Tip of the API-ceberg

first_img From modern smartphones to social media sites, application programming interfaces (APIs) are becoming synonymous with the technology of today. With new technologies and opportunities to streamline the user experience, we’ve only scraped the surface of what APIs can do.It’s no different in the business world, where maintaining flexibility and supplier agnosticism is of increasing importance so as to avoid legacy issues and keep up-to-date with the latest developments.Ahead of their attendance at ICE, we spoke with Stian Hornsletten, CEO of CasinoEngine and co-founder of EveryMatrix to discuss the key drivers behind the API driven architecture of CasinoEngine, the igaming integration platform. Developing an API-first productWhen developing the product, EveryMatrix saw a real need for improved efficiency and value-added services around aggregation.CasinoEngine targets UX enhancements and caters for personalised and localised casino experiences, with the aim of creating unlimited creativity for gaming operators.In line with this, operators can build their own front-end, and Hornsletten says this is exactly what their most successful partners are doing. Furthermore, the multiple web APIs grant operators full control of the front-end while providing business intelligence.For example, Hornsletten details the game rounds API and its benefits: “To see the outcome of game rounds now, you would have to go into the backend of RNGs. We feed this into one API where instead of going into many different 3rd party back-offices, you can either use CasinoEngine’s or your own. We’re really streamlining the back-office experience.”New live API casino technology aggregated across several vendors allow players to view real-time, in-game statistics.Finally, to further improve the UX, CasinoEngine’s UI communication framework allows operators to have full control over the gameplay window on both desktop and mobile displays. This allows for real-time notifications in the gameplay windows, whether they are responsible-gaming related (reaching time and money limit or mandatory breaks) or maintenance windows. Furthermore, there is the ability to control additional buttons on top of the gameplay window, for instance, quick deposit and cashier functions, gameplay information, carry out gamification features, etc.The solution aims to increase the value of each player, differentiating operators through wider options and product offerings. Success in the fieldAs a result of these developments, the team reports great successes from 2018. Hornsletten cites the launch of over 30 new casino clients, including the Norwegian state monopoly Norsk Tipping, Tipico and Adjarabet as exemplary of this. Now, CasinoEngine provides access to over 8,000 games across more than 140 vendors and sub-vendors.Additionally, CasinoEngine is fast approaching one billion in-game rounds per month, seeing over 230% YoY GGR growth, adding more than 16 new game vendors.Hornsletten says: “As a result of our dedication to quickly launch new content providers we are able to facilitate partners’ access to additional regulated markets on top of their games offering. Recently, for example, we did a UK content push with Red Tiger, Eyecon, Gamevy, Leander, Relax Gaming, Yggdrasil and ReelNRG.”So, what does 2019 hold for EveryMatrix and its CasinoEngine solution?Hornsletten says: “One development we’ll be making in 2019 is to improve our game performance scoring. We want to be able to compare games like-for-like to understand their net value to the operator.”“This can be done quickly if you have a decent amount of players. When you’ve got 70-90 games being released per month, there’s a constant battle for the front position.”He explains that there are a number of ways to calculate this – player session lengths, costs, NGR of games and the churn. This scoring can in turn affect the position of a game in the lobby.“Our aim is to drive this with AI, so you can automatically re-design lobbies based on players, markets and demographics. Of course, it also depends on any placement deals you have with vendors.”Solutions such as this can serve to significantly improve the player experience and lifetime value, and with that make the operators more efficient and more fruitful.EveryMatrix will be available to discuss these developemts and their products further at stand N6-310 at ICE. About the expertStian Hornsletten is CasinoEngine CEO and EveryMatrix co-founder and has over 19 years’ experience in the internet gaming industry. He holds an engineering degree in computer science and a degree in socioeconomics. He was an early entrant into betting exchanges and online poker, and his skills in product innovation are propelling EveryMatrix’s casino product forward. What we’ve seen so far from APIs may just be the tip of the iceberg. Stian Hornsletten, CasinoEngine CEO discusses the opportunities in using an API driven architecture for gaming operators Tip of the API-ceberg Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Tech & innovation AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Topics: Tech & innovation Email Address 22nd January 2019 | By Josephine Watsonlast_img read more

Stride to focus on cost controls

first_img Stride Gaming will retain its focus on controlling costs after non-executive chairman Nigel Payne said that the bingo operator had performed in line with expectations in “challenging trading conditions” since the start of the financial year. Stride to focus on cost controls Topics: Finance Finance 6th February 2019 | By contenteditor Subscribe to the iGaming newslettercenter_img Stride Gaming will retain its focus on controlling costs after non-executive chairman Nigel Payne said that the bingo operator had performed in line with expectations in “challenging trading conditions” since the start of the financial year.Payne, speaking at Stride’s annual general meeting today (February 6), reiterated the operator’s plans to migrate more customers to its higher-margin proprietary platform, which generated a 23.8% increase in revenue to £60.5m (€68.9/$78.4m) in the 12 months through to the end of August, accounting for 68% of total turnover.The company reported an 8.7% year-on-year increase in net gaming revenue to £89m for the year through to August 31, with player deposits up by 6.8% to £157m.However, yield per player fell by 2% to £144 over the 12-month period while adjusted earnings before interest and deductions slumped by 18.2% to £16.1m, with Stride blaming a new tax on free bets. Funded player accounts also declined by 6.1% to 137,000.“The group’s trading performance since the start of the financial year has been broadly in line with the board’s expectations despite the continued challenging trading conditions,” Payne said today.“The board remains confident in Stride’s ability to manage ongoing fiscal and regulatory market pressures and leverage its unique infrastructure to capitalise on significant growth opportunities in the dynamic UK market. The group has a clear focus on winning and retaining mass market, recreational customers onto its bingo and casino sites.“Cost control and efficiencies remain a core focus area for the group. Stride continues to leverage its infrastructure and proprietary technology to migrate more customers onto the group’s higher margin proprietary platform and drive cost synergies across the business.”The company also confirmed a special dividend of 8p per share relating to the earn-out agreement associated with Rank Group’s acquisition of Spanish-facing operator QSB Gaming, in which Stride held a 24.2% stake. The earn-out transaction is expected to take place by the end of May, with the dividend being paid in June.“The board believes the group will continue to be highly cash generative and the board remains committed to its revised dividend policy to distribute at least 50% of adjusted net earnings in dividends,” Payne added.Stride’s figures for the current financial year will take into account a £7.1m fine, imposed by the UK Gambling Commission in November, in relation to compliance failures at its Daub Alderney subsidiary. Stride, which labelled the punishment as “excessive and disproportionate”, had set aside £4m for the anticipated fine.The operator, which said that it would not appeal against the fine, asked the commission to reconsider the penalty late last year. The commission told iGamingBusiness.com today that it is unable to comment on individual cases, with no further updates having been disclosed publicly since the fine was imposed. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Regions: UK & Ireland Email Addresslast_img read more

Colorado makes late play for legal sports betting

first_img A group of Colorado representative and senators have put forward a new bill with the aim of legalising in-person, online and mobile sports betting in the US state. Casino & games AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 23rd April 2019 | By contenteditor A group of Colorado representative and senators have put forward a new bill with the aim of legalising in-person, online and mobile sports betting in the US state.HB19-1327 has been introduced to the House and is now with the Committee on Appropriations for further consideration. Representatives Alec Garnett and Patrick Neville, as well as senators Kerry Donovan and John Cooke, are backing the bill, which would need to pass before Colorado’s current legislative session ends on May 3.Key points in the new bill include a tax rate of 10% on the net proceeds of sports betting activity to fund implementation of the state water plan and other public purposes. Colorado’s voters must approve this measure at the state’s general election this November.The bill would also establish a new Gaming Control Commission to regulate the market and assume responsibility for the awarding of permanent and temporary licences.HB19-1327 states that only a limited number of licences would be available, but does not clarify exactly how many. However, it does establish three types of licence that would be on offer: a master licence, a sports betting operator licence and an internet sports betting licence.A master licence would only be available only to entities currently licensed to conduct limited gaming in Colorado. Only holders of this licence could operate in-person sports betting, while they would also be able to contract with operators that hold a sports betting or internet sports betting permit.Master licensees would be permitted to work with only one of each, but operators would be permitted to hold both a sports betting or internet sports betting licence.The bill does not specifically state how much any of these licences would cost, but it does say that any fee would cover the Commission’s costs of processing the initial application and any subsequent background investigations up to $150,000 (£115,400/€133,300).However, it is not yet clear whether online and mobile betting would be allowed only at licensed venues or across the state. The bill only states that apps must bear the same brand as the website that they are accompanying.If the bill were to come into law, it would become effective from May 1, 2020.Image: ErgoSum88 Topics: Casino & games Legal & compliance Sports betting Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Regions: US Colorado Colorado makes late play for legal sports betting Email Addresslast_img read more

Jockey Club donates 10,000 Grand National tickets to NHS

first_img Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Tags: Race Track and Racino Horse racing 2nd April 2020 | By contenteditor The Jockey Club, the governing body of horse racing in the UK, has announced it will donate 10,000 tickets to the National Health Service (NHS) and social care sector for the first day of the 2021 Grand National Festival.Tickets will be made available to workers in the Merseyside area, with the Grand National traditionally taking place at local venue Aintree Racecourse.The free tickets will be valid for the opening day of the Festival on 8 April 2021, which will also be re-named Liverpool’s NHS Day in honour of the work done by local staff and volunteers during the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.This year’s edition of the UK’s horseracing showpiece event was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, but a virtual version of the race will take place on 4 April, with punters able to bet on and watch the event on television. Operators will also donate all profits from bets on the race to NHS charities.“We understand just how hard the NHS and professional carers are working right now and this is our way of showing our gratitude,” Jockey Club Racecourses North West regional director, Dickon White, said.“The ticket process and distribution will begin at the start of next year and we’ll be working with the relevant organisations to ensure those who should benefit from the initiative are included.”Jan Ledward, chief officer at NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the organisation that plans NHS care for the city, added: “Across local health and care, staff are working tirelessly to keep services running and give people the care they need, often in the face of significant challenges. We’re delighted to see this enormous effort recognised.”Meanwhile, Spanish gambling operator R. Franco Group has made an initial donation of 13,000 reusable masks across the country as part of the nation’s ongoing fight against coronavirus.Donations are planned across the temporary hospital opened at Madrid’s IFEMA, as well as to the Military Emergencies Unit, is a branch of the Spanish army, and also several units of the police and residences for elderly people.R. Franco Group president Jesus Franco said: “As the pandemic continues to hit companies, families and communities across Spain, the R. Franco Group is here to do all we can to contribute and show our solidarity across all sectors.“With more donations set to follow, we offer our support with the confidence that we will all come out of this together stronger than before.” Regions: UK & Ireland Topics: Sports betting Horse racing Jockey Club donates 10,000 Grand National tickets to NHS The Jockey Club, the governing body of horse racing in the UK, has announced it will donate 10,000 tickets to the National Health Service (NHS) and social care sector for the first day of the 2021 Grand National Festival. Email Addresslast_img read more

ASA calls for public help in flagging rogue gambling ads

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has called on the British public to report gambling ads that refer to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, pledging swift action against those that breach advertising rules.The watchdog said that the conduct of the online gambling industry, including the nature and frequency of its advertising, was under particular scrutiny during the pandemic.“‘Lockdown’ has created a ‘captive audience’,” the ASA explained. “Many people are anxious and uncertain about the future and a significant number face financial hardship.“To some, gambling may even be seen as an escape from the situation they now find themselves in. Such vulnerabilities heighten risks associated with gambling.”The UK’s national lockdown had already prompted the ASA to launch a reporting process to notify the regulator of Covid-19 related claims in ads, often for healthcare products, and warned that gambling was “no different”.The ASA is therefore encouraging members of the public to report gambling ads that refer to the pandemic or related matters, such as the government’s lockdown policy. Ads that feature claims or themes of particular concern during the current situation – such as those referring to relieving boredom, repeated play or personal problems – should also be reported, it said.“In ordinary times, ads following this kind of approach are likely to raise compliance concerns,” the ASA explained. “The present circumstances exacerbate this, so the ASA will not hesitate to take firm action against irresponsible messaging in gambling ads.“To this end, we will continue our close working relationship with the [British] licensing authority, the Gambling Commission, to identify issues and enforce compliance.”The ASA itself will be monitoring industry advertising for a range of different issues in the context of the crisis. It highlighted ads that trivialise gambling (by encouraging repetitive or frequent participation), or refer in any way to indicators of problem gambling (such as solitary play or playing late at night) as being of particular concern.Ads that refer to personal problems, and suggest gambling as a form of escapism, or seek to exploit financial concerns, will also be targeted.Furthermore, Covid-19 will not prevent the ASA from continuing efforts to protect children from gambling advertising. Last year’s efforts using avatar technology to assess the ads served to a simulated version of a child’s browsing profile will be repeated in 2020 to ensure operators are complying with all rules.“Gambling operators are warned to pay particular attention to their responsibilities to comply with the Advertising Codes,” the ASA said in conclusion. “Along with our usual enforcement work, we will take swift action against ads that, in the context of the present crisis, are likely to exploit people’s vulnerabilities or encourage irresponsible behaviour.”The ASA’s warning to operators follows industry standards body the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) announcing a ten-point plan for members to follow during the pandemic, in a bid to protect players from gambling realated harm. This will see responsible gambling messaging ramped up by operators. These, however, have been dismissed by the Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group, the influential advocates for a regulatory overhaul in Great Britain, as “weak”.Guidance issued by the European Gaming and Betting Association, and backed by the BGC alongside a number of other country-specific operator bodies, also bans operators from referencing Covid-19 in their advertising.Operators were also warned to ensure their adverts do not portray gambling as a solution to social, personal or financial problems, nor invite customers to gamble online as a solution to boredom. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 9th April 2020 | By contenteditor The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has called on the British public to report gambling ads that refer to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, pledging swift action against those that breach advertising rules. ASA calls for public help in flagging rogue gambling ads Legal & compliance Regions: UK & Ireland Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Topics: Legal & compliance Marketing & affiliates Email Addresslast_img read more

BGC urges flexibility over UK furlough scheme

first_img The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the body that represents Great Britain’s betting and gambling industry, has urged the government to continue to be flexible as it prepares to taper off its novel coronavirus (Covid-19) furlough scheme in order to protect jobs in the sector.Chancellor Rushi Sunak implemented the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in March to help workers impacted by the outbreak, pledging that the government would pay 80% of their wages up to £2,500 per month.Sunak last week confirmed that the scheme would finish at the end of October, but employers would need to start contributing to the costs of the initiative from August.Businesses will be required to pay National Insurance and pension contributions from August, then 10% of pay from September and 20% in October. Staff would also be permitted to return to work on a part-time basis in July, but employers would need to pay 100% of their wages.The BGC said it welcomed the announcement, saying the ongoing support would enable bingo halls and casinos to get back up and running while retaining control over staffing costs.Betting shops, bingo halls and casinos have been closed since 20 March as part of an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19. Betting shops are due to start reopening from 15 June along with other ‘non-essential retail’.“Any help for businesses from the government at this time of global crisis is of course welcome, and we thank the Chancellor for providing more clarity on how the furlough scheme will operate until the end of October,” BGC chief executive Michael Dugher said.“Even though the lockdown is easing, many of our member companies – and in particular in casinos and bingo halls – will be forced to operate at a reduced capacity for the foreseeable future because of the need to maintain strict social distancing.”The scheme had initially been due to run until the end of July, though this was extended last month due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. The BGC praised the decision, saying it would help protect jobs, with around 64,000 people working in the UK retail betting and gaming sector.Gambling and betting operators have also benefitted from the Business Rates Retail Discount, meaning they will receive 100% business rates relief in recognition that they had to close as part of measures to slow the spread of coronavirus.Dugher said that as many retail gambling facilities will be forced to operate at a reduced capacity for the foreseeable future in order to adhere to strict social distancing, ongoing support from the government would be widely welcomed.“Given the significant contribution the hospitality and leisure sector makes to the UK economy, we would urge Mr Sunak keep being flexible and acknowledge that it will continue to need support from the government as the country emerges from the pandemic,” Dugher said.“We have had super engagement with the government up until now, and we look forward to that continuing so we can ensure the betting and gaming industry can play its full part in getting the UK back on its feet.” Email Address Topics: Casino & games Finance Bingo AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 1st June 2020 | By contenteditor Tags: OTB and Betting Shops The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the body that represents Great Britain’s betting and gambling industry, has urged the government to continue to be flexible as it prepares to taper off its novel coronavirus (Covid-19) furlough scheme in order to protect jobs in the sector. BGC urges flexibility over UK furlough scheme Regions: UK & Ireland Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Bingolast_img read more

Macau casino revenue down 93% in May

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Casino & games Topics: Casino & games 1st June 2020 | By Daniel O’Boyle Casinos in Macau took in revenue of MOP1.76bn (£177.9m/€198.4m/$220.4m) in May, more than double revenue for April but down 93.2% year-on-year, as the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic continued to have a major impact on business.Revenue for 2020 to date now totals MOP33.00bn, down 73.7% year-on-year. More than two third of this total continues to be from January’s revenue, which itself was down 11.3% from the year prior.The continued low revenue figures – less than February and March, when casinos were ordered to close for 14 days – is likely mostly due to a decision on 25 March ordering all non-residents arriving in Macau to self-isolate for 14 days.The territory’s government also announced on 30 May that gross domestic product (GDP) fell 48.7% in the first quarter of 2020, with the decline of the tourism and casino industry, as well as the gaming services industry, playing a large part.In April, Macao’s head of government, chief executive Ho Iat Seng criticised the country’s “excessive dependence” upon the gambling industry. In Macau’s annual policy report, Ho said this dependence meant the special administrative region was especially hard-hit by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. Macau casino revenue down 93% in Maycenter_img Casinos in Macau took in revenue of MOP1.76bn in May, more than double revenue for April but down 93.2% year-on-year, as the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic continued to have a major impact on business. Regions: China Macau Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Addresslast_img read more

888 appoints venture capital exec to board of directors

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 20th July 2020 | By contenteditor “I am delighted to welcome Limor to the 888 board,” chair of the operator’s board Brian Mattingley commented.“Her involvement as a leader in a diverse range of businesses, together with her understanding of disruptive technologies, will be of significant benefit to 888 as we continue to grow and develop as a global leader in online gaming.”Late last month the operator revealed that it expects to beat revenue and earnings forecasts for 2020, despite the disruption caused by novel coronavirus (Covid-19). While it acknowledged that the economic fall-out caused by the pandemic could harm revenue in the second half, it said a strong performance from online poker and a robust recovery from sports betting had complemented consumer migration to igaming in 2020 to date. Topics: People 888 Holdings has named Limor Ganot as an independent non-executive director, effective 1 August. Tags: Online Gambling 888 appoints venture capital exec to board of directors People Email Address Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 888 Holdings has named Limor Ganot as an independent non-executive director, effective 1 August.Ganot currently serves as managing partner of Gefen Capital, a US-Israeli venue capital fund that targets investment in disruptive technology startups.She also serves on the global advisory board of payments giant Diners Club International, and previously served as co-chief executive of Israeli conglomerate Alon Blue Square.last_img read more

Twin River reports $32.4m first half net loss

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Twin River Worldwide Holdings saw revenue for the first half of 2020 fall 47.7% year-on-year,  becoming the latest listed US operator to outline the disruption caused by novel coronavirus (Covid-19) on its business.Revenue for the six months to June 30 amounted to $138.1m, down from $263.8m in the prior year. The majority of this came from gaming, which contributed $99.6m of the total, down 47.9%, while racing operations revenue fell 53.4%.Revenue from Twin River’s hotels declined to $9.8m, and food and beverage revenue was almost halved to $9.8m. The operator reported $8.6m in other revenue, down 46.4%.The operator’s properties were closed from mid-March, with only two reopening in May, though all properties had resumed operations in some form by 17 June. This shut-down did result in outgoings declining year-on-year, but as with other operators that have reported figures for the six month period, the fall in costs was far outstripped by the drop in revenue.For Twin River, total operating costs and expenses declined 18.8% to $162.2m, resulting in an operating loss of $24.1m for H1. The operator recorded $26.5m in interest expenses, which after a $18.2m income tax benefit, resulted in a net loss of $32.4m, compared to a profit of $34.8m in H1 2019.Read the full story on iGB North America. Twin River reports $32.4m first half net loss Regions: US Casino & games 11th August 2020 | By contenteditorcenter_img Topics: Casino & games Finance Twin River Worldwide Holdings saw revenue for the first half of 2020 fall 47.7% year-on-year,  becoming the latest listed US operator to outline the disruption caused by novel coronavirus (Covid-19) on its business. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Addresslast_img read more

Esports as part of the sporting ecosystem

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter ICE365 Content Series Regions: US Pennsylvania Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter In this video, Catherine Carlson, the franchise’s senior vice president of revenue and strategy, joins Esports Entertainment CEO Grant Johnson to discuss how this role develops going forward.  Tags: Philadelphia Eagles Esports Entertainment Group Esports as part of the sporting ecosystemcenter_img The Eagles aim to leverage this opportunity with its partner, tapping into a broader range of fans across multiple markets. Topics: Esports ICE365 Content Series Sports While esports may offer bookmakers access to new customers and potentially lucrative revenue streams, it also plays an increasingly important role in the traditional sports ecosystem. 16th March 2021 | By contenteditor Email Addresslast_img read more