first_img11th July 2018 | By contenteditor New Gambling Commission-published study highlights impact of problem gambling Legal & compliance Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Address Topics: Legal & compliancecenter_img Regions: UK & Ireland Problem gambling effects felt across society – report AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter A new Gambling Commission-backed report has claimed that “significant progress” has been made in understanding the causes of problem gambling and its wider economic and societal impact across Britain.‘Measuring gambling-related harms: A framework for action’ was compiled by Dr Heather Wardle on behalf of the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB), which provides independent advice to the Gambling Commission. The report, which was the result of collaboration between the Gambling Commission, GambleAware and RGSB, calls for views on how the social cost of gambling-related harms can be measured and better understood.The report identifies a number of key criteria that are to be considered in assessing the impact of problem gambling. These range from job losses to bankruptcy, crimes committed to marriage breakdowns and suicide attempts.The report says: “A challenge is how to value those with less tangible outcomes, but which are nonetheless, deeply impactful, such as loss of life opportunities and loss of family or community support and cohesion.”In welcoming input from others as it seeks to collate relevant data, Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McArthur (pictured) said the report is not a “definitive position” and “very much a work in progress”.McArthur, who was confirmed as the new permanent CEO in April, added: “We encourage public health officials, academics, the industry and the public to feed back on the report and work with us to set a framework that can help prevent harm to consumers.”The report also seeks to set a framework for action that considers how the impact of harms can be felt by individuals, families and communities, and identify the most effective way to estimate the social cost of gambling-related harms.Wardle added: “This report is a dramatic step forward in our understanding of gambling. It represents a sea change in thinking about gambling as it recognises that gambling isn’t something that affects just a few individuals but extends far beyond them to affect their families, communities and society.”last_img read more

first_img23rd November 2018 | By contenteditor AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Inteltek establishes Turkish software development hub Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter New facility will focus on developing new mobile gaming technology solutions Tags: Mobile Inteltek said the new venture will have a significant impact in boosting both Turkey’s presence and competitiveness in the global gaming industry. The facility will employ 100 engineers, although its exact location is yet to be confirmed.“Through this investment Inteltek aims to leverage the talent of Turkish youth for the creation and export of technology and software internationally and contribute towards the transformation of Turkey into a global center of excellence for software development,” the company explained.  Turkcell and Intralot established Inteltek in 2001, with Intralot holding a 45% stake in the venture, and Turkcell a 55% majority stake. In 2004, Inteltek was awarded rights for the exclusive operation of fixed odds betting and pari-mutual betting games on sporting events in Turkey by state gaming entity SporToto. In the same year, Inteltek rolled out its iddaa sports betting brand in partnership with SporToto. It has helped grow SporToto’s sports betting market share from 1% to 56% over the past 11 years, with turnover growing to $3.5bn (£2.7bn/€3.1bn). Inteltek then signed a year-long extension to its contract to operate iddaa in August this year. The deal now runs until 2019, under the same terms as the 10-year contract agreed in 2008. The company also in August reported its financial results for the first half of the year, during which sales at Inteltek totalled €19.5m (£17.3m/$22.2m), down from €21.6m in the same period last year. Intralot said this was heavily affected by local currency devaluation against the Euro.Aside from Inteltek, Intralot also owns a 50.01% stake in Bilyoner, an online distributor of sports betting games. Bilyoner, along with five other online providers, distributes the games developed by Inteltek manages on behalf of SporToto. Revenue at Bilyoner in the first half was up from €20.7m to €24.6m, pushing total revenue in Turkey to €44.1m in the six-month period, up from €42.4m in the previous year.center_img Tech & innovation Inteltek, the joint venture between Turkish telecommunications giant Turkcell and lottery and gaming solutions provider Intralot, is to open a new global development software centre in Turkey, with the aim of improving technologies in the mobile gaming market. Regions: Europe Central and Eastern Europe Turkey Email Address Topics: Tech & innovationlast_img read more

first_img Brazilian President signs sports betting measure into law AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 13th December 2018 | By contenteditor Brazil’s outgoing president Michel Temer has ratified legislation that paves the way for the country’s National Congress to implement sports betting regulations for the first time.Temer has signed Provisional Measure 846/18 into law, with the bill formalising plans for the distribution of revenue raised through the country’s national lottery Loterias Caixa (Lotex), as well as setting a two-year window in which Congress can develop and pass sports betting controls.This period can be extended by a further two years should the legislature fail to reach a decision within the window.The country’s Ministry of Finance will be responsible for developing the technical regulations, as well as handling other potentially contentious issues such as wether to open the market to private operators, or maintain a monopoly on sports betting.The bill does allow for both land-based and online sports betting, with land-based operators required to pay out 80% of handle in winnings, and split 6% between a number of social and security bodies. Of this 6%, 2.5% will go to the National Public Security Force (FNSP), 2% will be allocated to football clubs, 1% to public schools and 0.5% deposited into Brazil’s social security fund.Online companies will pay 89% of amounts wagered back to players as winnings, with 0.25% going to social security, 0.75% to schools, 1% to the FNSP and 1% to football clubs.The Provisional Measure, authored by Pará Senator Flexa Ribeiro, rapidly progressed through the lower house of the Brazilian National Congress, the Chamber of Deputies, then the Upper House in  late November. It is the first significant expansion of gambling in Brazil, with previous efforts failing to progress through the legislature and other gambling-related measures such as a tender to sell a stake in Lotex derailed by claims of corruption. Regions: LATAM Brazilcenter_img Legal & compliance Provisional Measure 846/18 opens a two-year window for the country’s National Congress to develop and pass sports betting regulations Topics: Legal & compliance Sports betting Email Addresslast_img read more

first_img In the second part of iGaming Business’ analysis of gambling advertising restrictions, we look at the unintended consequences of bans, possible alternatives to blanket prohibitions – and ask whether tackling advertising really gets to the root cause of the issue. Read part one here.DLA Piper’s Giulio Coraggio argues that by restricting advertising, legislators could even risk exacerbating problems.“If no gambling ad can be aired before 10.30pm or on specific channels, this obviously creates a concentration of gambling ads at a specific time of the day or on specific channels,” he explains.This, he says, effectively ensures that customers will feel they are being bombarded with gambling ads. Rather than setting out how and when these ads can be shown, he argues that restrictions on how many can be broadcast could be more effective.This approach is already being pursued by Sky, which announced last year that it would only allow one gambling ad to be broadcast during each commercial break, from the start of the 2019-20 football season.Not to be outdone, the UK betting sector then announced a voluntary ban on all gambling advertising before and after the start of sports broadcasts: the whistle-to-whistle ban. This also applies to all highlights shows and includes sponsorship of these programmes.Campaigners have already pointed out that viewers will still see plenty of gambling branding on football shirts and pitch-side advertising hoardings, while Sky CEO Stephen van Rooyen has attacked the move as a deflection tactic, given the bulk of operator marketing spend is focused online.Woodford, for his part, argues that whistle-to-whistle bans will have little positive effect, saying they will have a “damaging” economic effect on the UK’s commercial media landscape.Furthermore, he says it will only serve to hit consumers in the wallet. With sports broadcasting rights sold for billions, the broadcasters then look to recoup their investment through advertising sales.If they lose their main advertisers, they will inevitably look to increase the price of subscription packages for sports channels. They may be protected, but they will effectively pay for this protection.He says that the current self regulatory framework, developed in partnership with the Gambling Commission, already does much to restrict minors’ exposure to gambling advertising and to ensure that promotions are socially responsible.“Advertising self-regulation has the advantage of consensus-building through industry dialogue which leads to more business certainty,” Woodford continues. “It is also cost-effective (regulation at no cost to the taxpayer), flexible and evidence-based, achieving a good balance between consumer protection and business interests.”It is important to notice that a key driver behind the growing appetite for gambling advertising restrictions is a perceived growth in the prevalence of problem gambling.This has been thrown into sharp focus by a rapid rise in the number of fines issued for historical infractions of licence conditions by operators. In the UK alone, the Gambling Commission has handed out more than £47m in fines and penalty packages since 2015.The vast majority of cases stem from failings in operators’ social responsibility processes, with action not taken to check the source of their funds, or to intervene when player spend rapidly increases. This suggests failings are to be found in a different part of their business – though most are historical – and are only announced after the issue has been addressed.It could ultimately be argued that these past failings are simply having an effect on operators’ present activities. This, in turn, is prompting politicians to grab for the low-hanging fruit of attacking the gambling industry. Yet this may ultimately lead to an outright ban on gambling, which is clearly the goal of many campaigners.2019, then, is a crucial year for the industry in Europe; how operators address the shift in public opinion and work with governments and regulators over the coming months could define the sector’s long-term future. Casino & games In the second part of iGaming Business’ analysis of gambling advertising restrictions, we look at the unintended consequences of bans, possible alternatives to blanket prohibitions – and ask whether tackling advertising really gets to the root cause of the issue. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Promotional Nightmares: part two Regions: Europe UK & Ireland Nordics Southern Europe Denmark Italy Spain 18th February 2019 | By contenteditor Tags: Mobile Online Gambling OTB and Betting Shops Race Track and Racino Slot Machines Topics: Casino & games Legal & compliance Marketing & affiliates Sports betting Slots Horse racing Email Addresslast_img read more

first_img25th February 2019 | By contenteditor Topics: Casino & games Legal & compliance Sports betting The Virginia General Assembly has passed a bill that could legalise sports betting and allow land-based casinos to open in the state for the first time, with only Governor Ralph Northam left to sign the bill into law.The state’s Senate passed the bill by a vote of 30-10, while the House also voted to adopt the bill by 64-27. The House then agreed to a reconsideration, but the bill still went through by a vote of 64-33.Governor Northam must now sign off on the bill in order for it to come into law.Introduced by Democrat Senator Louise Lucas, Substitute Senate Bill 1126 would legalise casino gaming, but limit it to cities with an unemployment rate of at least 4%, a poverty rate of 20%, and which had experienced a population decline of at least 7% between 1990 and 2016.Tribal casinos would be permitted in cities with a population of at least 200,000, and in which 24% of all real estate is exempt from local property taxes. To open a casino, each local authority would need to hold a local referendum in order to gain approval from residents.Each city would receive one licence, via which the casino could offer table, dice and slot games, as well as sports betting via land-based means only. There are no concessions for online or mobile gaming in the bill.The Virginia Lottery Board would be responsible for regulating the market, with licensed casinos to pay tax at a rate of between 13% and 15% of gross revenue.Should Governor Northam sign off on the bill as expected, the Virginia Lottery would begin drafting its rules and regulations by January 1, 2020, and publish a completed list by June 30, 2020. The Lottery would begin issuing licences the following day.Image: Taber Andrew Bain Regions: US Virginia AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Email Addresscenter_img Casino & games The Virginia General Assembly has passed a bill that could legalise sports betting and allow land-based casinos to open in the state for the first time, with only Governor Ralph Northam left to sign the bill into law. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Virginia General Assembly clears sports betting billlast_img read more

first_img Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Sports betting ISG launches free-to-play Formula 1 betting game 29th March 2019 | By contenteditor Email Address Global sports media agency Interregional Sports Group (ISG) has launched a new free-to-play betting game for Formula 1, as part of its official partnership with the motor-racing series. Topics: Sports betting Tech & innovation AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Global sports media agency Interregional Sports Group (ISG) has launched a new free-to-play betting game for Formula 1, as part of its official partnership with the motor-racing series.Available online or via mobile, F1 Play challenges players to predict a series of outcomes in each race, with the chance to win a luxury weekend at the 2019 British Grand Prix.ISG has said F1 Play has been developed as a customer acquisition tool for bookmakers that engage with ISG as part of its wider F1 rights package. As such, F1 Play can be integrated into the operator’s betting engines so that bets can be offered on different elements of their predictions.The game is now live ahead of this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.“This is a great opportunity for F1 fans to test just how in-depth their knowledge of the sport really is,” ISG group CEO Chris Buckley said.“Players will have to make predictions on events from the starting grid to the chequered flag, and if they get it right, they could win a dream weekend at Silverstone.”The game will utilise data collected and distributed by Sportradar, with ISG also having the right to sub-license its betting partnership rights to select gambling brands worldwide under its agreement with F1.This includes regionalised branded on-screen graphics, as well as physical and virtual trackside signage and digital integration across F1’s various digital and social platforms.Formula 1 first announced plans to strike up betting partnerships in September of last year, with both ISG and Sportradar among the early frontrunners. The rights packages are said to be worth around $100m (£76.8m/€89.2m).Image: Eduardo Guarizo Pimentellast_img read more

first_img Regions: US Massachusetts AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter DraftKings has recruited a high profile chief financial officer who will also act as strategic advisor to chief executive Jason Robins.Jason Park joins the sports betting and daily fantasy operator after more than a decade at Boston-based Bain Capital Private Equity, where he served as an operating partner focused on technology investments.“I am thrilled to be joining DraftKings at this important inflection point for the company,” said Park (pictured).  “DraftKings has already established itself as a clear leader in the sports technology and entertainment arena and I look forward to working with this exceptional team to drive and capture the significant growth potential ahead.”DraftKings – which has been linked with an IPO for years – said Park has been brought in to help Robins and senior management in navigating the changes to the sector and the company’s business model since its founding in 2012. While at Bain, Park worked collaboratively with CEOs, CFOs, and management teams to develop and achieve growth plans.“DraftKings has experienced exponential growth over the last year and we are excited to welcome someone of Jason’s calibre to the team,” said Robins.“Jason will step in and help accomplish our long-term financial goals. He has a track record of success around investments and acquisitions which will aid in the growth of our business and his world-class background in evolving and executing growth plans will make him invaluable to our organisation.”Park, who also formerly worked for McKinsey & Company, takes over the CFO role with immediate effect, replacing Tim Dent, who has overseen financial operations since 2012.His predecessor Dent will take on an expanded chief compliance role to include the oversight of all compliance, licensing, regulation and responsible gaming efforts. Dent will also ensure compliance with all licensing requirements and uphold the vast number of consumer protection measures on the DraftKings platform. 25th June 2019 | By contenteditor Strategy Email Address DraftKings outlines ambitions with new CFO appointment Tags: Online Gambling Topics: Strategy Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter DraftKings has recruited a high profile chief financial officer who will also act as strategic advisor to chief executive Jason Robins.last_img read more

first_img While headline KPIs for sports remained broadly stable on the prior month, September saw a 14% (YoY) fall in average monthly revenue per player, ostensibly due to bonuses being increased over the year, according to the latest data from Optimove’s iGaming PulseAs summer and vacations come to an end, September finds the industry gradually inevitably easing itself back into its year-round routine.The upside is the European football leagues have now kicked off, and we are now into the second calendar month of action which began in August.The Champions League has also reached the group stage, generating more interest for bettors and fans. In September, the average single deposit amount remained steady at €28 with the number of monthly deposits per player holding at 8.2, equating to an average deposit generated per player over the period of approximately €230 (€28 x 8.2). Casino & games AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 7th October 2019 | By Stephen Carter Tags: Online Gambling Another similarity between August and September can be observed in the retention rate KPI which remained steady at 70%.The new player retention rate increased from 42% to 46% (a 10% increase month over month), probably an effect of the similarity between September and August in terms of sporting events coverage (European football leagues, Champions League and even US Open Tennis), all of which began in August and continued through September. Monthly number of deposits increased by 5% YoY and decreased marginally by 1% MoM.The casino retention rate showed an upward trend of 2% YoY, while the new retention rate increased 6% YoY and 9% MoM. The conversion rate increased 28% YoY and 3% MoM (see below). Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter While headline KPIs for sports remained broadly stable on the prior month, September saw a 14% (YoY) fall in average monthly revenue per player, ostensibly due to bonuses being increased over the year, according to the latest data from Optimove’s iGaming Pulse KPI close-up: Pareto Principle The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, is a concept originally developed by Italian economist and social scientist Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto and used describe an imbalance in input and outcome in which 20% of the customers create 80% of the profits.According to legend, Pareto thought of the idea after observing that 20% of the pea plants in his garden yielded 80% of the crops.The Pareto Principle doesn’t have to be an exact 80/20 ratio, but the discrepancy between resources invested and results generated is used as a KPI in gaming to illustrate what percentage of players/bettors generate most of the revenue. Topics: Casino & games Marketing & affiliates Sports betting Optimove iGaming Pulse – September 2019 It’s interesting to see that for countries with teams that unexpectedly qualified for the Champions League group stages, like Red Bull Salzburg from Austria, have a higher overall retention rate than others as well as experiencing the aforementioned increase in the new retention rate.What’s also interesting to see is that although the monetary values remained broadly similar, the profit margin increased by 1%. This can be explained the fact that this is affected by match results, tending to increase with a run of unexpected outcomes.Year-on-year picture Turning to year-on-year (YoY) activity, following two relatively balanced consecutive months, average deposit amount decreased by 13% and monthly deposits per player increased by 9%. In straight math, the total monthly deposit amount per player adds up to -4% YoY. However, we can see a decrease of 14% YoY in average monthly revenue per player.Since the margin KPI remains more or less stable, this could be the result of bonuses and other special offers being increased over the year, as net revenue is the gross gaming revenue minus bonus costs.Casino focus In casino, we can see an 8% YoY decrease in average deposit amount per player, and another steady hold month-over-month (MoM). Omer Liss: Omer Liss is Optimove’s director of strateic services, helping leading marketers optimise their customer retention strategy. As a marketing data scientist, Omer has vast experience consulting clients, analysing their customer data and revealing actionable, data-driven marketing insights. Omer holds a BSc in Industrial Engineering and Management, specialising in Information Systems. About iGaming Pulse: iGaming Pulse is an industry benchmark tool for the gaming sector. iGaming Pulse enables gaming operators to accurately assess their overall performance against industry-wide key performance indicators. Its figures are updated on a monthly basis. It enables gaming operators to gain a clearer understanding of how their KPIs compare against the rest of the industry, broken down by geography and game type. This type of data, which is made publicly available for the first time, provides operators with the ability to conduct comparative analysis and derive insight into how their performance compares with industry averages.iGaming Pulse comprises of data collected from over 200 online casinos and sports betting companies, including industry giants and boutique operators, providing an accurate, statistically significant sample of the industry. Access to this information is vital for operators that are limited to only their own data. Optimove’s iGaming Pulse is now fully accessible, ensuring operators will have a clearer overview of how they compare to the industry. Email Addresslast_img read more

first_img21st October 2019 | By contenteditor Macau gambling participation slips to record low in 2019 AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Tags: Online Gambling The number of people gambling in Macau dipped to a record low in 2019, according to a survey commissioned by the Social Welfare Bureau, with the number of people identifying as problem gamblers also falling sharply.Based on the answers from 2,003 respondents, the report from the University of Macau estimates that 40.9% of people in the Chinese administrative region gambled in 2019, down from 51.5% in 2016 and the lowest rate ever recorded in similar studies.Some 36.2% of respondents had taken part in commercial gambling during the past 12 months, compared to 44.6% in 2016, while the median spend among gamblers dropped 16.7% from MOP100 (£9.53/€11.11/$13.38) in 2016 to MOP83.3.The Mark Six Lottery game was the most popular form of gambling in the past 12 months with 26.5% of respondents taking part, while social gambling ranked second on 12.6%. Casino gambling had a 9.4% share, ahead of football and basketball betting with 7.6% and slot machine parlours on 4.8%.Betting on football and basketball, and the amount of people playing Chinese lottery, both increased, but there were drops elsewhere. Participation in lottery games, social gambling, slot machine parlour, casinos and horse racing betting all saw declines. Online gambling participation, meanwhile, remained unchanged, having been described as rising in the 2016 edition of the survey, though no percentages were provided in either year.Arcade gaming, with tokens or points that can be converted into money, was included in the survey for the first time and saw a participation rate of 0.7%.In terms of problem gambling, just 16 of the 2,003 respondents, or 0.8% of those who took part, classified as being “probable disordered gamblers”, down from a share of 2.5% of respondents in 2016.However, while 73.7% said that they had heard of the local gambling disorder prevention and treatment centres, this was down from 78.3% in 2016 and 83.0% in 2013. Of those who had heard of such facilities, 30.9% were able to name the centres, a decline on 32.3% in 2016 but much higher than 17.4% in 2013.Reflecting on the findings, the University said that football and basketball betting replaced slot machine parlours as the fourth most popular form of gambling for the first time in 2019. This was boosted by increased activity around the 2018 Fifa World Cup, but the University noted that this dipped significantly after the tournament ended.The University also called for further efforts from both the government and non-government organisations to tackle problem gambling, citing one particular case when an individual highlighted arcade games as the main cause of his gambling disorder.“Even with such a low participation rate (0.7%), there recorded one probable disordered gambler engaging in this activity,” the university said. “This finding is worthy of attention; residents can participate in this kind of gambling activity in Arcade Game Centres, which can easily be located in the community.“As such, it is expected that its participation is not only convenient but is also hidden under arcade games. It is suggested that government and non-government gambling disorder prevention and treatment centres promote and educate the public on the characteristics and the differences between games and gambling so as to reduce the incidence of gambling disorder arising from arcade games.”In the university also flagged that casino gambling was the most popular type of gambling associated with problem behaviour. However, it noted that none of those who took part in the study were classed as having a severe problem, while just six people identified as having a moderate problem.Image: Brenden Brain Email Address Casino & games Regions: China Macau The number of people gambling in Macau dipped to a record low in 2019, according to a survey commissioned by the Social Welfare Bureau, with the number of people identifying as problem gamblers also falling sharply. Topics: Casino & games Legal & compliance Lottery Sports bettinglast_img read more

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Tags: Online Gambling Video Gaming Having rebranded as Bayes Holding, the business formerly known as Dojo Madness believes it can provide the standard of data that could potentially spur on growth in the esports betting market. Casino & games Closing the dojocenter_img 20th March 2020 | By contenteditor Having rebranded as Bayes Holding, the business formerly known as Dojo Madness believes it can provide the standard of data that could potentially spur on growth in the esports betting market.Dojo Madness has been active since 2015, originally providing a technical infrastructure to help gamers improve their play, as a B2C solution. It was particularly successful, with its app used by around 1.5m monthly active users at its peak, making it the most popular consumer solution of its kind for esports.Yet today Dojo Madness is no more, at least in its original form and under that name. The business pivoted to B2B in January this year, alongside a rebrand to Bayes Holding. This, it said at the time, would allow it to pursue much more lucrative opportunities by offering two core products to its corporate partners.As a result, the focus has shifted to esports analytics solution Shadow, effectively the B2C product but with more emphasis on supplying to professional teams, coaches, analysts and players, and Bayes Esports Solutions, its joint venture with Sportradar.Start-up mentality This JV, originally announced in January 2019 and building on a partnership first established in 2016, sees Bayes work with the sports data giant to provide data for betting operators, esports broadcasters and media organisations.Martin Daschselt, chief executive of Bayes Esports Solutions, explains that the shift in approach was under discussion some time.“The B2C model, while it was working, it was very early in this market, so it was a teaching tool rather than pure entertainment product,” he says. “So it was only attractive to a fraction of the players.“Therefore only a small part of our audience was actually monetisable; it’s limited to hardcore gamers.”Dachselt points out that gamers do not stick to a single title. They may begin playing League of Legends, play another for a while, then return to the first.“So the challenge was to develop an app that can support multiple titles,” he continues. “It sounds like a good idea, but is in fact a major challenge to combine all these elements. The biggest problem was the availability of the data.”For League of Legends, this wasn’t so much of a problem, considering Bayes Esports Solutions struck an exclusive worldwide data distribution rights deal with the title’s publisher Riot Games in August 2019. When it came to other titles, however, that sort of OpenAPI simply wasn’t available.While that product still remains part of the business, Dachselt says it’s a smaller component, bringing in €100,000 to €200,000 per month – “not something that’s going to power a company’s growth”.“If you’re trying to build a big player in the esports industry, you need to focus on something,” he says. This, Dachselt adds, is part of the “start-up mentality” necessary for any esports business; in a fast-moving sector, it’s a case of being able to act quickly and decisively that will allow one to rise above the rest.The value of data This has resulted in the B2B shift. Shadow is currently used by around 40% of professional esports teams, while through Solutions it will provide data of a standard that simply isn’t available from other sources.This is underpinned by a technical platform, through which the data can be gathered, processed and distributed. The unique selling point here is that the data is extracted directly from the server, for League of Legends.That’s not something a competitor can easily emulate, according to Mark Balch, who jointly serves as Sportradar’s head of esports, and head of products and partnerships for the joint venture.“The product can’t be created because the material is not available,” he says. “The quality of data depends on the source, so it’s a case of using TV and live broadcasts, it’s all very fast.“In esports not only is it very difficult, it’s almost impossible – if it’s in Brazil, the connection between Europe to Brazil is terrible,” he says. “The further you are from the event, the worse the latency.”Dachselt points out that for a traditional sport, there may be around 15 datapoints to collect. For esports, that jumps to around 250, updated each second.“In some games, it updates every sixtieth of a second,” he says. “Obviously we have to set limits as there would otherwise be way too much.“The interesting point is just how different the two [sporting] worlds are – with tennis you can just copy it off the TV, or have unofficial feeds. In esports, getting that level of data is literally impossible without the source code.”This, Balch says, means Bayes can guarantee the quality of the data, which is especially important for real-money betting. Therefore it’s not about simply selling the data to partners. It works on sponsorship, promotions, community projects and alongside the rights holders to ensure the data is properly leveraged.“We have a bigger vision to help people use the data properly,” he says.Further this aim, Bayes has launched Bedex, which it claims to be the first independent esports data marketplace. Through this, it aims to solve the problem of data rights within the industry.Through Bedex, it offers data from tournament organisers ESL and the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive-focused DreamHack, as well as Riot’s LEC and LCS events, and the developer’s League of Legends world championships. From April, data from Winners League will be added, though by 10 February this year, it had already offered data covering 10,000 esports matches.“For bookmakers and media, they want to offer coverage of all matches and events, and few would say there’s any value in only having a fraction of all the matches available,” Dachselt says. “This is the idea behind it, and we are certainly seeing a level of demand, including from some of the largest players in the betting field.For the media it’s even more important – you want to analyse performance or teams, you want to show all the matches they play in.”“I was talking to the CEO of one of the largest esports tournament organisers, and he was saying the technical components, the negotiations, it was all a nightmare,” he adds. “Having a central marketplace was particularly exciting to him.”It’s certainly a big shift in approach, but as Daschselt says, it’s one that gives Bayes a clearer and potentially more lucrative focus. While traditional sports have seen rights deals become an increasingly fraught topic, especially with recent lawsuits and the opening up of the US market leading to a greater focus on exclusivity, Bayes, through Bedex, may offer a way to democratise data collection at its beginnings.Corona concerns The current situation, with the world in the grip of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, has markedly shifted the position both Bayes, and the wider gambling industry, was in when iGB first spoke to Balch and Daschselt. Sporting events around the world have been cancelled or postponed in a bid to slow the spread of the virus, meaning global betting volume is down by around 60%, according to Dachselt, and liable to fall further. Esports has also been affected, with a number of top-tier offline tournaments cancelled or postponed. Online tournaments, however, are running as normal, with organisers working to convert any land-based events to digital as quickly as possible. This could present a significant growth opportunity for esports betting in the coming months.Dachselt notes that esports betting volume has remained stable to date, and even increased slightly as a result of customers shifting activity from traditional sports. “[We] already were contacted by a substantial number of bookmakers for esports content within the last few days,” he says. However, it’s “too early to say” whether it can mitigate the suspension of traditional sports, he says.“But it seems we are seeing a significant increase in betting volume for esports,” Dachselt adds. “Of course it takes some time for the audience to shift their interest and understand the details of a new sport. So switching a punter from soccer to CS:GO might take some time.”He notes that it usually takes around three months for bookmakers to add new sports to their offerings, something which Bayes aims to expedite by offering “fast and unbureaucratic access” to coverage of events such as ESL and DreamHack, as well as Riot’s League of Legends events. “The goal of this so-called fast track is to help bookmakers bridge the next months,” the supplier explained.This will be complemented by an offer to waive revenue share and reduce minimum fees for new clients by 40%, until 30 June, as well as adding data from more events to its portfolio. Customer adoption, as Dachselt notes, may be slower but as operators in the US ramp up coverage of events ranging from Turkish football and Ultimate Fighting Championship, to even offering odds on chess, there is a clear demand for new sports to at least partially mitigate the suspension of the most popular. Whether or not this will be effective remains to be seen, though it’s clear that at particularly difficult times, the industry has a track record of innovating. For example, the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the UK in 2007 that shut down all horse racing resulted in the emergence of virtual sports. Esports betting, and Bayes, could be well-positioned for a similar leap to prominence. Topics: Casino & games Esports Sports betting Video gaming Email Addresslast_img read more