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EEGReport-Magazine-Issue6

Event Report: Vienna International Gaming Expo (EEGReport Magazine – Issue 6 – June – September 2017)

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VIGE 2017

The inaugural Vienna International Gaming Expo took place between 20-22 of March at the Austria Center Vienna and it was the debut of a yearly event in the heart of Central Europe. The three-day expo was organized by EEGEvents and designed to bring together gambling professionals working for the online and land based sides of the industry with a special focus on Central Europe. The time of the event has flown by really fast and there was plenty to see and hear during the 3 days of VIGE Seminars, which ran in parallel with the exhibition.

 

The exhibition floor has seen a large space where delegates enjoyed an open networking area with catering on site and free beers sponsored by Lotto Hero.

The first edition of the yearly event was organized in a rather large hall with a total of 15 exhibitors coming from various sides of the industry. The organizers mentioned that they have experimented with the large open space with the possibility of organizing a more crowded area next year. All these facts were found in the results of the survey conducted prior to the event.

Day one of ViGE featured a networking expo floor and VIGE Seminars have highlighted some of the recent regulatory topics in Central Europe with special focus on the challenges operators, suppliers and affiliates face when working in such regulated markets.

Some of the most known gaming lawyers of the industry have spoken about the current situation of the online gambling market in Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Germany and the recently regulated Czech Republic. The keynote speakers of the regulatory briefings which have been held in the first part of day 1 were: Dr. Arthur Stadler(Austrian Association for Betting and Gaming), Mag. Claus Retschitzegger(Austrian Association for Betting and Gaming/CEO at Bet-at-home), Hrvoje Vincetic(Casino Adriatic), Jaka Repansek(RePublis d.o.o), Arendts Martin(Arendts Anwaelte), Jan Rehola(PS Legal) and Gabor Helembai(Bird & Bird).

The first day seminars have turned even more exciting in the second part of the day when an IMGL Masterclass was held in a special panel which covered the subject of the risks and challenges for affiliates, operators and platforms working in regulated markets.

Keynote speakers have addressed their direct questions to the only regulator which was present in the panel, Ms. Odeta Nestor(Romanian National Office of Gambling). The keynote speakers of the Masterclass were: Robert Skalina(WH Partners), Assaf Dor(CELLXPERT), Yoav Dotan(Genesis Global/Affiliatecruise.com), Tal Itzhak Ron(Tal Ron, Drihem and Co., Law Firm), Morten Ronde(IMGL / Danish Online Gaming Association) and the panel was moderate by expert Dr. Joerg Hofmann(IMGL / MELCHERS LAW FIRM).

Day one at the Austria Center Vienna concluded with a special panel which was moderated and put together by Tal Itzhak Ron(Tal Ron, Drihem and Co., Law Firm) and focused on the recent marketing trends of the gaming industry(Recent Trends in Online Marketing) with interesting topics discussed by Maayan M. Dana(Tal Ron, Drihem and Co., Law Firm), Assaf Stieglitz(Odds1x2.com) and Boaz Gam(PaynetEasy).

The day has ended or for some started with the Networking Party organized by EEGEvents and sponsored by Prague Gaming Summit.

The party was held in a “chill out” atmosphere in a Viennese local lounge with great music, lots of networking and drinks+snacks covered by the sponsors.

The second day of the event got up to a slower start due to the extended partying and networking of the official party and the seminars turned their focus on more serious topics such as Responsible Gambling and Innovations of the industry.

The first part of the day was mainly focusing on the recent developments of the Responsible Gambling projects and their implementation process. The discussion extended in two panels where the experts of the Responsible Gambling project have addressed their concerns about the future of the industry.

Keynote speakers of the first Responsible Gambling panel were: Roman Nesshold(Institute Gambling and Addiction, Austria), Dan Iliovici(Rombet), Malcolm Bruce(Gambling Integrity) and the panel was moderated by Pieter Remmers(Assissa Consultancy).

The second panel was moderated by Zoltan Tundik(EEGMedia/EEGEvents) and featured keynote speakers such as Pieter Remmers(Assissa), Nikos Roumnakis(EOGL) and Zoran Puhac(EOGL).

After the two very packed panels the delegates got the chance to attend two panels which have highlighted some of the most talked about innovation of the online gaming industry.

The first “Innovation Talks” panel was moderated by Konrad Gill, founder at ViARSys. ViARSys was one of the most frequented exhibitor during the exhibiton. The company created a special VR cage where you got the opportunity to test the real Virtual Reality games and most of the delegates were delighted about the experience.

The keynote speakers of the panel discussed the importance of using Big Data in DFS, using Artificial Intelligence(AI) in the online gambling industry and a recent innovation of the online sports betting industry called Snap Screen(an innovative app that he described as the “Shazam for Sports Betting”).

The opening remarks in the panel which has intrigued the audience were spoken by Valery Bollier, who described DFS as a threat to the gambling industry as we know it, but also as an opportunity.

The recently appointed CEO of BtoBet, Kostandina Zafirovska, who has 17 years of experience in Computer Science Engineering said that it was an obvious move for their company to bring over technology such as AI that is already being used in other industries.

She also said the gaming industry is a bit slow in adapting to new technology but that the innovation in AI is here and being delivered to the players now.

Angelo Dalli gave an insight into their newly launched Lottery software, called Lotto Hero. Dalli spoke about his innovation in lottery, a sector of the gambling industry that he said has been called “a dinosaur on the brink of extinction”. As someone who is always on top of the latest technology and challenges, Dalli decided to launch a “V.2” of lottery in the form of LottoHero.
The seasoned panel has been well attended by the audience on the event and the experts who gave speech were: Valery Bollier(Oulala Games), Angelo Dalli(Bit8), Kostandina Zafirovska(BtoBet) and Thomas Willomitzer(Snap Screen).

The second panel dedicated to the innovations of the industry also saw big names and some emerging companies that will soon shape the industry. Keynote speakers of the second “Innovation Talks” panel focused on the deliverabilty of e-mails, VR/AR, casino software innovations and Virtual Sports. The names lived up to the title of the panel and here are the names of the panelists: Martin Cagalinec(1SpinMillionaire), Sebastiaan de Vos(MailMike), Potapenko Vadim(Slotegrator), Kostandina Zafirovska(BtoBet), Konrad Gill(ViARsys) and Domagoj Marić(NSoft). The panel was moderated by Mihnea Paul Popescu-Grisogono of Casino Life and Business Magazine.

Konrad Gill, one of the industry’s biggest supporters of Virtual Reality (VR) technology comes from a land based background and is familiar with the suffering arcade gaming scene due to Austrian regulations. He founded ViARSys with the intent of providing the only turnkey solution for operators who wish to enter the arcade environment with a VR offering. Gill believes his solution will help revive the arcade scene in Austria and bring customers back to empty properties that are already fitted out for arcade and gaming use.

Domagoj Marić(NSoft) spoker about Virtual Games demands which are still on the rise and fairness of the industry when it comes to Virtual Games. His explanations shed light across this highly debated niche within the online gambling industry.

Day two concluded with a large takeaway of information’s and business card for all attending delegates.

Day 3 was dedicated for the Austrian gaming industry where the agenda was dedicated exclusively to the regulatory climate in Austria.

To put it in the words of Rebecca Liggero from CalvinAyre.com: “When it comes to gambling operations, essentially a big mess complicated by politicians trying to protect a monopoly.

Helmut Kafka, President of Automatenverband.at, told CalvinAyre.com of the pending gambling court cases addressing if the Austrian gambling monopoly infringes upon EU law.

He also mentioned his association’s 60 years of service as of 2017 and said there have been consistent ups and downs within the gambling industry in Austria for all these years. While he’s a big supporter of expanding gambling operator opportunities in the country, he cannot predict with certainty where regulations will end up in the near future.

The organizers released some of the partial results of the survey which was sent to +450 delegates and show some interesting facts. Here are some of the percentages and feedback received by the organizers:

How likely is it that you would recommend the event to a friend or colleague?

  • Detractors (14%)
  • Passives (35%)
  • Promoters (51%)

Overall, how would you rate the event?

  • Excellent (11.11%)
  • Very good (22.22%)
  • Good (48.89%)
  • Poor (17.78%)

How organized was the event?

  • Extremely organized (16.67%)
  • Very organized (43.33%)
  • Somewhat organized (22.22%)
  • Not so organized (16.67%)
  • Not at all organized (1.11%)

Was the event length too long, too short, or about right?

  • Much too long (29.41%)
  • Somewhat too long (11.76%)
  • Slightly too long (17.65%)
  • About right (41.18%)
  • Slightly too short (0.00%)
  • Somewhat too short (0.00%)

We are planning to organize VIGE yearly and the plan is to have the next edition in March 2018. How likely will you be among the delegates at the next year’s show?

  • I will attend (50.00%)
  • I will decide later (38.89)
  • I will not attend (11.11%)

Based on this feedback, the organizers are already planning the 2nd edition of the Vienna International Gaming Expo and promise a much greater show by learning from the essential feedback’s and suggestions of the attending companies and individuals.

Further information will be published on a newly released website which will strengthen the online meeting setting and interactivity among the delegates.

EEGReport-Magazine-Issue6

Affiliate Superstars: Dan Bâra of Pariuri1x2 (EEGReport Magazine – Issue 6 – June – September 2017)

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Dan Bara of Pariuri1x2

Meet Dan Bâra, a sports betting/tipster/editorial veteran who’s been active in this field for many years!!! Dan used to write for a famous newspaper, hosted a radio and TV shows as well.

 

Name: Dan Bâra
Age: 43
Hometown: Bucharest
Living in: Bucharest
Favorite Food: Spaghetti
Must Read Book: Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics by Jonathan Wilson
Profession/Job title: Journalist

Hi Dan, tell us a bit about yourself, we would like to know who Dan Bâra really is, one of the main persons behind Pariuri1x2.ro. What was the key idea of developing this great betting, tipster website?

Dan: Hi and thank you for your interest in our project. There are many ways to look at a game and people have different ideas and a lot of subjectivity. But what is the common element in this? That is what I always wanted to find out and the result I think is a very good start for making a bet. I was looking to simplify the knowledge and the ideas to one simple truth, like the one a 10 year old can tell in a heart beat.

Tell us a bit about your past, and we refer to your past in the betting/tipster industry!

Dan: I started by playing sports games. Especially football, but I was no stranger to any activity involving effort. I think I have a lot of energy and I need to spend it, so cycling, running, body building and playing tennis were current activities when I was young. Then I started to watch sports on TV after the Romanian 1989‘ so called Revolution. The TV programs were more generous with sports than they were before and I was eager to watch everything. A turning point was when I heard about sports betting. That looked very simple at the first glance. I was amazed how my friends were loosing on their tickets so I wanted to help. Therefore I started an website with sports analyzes and betting tips.

What were the bumps on your road when you got started and how did you overcome them?

Dan: In 2006, after one year of struggling on my own, I had the chance to get a job at the Gazeta Sporturilor newspaper. They had an opening in sports betting so we started to walk together on a 9 years long road. First, I had the chance to write on their website and soon I even made my debut in the newspaper. Again, an year latter, I was on TV and radio. Amazing opportunities! However, it wasn’t easy. I had to overcome my stage fright, I had to change and adapt, to learn more and to become very disciplined.

Next to your website you’re also hosting a TV show called “Un Pont Pe Zi” (A Tip per Day). Let us know how the show is going and also from where came the idea for it?

Dan: I left Gazeta Sporturilor in 2015 because of the changes in the press field. I wanted to start something new and I teamed up again with my old friend and colleague Sabin Pîrvan (from my previous job) in a new project. We knew that we had the experience on our side and still a lot of new ideas to put into practice. We started with a Internet blog and then we created our own website www.pariuri1x2.ro, our Facebook page and our TV show. They were the next logical steps. Now, they are all top quality products because we do it for our people, the ones who need them and the ones who are following us. We respect them and offer our best efforts every day.

We have surfed your website (Pariuri1x2.ro) and found some pretty high quality content. Are you writing it by yourself or you have a team of people writing for you?

Dan: Our main advantage was that we had a lot of trust in us. We invented before a lot of things in the betting editorial area and we felt that our approach makes a difference. So we kept doing our thing. Soon, we started selecting people for our editorial team. Only the best of them were selected and they are working with us now. Together, we make a very solid team, the best in the country and one of the best worldwide.

 

Pariuri 1x2

 

How do you keep the content fresh and devoid of clutter when a lot of fluff and nonsense appear on the Internet on a daily basis?

Dan: We are journalists and we do solid documentation. We check every information and we also have our very own point of view. The team is always watching the sports events and the ideas are at the first hand.

How about your Youtube Channel, we know that a couple of days ago the channel had it’s first million views?!

Dan: The Youtube channel is the biggest of this kind for the sports betting fans in Romania. It has an impressive increase and all of it it is natural, organic increase. At the time of answering this, it has over 1,2 mil views and 6k subscribers that receive daily updates. The channel hosts parts of the TV show ( most interesting moments ) , a weekly podcast , selections from a new sports TV show where I am co-host ( Unspe Metri ) and a twice per week episode series made by a very popular person in the betting world – Doru Craciun which is also commentator for the Liga 1 matches.

We are sure that you receive daily messages from Affiliate Managers showcasing their products. You of course select them by the brands they work with; but what are your thoughts on how Affiliate Manager-Affiliate relationships should be built?

Dan: The relationships should be based on trust and stability. We only work with long term deals and we select closely the partners which we work with. As we invest tremendous work and money into our project – we expect that our partners to take this into consideration and work with us to improve performance. A little over 2 years ago we started being a very low profile website and now we are number 2 in the market. This should say a lot to the affiliate managers that work or want to work with us.

How do you see the future of the online sport betting industry? For instance, will it become a truly global phenomenon in the near future?

Dan: Well, it is already a global phenomenon and as everybody saw in the last years everything is shifting more and more into online and mobile. Biggest names in the market already have over half of the bets coming from mobile. The expansion to e-sports and other new type of bets shows that this industry constantly adapts and grows no matter what. So betting is here to stay, to increase and to be a part of any new technology or gadget that might appear.

What is your opinion in regards to licenses for online gambling/betting affiliates? How does the Romanian market look, and how do you feel about the present legislation?

Dan: Not to leave the „betting“ field, I would say that the legislation for the online gambling in Romania was a winning bet placed by the government. The licensing costs for affiliates are not the lowest ( 7000 EUR/year ) but any decent person who has a little knowledge can do an affiliate business that would recover this money in a year. It is also a guarantee of trust between operators and affiliates and it ensure a fair competitive market.

How about the situation of the Romanian sports betting market, how does it look in the present, and in which direction is it evolving?

Dan: Regarding the market – it shows a month-to-month increase since the „regulated“ era has begun and based on the size of the traditional land based market it will continue to go up. Players are more and more attracted by the online and companies invest big part of the money in advertising.

Can you name one change that you want to see in the sports betting affiliate ecosystem?

Dan: Taking into consideration that affiliates account for 15-30% of an operator’s revenue I think that affiliates should have a stronger voice in regards with what an operator plans. Being in contact with the players all day long, an affiliate has a great feedback and knowledge of what the market wants and can constitute the key to delivering a more appealing and successful product which in the end would benefit everybody.

What advise you would like to offer to the new affiliates who are looking to venture into this great industry?

Dan: The best advice is that they need to be ready to change, adapt and improve every day. It is not a complicated business and it still can generate a good income – even if started from 0, but as in every industry – success can be achieved only after many hours of hard work and study.

Who is your favorite celebrity/sports person?

Dan: I grew up with some incredible sports legends and the best of them was Diego Armando Maradona. Old school!

If you would just open your YouTube search bar, what would you search for?

Dan: Iron-man contests from Kona, Hawaii.

Back to work. Do you attend any online gambling/sports betting conferences? If so, which one is your favorite and what is your most fun experience?

Dan: Yes, I am attending to conferences and if I am not present then my partners or the marketing team are present. The most constructive ones are the London conferences and the most fun are Amsterdam and a long time ago Barcelona.

How do you rate the chances of Eastern Europe becoming potential gaming hotspot of the future? Where do you think the region must improve upon?

Dan: It is for sure that this region will influence a lot the face of the gambling in Europe. Compared with markets like UK, France, Italy, Spain or Denmark which are saturated and competition is very big – Central and Eastern Europe is like a virgin market. We could compare it with the gold rush. The only problem that this region has it’s the geopolitical stability and sometimes the fact that the markets are not really predictable. ( any day you can be put in front of a situation in which a country decides to ban online gambling )

Alright, here comes the fun part…., where would you like to travel in Eastern Europe, some part of the region maybe that you haven’t visited yet and favorite destination around the world.

Dan: Moscow, I think, from the Eastern Europe. Also, from the rest of the world I would like to see the beautiful city of Rome and travel to Africa.

Where you wouldn’t want to travel in Eastern Europe?

Dan: There isn’t such place.

What is your opinion about GAV (gamblingaffiliatevoice.com)?

Dan: I will be very short and clear about this. I think that it should go on and should evolve into an association at EU level which could stand up for affiliates and the industry. This is something missing since a long time and all affiliates must understand that even if we are all competitors on the same market – together we are stronger and only in this way we can fight for our rights.

 

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EEGReport-Magazine-Issue6

Event Report: Affiliate Grand Slam – Mission Accomplished, Wheel Reinvented! (EEGReport Magazine – Issue 6 – June – September 2017)

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Affiliate Grand Slam Tallinn

The demand was there for all to see, then the organisers behind SiGMA came up with the magic formula: limit the conference to five affiliate managers and open the flood gates (with strict due diligence) for affiliates.

 

Affiliate Grand Slam represents the first conference in the history of affiliation where affiliates could apply for an all-inclusive VIP treat, including flights, five-star, two-night stay at the Hilton, excursions, lunches, dinners, and parties thrown in the mix.

Only five operators were allowed to host the Grand Slam, plus another five non-operators were allowed to sponsor it.

The event started off with 250 affiliates flying in to Tallinn from all corners of the world on Thursday 27th April. The SiGMA crew greeted each affiliate at the brand new, five star Hilton Park.

That same evening, each operator sat down privately with give-or-take fifty affiliates for a dinner within the hotel itself. Betting Gods, Olybet, PlayOJO, Quasar and Videoslots lavished with affiliates and nurtured new working relationships in a friendly environment. Good wine in abundance.

The night was far from over. After dinner, all guests headed down to Olympic Casino within the Hilton itself for welcome champagne, dark chocolate, cigars and a free-roll, networking poker tournament.

The organisers were hoping the night would end there and that affiliates won’t head out in the wilderness of Old Town, but, as anticipated, half their hopes went up in flames.

Still, next morning, breakfast was brimming with activity and all affiliates, bar a few casualties, seemed eager for the conference to start. Each operator gave a small presentation, followed by a series of quality workshops. Mini stalls, an exquisite buffet lunch table, coffee and Baltic treats cluttered the meet-market outside the conference hall, where handshakes and business cards were being exchanged.

Following a few hours at the Hilton spa, it was time for the big traditional dinner! Everyone headed to Olde Hansa, walking through the narrow, cobble streets of charming Old Town, for a feast back in time. Traditional cuisine made its way on all tables for everyone to share while more business cards exchanged hands.
Shortly after dinner, the closing night awaited at the Olympic Casino for a VIP, strictly by invite nighter-bender. Few guests joined the party, but the organisers would not elaborate. We can only guess how the night unfolded with 250 affiliates in this charming Baltic city.

The success of Affiliate Grand Slam was such that the industry won’t wait another year for the organisers to launch the second edition. A new city to uncover, new hosts, new affiliates. This is Affiliate Grand Slam. The wheel has been reinvented.

Log on to www.affiliategrandslam.com or www.maltaigamingsummit.com for details about the next event. If you’re interested in hosting or sponsoring the next AGS get in touch with organisers on +356 99263626, by email at info@sigma.com.mt or by skype at eman.pulis.

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EEGReport-Magazine-Issue6

Event Report: First International VR|AR Gambling Conference in Prague (EEGReport Magazine – Issue 6 – June – September 2017)

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VR/AR Gambling Conference

On April 3, 2017 in Prague, Smile-Expo held the first international specialized VR|AR Gambling Conference, dedicated to implementation of innovative technologies in gambling.

 

Smile-Expo is a leader in carrying out large exhibitions and conferences in the field of advanced technologies. We’ve set a goal to create a communication platform for specialists of the gambling and AR/VR technology markets, and achieved it: our event brought together leading experts from all over the world (the USA, Spain, Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Israel, the Netherlands).

The conference included two subsequent streams: Business and Developer.

 

Business stream

This section included presentations of six experts:

  • founder of Advir.co Samuel Huber;
  • founder of ViARsys Konrad Gill;
  • CEO at Games fortuna Tal Zamstein;
  • co-founder of Alea/SlotsMillion Alexander Tomic;
  • owner of KWP Limited Kevin Williams.

The audience marked the two latter speeches with the following topics: “VR in eGaming” and “Mixed Realities Gaming’s Technology Jackpot”.
By the way, Kevin Williams thanked our company and marked that VR|AR Gambling Conference made invaluable contribution to the industry development.

 

Developer stream

Reports of this section were informative and topical as well. The floor was taken by:

  • Artur Sychov, angel investor at I-MMERSIVE GmbH;
  • Alexander Bragin, creative director at VR2GO;
  • Amir Ebrahimi, team leader at Unity Technologies.

Lectures were practical and held attention of the audience from the beginning to the end. People have even taken photos of the presentation of Amir Ebrahimi from Unity Technologies on the topic “State of the VR Industry in 2017” in order not to miss useful information and apply it in practice.

We have chosen an ideally targeted line-up of speakers and guests, so VR|AR Gambling Conference was carried out in the format of a lively discussion: audience asked clear questions and received vivid answers.

There was a network demo zone from such companies as Advir, I-MMERSIVE GmbH, VR2GO, etc., which became a convenient platform for establishing relationships in the field of gambling. Visitors were able to test the latest developments of VR/AR products there as well.

The event organizer, Smile-Expo that always implements the most innovative and interesting projects, expresses gratitude to all guests and participants for their interest and engagement in the event. See you at the next conferences!

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