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Slovakia: How iGaming sites can build traffic

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Slovakia: How iGaming sites can build trafficReading Time: 5 minutes

Are the Slovaks about to liberalize their iGaming market? Is it worth it to wait for any new laws? This deep-dive into the Slovak market takes a closer look at the reality on the ground and how you can profit from it.

This year in May, the Slovak government announced a planned liberalization of its restrictive iGaming laws.
This change would abolish the current state-owned monopoly on online casinos and it is hoped it will attract foreign operators. The plan is still in its early stages, but the detail released so far suggests the change will come into force in 2019, with a planned 23% tax on revenue.

What this deep dive will cover

We will go behind the headlines and cover the current market situation in Slovakia as it really is.

From the domestic players, to international operators, to the best-performing affiliates, you will see who is making money in the Slovak market right now.

We are also going to look at potential marketing strategies for those who want to build traffic from Slovakia.

Who this deep dive is for

If you are an operator who is considering applying for a licence, then you should read this.

If you are an operator or affiliate who has been scared away from the Slovak market by news reports of IP-blocks, payment processor bans, and €500,000 fines, then you should definitely read this.

But first a legal disclaimer

I am just a Slovak-speaking iGaming/marketing geek and not a lawyer, so none of the information below should be seen as legal advice—it isn’t. These are just my observations on Slovakia and iGaming.

Make sure to get proper legal advice before entering any grey market like Slovakia, Czech Republic or Hungary.

The legal situation today (June 2018)

Only the state-owned monopoly Tipos is permitted to run an online casino, which it does alongside a sportsbook and a lottery product.

Operators with a land-based betting business may also run online sportsbooks, and there are a number of Slovak and Czech betting firms which offer this. These firms currently pay a 27% tax on revenue.

Foreign firms who market to Slovak residents without a licence are named on a blacklist published by the Slovak Ministry of Finance. The list is updated every Monday and can be found here.

The current blacklist is a mixed bag of household names (William Hill, Bet365, Bwin), smaller operators based in the likes of Curacao, and a few affiliates.

As of June 2018, some of the names still on the list have removed any Slovak language options on their site, and yet they still appear there. The blacklist seems to be like the Hotel California—you may check in, but you may never leave.

If the firms do not shut down their websites to Slovak visitors within 10 days of going on the blacklist, Slovak Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must IP-block the website from Slovakia. However, all my technical tests show it is possible to access all the sites on the list while based in Slovakia.

The blacklist also contains IBAN details for each operator. Although there have been some public threats to stop Slovak payment processors from sending payments to these companies, I haven’t heard of this ever happening.

Indeed, there is no mention of any payments ban on the current version of the list.

The Slovak Ministry of Finance also threatens to issue fines to persistent offenders. There is a potential fine of €500,000 for operators and €250,000 for advertisers/affiliates.

Again, we haven’t heard of such fines being either issued or paid. Considering that the Dutch have failed to collect any fines since 2015, it’s probably safe to assume that no international operators have ever paid any Slovak fines.

Proposed changes to the law (by 2019)

The Ministry of Finance has recently proposed ending the state monopoly on online casinos, allowing domestic and foreign firms to seek a licence in the country.

The new proposed tax rate is 23% on revenue. This tax rate might tempt more applications for a licence than the Czech Republic did in 2017 with a 35% tax rate on revenue.

An important note on political risks to new gambling legislation

In general, Slovak political parties see anti-gambling laws as a big vote-winner.

In a further complication, Slovakia has a slightly unstable political climate, with coalition governments ruling almost exclusively since independence. These coalitions of two, three, four or more parties, all with different outlooks on gambling, mean that it’s very difficult to predict what the next government will actually do.

A perfect example of this instability is the recent disagreement between the Bratislava city council and the Bratislava regional government on the subject of banning land-based gambling in the Slovak capital. The next Slovak parliamentary election is due in 2020.

Frankly, basing an iGaming strategy on this proposed law being passed and then staying in place for more than a few months, is highly risky.

The iGaming market in Slovakia today

If you choose to enter this market, you should know what the current landscape looks like, particularly with regards to who the established competition is.

Apart from the state monopoly (Tipos), there are several betting operators with a physical presence in the country, who have a licence to also market a website to Slovak customers.

On top of this, there are plenty of international operators who continue to offer their sites in the Slovak language, including some big names.

Below are the main domestic, government-approved players with sites in the Slovak language.

– Tipos.sk – this is the state-owned monopoly, offering sportsbook, casino and lottery games. The betting odds are reasonably in line with the international market, but as the only licenced company offering online casino in the country, the selection of slot games looks dated and limited.
– iFortuna.sk – offering sportsbook only, this is the online version of a Czech gaming group which has land-based betting shops in Slovakia.
– Nike.sk – offering sportsbook only, the online version of a Slovak gaming group which has land-based betting shops in Slovakia.
– Tipsport.sk – Slovak sportsbook
– Doxxbet.sk – Slovak sportsbook, who also have sites in other countries e.g. Nigeria

On top of these domestic players, there are plenty of international operators which currently offer services in the Slovak language:

– bet365.com (licensed in Gibraltar and soon Malta, offering sportsbook & casino – they are currently on the blacklist)
– kajot-casino.com (licensed in Malta, casino only, currently on the blacklist)
– vulkanbet.com (licensed in Malta, sportsbook & casino, NOT mentioned on the blacklist)
– 1xslot.com (licensed in Cyprus, casino only)
– bohemiacasino.com (licensed in Malta, casino only, NOT mentioned on the blacklist)
– slotv.com (licensed in Cyprus, casino only)

Due to the similarities between Czech and Slovak, it’s easy for Slovak customers to read and speak the Czech language, making websites offering support in Czech a possible option for these customers.

Lots of international sites were scared off the Czech market, but a few still offer this language option, and presumably are of interest to Slovak customers.

Here are a couple you should be aware of: williamhill.com (licensed in Gibraltar, sportsbook & casino); ceskecasino.com (licensed in Curacao, casino only)

Affiliates offering content in the Slovak language

Of course, affiliates also play a key role in Slovakia. Here are the top 5 performing affiliate sites for the Slovak market: mistrcasino.cz; casino-online-sk.com (included on the blacklist); kasino-online-sk.com (included on the blacklist); najlepsiecasino.com; casino-hry.sk.
It’s interesting to note that none of these top-performing affiliates are working with any of the government-approved Slovak-based operators.

 

Written by: Ivana Flynn for Calvinayre.com. Ivana is a Malta-based SEO Consultant dedicated to helping iGaming operators and affiliates improve their organic search rankings. Her biggest professional passion is using SEO to break into new and tricky markets. In her spare time, she bakes, works out and plays with her cats.

 


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network

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Perform Group rebrands as DAZN Group

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Business to be consolidated into two brands: DAZN and Perform Content

 

Perform Group, the digital leader in sports media, announced that it will be called DAZN Group and consolidated into two distinct brands: DAZN and Perform Content. Executive Chairman, John Skipper, said: “We have two enormous growth opportunities but they are distinct from each other. Consequently, we are re-organising to create dedicated management and standalone teams each with a clear and focused agenda and mission. We have an incredible opportunity to exploit significant shifts in sports media to drive great products to sports fans and create a company with ever more influence on the new sports media universe”.

DAZN will be the consumer-facing division, including DAZN itself, the world’s first dedicated live and on-demand sports streaming service, and some of the largest sports websites in the world, such as Goal.com, SportingNews, and Spox.com. The content and traffic of these websites and apps will focus increasingly on acquiring subscribers for and driving traffic to DAZN, as well as serving fans with fantastic sports content. DAZN will also use its combined assets and inventory to create market-leading, innovative packages for advertisers.

DAZN Group will be led by CEO and founder Simon Denyer and he will be joined by a new CFO, Stuart Epstein. Stuart has a 20-year track record at Morgan Stanley and has previously served as CFO for NBC Universal. James Rushton takes on a wider role as Chief Revenue Officer, responsible for all products, revenue, and marketing.

Perform Content will be responsible for the group’s B2B activities – continuing to provide world class sports data, news and video to the world’s leading broadcasters, digital companies and sports books. Perform Content will be given more resources and autonomy to invest in its primary products, such as Opta, Watch & Bet, and RunningBall.

The CEO of Perform Content will continue to be Ross MacEacharn and he will be joined by Ashley Milton as Perform Content Chief Financial Officer.

The two brands will each have their own governance and leadership but report into one board, chaired by John Skipper. DAZN and Perform Content will collaborate closely on a commercial basis. DAZN will use Perform Content data to power its products. Perform Content will continue to leverage and add value to global rights acquired by DAZN.

DAZN Group CEO and founder, Simon Denyer, said: “Perform Group has been one of the defining companies of the sports industry over the last decade. The exceptional growth and execution of DAZN in its first seven markets means we need to focus our efforts around our primary growth engine. Our B2B division continues to grow but now is the time for it to have its own separate identity and investment plan. We are delighted that it will continue to use the Perform name.”

DAZN will remain the main rights holding company for the group including its long-term partnerships with strategic partners such as WTA, FIBA, CONMEBOL, Matchroom Boxing, NFL and EHF.

Sir Leonard Blavatnik’s Access Industries, the privately held group with global investments in multiple sectors, will continue to be the major shareholder of DAZN Group and support the growth of both brands.


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network

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ATG partners with USA’s biggest TV network for horse racing

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ATG partners with USA's biggest TV network for horse racingReading Time: 2 minutes

ATG has come to a partner agreement with TVG, the largest TV network for horse racing in USA.

 

Starting September 17, 45 million American households has will be given the possibility to bet on ATG‘s products.

“This is a unique possibility for ATG to reach out to horse racing bettors in USA and will also be a great way of showcasing the great sport we have here in Sweden” says Lars Nemeth, head of international sales at ATG.

TVG is a Los Angeles based company, founded in 1987. TVG has today two TV channels and broadcast up to 15 hours of horse racing daily to 45 million American cable and satellite households. Since 2009 TVG is a part of the Irish Paddy Power Betfair betting concern.

“TVG is a strong trademark on the American market and they broadcast around 50,000 races a year from around the world. The main intention with this cooperation agreement is of course to create revenue for both parts but like I said, I also see it as a unique possibility to showcase Swedish horse racing” says Lars Nemeth.

The TVG customers will be able to bet Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta and Daily Double right in to ATG’s Swedish pool.

“Swedish Trotting, Swedish Gallop and ATG will be able to deliver world class products, therefor it’s fantastic to be able to offer our viewers both broadcasts and betting from Sweden. Business wise and also editorial we’re emphasising on the best races Wednesday through Sunday. In our regular broadcasts we will have lots of live updates and latest news about the races and in cooperation with Kanal 75 show stories about both the sport of trotting and gallop in Sweden” says Stephen Kennelly, Vice President of Product and Exchange, TVG FanDuel Group US.

On the international betting market so called rakebacks, where bettors will receive discounts based on how much they bet, very common. However, in all of ATG’s partner agreements no rakebacks are allowed, also in this deal wth TVG.

“Both us and ATG are interested in creating a sustainable long term deal. TVG has basically the same broad spectrum of customers as ATG, we focus on incentivizing and gaining new and existing business by providing access to high quality content and service, not through high volume rebates to a limited audience.” says Stephen Kennelly.

Facts, TVG
• USA’s largest TV network for trot and gallop horse racing – reaches 45 million households.
• Owned by the betting concern Paddy Power Betfair, Irland.
• 320 employees, most of them at their TV head quarter in Los Angeles, California.
• Broadcasts around 50 000 races each year from around the world through their TV channels TVG (seven days a week) and TVG2 (five days). the channels are also available online (www.tvg.com) and through Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon and Roku.
• Will be able to bet Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta and Daily Double starting September 17, 2018
• TV and marketing support in TVG1 and TVG2 from September 23.

Source: ATG


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network

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MansionBet is the headline partner of Ultimate Boxxer II

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MansionBet is the headline partner of Ultimate Boxxer IIReading Time: 2 minutes

 

In a continued push across the sporting industry, MansionBet announced their headline partnership of Ultimate Boxxer II.
Having sponsored a number of high profile UK boxers this year, including George Groves, Lee Selby and Dillian Whyte, their support of this thrilling event is a natural progression for the sports betting operator.

Taking place on 2nd November at the O2 Indigo in London, Ultimate Boxxer II follows the phenomenal success of their inaugural event earlier this year. The tournament sees eight highly rated British boxers in the light heavyweight division square off to achieve their career defining moment.

Additional entertainment and authority on the evening comes from boxing legends Paulie Malignaggi, Ricky Hatton, Anthony Crolla and BBC’s Charlie Sloth.

Shelly Suter Hadad, COO & Managing Director of Mansion, commented: “We are passionately invested in supporting UK-grown talent across the sporting world, and with the growing popularity of British Boxing, we are delighted to get involved with this innovative tournament.”

Benjamin Shalom, Managing Director of Ultimate Boxxer, commented: “We are really looking forward to developing Ultimate Boxxer as a strong gambling proposition. Mansion’s values and forward-thinking make them a perfect brand to develop this with us and we are really excited about the upcoming campaign.”

The partnership was brokered through leading sports creative & partnerships agency, Dark Horses; and promises to be a well-matched partnership between two rising star brands within their complimentary industries.

 

About Mansion:
Awarded ‘Online Casino Operator of the Year’ at the International Gaming Awards 2018, the Mansion Group has firmly established itself as a leading provider of online gambling and entertainment since their founding in 2003.
Mansion possess a broad portfolio of popular online casinos catering to all tastes and markets, with Casino.com acting as the flagship brand, and MansionCasino a UK top-performer. With the launch of MansionBet, the Mansion Group has diversified their product portfolio into the sports arena, leveraging the strength and brand awareness of the Mansion name across the industry.


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network

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