Peter-Nolan
A different approach to the Americas: Peter Nolan’s last interview with Gambling Insider

25 November 2022 / Interviews

Digitain Group R&D Director Peter Nolan speaks to Gambling Insider about the company’s future in the US, the LatAm market and Luís Figo playing football on an Armenian roof.

Where is Digitain right now in the market and where does it want to be?

It’s in a good state. We’ve just come out of a good conference. We’re looking to expand our global footprint in regulated markets; that’s our target. We’re building sales teams in Latin America and Asia to help support that, and the general sales team has doubled in the region in the last 18 months. We’ve got some good products; in particular, we launched the new platform called Centrivo in the summer and it has had a big impact – so we’re in good shape platform wise. It’s got some really good verticals, support and a lot of tools for the operators: like CRM and an integrated payment gateway, content management system, etc. We bumped up the tools and the whole stability and flexibility of it, where people can quickly change the website and mobile sites to suit their brand. That has been successful so far.

What about the core products?

We upgraded our sportsbook, which is our hero product. Digitain started out in this industry with shops in Armenia and a sports betting B2C. Sports betting was our original business, so we have a large team of traders and risk management people, with algorithms – we’ve upgraded that recently so it’s ready for the World Cup. Also, we launched our online casino studio in the last few months and have signed up over 50 partners on the live casino. That’s a completely new studio built in our Digitain headquarters, which is a state-of-the-art building housing over 2,000 people now. We’re also building another studio so we can offer some more bespoke services to clients.

In terms of sports betting, how interested are you in the US market right now?

It’s on our radar at some point in the future. There are certainly plenty of opportunities there as the various new regulated markets open up. Right now, we have plenty to do, plenty on and are focused on Central European, LatAm and Asian markets. Looking at it, there’s a fight going on in the US, people spending a lot of money in terms of operations, while most people are cutting down on that to save money. However, we’re confident we will achieve growth there over time.

So LatAm is a bigger focus for you in the near future, then?

Yeah, but we want to go into the regulated markets, too. I worked in Brazil for a couple of years, so I know it quite well. We have a couple of good people that work there for us, who are talking to the regulators a lot in Brazil and Argentina. We want to get our products certified for these areas; that’s our aim. However, right now, we’re focused on getting more visibility.

In terms of visibility, it must be great for the brand to have Luís Figo as an ambassador, which Gambling Insider exclusively revealed back in July.

Yes, that’s a big statement for us and our B2B suppliers, as well. Obviously, you get a lot of B2C people with advocates and footballers. So, for our B2B supplier to get him was a big statement. It’s a bit like our show at ICE London: every year it’s a bit bigger, a bit better and represents the confidence we have in the business.

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Interview with Digitain’s new Group COO, Armine Sirunyan

23 November 2022 / Interviews

Digitain’s new Group COO, Armine Sirunyan, speaks to Gambling Insider about her new role within the business and the company’s plans for 2023 and beyond.

Congratulations on your appointment! What was your first thought when you found out you were going to become Group COO?

Excitement! There is a great deal still to achieve and I’m so looking forward to working with colleagues from across the organisation to ensure our continued success. I’m also very thankful to be given this opportunity to continue my journey with this progressive organisation in such an important role.

What is your biggest target as Digitain COO?

There are many and all of them are big and undertaken with strong determination. I would outline, that I am strongly committed to driving continual improvement in how we serve our partners and how we support our teams in ensuring that we deliver the very best standards of customer experience. I would also highlight balancing efficiency with effectiveness – ensuring that all systems and processes across the business are optimised – especially those “moments of truth” that make the real difference to our partners.

How has working at Digitain changed since you joined the company?

We see the advancement of technology in an enormous speed every single day and across all the aspects of our life, which is as well reflected in our work. Saying this, we are now integrating and using machine learning and AI across all our products and services.  Our global footprint has grown significantly as we expand our geography and move into more regulated markets. This in its turn drives us to furnishing our products and services with more market specific functionals and solutions.

Another significant change to me, as to a person who has spent with the company around a decade, is the size and the scale of the team. It used to be a team of few hundreds, and now we have a workforce of over 2000. And it is not only the numbers that matter. I am very proud to see that we have built a diverse and multifunctional team covering various professions, talents and new directions. Another change I would highlight, is the complexity of products. Digitain used to be a sportsbook-oriented provider-sportsbook being the first product it introduced to the market. Now we are a multi-vector business, offering wider range of products and solutions and continuously heading towards new business directions.   

Finally, what are the company’s biggest goals for 2023?

We follow through our goal to enter more regulated markets globally and expand our geographical presence. This, in its turn, drives us to constantly developing our product base – including live casino, sportsbook, payment gateway and RGS.

We are very much focused on creation and development of our in-house products, and ensuring that those are equipped with constantly evolving, top-notch and competitive features.  Some of our in-house products have succeeded to an extent that they have grown into stand-alone companies and are creating their own success path.

As a client- centric company, we are committed to putting our best effort, our in-house expertise and knowledge to facilitate the sustainable growth and development of the business of our partners. We keep on being innovative and taking every opportunity to delight our new and existing partners with new offerings that will reinforce their competitive position in the market. And last, but not the least, we have an ultimate vision to grow the technical skill base in Armenia (as a centre of excellence) via company initiatives such as M1TQ.

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Interview with Digitain’s Chief of Sportsbook Product, Zohrab Karapetyan

23 November 2022 / Interviews

Digitain’s Zohrab Karapetyan talks exclusively to G3 magazine about the company’s expectations of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and his plans to deliver a special sportsbook experience.

What opportunities does the upcoming World Cup present the sports betting industry?

We expect betting levels to significantly exceed those seen in the 2018 tournament. If you look at the betting history of the World Cup, the betting turnover has grown over every tournament since Italia ’90 and we do not feel this pattern will change.

It has been estimated that the total amount of bets placed globally on the 2018 World Cup Finals exceeded €130 billion, an average per match of €2.1 billion, with over €7 billion being gambled on the France v Croatia final. That is spectacular and just underlines the popularity of football across the world.

Since then, a number of significant new markets have been regulated and interest in football continues to grow, so we are confident that, despite this tournament being the first one to be held in winter, the 2022 World Cup will beat all records for betting handle.

Excitement for the Qatar World Cup has been comparatively muted, namely due to the human rights abuses committed in the region, the excessive cost of travel and tickets, a disrupted domestic calendar, and the sweltering heat that is likely impact on the quality of matches being played. Nonetheless, does the tournament have the potential to still be an engaging and entertaining betting experience?

We’re confident that this year’s tournament will deliver some great viewing and betting experiences, with regular bettors on premium football switching to betting on the tournament.

There could be some impact on the dynamic nature of the games, given the heat of Qatar, even at his time, but I think the levels of excitement of watching the world’s best teams will overcome any potential obstacles. It’s going to be a wonderful spectacle, in my opinion.

Do you anticipate greater betting engagement rates than Russia four years ago? 

From a Digitain perspective, our partner network has grown significantly since the last World Cup, so we will obviously see much higher volumes being processed through our platform than previously. However, as stated above, we still feel that our World Cup 2022 organic growth with be significant over the previous competition.

How will overall betting spend on the tournament be impacted by the cost-of-living crisis? As mortgage payments continue to rise, energy bills soar and with Christmas around the corner, how will sports betting handle be impacted? 

Traditionally, sports betting tends to be recession-proof to a large extent, although the global economic picture this year may test that theory.  However, I think the World Cup is such an iconic tournament, with high-profile games coming thick and fast, that the overall spend will still increase over previous tournaments.

 It would not be surprising if this year’s World Cup generates over €250 billion in stakes, with football fans ignoring the controversies surrounding the event and focusing on the spectacle.

How have operator partners approached the winter tournament differently to a traditional summer event? What have been the biggest hurdles with the different timing?

The games are being played at 6pm and 11pm locally, which is reasonably attractive from a European, African, Asian and even North and South American betting fan’s perspective, fairly similar to current domestic league timing – so our partners are not expecting too much disruption to their normal operational processes.

From a partner perspective – there will be an obvious impact on the expected betting handle on the domestic football leagues, especially the key European ones; the Premier League, the Bundesliga, Primera Liga and Serie A, that all plan to take a six week break when the World Cup is on. However, this should balance out as the postponed games will be squeezed into an extended season ending later than usual at the end of May 2023.

What betting trends are you anticipating for this World Cup? Are we likely to see a greater focus on outright betting or bet builders? 

Outright betting is always popular on football tournaments, particularly the World Cup where you see lots of “patriotic” bets, especially if the team have a successful run in the competition and the nation and media get behind them.

From an operator perspective, the key period for revenue in the tournament is the Group stage where we they will see the most money bet per day, due, of course, to the number of games being played. As the tournament progresses the games become more spread out and there is less daily betting activity. 

What features, products and innovations have you lined up to coincide with the World Cup?

We understand the importance of the World Cup for our partners, so we have been busy preparing some new offers, promotions and additional content for them to ensure their players remain engaged and loyal for the duration of the tournament.

We have developed a World Cup Predictor game that operators can customise to suit their marketplace and can reward their players with prizes or free bets.

As well as this, we have launched a new World Cup Player Tournament application, allowing our partners’ players to participate and win prizes based on their skills in predicting and betting on the competition results.

We have a wealth of new bonuses, bet boosters and promos dedicated for the competition – one of my favourites is our “2 Goal Early Pay-out” offer, where we will settle bets as winners if a team goes ahead in a match. It applies to both singles and multi bets – so is bound to be a winner with players who like to re-invest.

Finally, your pick of this year’s winner…

I think England will have good tournament despite recent form, but France may find it is very difficult to defend the trophy –it hasn’t been done since Brazil in 1962.

Belgium at 16/1 and Croatia at 50/1 a are good each-way bets, but I might have a small bet on Argentina at around 7/1 to win – they always turn up at the big tournaments.

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Peter Nolan’s interview with iNTERGAMINGi

12 September 2022 / Interviews

In the latest edition of Intergamingi’s Magazine, Digitain’s Research & Development Director, Peter Nolan, shares his thoughts on the key elements that need to be in place in order to build a successful sports betting business.

 

What are the major challenges when building a sports betting platform?

 I think it’s easier to discuss what I believe you have to get right in order to develop (and by the way, continue to develop) a successful sports betting platform.

 

I won’t go into the technology stack required, someone more informed is best covering that, although aspects such as speed, security and stability are obviously paramount. From a customer perspective there are a number of key things that have to be delivered if you want a sportsbook to be successful and these include the effectiveness of on-boarding, the range and quality of the sports betting content, the overall user experience and the comprehensiveness of the payment solutions provided.

 

A lot of marketing money gets spent in acquiring customers, so it’s important that the first experience a user has is an excellent one, so the registration journey has to be seamless, logical and quick. Verification, depending on the local regulations, has to be as painless a process as you can make it, and communication to new customers needs to be as clear and reassuring as possible.

 

It goes without saying that content is king for a sports betting platform, so a comprehensive range of global sports betting opportunities has to be delivered. A full range of betting markets and competitive odds to go with these opportunities are also required, plus the trading skills to deliver sustainable revenue stream for your partners is pretty important too.

 

Live betting is the hero product, and this has got to be delivered instantly and accurately, along with other supporting content via, in our case, our Live Match tracker, to ensure the best experience for the customers. In our case AI technology as well as a suite of algorithms, as well as our large team of traders, are used to ensure our in-play service is among the best available.

 

A recent YouGov research article regarding the Champions League final indicated that for bettors, user experience was the main driver in their selection of bookmaker. Odds, especially in-play, can be commoditised, so user experience delivered is paramount. This includes many factors including delivering intuitive navigation, ease of bet placement, market availability and speed of bet settlement. Also includes ensuring all the above is fit for purpose for a range of international markets.

 

Finally, payments. Customers have to be able to transact effectively with the operators so providing a wide range of methods is a key capability.  Processing deposits AND withdrawals quickly and securely is pretty obvious but are clear “moments of truth” for the customers.

 

Developing a platform which allows your partners the flexibility to provide a localised solution, no matter where they are in the world, so that they can successfully differentiate their offering is also a massive requirement. The challenge here from a provider perspective is to do this for all your partners on your network while maintaining and developing the overall technology to handle the change management and deliver the always-growing product roadmap.

 

 

How do you streamline your pre-match, live odds and live data services?

 

We have a large team of odds compilers, traders and risk managers involved in the process, who use a range of AI tools and feeds to manage this process. On average we supply around 90,000 live betting events each month to our partners, so speed and accuracy are obviously very important, and technology plays a large part in making this happen.

 

We have a very comprehensive Live Match tracker which combines a multitude of data feeds from 15,000 leagues and competitions globally, providing users with lots of useful stats and an interactive overview of live events.

 

What is the role played by digital marketing and gamification tools?

 

Not really my area of expertise, but I believe that having an effective digital marketing strategy and the capabilities and people to optimise it is a key strategic requirement for any sportsbook operator. Brand marketing is also important in order to gain trust and awareness for new ventures. However digital marketing (which is pretty multi-faceted) is most important for recruitment and retention of customers, via known approaches as SEO, paid search, social marketing. An effective CRM solution, where operators can develop a longer-term relationship with customers is another important requirement that needs to be part of the digital marketing toolbox.

 

Gamification is an interesting point. For a lot of customers, a sportsbook is a destination site – they arrive having a clear view what to bet they want to bet on, so the operator’s job is to make that an easy journey. Making the experience of placing a bet more gamified, or perhaps more entertaining – is an interesting discussion point. For me the entertainment delivered by having a bet is when watching the event, not in the transaction. However, I know that gamification is an area of interest for a lot of users and operators, and I hear lots of noise coming from the US about how this can be better introduced. Be interesting to see if there is any innovation emerging soon.

 

 

Where do affiliate systems and risk management fit into the picture?

 

Separately I’d say!

 

Affiliates are a vital part of the iGaming marketing ecosystem, generating new customer traffic streams for sportsbook operators, and even, in some cases, helping the long-term retention of customers. An effective affiliate system, where these partners are helped in the promotion of your business, and where communication and reporting of affiliate performance is available, can be an important part of the overall marketing strategy.

 

Rick management falls under the Trading umbrella. Provision of a wide range of sporting events, markets and competitive odds, as discussed above, is absolutely required if a sports betting business is to attract customers. An effective risk management team, and their supporting systems, is required if you want to have a successful, sustainable and profitable business.

 

In which markets does your company currently operate?

 

Digitain’s partner network of over 150 operators is mainly located in Europe, although we have partners also in Asia, Africa and Latam.

 

As the company continues to grow, which new markets are you looking to venture into and why?

 

We are building up our international sales team capabilities currently and are looking especially at new regulated markets, in Latam and elsewhere. We believe that we have the experience, technology and knowledge, as a business that started off as an operator, to be able to help new business be successful in these new emerging markets. Our flexible platform and our fantastic product and technology teams allow us to get our partners to market quickly, with a highly competitive offering, whatever the regulations require.

 

Why do you believe your company resonates with bettors?

 

As mentioned, we started off as operators ourselves, before becoming B2B suppliers. I think we understand well the operators needs and challenges, and we have built a business to ensure that our partners’ success is our success too. We have developed a highly effective and profitable sportsbook, delivered via Centrivo, our new fully featured iGaming platform which provides everything required to build a sustainable sports betting business. On top of that, we support our partners through the whole process, up to launch, with licensing, payment processing and marketing strategy guidance.

 

 

Where do you see the industry headed in the next year?

 

The economic challenges with cost-of -living increases globally are a concern, although, historically, sports betting business have been recession proof in the past. So, it will be interesting to see if there will be any reduction in consumer overall share of wallet for betting or recreational purposes.

 

On a positive note, innovation generally emerges from challenging periods, as business seek to be either more effective or more efficient – with the customers, hopefully, the main beneficiaries.

 

At Digitain, we have a team specialising in developing additional AI and machine-learning solutions to make our products even more advanced and more attractive to our partners.

 

Improving the speed and accuracy of sporting and odds and data, to improve the overall user experience seems to be a clear trajectory for the industry – as operators look to grow the live betting part of the business. Streaming will be focused upon, improved and made more immersive, with additional sports discovered.

Source: iNTERGAMINGi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Live Games Are The Key To Acquiring And Retaining Players
“Live Games Are The Key To Acquiring And Retaining Players,” Interview With Digitain

31 May 2019 / Interviews

Developer of products for online bookmakers and gambling facilities Digitain will once again become an exhibitor at RGW Moscow 2019. Learn more about what the company will present at the booth this year.

Digitain offers customers a complex solution for the gambling industry – a multi-channel platform in the form of the turnkey or white-label solution. The platform offers operators sportsbook software, casino modules, payment gateway, and 24/7 customer support. The sportsbook product covers over 30,000 live events per month in more than 65 sports, and the casino module provides access to over 3,000 games from NetEnt, Microgaming, and Playson.

In the interview, the chief commercial officer of Digitain Suren Khachatryan spoke about characteristics of the platform and the potential of live games.

Interviewer: RGW Moscow 2019 (RGW)
Respondent: Suren Khachatryan (S.K.)

Tell us about your sportsbook software. What are the key features and how many platforms have already integrated the technologies?

Digitain’s powerful sportsbook software caters to a burgeoning portfolio of operators across the globe. It provides an intuitive multi-lingual, multi-currency, customizable interface that can be easily integrated, using unique APIs, with new or existing platforms, whether you are an online or land-based operator. Our current figure for platform partnerships numbers in excess of 100 operators.

In-play functionality, with one of the most responsive Cashout features on the market, constitutes a particular focus. Running off rapid-fire pricing models, Digitain partners now enjoy the most sophisticated and reactive in-play odds, with competitive pricing on all sports arriving in time for the climax of a spectacular summer of sport – from the Africa Cup of Nations next month to the grand slam tennis at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, we’ve got it covered.


In which markets does the company operate and how does it adapt to the industry regulation in different regions?

The key – wherever you stick your pin on the map – is a flexible platform which can adapt to meet the specific demands and regulations of any territory. From our established base, CIS-facing base in Eastern Europe (and with licences being processed in the UK, Malta, Romania, Colombia, South Africa and America) we are breaking out into fresh and newly-regulated markets from Asia to Africa and Latin America. Then, of course, there is the U.S., now a year on from PASPA’s milestone repeal, which naturally represents a huge opportunity.

 

Digitain’s regulatory and compliance team is continually monitoring markets and emerging jurisdictions for the latest trends and changes which can impact our partners’ business operations. As a result, we can provide clients with initial or on-going support, as they require. Furthermore, Digitain is committed to a multi-jurisdictional licensing and certification strategy within international regulated markets to ensure exacting technical and legislative compliance is delivered to all our clients.


You help platforms implement live and skill games. Tell us how you develop such games and how they can develop in the future.

Depending on the territory, live and skill games rise and fall in popularity. Consequently, you need a comprehensive gaming suite in order to speak to players’ gaming proclivities, which can vary greatly according to cultural taste. I am delighted to say we have both recruited and developed a wide range of such games, which allow our partners access to the latest live and skill-based games that will enable any brand to reach new player demographics that can help drive bottom line revenue and profits.

 

Of course, the rise of live games comes as little surprise, since they offer the player a more tactile and engaging experience which can only enhance dwell time – the Holy Grail for any online service. Each of these games is easily integrated by Digitain, providing hassle-free frictionless accessibility to more engaging content. Ultimately, that is the key to acquiring, retaining and cross-selling players.


Share with us the most successful and interesting projects of implementation of your technologies. What results have the gaming platforms reached with your software?

Our integration with NOVOMATIC’s Interactive division is obviously a recent highlight, harnessingan outstanding selection of Greentube’s market-leading slots to the Digitain platform for distribution into new markets. However, rolling the clock back to last year’s football World Cup in Russia might be more instructive as a paradigm of what we can do for successfully migrating online casino players to sportsbook – and vice versa.

 

Our deal with Pokerdom, the largest online poker operation in the CIS, certainly proved a happy convergence of timing and geography. Pokerdom had been looking to secure a top-notch sportsbook supplier for some time, with an eye to exporting their clients over to a new sports-betting vertical before the curtain was drawn back on the World Cup Russia in their own backyard. The deal allowed us to stake another flag in the CIS sands, where shared venue and time zone meant their players are primed to follow all the action at peak times throughout the tournament, benefiting from Digitain’s myriad of pre-play, in-play and Cashout options on every World Cup game, available through both our online and offline channels.

 

Tellingly, our platform showcased 99.99% uptime availability, and accommodated peak demands which generally come prior to match kick-off and of course in-play.


What solutions are you going to showcase to attendees in the exhibition area of the Russian Gaming Week?

Currently, Digitain is all set for the exhibition, where my sales staff and I will be on hand to demonstrate Digitain’s leading tools and technologies. We will also provide delegates with an invaluable insight into our hotly anticipated new games, alongside the entire product portfolio. We will present solutions and services for online and land-based operations to spread our mantra across Asia: If it is iGaming, we do it!

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