that this was not the last iGaming Affiliate Conference in Berlin.” Christian Webber, Online-Casino.de
“I have been coming to the IGB affiliate events since 2010 and this was my first time to Berlin. I didn’t know what to expect and was kind of comparing it to Barcelona before I had even been. Berlin was one of the best conferences I have been to in the 5 years of attending the events. There was a good mix of different gambling verticals and it had a laid back, but professional feel to it. The talks where very informative and for the first time I didn’t recognise many people there, which proofs that the conference and now targeting a new audience and new affiliates which is great for the industry as a whole. I think the team knocked it out of the park with this years event and looking forward to seeing what they have in store for us next year” Andy Edwards, madaboutbingo.com
EEGReport Magazine: Certainly glad to hear that and looking forward to the next BAC, but until than there is this large event happening this February, London Affiliate Conference, have you heard of it? As I know the event has now turned 10 years old, a decade of LAC, wow, how the years have gone by. Have you guys installed any surprises for LAC2016?
Alex Prat: I can’t wait for LAC. Since we launched the event it has always been our biggest and best and every year it gets better and better but 2016 is even more special because as you say it’s our 10th anniversary. Of course with every birthday comes a party so we will be celebrating in style at the Friday night networking party where I hear they have a plane hung from the roof of the club??!!?? BUT it won’t just stop at a party, we will also be serving cake and champagne on day 2 of LAC so if you are around make sure you don’t miss out on that.
On the business side we have a very exclusive session with a number of veterans that have never been seen together in a conference session before. In the session they will be talking about how the affiliate market has changed over the last 10 years, but more importantly where they see it going and how operators and affiliates can prepare for the next 10 years.
In addition to this we have a lot more going on at LAC from a list of famous faces that will be frequenting the show floor, a ton of new exhibitors, an expanded acquisition and retention zone, a brand new awards party and some of the best networking events I have ever seen including a Banc De Binary party at the exclusive and hard to get into Kensington Roof Gardens.
EEGReport Magazine: In other news, the announcement that came in the December 2015 has I think been added to the history book of the igaming industry. iGaming Business has been taken over by Clarion events. Makes you feel proud doesn’t it? 10 year of hard work has been recognized and credited. Do you feel that this is going to impact the affiliate conferences and iGaming Business as whole in a positive or negative way?
Alex Prat: From both the industry and our perspective I can only see this as a positive move as it brings together two leading businesses that can both mutually grow respectively using each other’s networks and skills. For us it means we can continue to grow the events but with the support of a much bigger business and one that has clear expertise on hosting giant events. From a delegate or exhibitors perspective this in turn will ensure they get a better event experience and return on their investment.
In addition the good news is that there are zero changes to our staff and everyone will remain which to me is what makes iGaming Business stand out from the publishing and events crowd so Is key for ensuring a positive future.
EEGReport Magazine: It’s probably confidentially, but could you give us a sneak peek into the sum of this transaction?
Alex Prat: Its actually publically available as we were previously owned by a PLC but slightly too complicated to explain. Just Google it and you will quickly find it.
EEGReport Magazine: This year the iGB Affiliate Awards will be held during the conference and has been modified quite enough, new categories, new judging criteria and not to mention Free to attend. Please tell us, what are your expectations from the Awards this year?
Alex Prat: The awards have always been something I have personally been interested in since it launched and this year we are making a massive amount of changes which I believe will make a hugely positive difference to the awards and the night itself.
What many people don’t realise is that we have never made money on the awards and it dawned on me last year that we therefore don’t have to simply conform to the “norm” which over the years has lost engagement and interest from the market and is simply not innovative. From this standpoint we have surveyed more than 500 individuals and spoken with over 80 of them in depth to create an entire new set of awards, criteria and importantly awards night.
The awards night will now be free of charge for everyone who wants to attend and without giving too much away I am predicting it to be one of the best and most memorable parties people have been to in a very long time!
EEGReport Magazine: What are the plans after LAC? Are you guys already jumping to work to organize the Amsterdam Affiliate Conference and the iGaming Super Show? This year the conference will take place right when the EURO 2016 football competition is in full swing and I do believe the turn out will be even higher for bookmakers. Do you already have any information about the interest for bookmakers to battle it all out on the conference floor :P?
Alex Prat: Whilst LAC is approaching fast and most of us are focused on this there is still a lot of work to be done on preparing for the Supershow and Amsterdam Affiliate Conference which is our biggest event of the year. As you say it’s just before the Euros so should be a great place to sign up affiliates juts before the event kicks off… As such we will once again be running BeTS at the show which is the only sports betting focused conference in the industry and have already expanded the show floor by 20% because of demand for stands.
Look out for more announcements soon as we have lots planned for this show.
EEGReport Magazine: As a closing question, what are your expectation in 2016 for the online gambling industry?
Alex Prat: Wow! That is a big question! Rather than go on for pages with predictions I will make just three
Draftkings will successfully launch in the UK proving that fantasy sports is a viable niche in UK Sportsbetting. They will also run the first ever $1,000,000 fantasy sports tournament in Europe
eSports will continue to grow and become a significant event to bet on with a major sportsbook signing a significant marketing partnership with Twitch
888 will be involved in a piece of major M&A most likely as an acquirer
Tom Light -SBTech Interview- (EEGReport – Magazine – Issue2 – February – May 2016)
EEGReport Magazine: Eastern European markets are growing at an incredible rate and I don’t think that anyone can argue about the fact the sports betting is the biggest niche when it comes to online gambling in Eastern Europe. Do you feel that this is accurate?
Tom Light: In most cases yes, we see that in countries such as Bulgaria, Czech, Hungary, Lithuania & Poland, sports betting is accountable for 75%-90% of the Gaming GGR, which includes Sports, Casino, Poker & Bingo. For markets like Latvia, Romania & Slovakia Sports is still a major sector within the gaming industry being accountable for 30%-50% of the GGR.
In play in particular has been a growth denominator in the past years for online sports-betting, allowing the punter roll-over his funds several time during one match.
Beyond the turnover it is important to mention that the margin is much high when it comes to sports betting, as well as the image of sportsbetting, which says that if you are good and knowledgeable you can make money.
We should even see a bigger increase during the Euros coming this June, as many non-punters would start betting on their favorite reprehensive teams.
EEGReport Magazine: Can you maybe give examples of countries where this isn’t happening and casino or other gambling products might surpass the sport betting audience? You can even mention markets that aren’t yet legalized in terms of licensing.
Tom Light: Romania is an example for a country that up to last year had 10% more turnover on casinos then on sportsbetting, I think this is related to regulations and since the new regulations came in to place I’m sure that during 2016 sportsbetting GGR will surpass casino.
To put in perspective, globally, the sportsbetting GGR is bigger than the all the other gaming sectors…Combined!
EEGReport Magazine: There has been a lot of innovation when it comes to sports betting products, and with one of the major European soccer event coming up this June, are you guys busy in the lab trying to bring new technology that will make online sports betting easier or even more attractive?
Tom Light: These days we are simply talking about personalization, which in core is the knowledge the operator has for each of his punters, the more knowledge the more personalized. Data can be gathered via the most common logs of all betting activities, behavior on the website, but even polls and ‘Mark as favorite’ buttons. Mapping this business intelligence is not a simple task, but the operators who are able to do so will have amazing insights on their clients.
Once data is collected and offer must be created via various algorithm and rules, based on many variables such as favorite teams/leagues, past winnings, past losings, trigger-happy cashout, etc… in order to create various offers for example:
“Manchester United did the job for you last time, can they do it again?” (While adding a betting button).
These offers are much more effective and are much more converting then just showing a generic offer to all customers or even to customer segments.
Another way to create offers, is using cross-player data, same as amazon does, with:
“Customer who bought these products, also liked XYZ …”. The likes of Bettorlogic offers this type of service which is taking the betting behavior of punters who made similar bets and are informing the customer which bets he might like. Since this is a more social way of bet recommendation, this might be more appealing to the punter which might not driven from the ‘house’ recommendations, as much as the activities of other partners.
The last part is to serve this offer in a proper matter, which can be targeted ads, SMS marketing, push notifications, widgets / pop-up on the site, or even gentle highlights of bet markets across the page.
EEGReport Magazine: Most of the Eastern European countries have qualified for the EURO 2016, this means that you don’t have to a betting fanatic to bet on your country during such events. Everyone will do it for at list the period on which the tournament is being played. What does this mean for online sports betting operators and especially software providers?
Tom Light: Back in the day, it was very clear, if you are an Italian operator, and there is a game ‘Italy VS Portugal’, you are as much gambling as all the punters on your sportsbook – the risk was one sided, and the results were sometimes amazing but other times destructive.
In today’s world, this scenario cannot happen, the punters are betting 85% of the times on in-play live betting where the bet markets are very liquid, such as fast markets – what will happen in the next one minute, corners, 1×2 rest of the match, etc… all these markets spread the risk around various bet selection making the operator the desired margin instead of a roller coaster.
EEGReport Magazine: Looking further into the future. What are in your opinion the top markets that are going to open up for online gambling in Eastern/Central Europe?
Tom Light: I would look at Netherlands, Czech Republic, Portugal, and the evolving of the Romanian market.
Netherlands being a market proven in the .com market with high PV.
Czech Republic which is the Eastern European diamond, which is now dominated by TipSport, iFortuna, Sazka, Synot and StarTyp will open up Jan 2017 for additional licenses by international companies.
Portugal, with mass-market attraction for sportsbetting, various .com case studies such as BWIN and Betsson(Dhoze).
And of course the Romanian market which is proving to be very fruitful by the day.
Tom John Light Biography – (EEGReport – Magazine – Issue2 – February – May 2016)
Tom John Light was born and presently resides in Tel Aviv, Israel. Tom has lived and traveled worldwide and is highly knowledgeable and experienced working in various global regions.
Tom has been working in the gaming industry for many years with a focus on casino operations and sports betting. Currently Tom acts as Vice President of Business Development at SBTech. He is renowned for his role as Vice President of Business Development at FashionTV. Additionally Tom has successfully served as CEO for several online gaming companies such as 7Red Casino and 1King Casino.
Tom is recognized for his high involvement with the creation of the Online How-To Guide ‘eHow’ and has been featured/published in various interviews and articles.
Gal Ackerman Crowdtrading – (EEGReport – Magazine – Issue2 – February – May 2016)
EEGReport Magazine: In the last couple of years we have seen a growth in the launch of financial programs, but none of them seems to attract so many new traders as Trade360. The innovation which came with CrowdTrading seems to have swept the enthusiastic traders off their feet and they now choose your platform for their trading activities. What is the real innovation behind this phenomenon?
Gal Ackerman: In a nutshell, CrowdTrading is about taking the big data that banks and brokers rely on and putting it in the hands of the people. Revealing how new market trends develop in real-time is really the perfect way for new Traders to get a feel for the rhythm of the markets, and as their knowledge grows, their profits should too!
EEGReport Magazine: When it comes to financial trading programs and platform, a huge concern always is raised and it’s a concern the EU is trying to battle daily. It is concerns regarding Money Laundering. How is Trade360 with such problems, has there been any incident, is it tracked and reported?
Gal Ackerman: We have a talented and experienced team dedicated to AML. So far, we’ve managed to identify and prevent the handful of attempts that have been made to cheat the system. We’ve reported each incident to the appropriate authorities and we’re confident that we’ll continue to stay well ahead of the curve and maintain our all-important integrity.
EEGReport Magazine: Since Trade360 is a rather new financial service form, it falls within the newer and stricter operating guidelines issued by CySEC. How are client deposits protected and standards executed in this enhanced regulation?
Gal Ackerman: Our legal team in Cyprus is in constant contact with CySEc to ensure full regulatory compliance. Our clients’ funds are held securely in segregated accounts at top-tier EU banks and our customer support team is always working to ensure the highest standards of service across the board.
EEGReport Magazine: How are the affiliates taking advantage in promoting this innovative way of trading? There certainly has to be a high demand for marketing materials and payouts. We’ve seen that there is a top $650 CPA for affiliates.
Gal Ackerman: The growth in our Affiliates Programme has been exponential, and we’re all very proud to be part of it. We know that to attract the finest Affiliate talent, we need to pay the best CPA, and I’m so pleased that there have been so many substantial payouts in such a short time. Our USPs are proving to be super-appealing to clients, feedback from Affiliates is universally positive, and it’s very gratifying that collateral take-up is so high.
EEGReport Magazine: As we know, you have always been in the Financial industry. In your expert opinion, can there still be room for innovation in these trading platforms? We have witnessed so many these couple of years, that gave access for individuals that did not know anything about trading to start and venture into this great niche.
Gal Ackerman: I think there will be major convergence between people’s social, leisure and economic networks over the next few years, with advances in augmented reality enabling us to multi-task far more effectively. And with the growth of decentralized, crowd-based and peer-to-peer financial services, I think we’re going to see some very interesting developments in terms of synergy, gamification and crowd investing. Watch this space!
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