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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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Nektan builds on B2B momentum with Dench partnership

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Nektan builds on B2B momentum with Dench partnershipReading Time: 2 minutes

 

Nektan plc the fast-growing international gaming technology platform and services provider, has boosted its global reach and commercial partnership network after securing a deal with turnkey gaming platform, Dench eGaming Solutions.

As part of the agreement, Nektan will aggregate its premium casino content to Dench’s operator network via E-Lite, Nektan’s content distribution platform.

Dench partners will significantly expand their casino offering with direct access to more than 800 HTML5-developed slots and table games from the industry’s leading providers, available across all desktop and mobile devices.

This latest partnership further strengthens Nektan’s B2B division and highlights the growing appeal of its B2B E-Lite platform from global tier one operators to platform providers alike.

Dench specialises in providing a turnkey gaming platform, white label services and real-time marketing automation solutions for the iGaming industry. It focuses on customer bonusing, rewards and engagement.

Jane Ryan, Chief Operating Officer of B2B at Nektan, said: “We’re delighted to be delivering our B2B E-Lite platform to Dench eGaming Solutions. This latest commercial agreement will allow us to grow our international scale even further, while providing Dench customers with access to a growing portfolio that is brimming with premium content.

“Nektan’s B2B division is enjoying significant growth at present thanks to our proprietary technology and ease of access to world-class casino content. We look forward to announcing more commercial contracts over the coming months as demand builds for our services.”

Dobromir Mitev, Chief Executive of Dench, said: “We’re really excited to be working alongside Nektan, allowing our client base to instantly enhance their casino offering with the addition of such a diverse range of games, to suit all tastes and preferences.

“Nektan shares similar values to ourselves, with our company mission to bring the next generation of casino game experiences to operators through strong and reliable technology.”

 


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Nektan builds on B2B momentum with Dench partnership

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Inaugural Casino Marketing Boot Camp A Success

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Inaugural Casino Marketing Boot Camp A SuccessReading Time: 2 minutes

 

The inaugural Casino Marketing Boot Camp, held March 10-12, 2019 in Winter Park, Colorado, was a success, and plans are already in the works to hold a second event in 2020.

 

“Our small group size allowed us to deliver one-on-one consultation-level attention to each participant,” said Julia Carcamo, president of New Orleans-based marketing agency J Carcamo & Associates, and co-founder of Boot Camp. “We were able to share casino industry knowledge as well as insights from leaders in the fields of strategic thinking, learning, and business management of seasonal business.”

Held over two days, participants participated in interactive sessions from dynamic speakers such as Len Hernstein, CEO of ManageCamp; Josh LeDuff, EMPATHIQ chief strategy officer; and Jeff Klem, co-founder of Adventures in Leading.

“I feel like I came into this training knowing nothing about Marketing and came out with just enough information to be ‘dangerous’,” said participant Martha George-Sachava, manager-in-training, Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort.

“We gathered a group of casino marketers from across the country and provided them with content relevant to their day-to-day business along with the opportunity to share their challenges and best practices,” said Nicole Barker, Boot Camp co-founder and loyalty program/database analytics marketing consultant with Relationship Marketing Solutions Inc. “They left ready to implement what they learned.”

Outside of the working sessions, participants and session leaders continued the discussion while exploring the local sights of their host community with a whiskey tasting and tour at Idlewild Distillery.

“I think this (conference) would be good for my managers up to the director-level,” said Jennifer Johnson, vice president – loyalty marketing, Foxwoods Casino.

Sarah Barten, chief communications manager, Grand Casino Mille Lacs furthered, “I valued making connections with this small intimate group. Our challenges are similar to the ones other casinos face. We were able to delve into our casino database and identify areas where our players are falling through the cracks. A big takeaway for me was the brand framework we built that will help us as we rebrand our casino.”

 

The 2020 Casino Marketing Boot Camp is scheduled for March 2020 in New Orleans, LA. More information is available at www.casinomarketingbootcamp.com


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Inaugural Casino Marketing Boot Camp A Success

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IAGR2019: Gaming regulators securing industry integrity, vibrancy and innovation

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The International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) has announced the official speaker line-up and program for its annual conference, IAGR2019, to be held in Montego Bay, Jamaica from 30 September to 3 October 2019.

IAGR’s President Trude Felde said that the annual conference is the key event for gaming regulators and industry stakeholders on the crowded calendar of gambling conferences.

‘IAGR2019 is an unrivalled opportunity for delegates to connect with and hear from senior gaming regulators and leading researchers and experts and access the latest international insights on emerging trends and issues and help shape regulatory approaches,’ Ms Felde said.

Titled “Regulating the game”, the 2019 event will focus on how best practice in gaming regulation can foster a secure, vibrant, innovative, safe and responsible industry.

‘We’re really excited to announce the details of our four-day program for IAGR2019, which follows our hugely successful call for speakers,’ said Ms Felde.

‘We’ll be delivering a thought-provoking mix of key note speakers, expert analysis and panel discussions on everything from responsible gambling and behavioural insights to the role of AI and big data in gaming regulation.’

Other key themes to be explored at IAGR2019 include:

  • risk and crisis prevention, and response
  • responsive regulation theory and practice
  • strategic interviewing and detecting deception
  • cyber security
  • blockchain and gaming
  • behavioural insights that impact gaming regulation
  • the future of responsible gambling
  • sportsbetting integrity and match fixing.

The full-program is now available to view.

Ms Felde said, ‘We also look forward to working with our hosts in Jamaica – the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission and Casino Gaming Commission – in putting on a fantastic event for the international regulatory community and industry stakeholders.’

Mr Vitus Evans, Executive Director of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission, said, ‘We’re delighted to be hosting the world’s leading regulatory minds here Jamaica this year – it’s a great opportunity to engage with our peers in other jurisdictions.’

‘The impressive speaker line-up with provide valuable insights for all international regulators, particularly those in the Caribbean that are developing or refining their regulatory approaches.’

Ms Felde added, ‘As part of IAGR’s conference launch it has released special early bird rates for members and non-members, so if you’re interested in attending book now to take advantage of this discounted offer.’

To register or to find out more about the program, fees and hotel bookings for IAGR2019 visit IAGR’s website.


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: IAGR2019: Gaming regulators securing industry integrity, vibrancy and innovation

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