EEGReport Magazine: Just to get things started in the right matter. Nicolas, do you see in the future? What are key developments that are going to be implemented this year in gamification that you are looking for to?
Nicolas Levi: Let me check my crystal ball. The gamification market is rising sharply. It will grow at 50% rate year on year until 2018-2019, becoming a multi billion dollar market. It’s pretty exciting: in 2010 nobody knew what it was. In 2012 people started to ask if it was for them, if it worked. Now everyone wants in.
The difficulty is to implement gamification correctly. To gain an advantage you have to put in the effort. In a nutshell, you’re designing a game and have to approach it from a player’s motivation. If the game is not a good fit, your gamification will fail. There is no half-measures and people who try to add a badge or two or don’t account for their user’s specific motivations fail.
In 2016 more companies will identify gamification as a strategic priority for engagement and we’ll see less mediocre attempts and more well designed and successful gamification implementations.
EEGReport Magazine: From poker player to entrepreneur. What was your motivation to join one of the largest online poker communities and creating this accurate poker tournament database and social network? And what is the outcome now, in 2016, after being part of the team for almost 4 years?
Nicolas Levi: We cofounded RankingHero because we believe communities should not stop at forums, often elitists, or Facebook, too mainstream for niche. As poker is our passion, we naturally began there. First we needed to give players a sense of accomplishment, something to strive for. The database of results enables the social rankings, who enable gamification that rewards positive behaviour. This in turns fosters positive conversation, something much needed in an otherwise elitist industry.
We’re growing at a good pace. In 2015 there were over 50,000 messages posted by our users, who gave us a Net Promoter Score of 51. We have a mix of top pros and fans that collectively earned $270 Million in live poker events. Our social ranking, HeroScore, is shortlisted for innovation of the year at the IGB Awards.
While everyone is enthusiastic about the technology, we discovered that working on engagement for poker is an uphill battle. It’s tough just getting operators to share the data needed to measure the value created together. Meanwhile the advertisement opportunities are in recession and we quickly realised that our social engagement platform would need to diversify so we can keep growing.
EEGReport Magazine: As we understand RankingHero will go beyond poker this year, could you share some of the recent info and maybe some preview of what is to be expected in 2016?
Nicolas Levi: We’re proud of what we’ve done with RankingHero and it’s time to explore the potential of our design and technology in over verticals. We’re rebranding as Trixir.com and will be reinventing the way companies connect with their tribes.
Our gamified platform is ideal to build conversation around content. iGaming has always been an agent change in as Trixir, we’re ideally positionned to lead this movement. In 2016 we’re going to white-label conversation platform to innovators in eSports, trading, and sports. Come see us at Pitch ICE where we’ll announce the first partnerships
EEGReport Magazine: RankingHero is especially based on community and based on social interaction. Do you feel that the future will bring more brands to focus even more on creating these custom made online social communities to keep their customers happy and help them interact?
Nicolas Levi: Most brands have “social reach” and “user generated content” on their agenda. The problem is, Facebook reach has been more than halved in the last 2 years, as brands fight for attention and facebook monetizes this fight. Moreover connecting facebook reach to actual sales is tricky. How much is a share worth?
We’re reaching a turning point in social media where brands are realising that the fans they thought they were buying on Facebook are actually rented, and they have to keep paying to reach them. The answer is a new wave of branded communities. This fits in perfectly with brands content marketing strategy, as user generated content is the ultimate graal for SEO and trust building.
Forums are a bit daunting for newcomers and the risk of trolls wasting everyone’s onboarding fun and the brand reputation is high. That’s where Trixir comes in, a community building tool designed for generating positive conversations and measuring performance. We’re far from the only tool and mainstream competitors are receiving funding from companies like Salesforce, Microsoft or Oracle.
Social & gamification at the service of marketing and CRM have a bright future ahead.
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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