Interview with Digitain’s new Group COO, Armine Sirunyan

23 November 2022 / Other

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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G3 Magazine
Interview with Digitain’s Chief of Sportsbook Product, Zohrab Karapetyan

23 November 2022 / Other

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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Digitain’s Sportsbook quality recognised in Nordic Region

10 November 2022 / Awards

We feel honoured and delighted to have received another prestigious award for our Sports Betting Platform and the many teams who work so hard to make it the successful solution it is.

The Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Awards 2022 named us the Best Sports Betting Provider in the Nordic region at the ceremony which took place in Tallin in May 2022.

Simon Westbury, Digitain’s Chief Business Officer commented, “It is wonderful to receive industry recognition for such an important element of our product portfolio. It will encourage us to do even more to improve the player experience and to always expand, develop and provide our partners with even more improved iGaming solutions. Congratulations to the Digitain team for their continued efforts to excel. Many thanks also to the Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Awards for this award.”

About DIGITAIN

DIGITAIN is a sportsbook and casino platform provider offering best of breed turn-key and API solutions. The company’s primary focus is on the regulated European market, with ambitious plans to expand its geographical footprint into the Americas and Asia. It employs more than 700 of the brightest trading minds in the gaming industry (part of a wider workforce of over 1,700 staff) with the aim of providing a one-stop-shop for its customers.

The multi-channel Digitain Gaming Platform allows operators to plug-in sportsbook, casino, live dealer and virtual sports modules, and includes an integrated payment gateway, bonus engine, CRM system and dedicated customer support. Its sportsbook product covers 100 sports, taking in 15,000 leagues, and offers more than 3,000 betting markets. It also offers odds on 90,000 live events each month, while its casino solution has 10,000-plus games from major casino suppliers such as Novomatic, Microgaming, NetEnt and Yggdrasil.

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Digitain events
Simon Westbury: Post-ICE 2020

03 March 2020 / Other

A friend of mine told me a few years ago, “Simon, you do not have a reverse gear – it’s like you hurtle down the motorway through a 50mph traffic zone – leaving traffic cones flying in your rear view mirror”.

Never has that felt more true than after another ICE filled with back to back meetings from sunrise to sundown. With the show now in the rear-view mirror, and after accelerating through, we’re certainly ready for the hard work to begin.

As some of my readers may remember, I mentioned in my pre-ICE blog a number of key buzz words I expected to be on the cards this year, and I plan to revisit these soon enough. Before we get started however, I’d like to give kudos to the fantastic marketing team at Digitain, who created the perfect base of operations for our team at our stand over the three days.

Admittedly, my friends may suggest I’m somewhat biased, but if there was an award going for best stand showcase; I’d be throwing our hat into the ring. The stand encapsulated all that makes us one of the world’s favourite platforms: a true visual representation as to how we are powering innovation on a global scale.

This leads me nicely on to the subject of today’s blog: Innovation. In my pre-ICE piece, I promised my readers I’d take a venture into ICE’s North Hall to take casino’s pulse – but I’ll be honest, not only was the lure of Digitain’s stand holding me back, but my meeting schedule ensured I barely had time to conduct my research.

So, in the interest of providing a report based on my own findings, we’ll stick to innovation in sportsbook and virtuals as these were in immediate vicinity of Camp Digitain in the South Hall.

Starting with virtuals, we certainly had a strong line-up, with the usual suspects to consider, and plenty of ICE-timed product launches on show.

Kiron were on hand to showcase its new in-house built virtual football, with Inspired also rolling out its version, with women’s soccer also proving to be an industry first. Global Bet got in on the action too, unveiling its take on the beautiful game. Golden Race also had its virtual football product up and running, with the key differentiator being its full toolkit of products were ready to be delivered.

Of course, ICE wouldn’t be ICE without some “vapour wear” – or in other words, products that are meant to be ready “in the next few months”, but likely won’t be until ICE 2021, so I’ll remain cautiously optimistic as to when they’ll launch.

Rumours were also abound from the North Hall that Pragmatic Play had dipped a tentative toe into the virtuals market, with plenty of leading industry luminaries hovering anxiously around the Pragmatic Stand to check out the new kid on the block. With virtuals set to be a key vertical for 2020, I certainly don’t blame them.

More interesting for me however (when it comes to the innovation side), will be how the existing graphics vs. maths play out over the year for virtuals. I’d advise my fellow industry hawks to keep an eye on Highlight Games given their recent Italy success and their changes at Executive level (congratulations Nick and Steve!).

Moving on to my second topic – sportsbook, and we’ll take a slightly different direction. Forgive me for being blunt to my industry peers, but market-leading launches certainly dropped off the agenda this year. Marketing upgrades for existing tools seem to be 2020 focus, and I can’t say I was particularly blown away.

Of course, that wasn’t the case at Camp Digitain, where we kicked off the show by celebrating our Malta B2B Licence. Regulation, while frustrating at times, is also key to our growth – and the endorsement of Malta’s regulatory authority is one we fully embrace at Digitain. In terms of launches, our market-leading API solution proved particularly popular this year with our Asian visitors, as well as our friends and partners who came to congratulate us on our latest licence.

Following on from ICE Africa at the close of the year, we also saw plenty of visitors eager to learn more about our African View portfolio; including one of our competitors referring a customer to us as a better solution! That’s not to mean that we should be resting on our laurels of course. Expect to see plenty more focus on Africa in 2020.

Our CEE products also garnered plenty of interest, with our recent Romania licence establishing our credentials in the region. While I won’t bore you too much on regulation; I will say that if you want to scale on the global stage, you’d better be prepared to embrace it.

Taking off my sales hat, the majority of industry-focused discussions were around AI and sportsbook personalisation. Alongside, my Betting on Sports interview where I touched on ‘Digiflix’ certainly caused a stir. Those who read my ramblings regularly know how I’m a proponent of this kind of tech. So to see plenty of talk focused around AI – and the questions we need to ask around player protection and user experience, certainly impressed me.

For team Digitain, AI and personalised tech will be at the heart of what we do this year. Google has encapsulated it rather well in switching their mantra from ‘mobile-first’ to ‘AI-first’. While we may not be in their weight class (yet), I can certainly promise you our latest AI driven platform and suite of products will do better than my working title of ‘Digiflix!’.

Last but not least, I’d like to offer my congratulations to Clarion for another great event. Its dedication to ensuring that we (as an industry) represented ourselves in good form was fantastic, despite the appearance of numerous UK journalists who had clearly decided what to write about before they visited. Although having said that, kudos to Flavio Grasselli, who gave the most romanticised quote I have ever seen printed in gambling! Going forward; initiatives such as All in Diversity’s Open Doors will no doubt prove to be a gamechanger, and definitely have cause for celebration. I said before ICE if the industry represented ourselves well, we may get a B-, but after an ICE where I think existing themes and discussions were solidified, we can upgrade to a B.

To sign off, I’ll leave you with my favourite ICE quote: if you have a good ICE you have a good year. While the hard work may start now, 2020 looks very promising for Digitain and I hope the same goes for the industry as a whole. My best to you all.

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Digitain continues global expansion with Portugal and Romania debuts
Digitain continues global expansion with Portugal and Romania debuts

27 February 2020 / Other

Leading platform provider Digitain has launched its award-winning product offering in Romania and Portugal.

After receiving dual certifications from one of the UK’s most reputable laboratories, Gaming Associates Europe Limited, Digitain can now provide Portuguese and Romanian partners with its market-leading sportsbook.

The move further boosts Digitain’s extensive international reach, with the double bill of Gaming Associates accreditations enabling the company to supply its sportsbook across markets where EU-based regulators do not mandate individual compliance checks.

Nora Galstyan, Compliance Manager at Digitain said: “Going live in Portugal and Romania is another win in our ambitious plans for continued international expansion, with plenty of other exciting market entries also in the pipeline for 2020.

“The debuts allow us to further enlarge our operator network, giving a range of Portuguese and Romanian operators the chance to service their sportsbook with one of the most respected global platforms on the market.”

Providing an intuitive multi-lingual, multi-currency, customisable interface that can be easily integrated, Digitain’s unique APIs allow for a bespoke service with both new and existing platforms for online and land-based operators, wherever they are on the continent.

In total, Digitain’s sportsbook powers over 100 global partners’ betting operations, covers 65 sports, 7,500 leagues, and offers more than 3,000 markets.

It also offers odds on 35,000 live events each month, while its casino solution has 3,000-plus games from major casino suppliers (such as Novomatic, Microgaming, NetEnt and Playson).

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Malta Gaming Authority New Licence Digitain
Digitain granted B2B licence from MGA

04 February 2020 / Other

Sports betting and casino platform provider Digitain has been granted a B2B Critical Gaming Supply Licence from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), expanding its presence across the European market.

The new licence will allow Digitain to supply a wide array of Tier 1 B2C operators across Malta, as well as extending its global player reach. Digitain will also be authorised to form strategic commercial partnerships in addition to its 100+ partner portfolios covering 65 sports, 7,500 leagues, and over 3,000 markets.

Suren Khachatryan, Chief Commercial Officer at Digitain, said: “This new licence deepens our access to a key market, giving further recognition to a market-leading portfolio that received a host of prestigious industry awards last year.

“As well as being an important milestone for the company, the news affords more operators the chance to take advantage of our best-in-class sportsbook and casino technology. From highly advanced turn-key and white-label solutions to our premium quality in-house game collection, we’re on track to deliver another record-breaking year.”

In December 2019, Digitain was given the green light to expand into Romania after gaining a Class 2 licence certification from the Romanian National Gambling Office (ONJN).

The certification allows Digitain to roll out its full range of services across Romania’s regulated space, while licensed digital and retail operators in Romania will gain full access to Digitain’s entire product portfolio and software including the latest Random Number Generator (RNG) from ID Quantique.

 

Source: sbcnews.co.uk

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Looking-To-ICE-Predicting-The-Buzzwords
Looking To ICE: Predicting The Buzzwords Of 2020 | Part 2

08 January 2020 / Uncategorized

Innovation:

It just wouldn’t be ICE without the industry patting themselves on the back, saying how innovative we are. I take a slightly different view, however. I believe, yes, we are innovative but we can do so much more. Over the last few years we have seen innovation be tied up in words such as gamification and the development of new verticals like eSports. Last year, though, we saw great innovation from companies such as Trustly who introduced their ground-breaking Pay N Play.

Casino Innovation – The Northside:

ICE was always viewed as the great unveiling of new innovations. However, with the growth of international conferences, some of these innovations are drip-fed to us in the build-up to ICE. At SIGMA, we saw Leander Games launch their Dynamic Ways product which offers up to 117,649 pay lines. Yggdrasil have launched their Splitz product, while I have read good things about Unibo’s products on LinkedIn. All these product launches are leading towards increased player engagement.
Needless to say, player engagement is not a new phenomenon. Way back in 2011 when I was at Amaya, a good friend of mine who created slots told me the key to a good slot is giving the player the belief that their skill was influencing the outcome of the game. One of the more interesting tools we had for player engagement at the time was our Bars N Bells slot – in this slot, if the player had not one anything in four spins, they were guaranteed a win on the fifth Spin. This was interesting because on the fourth spin, the player was engaged to lose because they knew a prize would be guaranteed on the next cycle. Even with the probability of a win on the fifth spin being less than the win occurring on the fourth spin.
Leading the way in player engagement and innovation, in my humble opinion, is a new and upcoming slots provider in Swintt. To me, through their understanding of gamification – shunning the easy route of creating a tournament or simply sticking a leaderboard on a slot – they have embraced gamification at its core. Their product combines contests, achievements, missions and CRM tools which notify operators of players unclaimed rewards or nearly-completed challenges to engage with the player.
This is heightened gamification, only enhanced when combined with Swintt’s Play-it-back elements which bring a charitable element to their content. As they progressive through games, players are able make continued rolling contributions to charity that are tangible and quantifiable. Visual representations of real-life impact represent the driver and differentiation for Swintt’s PositivePlay product. For example, rather than a contribution of revenues from the game going to charity, or being absorbed into a bank account, the contribution could be tracked on bottles of water donated to remote villages in Africa, or shoes bought for children in Bangladesh or, more in line with the zeitgeist, kilos of plastic collected from the ocean.
Swintt are my tip for a company to watch in terms of Innovation in casino gaming, but I also must mention Green Jade Games and their fun coin-tossing game, where the player bets simply on a coin toss of heads versus tails, genius in its simplicity.

Sportsbook Innovation – The Southside:

To me, ICE 2020 innovation in terms of pure sportsbook will be around the incorporation of AI and sportsbook personalization. I have outlined my thoughts many times on this and for a snapshot, take a look at my recent interview at Betting On Sports. My thoughts here are clear that as industry we can do better in terms of personalization, and AI is a contributing factor here.
Consequently, I believe AI is going to be another core discussion point at the ExCeL. But as I realise I am wittering on already, please click through to my AI blog for more in-depth comment. In short, though, the key learning for me from a recent panel I moderated in Bulgaria (comprised of delegates far more qualified than me in AI) was that we are not just failing to ask the right questions when it comes to using AI but also only harnessing between 5% and 20% of its potential at the moment.
Without wishing to sound like Martin Luther King, I have a dream that one day I will log into a sportsbook and I will arrive in a fully personalised space, solely focused on entertaining me. Mr. Green, way back in 2011, were using AI to promote slots relevant to a player’s history of slots, so this is very possible and does not represent new ground in theory. Digitain’s bet-recommendation engine is the next step that we are taking as a company in this domain, progress which I hope will soon lead to what I will call Digibet.

M&A

The first morning of ICE was once always characterised by the latest big Playtech acquisition, which looked to set the tone for the forthcoming year. Now the industry has moved on, with Playtech flexing their muscles less overtly than in the past – and with more and more M&A taking place throughout the year.
This year we have seen Flutter Entertainment merge with The Stars Group – this merger is set to be completed in the third quarter of 2020, with a shareholder vote in the second quarter. NetEnt have purchased Red Tiger, while Sportradar acquired Optima. This trend towards more and more M&A in 2020 is becoming somewhat irresistible, due to the constraints of diversification, operators wanting to own their own software, ramping regulation and higher costs of development. Let’s hope such M&A can increase innovation and enhance the player experience. I remember when the young rockstars of the industry left the corporate companies that they were working for, breathing new life into the slots market, in particular the birth of QuickSpin. Let’s hope from all the cash that is made through M&A this year can promote increasing innovation.
I am not in a position to predict the next big piece of M&A news. Sure, the long-rumoured acquisition of SBTech by Draft Kings turned out to be an open secret, but in an industry of so many moving parts, it’s perhaps best to keep an open mind and only firmly believe something will happen when it is signed in blood. Just think back to when Betfair and Bwin were going to merge, only for Party and Bwin to become bedfellows. That said, it would not be ICE without the rumour, conjecture and rank hypothesizing around who is buying whom.

eSports & Virtuals

eSports, is without doubt a growing area of interest and was one of the focal buzzwords as far back as ICE 2017, with a number of different companies hosting small tournaments. The importance of eSports has continued to grow and is offering a new vertical for the next generation of igaming enthusiasts. I have one problem with eSports in that we are told to “trust the game” and if those participating in tournaments find a bug (as happened recently) we are supposed to just accept this… but both teams could have found the bug and exploited this. If I was a customer betting on this personally, I would feel a little aggrieved that my bet was placed without knowing this bug existed, and I could’ve done my dough due to the bug. At least with slots, you know they are GLi-certified in more than cases than not and can play accordingly.
Virtual sports have been a solid driver in the growth of the Southside at ICE and they will remain a key area to watch in 2020. Last year, Global Bet unveiled their Pro Series Football to much acclaim and we have seen Highlight Games launch very successfully in Italy this year, having secured the NBA rights for their basketball product. It is also rumoured that a leading supplier of virtuals, whose chink in the armour had for a long time been a lack of their own proprietary football product, are unveiling their first in-house football product this year. No discussion on virtuals would be complete without mentioning Golden Race who are seen by many as the leader in this field. If gossip is the be believed, they will be launching a new version of their football product at ICE this year, which will combine improved graphics with their market-leading maths models. Elsewhere, don’t be surprised if Pragmatic Play back up their acquisition of VSoftCo last year by launching their own take on virtual sports. When selecting a virtual partner, it is always important not to be blinded by the increasingly life-like graphics on display but to check the maths models under the bonnet provide a healthy beating heart to complement the beautiful graphic creations we see.
My overarching feeling, like many of my school reports, is that we doing are ok but have the potential to do so much better. Let’s hope ICE 2020 can move us from a C+ to B- and possibly with a bit of ingenuity to a solid B. See you all at ICE 2020. And remember, we are an entertainment industry at our core. Feel free to drop by Digitain’s stand at S2-350 to say hi. I look forward to separating helpful reality from the hype and the practical utility from the buzzwords!

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Digitain Attends Ice London
Digitain To Unveil Global 2020 Portfolio At ICE London

08 January 2020 / Uncategorized

Leading platform provider Digitain is gearing up to showcase its full portfolio of 2020 trading tools and products at this year’s ICE London in February.

The supplier’s state-of-the-art sportsbook platform is set to take centre stage at stand S2-350 from 4-6th February 2020, with its team on hand to advise delegates on its ground-breaking strategies, products and trading tools in store for 2020.

Tailor-made for the demands of live betting in a diverse legislative landscape, Digitain’s comprehensive package of solutions received multiple awards in 2019 for its operational excellence, including the RGW, CEEGC, BEGE and EGR Awards.

Providing an intuitive multi-lingual, multi-currency, customisable interface that can be easily integrated, Digitain’s unique APIs allow for a bespoke service with both new and existing platforms for online and land-based operators, wherever they are on the continent.

In total, Digitain’s sportsbook powers over 100 global partners’ betting operations, covers 65 sports, 7,500 leagues, and offers more than 3,000 markets. It also offers odds on 35,000 live events each month, while its casino solution has 3,000-plus games from major casino suppliers (such as Novomatic, Microgaming, NetEnt and Playson).

Demonstrating its growing global leadership and latest strategies, its delegates will be spearheaded by Digitain’s senior leadership team, including the company’s CCO, Suren Khachatryan.

Commenting on the company’s agenda for the conference, Suren Khachatryan, CCO at Digitain said: “As we’ve seen from our record-breaking year in 2019, more and more operators are choosing Digitain to power their sportsbook – and I’m delighted to see our team going from strength-to-strength in every market they operate.

“ICE London is far and above one of the industry’s leading shows, and we can’t wait to showcase our sports and casino technology to show why we plan to be the world’s leading software partner by the close of 2020.”

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Digitain Platform Architecture
Looking To ICE: Predicting The Buzzwords Of 2020

28 December 2019 / Uncategorized

With Christmas firmly in the rear-view mirror, the gaming world’s gaze turns to ICE, where the industry will converge on London in February and take over the ExCeL, turning the exhibition hall into a crowded marketplace of competing buzzwords. All of which takes me back to my very first ICE 13 years ago when I was a young, wet-behind-the-ears conference producer pounding the floor looking for exhibitors to spare me some time within which I could sell them a conference package for a boutique C-Level event in Madrid.

I remember approaching one international provider to close a rather substantial deal, which was going to fund that year’s cricket tour, with an equal measure of anticipation and trepidation. When the deal was done, I then had to convince said provider that importing a seven-foot statue of the Incredible Hulk to Madrid did not quite fit the ethos of the event. However, the cricket tour was paid for, so all was well. I remember those days of ICE at Earl’s Court with nostalgia and possibly a bleary-eyed focus on the hedonistic days of starting out in gaming. As with all industries, gaming is fluid and always moving forward, so it wasn’t long before ICE decamped to it is new home at the ExCeL.

However, despite the nostalgia (and thankfully many fewer bleary-eyed memories!) some themes have remained constant over the past 13 years. ICE always seemed to throw up a theme or buzzword that the event supposedly hinged on. I recall that social gaming was going to be the next big thing until someone pointed out that the social gaming might need to be regulated. Then there was “omnichannel”, swiftly followed by eSports. More recently, AI and blockchain have been words that have been on the tip of everyone’s tongue. I even remember being at ICE two years ago seeing an exhibitor hastily adding the words “Blockchain Compatible” to his exhibition stand. Ever curious, I asked how his product was “Blockchain Compatible”, only to receive the response: “I do not know, mate. But everyone is talking about Blockchain, so I thought I would stick it on my stand!”

Of course, not all change is bad. And as an ex-chairman of a large publicly-listed gaming company said to me not long ago: “Simon, it’s time for me to retire – at my last conference, I was coming in from the night out to see the young gun CEOs of gaming companies at the gym. I mean how I am supposed to do business with them?”

In recent times, gaming has grown up or possibly become more professional – and with that, ICE has taken on life as a different kind of event. I do not miss drunken middle-aged man whispering in my ear about how they are going to change the industry with their latest product as we stand in darkened nightclub surrounded by men with similar intentions. The sheer size of the stands now marauding across the North and South Halls means that one buzzword alone could never sum up all the moving parts of the gaming engine. In this business, we talk a lot about innovation – and I have been clear that I believe, as an industry, we must do better in many areas. The below points cover off the areas I believe will dominate ICE 2020.

North versus South

No, I am not going to bring up the recent General Election. I think, a bit like our oversized Christmas Day lunch, we are all ready to move on. There seems to has been a shift in recent years from a focus on the North Hall where the casino and platform providers have taken up residence (undertaking an ongoingly futile battle to see who can build the most gregarious and over-the-top stand) to an increased footfall on the South side where the sportsbook providers have pitched camp. A reflection of the old days at Earl’s Court when the online gaming companies grew from a small corner of exhibition floor to taking over the venue and pushing the offline gaming companies to the back of the room. Ultimately, the only reason for an online gaming professional to venture into the offline part of the hall at Earl’s Court was to nab yourself a Novamatic hotdog.

This world started to change when some bright spark decided that we could service the customers through omnichannel solutions. The growth of S1 and S2 in particular has since added a new dynamic to the show which has been refreshing, allowing more traffic to cross the River Thames (the central reservation) of the ExCeL, meaning that casino and sportsbook professionals do not view each other with the same suspicion of people from “Norf” and “Saf” London.

Clarion’s idea to create a payment village is also sensible and the compartmentalisation of different sets of suppliers into specific areas has meant less running around to meetings, turning up at a stand breathless and gasping for water as you sit down to one of your back-to-back meetings. A little tip here, always allow 10 minutes in between meetings since your first meeting of the day is invariably late which then has an obvious knock-on effect during the day, not to mention the pitfalls for anyone not blessed with a steel bladder. I think 2020 will see more and more divergence between North and South – and you never know, someone may be able to pull off a Blyth Valley moment of their own.

Regulation:
When Sarah Harrison, the then CEO, said that the UKGC would boycott events if the industry did not change, my initial thought was: “well, who cares, we don’t want you there.” Naturally, those thoughts were not based on any misogynistic thought structure of my own, and I fully support the changes that Clarion have bought into address sexism and stereotyping of women.

Instead, my thoughts were based in the fractured relationship that had developed between regulators and the industry. One of the highlights of the conference that year for me, amid the factually incorrect reporting of our industry in some quarters regarding regulation, was a well-known industry consultant (who will remain nameless) informing a Sun journalist, “he refused to take moral guidance from the paper.” Such comedic lowlights, though, detracted from a stark reality: the relationship between regulators and the industry simply had to improve for the benefit of everyone in the gaming ecosystem.

Of course, and quite rightly, the opening of new markets goes hand in hand with regulation. Yet, as an industry, we need to work more closely with regulators and tell them what we can do and how we can achieve higher industry standards around important issues such as player protection. This needs to be an engaging conversation, not disconnected parties talking at parallel, politicised channels. More specifically in the UK, we have recently seen the politicization of regulation. That is not the fault of the commission but a two-way dialogue, based on mutual desire to improve on both sides of the fence, is needed and would be welcome. I hope that latter-day developments, such as the formation of the Betting and Gaming Council in the UK, will help move the conversation to a more open and fruitful place. Especially, with recent initiatives such the rolling of the Betting and Gaming Council’s (BGC) multimedia safer gambling campaign.

As previously noted regarding the new opening of new markets, regulation is a necessary reality and it is good to see that the Superintendencia de Casinos de Juego will be participating in ICE VOX this year.

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Digitain Prime for Romanian Expanision
Digitain Primed For Romanian Expansion With New ONJN Licence

10 December 2019 / Uncategorized

Leading sports betting and casino platform provider Digitain has received certification from the Romanian National Gambling Office (ONJN) for its award-winning platform, allowing the company to expand its global footprint into another established gaming market.

The Class 2 licence, recognising the highest standards as both a platform and software provider, allows Digitain to roll out its full range of services across Romania’s regulated space. Consequently, licensed digital and retail operators in Romania can now enjoy full access to Digitain’s entire product portfolio.

Following the integration of new software, including the latest state-of-the-art Random Number Generator (RNG) from ID Quantique, into its gaming suite, the Digitain platform guarantees fair play and peace of mind between regulators, operators and their players across new and mature markets.

Romania, where online gambling has been legal for three years, mandates that both its suppliers and operators must pass stringent vetting procedures to obtain the requisite certification. Accordingly, Digitain’s Class 2 licence now enables it to sign strategic alliances with certified operators and deliver its market-leading content to Romanian players.

Suren Khachatryan, Digitain CCO, said: “This new licence grants us deeper access to the Eastern European market, affording more and more sports fans the opportunity to enjoy our innovative sportsbook and play our exciting stable of games. Requests for proposal from licensees in the market have been strong and we expect to announce a raft of partnership deals in due course.

“Class 2 certification from Romania marks another important milestone for the company, enabling us to bring our award-winning platform to even more operators and their players across the planet. Approval from the ONJN bolsters Digitain’s ability to enter new markets with assurance as part of our wider expansion strategy. Additional key gaming licences are also currently being processed, notably in Malta.”

Digitain’s signature sportsbook product covers 65 sports, 7,500 leagues, and offers more than 3,000 betting markets. It also offers odds on 35,000 live events each month, while its casino solution has 3,000-plus games from major casino suppliers (such as Novomatic, Microgaming, NetEnt and Playson).

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