Meet Ben Clemes at the Helm of iGaming Cloud

From Vegas to Gibraltar to Malta, SiGMA caught up with Ben Clemes, who has settled in Malta with a mission to make iGaming Cloud one of the leading platforms on the market.

Ben ClemesNice to have you with us, Ben. iGaming Cloud has a solid presence in Malta. Did the tiny state meet your expectations to date? Tell us about your upcoming shifting from Ta’ Xbiex to what’s arguably the sexiest office building in St. Julian’s.

Malta has exceeded expectations and I am always overwhelmed with the level of talent and warm personalities that we find on the Island to join Gaming Innovation Group.

I admit we are all really excited about the move next year to what is arguably one of the most technologically advanced and and, as you say, sexiest buildings in Malta. To quote Robin Reed, group CEO of GIG, “We want to attract the most passionate people and we want to give them an environment and a community where they can be the most effective and innovative version of themselves.” We have always had really great offices in Malta but I think this one is going to take the cake.

More and more EU states are introducing their regulatory frameworks, asking for specific licenses to operate in that particular jurisdiction. Is this trend paving the way for an eventual relocation to another jurisdiction? With such brands operating in multiple continents, how relevant is Malta?

I don’t believe so. Malta is a great country to have an HQ and we have been really fortunate to find great talent on the Island and it is not that hard to convince people to move to the sunny Med. Malta’s infrastructure has also very much improved over the years and their licensing regime is also adjusting to the times.

Can you take us through a journey in time for the company GIG, and for iGaming Cloud specifically, shedding light on some of the most remarkable moments, challenges and achievements in the brand’s history?

There have been so many remarkable moments over the past 3 years but the moments that stand out the most would be launching Guts, moving into the GB building into a space so large which we thought we would never outgrow but basically did before we even moved in. Deciding to build, what is now known as iGaming Cloud turned out to be a monumental moment and I still have found memories of our first stand at ICE in possibly the worst location as we booked it so late. Our first client, Betspin, going live was very special and was a proud moment for everyone that put their heart and soul into the development of the platform as was the migration of Guts to IGC in 2015. Something very inspiring is that we keep creating remarkable moments so I am sure next year when you ask me the same question I can add a lot to the above list.

“I would say there has been some growth as we have gone from less than 10 employees in 2013 to over 300 employees today across multiple countries. Growth of course has its challenges to overcome but despite the growth we have always maintained an amazing company culture and provided an environment where people are inspired and can inspire others. I think people stay with us because we don’t stop innovation and we provide people with a surrounding that allows then to grow both personally and professionally”.

Has the company seen a sporadic growth in employees? And has this growth slowed down creativity and increased red tape? On an employee level, what makes employees stay with the company?

I would say there has been some growth as we have gone from less than 10 employees in 2013 to over 300 employees today across multiple countries. Growth, of course, has its challenges to overcome but despite the growth we have always maintained an amazing company culture and provided an environment where people are inspired and can inspire others. I think people stay with us because we don’t stop innovation and we provide people with a surrounding that allows then to grow both personally and professionally; and of course, the amazing lunches that we serve everyday at the GB Building is not keeping people away.

In terms of the end user, what distinguishes your brand from the many competitors out there?

Our vision is to make the iGaming industry lean and connected, a vision that has been very well received. With regards to stability, I don’t think there is a better platform out there and we are constantly opening up our APIs to support innovation in gaming allowing operators to offer some really amazing player experiences. iGaming Cloud is developing products for the future and not just reacting to what is happening today.

“Malta has exceeded expectations and I am always overwhelmed with the level of talent and warm personalities that we find on the Island to join Gaming Innovation Group.”

E-sport, fantasy sport, binary; has any of these buzz words made it to the GIG board room yet? Are there plans to delve into these markets?

Interesting buzz words indeed. The thing is we are not really “delvers” so when we decide to something we go full steam. I cannot divulge what is coming in the near future but I can say whatever we do we will do it the GIG way.

Tell us a bit more about you. How did it all start? How long have you been working in this industry? Was online gambling always a part of the mix or did it only evolve at a later stage?

About 11 years ago, I was working for MGM in Las Vegas when I met with some guys from Party Gaming who offered me a job as an executive host for their US players. I gladly accepted and next thing I know I was on a plane to Gibraltar. 3 years later my now wife and I (we met during training at Party Gaming) were on a plane to Malta onto new opportunities and I guess the rest you can say is history.

What’s life like outside work? Do you manage to squeeze in some free time? How do you spend leisure time?

I have a seven-year-old which keeps me really busy and I love to play golf but finding the time is difficult to say the least. I also love to cook and which is a hobby that my wife welcomes and I really like to read unless a new season of Narcos is out and then I am glued to Netflix.

We are thrilled with your regular participation at the show. What are affiliates, operators B2B and new recruits expected to meet at the booth?

We are thrilled to be back and SIGMA has turned out to be a highlight of the year’s event calendar. This year I will be there of course, along with Roger, our Head of Sales, and a whole lot of GIG and IGC people from our marketing communication manager to engineers to the CTO. Please come down and see us at SIGMA and meet the great people from GIG and IGC.

Anything we missed?

Nothing from me; just really looking forward to SIGMA this year and I am sure it is going to be bigger and better than ever.

This article was published first on SiGMA Magazine. The magazine was launched at SiGMA show last November. For SiGMA17 sponsorship opportunities click here.

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They Call Him Mr. CASINO Twitch Highroller and Affiliate

They Call Him Mr. CASINO Twitch Highroller and Affiliate“I like to try out different casinos and I always contact the people behind the specific casino that I play on to ask if I can do giveaways in the stream. Two times a day I raffle out free spins to create more value in the stream and because I want to give something back to the viewers.”

Who is Mr.Casino and how did you start streaming?

My name is Joel and I am currently living on the beautiful island of Malta. I work as a construction manager and have most recently fallen into the wonderful world of affiliation through my Twitch Channel. Twitch is a huge platform on the internet where people live stream directly through their computers. Over a 100 million people watch streams on Twitch every month and it is growing every day. Most people play video games when they stream but I discovered that some were streaming when they gamble online. I have been a fan of gambling my entire life and being able to share the excitement with others through Twitch seemed too good to be true.

I quickly fell in love with the idea of having an audience while gambling and after a while of watching the others I started my very own casino stream. I am now one of the biggest casino streamers on Twitch and come by the name Mr Casino, hence my username on Twitch: Casino.

Tell us a little bit about how it works.

I stream when I gamble on online casinos about 6 hours a day while using a face cam and a microphone at least five days a week. Everything is live and I have a chat in the stream where the viewers can communicate with me. They ask questions about me, the casino and general stuff about gambling. I like to try out different casinos and I always contact the people behind the specific casino that I play on to ask if I can do giveaways in the stream. Two times a day I raffle out free spins to create more value in the stream and because I want to give something back to the viewers. From the casino’s point of view this is basically a 6 hour live-commercial of their product so most of the time they are more than happy to provide me with free spins to hand out to my viewers.

What do you like about streaming and why do people like to watch you?

I must say that it is because of the interaction that I have with my viewers. Some of them have been with me from the start, keeping me company and supporting me in good and in bad. The thing I love the most is when I get a really big win. You should see the chat when I get a huge hit, everyone goes crazy! To be able to share such moments with other people from all over the world is truly amazing. I have grown very fond of my viewers these past couple of months and consider them my friends. Some of them have even invited me to their homes. I have also told them that they are always welcome to come visit me in Malta. I am amazed and very grateful by the positive feedback and love that I have received from my viewers.

Playing slots for 6 hours a day, that must be expensive.

When I started streaming about 4 months ago I had a gambling budget of €12,000 to spare for this project. My plan was to stream for a while during my vacation but I actually made €7,000 in profit the first week. The next week I won a decent amount as well and it just kept on going! Overall it has been very profitable for me even though I have always had the odds against me. I must admit that some weeks have been really bad and I have lost large amounts of money but it has always turned around. The biggest win that I have had in my life is €6812 and it was on a bonus game in the game Montezuma and that actually happened live on Twitch.

Was twitch your first encounter with the affiliate scene?

Yes, it was and I actually got the idea from one of my viewers during the stream. A lot of people were asking about the casino I was playing on and wanted to play themselves. That certain viewer, who is now a good friend of mine told me about affiliation and said that I should definitely get an affiliate link for the stream. I contacted the casino and they explained everything to me and I signed up to their affiliate program. Apparently, anyone can be an affiliate and it was surprisingly simple to start.

Now when I know more about affiliation I have plans to take it to the next level and improve the stream as much as I can. Perhaps in the future I might be able to stream when I gamble full time and have it as my main source of income. I have been working with construction my entire life and to be able to make money on what I actually enjoy doing is like a dream come true.

“That certain viewer that is now a good friend of mine told me about affiliation and said that I should definitely get an affiliate link for the stream. I contacted the casino and they explained everything to me and I signed up to their affiliate program.”

 

Author: Mr. Casino

This article was published first on SiGMA Magazine. The magazine was launched at SiGMA show last November. For SiGMA17 sponsorship opportunities click here.

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MGA Reports Gaming Industry Employment up by 31%

St Julians MaltaAccording to the interim performance report published by Malta Gaming Authority(MGA), employment withing the Malta’s gaming industry has increased by 31% in the first six months of 2016.

The report reviews the gaming industry’s performance such as economic value added,  the number of licensed operators and employment and tax revenue. It also went on to analyse developments in demand trends and supply capabilities of operators.
According to the report, an estimated 6,150 people were employed in the gaming sector by June 2016 with the gaming industry directly contributing 12.0% of the total economic value of the Maltese economy with employment in the gaming industry rising by 31% year on year.

MGA Reports Gaming Industry Employment up by 31%The MGA gaming interim report also went on to list the following finds:

  • 250 new jobs were generated from land-based activities compared to the second half of 2015 and new jobs in the remote gaming business increased by 8 times as much.
  • 490 gaming licences were issued and there are 250 registered gaming companies in operation compared to the first six months of 2015 where there was 414 and 271 respectively.
  • Tax revenues from the gaming sector amounted to €28 million, or 4.6 per cent of the government’s total indirect tax intake.
  • Lotteries spending rose as opposed to 2015 decline

The gaming sector is expected to continue to rise this year with a robust growth in 2017. A full report on the sector’s performance is expected to be issued on the sector’s performance throughout this year in May 2017.

Real World Blackhat SEO and What You Need to Know

Gary R BealBlackHat SEO is the process by which you manipulate elements on a website that you believe, or were told, can actually affect your positions with search engine rankings like Google. This is also known as SEO, Search Engine Optimisation, GreyHat, and yes…WhiteHat. I’ve always tried to deliver information that Affiliates and Operators could put to use, rather than twist it in a ‘why they should hire me to do it?’ way. I’ve been heavily criticized for authoring many articles and conference sessions on many of these techniques.

Do I teach how to hack a WordPress site? No. But can we? You better believe it! Want to know how to run a constant DDOS attack or get a website de-indexed? I wouldn’t go that far because there’s always that one nefarious individual who’ll use it against you, and I talk about it so openly. This approach I’ve adopted has obviously given critics reasons to complain.

I have two problems with this criticism: firstly, I started as an Affiliate 20 years ago, so I understand how difficult it can be. Knowing what the competitors may be doing to hurt your income and having the ability to protect yourself should be a no-brainer. If you know what they’re doing or may do in the future, you can protect yourself and be proactive about it. I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

Secondly, I do the work for the big guys and Affiliates do the work themselves. I can do this because typically, the giants have a ‘no brand-bidding clause’ in their Affiliate agreement. This doesn’t mean your competition/fellow affiliate isn’t targeting your website. It also doesn’t mean I can’t monitor new domain purchases and scoop your .net and .org or a ccTLD and hold you hostage or rank better than you for your brand and become an Affiliate.

Anything that increases rankings essentially qualifies for BlackHat status. When I write about BlackHat techniques I’m not referring to DDOS attacks, Spoofing or Trojan viruses. I’m referring to the type of rank manipulation,or BlackHat, that anyone can do: a competitor, an upset client or an ex-employee you fired.

The Real World Blackhat Effect

According to a Harvard University study, a single review on Yelp can affect your yearly income by 10%. Another showed that 80% of all online shoppers did their homework online, regardless of whether they actually bought it online or in the brick-and-mortar or offline store. One of the most seemingly “clean” dating sites, eHarmony has almost 2000 negative reviews on Yelp alone. Are the other hundreds of dating sites they compete against doing aggressive BlackHat or is eHarmony actually doing something to cause these? There are many causes, ranging from auto-pay issues to fake profiles. Every dating site has them. It’s inherent. Similar to cheats in online gambling, or Amazon con games that give step-by-step instructions for the Dark Net.

Websites like BlackHatWorld.com and fiverr.com can be used for this and many other services that can hurt your websites rankings and reputation. As an SEO Company that specializes in Reputation Management, we’ve seen these tactics becoming more common and successful. You can either be proactive or reactive. Guess which one is much more expensive? The most popular tactics which manipulate review websites are lesser used tactics (although very effective), like subdomain and subdirectory attacks. I mainly deal with Dating and Casino sites and trust me, there’s no-one more motivated than someone with a broken heart or empty wallet. These people are relentless and will stop at nothing to feel vindicated.

Apart from such types of negative content, your competitor is accountable for the other 40%, and will likely not surrender, unless they can afford a hundred dollars or so per month. Then there’s the issue of combating these attacks when (not if!), they happen. Moreover, there’s the matter of how the right prevention tactics can protect your websites – a well worth it to the investment.

Brand-Bashing Still Works

In certain cases, the internet is a useful consumer tool that puts us in the driver’s seat. As an Affiliate you have competition, as an Operator you have competition and Affiliates to contend with. You’re tasked with dominating the top 10-20 or become a part of that 10% statistic. Reduce your traffic and revenue by 10%, then factor that into a lifetime value… Many companies spend money for CRM and Social Media, yet spend nothing on proactive Brand Protection or reactive Reputation Management. In many cases, they have absolutely zero Engagement as well. Most Brand-Bashing is a result of an unhappy customer that can be made happy.

The Cost

The following is a list of realistic costs associated with negative content:

Payroll – what it costs to be reactive and pay staff to handle negative sentiment rather than spend their valuable time proactively creating positive sentiment and a game plan for engagement and retention.

Payoffs – many clients have elected to offer a payoff or return what this person spent. It’s just the cheapest and quickest way out in some costly circumstances. This is especially true for instances where we’re in the wrong.

Repeat Offenders – They did it once. Who says they can’t create a new Gmail account and repeat whatever they did before and hold you hostage again? However, this time, you have to pay in Bitcoin so you can’t track them and know it’s the same person. Rinse. Repeat.

DMCA – Digital Millennium Copyright Act – 1996 saw this ‘Supermarket Turtle’ rear its head in, ready for action. It can protect you against some of these negative tactics, but besides the average 2 months it takes to get it removed, there’s also the time and money it takes to enforce it by your staff.

Legal – The last and most expensive result. Most of the guys using Real World BlackHat know that a ‘Lawyer Letter’ means nothing. At best, it means they got your attention and are even more motivated. In the worst cases, it could even mean litigation or case filing costs.

And drumroll please….the top reason why being reactive rather than proactive is so expensive?

The Real Estate. Remember the 10% rule; One negative review in the top 10 results = 10% less revenue. Over time this will snowball and then you get two pages/websites at the top 10, then three. It’s all about protecting your real estate.

The Tactics

Besides the obvious places, negative content can end up in search results on such sites like Facebook Pages, Google+ and many other Social Media websites, there are a dozen other techniques anyone can implement. They can learn how to do it themselves on YouTube or they can pay someone to do it for them.

Below are the most common techniques used to steal your real estate:

Subdomain Hijacking/Injection – Imagine a well-ranked site that targets your niche, then add a subdomain. Later, host it on a server in your target geographic region and start building links on some of your other sites using your brand as anchor text, or not. You’ll rank top 10 for your brand or website. An even more seriously nasty tactic that is used along with the next one (WordPress Hacking) is when these guys find a WP security hole and exploit 100k sites running WP or a certain plugin, and then through this newly created back-end access, they add a hidden page the website owner never sees, but the Search Engine Spiders can see.

WordPress Hacking – Probably one of the easiest things to learn in terms of ‘actual’ hacking and can be found all over YouTube. Every time a WordPress update or one of the 15 ‘really cool’ plugins that enhance your site, appears, leaves a gaping hole. Take the easily obtained code and place it alongside the code of the old plugin. Note the differences and employ a good WP guy to find a vulnerability. From here, you can get into the site and change or delete pages, add a no-index command and get completely purged from search results.

Subdirectory Hijacking – There are dozens of people that are the equivalent of website hitmen, and they’re more than willing to sell their services. One of them can take a 50,000 website-strong network and inject 50,000 pages of scraped and scrambled content, putting your brand/website on a new optimized subdirectory page on their websites. No link, just your brand/website in the content and the URL.

Negative Link Buys – Everyone knows you can buy good links, but you can also buy bad links. Alternatively, you can use SEOMoz or Ahrefs and get a trust rank comparison and just choose the de-indexed, penalized or porn sites to post a link to you or the ranking page you have in the search results that you want gone.

Hate-Site Creation – Anyone can buy a domain (with or without your brand/website in the URL), host it and have a WordPress theme installed for under $50. Done correctly, this site can rank for your brand/keyword/domain, especially if you don’t have other pages in this real estate that outperform this new hate-site.

Startup Hijacking – So you spend your time and money obtaining all that’s required to get an Operators license and open a casino, or you’re an Affiliate that is going to market your site that reviews one of these niches. You can use one of the many free tools available to target keywords. DomainTools will email you whenever someone buys a domain with one of these keywords in the URL. Someone sets up a domain sniper that will automatically buy these domains for a few dollars. Now that person owns YourWebsite.net/.org/.co.

Automated Tools and BlackHat Networks – Remember it’s not always about a competitor trying to steal your real estate, it’s also about the haters that will inevitably wish to harm or steal your traffic. ScrapeBox, XRumer and SENuke are just a few of the tools meant for something other than BlackHat techniques when they were created, but they are widely used by the ‘guy next door’ that doesn’t know a thing about coding or hacking.

Review Websites – Sites like SiteJabber and TrustPilot are showing up in the top 20 results for almost every brand/ website search that has a review posted. They carry a lot of trust with Google and the other search engines. For a hefty and ongoing price, you can have some control over what’s posted about you, but again, the time and cost factors need to be considered in the overall business equation. Add to this to the powerhouse presence Social Media has become and the real estate thins significantly.

The Defense – Fortunately, most of these tactics can be proactively prevented from happening.

Subdomain Hijacking/Injection – Probably one of the worst and easiest methods because the only defense you have against this is reaction rather than prevention. Once you’ve been hit, the only way to fix it is by contacting each website via email or WhoIs Webmaster/Admin details and notify them of the page so they take it down. Usually, telling them it’s a scrambled/ spun mess of non-relevant content will motivate them to remove it. In some cases, there’s no one to do it. They paid a friend of a friend to install a WordPress site and it is still running an antiquated version of WordPress, the theme or a plugin. This means you may have to take the DMCA route through Google. But not updating it will just invite another attack.

WordPress Hacking – Personally I avoid WP whenever possible. Primarily because it can slow sites down for several reasons like running cache on them or code-heavy plugins, but also because it creates a need for additional security measures that cost money, and also constant updating that’s required depending on the number of plugins you have.

Subdirectory Hijacking – This can happen on a private network of their own, or on lots of sites running WordPress but not updating them or installing SiteLock or taking other security measures. But again, the only way to fix it is by contacting each website owner via email or WhoIs Webmaster/Admin details, and notifying them of the page so they remove it.

Negative Link Buys – Run a tool that analyses your backlinks once a week. SEOMoz, LinkAssistant and Ahrefs are among a few that can do a comparative analysis and identify the spammy links. Create a disavow file. This states you don’t approve the link. Be sure to disavow at the domain level to prevent future attacks and be careful when selecting links, because you can hurt your site if you’re lazy and don’t do the research.

Hate-Site Creation – These can get very serious because anyone can create them with little or no knowledge. If they find a few people that feel the same as they do then online sentiment starts to kick in and you get the ‘snowball effect’. It may not rank now, but let it get a few good backlinks and it comes out of nowhere. We’ve seen this time and time again. Remember, broken hearts and empty wallets are a big motivator – in some cases they replace searching for a date or a gambling habit.

Startup Hijacking – This one is easy. Someone buys the.org and .net domains for a few dollars, creates typepad or other simple site immediately. Add an RSS feed if you’re lazy or add content to the primary domain and forward the others. Do a few social bookmarks and manually submit it through Google Search Console to get it indexed and you’re good to go.

Automated Tools and BlackHat Networks – Because of the sheer number of tools and techniques widely available to the people looking for them, these networks and tools they use are constantly evolving. If you aren’t budgeting at least the same amount you do for CRM and legal networks/staff on Reputation Management and a proactive plan to defend your property, then you need to run the numbers and see for yourself why this is an essential part of your overall strategy.

Review Websites – I despise these sites. I despise them like I despise decaffeinated coffee and people who give me road rage. But alas, these are some things I cannot change. The difference is, that I can’t add caffeine to my coffee, or ask the turtle in front of me to move it along…calmly, but I can defend my rank status on most review sites. You must be prepared and have your Social Media and CRM people working together with your Rep Management people to proactively reduce your risk and exposure.

We use it for data analysis. And did I say it’s free forever? It’s software called WebGenius. It monitors a brand, website or even your name. Where most tools fall short is that they only use Google’s API. If the negative content is on a de-indexed page, you’ll never know about it. It still counts as negative sentiment and potential risk. Or maybe it gets re-indexed and suddenly appears. This tool covers all Search Engines, data centers, forums, blogs and 2-3 tiers deeper than the tools currently available. And they cost money! Negative content poses a potential threat. Create positive sentiment, engage with your client, and rule Social Media for your site or brand. This is how to protect yourself against Real World BlackHat.

Author: Gary R Beal, MD, Vanguard Online Media

This article was published first on SiGMA Magazine. The magazine was launched at SiGMA show last November. For SiGMA17 sponsorship opportunities click here.

Are you a startup? Then apply for the SiGMA Startup Pitch 2017 and meet hungry investors. View Startup Pitch 2016 gallery here.

Aspire Global Appoints Lars Kollind as New B2B Sales Director

The fast growing and leading iGaming solution provider for operators and white labels Aspire Global has intensified their commercial side by appointing Lars Kollind as their new B2B sales director.

Kollind will be responsible for the sales in the company’s B2B division and will be based in Malta at the Aspire Global’s headquarters.

Aspire Global gains a Sales Director with a vast knowledge of the industry and a proven and unmistakable track record of success. Kollind expertise includes proficiency across diverse aspects of iGaming which surrounds both the strategic and operational scope of the online casino industry.

Tsachi Maimon, CEO of Aspire Global said: “Our organisation has achieved major growth over recent years, and we are delighted to bring Lars on board. His proven ability to close deals with operators of all types, and his deep understanding of global markets, makes him a perfect fit for us.

“Our priority is to continue the positive trend that defined 2016, and I’m confident that Lars will play a major role in achieving our growth targets for the years to come.”

Lars Kollind, B2B sales director at Aspire Global, added: “I am thrilled to join Aspire Global, and I’m confident that my skills and experience, along with the quality of Aspire Global’s solution, will enable me to achieve great results.

“Aspire Global’s offering is a real stand out in the market, with a proven track record of successful partnerships with leading operators and white labels.”

Aspire Global has had a busy few months with the recent launch of a supply of new casino brands which include LuckyBetsCasino.com and WixStars.com. This new appointment caps their recent months’ activities.

Designing the Ideal iGaming Office

Angie Sciberras is a professional design architect and spatial planner, known as Angie the architect. Apart from creating unique residential interiors, she has honed in on the design niche of iGaming offices.

Angie The Architect“I became aware of the way i-gaming has taken off successfully in Malta and how the sector requires well-designed offices that allow for a better-working environment, whilst keeping within budgets and taking in consideration of possible exponential growth over a very short time span.”

“Exceptional creative spaces attract the best employees in the industry. Optimal design allows space efficiency, maximising potential for excellent customer support and overall successful operations throughout the company. From experience I am strongly aware that having a good design allows the iGaming company to achieve a perfect balance between work and leisure. Ample unique spaces need to be created to satisfy the multi-characters and the multi-nationalities involved – spaces for collaborating and communicating, for chilling out, and for concentrating. It must all reflect the dynamic pulse of this industry.”

It has been a courageous move for Angie the Architect to categorically concentrate on iGaming clients. Upon going solo, after having worked with a few leading firms, she had only one month’s salary to back her up and not one single client to call her own. But in a matter of a few days, she was well into her first contract. Her personal know-how of the way iGaming companies operate has allowed her the confidence to work her way to a successful choice.

Angie The ArchitectIn order to get a feel of the company she plans to work with, Angie the Architect researches heavily about its history and growth curve. “I spend days observing operations, meeting managers and staff, asking questions. It is a time-consuming process but helps formulate a strong brief and a good concept. I don’t have a one-design-plan that fits all. Each project is unique to itself and linked to a clear understanding of the brand it represents. Linking brand and concept to the architecture is imperative in order to achieve space identity.”

Foreign investors in iGaming often require Angie’s assistance even before clinching a property deal. “At the property viewing stage, I’m asked to advise my clients regarding property potential and possible expansion. I know my way around the local scene, know all building regulations and work ethics, so I can project-manage from start through to finish. Once we have the right property in hand, my next hurdle is to work out a plan that makes for happy employees. Dynamic work ethics rely on this and my role is to create the right environment to make them and their company flourish.”

An interview with Angie the Architect by Marika Azzopardi

This article was published first on SiGMA Magazine. The magazine was launched at SiGMA show last November. For SiGMA17 sponsorship opportunities click here.

Are you a startup? Then apply for the SiGMA Startup Pitch 2017 and meet hungry investors. View Startup Pitch 2016 gallery here.

EEG announces major plans for 2017, sets brand architecture strategy

After months of debates and planning, EEG(Eastern European Gaming) has announced the plans which will allow the company to make a step forward and consolidate its leading media presence and B2B services across Central and Eastern Europe.

The plans include setting the brand architecture by launching a parent brand which will include all “sub-brands” and developing news channels of news and service distribution.

Along these lines, Zoltan Tundik, Founder and Head of Business, stated, “The services we have launched during our almost two years of activity have become well-known brands in the online and land based gaming industry and are already acting individually by setting their different partnership baseis. I believe the move we are making in creating the parent brand for EEGaming, EEGReport Magazine, EEGEvents or GamblingAffiliateVoice will consolidate the company’s presence in the market as a leader of services and will give much more motivation to the Team Leaders which will govern the brands. I’ve always thought that when the time comes and we shall create the brand architecture, the governing parent brand will be the engine that made all this possible, EEGaming.org. However, I am certaing that  by creating EEGMedia, all the indepent brands will grow stronger.

EEGMedia will become the parent brand which beside running its own set of services will incorporate the following sub-brands, owned and run by the company:

  • Eegaming.org
    • GamblingLegislation(EEGL)
  • EEGReport Magazine
  • EEGRecruit
  • Gambling Affiliate Voice
  • EEGEvents
    • Central and Eastern European Gaming Conference and Awards (CEEGC & CEEG Awards)
    • Prague Gaming Summit (PGS)
    • Vienna International Gaming Expo (VIGE)
  • iGaming Radio (soon to be announced)
  • iGaming Tweets (soon to be announced)

The company also announced that they will implement multilanguages to their leading brand, EEGaming.org. The changes will implemented by the end of January 2017 and will include the complete re-design of the leading portal of the Central and Eastern European market and the adding of Polish, Czech, Romanian and Hungarian languages.

Along with the “tuning” of EEGaming.org, EEGMedia will also launch two new brands, iGaming Radio and iGaming Tweets.

iGamingRadio.com is the first online radio which will be streaming gaming related news exclusively thorough daily shows, interviews and press releases. During the shows, the radio will be playing music for the delight of office workers or individuals that are involved in the gaming industry and spend hours in from of their computers, laptops or travel and listen via mobile devices.

The station is set to broadcast its first show on the 24th of April 2017.

iGaming Tweets is the second large project which will implemented in 2017 and targets the SEO and brand awareness services the company is developing. The project’s motto is simple “All iGaming industry tweets in one place!” The launch date for the project is set for May 2017.

eegmedia-announcement

For more details about the newly created parent brand, visit www.eegmedia.eu or send us an e-mail to hello@eegmedia.eu

Mr Green Moves its Main Market Listing to Nasdaq Stockholm

Online gambling company Mr Green has announced that the company has officially moved its main market listing from Sweden’s mid-sized AktieTorget to the bigger Nasdaq Nordic Market.

The European iGaming operator was founded in 2007 and is now the 76th enterprise to list at Nasdaq’s Nordic markets in 2016.

Earlier last month, Mr Green’s governance stated that it would change its main listing, given that it was a “logical step” for the company’s long-term progression.

Mr Green also believed that its placement on the main Nasdaq Scandinavian market would help the operator in its quest to target international growth, helping it to attract a broader range of investors.

Commenting on the firm’s Nasdaq Nordic listing, Mr Green CEO Per Norman said: “We launched our new technology platform earlier this year and have already started to implement and deliver on our new business strategy, and there is no doubt that our customers like the new Mr Green.”

He added: “I am happy and proud of what our organisation has achieved in such a short period of time and look forward to our journey of change towards continued growth.”

Adam Kostyál, Senior Vice President and Head of European listings at Nasdaq, also commented: “We welcome Mr. Green to the Nasdaq Stockholm main market, where it will make a compelling addition to our consumer services sector.

“Mr Green is yet another example of an online gaming company leveraging Nasdaq Stockholm as a platform for future growth, and we congratulate the company on its listing.”

Reuters reported Mr Green’s financial targets in conjunction with the new listing, stating that the company plans to achieve annual organic growth that exceeds the online gaming industry.

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GLI reaches 2.5 million Milestone in Testing and Certification

Gaming Laboratories International (GLI), the leading land-based iGaming and lottery testing certification laboratory for over 25 years has recently reached an incredible milestone. Due to its work with more than 475 jurisdictions in 20 locations all over the world, they have now tested and certified 2.5 million gaming machines, devices and systems.

GLI Vice President of Compliance and Quality Assurance Christine Gallo said, “We are very grateful to our loyal customers for trusting in GLI and our ability to deliver high-quality testing and certification services to the gaming industry. Having successfully tested and certified 2.5 million gaming machines, devices and systems thus far, we have put together the industry’s largest database of approved gaming equipment that we can reference. We are proud of this accomplishment, and we are looking forward to maintaining this momentum for future growth.”

GLI issues more than 120,000 equipment certification each year on average. Due to its large certification database, suppliers can rapidly and effortlessly transfer gaming equipment between one jurisdiction and another. This saves in testing costs and time-to-time market. Added to this, more than 130 jurisdictions only accept GLI certification letters. This makes doing business with them extremely favourable and valuable. GLI-exclusive markets encompass over 100 casinos operating over 200,000 gaming devices.

Clients are able to apply for the use of the Gaming Labs Certified® mark upon receipt of the certification report from GLI. This mark certifies that the product tested has passed the most challenging tests as well as meeting specific standards. This unique mark also provides the public with a level of confidence and integrity in the product that is unmatched in the gaming industry.

Feeding Malta’s Insatiable Appetite for iGaming Talent

DemaFeeding Malta’s Insatiable Appetite for iGaming Talentnd for iGaming talent in Malta is higher than ever. In the 10 years Pentasia’s been recruiting, now is the busiest we (and our clients) have ever been. To attract the best we’re working ever further afield, helping candidates from across Europe and worldwide discover new careers here.

Across Europe, iGaming continues to boom. Despite Malta’s small size, there are over 400 gaming companies registered, employing over 8,000 staff directly and indirectly. Employers regularly have multiple vacancies open at any one time and with limited local supply, more and more are looking for top talent based overseas.

On the other side of the equation, increasing numbers of candidates from across Europe and the world are willing to consider moving to Malta. They’re attracted, of course, not only by career opportunities but also an exceptional Mediterranean quality of life. As such, we find we’re as much ‘relocation consultants’ as we are recruiters, bringing staff to the island from Germany, the UK, Scandinavia and the U.S.A. to name but a few.

Our global office network helps us monitor international markets, ensuring we engage candidates wherever they are in the world. Once they’re here on the island, we make sure they receive a warm welcome, introducing them to employers and guiding them through the move.

Why Malta? Besides being regularly voted one of the world’s best places to live and work and boasting 300+ days of sun, there are few places that offer such diversity of culture. For iGaming companies operating in multiple territories, that’s ideal. From a single Malta base, companies can operate in numerous markets with native management and support. And thanks to attractive tax rates, relocation can be financially lucrative for candidates too.

Skills required in Malta range from customer support to C-Level positions. Crucially, though, in recent years, the recruitment of technical and development staff has now become the most pressing need. As an example, the software developers required on the Island has increased tenfold since I joined the company three years ago. The campaigns and activity we operate help clients message the opportunity of Malta to this highly valuable audience, on and off the island.

Beyond tech roles, the wave of regulation across various European markets are fueling demand for local and language-specific experience. German native speakers, in particular, are in short supply as operators prepare to take advantage of recent license changes. Germany will soon be one of the biggest regulated markets in Europe and operators are competing with each other for the best talent required to secure it.

At Pentasia Malta we pride ourselves on meeting the demand of companies on the island by recruiting the best talent locally and from overseas. Growing demands from our clients inspire innovative approaches to candidate acquisition – so here’s to the next 10 years recruiting here in Malta!

Author: Anthony Hennessy

This article was published first on SiGMA Magazine. The magazine was launched at SiGMA show last November. For SiGMA17 sponsorship opportunities click here.

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