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SiGMA Issue 5

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SiGMA gazine

ISSUE 5

FALL/WINTER 2016

COVER STORY

JOHAN KÖNIGSLEHNER FROM VERA&JOHN

300 FREE FLIGHTS

FOR AFFILIATES TO ATTEND SiGMA16

MALTA GAMING WEEK: 16-19 NOV

SAVE THE DATE!

CAREERS CONVENTION

POKER TOURNEY, DINNERS, DRINKS & STARTUP PITCH

GAMING

IN MALTA

UPDATE


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Editorial | SiGMA

EDITORIAL

Eman Pulis & Dennis Dyhr-Hansen

WE HAVE GONE GLOBAL! FROM A LITTLE EXPO DOMINATED BY MALTA-BASED

COMPANIES, SIGMA HAS THIS YEAR BECOME A MULTI-NATIONAL SHOW WITH THE

LIKES OF GOLDEN RACE, MARATHON BET, TRUSTLY, NMI, PRAGMATIC PLAY, GANAPATI,

BETRADAR, GLI, ALIQUANTUM, PAYSAFE, W2GLOBAL, PEGASUS GAMING AND OTHERS

GRACING OUR FLOOR PLAN (P 10). THESE BRANDS HAVE LITTLE OR NO OPERATIONAL

PRESENCE IN MALTA, YET BELIEVED IN HAVING A SOLID PRESENCE AT THE SHOW.

Having a sold out floor plan since

last April meant that we could focus

on building a truly 360⁰ showcase

based on networking all year around.

Wining and dining go a long way in

this industry so we treated sponsors,

exhibitors and top c-level executives

to a string of lavish dinners throughout

the year (p120).

We worked hand in hand with the

Maltese Government, the MGA,

Gaming Malta as well as GamCrowd

to create a startup pitch on Maltese

shores for the first time ever. A

number of seasoned investors and

bright startups will meet in a Dragon’s

Den-like environment (p30).

We are also opening the SiGMA doors

during the last few hours, on day two

between 2pm and 6pm, for a career

convention. Anyone who has been

to any expo can attest that numbers

tend to dwindle a bit towards the

end. So the timing seemed right for

a careers convention to help meet

the insatiable demand for talent.

Graduates from the University of

Malta, MCAST and various private

institutes will be personally invited to

this careers convention. We’ve quite

literally embarked on a three-month

head-hunting mission for all. Who

knows? They might likely meet their

best employer to date!

The expo floor and conferences take

place on the 17th and 18th November

– but with so many networking events

taking place on the 16th and 19th,

we encourage you to fly in early. The

BiG Foundation Dinner, a networking

poker tournament, networking drinks

and a welcome party to name a few

activities take place on the 16th (p22).

In addition, in an unprecedented

move, we have secured 300 booked

flights for affiliates, no expense saved,

most of which will be flying in on the

16th or earlier.

We’re signing the brightest, most

experienced speakers from within

and outside the industry, covering a

range of themes. Sports, affiliation and

SEO, regulatory, payments, disruptive

technology and HR will pave the way

for some animated panel discussions.

We’ve lined them up for you: 100

speakers, 150 sponsors/exhibitors

and 3,000 quality attendees. We

look forward to welcoming you at

this show in the heart of the iGaming

industry and have little doubt that

everyone will walk out a winner.

03


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Contents | SiGMA

53

OFFICIAL PARTNERS

62

78

60

CONTENTS

Message from the MGA 07

Experience and knowledge

for global aspirations 09

Floor plan 14

SiGMA conferences & partnership events 16

Startup pitch 30

Networking bonanza 34

The headlines 40

Cover story with Vera&John 53

Strengthening the game ecosystem 60

Keeping up with the regulator 62

They call him Mr. Casino: twitch affiliate 67

Mathematics joins creativity

and innovation 78

4th Anti money laundering directive:

know the score? 81

Time to go live! Interview with

Edward Ihre, Codeta 85

Japanese themed games 89

Compliant – to be or not to be 93

Good governance to AML 97

Real world black hat SEO 98

Young Maltese entrepreneurs

launch new casino 104

Meet with Ahmet Celebi, Queen Vegas 111

Making the affiliate industry better 112

Regulating skill games 116

Hospitality & networking 124

Meet Georg Westin and

Kristifer Bergdahl, Hero Gaming 145

Casual games: a serious business 161

Who’s Who in the Malta Gaming Industry 167

Media Partners 213

104

161

Editor: Eman Pulis

Consulting Editors: Dennis Dyhr-Hansen &

Sacha Kinser

Sales: Jarek Górny, Sophie Crouzet &

Anthony Medica

Design: Nicholas Cutajar

facebook.com/nicodesignmalta

Photography: Aleksey Leonov

Hand delivered to various expos worldwide,

executive lounges, Maltese embassies and

government institutions. The magazine is also

delivered by post to 4,000 leading gaming

companies worldwide.

For information regarding promotion and

advertising kindly call (+356) 2131 4191 or

email info@maltaigamingsummit.com

maltaigamingsummit.com

67

SiGMAgazine is published by Viking PC Health Ltd.,

Sundial Court, 7, Victor Denaro Street, Msida.

MSD1604, Malta.

All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is

strictly prohibited without prior consent in writing. Opinions

expressed in SiGMAgazine are not necessarily those of the

editor or publisher. All reasonable care is taken to ensure

truth and accuracy, but the editor and publishers cannot

be held responsible for errors or omissions in articles,

advertising, photographs or illustrations.

05


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Regulation | SiGMA

MESSAGE FROM THE MGA

BY JOSEPH CUSCHIERI

THIS YEAR IS PROMISING TO BE YET ANOTHER YEAR OF SATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE FOR

THE I-GAMING SECTOR IN MALTA AND THE JURISDICTION IN GENERAL. [WHILE THE NUMBER OF

LICENCES ISSUED BY THE MGA HAVE INCREASED AT A HIGHER RATE THAN LAST YEAR, REVENUES

OF COMPANIES ARE INCREASING AT A HEALTHIER PACE]. THE NUMBERS SHOW ENCOURAGING

SIGNS OF HEALTHY RESILIENCE, THAT IS EXCEEDING OUR EARLIER EXPECTATIONS IN VIEW OF THE

NUMBER OF CHALLENGES THAT MALTA AND THE SECTOR CONTINUE TO FACE.

Some would argue that the iGaming sector is now saturated

and that the industry is growing at a slower rate and is, or

will be, dominated by a smaller number of mega-operators.

Indeed, this is a development of every industry sector but,

myopia and stagnation are not features of this dynamic and

innovative sector. New products, channels and business

models are continuously being brought in line at a fast pace

in the quest of becoming more efficient and effective in

providing a player experience better than their rivals on the

market.

The gaming regulatory scenario in the EU and beyond is

yet extending the country by country regulation, subjecting

operators to national licensing regimes and thus the

duplication - or rather a multiplication - of regulatory

compliance mechanisms and costs by operators which,

outside of their base in Malta, operates in other EU and

non-EU markets. The political climate to reverse this trend or

indeed use lessons learnt to develop any form of uniformity

in regulation seems to lack the necessary appetite at the

national level or indeed by the European institutions. This

is expected to be the norm for the immediate and medium

term in all markets.

It is with this in mind that in the 3-year plan launched in 2014,

the MGA set to, progressively, consolidate and reposition

Malta as a centre which fosters excellence, efficiency, and

an intelligent and responsible gaming

industry.

The regulatory overhaul is now

being progressively rolled out. Prior

to the white paper, the MGA has

published various policy papers and,

importantly, the draft regulations

concerning Skill Games (notified

to the Commission in August 2016)

and the Legal Notice which exempts

Fantasy Sports Games from the

current regulatory requirements.

The generally new

and innovative

approach, which

the Government

and MGA are

proposing in the

new legislative

framework for

the governance

of the sector,

co-existing

with more

traditional

mechanisms

of

regulation,

are being

presented as part of wide consultation process which will

precede presentation to Parliament. While the MGA has

soughtinput from various and a wide of stakeholders, all

parties are encouraged to provide any feedback they think is

appropriate in order to make this new regime a winning one

for all involved in the sector.

The new regulatory regime is a cornerstone of the

consolidation and repositioning strategy by Malta in the

global gaming sphere. However, both Government and

MGA are well aware that there are other critical contributory

factors that sustain this important and economically

significant industry in Malta. The focus is indeed to

strengthen this position as as we move forward, in order

to support its investments in innovation, diversification,

operational and regulatory efficiency, skills development and

long term success.

One of the challenges Malta faces, like a number of other

jurisdictions, concerns direct taxation. It is no secret

that Malta does not agree with EU tax harmonisation, or

measures that will have a similar effects. The government is

committed in its resolve and will continue to strive in order to

ensure that Malta’s tax regime is retained.

Malta is today also endowed with a fully developed and

sophisticated eco-system of infrastructure and services

that support the i-gaming industry along with its dynamic

development. While Malta may not provide the lowest cost

of total operation, it offers one of the most reliable, costefficient,

transparent and business-friendly environments

for the industry, which is valued by hundreds of operators.

This dynamic environment provides a advantage over

other potential jurisdictions for both start-ups and bigger

established businesses to relocate as the numbers continue

to show, year on year.

We will continue to support the existing ecosystem and

take the necessary measures to address any shortages or

new needs that growth has brought or may bring about.

The MGA conducted a multitude of studies, and have

listened to various individual stakeholders highlighting

the need of certain skills and competencies. In 2017 the

Government will be revising its measures in order to make

it even more attractive to secure and retain the right skills

and competencies in Malta. The Gaming Institute will also

be launched and commence its operations to provide the

professional development of industry specific competences

necessary.

There will be other initiatives and projects during the

coming year, which will continue to cement our resolve and

commitment towards this sector. These may be peripheral

to the regulatory structure and processes. Simplifying

establishment and operation by gaming companies, this will

create equally, if not more exciting and innovative projects.

07


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Interview | SiGMA

EXPERIENCE AND

KNOWLEDGE FOR

GLOBAL

ASPIRATIONS

FROM HIS OFFICE IN

SLIEMA, TSACHI MAIMON IS ON

THE STEERING WHEEL OF A FAST GROWING,

PRIVATE COMPANY, EMBRACING REGULATORY, COMPLIANCE

AND TECHNICAL CHALLENGES FOR ONE SIMPLE PURPOSE: TO OFFER A

ONE STOP TURNKEY SOLUTION FOR WHITE LABEL OPERATORS.

09


SiGMA | Interview

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

It has been almost three years since you became Aspire

Global’s CEO – how would you summarise them?

It’s been an amazing journey, both personally and

professionally. My family relocated to sunny Malta for this job

and it’s been an exciting experience for us all. Malta is the

best place to meet colleagues, other operators and suppliers

on a regular basis. It’s not just the business meetings either;

being able to socialise with other gaming professionals is

really useful too. It is so much easier doing business with

people whom you know in real life. The fact that so many

colleagues decided to put their faith in us and become

partners in our journey is amazing. This growth has given us

the ability to add more tools to our system, integrate new

3rd party content providers, and bring on board a wealth of

new sources. It also means that we’re now well-known in the

industry, which is really exciting since it opens the doors to a

whole host of new opportunities.

Tell us about the market trends from your experience over

the last three years.

The two main trends in the last three years have been

regulation and competition. The growth of regulation has

been great in terms of opening up more acquisition channels

and improving public perception. However, it has also

increased operating costs for gaming businesses. We’re

not just talking gaming duty, although that can be painful –

there are also the added expenses of ensuring operational

compliance and the technical overhead of regulatory

reporting. We are also seeing increased competition, with

more small and medium operators in the market now offering

different unique selling points and targeting different market

niches. Whether it’s bigger bonuses, better user experience,

faster support, or offering popular localised games, this

competition can only be good for players. Since a happy

player is a loyal player, it’s good for the operators who get

things right too. Overall, these two trends have led to many

operators feeling the squeeze on their margins. While

revenues have been growing nicely, profits are lagging for

many companies.

How did you cope with these trends?

Fortunately, Aspire Global isn’t new to the online casino

game. We have been able to adapt gradually to the new

operating environment by implementing methods to cope

with multiple markets and changing regulations. We are

currently preparing to enter our sixth regulated market, and

have already launched several casino apps in the ones in

which we already operate. Our team is very experienced with

the process of gaining regulatory approval.

Something we do differently, rather than just better, is lifetime

value estimation. We have developed an analytical system

with a formula to identify the likely lifetime value and cash

flow of a player after just a few days in the system. When

I say lifetime value, I mean it. We can tell our operators a

few days after they start a campaign what their players are

really worth. This means that they can quickly reinforce their

“Platform stability is vital. You

can’t make money if a part of

your service has gone offline

or isn’t communicating with

another part. Players these

days simply will not put up with

anything less than 100%

uptime when they have so many

other choices”

successes and cut their losses. The industry is currently too

competitive to waste money on ineffective marketing.

Now that 2016 is almost behind us, I can summarise and

say that it has been a successful year for Aspire Global

in terms of new white label operators. To what do you

attribute this success?

It was indeed a very good year. I’m glad that we invested in

making sure our infrastructure was easily scalable before

the start of the year. The most significant reason for this

growth is that we have great partners. They are achieving

success working with us, and because of this, they are

recommending us to others. No salesperson is as effective

as a happy customer at generating new business. I’m also

really proud of the fact that some of our operators are so

happy with their results that they are opening second brands

with us to allow them to expand even faster. We are always

delighted when our operators are successful. We enjoy very

close relationships with all our partners and care for their

businesses as though we own them ourselves. We know that

ultimately, our partners’ results will determine how far we go,

so we are determined to resolve any issue or request they

might have quickly and efficiently. We want to make sure that

nothing falls through the cracks and is forgotten. We know

from our partners’ results that this approach works, and we

know from the number of referrals we get that they truly

appreciate our ownership approach.

From your experience what are the 3 most important

things for your potential partners?

Through years of experience in the market and by

undertaking in-depth research, I can conclude that firstly

partners are looking for a platform provider that offers a full

turnkey solution. It must be capable of doing everything the

operator needs. Otherwise, you will be dealing with multiple

providers, and that’s when things can become confusing

and inefficient. Secondly, platform stability is vital. You

can’t make money if a part of your service has gone offline

or isn’t communicating with another part. Players these

days simply will not put up with anything less than 100%

uptime when they have so many other choices. Thirdly, a

010


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Interview | SiGMA

dynamic provider, which can operate in multiple regulatory

environments opens up more options for expanding an

operator’s business and makes their life much easier than

having to deal with compliance alone.

Do you think anyone can become an operator?

No, I don’t think anyone can do it, but I think a lot more

people could do it than currently are available. The path

to success is to focus on what you do best. In our industry,

there are many companies, and even individual affiliates,

who are experts in marketing and branding, but either

don’t try to do the other stuff or don’t do it well enough.

That’s where we come in. Our business is designed to

provide a solution for this sort of person. By taking care of

the operational side of things, we free them up to focus on

marketing their own world-class product.

Who are your potential partners?

Broadly speaking, we work with three main types of

companies. The first is existing brands that want to improve

their profitability. We are able to offer them better tools and a

more stable platform, ensuring that they’re not held back by

their platform provider. We also work with affiliates who want

to become operators. Affiliates are already doing all of the

hard work in marketing other people’s brands, so partnering

with us is the next logical step for them. We take care of all

the operational tasks, so the main change they see is being

able to own their players and keep more of the revenue.

Increasingly, we’re seeing media companies without any

gaming experience enter the space. They already have the

audience; it’s just a matter of plugging in our turnkey solution

to get their casino up and running.

Your business model is a little different from those of other

platform providers - can you explain how and why?

Our guiding principle is to create genuine partnerships with

our operators. We want to have customers who are happy

and successful because that’s the best way to create a

business relationship for the long-term. The two most notable

things that are different about our business model are our

scalability and ability to charge based on Net Revenue.

“2017 is going to be a very

exciting year. We will be

introducing Sports Betting, which

will be a new vertical for most of

our partners.”

Because we have a large network of operators, we are able

to obtain very competitive rates from payment providers and

for 3rd party royalties. Adding a mark-up to these external

services is a hidden source of income for some providers,

but can create a conflict of interest. The thing I’m most proud

of is that most of our charges are based on our operators’

Net Gaming Revenue. This is not the industry standard, but

we believe that it is the best way to fully align our interests

with those of our partners.

What can you offer to to operators that are unique?

In terms of acquisition, we offer different apps for different

countries. Over the last two years, we have seen the

effectiveness of this approach as our operators have been

able to generate a significant number of new players from

channels they weren’t previously exposed to. Once they

have acquired the players, we offer them over 100 in-house

games that they will only find in our network. The variety of

options offered by the combination of our proprietary games

and a wide selection from third party providers increases

player satisfaction and lifetime value.

What can you tell us about AG’s plans for 2017?

2017 is going to be a very exciting year. We will be

introducing Sports Betting, which will be a new vertical for

most of our partners. We are also planning to launch in our

sixth regulated market. There will be more nice surprises for

our partner operators next year, but I don’t want to give too

much away at the moment.

011


SiGMA | Expo Plan

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

EXPO PLAN

P

PlaynGo

Media Stream Altenar Nexus SEQR Quinel Bit8 Paysafe

Main Entrance

NetEnt

Registration Desk

Melita

Guts

Tipbet

Bet Construct

Maltco

Tipbet

MGA

Kount

Tipbet

Tipbet

Karamba

Lounge

Forestals

Pragmatic

Play

Slots

Million

VIKS

VIKS

Join Games

iGaming Cloud

VIKS

VIKS

Tipico

EGO

Leo Vegas

Lunch Area

Skill on Net

BDO

Honest Partners

APCO

Has Traffic

Wow

Media

Vera&John

EmexGo

Atlas

eGaming

Lab

Caspo

Trustly

Betting

Jobs

Wow

Media

Gold

Lion

Equinox

DCP

Defined

Branding

Ganapati

PTL

Media

Hut

KPMG

Prospectacy

iCentre

Act

Consultants

Betsson

iSoftBet

EP Fantasy

Western

Union

GLI

888

Extra

Mile

Gunggo

The

Palace

Safe

names

Forbes

Fone

VIP

Response Pay360

Touring

Med

Forty

Two

Aliquantum

Call

Credit

Marathon

Bet

Zendesk

iGSN

Coffee Area

CSB

T

014


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Expo Plan | SiGMA

Paysafe

Every Matrix

Betradar

Catella

Bank

Tom

Horn

Optimizer

Invest

Eight

Startups

Gaming

Malta

iGaming

Business

SBC

Conference Passage

HiPay

Tipbet

Mr Green

Tain

Staybet

Tipbet

Bethard

VIKS

VIKS

W2

Global

BTO

Bet

Lucky

Streak

Tipco

Careers

Room 1

iGaming Forum

Casumo Cherry RedBet

Evoke

iGaming

Academy

iGaming

Academy

Go Wild

Ikibu

Premier

Live

All in

Translations

Matching

Visions

VIKS

Finnplay

Greentube Main Room

SiGMA Conferences

KPMG eSummit

Wire

Capital

Casino

TV

CSL

Paymenter

Golden Race

Catena

Media

Catena

Media HR

Wunderino

NMI

Fairwinds Clickbakers

Pentasia

Freaky

Vegas

Energy

Casino

Room 2

Human Capital & Performance

ranscripta

Toilets

015


SiGMA | Conference

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

CONFERENCE 1

NOVEMBER 17TH

VENUE: INTERCONTINENTAL CONFERENCE CENTRE

CONFERENCE 1: Sports

SPORTS

9:00-9.45

9:45‐10:30

Emerging Trends: live betting, player vs player betting, game play and

more

Nikkos J. Frangos, President, Arenacube

Joseph Borg, Senior Advisor, WH Partners

John Barnes, Commentator & Expert, ESPN & SuperSport

Gérard El-Allaf, IB Development Director, GAMING1

Tal Itzhak Ron, Chairman, Tal Ron, Drihem & Co. (Moderator)

There are various emerging trends in betting. Players can now compete against

each other using a combination of betting skills and strategic game play,

rather than betting against the house. There are also new possibilities where a

player can get one or more selections wrong but still win. At the operator level,

can the running costs be optimized and can the requirement for tied up cash

collateral be removed?

Fantasy Sport and its growing popularity across continents

Jeffrey Haas, Chief International Officer, DraftKings

Ben Carlotti, MD & Co-Founder, Oulala

Serge Shapovaloff, CTO, EP Fantasy

Michele Magro, Senior Legal Advisor, MGA

Joseph Borg, Senior Advisor, WH Partners (Moderator)

Fantasy sport is today recognized as a game of skill rather than a game of

chance, distinguishing itself from sports betting. In this animated discussion we

will explore the increased popularity of fantasy sport and its role in European

markets.

10:30‐11:00 Coffee Break

11:00‐11:45

11:45-12:30

Omni-channel sports betting

Johan Styren, CEO, LeoVegas

Alessandro Fried, CEO, BtoBet

Simon Planzer, Partner, Planzer Law

T. Jack Williams, President, Paymentcard Services, Inc.

James Scicluna, Partner, WH Partners (Moderator)

Various operators rely on land based as well as online traffic for their sports

book. What are the emerging trends between the two sources of traffic? Are

the two business models kept distinct or is a more seamless omni-channel

experience the way forward?

Inplay Sports Betting

Bernard Marantelli, CEO, Colossus Bets

Keith McDonnell, CEO & Owner, kmigaming.com

Assaf Stieglitz, Owner, Odds1x2.com

Lennart Gillberg, Founder, Spiffx

Simon Planzer, Partner, Planzer Law (Moderator)

This panel discussion will analyze In-Play time, specifically user engagement in

live betting environments.

016


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Conference | SiGMA

SPORTS SPEAKERS

JEFFREY HAAS

Chief International Officer,

DraftKings

ALESSANDRO FRIED

CEO, BtoBet

JOHN BARNES

Commentator & Expert, ESPN &

SuperSport

JOHAN STYREN

CEO, LeoVegas

JOSEPH BORG

Senior Advisor, WH Partners

GÉRARD EL-ALLAF

IB Development Director, GAMING1

SIMON PLANZER

Partner, Planzer Law

NIKKOS J. FRANGOS

President, Arenacube

BEN CARLOTTI

MD & Co-Founder, Oulala

JAMES SCICLUNA

Partner, WH Partners

SERGE SHAPOVALOFF

CTO, Fantasy Sports Solution

BERNARD MARANTELLI

CEO, Colossus Bets

KEITH MCDONNELL

CEO, kmigaming.com

ASSAF STIEGLITZ

Owner, Odds1x2.com

T. JACK WILLIAMS

President, Paymentcard Services, Inc

LENNART GILLBERG

Founder, Spiffx

MICHELE MAGRO

Senior Legal Advisor, MGA

TAL ITZHAK RON

Chairman, Tal Ron, Drihem & Co.

017


SiGMA | Conference

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

CONFERENCE 2

AFFILIATES & CMOS

NOVEMBER 17TH

VENUE: INTERCONTINENTAL CONFERENCE CENTRE

CONFERENCE 2: Affiliates & CMOS

14:00‐14:45

14:45‐15:00

15:00‐15:45

“Survival of the fittest affiliate” - myth or a reality?

Robin Reed, Group CEO, Gaming Innovation Group Inc.

Ory Weihs, Co-Founder, XLMedia

Erik Bergman, CSO & Co-Founder, Catena Media

Michael Caselli, Founder & Editor in Chief, iGaming Business

Love them or hate them, affiliates remain a major pillar in the iGaming

ecosystem, responsible for over 50% of global traffic. Many affiliates merge

or sell their business to bigger affiliates or operators. This has resulted in the

biggest affiliates, the ones making most of the acquisitions, able to leverage

their position for bigger CPA and rev share deals with operators. Is this creating

a situation where smaller operators are struggling to penetrate the market?

Affiliate Presentation

Erik Bergman, CSO & Co-Founder, Catena Media

Black Hat v.s. White Hat - Google Law v.s. Law of the land

Gary R. Beal, Managing Director, Vanguard Online Media

Sergio Montebello, Founder & MD, Fibonacci Marketing

Alex Sakota, Founder, High Creative, Growth Hacker

Tal Itzhak Ron, Chairman, Tal Ron, Drihem & Co.

In this heated panel discussion, four experienced speakers will battle it out on

stage. Given Google’s constant algorithm updates, should affiliates adopt new

techniques to improve SEO ranking? Are there any legal implications?

15:45‐16:00 Coffee Break

16:00‐16:45

16:45‐17:00

17:00‐17:30

17:30‐18:00

SMS and Email Marketing: the hot seats. Straight questions, straight

answers

Yancy Naughton, Founder, HasTraffic/WantsTraffic

Jonathan Caruana, CEO, SMSwarriors

The Next Cold War - Google Ranking v.s. Artificial Intelligence

Paul Reilly, CEO, Media Skunk Works

The presentation is a must-attend for operators, software developers and all

CMOs. Google Search have been training machine learning algorithms since

2012. Deep neural networks, modeled loosely on the human brain, represent

the new challenge for SEOs. Just how can modern SEOs compete with machine

intelligence? Paul Reilly founder and CEO, Media Skunk Works provides a

gentle introduction to machine learning before covering actual, “in-production”

specifics on how machine learning and natural language processing is being

used by today’s SEO pioneers to compete with machine intelligence.

Advanced Session 1 for CMOS by Random Consulting

Aideen Shortt, Director Random Consulting

Advanced Session 2 for CMOS by Random Consulting

Aideen Shortt, Director Random Consulting

018


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Conference | SiGMA

AFFILIATES & CMOS SPEAKERS

MICHAEL CASELLI

Founder & Editor in Chief,

iGaming Business

ROBIN REED

Group CEO,

Gaming Innovation Group Inc.

ORY WEIHS

Co-Founder, XLMedia

ERIK BERGMAN

CSO & Co-Founder, Catena Media

GARY R. BEAL

Managing Director,

Vanguard Online Media

ALEX SAKOTA

Founder, High Creative

SERGIO MONTEBELLO

Managing Director,

Fibonacci Marketing

PAUL REILLY

CEO, Media Skunk Works

JONATHAN CARUANA

CEO, SMSwarriors

TAL ITZHAK RON

Chairman, Tal Ron, Drihem & Co.

YANCY NAUGHTON

Founder, HasTraffic/WantsTraffic

AIDEEN SHORTT

Director, Random

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SiGMA | Conference

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

CONFERENCE 3

NOVEMBER 18TH

VENUE: INTERCONTINENTAL CONFERENCE CENTRE

CONFERENCE 3: Regulatory Update

8:45-9:00 Coffee

REGULATORY

KPMG ESUMMIT PART 1

9:00‐9:30

9:30-10:15

10:15‐10:45

10:45‐11:00

11:00‐11:50

11:50‐12:00

12:00‐12:30

12:30‐12:45

Welcome Address and Opening Remarks

Hon. Christian Cardona, Economy Minister, Government of Malta

Joseph Cuschieri, Executive Chairman, MGA

Ivan Filletti, Vice Chairman, Gaming Malta

A series of short presentations by major stakeholders in the industry.

Catapulting Malta into the future

Ulrik Bengtsson, President & CEO, Betsson Group

Joseph Cuschieri, Executive Chairman, MGA

Olga Finkel, Partner, WH Partners

Anton Cristina, Executive Director, CSL

As the industry matures, the MGA has revamped its regulatory regime to reflect

current challenges and future needs. Are the new, MGA-granted licenses

generating more jobs in Malta? How are they affecting already established

license holders? What are the seeds that we should sow to maintain our

attractiveness as a Gaming jurisdiction?

The Brexit Looking Glass

Steve Donoghue, CEO, gamblingconsultant.co.uk

Robin Le Prevost, CEO, Le Prevost Consultancy

Russell Kelly, Partner, KPMG IOM

Edwina Licari, Chief officer, Legal, EU & Int Affairs, MGA (Moderator)

Malta has been listed as one of the countries most vulnerable to the

ramifications of a Great Britain outside the EU. What does Brexit mean for the

gambling sphere in England, IOM, Gibraltar and Malta? What are the risks and

potential benefits? What are the data protection implications?

Entering a regulated market versus staying in the comfortable grey zone

Quirino Mancini, Partner Advisor, Tonucci & Partners

What is the most commercially sensible strategy for an international gaming

operator nowadays?

The Complexities of Compliance

Michaela Meilinger, Tax Associate, KPMG Austria

Susan Breen, Partner, Mishcon de Reya

Lawrence Hanlin, Risk Consulting Supervisor, KPMG Gibraltar

Simon Planzer, Partner, Planzer Law

Trevor De Giorgio, Managing Director, Greentube Malta

Michael Ellen, Partner, Regulus Partners (Moderator)

This session will focus on industry concerns, outlining the European legal

viewpoint of ongoing compliance and the implications for Gaming operators.

Effort and Ingenuity – the Road to Consolidation

Tim Stocks, Managing Director, James Stocks & Co

WSince 2014 the online gambling industry has seen a significant number of

M&A transactions. However the pace of consolidation is not set to slow down.

The consolidation trends are led by the need to increase scale to fund rising

costs arising from tax changes and compliance costs, access to technology and

mobile penetration as well as competitive pressures and the drive for market

share.

M&A and Capital market activity from an operator’s perspective

Justin Psaila, CFO, Gaming Innovation Group

Tim Stocks, Managing Director, James Stocks & Co

Donal Barron, Commercial Dev. Manager, Paddy Power Betfair

Ory Weihs, Co-Founder, XLMedia

David Pace, Partner, Deal Advisory, KPMG Malta (Moderator)

Responsible Gaming Presentation

Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, EGBA

How can responsible gaming change the outside in perspective of gambling?

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ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Conference | SiGMA

REGULATORY SPEAKERS

HON. CHRISTIAN CARDONA

Economy Minister,

Government of Malta

ULRIK BENGTSSON

President & CEO, Betsson Group

JOSEPH CUSCHIERI

Executive Chairman, MGA

ANTON CRISTINA

Executive Director, CSL

ROBIN LE PREVOST

CEO, Le Prevost Consultancy

IVAN FILLETTI

Vice Chairman, Gaming Malta

MAARTEN HAIJER

Secretary General, EGBA

SIMON PLANZER

Partner, Planzer Law

OLGA FINKEL

Partner, WH Partners

TREVOR DE GIORGIO

Managing Director, Greentube Malta

DONAL BARRON

Commercial Dev. Manager,

Paddy Power Betfair

TIM STOCKS

Managing Director,

James Stocks & Co

RUSSELL KELLY

Partner, KPMG IOM

EDWINA LICARI

Chief officer, Legal, EU & Int Affairs,

MGA

MICHAEL ELLEN

Partner, Regulus Partners

JUSTIN PSAILA

CFO, Gaming Innovation Group

SUSAN BREEN

Partner, Mishcon de Reya

STEVE DONOGHUE

CEO, gamblingconsultant.co.uk

QUIRINO MANCINI

Partner Advisor, Tonucci & Partners

MICHAELA MEILINGER

Tax Associate, KPMG Austria

DAVID PACE

Partner, Deal Advisory,

KPMG Malta

LAWRENCE HANLIN

Risk Consulting Supervisor,

KPMG Gibraltar

ORY WEIHS

Co-Founder, XLMedia

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SiGMA | Conference

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

CONFERENCE 4

NOVEMBER 18TH

VENUE: INTERCONTINENTAL, BAY ARENA

PAYMENTS &

DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY

KPMG ESUMMIT PART 2

CONFERENCE 4:

Payments & Disruptive Technology

14:45‐15:15

15:15‐15:30

15:30‐16:00

16:00‐16:15

16:15-16:45

16:45‐17:00

17:00‐17:15

17:15‐17:45

The transition of online gaming

Alexandre Tomic, Co-Founder, Alea Gaming

David Sargeant, Founder, iGaming Ideas

Carla Maree Vella, CEO & COO, Optimizer Invest

Anton Kaszubowski, Director, Greenlaw Limited (Moderator)

What will be the next disruptor in traditional betting? The discussion will look

into the new opportunities to leverage these new innovations, VR, payments,

smart CRM systems, data insights and engagement, emotional biometrics.

Virtual Reality: a game changer for egamers

Martin McDonald, CEO, Parallel66

Whichever way you look at it, VR defies normal business metrics and for very

good reason – because it is unlike any medium consumers have experienced

to date. Brand and business owners say we want to be involved but how do we

connect Virtual Reality to a business model that works for us?

Bridging the gaming industries for millennials

Georg Westin, Founder, Hero Gaming

Nikolai Livori, CEO, Yobetit

Valéry Bollier, CEO & Co-Founder, Oulala

Jim Brown, Managing Director, Jim Brown Consulting

Russell Mifsud, Senior Manager, Gaming Specialist, KPMG Malta

(Moderator)

Defining and engaging the audience, the power of game mechanics and how

to engage the masses for small sums, with high volumes. Game mechanics

are important features to include in an offering to millennials. The majority of

millennials never gambled but often played games. Can game mechanics,

gamified strategies and immersive gameplay engage the masses in playing

games for small sums, but in high volumes? Could DFS and eSports be

scratching the surface of something far deeper?

The power of data

Abdalla Kablan, Founder, Scheduit

Tangible example of how Data insights can help improve your efficiency +

future

D&A

Abdalla Kablan, Founder, Scheduit

Adrian Mizzi, Associate Director, KPMG

Angelo Dalli, CEO, Bit8

Ben Carlotti, MD & Co-Founder, Oulala

Eric Muscat, Partner, IT Advisory, KPMG Malta (Moderator)

Using algorithms and predictive analytics to spot fraud, enhance retention and

build a competitive advantage

Cyber risk - what is it?

George Quigley, Cyber Security Partner, KPMG London

How effective are my security controls? What risks am I running? Do other parts

of the business understand their incident response role? Have I got the right

balance of controls?

What’s the risk to us?

Jason Chess, Partner, Wiggin

A risk assessment methodology for financial & other service providers to the

gambling industry.

Opportunities arising under PSD2 and open banking standards

Jason Chess, Partner, Wiggin

Peter Howitt, Founder, Ramparts

Andrew J. Zammit, Managing Partner, GVZH Advocates

Mark Curmi, Senior Manager, KPMG Malta (Moderator)

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ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Conference | SiGMA

PAYMENTS & DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY

SPEAKERS

DAVID SARGEANT

Founder, iGaming Ideas

ALEXANDRE TOMIC

Co-Founder, Alea Gaming

ABDALLA KABLAN

Founder, Scheduit

CARLA MAREE VELLA

CEO & COO, Optimizer Invest

PETER HOWITT

Founder, Ramparts

JASON CHESS

Partner, Wiggin

ANGELO DALLI

CEO, Bit8

BEN CARLOTTI

MD & Co-Founder, Oulala

VALÉRY BOLLIER

CEO & Co-Founder, Oulala

JIM BROWN

Managing Director,

Jim Brown Consulting

ANDREW J. ZAMMIT

Managing Partner, GVZH Advocates

ANTON KASZUBOWSKI

Director, Greenlaw Limited

ERIC MUSCAT

Partner, IT Advisory, KPMG Malta

MARTIN MCDONALD

CEO, Parallel66

GEORGE QUIGLEY

Cyber Security Partner,

KPMG London

ADRIAN MIZZI

Associate Director, KPMG Malta

RUSSELL MIFSUD

Senior Manager, Gaming Specialist,

KPMG Malta

MARK CURMI

Senior Manager, KPMG Malta

NIKOLAI LIVORI

CEO, Yobetit

GEORG WESTIN

Founder, Hero Gaming

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SiGMA | Partnership Events

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

in Malta, whereby we shall be incorporating SiGMA’s regulatory &

payments conference into a KPMG eSummit. The events have thus

far been rolled out in the Isle of Man and Gibraltar, so it is extremely

satisfying and rewarding to join our KPMG member firms in actively

partaking in an event that has progressively evolved into one of

the most reputable and sought after events in the global eGaming

calendar.

With the event securely established in both the Isle of Man and

Gibraltar, delegates have since gathered annually to discuss

contemporary and perennial issues. Topics have been as diverse as

remote gambling, the requirement to balance economic freedoms with

consumer protection and the need to raise tax revenue, changes in

online payment technologies and their impact on regulators, operators,

customer acquisition as well as many others.

We augur that the Malta KPMG eSummit is a success that can be

replicated year-on-year.

Who normally attends the KPMG eSummits?

The eSummit has successfully attracted high calibre speakers and

panelists from multiple facets of the industry. This has, in turn, acted

as a veritable pull-factor in attracting the intended targeted audience

of C-level executives, operators, regulators and government decisionmakers

– basically the movers and shakers of the industry. Due to

the high-quality content at the eGaming summits, the event has

progressively attracted an increasing number of representatives from

complementary industries, such as telecommunications, data hosting,

corporate services, law and payment facilitation.

It is interesting to note that the events have always attracted delegates

from outside the host country. Today, the eGaming Summit is

unquestionably international, with the majority of attendees stemming

from across Europe.

ISLE OF MAN,

GIBRALTAR AND

NOW MALTA:

KPMG ADDS

THIRD ANNUAL

eSUMMIT

Can you tell me what the KPMG eSummits are

about?

The Remote Gaming sector continues to be one

of the most dynamic and innovative industries in

the world. Indeed, the industry has transformed

dramatically since the first eSummit took place

seven years ago. The KPMG eSummits’ aim is

to bring greater focus to, and understanding of,

the Remote Gaming sector. While the content

covered at the eSummits has, from year to year,

changed considerably and been adapted to reflect

the reality on the ground, the blueprint – under

which themes are divided into local and global

iGaming issues, with industry leaders sharing their

knowledge and experience on each and every

delegate participating in the discussion – remains

unchanged and has been hugely successful.

It’s a proud moment for KPMG in Malta as, this year,

it will be launching the very first KPMG eSummit

The comprehensive and dynamic nature of the eGaming Summits

have meant that all of the major changes and controversies affecting

the eGaming industry since the inaugural summit is provided with the

right forum whereby participants can engage in an interesting debate

where the exchange of opinions and ideas is solicited in an open and

transparent manner.

What value do you aim to bring by hosting a KPMG eSummit out in

Malta?

We have been rigorously and methodically preparing for this event

and we are very satisfied with the final program. It promises to be a

thought-provoking day, filled with knowledgeable industry specialists,

who will share their experiences and provide in-depth insight in

their relevant area of specialisation. The informal layout of the main

conference hall is set out to provide the right conditions to capture

the audiences’ attention and create a comfortable environment for

questions.

Our intention is to provide meaningful and practical tools to our

audience, in order for them to apply this insight into their own

operations. The major outcome from this event is envisaged to revolve

around the usability, validity and applicability of the sessions.

The KPMG eSummit in Malta promises to be a lively day, which will be

delivered through a combination of short presentations accompanied

by topic-centric panel sessions. We are going to be time conscious but

value-driven.

(Should you wish to gauge a further appreciation of the themes that are

set to be discussed on the day, then kindly refer to our advert on the

inside front page cover of the SiGMA magazine)

Why have you decided to partner up the KPMG eSummit with SiGMA

this year?

SiGMA has grown from strength to strength since its inception 3 years

ago. It is the largest Gaming event on the island and is garnering much

support by carving a reputable niche as a yearly calendar mainstay in

the international arena. We have decided to partner up with SiGMA

because we feel as though the combination of SiGMA’s reach and

proven track record, coupled with KPMG in Malta’s network and

expertise in the field, will offer the audience an enriching forum, within

a fun environment.

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ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Partnership Events | SiGMA

FIRST EDITION OF iGAMING

FORUM DURING MALTA

GAMING WEEK

THE IGAMING EDUCATION FORUM, WHICH WILL

TAKE PLACE DURING THE SIGMA CONFERENCE ON

THE 16TH, 17TH & 18TH NOVEMBER, AIMS TO BRING

TOGETHER INTERNATIONAL GAMING COMPANIES OF

ALL SIZES AND INDIVIDUALS NEW TO THE INDUSTRY,

TO PARTICIPATE IN INTENSIVE TRAINING WORKSHOPS.

IT IS DESIGNED TO GIVE EACH PARTICIPANT A UNIQUE

TRAINING PACKAGE DELIVERED BY REPUTABLE

IGAMING TRAINERS WITH EXPERIENCE IN BOTH

IGAMING AND AS IGAMING ACADEMY TRAINERS.

The Malta-based iGaming Academy, a trailblazer in industry training

and education has announced that it will be joining forces with SiGMA

to present its biggest training event to date. The iGaming Education

Forum, which will bring together international gaming companies

of all sizes, as well as individuals who are new to the industry, will

be held during the conference (16/17/18 November) in a dedicated

venue. The Forum will deliver comprehensive, current and relevant

content and has been designed for any individual who strives to hold a

successful position within the iGaming industry. Each participant will be

provided with a unique training package, suited to their interests and

professional demands with the workshops delivered by experienced

iGaming professionals who are also proven iGaming Academy Trainers.

Explaining the link-up, iGaming Academy Director, Jaime Debono,

stated: “With SiGMA now established as a premier recruitment event,

adding a dedicated and professional training operation is a natural

partnership. As every business leader will testify, sourcing and securing

the right talent is no easy feat and with a solid workforce of some

12,000 people, Malta provides an ideal recruitment backdrop.”

Turning his attention to the content covered by the Forum, Jaime

Debono said: “Three of the major areas of contemporary interest to

the industry will be discussed, including Compliance – which will touch

on the various regulatory aspects of the industry such as AML, Anti-

Fraud and Payments and of course, Responsible Gaming. A day has

been dedicated to product specific topics, such as Sportsbook and

Casino management – and introducing one of the newest contenders

for a market share – eSports. We will also feature an Acquisition and

Retention workshop, where we will look at Customer Relationship

Management, Social Media Marketing and Affiliate Management

as three key topics. And to wrap it up, all participants will be given

free entrance to the expo as SiGMA delegates, providing a unique

opportunity to build and grow networks, in what is an established

networking environment.”

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SiGMA | Partnership Events

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

FUELING AN INCREASING

DEMAND FOR IGAMING

TALENT IN MALTA

THIS NOVEMBER AT SIGMA, CASTILLE WILL BE ORGANISING TWO PANELS IN RELATION TO

HR, REGULATION, ENGAGEMENT & RETENTION IN THE GAMING INDUSTRY.

Panel number 1 will be discussing the delicate subjects

of Skills Shortages, Emerging Employment trends and

the Legal, Tax implications of same. With the knowledge

of leading legal, audit and recruitment firms, the

contribution to the discussion will be invaluable. This

panel has an HR base with a regulatory spin.

The first panel will start by discussing the reasons

and evolving trends behind skills shortages, with

candidates capable of software development being

a prime example of the situation faced by many firms

around the world, with demand exceeding the supply

of available talent. The panel will discuss ways of

mitigating these shortages through different methods,

mainly through targeting of more EU candidates and

third party nationals, using remote working, providing

Internships and partnering with outsourcing providers.

The last method can assist firms by helping them plug

into a readily available workforce, and is easily scalable

according to client needs.

Other important points for a firm to consider when

looking for skilled talent include attraction & relocation

packages, employment law in Malta, Intellectual

Property implications and Income tax.

The second panel will have a greater focus on

Employee Engagement for Digital Workers. From the

experience of specialists & industry research, it is

known that Digital Workers request & need varying

workplace elements, not necessarily requested by

other industries.

The ability of employees to create, innovate and

develop products of their own, which they are

passionate about is important. Giving these employees

the opportunity of growing and providing time for their

own creations can prove to be crucial in engaging the

right employees and also retaining them.

With the continuously growing number of opportunities

available, digital workers are more careful in analysing

their career choices, and will look to join a company

whose culture fits their own.

The panel members will contribute by using their

experience in using the “HR Tool Kit” in order to

optimise employee engagement and retention. This

HR toolkit assists organisations by using a number of

methods which research has shown to have an effect

on happiness and loyalty demonstrated by employees.

Such tools include Training and Development, Rewards

and Compensation, Technical Challenges, Positive

Working Environments, Diversity in the working place

and the possibility for employees to thinking outside

the proverbial box C

Castille is a specialist recruitment firm for tech,

finance and executive careers. Their proposition is

consultative and knowledge based, providing clients

and candidates with an expert view and a specialist

network.

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SiGMA | Startup Pitch

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

STARTUP PITCH

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MALTA, WE ARE INTRODUCING THE SiGMA STARTUP PITCH,

BRINGING TOGETHER EIGHT GOOD STARTUPS AND SEVERAL INVESTORS UNDER ONE ROOF.

WITH SO MANY INVESTORS WANTING TO JOIN THE GAMING SCENE IN MALTA AS WELL AS

WORLDWIDE STARTUPS THERE’S NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO LAUNCH THIS SESSION.

Each startup will have six minutes to present their project, then face a session of Q&A from the

investors and the audience in a Dragon’s Den-like environment. Are you a startup? Seeking

mentors and investors?

Meet the Startups:

In association with

Betters’ Rift is an eSports-focused, free-to-play betting website, which aims at becoming the European leader

on this market. They believe that eSports aren’t just a new category of sport. It is a dynamic and fresh way to

experience competitive entertainment and needs a new approach when it comes to betting.

To that end, Betters’ Rift chose to create a free-to-play online betting platform, infused with tried-and-tested video

games mechanics. Their business model rests on incentivized advertising, selling virtual good and providing B2B

services focused on eSports. They are now ready to provide operators with white-label eSports betting platforms.

To that end, Betters’ Rift chose to create a free-to-play online betting platform, infused with tried-and-tested video

games mechanics. They are now ready to provide operators with white-label eSports betting platforms.

SkillCorner is a startup coming from the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry incubator.

They are developing artificial intelligence algorithms and apply them to professional team sports. From a simple

video, their algorithms are able to locate the players, the ball and the referees, to identify automatically each

player and to understand tactical aspects. The recovered data (20 million/match) is used and valued by different

customers: bookmakers, broadcasters, media then clubs.

This London-based start-up offers a range of high-quality instant wins where players are in charge. From their

award-winning skill game shows to instant win with cash out and gorgeously engaging scratch, Gamevy combines

innovative game design with massive jackpots and a focus on a broad demographic of players. Try the games here.

You can play the games for real money on Lottoland, MarathonBet, Betsson and other operators as Gamevy rolls

out the games across Europe. Gamevy is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission and the Gibraltar

Commission.

Nextwin is a social betting network (web & mobile) for tipsters and sports passionate that give to users the

opportunity to play for fun with no risk using a virtual currency (nextcoin), learn from the best bettors identified

relying on statistical algorithms and improve real performance (profits), challenges with friends, share results and

knowledge and get social visibility. Nextwin is not a bookmaker, but a social game. Their business is based on

selling virtual goods to enlarge playing opportunities , B2B agreements (affiliation + white-labeling services) and

selling advertisement.

SportsbookCloud is a massively scalable, high-performance sports betting platform. The company uses the

most sophisticated Database services on the market giving their clients unlimited odds compiling capabilities.

SportsbookCloud is helping Operators transform their business into immersive omni-channel experiences. They

automatically manage the complexity of unlimited scalability. SportsbookCloud delivers a business-ready platform

with customer’s design within weeks.

InboundMuse is a digital marketing consultancy helping mature B2B companies get more customers online. Their

digital marketing services focus on continuously improving B2B websites with the most powerful marketing & sales

tools. They provide all the knowledge, skills, and processes needed to completely transform the way to find, close

and keep clients.

Sporticos.com is a Polish startup, backed lately by Robert Lewandowski - a world-class soccer player. It is a platform

that uses algorithms and visualization to show the most important facts and conclusions in a nice, graphical way.

Sporticos monitor online discussions about upcoming games, learn the sentiment and combine it with stats as an

element of its prediction algorithm. Sporticos track tipsters around the world and accumulate their expertise for

smart betting. Currently, it has 8 language versions and over 1 million users on a monthly basis.

Commologic is an innovative sports betting soft games B2B provider based in Israel and licensed in UK, Malta and

Denmark. Our first game - BetUP, the world’s first inplay betting cash tournament game, has just recently gone live

with Unibet and The Football Pools.

BetUP is a unique tournament game that asks predictive questions during live football. Players select what they

believe will happen next, through a host of fun and innovative questions. This fun game format allows both

experienced sports bettors and novices to BetUP against each other on a level playing field, and challenge

themselves with a combination of skill and luck to predict the action.

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ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Startup Pitch | SiGMA

MEET THE INVESTORS

MORTEN KLEIN

Kleing Group AS

Morten Klein is a Member of the Board at

Cherry AB and the Founder & Chairman

of the Board at Klein Group AS. He’s a

successful entrepreneur and investor

with an extensive expertise in online

gambling industry. In 2012, Morten was

acknowledged as one of the 50 most

significant people in the world within

the Gambling Industry by Gambling

Intelligence.

About Kleing Group AS:

Klein Group consists of a group of

companies with different investments

within the iGaming industry, e-commerce,

real estate and venture companies. Klein

Group is fully controlled by Morten Klein.

The 20% ownership of the publicly listed

Swedish gambling company Cherry AB,

is the main investment of the Group and

stands for the continuation of the business

corporation called NorgesAutomaten

established by Morten Klein in 2006,

together with Betsson AB and sold to

Cherry AB in 2010.

CARLA MAREE VELLA

Optimizer Invest

Carla is the CEO/COO at Optimizer Invest.

Her entrepreneurial and innovative drive

is supported by 10 years experience in

online marketing, and 5 years in iGaming.

She specialises in digital marketing, user

experience, technology, operational

efficiency, data, and CRO.

About Optimizer Invest:

Optimizer Invest is a Scandinavian venture

capital company headquartered in Malta.

The company helps young businesses

and entrepreneurs to develop their

full potential for profitable growth. The

founders and owners have a successful

track record in iGaming, and therefore

primarily invest in consumer-oriented and

online businesses.

ORY WEIHS

XLMedia

Ory Weihs is one of the founders and the

CEO of XLMedia Group. He’s responsible

for business development and strategy,

focusing on expanding the groups reach

and technological abilities. Ory is an

industry expert, who has been heavily

involved in iGaming and digital advertising

for over 10 years.

About XLMedia:

XLMedia is a leading provider of digital

marketing services. The company uses

proprietary tools and methodologies

to generate high-value traffic. XLMedia

operates across a number of verticals

with specific expertise in the iGaming

industry. The Group partners with over 150

online gaming operators in more than 20

countries.

MITSUYA FUJIMOTO

Ganapati

Mitsuya Fujimoto is the CEO of Ganapati

Plc, an online casino game supplier with

offices in Tokyo and London. Mitsuya has

extensive experience in TV and music

production and artist management in his

previous roles where he worked on many

prominent international artists and projects

with major brands, such as Yamaha and

MTV Unplugged. In 2006 he became an

independent consultant and established a

music media agency called Life Is So Cruel.

He worked for a variety of projects around

the world providing foreign countries with

Japanese content, which he will continue

to do in the iGaming industry.

About Ganapati:

Ganapati Plc is a group of innovative game

studios, production companies and media

platforms. They have a series of successful

social networking apps which are available

in Japan and are currently developing a

series of unique slot games which will be

released globally over the next 12 months.

?

NIKOLAI LIVORI

Yobetit

Nikolai Livori was appointed as the Chief

Executive Officer of Yobetit earlier in 2014

however, he co-founded the company

in Malta in 2012 and since then has

spearheaded major strategy and technical

shifts. In this position as the CEO, he has

assumed the overall responsibility for

Yobetit including product, business and

technology strategies.

About Yobetit:

Yobetit is a sports arbitrage bookmaker

with its main product being a browserbased

Sports trading platform. Yobetit

scans the global sports odds market and

then presents unique cross bet arbitrage

opportunities to its members.

JEAN PAUL BARTHET

Go Beyond

Jean Paul is a partner at Go Beyond

Investing, heading the Sales & Operations

functions. Jean Paul has 20+ years

experience in Technology, Strategy, Sales,

Operations & People Management in

Technology, iGaming, Oil&Gas and Startup

Investing.

About Optimizer Invest:

Go Beyond Investing enables individuals

to access angel investing as an asset class

through its unique platform, tools, training

and expert angels.

DAVID SARGEANT

iGaming Ideas

David drives new products, strategy, and

innovation, working as a consultant for

gaming operators and product suppliers,

and running an iGaming incubator – www.

igamingideas.com

David has 14 years experience in the

gambling and technology sectors. He

works across many iGaming verticals

including Sports Betting, Horse Racing,

Virtual Sports, Casino, and Lottery. He has

experience deploying strategies, products

and solutions across UK/Ireland, Europe,

Africa, Asia and the Americas.

About iGaming Ideas:

iGaming Ideas aims to add innovation to

the Sports Betting and iGaming sector by

helping new ideas get to market. We are a

consultancy, a startup incubator and seed

fund for the sports betting and iGaming

space.

WOULD YOU

LIKE TO BE IN

THE AUDIENCE,

BEHIND THESE

INVESTORS?

Admission is free

for all SiGMA

attendees.

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SiGMA | Careers Convention

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

CAREERS CONVENTION FOR

SiGMA AND MALTA GAMING WEEK

THE MANTRA “AS STRONG AS YOUR WEAKEST LINK” NEVER APPLIED BETTER THAN IN THE CASE

OF HUMAN RESOURCES. MANY GAMING COMPANIES BASED IN MALTA HAVE SET UP THEIR OWN

DEPARTMENT FOR HEAD HUNTING AND RECRUITMENT, MAKING SURE THAT THE BEST TALENT FILLS

EACH AND EVERY VACANCY AVAILABLE. SO THIS YEAR AT SIGMA, DURING THE LAST FEW HOURS,

ON DAY TWO, BETWEEN 2PM AND 6PM, THE DOORS WILL OPEN FOR TALENTED GRADUATES AND IT

DEVELOPERS, BUT STRICTLY BY INVITE, FOR A CAREERS CONVENTION.

In the words of Eman Pulis, “Anyone who has been to any

expo can attest that numbers tend to dwindle down a bit

towards the end. So the timing seemed right for a careers

convention to help meet the increasing demand for talent.”

Graduates from the University of Malta, MCAST and various

private institutes will be targeted and personally invited to

this careers convention. Eman went on to elaborate, “We’ve

quite literally embarked on a three-month head-hunting

mission for all, not only in Malta but also in Scandinavia,

where request for Scandinavian talent is on the increase.

Who knows? They might likely meet their best employer to

date!”

Between 2pm and 6pm on Day Two of the expo, the doors

will open to graduates and IT developers who are looking

at the possibility of a new career in iGaming. Partners

MyEvetntsPlanner has secured solid partnerships with

student faculty organizations ICTSA, ELSA, ASCS, UESA,

GHSL and others.

SiGMA’s ultimate goal is to bring the entire gaming

community together, from affiliates and operators to

regulators and vendors. However, this year, it also wants

to serve the purpose of recruitment in Malta. In the words

of SiGMA’s Dennis Dhyr Hansen, “It is well-known that

recruitment remains one of the trickiest aspects, often

leaving developers in short supply and an increasing number

of graduates looking to form part of the gaming industry.

This is where SiGMA can provide an excellent platform on

Maltese shores.”

When asked about the partnership with SiGMA, Managing

Partner at Event Planner James Cassar said: “I’ve worked on

various events with Eman for a long time and this partnership

should pave the way for some great opportunities for

graduates who are seeking a career in iGaming. Through

this event we want to create a bridge between students

and the betting company world where great employment

opportunities exist.”

Those attending will be entitled to shop around the expo

floor as well as attend a conference on Human Capital and

Performance. Networking drinks and the closing party will

also be accessible to the Careers Convention attendees.

The organizers are signing the brightest, most experienced

speakers from within and outside the industry, including TED

speakers, covering a range of themes and paving the way

for some animated panel discussions.

The organisers have lined them up for you: 100 speakers,

150 sponsors/exhibitors and 3,000 quality attendees. For

further information visit www.maltaigamingsummit.com

032


SiGMA | Networking Events

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

NETWORKING

BONANZA

WEDNESDAY 16TH NOVEMBER

AFFILIATES DINNER

Strictly by invite

19:00HRS-21:30HRS

Sciacca

A networking dinner only for affiliates

and SEO executives.

FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT

FREE for all delegates

by subscription

10:00HRS-16:00HRS

Luxol

PRE-REGISTRATION DRINKS

Free for all delegates

20:00HRS-21:00HRS

InterContinental, 7th Floor Carissa

Participants can enjoy some drinks and pre-register for their

badge during the networking reception, beating Thursdaymorning

queues.

A fun, sporting social for early arrivals and delegates based

in Malta.

THE BIG FOUNDATION DINNER

€175

SiGMA registration page

19:00HRS-21:30HRS

InterContinental Conference Centre

A charity dinner hosted by the BiG Foundation.

POKER TOURNAMENT

30€ – ticket entrance

SiGMA registration page

22:30HRS-01:00HRS

InterContinental, 7th Floor Carissa

Following the networking reception,

an ice-breaking poker tournament will

be held on Wednesday evening. Most

delegates travelling for SiGMA will be

in Malta by this time.

034


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Networking Events | SiGMA

STARTUP PITCH

Free for all delegates

13:00HRS- 15:00HRS

InterContinental Conference Hall

For the first time in Malta, we are introducing the SiGMA

Startup Pitch. Each startup will have a six

minute presentation, then face a session

of Q&A from the investors and the

audience in a Dragon’s Den-like

environment.

OLYBET WELCOME PARTY

Strictly by Invite

23:00HRS-02:00HRS

Casino Malta

LUNCH

Free for all delegates

12:30HRS- 15:00HRS

InterContinental Arena

Free, standing lunch will be provided within the expo.

With a majestic casino underneath the expo, it was only a

natural move for SiGMA to have a welcome party at the same

casino, courtesy of hosts OlyBet and Casino Malta

THURSDAY 17TH NOVEMBER

COFFEE BREAKS

Free for all delegates

09:00HRS- 18:00HRS

InterContinental Arena

We’re proud to be using a premium brand,

Lavazza, supplied by P. Cutajar, for all of

our coffee breaks.

NETWORKING DRINKS

Free for all delegates

18:00HRS-20:00HRS

Tapaz

At the end of each summit, sponsored networking drinks will

be held at Tapaz Lounge, outside the InterContinental, Bay

Arena.

035


SiGMA | Networking Events

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

FRIDAY 18TH NOVEMBER

COFFEE BREAKS

Free for all delegates

ALL DAY

InterContinental Arena

We’re proud to be using a premium brand, Lavazza, supplied

by P. Cutajar, for all of our coffee breaks. These coffee breaks

are an excellent opportunity to meet fellow colleagues and

exchange business cards.

LUNCH

Free for all delegates

12:30HRS- 15:00HRS

InterContinental Arena

Free, standing lunch will be provided within the expo.

CAREERS CONVENTION

Free for all delegates

14:00HRS-18:00HRS

Expo Floor

SUNSET HARBOUR CRUISE

€70 -SiGMA registration page

Free for affiliates,

strictly by invite from EGO

18:30HRS-20:30HRS

Westin Pavillion

This sunset cruise will provide a

breathtaking backdrop for two hours

of quality networking.

CLOSING NIGHT

Free for all delegates. €20 for non-delegates

22:00HRS-02:00HRS

Westin Pavillion

Organised together with Ambassador Events, the SiGMA

Closing Night has cemented itself as the biggest gaming

party of the year in Malta

Between 2pm and 6pm on Day Two of the expo, the

doors will open to graduates and IT developers who are

looking at the possibility of a new career in iGaming.

MyEventPlanner has secured solid partnerships with student

faculty organisations ICTSA, ELSA, ASCS, UESA, GHSL. We

recommend HR departments with a booth to be present at

those times!

NETWORKING DRINKS

Free for all delegates

18:00HRS-20:00HRS

Tapaz

At the end of each summit, sponsored networking drinks will

be held at Tapaz Lounge, outside the InterContinental, Bay

Arena.

SATURDAY 19TH NOVEMBER

CHAMPAGNE BRUNCH

€85 SiGMA registration page

11:00HRS-15:00HRS

Paranga

Participants will have their last chance to meet fellow

delegates and top up some tan at Paranga Beach Lido

before travelling back home with this unique drinks and

brunch session.

036


SiGMA | The Headlines

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

The HEADLINES

APRIL 2016

Betsson announced new

London Technology Centre

Betsson AB declared the opening of

its ‘Applied Digital Technology Centre’

in Holborn, London.

The company opened its new

London office while partnering with

collaborative workspace specialist

WeWork, in order to focus on

improving the firm’s technology

development and data capabilities.

According to a corporate statement

issued, Betsson AM governance

stated that its branch in London

became an integral part of

its business, aiming to create

further ‘direct synergies’ with its

corresponding teams.

The opening of the firm’s London

technology hub corresponds with the

operator re-launching of its sports

betting subsidiary Betsafe for the UK

market.

Catena Media acquired

AskGamblers.com for €15

million

On 3rd April 2016, Catena Media

acquired the acknowledged and

highly regarded affiliate website

AskGamblers.com for EUR 15 million

and thereby consolidated its position

as Europe’s fastest growing company

in lead generation. The transaction

was the largest in Catena Media’s

history.

“We are incredibly proud of acquiring

AskGamblers which is one of the

best brands in the affiliate market

and whose operations are a perfect

fit for Catena Media. AskGamblers

is an extremely important site for

casino operators and, through its

stringent requirements for certified

casinos, contributes to creating a

better iGaming industry.” said Robert

Andersson, CEO of Catena Media.

Unibet paid €7.5 million to

former iGame owners

Online games provider Unibet PLC,

confirmed that it paid an initial €7.5

million to the former owners of

iGame Group Ltd in accordance with

its agreed August 2015 corporate

acquisition terms.

In a statement to investors, Unibet

disclosed that iGame Group

had managed to meet its initial

performance targets set for the

financial year ending 31 December

2015.

The cost of paying the maximum earnout

of €20 million was fully provided

in the financial statements of Unibet

Group on 31 December 2015, so this

payment has no impact on Unibet’s

earnings for 2016.

LVbet Online Casino went

live

LVbet, the Malta-based gambling

operator, launched its first online

casino. LVBet.com is a fully licensed

casino and regular online casino

players can recognise many of the

games on offer which are created

by some of the best game providers

like Microgaming, Net Entertainment,

Thunderkick and Wazdan.

Commenting on the launch, Marcin

Sapinski, a representative for the

startup gambling company, said that

they are extremely excited to be

introducing the new casino to the

online gambling market. Mr. Sapinski

further noted that they want to make

their players feel

special and to know

that they matter to

the online gaming

brand.

MAY 2016

LeoVegas launched sports

betting product

After the initial public offering on

Stockholm Nasdaq in March 2016,

the mobile casino LeoVegas went live

with its sports betting product named

LeoVegas Sport.

Gustaf Hagman, CEO and co-founder

of LeoVegas Group commented on

the launch: “LeoVegas` mobile DNA

and innovative strength are the

foundation for our market-leading

position in mobile gaming. I am very

proud of our employees who have

enabled us to launch a product that

will bring mobile sports betting to a

new level.”

“We launched LeoVegas Sport in

the UK, Sweden, Norway, Finland,

The Netherlands and Canada. We’re

looking at expanding into more and

new markets shortly”, commented

CEO of LeoVegas Gaming Ltd. Johan

Styren.

040


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

The Headlines | SiGMA

JUNE 2016

Cherry signed acquisition

agreement with ComeOn

Swedish gaming company Cherry AB

acquired 49% of ComeOn Malta Ltd.’s

shares, with an option to also acquire

the 51% remaining. The acquisition

strengthened Cherry’s position in

Scandinavian markets significantly

and provided great opportunities for

international expansion.

CEO of Cherry AB, Fredrik Burvall,

said: “This acquisition will strengthen

Cherry’s position in online gaming

against competitors in Scandinavia

and other European markets. Both

Cherry and ComeOn are growing

considerably faster than the market

as a whole, which facilitates further

investments in existing brands

and continued expansion in new

markets. We will add several strong

brands and will profit from the strong

entrepreneurial spirit within ComeOn.”

EveryMatrix launched

Development Office in

Vietnam

Originally founded in Copenhagen,

EveryMatrix reached a significant

corporate milestone by launching its

new development office in Ho Chi

Minh City, Vietnam.

Ebbe Groes, CEO and co-founder

of EveryMatrix, said: “The present

iGaming industry displays a significant

commercial potential which translates

into a growing number of clients for

our company. This reality required

a new development office so that

we can offer the same high-quality

products and respond to the latest

demands of our clients for responsive

desktop and mobile solutions.”

EveryMatrix’s global office portfolio

now consists of the UK, Romania,

Denmark, Norway, China, Malta,

Ukraine, Philippines, Armenia and

Vietnam.

Gaming Innovation Group

acquired Betit Holdings

Gaming Innovation Group signed

an agreement to acquire all shares

in iGaming operator Betit Holdings

Ltd., which owns some of the biggest

operators in the Scandinavian

iGaming market including SuperLenny.

com, Kaboo.com and Thrills.com.

The deal is worth approximately €54

million.

Robin Reed, CEO of GIG, said:

“Through this agreement, we team up

with some of the most accomplished

entrepreneur’s in the industry,

significantly enhancing our reach to

end-users, marketing partners and

professionals. Our vision is to make

the industry an open and connected

eco-system and we will all benefit

from the commercial and operational

synergies. The acquired technology

will accelerate our ability to grow and

strengthen our base for further M&A

activity.”

SBTech secured Software

Licence in Romania

SBTech was granted a B2B Class

2 Software Provider License by the

National Gambling Office in Romania.

Romania is the latest regulated

European market to license the

company, which allows it to continue

expanding its existing portfolio

of awarded permits in numerous

regulated markets such as UK, Ireland,

Portugal, and more.

Richard Carter, CEO of SBTech,

commented: “Increasing the number

of regulated markets in which we

operate is a key part of our strategy

and I am delighted that we are

entering the Romanian market, having

met the high standards set by the

ONJN.”

Mr Green launched

Sportsbook product

MrGreen extended their portfolio with

a Sportsbook product powered by

Malta-headquartered provider Kambi.

Malta-licensed operator launched

its sportsbook ahead of schedule

announced in February - a few days

before the UEFA Euro 2016.

Per Norman, CEO of Mr Green &

Co AB commented: “By launching

a Sportsbook, we are meeting our

customers’ demand for betting and

odds. Together, we have managed to

build the Sportsbook in record time

thanks to our new, efficient product

platform. We have built a Sportsbook

of the same high quality as our online

casino.”

JULY 2016

Tipbet extended ‘Premium

Partnership’ with Fortuna

Dusseldorf

Tipbet Ltd extended its ‘Premium

Partner’ sponsorship of Bundesliga 2

football club Fortuna Dusseldorf for

the 2016/17 season.

Conducted by Infront Sports & Media,

a representative marketing agency for

Fortuna Dusseldorf, for Bundesliga 2

season 2016/17, the Tipbet trademark

gained a widespread coverage all

the way through the ESpirt Arena

(capacity 50,000) on match days.

Product Marketing Manager for

Tipbet, Philippos Naskos, said: “Tipbet

Betting stands for passion in sport! We

are therefore very pleased to continue

our commitment with Fortuna

Dusseldorf as a partner for the new

season.”

041


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

The Headlines | SiGMA

Aspire Global launched

Lucky Bets Casino

Aspire Global launched its fifth white

label of 2016 with LuckyBetsCasino.

com.

“The growth rate shown by our

B2B division this year shows that

our solution has the value that

our partners are looking for. As

such, we are seeing an increase of

companies wanting to work with us,

offering them an additional channel

to monetize their assets in today’s

ultra-competitive environment”, said

Jov Spiero, VP of the B2B division at

Aspire Global.

“LuckyBetsCasino are delighted to

partner with Aspire Global. With a high

quality web and mobile solution, we

can now offer a variety of the most

popular games in the market”, said

LuckyBetsCasino’s CEO.

Kyte Consultants partnered

up with Featurespace

Kyte Consultants entered into an

agreement with Featurespace,

provider of machine learning fraud

and compliance products to the

gaming sector, to be official resellers

of Featurespace’s ARIC products

to gaming operators and financial

institutions in Malta, Europe, Middle

East and Africa.

Alan Alden, Director at Kyte

Consultants, commented: “We

chose to partner with Featurespace

because their ARIC engine offers

the most advanced machine

learning solution in the market, and

is already successfully deployed by

some of the world’s leading gaming

operators and financial institutions.

Featurespace’s ARIC engine will help

our clients to grow their businesses

while complying with regulatory

requirements.”

888 Holding launched

localised service in

Romania

888 Holdings launched a new

localised service in Romania. The

company’s Romanian version, 888.ro

will unify its poker, casino and sport

arms all together in a single account.

“Our flagship brands, 888poker,

888casino and 888sport, operate in

several regulated markets around the

world, including the United Kingdom,

Spain and Denmark, and have been

an online destination of choice in

these markets for years. We aim to

offer 888.ro to Romanian players as

a global brand with a unique, local

flavour,” commented Chief Executive

of 888 Holdings Itai Frieberger.

AUGUST 2016

Tipico released Prepaid

Deposit App in Germany

Tipico strengthened its service

offering by launching a brand new

prepaid payment application for

customers in Germany.

With this prepaid app, sports bettors

can top up their account easily

via smartphone; the application is

available for free download on both

Android and iOS.

Prepaid cards are available in several

shops across Germany, tobacconists

and tobacco shops, grocery stores,

gas stations, and various other

providers guarantee an area-wide

service.

Furthermore, the Tipico Pay

application always leads the customer

to the nearest point of sale, on the

shortest route available.

Daily Fantasy Sports to be

regulated in Malta

Malta has intentions of regulating

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) which will

make it the first European country to

specially regulate DFS.

The Malta Gaming Authority

announced that daily fantasy sports

will no longer require a gambling

license.

This decision towards the skill based

licensing framework is expected to

attract an extensive arrival of new

operators to this small Mediterranean

island as well as propelling Malta into

the very center stage of DFS action in

Europe.

Valery Bollier, CEO of Malta based

operator Oulala.com stated, that

MGA’s team has foreseen a few years

ago the rise of a future Skills Game

industry in Europe.

KPMG to aid creation of

National Self-Exclusion

Platform in the UK

The Remote Gaming Association

(RGA) recruited KPMG to assist in the

creation of the online gambling selfexclusion

system in the UK.

The company will initially assist the

trade body by undertaking a scoping

study which will help to shape the

development of the National Online

Self-Exclusion Scheme. It will then

support and advise the RGA during

the implementation process which

could take place before the end of

2017.

RGA chief executive Clive

Hawkswood commented: “Selfexclusion

can be a vitally important

tool, especially for problem gamblers

or those who are at risk of developing

problems.”

043


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

The Headlines | SiGMA

NetEnt went live with Rank

Group

providers.

NetEnt entered into

an agreement with

major UK gambling

operator Rank

Group. Following a

seamless integration

process, online

players at Rank

Group can now

enjoy titles by one of

the world’s leading

This move came as part of NetEnt’s

strategy to further extend its presence

in the rapidly growing UK online

gambling market that is so highly

competitive.

Enrico Bradamante, Managing

Director of NetEnt Malta Ltd. said

that they are happy to sign a deal

that would expand their presence

in the regulated UK market, and

further noted that their titles will most

certainly be enjoyed by Rank Group

customers.

SEPTEMBER 2016

BetConstruct implements

Golden Race virtual sports

content

BetConstruct entered into an

agreement with Golden Race to

provide their virtual sports clients

the full range of Golden Race virtual

sports content.

This will include premium virtual

content such as horse and greyhound

racing, virtual football, tennis, Real

MMA Fighting, keno and lottery.

Vahe Baloulian, CEO of BetConstruct

commented: “Aside from the founders

of BetConstruct, I don’t know anyone

else in this business who is more

passionate about what they do

than the founders of Golden Race.

BetConstruct is happy to put its

distribution power behind Golden

Race content. We are confident that it

will contribute to the success of both

companies.”

iSoftBet and Tom Horn

entered partnership

agreement

Software developer Tom Horn Gaming

secured a deal with iSoftBet which

will enable them to continue their

expansion across the European

gaming market.

This agreement will see Tom Horn’s

full range of mobile and online gaming

casino integrated into the prominent

mobile and online casino games

supplier iSoftBet’s Game Aggregation

Platform.

CEO of Tom Horn Gaming Ondrej

Lapides commented: “The partnership

with iSoftBet is a key success for Tom

Horn Gaming and we are extremely

happy that they will be offering our full

portfolio to some of the largest and

most successful e-gaming operators.”

Paysafe confirmed

acquisition of Income

Access

Paysafe Group confirmed the

agreement to acquire Income Access,

the leading industry affiliation and

acquisition marketing software

for CAD$40 million (US$30.5

million/€27.4 million).

CEO of Paysafe, Joel Leonoff said:

“By adding Income Access’s affiliate

technology to our product suite

alongside our Skrill and NETELLER

brands and deepening our merchant

relationships, this transaction delivers

on Paysafe’s strategic objectives to

provide relevant payment solutions

that serve the evolving needs of our

merchants.”

Meet the

Team

Shortly after the dust

settled on SiGMA15 last

November, we felt it was

the right time to invest

and grow the show into

a landmark, international

event. Serious growth

requires a talented and

motivated team and we

couldn’t be happier to

engage Anthony, Sacha,

Sophie and Jarek. Anthony

brings with him a wealth

of experience in business

development, specifically

in gaming. Sacha, Sophie

and Jarek will be handling

all sales, marketing and

reservations.

ANTHONY MEDICA

Business Development

anthony@sigma.com.mt

(+44) 7701 301 206

Skype: anthony.medica1

SOPHIE CROUZET

Sales

sophie@sigma.com.mt

(+356) 7777 3092

Skype: s.crouzet

SACHA KINSER

Sales

sacha@sigma.com.mt

(+356) 7777 3092

JAREK GÓRNY

Reservations

jarek@sigma.com.mt

(+356) 7777 3092

Skype: j.gorny

045


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Interview | SiGMA

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.

The new premises situated in St. George’s

Bay, St. Julian’s, Malta, for iGaming Cloud.

047


SiGMA | Interview

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Nice 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

048


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Interview | SiGMA

“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”

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.

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.

“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.”

iGaming Cloud is developing products for

the future and not just reacting to what is

happening today.

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 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.

049


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Social Betting | SiGMA

SOCIAL BETTING - THE TIP

OF THE ICEBERG

BY DAMON BOOTH, FOUNDER,

BETBANTER

Social Betting has been

around a while and

companies have been

attempting to crack

the market since 2014.

BetBanter founder Damon

Booth thinks he may have

developed an app to crack

the UK market at least.

While making a bet with

his friend over a football

match his friend didn’t pay

up the losing bet. “I thought to myself, what if there

was a platform for friends to bet against each other

on sports and random events but ensure that people

paid up?” BetBanter was then born. “Companies have

attempted to do similar things before but have not

quite scraped the surface of the potential of casual

and social betting. Either the engagement isn’t quite

there or the marketing is a bit off or too broad. The

demand is definitely there, all my friends, especially

in the UK are constantly betting each other and then

making fun out of the losers on social media.” The

online UK sports betting industry is valued at over £3

billion each year and mobile apps are driving much of

the industry’s growth. That figure could never account

for personal bets made between friends and would be

much larger if it did. “One or two operators have tried

but never really pushed the social betting angle due to

their making more profit in fixed odds; it was more of

a service to their existing customer base rather than a

whole new revenue stream. An alternative is needed –

casual betters might never utilise a betting account and

perhaps won’t even go into a bookmakers.”

Many experts agree that social betting has large

potential. Fantasy sports, especially in the US market

are huge and its an area that could be developed

further. The marketing strategy is key and Damon feels

he has a winning formula. “We know our market, 18-40

year old men in the UK. I am an 18-40 year old man

from the UK so we feel we can cater to them as we are

them!” With enough reach and the correct engagement

these types of social betting sites and applications

could indeed stir the industry up a bit and create

another option for casual betters to enjoy gambling

without worrying about any potential negative impact.

Engagement is also key and to combat the issue

BetBanter will ensure that users keep returning to the

app. “We have added some unique elements to make

sure customers keep coming back which were very

excited about.”

So far companies in the social betting field have

managed to raise in excess of $7 million in start-up

funding so Venture capital companies and the like

obviously see the vision as well. “It’s still new waters but

we have to jump in at the deep end to really penetrate

the market. We’re keen to push the concept of social

betting as an alternative to standard betting, we

obviously cannot compete with the big players on the

operator side but there is a decent slice of the pie up

for grabs.”

It’s definitely an emerging gaming market to pay

attention to!

051


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Cover Story | SiGMA

A WINNING

CULTURE

ACROSS ALL

LEVELS

AN INTERVIEW WITH

JOHAN KONIGSLEHNER, VERA&JOHN

WELCOMED BY THE CHEERFUL

STAFF AND GREAT ENERGY ON

THE PREMISES OF VERA&JOHN,

OUR VERY OWN EMAN PULIS

MET UP WITH CEO JOHAN

KÖNIGSLEHNER TO FIND OUT

MORE ABOUT THE COMPANY

AND WHERE IT ALL BEGAN.

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SiGMA | Cover Story

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

“Complementing the pure

gambling experience, we have

tried to add on extra features

to enhance the experience,”

Johan said, “and this includes

our winning guarantee, which

means telling everyone that big

money is being won on our site

every day.”

The company started out when founders Dan Andersson

and Jörgen Nordlund identified an opportunity to set up a

focused casino brand targeting Europe. The concept was

created back in 2010 following thorough background studies,

and the site was officially launched on the 23rd of February

2011.

Vera&John is a pure online casino, Johan explained,

meaning that it is not a one-stop-shop with more gambling

products. Apart from offering a wide range of payment

options and a great overall service and experience, it also

offers other fundamentals including professional support,

being customer centric, and of course, the content itself.

“Complementing the pure gambling experience, we have

tried to add extra features to enhance the experience,”

Johan said, “and this includes our winning guarantee, which

means telling everyone that big money is being won on our

site every day.”

The casino’s loyalty program allows players to play games

whilst simultaneously engaging in the site and contributing to

it, which Johan stated is “one thing that we’re really proud of,

and of course, looking to expand.”

The Vera&John casino also offers non-provider-specific

tournaments, meaning that they can mix games from

different providers without relying on outside providers

and promotion tools. These are merely a few of the great

characteristics of the casino.

The aim for every casino is to stand out from the rest, and

this is no different for Vera&John. Johan emphasised that

the key is to be a bit different and stringent in what one

sets out to do: “One of our goals was to integrate as many

suppliers as possible where customers could find the most

games available in one place. Back in 2011, a few other

operators were already adding more suppliers, but there was

still definitely no one offering the widest range of games.

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ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Cover Story | SiGMA

That was something we worked really hard on – to integrate

as many good providers as possible, which was then

complemented with great content.”

Johan compared this situation with a striking example:

“Compare it to clothing stores, for instance, like a denim

store: we all have our Levi’s, Lee, and so on. That’s the reality

we’re facing, so by working with the brand and differentiating

it, the product itself helps us to distinguish ourselves from

our competitors.”

In fact, this is how the casino’s name came about. Back in

the day, many casinos focused solely on the product, and

therefore gave less importance to their own brand. With

the urge to build a solid brand in addition to a great casino

website, and also show customers that they catered for both

genders, the team spent a long time brainstorming different

name ideas until they reached the name that they were

happy with.

The appealing colour scheme of cyan and magenta was

also part of the marketing plan, which is something that they

wanted from the beginning. At the time of conception, the

combination of the two colours really stood out in advertising

and it also complemented the site.

The Vera&John team has worked very hard in trying to make

different offers available, which is why they focused so much

on building their bonus engine in an attempt to come up

with promotions that did not focus on percentage deposit

bonuses and free spins.

“There’s still plenty to do, and I think that everyone in the

industry would agree that a kind of constant evolvement

is necessary. It is no good to do today what you did 5

years ago – you have to keep up with the times, which is a

challenge.”

For loyal customers to feel valued, the brand promises

to treat existing or active customers in the best way

possible without flirting with new players with better offers.

Components such as loyalty programmes, tournaments,

bonuses and the winning guarantee allow Vera&John to

stand out from their competitors. Johan noted: “In this

competitive environment, it pays off to focus on these areas

and, more importantly, the players that are investing in the

packaging of the product to create a unique selling point.”

The Vera&John team is forever growing, which means

that structure and processes are crucial. Johan said: “It

is challenging to grow, and it does take a lot of effort to

evolve the company’s organisation whilst at the same time

stimulating a high level of growth and innovation. Red tape

needs to be removed to minimise frustrations.”

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SiGMA | Cover Story ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

“One of our goals was to integrate as many suppliers

as possible where customers could find the most

games available in one place. Back in 2011, a few other

operators were already adding more suppliers, but there

was still definitely no one offering the widest range of

games. That was something we worked really hard on –

to integrate as many good providers as possible, which

was then complemented with great content.”

He added that employees are the most

valuable asset in any company – a growing

organisation in itself is a great opportunity

for people with ambition. Equally, having an

inspirational working atmosphere is important.

“Creating a sense of belonging and delegating

responsibilities strengthen the bond within the

company,” Johan added. “Our internal core

values are sharing, caring and rewarding – and

we try our best to live up to those with our

employees as well as our customers.”

Not only is the Vera&John team expanding,

but the brand itself is working to increase the

strength of its product and develop it. The brand

currently holds an MGA license as well as a

UKGC license, and is in the process of acquiring

a Danish license also. “We had a limited Danish

license, but now we’re going on to the full one,”

Johan explained. “The more compliant we are,

the faster and easier it will be for us to pick up

any new requirements on additional regulations,

so we’re looking to see what other regulated

markets we are currently not in, and other

markets that we could potentially enter.”

More and more EU states have been introducing

their regulatory frameworks and asking for

specific licenses to operate in that particular

jurisdiction. Johan said that it’s always important

to evaluate and assess the current situation, but

added that Malta and the MGA have so far done

an excellent job at keeping up with the changes

in the industry. “That’s why the island continues

to serve as an attractive place to base a gaming

company,” he explained.

Basic principals in the EU support companies

within the Union, allowing them to target the

whole market on equal terms. The established

and emerging regulatory frameworks are put

in place on a member state level in order to

safeguard both national interests as well as an

open market within the Union.

In order to continue enjoying the favourable

position currently held amongst gaming

companies today, Malta and the MGA have a

number of different focus areas which they are

tackling. “Measures that were taken in the past

have been very successful, ranging from the

initiatives to recruit highly qualified professionals

for Maltese companies, to bridging different

regulatory frameworks,” Johan pointed out.

“Malta’s favourable corporate tax structure for

companies mainly doing business outside Malta

is definitely a main component at the moment.”

Leading such a successful company comes

hand in hand with its fair share of stress, and

according to Johan, when it comes to coping

mechanisms, there are mainly two things that

help: “The first is to have really good staff and

excellent people working in the company,”

he said with a smile, adding that this helps to

take off a lot of the burden. “We work a lot

with company culture and internal branding to

give the much-appreciated people an inspiring

environment to work in.”

The other key, he continued, is trying to stay one

step ahead. “You need to try to monitor what’s

going on and have an idea of where things are

going. If you’re always trying to catch up, that

adds a lot of stress. With all the re-regulations

going on, it’s quite a challenging feat. Combine

this with fierce competition, and you can easily

let the stress get the better of you.”

Originally, Johan got into the iGaming area

by complete coincidence. He discovered

Poker in early 2000 and realised that it was

great fun. At the time, he used to work with

business intendants and software replication

development, which is an entirely different

industry. When he was on parental leave, he did

the very conventional thing of answering an ad

and attending an interview and became highly

interested in the field.

“Eventually I joined a Bingo company in 2007,

and from then on, I was hooked,” he continued.

“Being a numbers’ junkie, I became addicted a

couple of hours into my first day, and since then

I’ve been working in the online gaming industry.

The rest is history!”

Speaking of his love for Malta, Johan said:

“I think Malta is a great place to live. People

are genuinely friendly and open to new

acquaintances. Coming from the north, the

fantastic climate here gives a constant sensation

of being on vacation, and offers us so much

opportunity to spend time outdoors.” He

mentioned how his family loves to spend time

by and in the sea, and how in spite of being a

small island, there are many things to discover

– and being so small, all those undiscovered

things are conveniently close.

Vera&John will be participating as gold

exhibitors at the awaited SiGMA16 event in

November, which will be their first exhibition

yet. “We’ve chosen SiGMA to be our very first

appearance and we’re absolutely thrilled about

it – especially as it covers so many aspects

of our business. We are looking forward to

engaging with new fantastic people to join our

team.”

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ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Cover Story | SiGMA

“We’ve chosen SiGMA

to be our very first

appearance and we’re

absolutely thrilled about

it – especially as it covers

so many aspects of our

business. We are looking

forward to engaging with

new fantastic people to

join our team.”

057


SiGMA | Gaming Ecosystem

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

STRENGTHENING THE GAMING

ECOSYSTEM IN MALTA

SHORTLY AFTER THE BIG LAUNCH OF GAMING MALTA, SiGMA SENT A SERIES OF QUESTIONS TO

IVAN FILLETTI, HEAD OF OPERATIONS AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, TO FIND OUT HOW THIS

NEW FOUNDATION WILL COMPLEMENT THE OPERATIONS OF THE MALTA GAMING AUTHORITY.

On a personal level, tell us a bit more about you. From

high profile senior marketing roles & CEO across various

industries to Gaming; how do you find this portfolio? I am

sure it comes with many challenges, opportunities and

rewards!

The first months into the job have been focused towards

market orientation. So I immersed myself in meeting key

stakeholders across the ecosystem, understanding both the

issues and opportunities as well as asking lots of questions!

Ultimately, it’s all about honing into what adds value to the

Malta brand. It’s been interesting in a way that I’ve met a

number of very passionate local and foreign entrepreneurs,

employees, and specialists who really want to make a

difference and take their ideas and innovation to the next

level. Their enthusiasm is infectious. I’ve encountered a

number of expatriates working in the industry who are

highly enthusiastic testimonials to Malta and the local

gaming ecosystem. Many pin their success on having their

operations run from Malta. That, I would say, is the biggest

reward. Malta is really the home of gaming excellence.

No more conflicting roles – the MGA will focus more on

regulatory issues. The newly set up Gaming Malta will

focus more on promotion. How is the MGA establishing

itself as the jurisdiction of choice in an increasingly

competitive environment? Moving forward, what will

Gaming Malta be focusing on?

GamingMalta is an independent non-profit foundation set

up by the Government of Malta and the Maltese Gaming

Authority (MGA). So in essence we are tasked with the remit

of promoting Malta as a centre of excellence in the remote

gaming sector globally. Additionally, the foundation, is also

responsible for enhancing the ecosystem surrounding the

gaming industry, liaising with the local relevant authorities

to improve Malta’s attractiveness as a jurisdiction, whilst

spearheading efforts to enhance the ecosystem surrounding

the gaming industry. Going forward we have identified four

major strategic pillars:

1) Engagement with all stakeholders;

2) Serving as a communication hub for the sector;

3) Working closely with the public sector to continue to

enhance our game;

4) Ensuring growth within the sector.

• Accelerating growth in the gaming sector by creating a

dynamic marketing mechanism that anticipates market

changes;

• Bringing stakeholders together – ensuring close

cooperation with all relevant stakeholders while creating

business and networking opportunities for firms working in

the sector;

• Establishing the necessary expertise and foresight to future

proof the gaming sector in Malta.

• Supporting the MGA in implementing the brand strategy

and road map development for the gaming industry;

• Collaborating with other Maltese sectoral promotion bodies

to promote the overall image of Malta.

Online gaming today is characterised by new

developments, including games of skill, fantasy sport

as well as emerging disruptive technology such as

Virtual Reality. The regulator in Malta seems adamant on

establishing a regulatory framework that is flexible enough

to cater for this permeability of change, while minimizing

the risks. How will Gaming Malta ensure that these

regulatory frameworks are promoted abroad? Do you

think the new licensing regime will be attractive enough to

persuade companies to relocate on our shores?

The Malta Gaming Authority will be completing its regulatory

overhaul in the coming months, whilst also establishing a

regulatory framework for new emerging developments. In

preparation for the opportunities which will arise, the Gaming

Malta foundation will embark on a series of initiatives, in full

alignment with the Authority, to promote Malta as a home

for gaming excellence – one which is fully supported by the

latest regulatory framework. The foundation will promote

Malta during fairs, exhibitions, conferences and with potential

operators and service providers that are, interested in setting

up shop in Malta. Together with the promotion of Malta’s

gaming ecosystem, we can maintain our pole position as a

leading gaming jurisdiction in Europe.

How will Gaming Malta support the continued challenges

and opportunities facing the industry against a backdrop

where Malta is still recording record growth?

Success breeds success and, inevitably, challenges. To

address these challenges and opportunities Gaming Malta is

committed to:

• Promoting ownership of the Malta brand among all

stakeholders to strengthen Malta’s position with the gaming

industry;

• Engaging with stakeholders and providing business support

to ensure that Malta is the most attractive environment for

the gaming industry to thrive;

• Standing out with innovative ideas, lead the industry

through research and promotion of the Maltese jurisdiction

and to be a proactive, dynamic catalyst for change;

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SiGMA | Legal

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Keeping up

with

the

Regulators

SiGMA MET WITH SENIOR LAWYERS

JAMES SCICULNA AND JOE BORG

OUTSIDE THEIR OFFICES IN

TA’ XBIEX TO FIND OUT WHAT IT

TAKES TO NAVIGATE THROUGH

THE COMPLEXITIES OF CONSTANT

REGULATORY UPDATES IN SUCH A

FAST-PACED INDUSTRY.

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ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Legal | SiGMA

How has the gaming scenario evolved in Malta?

JS/JB: Malta was the first EU member state to

regulate online gaming, at a time when most other

countries were still scratching their head as to what

to do with this online “phenomenon”. Malta being

ahead of the game in terms of regulation resulted in a

significant chunk of the industry choosing Malta as its

base. Many operators and suppliers actually started

off here and are now sizeable multinationals leading

the way in the industry. This critical mass also lead

several other very large operators which originally

decided to establish themselves elsewhere to moving

parts or all of their operations here. Today Malta is

at the centre of the global remote gaming industry

and keeping this leadership role requires regulatory

innovation and investment in improved infrastructure

locally.

Mergers and acquisitions seem to be taking the

whole industry by storm. This must mean a lot

of work for firms like yours. Are you worried that

ultimately this bubble might implode?

There has been significant M&A activity in this

industry over the past eight to ten years or so, but the

last few years have seen the stakes get progressively

higher. There is increased consolidation in the

industry with acquisitions by operators interested in

expanding to new markets and some very significant

private equity groups looking at this as a real

opportunity to build shareholder value. We’ve seen

mergers of equals or quasi-equals which on paper

should have worked due to complementary products

and increased efficiencies, but these are always

harder to manage in practice. On the expansion side

competition is cut-throat and certain markets have

become quite saturated. Product innovation, costcutting

and focus on increased customer loyalty are,

in our view, all essential for the industry to continue

to thrive. The brave will be looking for new markets

in geographic areas many wouldn’t have previously

considered. We are actually seeing all of that happen

and as the big fish get bigger and others become

interested in this sector, we expect to see continued

high levels of M&A activity over the next year.

The main challenge which the industry has faced

for some time now is over-regulation, the increase

of compliance costs which is resulting from market

fragmentation as well as taxation and the application

of rules in certain markets so as to give an advantage

to local incumbents.

We do not believe that this is a case of a bubble that

could burst. The industry is here to stay. However, the

scenario is evolving and as it does so business must

evolve and regulation must keep up with it.

Tell us a bit about landmark cases that might have

helped reshape the course of iGaming law.

As you readers will know, in Europe the industry was

shaped to a large extent by a number of judgements

of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

Unfortunately, while initially decisions of the CJEU

suggested that a single market for remote gaming

was an achievable reality, more recent judgements

favoured a national authorisation regime approach

which, in itself, has reshaped the industry to what we

have now. Probably the turning point was the Santa

Casa case in 2010. That being said, there are several

EU law rights which can be availed of by operators in

this industry, such as that to establish their business

wherever in the EU they deem fit.

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ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Legal | SiGMA

graduates but also about their quality, not only in academic

terms but also in terms of their communication skills, critical

faculties and openness to the world.

There never seems to be a dull moment. From AML to EU

trade secrets to changes in EU (data protection) law, Brexit

and more... how do you see the legal landscape evolving?

There are several areas of EU law which are harmonised

and cut across sectors, which have a strong impact on the

gaming industry. Recent changes to EU AML laws are being

implemented across EU countries at the moment. These

will add further compliance burdens on operators, but in

the end, operators will comply and continue to do business

under these new laws. The same applies to important

changes in EU data protection laws. The industry is maturing

very quickly and most stakeholders have learned and are

equipped or are equipping themselves to comply with these

new obligations. We feel that the industry can survive added

burdens which are logical, fair and necessary for the better

regulation of the industry itself and the protection of the

consumers.

Brexit is a completely separate argument. It is unfortunate

that Britain has taken a decision to leave the EU. In our

opinion it is a tragedy for the EU, Malta included, in the

longer term. In the short term this decision has created more

interest in the Maltese regulatory regime, especially from

operators that are based in Gibraltar. However, it is also

true that Malta has lost one of its biggest allies on the EU

negotiation tables. In gaming, the UK was probably the only

member state, apart from Malta, that was more open to the

needs and the specific realities of the industry. It was also the

jurisdiction that was more open to harmonisation of certain

technical standards for the gaming industry, thus simplifying

cross-border market access to gaming operators. So all in all,

in our opinion, Brexit is a bad thing that we have to live with.

Esport, Fantasy Sport, Digital Games of Skill, Virtual

Reality.... is it possible for legislation to keep up with such

a fast paced industry?

The only way for regulation to keep up with the industry

is by having the technology and game neutral regulation.

Technology neutrality and game neutrality favour innovation

and development. It is also essential that the regulator is

granted the adequate tools and a high-level framework to

regulate the industry effectively and efficiently.

This is what the industry is expecting from the legislative

overhaul announced by the government and the MGA. This

is what needs to be achieved in this process.

Given gaming’s impact on local GDP and the increasing

demand for talent, do you feel there is a need for the

University of Malta to introduce more related academic

modules?

There is certainly a need for a larger supply of skills related

to the gaming industry in the local labour market. This is

important for the growth of industry here. In the short term

the supply can, in our view, only be satisfied by those having

the skills moving to Malta, so to say by “importing it”. In

the medium and longer term, we would like to see Malta’s

academic and technical institutions churn more developers,

people interested in marketing, accountants and lawyers,

amongst others, minded to work in the area of technology.

Fundamentally, it is not only about churning numbers of

Where do you see the Maltese gaming industry in the next

five years?

Five years is a long time in such a dynamic industry. It is

difficult to predict. Much depends on the regulatory overhaul

which the government and the MGA have embarked on.

Achieving a technology and game neutral regulatory

framework as well as cutting down on red tape by simplifying

procedures whilst keeping a high level of consumer

protection is the goal. A lot also depends on Malta’s ability

to improve its physical infrastructure, roads, urban planning,

quality accommodation and on keeping inflation in check.

However, the future future also depends on external factors

that may create new challenges as well as new opportunities

for the industry in Malta. Time will tell. What is certain is that

Malta cannot just sit and wait.

JAMES SCICLUNA, partner and

co-founder of WH Partners is a

Malta Advocate and a Solicitor

of the Senior Court of England

and Wales. He is well-known for

his in-depth knowledge of the

gaming and gambling industry

and advises some of the

world’s major gaming brands on

significant transactions. James is a highly-ranked lawyer

by the foremost independent legal directories in a

number of practice areas, including gaming & gambling

by Chambers & Partners Global. James is a member

of the Advisory Team to the Malta Gaming Authority on

the overhaul of gaming regulations in Malta and has

also advised the MGA on other matters. He is a sought

after speaker at gaming & gambling conferences, and

has authored several articles in reputable industry

publications, as well as chapters on gaming legislation

and the legal insight of the industry in Malta. He is a

member of the International Association of Gaming

Advisors and of the International Masters of Gaming

Law, amongst others, and is a lecturer in gaming law at

the University of Malta.

JOSEPH BORG is a Senior

Advisor to WH Partners and

mainly provides advice to the

Gaming, ICT, Real Estate and

Financial Services industries.

Joseph is well-known for his

vast experience in the gaming

and gambling industry both in

Malta and overseas. Prior to

joining WH Partners, Joseph served as Chief Regulatory

Officer at a leading regulatory authority. During this

time he was an elected Member of the Board of

Trustees of the International Association of Gaming

Regulators (IAGR). He had previously served as Legal

Counsel at a well-known global telecoms company.

Joseph is a general member of the International

Masters of Gaming Law and is a lecturer in gaming

law at the University of Malta. He is a member of

the Advisory Team to the Malta Gaming Authority on

the overhaul of gaming regulations in Malta. Joseph

is often invited to speak at topical international

conferences, and has authored several articles in

reputable industry publications. Besides holding a

doctor of Laws degree from the University of Malta,

he also holds a certificate in Regulator Development

from the International Gaming Institute, University of

Nevada in Las Vegas (UNLV) and a certificate in Casino

Management from the same university.

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ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Affiliate | SiGMA

THEY CALL HIM

MR.

CASINO

TWITCH HIGHROLLER

AND AFFILIATE

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SiGMA | Affiliate

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

“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

068


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Affiliate | SiGMA

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.

“It’s safe to say that this event

exceeded expectations and

delegates are looking forward

to next year.”

Rebecca Liggero

CalvinAyre.com

SiGMA is an excellent

networking and knowledge

sharing opportunity for local

gaming operators, service

providers and other industry

players seeking to operate

in or from Malta. I believe

that events like SiGMA can

showcase Malta’s unique

attributes and strengthen our

position as a world class

gaming jurisdiction”

Joseph Cuschieri

Executive Chairman,

Malta Gaming Authority

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

“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.”

069 069


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Gaming Foundation | SiGMA

UPDATE FROM THE RESPONSIBLE

GAMING FOUNDATION, MALTA

BY HON. SILVIO SCHEMBRI, CHAIRMAN RGF

campaign and a national gambling helpline 1777, briefly

discussed below.

EDUCATION CAMPAIGN

In 2015 the RGF launched an education campaign with

the intention to educate individuals on responsible

gaming. It was targeted to reach around 100 classes which

approximately translate into 2000 students of fourth year

primary students.

The Responsible Gaming Foundation is a tangible proof at

international level of Malta’s pro active approach to promote

responsible consumption of gaming, further entrenching

its reputation as a responsible jurisdiction. Such efforts

are aligned with the main principle of gaming regulation

in Malta, namely that gaming shall be conducted in a fair

and transparent manner, minors and vulnerable persons

are protected, and that gaming is kept free from crime

and corruption. In order to achieve these objectives the

RGF embarked on various projects such as the education

However this target was surpassed and since the start of

the scholastic year 2015-2016, the Responsible Gaming

Foundation has delivered talks to more than 161 classrooms

in 71 different schools with a reach of nearly 3000

students. The response from the informal sessions has

been great. Chippy, the Responsible Gaming Mascot, had

a great influence on the learning of the children and the

understanding of the concept of responsible gaming.

HELPLINE 1777

The Helpline 1777 is the first national helpline that is

dedicated to dealing and providing support to problematic

gamblers and their relatives. The call-centre is an integral

part of our operations because it is the bridge between

problematic gamblers and their relatives with the Foundation.

The personnel of the call-centre are given regular training

and exercises in order to maintain and improve their

standard of professionalism when it comes to dealing with

the sensitive calls that the Helpline 1777 receives.

071


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

VIP | SiGMA

THE ULTIMATE VIP GAMING

EXPERIENCE

WITH ITS ELEGANT AND UNIQUE INTERIOR, EXPERTLY DESIGNED WITH ORIGINAL AND

BESPOKE FURNISHING AND LIGHTING, CASINO MALTA SETS ITSELF APART FROM ANY OTHER

CASINO ON THE ISLAND. ASIDE FROM BEING THE LARGEST CASINO ON THE ISLAND, WITH

THE LARGEST NUMBER OF GAMING TABLES AND SLOTS, IT HAS SUCCESSFULLY DEVELOPED

AND CHANGED THE GAMING EXPERIENCE IN MALTA, OFFERING A MORE ELEGANT AND

LUXURIOUS EXPERIENCE TO ALL THOSE WHO ENTER.

Spanning over 3000m 2 , the casino includes 303 slots

machines, 2 electronic roulette tables, 29 casino and

poker tables and also a sports betting area. Casino

Malta is designed and operated with entertainment

and luxury as its primary focus, with many quality

events organised throughout the week. The casino

also includes 2 large bars, one of which is 10 meters

long. Whether you’re an experienced player, or simply

looking for a way to unwind on the weekend, Casino

Malta’s exciting calendar of events are guaranteed

to keep you entertained. Their stage hosts local and

international live bands, cabaret shows and other

entertainers, replicating the very best of Vegas.

yet for one year, they have already hosted multiple

poker tournaments, one of which was the Unibet Live,

where, for the first time in history, one player from the

Czech Republic took home €65,000.

Whilst focusing on client service, Casino Malta has

definitely created a new scene for tourists and Maltese

locals alike. Although focusing on gaming, they have

created a venue packed with entertainment open to

anyone looking for a different way to spend their dayΩ

Setting itself apart from other casinos in Malta, Casino

Malta boasts a specific VIP area, closed off for their

‘high roller’ costumers. With a lounge area and all

kind of table games including roulette, BJ, Mini Punto

Banco and Casino Malta Poker, all premium clientele

can enjoy playing in the comfort of a closed off room

with exclusive service from dedicated dealers. Players

will also be assigned a waitress to ensure full food and

drinks service. The VIP area also consists of a lounge

area with 2 sofas and TVs, allowing players to relax and

watch games on screen.

Casino Malta also allows players the ease of smoking in

a specified, very well-ventilated indoor area, filled with

slot machines, roulette tables and more. Continuously

striving to offer Malta’s most luxurious gaming

experience, Casino Malta has placed itself at the

pinnacle of gaming tournaments in Europe. Not open

075


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Employment | SiGMA

BETTING CONNECTIONS

RECRUITMENT SOLUTIONS

WITH OVER 30 HIGHLY SKILLED RECRUITMENT PROFESSIONALS, BETTING CONNECTIONS IS THE LARGEST

AND MOST MULTILINGUAL RECRUITMENT SPECIALIST SOLELY DEDICATED TO THE IGAMING INDUSTRY.

The Betting Connections team is committed

to making your career development and job

seeking process an enjoyable and successful

one!

As Recruitment and iGaming experts, we

understand your needs as a job seeker and

also the challenges that you may face along

the way. Betting Connections is the link

between you and your future employers, and

we will be here to guide you through every

step of your journey!

HERE’S A LIST OF IGAMING VACANCIES

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE:

PROJECT MANAGER (DIGITAL) X3 – LONDON &

MAIDENHEAD

CRM MANAGER – MALTA

UK AND AUSTRALIA COUNTRY MANAGER –

MALTA

HEAD OF PERFORMANCE MARKETING /

ACQUISITION – MALTA

SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER / ART DIRECTOR –

MALTA

HR MANAGER – MALTA

OFFICE COORDINATOR – MALTA

NORWEGIAN SPEAKING VIP MANAGER – MALTA

DIRECTOR OF TRADERS – BULGARIA

SENIOR SPORTS ANALYST – BULGARIA

R&D GROUP LEADER – BULGARIA

SPORTSBOOK MARKETING TEAM LEADER –

BULGARIA

PAYMENT PRODUCT MANAGER – BULGARIA

IGAMING PLATFORM PRODUCT MANAGER –

BULGARIA

GERMAN SPEAKING CS/TECHNICAL SUPPORT –

CORK

QA ENGINEER – MALTA

VIP SUPPORT AGENTS – MALTA

TURKISH SPEAKING CS – MALTA

FINNISH SPEAKING CS – MALTA

GERMAN/ENGLISH SPEAKING CS – MALTA

NORWEGIAN SPEAKING CS – MALTA

DANISH SPEAKING CS – MALTA

DANISH SPEAKING CS –GIBRALTAR

DUTCH SPEAKING CS –MALTA

DUTCH SPEAKING CS – GIBRALTAR

GERMAN SPEAKING CS – MALTA

SENIOR SWEDISH SPEAKING CUSTOMER

SUPPORT – MALTA OR REMOTELY

SENIOR CHINESE SPEAKING CUSTOMER

SUPPORT X5 – MALTA OR REMOTELY

CUSTOMER COMMUNICATION COORDINATOR –

MALTA

FINNISH SPEAKING JUNIOR CASINO MANAGER

– MALTA

AFFILIATE COORDINATOR – MALTA

GAMING SERVICE COORDINATOR – MALTA

JAPANESE SPEAKING CRM – MALTA

TECHNICAL SUPPORT – MALTA

TECHNICAL PROJECT COORDINATOR – MALTA

SENIOR QA – POLAND

SALESFORCE DEVELOPER – GIBRALTAR

SALESFORCE DEVELOPER – MALTA

CLIENT DEVELOPER – LONDON

QA TESTER – MALTA

TECH SUPPORT ANALYST – POLAND

DEVOPS ENGINEER – POLAND

DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR – MALTA

PHP DEVELOPERS – MALTA

RUBY DEVELOPER – MALTA

ANDROID DEVELOPER – MALTA

JAVA DEVELOPER AND NETWORK ARCHITECT –

MALTA

PYTHON DEVELOPER – POLAND

SOFTWARE ARCHITECT – MALTA

IT PROJECT MANAGER – LONDON

.NET FRONT END DEVELOPERS – MALTA

.NET DEVELOPER – BELGIUM

FRONTEND DEVELOPER (RUSSIAN SPEAKING) –

MALTA

FRONTEND DEVELOPERS X 30 – MALTA

FRONTEND DEVELOPERS X 2 – SLOVAKIA

FRONTEND DEVELOPER – BELGIUM

BACKEND DEVELOPER – MALTA

GAMES DEVELOPER/PROGRAMMER – JAPAN

WEB DEVELOPER WITH MOBILE HYBRID APPS

KNOWLEDGE – ISTANBUL / STOCKHOLM

HTML/ JAVASCRIPT DEVELOPER – STOCKHOLM

SENIOR FRONT END DEVELOPER – MALMO

SENIOR BACK END DEVELOPER – MALMO

SENIOR DATA ANALYST – MALTA

DATA ANALYST – MALTA

UK COPYWRITER – MALTA

NOC ENGINEER – MALTA

BANKING OPERATIONS ANALYST – MALTA

DATA ARCHITECT – MALTA

DIRECTOR OF INFRASTRUCTURE – MALTA

DATA WAREHOUSE DEVELOPER – MALTA

COMMUNITY MANAGERS X 5 (FINNISH, SWEDISH,

DANISH, NORWEGIAN) – MALTA

CZECH SPEAKING VIP – IRELAND

RECONCILIATIONS ANALYST – IRELAND

MARKETING SPECIALIST – BELGIUM

GRAPHIC DESIGNER / ART DIRECTOR – BELGIUM

JUNIOR SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATOR – MALTA

GERMAN SPEAKING GAMES PRESENTER – MALTA

CONTENT WRITER - MALTA

GERMAN CONTENT WRITER – MALTA

CONTENT MANAGER / WRITER, SWEDISH– MALTA

SENIOR SWEDISH CASINO CONTENT WRITER –

MALTA

B2B – RELATIONSHIP MANAGER/ ACCOUNT

MANAGER - MALTA

ACCOUNT MANAGER – MALTA

ACCOUNT SALES MANAGER – MALTA

VIP COORDINATORS (UK/SCANDI/ GERMAN) –

MALTA

JUNIOR LEGAL COUNSEL – MALTA

LIVE CASINO BUSINESS MANAGER – MALTA

HEAD OF PARTERNSHIPS – MALTA

JUNIOR PRODUCT MANAGER – MALTA

GERMAN SPEAKING LIVE DEALERS – MALTA

NORWEGIAN SPEAKING LIVE DEALERS – MALTA

GREEK SPEAKING LIVE DEALERS – MALTA

CZECH SPEAKING LIVE DEALERS – MALTA

DUTCH SPEAKING LIVE DEALERS – MALTA

POLISH- ITALIAN LIVE DEALERS – MALTA

PAID SEARCH SPECIALIST – MALTA

FRAUD & PAYMENTS AGENT – MALTA

PAYMENT AND FRAUD OPERATIONS MANAGER

– MALTA

AFFILIATE MANAGER – MALTA

MARKETING COORDINATOR – MALTA

SEO - NORWEGIAN SPEAKING – MALTA

SEO SWEDISH SPEAKING – MALTA

SEO GERMAN SPEAKING – MALTA

HEAD OF ONLINE MARKETING – MALTA

ACCOUNTS / OFFICE ADMIN EXECUTIVE – MALTA

SWEDISH SPEAKING FINANCIAL ASSISTANT –

STOCKHOLM

JUNIOR ACCOUNTANT – MALTA

PRODUCT OWNER – SLOVAKIA

GERMAN SPEAKING WEBSITE PROMOTER –

MALTA

SWEDISH SPEAKING WEBSITE PROMOTER –

MALTA

GERMAN SPEAKING TRANSLATOR – MALTA

NORWEGIAN SPEAKING TRANSLATOR – MALTA

PROJECT MANAGER – LONDON

PROJECT MANAGER – JAPAN

HEAD OF OPERATIONS – LONDON

COMPANY LAWYER / ATTORNEY – MALTA

NORWEGIAN SPEAKING VIP EXECUTIVE –

LONDON

AFFILIATE DIRECTOR –MALTA

AFFILIATE MANAGER, NORWAY – MALTA

AFFILIATE MANAGER, FINLAND – MALTA

AFFILIATE MANAGER, SWEDEN – MALTA

TELESALES MANAGER – LONDON

VIP TEAM MANAGER – LONDON

For more information about all IGaming

career opportunities available to you,

contact us on:

info@bettingconnections.com or call to

speak to us on (+356) 2720 4520.

077


SiGMA | Interview ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

MATHEMATICS

JOINS CREATIVITY

AND INNOVATION

IN AN INTERVIEW WITH JOIN GAMES CEO LUIGI SPINA, SIGMA FINDS OUT HOW

THIS VETERAN ENTREPRENEUR MANAGED TO PENETRATE SUCCESSFULLY A VERY

COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT SO LATE IN THE DAY, WHERE SLOTS HAVE BEEN

BATTLING IT OUT FOR ONLINE MARKET SHARE FOR TWO DECADES.

Few miles away from the Sliema-St. Julian’s area (the

heart of the online gambling industry) I met with Luigi

at his stylish offices in Valletta Waterfront. “How come

you’re not based in the heart of the industry, at walking

distance from most operators, your B2B clients?” Luigi,

true to his Italian roots, shows me his scooter helmet

and is quick to point out that he’s five to ten minutes

away from any gaming company, adding that Valletta

Waterfront is free from all the excess noise that comes

with traffic congestions, loud construction machinery,

towering cranes and the occasional drunk tourist. The

bustling restaurants under his office and the scenic

view of what’s arguably the most beautiful port in the

Mediterranean complement his theory.

The conversation shifts to his brand. The name Join

symbolizes the fusion of creative ideas and talented

individuals. It also symbolizes a point where traditional

slot games meet innovation and disruptive technology

– CineSlot and virtual reality, both of which have found

their place in the Join Games portfolio.

Luigi explains that for the past year the company has

been developing a suite of games that feature real live

actors embedded in their slots, a feature which is seldom

seen on any casino sites. With the CineSlot concept the

company has literally set up a recording studio in Rome

and shoots talented actors in a green room, then embed

optimized footage in the slot games. Since the launch

of the first CineSlot, the company is now accepting

requests from operators for their custom CineSlot.

However, innovation doesn’t stop in the green room.

Preparations are underway to launch an innovative VR

game at ICE in London this February. Luigi wouldn’t

divulge much more but encourages me to attend the

show and visit his booth.

In addition, his legal team is also working on patenting

a unique feature that enables the slot button to be

dragged from left to right, making it easy for both left

and right handed players to enjoy the Join games on

mobile devices.

Finally, Luigi is looking more into gamification – his team

of developers have gamified some of the slots in his

portfolio, such as Zombie, making them more interactive.

Player retention is key and this gamification feature has

really boosted their numbers.

The company is merely two years and counting but the

directors – Luigi Spina and Borut Leban - have over thirty

years of combined experience. In Luigi’s words, “The

business is competitive, true, but we believe that with the

right angle, there is a lucrative market out there that will

play our games. It is important to have good graphics,

innovative features, good mathematics as well as sterling

B2B customer service. All these factors contribute to that

‘wow’ factor.” He goes on to elaborate, “We are putting a

lot of emphasis on the mathematics behind our slots. We

have some unique algorithms that have been converting

exceptionally well. Players seem to play more often and

for longer periods.”

Financially speaking, the company has seen some

great results since integration began with a number of

operators a few months ago. But numbers aside, Luigi

believes in maintaining strong working relationships

based on professionalism and trust. “Our company

is growing fast and it is essential to ensure that the

customer support team, the developers handling

integrations, the servers can handle the load without

downtime or, even worse, can thwart DDoS attacks.” He

concludes, “It is imperative that working relationships

remain strong not only between me and other C-level

executives, but also among our developers, our PR

teams. Only then can I look forward to more victory laps

with operators as we file for more licenses and release

new games into the market.”

“The business is competitive, true, but we believe that with the

right angle, there is a lucrative market out there that will play our

games. It is important to have good graphics, innovative features,

good mathematics as well as sterling B2B customer service. All

these factors contribute to that ‘wow’ factor.”

078


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Interview | SiGMA

079


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Anti-Money Laundering | SiGMA

4TH ANTI-MONEY

LAUNDERING DIRECTIVE:

DO YOU KNOW THE SCORE?

AN EXTRACT FROM OUR WHITEPAPER - WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE ONLINE GAMBLING INDUSTRY

To ask what a gambling operator should do if a

Simon Mann turned up as a new depositor isn’t a trick

question. The world will recognise the name Mann as a

notorious mercenary with an extremely chequered past.

But to a gambling operator, that name should prompt a

red flag in need of further investigation.

Such a scenario is an example of how the gambling

industry is affected by wider geopolitical events,

particularly when it relates to the policing of anti-money

laundering (AML) and terrorist financing. The adoption

by the international community in June of the fourth

Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4AMLD) for the first

time specifically places online gambling within the

directive’s remit, whereas previously only land-based

casinos were included.

As Warren Russell, chief executive at web-based online

screening tools provider W2, puts it, what was once

best practice is now a regulatory requirement. “There

hasn’t been that big stick previously,” he adds.

In September 2015, we saw two gaming operators set

aside a combined £1.7m due to failings in AML.

These effective ‘fines’ show the true cost of

compliance – or the cost of what happens when you

have insufficient compliance protections. It puts into

perspective the comment from W2’s chief commercial

officer Martin Pashley who suggests that when he

talks to potential clients about the company’s BSMART

screening tool there is often a “misapprehension” over

the cost of implementation.

BSMART (or the Batch Screening Monitoring and

Reporting Tool) screens international sanction lists,

politically exposed person lists, global law enforcement

notifications and wanted lists, disqualified directors

and regulatory enforcement actions. It is the product

that would help an operator sort its mercenaries from

its upstanding citizens, yet Pashley says concerns over

increased compliance expenditure still abound.

“People know that say, you pay a pound to initially

screen someone at the on-boarding stage then they

assume that if I have a million customers, it’s going

to cost me a £1m a week to screen these customers,”

he says. “There is that misapprehension, but because

the screening is done on an annual licence basis, the

frequency of screening doesn’t affect the price. Also,

significant volume discounts can be applied.”

If you would like to learn more about how W2 can

help you comply with 4MLD and simplify customer

on-boarding please email the team on enquiries@

w2globaldata.com

081


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Design Update | SiGMA

PASSION, QUALITY AND

INNOVATION FUEL ENDLESS

ENTERTAINMENT

THESE ARE THE DEFINING PILLARS OF ISOFTBET’S SUCCESS, A FRUITFUL COMBINATION THAT

HAS DRIVEN THE COMPANY SO FAR TO BECOME ONE OF THE LEADING ONLINE AND MOBILE

CASINO GAME SUPPLIERS. SO, WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING AT OUR END LATELY, APART FROM THE

REGULAR GAME RELEASES?

In recent times alone, we have improved our iconic slot

games with a touch of fresh air(brush), polished our Game

Aggregation Platform (GAP), opened a much-needed office

in the heart of Asia, in Philippines, Manila and introduced

new features for our well-performing mobile games, all for

the sole enjoyment of our players and operators alike. And if

that is just one slice of the pie, imagine what we plan to do in

the future!

Things are moving fast in the online casino industry and

we plan to stay ahead by continuing our innovation legacy.

We’ve kept an ear to the ground while scanning the

playground for novelty, and by working enthusiastically on

new games from a different viewpoint, we’ve tried to reach

all kinds of passionate players; because the year is coming

to an end, we rush to release these fresh products and bring

Christmas one step closer to all players! So, step forward

and let’s unpack together!

Without exception, iSoftBet’s new games have a halo of

coolness, whether it’s a change of concept or a design

upgrade, our products always strive to become hits

amongst our players. Take for example our one-of-akind

slot game, centred on the hexagon, Slammin’ 7s or

Cherry Trio, a unique slot game that radiates the Las

Vegas extravaganza, while introducing in your

private space a real casino feel. Robo Smash is

another state-of-the-art slot game, targeting

the geek in all of us, an adventure that has

pushed the concept of the classic slot game

to new frontiers. The jewel of the crown is

unquestionably Paranormal Activity, an out-ofthis-world

experience for players to enjoy thoroughly starting

this Halloween.

We’re always looking to enhance our offer and expand

our network, so whether you are an operator in search

of a quality games provider, or a passionate player who

appreciates fair and responsible gaming, look no further than

booth number B53 at SIGMA! Take a walk down for a chat

and let’s see if our passions collide so you can become more

than a just visitor, but a brand new partner!

083


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Interview | SiGMA

TIME

TO

GO

LIVE!

Edward, tell us a bit more about your experience in the gaming

scene; from consulting to operators, to running an affiliate

network, and now running the brand Codeta.

I have been in this business ever since 2002, starting off on the

operator side of things and one has to say, these were the early

days of igaming. Back then the opportunities were both very big

in terms of reach, but also limited in terms of the marketplace

itself and various legal obstacles to take into consideration. Not

because the law was extremely clear; on the contrary, most geomarkets

had outdated laws but no one knew how to interpret

them into .com-terms. It was a very innovative time back

then, where the winners were the fast-paced and innovative

companies and individuals that quickly understood the massive

opportunity that was in igaming (post .com-bubble). I was on

the operator side of things up until 2009, when I was at MD of

Ladbrokes Poker, and my family and I decided to move back to

Sweden. I didn’t intend to set up a consulting company as such.

As a matter of fact, the intention was purely for me to be able to

work with gaming companies from a legal perspective (again!)

based out of Sweden. However, I quickly identified a need

and an opportunity for the affiliate management background

which I had as Affiliate Director of PokerRoom.com along with

PokerStars.com. All igaming companies were still desperate for

customers and who were the ones that could surely provide

them? Affiliates. Fortunately, I knew them. So I started to hire

people with similar backgrounds and the similar unique networks

of contacts within the affiliate industry. Suddenly, operators

started to appreciate our way of business, which was basically

a brokerage, rather than a network. The difference in the fact

that we broker a deal between affiliates we know - in order to

make it suitable for the same affiliate. Once the deal is done,

the affiliate gets introduced to the operator’s affiliate program

and management, hence; full transparency and the relationship

with the affiliate is being handed over, therefore; they are not

solely relying on us to get involved. Affiliates appreciate our

expertise in the marketplace, i.e. knowing which brands to trust,

which brands convert well in certain markets and also our ability

to cater to their requirements in terms of price, material and

customer management. Since we have grown into a substantial

player on the market, we have also become a force within it.

So for instance in case of a situation where an operator doesn’t

do right for themselves versus the affiliates we have referred

to them, we are able to put pressure on them. It has happened

a couple of times, most recently with 10bet/Comfortlink-brands

not doing right for themselves and paying what is owed. Today,

they see little promotion through Nordic affiliates and are clearly

paying the price. If there is anything that I have learned after

being in this industry for 14 years, it is the fact that this industry is

still quite small, therefore; your biggest asset is your reputation.

If you are willing to gamble with that, you are most likely looking

at a short career within it as the most accurate description of our

industry is “what goes around comes around.”

085


SiGMA | Interview

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Now, ca 14 months ago, I finally decided, after watching on

the sidelines for too long, that it was time for me/us to set

up a proper brand. Our unique approach, differentiating us

from other casinos, was in the amount of research regarding

marketplace and consumer insights. Once this was

completed, we decided on a game plan. Codeta was born,

as was our positioning in becoming the leading global table

games casino.

We were told you are the majority shareholder in this up

and coming brand. What makes it unique? Combined years

of experience?

Ihre Consulting and associated co-founders own some 60%

of Codeta, whilst external investors own the other 40% stake

in exchange for €2m in investments.

Our positioning and ambition of becoming THE table games

casino. I would actually go as far as saying that actually

having and stating a positioning is unique. Perhaps with the

exception of LeoVegas as a major mobile casino, we are

quite unique.

Other factors that make us stand out include:

• Our ability to know exactly what our customers need and

how to motivate our target market.

• The group participation in our digital experience and how it

is delivered to our players.

• The experience behind our management and affiliate team.

With so many mergers and acquisitions, affiliation is

becoming more and more expensive! Do you think this

is still the way to go in your case? You have a lot of

experience in this field.

Yes, we certainly feel an initial affiliate strategy is suitable

for us, however, it is expensive and is not for everyone.

You need an even more experienced affiliate team now in

order to find the value in a lot of deals, as there is definitely

value out there. We will use our experience, our contacts

and funding to initially gain proper traction for Codeta. We

will already after the summer, start doing begin with more

traditional marketing investments, in the Nordics in particular.

As previously stated, our aim is to build Codeta into a proper

brand. and Naturally, I don’t believe you can build that brand

via affiliates alone as they naturally are more focused

on customer acquisition. whilst building a proper

brand, you need to also do more traditional

above the line marketing (as well).While

building a brand, traditional, above the line

marketing is also just as important.

Under which platform will you be operating

and which markets will you be focusing on?

Why did you go with this platform? Would

you exclude working with other live

tables besides Evolution?

We decided, through careful

research, that Everymatrix

provided us with the best

solution therefore, we are using

their API/Platform. We will

initially be focusing on the

Nordics + English speaking

markets (CAN, AUS etc)

and then launching UK and

DACH in September.

We work both with

Evolution Gaming and

NetEnt in terms of live

casino offerings. We

will likely adopt others

that deem themselves

appropriate for the live

casino experience. Our

selective nature for live

casino providers comes from our desire for our customers to

have the best possible experience when trying out our live

casino.

Table Games. Is there a large market for it? Can you give

us some numbers?

During our research phase, we did find out that there was

VERY little reliable data/stats to get access to. We did

manage in the end (after several months and numerous

consultants/agencies involved) to estimate how big this

was. We see a great opportunity in taking a leading position

within Live Casino. The segment is worth €770m in Europe

alone, and is the fastest growing sub-segment with its annual

growth of 44% between 2008-14 in Europe. It is expected to

grow at an annual rate of 18% globally until 2018.

Was it easy raising 2M? What made the investors trust

your startup? A long working relationship? Family and

friends? Do you have any feedback to give to budding

entrepreneurs who would like to take off with their own

venture?

Considering that we have never raised investments before, I

would say yes! We managed to secure the investment in less

than 4 weeks. The investors decision relied upon several

factors, however, the most important were:

• Trust in the experience of Ihre Consulting in the

marketplace.

• Our positioning and research backing that up

• The other parties we had involved in the project that added

the expertise that Ihre Consulting were less strong in

The additional parties whose involvement in the project

added the expertise that Ihre Consulting lacked. The majority

of investors are friends & families, but the last couple of

investors that came in (once the rumours started to go

around) are from the industry and have invested more than

the average investor.

You also engaged LynxEye Brand Consultants. Has this

been an integral ingredient so far?

Yes, they have been and still are. We used them to conduct

the research into our target group and understand them

properly in terms of what drives them to play, what they

seek, what they miss, etc. Once we had that, we have

worked closely with them to fine-tune our positioning and

understand what we need to deliver and focus on.

This is continuous work and Lynxeye is and

will be a long-term partner of ours.

You are based in Stockholm. Ever

thought of relocating to other

jurisdictions? And if yes, which

cities do you find attractive as

a base for gaming?

Yes, we are based here

and will continue to be

based here at least until

we get our own license,

as we now use an

Everymatrix license.

I also think that the

more we can have

the people with and

for Codeta gathered

under one roof, the

better as our journey

has only begun, not

only as a company but

also as a brand. Our

other resources sit

remotely in London,

Tel Aviv, Prague, and

Bucharest.

086


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Interview | SiGMA

JAPANESE-

THEMED

GAMES

She Ninja Suzu

© Ganapati (Malta) Ltd.,

Character Design

SEI NAKASHIMA

THERE HAS BEEN AN AIR OF UNCERTAINTY RECENTLY IN MARKETS GLOBALLY,

HOWEVER, IN THIS DYNAMIC IGAMING INDUSTRY, CREATIVE ENTREPRENEURS

ARE NOT SO EASILY DETERRED. ONE OF WHICH IS TOKYO-FOUNDED/UK-BASED

GANAPATI PLC, WHICH HAS BEEN MAKING WAVES IN OUR INDUSTRY OVER THE

PAST FEW MONTHS. WE TALKED TO MR MITSUYA FUJIMOTO, CEO OF GANAPATI,

WHO EXPLAINED THE COMPANY’S OPERATION AND THE EXCITING NEW JAPANESE-

THEMED GAMES THEY’RE BRINGING TO THE MARKET.

089


SiGMA | Interview

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

The mission of Ganapati is to spread Japanese Culture

worldwide. How are you embarking on such an ambitious

and exciting project?

It was natural for us to focus on Japanese culture because

it was something very familiar to us and has so many

aspects to be explored; from the rich traditional culture to

the modern-day anime and manga culture. Only a selective

amount of our culture has made it out of Japan into the rest

of the world – there is so much more to share!

We wanted to spread Japanese culture through something

that is already well integrated into everyday life in Europe.

The igaming industry was ideal in a sense that it is well

regulated, integrated into everyday life and is a place that

our products will be well appreciated.

How are your games promoting Japanese culture?

What are the features of your games that

showcase Japanese culture in a unique

way?

We will be focusing on the traditional

side of Japanese culture, the arts

and the graphics, as well as closing

up on the more recent culture

which has gained more popularity

worldwide through games and

anime culture. Our designated

staff, well equipped in both

Japanese and European culture

inside and out, will determine

what content will be best to

represent Ganapati and what

aspects of Japanese culture

would be the most interesting to

share with the European market.

What ideas have you been

implementing to promote your

games? Why do you feel your content is

different?

In the past, content with a supposed Japanese

feel has not really represented the true culture

which we feel we are able to deliver on. We bring not just

the Japanese-look to the slot games, but also the technology

and essence that makes things “Japanese.” Our content is

different from any others because we are authentic and only

choose the best of what Japan offers.

We are working with top creators in studios in Hollywood

and Japan to deliver high-quality 3D imagery on our games.

Your company has the backing from the Japanese

Government - how has this partnership been instrumental?

The Japanese government for the last few years has been

quite proactively promoting Japanese culture, through a

very strict system of authentication. We are happy that, even

though there is still stigma attached to gambling in Japan,

the Japanese government was able to acknowledge the

potential in our business model, which goes above and

beyond a basic distribution business.

You’ve been at a few shows already. Which markets have

been more receptive to embracing Japanese culture

in general and how has your ideas and concepts been

received?

Yes, we attended ICE and the Super Show in Amsterdam

earlier this year. We have had such a great reception

from everyone we met and spoke to there. I cannot

say which markets have been more receptive

because we received a lot of positive

feedback from the operators and

suppliers that service in all markets

across the globe. Everyone seems

very interested in Japanese culture

and the unique aspects we can

bring to the games, which is

extremely encouraging. We

even met a few manga and

anime fans which show how

popular Japanese culture is

outside of Japan. Our ideas and

concepts have been received

well and I am determined to

bring those aspects to this

industry for all of our enjoyment

and entertainment. It’s hard not

to get excited about this kind of

momentum and I look forward to

launching our games!

As a new entrant to the online gaming

industry, what do you feel you will add to the

industry as a whole?

Whilst we may be new to the industry we have a good

understanding of what the end user likes and understands.

We believe our products and brands have an association

with the consumer which is hard to replicate unless it comes

direct from the creators with which we have relationships.

We have a team of talented game developers and can use

the technology in Japan to continually create content which I

believe has not yet been seen in the industry yet.

“We wanted to spread Japanese culture through something that is

already well integrated into everyday life in Europe. The igaming

industry was ideal in a sense that it is well regulated, integrated into

everyday life and is a place that our products will be well appreciated.”

090


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Interview | SiGMA

Can you tell us a bit about the background of

the company and yourself?

Ganapati Plc has been around for two years

now. We are a listed entity on ISDX in the UK

and have offices in Japan and London. We

have several business entities worldwide

already providing social apps and other

services. The gaming industry is an area we

have looked at since our infancy, however it

is only recently that we have decided to make

an entrance into the market place. With this

in mind, we had to ensure we were able to

support the product and the industry through

proper means, which required employing the

right team and gaining the right knowledge.

We are now in a position to launch our first

products in the gaming industry.

As for me, my background is mostly in TV/

music production and artist management

where I have worked with major brands and

artists worldwide. Despite being new to the

iGaming sector, I have extensive experience

in the entertainment industry and have been

enjoying the exploration of this new avenue.

“...will be best to represent

Ganapati and what aspects

of Japanese culture would

be the most interesting to

share with the European

market.”

Tell us about your roadmap for your games.

How do you intend to distribute your

products and when will you be ready to

launch on to market?

We have three games ready for distribution

just after ICE in Feb 2017. These games will

be Japanese-themed slot games which will

showcase our animators and technology and

various aspects of Japanese culture. After this

initial release, we will be releasing our other

games which are in the production schedule.

For the first year our main theme will be the

Japanese-style fighting games and from there

our content will continue to diversify and

grow, but continue to share the uniqueness

of Japanese culture and technology through

each game and deliver high quality imagery.

GUNGRAVE

© RED

Character Design YASUHIRO NIGHTOW

She Ninja Suzu

© Ganapati (Malta) Ltd.,

Character Design Sei Nakashima

Crypt Battle

© Bank of Innovation

“In a crowded calendar

SiGMA was a personal choice

for me to attend. Love the

island, love the guys doing

it. EveryMatrix is proud

to be part of the inaugural

SiGMA.”

Ebbe Groes

CEO, EveryMatrix

“Malta is a major and highly

innovative hub for gaming

services; SiGMA itself is a

great opportunity for industry

representatives and regulatory

staff alike to access and

share valuable expertise and

networks.”

Simon Planzer

Planzer Law

GUNGRAVE

©RED

Character Design

YASUHIRO NIGHTOW

Crypt Battle

© Bank of Innovation

091


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Legal | SiGMA

COMPLIANT –

‘TO BE OR NOT

TO BE’

WITH APOLOGIES TO WILL

A bustling city, full of people and traffic,

rushing in every direction to get somewhere.

Fog or heavy rain can cause everything

to slow down, change direction, re-think

their destinations, postpone meetings, or

whatever was on the day’s agenda. The

bustling city stutters, slows down, there is a

mood change, a change in pace. Why didn’t

I bring my umbrella? Should I have gone

earlier? Should I have taken the train? We

start to ask ourselves what we could have

done or should have done, to reduce the

interruptions to our day. Is there a way of

knowing what is expected, or could happen?

Don’t check and plan accordingly and you

suffer the consequences.

What has this got to do with regulations and

compliance you may ask? Well, not much

BY ALAN ALDEN

really, but it’s an example of understanding

the environment you work in. Dubai would

obviously not have the same climate risks as

London or Paris, though the sand storms are

said to be wicked and totally disruptive.

Regulations, standards, best practices,

together with globalisation through the

Internet has had an effect on practically

every industry in some way or another. If

you are in the food business, such as a

restaurant, you have to comply with various

health and food safety regulations. Data

Protection and/or Anti-Money Laundering

will soon be a compliance requirement for

practically everyone. With regards to Anti-

Money Laundering / Combating Financing

of Terrorism (AML/CFT) as criminal spend is

considered to be money laundering, it will

093


SiGMA | Legal

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

more or less affect anyone who sells something or another to

a customer, whether online or offline.

When Malta introduced the Remote Gaming Regulations

in 2004, I would not be exaggerating if I were to state that

the RGRs of Malta revolutionised the way the online gaming

industry operated and brought jobs and funds to Malta and

the EU. A newly regulated industry was born. Twelve years

down the line and the industry has grown in leaps and

bounds and forged ahead embracing new technologies

and satisfying customers’ increasing demands. However,

regulation has also developed and affected the industry.

Different jurisdictions with different regulatory requirements

probably cause the biggest headaches to operators.

Wouldn’t it be just great if they just had to follow one

comprehensive set of regulatory and technical requirements!

Thankfully there are people out there

who understand this and are working,

when possible, for standardised

requirements.

The CEN workgroup (The European

Committee for Standardisation) has

already agreed to, and drawn up,

the document: CWA 16259:2011:

Responsible Remote Gambling

Measures. Now there is a workshop

that is working on the standardisation

of reporting requirements for gaming

companies. These measures should

simplify compliance requirements in

these two areas at EU level for gaming

operators. A blue patch in the grey

sky and some sun rays bursting

through.

The thick fog engulfing this bustling

city and causing limited visibility I

would say are the VAT regulations

governing electronic services that

started to affect the industry in

January 2015. Compliance is made

simpler when the rules are clear,

however, VAT rules are unclear when

it comes to gaming transactions with advice provided by

experts not always providing the same conclusions and

solutions. The same can be said, to a lesser extent, about

gaming tax calculations in some jurisdictions.

It was said, a few years ago, that the drive by EU countries to

nationalise licensing of gaming operators would lead to the

destruction of liquidity based games such as poker, bingo,

betting exchanges, etc. This prediction came through and

poker networks have taken a huge blow. Now there is an

attempt to allow countries to share liquidity by permitting

players from one jurisdiction to play on a network licensed

in another jurisdiction. Let’s see how this goes and whether

it will work. I can predict once again that the main stumbling

block will be gaming taxes and who will collect them. Taxes

have been the main reason for the insistence by jurisdictions

to go against the EU treaty and exclude gaming from the

cross-border services provision. Of course, they could not

say that, so they came up with unfounded accusations

against the industry, such as fraud and money laundering,

and a danger to public order. But that is another story, that

storm has come and gone.

Back to compliance and what gaming companies have

to contend with. Let’s list the main laws and regulations a

licensed gaming company has to be aware of and comply

with:

Company law, tax law, VAT law, Remote Gaming regulations

of various jurisdictions including directives and license

conditions, computer misuse, e-commerce, data protection,

AML/CFT, consumer affairs (namely ODR and ADR).

Gaming companies are also required

to comply with ISO 27001 and/or PCI

DSS depending on where they are

licensed and whether or not they

store, process and/or transmit credit

card data.

We have to look at the weather

forecast and rely on what the

meteorological office says. It is no

wonder that most gaming operators

now have legal and compliance

teams’ setup in their organisation with

an important role, which is basically

to keep the operators on track and

reduce their risk of fines, brand and

reputational damage, through noncompliance

issues. Some fines can be

quite high and can be linked to noncompliance

with AML and responsible

gambling or advertising.

Partly cloudy in the morning, with

strong possibilities of rain during

the day. The UKGC has issued new

License Conditions and Codes of

Practice (LCCP) that will come into

effect on the 31st October 2016. The

main condition is licence Condition 12.1 which relates to the

requirement to carry out a risk assessment and implement

policies based on the results and to monitor and update,

as and when required. This condition is more or less in line

with the 4th AML Directive’s risk-based approach. We still

do not know what other jurisdictions will be doing in relation

to this Directive and it is hoped that in this sensitive matter

there is more or less a standard approach by the Authorities.

One other thing, let’s also hope that the Authorities accept

the results of the risk assessments. I am anticipating that

the results will be in conflict with the rubbish that has been

thrown about at EU level, and conveniently believed, about

the high risks from online gambling and betting in relation to

AML and CFT! At least we know that the UKGC shares the

industry’s knowledge and understanding about the real risks

of AML/CFT.

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ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Legal | SiGMA

“You cannot fight compliance,

you cannot avoid it, so you must

manage it properly, not once

but constantly. The good news

is you’re not alone and there

are ways and means to do it

efficiently and effectively.”

Weather front affecting different parts of the city, some

areas with the sunshine, others with the possibility of

thunderstorms. The 3rd Directive on Data Protection is another

2017 regulation that gaming operators have to be aware of.

Penalties are expected to be exceptionally high and a proportion

of the profit, but also based on the number of employees. Under

the new EU Data Protection law, fines for non-compliance can be

up to 2% of “annual worldwide turnover” for companies with more

than 250 employees. So if you run a loss making company and

have 249 or fewer employees you should be relatively compliant

or at least not risk hefty fines. Joking apart, gaming operators

should not be too worried about this unless they intend on abusing

player data, which they do not normally do. The main issues

are always data retention and satisfying the different statutory

requirements and system limitations. In a nutshell, I would say that

all data should be held at least for five years after closure of the

account, after that, well, it is pretty much debatable. It’s more what

you do with the data and where you retain it, in my humble opinion

than how long you keep it.

We do not need to contemplate death as Hamlet did in his famous

soliloquy; compliance is not that bad once you get used to it, like the

weather in London, or the heat of Dubai. The important thing about

compliance is knowing what you need to be compliant with and then

invest in the right people and tools to ensure that you have an effective

compliance strategy. Too often companies think that by creating a

compliance role and implementing basic policies they have satisfied the

requirements. If compliance is not built into the workflow and you do not

have the right processes and tools for effective monitoring, then at some

point or another, the company will fail in its obligations.

Check the weather forecast, select the preferred route, mode of

transport, attire, check again and then head out. A structured approach

to compliance is required. Plan, Do, Check, Act in a recurring cycle.

Anyone familiar with ISO Standards will recognise this approach. ISO has

once again, like with so many other issues, provided a standard that can

be followed. Look up ISO 19600:2014 and buy it if you are involved with

compliance. You do not need to get certified, but it will provide you with the

approach and structure to tackle a role and responsibility that gets more

complex by the day.

Get a good umbrella and boots and do not buy a convertible. With regards

to getting the right tools, especially for AML/CFT monitoring, look carefully

and invest wisely. The resulting fines and players’ bad experiences could cost

you dearly. The chosen tool should be adaptable, should not interfere with the

customer experience, should not give you too many false positives and should

give you the desired results i.e. alerting you to suspicious players/transactions.

Ideally, a single tool that satisfies all your requirements and is not too labour

intensive would be preferred. It is difficult but very possible to find such tools.

You cannot fight compliance, you cannot avoid it, so you must manage it

properly, not once but constantly. The good news is you’re not alone and there

are ways and means to do it efficiently and effectively. Your business plans and

budgets should now have a compliance cost built in which should properly reflect

the company’s efforts to comply. Where you do not have the resources internally,

either in number or in knowledge and skill, outsource to a competent third party,

but do not ignore, for, like the weather, it will not go away.

095


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

AML | SiGMA

GOOD GOVERNANCE TO AML

GOOD GOVERNANCE IS THE KEY TO PROPER ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING FOR OBLIGED ENTITIES

INCLUDING THE GAMING SECTOR. THIS ARTICLE EXPLAINS HOW TO IMPLEMENT EFFECTIVE AML

FROM A TOP-TO-BOTTOM PERSPECTIVE.

It has been a year since the European Union approved its

Fourth Money Laundering Directive and there is one year to

go for the closing of the transposition period. For new sectors

which will be covered under the ‘obliged entity’ definition,

this means that the time is running short to ensure that proper

anti-money laundering (AML) culture has soaked in the system

and day-to-day checks are in place at client on-boarding

and servicing. Promoting such culture requires a firm board

commitment and inclusion of AML as a component of good

corporate governance at obliged entities is an important

requirement at Gaming entities. Directors should invest time

and dedication in order to attain an effective culture change.

The purpose of this article is to present the main pillars that

the directors should put in place for this project which are:

Communication, Leadership and Control.

LEADERSHIP

Effective leadership is the catalyst of culture change. The

first step is to start including AML as an item on the Board’s

agenda. The directors should not just skim through the subject

but should dedicate enough time to discuss the entity’s

policies, how AML milestones are being achieved and whether

these are effective enough. The directors should challenge

and assess whether the policies, procedures and processes,

are commensurate with the business risks and can effectively

mitigate the money laundering risks.

For the everyday implementation, the Board should consider

the delegation of this important project to a dedicated working

committee. In smaller entities an individual could be appointed

to oversee this project, and where necessary assisted by

external expert consultants. Whatever the type of set-up

opted, the Board of Directors should ensure that the persons

that are involved in this project are not only knowledgeable

on the subject and on the regulatory requirements but

actually have hands-on experience on AML. Also, the MLRO

that will be appointed is suitably qualified to lead the AML

function following the coming into force of this legislation and

is able to manage the AML risk efficiently and effectively. In

addition, such individuals must be of an independent mind

and should be provided with the right opportunity to positively

challenge the system. Of course one cannot underestimate

the importance of resources and the directors should actively

support the provision of appropriate budgets both at the

implementation of the project but in support of ongoing AML

requirements.

message should be a positive one but at the same time tough

on non-compliance and non-cooperation during such project

and post-implementation. As goes by saying you have to be

‘cruel to be kind’ and this approach can re-align employees’

attitude.

CONTROL

Basic as it may sound, control involves listening. This important

process will assist in understanding the drivers that are helping

or hindering the right culture and good governance. However,

it makes sense that any controls are calibrated. Too many

controls and restrictions can hinder the business and might

be excessive to the type of money laundering risk at hand. On

the other hand, high money laundering risk situations call for

enhanced due diligence and appropriate controls. Moreover,

at each stage of this project and also post-implementation the

directors need to reassess whether the control processes are

efficient and effective to manage money laundering risk. This

also ensures that the whole AML system is updated with the

external macro and micro developments which are impacting

the day-to-day evolvement of the entity’s business.

As part of the ‘listening’, the Directors should request

reports by the responsible persons on AML. At AML project

implementation, this needs to be presented by its respective

Chairman of the working group or the person responsible

on this project. As part of the AML regulatory requirements

and post-implementation, the MLRO should be then the

person responsible for presenting such report. During such

reviewing and discussion, the Directors, in particular those

occupying non-executive roles need to ask themselves

whether the confirmations provided are actually closing the

relative compliance gaps and where need be, they should

constructively challenge the system as part of this exercise.

Another important aspect that needs to be considered are the

control functions such as compliance and internal audit. Whilst

noting the latter, the engagement of a compliance officer at

senior management is a mandatory regulatory requirement

in terms of the Fourth Money Laundering Directive. On the

other hand, the appointment of an internal auditor needs to

be considered by the same directors based on the scope,

scale and complexity of the entity’s activities. Going back on

the principles of leadership, the knowledge and experience of

persons engaged in this function is of the essence in ensuring

that good filters are in place.

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

Effective training on AML ensures that staff not only

understand the regulatory requirements but also appreciate

its importance. This is also an excellent opportunity for the

Directors to ‘set the tone’ on the matter. In general, the

training, whether online or in a classroom set-up, should at

least cover the legislative framework, the entity’s policies and

procedures on customer due diligence, record-keeping and

reporting of suspicious transaction reporting and the name and

contact details of the MLRO. Repercussions of non-compliance

clearly outweigh any perceived nuisance that comes with

adhering to the policy.

The final AML Policies and Procedures need to be easily

accessible and in this regard the use of intranet systems are a

good option to consider. Internal circulars should at least cover

the need to comply with AML and such messages will have a

higher weighting if this is issued directly by the Chief Executive

Officer, for example, or by board members collectively. The

FINAL THOUGHTS ON CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

This is an overall description of the good governance to AML.

Yet, whilst this concentrated on AML one should not disregard

the principles of good governance on a separate exercise

such as having the right mix of non-executive and executive

Directors which are now becoming a ‘must have’ in regulated

set-ups. On the other hand, the high financial repercussions

and reputational damages brought by non-compliance could

put the entity at stake and Directors cannot continue to

disregard this requirement and cannot afford to postpone

this further. Moreover, a sensible and intelligent approach to

AML achieved through proper governance can really have a

positive culture change.

Claire Camilleri Gauci is a leading

Compliance Specialist and Director of Aid

Compliance Limited a leading compliance

and governance consultancy firm.

097


SiGMA | SEO ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

REAL WORLD

BLACKHAT SEO

AND WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

BY GARY R BEAL, MD, VANGUARD ONLINE MEDIA

BLACKHAT SEO

BlackHat 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 exemployee

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

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ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

SEO | SiGMA

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 noone

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

099


SiGMA | SEO

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

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

0100


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

SEO | SiGMA

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 a 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.

“As a fast growing gaming

venture licensed in Malta we

are happy to see a dedicated

gaming conference established

down here. We are looking

forward to participating and

exhibiting at SiGMA.”

Johan Styren

CEO, LeoVegas

“At CalvinAyre.com, we want

to cover the big conference and

interview the best experts in

the gambling industry. We

definitely wanted to be in

Malta to cover SiGMA

Bill Beatty

Editor in Chief,

CalvinAyre.com

0101


SiGMA | Maltese Entrepreneurs

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

YOUNG MALTESE

ENTREPRENEURS

WITH OVER TWENTY YEARS OF

SHARED iGAMING EXPERIENCE,

LUCAS GODWIN, 26, ADRIAN

BORG, 30, AND CHRIS BORG, 27,

DECIDED TO JOIN FORCES AND

PUT THEIR ENTREPRENEURIAL

SPIRIT TO THE TEST WITH THEIR

NEW WHITE LABEL CASINO SITE.

0104


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Maltese Entrepreneurs | SiGMA

How did the Maltese trio come

together? Tell us a bit about the

cumulative years of experience the trio

has.

The team has come together after

meeting from within the industry. We got

to know each other for a while where we

saw that we all shared the same vision

and principles. After brainstorming each

other’s ideas we came up with a common

vision and decided we would build a

product with our principles as its core

pillars, that of creating a safe, fair and fun

environment for all our customers and

business partners.

Together we agreed to create a

product which is simple and sleek. Easy

navigation is our core strength while

maintaining industry standards upholding

quality and efficiency across all devices.

What are your backgrounds? Strengths

each player brings into the equation?

The team at FreakyVegas brings together

ample experience in various roles within

the online gaming industry, which are

proving to be a priceless asset for a startup

like ours.

Having had experiences from ground up

in companies like Betsson, Videoslots

and more, we all have seen through

small projects that were driven by a clear

direction and passion become something

unique for the players. With that in mind,

we have come up with our own ideas on

how the user experience of the future

should look like and how the user really

benefits from the operations behind the

casino.

Our young team has vast experience in

Marketing, CRM, UX and Operations to

name a few. Knowledge is abundant and

creativity is rife. What we have come up

with is essentially a “Simple is better”

approach yet - not simpler.

local and foreign in all key areas required

for an operator to succeed, and one

cannot ignore all the precious hours

which we would need to spend travelling

when most of our partners are sitting 15

minutes away.

Recent developments in Fantasy Sports

within the MGA also assure us that

the authorities are on tip toes, making

sure the licensing regulation keeps

moving along in this constantly changing

environment.

Strengths and weaknesses of working

from Malta?

Having most operators on such a small

island tends to become challenging at

times to attract the best talent so one

needs to be on constantly on the lookout

in order to not miss out on any potential

successful candidates.

300 days of summer tends to be a

popular perk for anyone interested

in moving to Malta. The high level of

expertise already found on the island

make this island a place you want to be

part of if you are interested in the gaming

industry.

The industry is vibrant on the island

with something going on every other

week, events like the Malta Sports Day

are perfect examples where the gaming

industry community comes together to

kick back and play.

SiGMA, of course, tops it all off to make

sure for a stellar “closing of the year”

by bringing the whole industry to Malta

to plan for the year ahead. We are quite

sure this year’s initiative to bring even

more affiliates are welcomed by all

operators and we will be looking forward

to catching up with all of our existent and

future partners at FreakyVegas.com.

Where do you see the company heading

in two, five years’ time? Any exit plans

already? Selling, merging?

With the current state of legal legislation

in mind we have opted to go for an “Agile

practises” to our business approach,

so while we have our eyes on our

objectives, we would rather focus on our

next challenge which is “now”. Having

said that we have our eyes on multi

branding which we have seen develop in

the more saturated markets, sportsbook

and also E-Sports.

How do you find basing your operation

in Malta? Would you consider working

anywhere else?

Being Maltese we “might” be a bit biased

in saying “we are convinced Malta is the

best place to operate an online gaming

business”. We think that the current legal

framework has produced a regulatory

environment which is both accessible

and robust allowing the operator to focus

on the things that really matter.

The island is abundant in talent both

0105


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Legal | SiGMA

REGULATING

eSPORTS

IN THE

i GAMING

INDUSTRY

BY DR CHRISTOPHER DALLI

FROM THE UNITED STATES TO KOREA, THE UK AND EVEN MALTA, ‘ESPORTS’, DEFINED BY

THE UK GAMBLING COMMISSION IN A RECENT DISCUSSION PAPER AS ‘THE PLAYING OF

COMPUTER GAMES WHICH CAN RANGE FROM PLAY BY TWO INDIVIDUALS (INCLUDING ‘MATCH-

UPS’) TO PLAYING IN PROFESSIONAL COMPETITIONS’, HAS HIT THE IGAMING INDUSTRY BY

STORM ARMED WITH AN EXPONENTIAL POTENTIAL FOR GROWTH. WITH POPULAR CONTESTS

INCLUDING LEAGUE OF LEGENDS, DOTA, AND COUNTER-STRIKE:GLOBAL OFFENSIVE (CS:GO),

SURVEYS CARRIED OUT BY DIGITAL GAMES MARKET INTELLIGENCE FIRM NEWZOO SHOW THAT

AWARENESS OF ESPORTS HAS INCREASED BY 36% FROM 2015, 69% OF WHICH ARE MALES

BETWEEN THE AGES OF 21-35, THE KEY TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC IN THE GAMBLING INDUSTRY.

0107


SiGMA | Legal

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

In view of this recent spike in

popularity, regulatory authorities

in various states have cautioned

against the risks involved in eSports,

with issues such as cheating,

match-fixing and under-age betting

becoming a legitimate concern.

With papers such as that issued

by the UK Gambling Commission,

the implication seems to be that

regulation is inevitable. In terms

of the local dynamic, a distinction is made by virtue of

which betting on eSports falls within the ambit of a Class II

licence issued by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), whilst

organising of tournaments is not considered to be licensable

by the MGA.

In its position paper ‘Digital Games of Skill with

Prize’ issued in December 2015, the MGA

suggested that digital games which

include chance but are ‘significantly

influenced by skill’ should be

licensed with a ‘lighter touch’

than other gambling games,

stating that the requirements

should reflect the risk

posed by the operation,

whilst simultaneously

distinguishing such

games from those of

pure chance. In fact,

in August of this year

the authority issued

a notice stating its

intention to introduce

legislation regulating

certain skill games to

mitigate increased risks

to the consumer. In the

interim, Legal Notice 271

of 2016 has exempted

daily fantasy sports from

requiring a gambling licence

but no such equivalent exists

for eSports as yet, so it will

be interesting to see whether

eSports will be catered for by the

entry of this new legislation.

It may be stated from the outset, that

regulation is both encouraged and embraced and is an

indispensable tool to avoid incidents such as the conviction

in South Korea of StarCraft II star Lee “Life” Seung for

match-fixing earlier this year. As with all growing industries,

regulatory checks and balances are imperative in the fight

against corruption. With that being said, the manner and

form of regulation are factors which must be carefully

assessed, in the words of the MGA, so as not to ‘go beyond

what is necessary to ensure a safe and fair environment for

consumers, free from criminal activity’.

IS REGULATION FOR ESPORTS REALLY

NECESSARY?

Providing facilities for gambling without the required licence

is an offence in all jurisdictions which regulate gambling.

It is necessary therefore for operators and regulators alike

to clearly distinguish between activities needing a licence

and others which do not. Maltese regulators have stated

that currently, games including both chance and skill are

licensable if the authority considers that chance is the

prevalent factor in determining the result. Games with a

negligible amount of chance therefore do not need to be

licensed, although certain standards such as age restrictions

and financial protection should still be imposed.

Opinions are many but conclusions are

few when it comes to determining

whether eSports would be

considered a game of chance, a

game of skill, or a combination

of both. The MGA has

sought to determine the

extent of skill in games by

looking at factors such

as whether the game is

played against human

players, whether the

skilled players win

more often than those

which are unskilled,

and the presence

of random draws.

Whilst on the face of

it eSports would be

considered a game

of skill, when taking

into consideration that

the outcome of eSports

contests are influenced by

a random number generator

(RNG), the answer becomes

somewhat less clear.

Regardless of the above, it is

uncontentious that betting on skillgames,

which is what betting on eSports would

seemingly fall under, is a licensable activity under the

laws of Malta; but is a ‘traditional’ gaming licence enough

to cover the entirety of the risks posed by eSports, and

should the organisation of eSports competitions also require

regulation?

0108


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Legal | SiGMA

THE ENVISAGED RISKS

MATCH-UPS

Regulatory authorities across the board seem

to be in agreement in acknowledging that

betting on eSports should be no different

from other events upon which bets can be

placed, with the risks presented such as

cheating, excessive gambling, and matchfixing

being the same as all betting activities.

The rise of eSports has also brought about

the emergence of companies which offer

facilities for players to play against one

another (match ups) for prizes. Some of these

allow the players to bet on, or even against,

themselves. The Gambling Commission is

of the opinion that a company offering such

match-up facilities would be tantamount to

a betting intermediary, providing a service

which facilitates the making or accepting of

bets between others. This, according to the

Gambling Commission, is a licensable activity

determined by assessing various factors,

most notably the number of people involved

in the competition where a large amount

of participants would lean more towards

the organisation of a tournament (which is

unregulated) than that of a match-up. Matchups

provide risks of cheating and collusion,

where a contestant may on the one hand

cheat to win by using tactics such as ‘trigger

bots’ allowing players to shoot enemies

without the need to aim their weapon, and on

the other hand cheat to lose, where players

could bet against themselves by maintaining

different accounts.

MONEY’S WORTH

The terms ‘virtual currencies’ and ‘money’s

worth’ are often associated with currencies

such as bitcoin and litecoin. However, close

attention is to be given to in-game items

such as skins or even playing accounts, for

these can be won or purchased within games

and later traded in for cash. These skins are

aesthetic upgrades for knives and weapons

which are bought, sold and wagered. To boot,

because of the lack of regulation, checks

such as age verification are non-existent

resulting in minors betting high value virtual

items which are then converted into real

money.

Based on this premise, the UK Gambling

Commission has in its discussion paper held

that when skins are traded or tradeable, and

when facilities for gambling with such items

are offered, a license is required. This could

have various effects on the eSports industry,

mostly due to the fact that if the number of

skins sites decrease this may indirectly affect

the sponsorship of eSports teams by such

sites.

An important factor which has been

overlooked by regulators thus far is that

such virtual in-game items are often only

convertible into money via illegal third party

marketplaces which usually breach the terms

and conditions of the game itself. In order to

introduce this new effective addition to our

gambling legislation, a risk analysis as to how

virtual items such as skins are traded must

be carried out, failing which we could be

experiencing significant consequences for the

iGaming industry.

GAMES FOR PRIZES

A further factor which needs to be assessed

is at what point do eSports games, where

a prize may be won, is considered to be

a gambling activity. This is determinable

based on whether eSports is considered

to be a game of chance or a game of skill.

It is uncontentious that the outcome of

many eSports contests are influenced by

a RNG, which gives rise to the question of

whether participating in such games for a

prize which locally would fall under a Class

I Licence. Determining which eSports titles

are considered to have a sufficient level of

RNG, thereby requiring organisers to obtain

a licence, is a difficult task and onerous when

considering that the discussion here targets

the underlying game mechanics. This would

affect tournament organisers who may be

required to obtain appropriate licences, and

the development of eSports games, where

organisers would be deterred from including

elements with complex consequences for

eSports industries.

THE WAY FORWARD

The operative question in the iGaming

industry is whether new developments

require new legislation or whether it is

satisfactory to the industry that games such

as eSports are encapsulated within traditional

licences.

Malta must, as it always has, strive to retain

its position as a remote gaming hub and

therefore regulation must strike a balance

between the protection of the consumer,

remaining innovative and the sustainable

growth of the industry. This exercise is

one which must be carried out with the

cooperation from both the authorities and

the operators who must, in an effort to avoid

complex legislation, display self-regulation

and ensure a reliable environment for players.

We augur that the process shall involve the

various stakeholders in the industry to ensure

the appropriate application of modern futurelooking

legislation while also avoiding the

stifling of this young and growing niche.

“We plan on flying down

many of our affiliates to

SiGMA16 and combine some

quality networking with a bit

of fun in Malta!”

Dennis Dyhr Hansen

MatchingVisions

“SIGMA is a nice place to

meet business partners, old

and new. Malta is the perfect

place to hold a conference,

simply because almost all

Casinos operate from there and

it is a great place to make big

business.”

Tuomas Jauhiainen

Affiliate to Operator

0109


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Profile | SiGMA

GETTING TO KNOW

AHMET

CELEBI

SiGMA RECENTLY MET UP WITH AHMET CELEBI TO LEARN

MORE ABOUT CASPO LTD AND HIS ROLE WITHIN THE

COMPANY.

As an affiliate and affiliate

manager, Ahmet told us that

originally there was no intention

of opening a Casino. He was

contacted by Skill on Net and

asked to run one of their Casinos,

Queenvegas.com, which had

been lying around.

“I personally liked the name and

spent a good amount of time

researching design ideas and

how to approach players, which

was never really what we did. It

is different from just dealing with

Affiliates,” he said. “I see players

as customers and I think that

every one of them deserves to be

treated in the best way possible.”

When discussing what factors

distinguish his brand from its

competitors, Mr Celebi said that

he believes it is the design: “New

design elements have been

added to make us look different

from any other Casino.”

He also added that they have

20 different languages with

native-speaking supporters in all

languages, as well as 9 different

currencies. These factors provide

players with a better, all-around

experience, knowing that they can

play in the comfort of their own

language and currency.

Just like any other company, there

are, of course, certain plans and

predictions for the future of Caspo

Ltd. Ahmet said that growing

requires adaptation which means

adding more departments and

bringing in new people – the

crucial part is getting the right

people for the right job. With

regards to his personal plans,

Ahmet jokingly said: “Next, I

deserve a very long holiday with

no internet or phone connection,

where I can just relax.”

Caspo Ltd’s offices are in Gozo,

but there was no government

incentives or other such factors

that contributed to Ahmet’s

decision to shift to Malta’s sister

island. “I moved to Gozo before

opening the office and I can

personally say that if you are

settled, have kids, and don’t need

to go to Paceville every day, Gozo

is the place for you,” he said,

adding that it’s cheaper, safer,

more quiet, and much less hectic

than Malta.

While on the topic of Gozo, SiGMA

brought up the idea of building a

bridge or tunnel connecting the

two islands and asked Ahmet

whether he is for or against it, to

which he enthusiastically replied:

“Bridge or tunnel, I don’t care –

but please, please, please with

sugar on top, build one of them

ASAP,” adding that he would

personally choose a bridge over

a tunnel.

Ahmet has also worked within

the iGaming industry in other

big cities, namely London and

Amsterdam, but doesn’t seem

to find any major differences or

challenges between them and the

Maltese Islands.

0111


SiGMA | Affiliate

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

MAKING THE

AFFILIATE

INDUSTRY

BETTER

BETTER COLLECTIVE HAS BEEN INNOVATING AND EVOLVING IN THE AFFILIATE INDUSTRY FOR

MORE THAN A DECADE, BUT THERE’S MUCH MORE TO COME. SiGMA SPOKE TO JESPER SØGAARD,

FOUNDER AND CEO OF THE TRAIL-BLAZING AFFILIATES TO DISCOVER WHERE THE COMPANY HAS

COME FROM, AND WHERE IT’S GOING.

Back in 2002, two school friends came together in Germany

to launch a website designed to help punters gain an

edge on casino bonuses. At the time, Jesper Søgaard

and Christian Dam Rasmussen, self-proclaimed “bonus

opportunists”, were unaware that their love of discovering

attractive bonuses, which stole a march on the online

casinos, would put them on the road to creating one of the

world’s leading affiliates.

“Christian and I were brought together by a passion for

hunting bonus codes and betting and gambling online,”

Søgaard recalls. “We used to collect bonuses for a profit,

but that had limits. We soon found that many other punters

were also interested in making the most of bonuses, but just

weren’t sure on how to do it. We came up with the idea of

launching a website which did the hard work for you – the

beginnings of Better Collective.”

The Danish businessman has always had that

entrepreneurial spirit, whether it was running his own tuck

shop at school, or baking pastries and selling them for

profit around his neighbourhood. But it is Better Collective

which has set Søgaard out as one of the most successful

entrepreneurs in Denmark today.

“If someone had told me 10 years ago that Better Collective

would be known around the globe, collecting prestigious

awards and leading the market, I wouldn’t have believed you.

I remember the celebrations when we first made €10,000.

Now, we’re employing more than 80 people at our superb

offices in Copenhagen, and our products are performing

fantastically around the world. It’s an incredible story.”

At the beginning, Søgaard and Dam Rasmussen recognised

that their customers were sensible gamblers and bettors,

looking to make informed bets which would all-but guarantee

“If someone had told me 10 years ago that Better Collective would be

known around the globe, collecting prestigious awards and leading

the market, I wouldn’t have believed you. I remember the celebrations

when we first made €10,000. Now, we’re employing more than 80

people at our superb offices in Copenhagen, and our products are

performing fantastically around the world. It’s an incredible story.”

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ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Affiliate | SiGMA

a return. This formed the basis of the Better Collective ethos,

and Søgaard says that this hasn’t changed over the past 12

years.

“The message and core of the company have remained

the same throughout our history, as it’s very important to

the way we work and a large part of why we continue

to be a success. The technology keeps changing, but

our products still do what we set out to do at the very

start: provide punters and casino players with all the

information they’re looking for, enabling them to

make the most informed bets.”

The company must be doing something right.

Their trophy cabinet is heaving – in recent

times they have received multiple eGR Affiliate

of the Year Awards, five Gazelle Awards and,

this September, they were crowned a National

Champion in the European Business Awards.

Unsurprisingly, Søgaard is proud of the

company’s achievements. “What’s great about

the awards we’ve received is that they celebrate

many different areas of our business. Our affiliate

awards recognise our incredible employees and

the understanding they have of our industry. The

Gazelle Awards recognise growth, and we’ve always

been growing faster than the rest of the affiliate

industry.

“It was a huge honour to be crowned National Champion

in the European Business Awards. Just 2% of 32,000

entrants achieve that title and it really marks a coming of age

for us as a major European company.”

Better Collective’s portfolio now includes more than 1,000

websites and products, with their flagship tipping site,

bettingexpert, boasting more than 350,000 users and

generating more than 125,000 new betting tips per month.

So, what is it that sets them apart?

“The community around bettingexpert is so unique,” says

Søgaard, “We have quality tipsters which help drive the

content and, in turn, more people come to the site

and then move through to bookmakers.

Having community-curated

content creates an

ever-expanding

“The message and core of the

company has remained the same

throughout our history, as it’s

very important to the way we

work and a large part of why we

continue to be a success. The

technology keeps changing, but

our products still do what we

set out to do at the very start:

provide punters and casino

players with all the information

they’re looking for, enabling them

to make the most informed bets.”

feedback loop; the top tipsters prove they can be trusted,

which increases their following, which then encourages their

increased activity.”

Talking about his business, Søgaard is visibly delighted with

Better Collective’s achievements. There’s a clear sense of the

company he co-founded being built on strong values, with

‘respect’ being one of the cornerstones.

“From the start, we laid weight on the value of our word,”

he says. “Respect works internally with our employees and

externally with our partners and customers. An ethos

of trust and respect has built our reputation,

and people now know us and trust

the quality of the tools

and services we

develop.”

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SiGMA | Affiliate

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

“It was a huge honour to be crowned National Champion in the

European Business Awards. Just 2% of 32,000 entrants achieve that

title and it really marks a coming of age for us as a major European

company.”

Better Collective’s offices, close to Copenhagen’s harbour

and across the water from the opera house, are the epitome

of cool. The building’s clean Scandinavian architecture

perhaps echoes their own philosophy – inviting, respectful,

nurturing. It permeates through to the workforce, too.

“We foster and value the want for innovation in our

employees, and look to nurture, respect and reward loyalty in

return. Over the years, we’ve been good at recruiting smart

people, which forms the main thread through the company.

Our leadership team delegates and trusts that our people

can cope with big tasks, developing their skills. This freedom

gives our employees an incentive to be creative, grow with

the company and remain with us. It’s a great atmosphere to

work in.”

As the company grows, would they ever look to base

themselves outside of Denmark? Søgaard is pretty clear on

that thought.

“Copenhagen is a fantastic city and I don’t see a time when

we would want to relocate. There is a highly-skilled talent

pool here which has already served us well, while the city

itself is an attractive place to live and it’s usually pretty easy

to convince people to come here.”

“Our values are also rooted in Scandinavian ideals,” he

continues, “and partners tend to respect these values when

they work with us. We’re very proud to be a successful

Danish company. We’ve seen companies gain rapid growth

and then up sticks and leave. We gain respect from Denmark

for staying, and want to give back as much to her as she has

given to us.”

With a clear mind and distinct vision, Søgaard appears to

know exactly where the company he co-founded is going.

When asked about the future, he talks of

continued growth, increased financial

strength and an ambition to

continue to be at the cuttingedge

of the affiliate and

technology industries.

After 14 years of

sustained growth,

market-first

products and

industry

recognition,

you wouldn’t

bet against

him

achieving

it.

0114


SiGMA | Regulations

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

REGULATING

BY

MARIO GALEA

SKILL GAMES

IF THERE IS SOMETHING THAT THE GAMING

INDUSTRY DOES NOT SKIMP ON, IT’S

INNOVATION. FROM THE EARLY DAYS OF

COMMERCIAL CASINOS, THERE HAS ALWAYS

BEEN SOMETHING NEW THAT SHROUDS THE

INDUSTRY AND SOMETIMES REVOLUTIONIZES IT.

The internet created a new

form of gaming – and a new

form of player. As such, online

gaming expanded the market

by reaching out to a new

audience who had limited or no

accessibility to casinos, or were

looking at the convenience

of playing from home. Today

we have enough evidence to

demonstrate that the two industries augment each

other.

But then came the millennial generation for whom

both online or offline held less attraction than it did

their predecessors. With the probable exception of

online poker, the remaining sectors of the industry

saw their demographics ageing. Something had to

be done to attract the youngest generation to the

market.

The first attempts were to capitalize on social

media and social mechanics within the games; but

this effort had little success. The new generation

is more interested in sharing cute pictures of cats

online than socializing on slots. The traditional

casino games are too slow and non-engaging for

the younger generation. In a fast slot game, the

player hits the button every four seconds. In an

online arcade game, it is more likely that the player

hits the buttons four times a second.

And then, seemingly out of the blue, came three

new products that have every stakeholder’s

attention at the moment:

Skill Games

Esports

Skin Betting.

I say “seemingly” because these games have been

around for many years, but the recent exponential

growth in terms of users, marketing and revenue

simply created a side-effect of massive media

attention and exposure.

The first gaming license based on a skill game was

issued by the LGA (former MGA) in 2005. It was

a Class 3 license for daily games whereby each

player paid an entry fee of $2 to participate in a

league based on the World of Warcraft game to win

$1,000 for the first place.

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Regulations | SiGMA

The regulator had to overcome

many hurdles such as how to create

regulatory presence in the game,

KYC procedures and how to ensure

fair gaming. Ultimately, however, the

product was not very successful and

the operation was shut down within

eighteen months.

There were many reasons for its

demise, all of which indicate that it was

simply before it’s time, rather than not

a viable proposition. Social media was

in its infancy – at that time Facebook

was only available for a closed group

of Ivy League colleges students and

Twitter wasn’t even an egg. Internet

high latency created issues for players

located in physically distant locations

making fair gaming impossible. But the

biggest problem was with the player

demographics. Those playing the

games were too young to even have a

bank account, let alone a credit card –

and if they had $2 to spend they saw

more value in buying a candy bar then

spending it in a game to win $1,000.

Fast forward the clock by 11 years and

those 10-year-old kids are now 21-yearold

adults with a gaming console that

churns out HD graphics at 60 frames

per second, have honed their skills

on their favorite games, have a bank

account and are hungry to make

money.

Another fundamental change is the

gaming networks. In the early days

the players had to run the leagues on

their servers at their expense which

attributed to the issues of latencies,

incompatibilities and poor levels of

service. Eventually these got replaced

by large scale service providers such

as Steam (Valve), BattleNet (Blizzard),

Xbox Live (Microsoft), PlayStation

Network (Sony) and Riot Games.

Any contest that awards a monetary

prize for a stake either requires a

license or is outright prohibited by law.

So naturally these games caught the

regulator’s eyes in many jurisdictions.

As always happens, regulators find

innovation intimidating so their easy

way out is to prohibit. Few have the

courage to be the first to look into the

emerging product markets and try to

find solutions to regulate in order to

ensure a fair product to the consumer.

Unfortunately, regulating these new

games under existing regulations is

quite challenging, simply because

such games are not gambling per

se. Gambling games fundamentally

rely on statistically random elements

to generate a fair outcome, whereas

games of skill are exactly the opposite.

They must be precise in nature and

have to create the same outcome

repetitively in order to remain fair. The

element of difference must completely

lie within the skill of the player. In other

words, you cannot certify a game of

skill for randomness.

A great example of this is fantasy

sports games. These games depend

on a data feed about individual player

performance. The algorithm that

transforms that data into points must

always implement the same rules,

otherwise it’s not fair on the players.

Regulators must constantly monitor

the outcomes to those algorithms to

ensure they do not change. The term

‘Theoretical Return to Player’ has no

applicability in skill games as the return

is precisely known before the game

is played. In itself, this is an inherent

barrier to fantasy sports as they

approach the real-time factor.

The other type of gaming is skin

betting. At first, this seemed to be

in-play betting on the game networks

while enforcement went out for the

game networks. However, on more

careful analysis this turned out to

be something completely different.

Skin betting is casino style gambling,

replacing the monetary stake with

virtual items from a game inventory

(otherwise known as skins) with the

chance of winning a highly valued

game inventory. The way of winning is

based on a lottery or casino-style game

such as roulette or slot games. This is

a new form of gambling using game

inventory as virtual currency.

The reason why millennials are

interested in playing such games is

solely due to the fact that the prizes

have a high perceived value based

on scarcity and rarity – which would,

otherwise, have to be bought in cash.

Currently, there are no formal rules of

how scarcity and rarity is controlled or

monitored by the game networks.

As long as the virtual currency remains

in the game, it is possible to argue that

this is an amusement game since the

prize is simply further credit afforded

by the game to play more instances of

the same game. However, operators

of these games have found ways

of converting their virtual items into

real cash which brings it back into

gambling.

We’re not likely to see traditional

gambling operators accept skins as

account currency (in a similar manner

as gambling sites are increasingly

accepting Bitcoin), but it doesn’t

matter because a sub-section of

alternative “indie” gambling sites are

growing exponentially in parallel to the

regulated gambling industry and the

revolution is only beginning.

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ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Telecoms | SiGMA

SKILL, LUCK AND A GOOD

GLOBAL CONNECTION

WHY A GLOBAL MOBILE SERVICE IS THE NATURAL NEXT STEP FOR ALL GAMING OPERATORS.

FORBESFONE IS THE OFFICIAL TELECOMS PARTNER OF THE SUMMIT OF IGAMING IN MALTA.

In the old cigar-smelling poker rooms, the players with the

cards in their hands had only three true friends: Skill, Luck

and the best poker face they could muster. At the Black

Jack corner, cards are flicked and numbers are added up

quicker than you can say “surrender.” It’s the same story in

casinos with slots, the roulette and even with sports betting;

elements of luck and skill spice up the games, determine

who gets the jackpot - and who goes home broke.

Fast forward a couple of decades and luck and skill are not

the only players in the game anymore. Mobile has joined the

party, and the impact is huge!

The digital revolution joined the scene when traditional

casinos started seeing potential in going online. There was

a new untapped market; players no longer needed to travel,

but could experience the thrill of betting from the comfort of

their own home. Connectivity became the be-all and end-all

to the provision of this service. New gaming needs required

better connectivity, enabling the experience to become as

enjoyable as possible. In an incredibly short time span, all of

this went mobile.

When mobile became widespread and people started to

move and travel more, new demands started to weigh on

gaming. When the average user picks the phone up 1,500

times in a week, there’s definitely something to be said about

the relevancy of mobile optimization. One cannot separate

the gaming industry from the realities of society: people turn

to their smartphones as if it were second nature to them.

Growing trends show that, apart from an increase in online

mobile gambling, players prefer in-play bets, which the

advances in mobile technology now allow.* More excitement

builds in the short interval between live event bets, and with

mobile players converting faster and spending more time on

mobile it also makes financial sense for gaming companies

to offer them. We have also seen an unprecedented growth

in social casinos, one of the fastest growing genres on social

networks in the past few years. Although this has recently

seen a decline when compared to previous sectors, it is only

because the more serious players are gravitating towards allin-one

casino apps – and away from their PCs.**

Over €19 billion gross winnings will have been generated

from mobile betting, gaming and lottery by the end of 2018,

just under 44% of total interactive gaming gross wins***. 44%

- that’s almost half! More and more players are hitting the

felts on their mobile device, with numbers surpassing online

or desktop poker players. A quick search on Google will give

you endless lists of recommended Mobile Casino Apps to

download, and they will all tell you the same thing: with more

people opting for a smart device, mobile casino apps will not

be going anywhere. On the contrary, more and more casino

providers will want a piece of the proverbial pie, engaging

their mobile customers from their devices too.

And if that’s not enough to jolt traditionalists, the next thing

will: the mobile gambling industry is expected to be worth

$100bn by 2018 and 164 million users will access their mobile

to place bets or visit a mobile casino****

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ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Telecoms | SiGMA

The “Survival of the Fittest” gene has clearly kicked in

and casinos around the world have scrambled to adapt,

optimizing their games and slots to the player who is not only

digital but now also mobile and travelling frequently.

TROUBLE IN PARADISE

One infamous word: Roaming. For many travellers, of which

a percentage are players, the very mention of the word

is synonymous to dread at receiving high mobile bills. In

fact, many opt to switch off data roaming when they travel,

preferring not to rely on the vague rates offered by their

operators. This alters not only their mobile use but in turn

also their gaming and betting patterns. A hunt for free

WiFi normally ensues. While there are different options the

traveller can go for, it’s very difficult to find a solution which

packs it all in one convenient connection.

Difficult, but not impossible. This is where we come in.

FORBESFONE - REDEFINING ROAMING

The Forbesfone Global Connection, which takes the form of

a simple SIM card, takes the frequent traveller the extra mile.

We offer global connectivity without the hassle of expensive

mobile contracts or complicated charging. Travellers usually

end up connecting to any Wi-Fi hotspot they can find, with no

care whatsoever for the security of their personal data. Many

networks are open, unsecured networks, which offer nearly

no degree of safety in terms of personal data, apart from the

slow, irritating connection shared with everyone else in the

café or hotel lobby. We aim to make looking for WiFi hotspots

at whatever the cost, obsolete.

DESIGNED TO ELIMINATE CREDIT WASTAGE

“Roam like a local” never sounded truer: our low worldwide

roaming rates help the user save costs he could easily spend

on other travel expenses, while the prepaid plans ensure

you only spend money on the services you use. On top of

that, we really are everywhere: we offer coverage in every

continent and in over 200 destinations. Some build walls. We

break them down.

FORBESFONE GLOBAL SIM + ONLINE GAMING

PROVIDERS = $$$

What are the odds that, having a secure, reliable and costefficient

roaming solution in place, the mobile player is online

for longer? With a Forbesfone SIM connecting the players

with the best networks around the world – sans high bills risk

– they will be more comfortable spending longer stretches of

time on their favourite slot. Simple math, really.

As part of a retention program, many igaming providers

are giving their customers free roaming on a bid to

incentivise players to play on their phones even when

abroad. Forbesfone offers value-added business packs for

companies which want to tap in on their customer’s mobile

habits. In other words, we can help you achieve your end

result: encourage users to stay online, for longer.

HOW DO WE DO IT?

We’re not in the business of over-complicating matters for

your customers. We want the Forbesfone global connection

to fit in seamlessly with your gaming platform, so users are

not put off by the extra bits they have to go through to start

playing. We’re committed to providing a simple and straightforward

service both your company and customers will

enjoy. Think of our connection as being another feature your

platform offers. Ingrained, not apart - without the extra fluff.

BOTTOM LINE?

It’s all good news: for one thing, your own bottom line will

look much better. Think: higher retention, higher digits

and an increase in customer satisfaction. We can help you

improve your customer’s mobile experience, so they are

happier pulling the levers on your virtual slot machines and

you make more profit. Win-Win.

FLEXIBILITY IS KEY

We are very flexible with the packages we offer. We

understand that every gaming provider has different

needs and targets and as such requires a tailored deal.

We want you to be able to scale up easily and to adapt to

the changing marketing needs as quickly and efficiently

as possible. Forbesfone has therefore catered for these

prerequisites, offering easily accessible plans, a transparent

pricing scheme and simple integration with your existing

platform. Ultimately, we simply want to help you retain your

customers in the best way we know.

ALL IN

Forbesfone is proud to be an official SiGMA partner this year.

This annual expo is the perfect beehive for gaming providers,

casinos, developers, regulators and affiliates to get together,

share ideas and network. Forbesfone will be there to

lay every card on the table and to answer any questions

regarding our services. Talk to us! We’ll be expecting you.

*source: Optimove

**source: VentureBeat.com

*** Source: H2 Gambling Capital

**** Source: Global Online Gambling & Betting Market

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SiGMA | Photo Gallery

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

iGathering 1

Hosted by:

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ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Photo Gallery | SiGMA

DEGUSTATION: MAY 3RD 2016

CAVIAR & BULL, ST. GEORGE’S BAY, ST. JULIAN’S

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ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Photo Gallery | SiGMA

iGathering 1

DEGUSTATION: MAY 3RD 2016

CAVIAR & BULL, ST. GEORGE’S BAY, ST. JULIAN’S

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SiGMA | Photo Gallery

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

iGathering 2

Hosted by:

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ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Photo Gallery | SiGMA

CHAMPAGNE BRUNCH: JULY 16TH 2016

PARANGA, ST. GEORGE’S BAY, ST. JULIAN’S

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ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Photo Gallery | SiGMA

iGathering 2

CHAMPAGNE BRUNCH: JULY 16TH 2016

PARANGA, ST. GEORGE’S BAY, ST. JULIAN’S

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SiGMA | Photo Gallery

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

iGathering 3

Hosted by:

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ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Photo Gallery | SiGMA

BBQ, LIVE JAZZ & CIGARS: SEPTEMBER 29TH 2016

LOUNGE 360, THE PALACE HOTEL, SLIEMA

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ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Photo Gallery | SiGMA

iGathering 3

BBQ, LIVE JAZZ & CIGARS: SEPTEMBER 29TH 2016

LOUNGE 360, THE PALACE HOTEL, SLIEMA

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ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Gaming Update | SiGMA

GEEKY GAMBLER

SiGMA HAS ONCE AGAIN CAUGHT UP WITH KEITH HATHAWAY, ONE OF THE FOUNDERS

OF GEEKYGAMBLER.COM. KEITH GIVES US AN UPDATE ON WHAT’S NEW AND ALSO TALKS

ABOUT THE LAUNCH OF HIS NEXT EXCITING PROJECT, BONUSBIBLE.COM.

The last few months have been hectic but exciting for Keith

and his team. Starting with the first Geekygambler concept

meeting back in April at Soho Office Hotel, leading up to the

launch just 6 weeks later. With many more features to come,

the future is looking exciting for this affiliate website with its

strong branding and striking identity.

A strong team possessing huge talent and experience

is there to back Keith up. One such person is Leanne

Kimmings, a South African super star with all round

experience, also based in Malta. Leanne, who is also

working full-time with Matching Visions, has been a key part

of launching the popular NetEnt fan site NetEntBigWins.

com. Keith and Geekygambler.com work closely with

Matching Visions - indeed they are partners, literally! Whilst

operationally independent, Geekygambler possesses the

resources provided by the infamous Dennis Dyhr Hansen

and his powerhouse affiliate network, Matching Visions. With

its unique concept, a charismatic brand and being lead by

industry veterans, Keith and Dennis, what could go wrong?

So, what’s next? Bonusbible.com!

Project two is well on its way, with a strong belief that a

modern, clean concept site with unique content and great

SEO will lead them to further success. Gone is The Geek and

in steps the new kid on the block, The Reverend.

Visitors to Bonusbible.com will be guided by the mysterious

yet oh so knowledgeable Reverend. He will lead visitors

through the vast depths of player bonuses in the Online

Casino, Sports Betting, Bingo and Lotto world. Bonusbible.

com in itself will be a far bigger site in terms of page

numbers and posts, as it will have Bingo and Lotto products

included. In a nutshell, Bonusbible.com is aiming to be a

fun yet detailed “bible”, with a unique theme, for all Online

Gaming Bonuses.

That’s quite the challenge!

A challenge, however, welcomed with open arms by Keith

and his team as they are determined to ensure that both

GeekyGambler.com and BonusBible.com become industry

leading affiliate sites.

BonusBible.com will be launched at Sigma 2016 – which was

deemed the perfect place to launch this unique concept.

Whilst this mega event is mainly operator focused as far as

exhibiting is concerned, Keith and Dennis have something

special in store for this exciting launch.

Plans are being finalized as we speak (or they simply won’t

tell us yet!), but don’t be surprised if you spot a chapel and

a reverend whilst strolling along the SiGMA exhibiting area.

Participants will be given the chance to confess their sins

and get involved with this exciting project right from the start.

Sigma wishes Keith and his team the best of luck with both

GeekyGambler.com and BonusBible.com and firmly believes

that they will feature regularly in the ever so vibrant gaming

scene.

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ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Payments | SiGMA

COMPLIANCE PORTAL WITH

REAL TIME TRANSACTION

MONITORING

OFTEN A COMPLEX, LABORIOUS AND COSTLY EXERCISE, AND RARELY 100% FOOL-PROOF,

DETERMINING THE RISK FACTOR POSED BY BOTH EXISTING PLAYERS AND POTENTIAL

CUSTOMERS - PRIOR TO ONBOARDING OR AHEAD OF THE TRANSACTION OF FUNDS - IS

ESSENTIAL TO THE SAFEGUARD OF YOUR COMMERCIAL INTERESTS.

In addition to the mandated

legal requirement in combating

money laundering, tax evasion

and financial crime, when carried

out extensively and correctly, the

identification and classification

of customers leads directly

to safeguarding profitability,

preventing losses amounting

from fraudulent activity and full compliance with local

and international licensing requirements. The Aqubix

KYCP – Know Your Client Portal – is the first solution

on the market that allows organisations of any size or

type to rapidly collate all information relating to entities

and applicants being assessed, while monitoring

all transactional activity and automatically scoring

the analysed patterns in real time. All in a single,

centralised, secure repository with fully customisable

parameters, fields, rules, user rights and collaborative

practices.

Build custom risk assessment programmes, infinite

custom entity types, associate document requirements,

information fields, pre-built customer questionnaires

and a fully checklist mandated set of processes.

Seamlessly link with any number of 3rd party screening

services and external databases to further assess

your risk potential - KYCP takes the guesswork and

fragmented task delegation out of the due diligence

and compliance process.

Easily verify entities and approve applications thanks to

a highly visual interface, automatically recommending

applications for approval or rejection based on

parameters set versus data submitted.

With KYCP’s in-built Transaction Monitoring Engine, all

financial activity is monitored in real-time to analyse

behaviour patterns as they occur, in sequence. KYCP,

according to preset parameters assigned by your

system administrators to fit in your processes and

practices, automatically assess and scores all such

activity as it unfolds, across your entire customer

base, notifying in the event of suspected fraudulent or

uncharacteristic behaviour.

Even when carried out on an individual account

level, tracking and analysis can help prevent unlawful

activity. However, KYCP goes beyond assessing

behaviour in isolation, but rather provides unsurpassed

insight by looking at the bigger picture and providing

cross-referenced intelligence into activity for each

individual, across accounts, game types and locations,

for all transactions.

KYCP automatically audits every single entry, parts

of the process and subsequent views and changes,

including the inbuilt video conferencing and interview

recording functionality, with all raw files digitally

encrypted and covered by blanket SSL security.

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ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Payments | SiGMA

PAYMENTS PROCESSING

EXCELLENCE

EFT GLOBAL LIMITED IS LICENSED BY THE MALTA FINANCIAL SERVICES AUTHORITY TO

UNDERTAKE THE BUSINESS OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTION IN TERMS OF ARTICLE 5(1) OF THE

FINANCIAL INSTITUTION ACT 1994. EFT GLOBAL IS LICENSED TO CARRY OUT PAYMENT

SERVICES AS DEFINED IN THE SECOND SCHEDULE.

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Our expertise, innovation and dedication to excellent

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We strive to be the best by offering the most

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We are a payment service provider that you can trust

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0143


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Interview | SiGMA

INTERVIEW WITH

GEORG WESTIN &

KRISTOFER BERGDAHL

FOUNDER AND CMO HERO GAMING

0145


SiGMA | Interview

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

“It was a very hectic start and the first 2 years

have been really amazing. We have grown from

just 10 employees to 75, in the group, with our

operational CEO, Magnus Alebo, running the Malta

operations and Kristofer taking care of marketing.”

Starting with Georg, nice to sit down and talk with you! It

has been some time since the launch of Casino Heroes

(previously, Casino Saga). Has it turned out the way you

had imagined?

It was a very hectic start and the first 2 years have been

really amazing. We have grown from just 10 employees to

75, with our operational CEO, Magnus Alebo, running the

Malta operations and Kristofer taking care of marketing. I am

especially proud that my idea of creating something more

compelling in the casino industry has worked. We see it in

the player behaviour, the data analytics, and the feedback

we receive.

Sometimes it appears that Casino Heroes has not evolved

much since the launch - are we wrong in assuming this?

Of course, there have been massive improvements behind

the scenes, as we build and run our own platform. There

have been many additions for our customers including

mobile app and mobile web improvements, along with three

new adventures available for players.

Exciting! Can you elaborate on the future? Do you think

other sites will be adding similar features?

Competitors building features similar to ours is fine. We have

hired people from companies with gamification at its core,

such as King, and they are now outlining the next generation

of Casino Heroes. I am looking forward to releasing this to

our players.

One thing I’ll add is a hint on our new feature where players

will be able to play all adventures in parallel. Imagine

trying to get the King’s crown back to Hero Island while

simultaneously fighting evil engineers in Rock of Riches!

Speaking of mobile game developer, King, tell us about

your recent struggle regarding the “Saga” trademark.

Oh yes! Although it felt like a battle against King and 20

London lawyers, it ended well. The change of name and logo

was executed well, transparently involving players in the

process.

We are all very eager to hear about the new brand coming

out but what exactly is Betser?

We are already creating a “wow factor” for casino gaming

with Casino Heroes, however, now it is time to reinvet Sports

Betting. Betser has the first great mobile UX, the best casino

games, and fastest withdrawal times. We now have two more

concepts that will take the players by storm.

First, we have Balls & Brains. This is a concept that I think

goes deep into what all gambling is about - do you listen to

your brain and take the safe bet or do you have the balls

and the courage to really push towards the high rewards?

At Betser you constantly collect Balls and Brains points

depending on what type of sports player or casino player

you are. You can see your balls and brains meter and use the

points in our Balls and Brains shop.

Secondly, we have Betser League. How may times have

players discussed who is the best at betting? Well now you

can really know. At Betser you are part of a huge league

system with 2-week seasons. You get points for each sports

bet you win, as well as based on the odds you receive.

The players move up and down in the league system and

are rewarded with badges and cool prizes. You can also

see other player’s profiles and see how they bet to have a

winning strategy!

0146


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Interview | SiGMA

“The brand will be launched in November and soon

after, we will launch the television commercials.

Historically, we see affiliates as very important assets.

I cannot understand the operators who treat this

marketing channel poorly. It hurts them very much.”

Wow, it sounds you will definitely move this

vertical quite a few steps forward. Kristofer,

when will it be launched and how do you see

affiliates who want to promote Betser?

The brand will be launched in November

and soon after, we will launch the television

commercials. Historically, we see affiliates as

very important assets. I cannot understand the

operators who treat this marketing channel

poorly. It hurts them very much.

To further prove our commitment to affiliates

regarding Betser, we have built a function that

makes it possible for affiliates to send traffic

to our pre-launch site even before the launch.

The tracking codes will be saved along with

the player’s details and will

follow the player once a full

registration is made.

There was a really nice event

with affiliates and media

partners in Italy with Formula

1, showing the new brand

to the industry. Why this

approach?

Well, as with all we do, we

want, not only for our players

to feel amazed, but also the

people we work close with

such as affiliates and large

media houses. The great days

at Monza Formula 1 and all

the cool events that we have

hosted, showed our dedication

and made memories that

represent what the Betser

brand is all about: competition,

cool lifestyle, and a lot of balls.

On a product level, poker will continue as a

hard fight with Pokerstars. They have done

most things right over the years. I hope that

someone can take them on with radical

innovation though.

Besides this, we have the geographical

expansion where it will be the operators

navigating the mine fields of licensing,

payment options and tailor-made player

experiences that will win. We aim to be one of

them!

We are sure you will be. Thank you so much.

We look forward to following Hero Gaming

and Betser in the future!

“With Malta being an

important and well regulated

iGaming jurisdiction in

Europe, a conference like

SiGMA was an absolute

necessity. I look forward to

participate at this event.”

Ory Weihs

XL Media

“We are looking forward to

participate in the SIGMA

conference in our home country

of Malta, where we will

share our vision for using our

innovative gaming platform

as a source of competitive

advantage in a business

friendly context that is well

attended.”

Angelo Dalli

Bit8

Georg, you have been in the

industry for more than 12

years and have seen many

trends; how do you see the

coming year from an industry

perspective?

One of my favourite topics!

Well, there are the obvious

trends, such as the continuous

affiliate consolidations along

with the smaller operators

struggling to handle a more

regulated field moving forward.

On the operator level, I have

seen that many operators

have been able to run their

businesses completely on

growth, without any profits

whatsoever. I think this will not

be possible moving forward,

which likely means that the

marketing budgets will be

tightened a bit.

0147


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Technology | SiGMA

SPORTS BOOK VS E-SPORT:

AN ALL-INCLUSIVE BETTING

PLATFORM

TECHNOLOGY AND

ONLINE BETTING

Once a pastime that was consigned to

bookmakers and casinos, betting is now

incredibly mainstream. Its ability to reach across

a whole load of demographics makes it one of

the most expanding and profitable markets out

there.

TipBet was founded in 2014 -

that is relatively new, even by

igaming standards - could you

tell us more about the company?

The growth strategy?

Since its creation in 2014 the

company has gone from strength

to strength. The position we are

in today is impressive, but it is

part of a much larger journey

of expansion. Our workforce is

knowledge and highly-skilled

in many parts of the industry

and we have recently focussed

heavily on recruiting new team

members for our business – as

well as reaching out to emerging

elements – in order to grow as a

brand.

Esport is an integral part of

the business. What made you

venture into this emerging

trend?

As mentioned, Tipbet is always on

the lookout for emerging markets,

and eSports is certainly one of

them. In recent times, eSports

have become increasingly

popular with players who join

teams and create tournaments

that can sometimes have massive

prize funds.

Put simply, we are responding

to a demand from the users of

Tipbet, and we are always looking

to stay ahead of the competition

with regards to technology. This

is shown in our offering of free,

high-quality sports streaming for

customers, including football and

ESL eSports.

LoL, CS:GO, DotA2 – these are

some sports you don’t usually

see in a betting company’s

offer. Could you tell us more

about your recent marriage with

eSports?

The bottom line is if our

customers want us to cover

certain events – particularly

involving technology – and there

is the requisite support, then we

do our utmost to support that.

With eSports, we recognised that

this was - and continues to be - a

growing market and trend.

We currently offer betting options

on many eSport events through

our website. At the moment

Counter-Strike is a major offering.

How is traditional sports

betting different from betting

on eSport? Tell us a bit more

about the player habits and their

enthusiasm.

Players of eSports, in our

experience, seem to be

somewhat more fanatical about

their sport than fans of traditional

games such as football. Perhaps

because it is a niche that is not

quite yet mainstream; eSports

tournaments have a feeling of

grandeur to them.

Your core markets are in

Germany. Which other countries

do you focus on? How did you

find Malta as a base for your

business?

Gzira is home to numerous

igaming companies, and in such

a growing market, there are likely

to be even more making the town

– or Malta more generally – their

home in the foreseeable future.

We also sponsor the local football

team, Gzira United FC, following

their impressive promotion last

season.

You’re right, Germany is a big

market for us – we are partnered

with SV Werder Bremen, Fortuna

Dusseldorf and the easyCredit

Basketball Bundesliga– and it is a

market we continue to focus on.

We have also begun reaching out

to Turkish and English speaking

markets, and have made

substantial investments into our

workforce to cater for that.

Unlike other sports book, you

seem to rely less on affiliates. Is

this a perception or does Tipbet

invest a lot in advertising?

We do deal with affiliates, as

shown in the upcoming Summit

of iGaming Malta (SiGMA) event

in November where Tipbet will,

once again, be heavily involved

and actively looking for new

affiliate relationships throughout

the three days.

The main cause of this had undoubtedly been

technology and the influx of new possibilities

that it creates. One of the most important

elements is the creation of handheld devices

and their subsequent development to a massmarket

product. Mobile phones were initially

meant to be for just that: making phone calls

and the occasional text. The nearest thing to a

game was Snake – a classic on Nokia phones

that still holds cult status to this day.

Then came smartphones. They promised

faster, more powerful phones and incorporated

handy extras, like a camera. The market and

capabilities of developers soon outgrew this

and the dawn of the modern-day smartphone

was born. Major system developers jumped at

the chance to make their product become part

of most households in the world.

This created a thirst for more, as seen today in

the newest releases. Tablets are also a big deal

- being able to take a handheld device around

is very appealing to a lot of people – particularly

for millennials, but it is increasingly apparent in

the older generation.

A boom in devices has coincided with the

internet becoming ever faster. Many types of

businesses have enjoyed increased success

due to this incredible partnership – particularly

delivery firms, who have been able to supply

goods at a click of a button (or screen).

For online betting companies this has been

the perfect storm. Consumer demand, mixed

with available technology and mass-market

products. A case-study of this can be found

in Tipbet. A sports betting company based in

Gzira, Malta, Tipbet has enjoyed incredible

success since being founded in 2014.

There are a host of branded betting shops in

Europe, while a major focus is also on the online

aspect. In recent times, technology has been

utilized to help grow the company and brand.

Casino games and sports betting options are

made for a wide variety of devices, while in-play

options are also possible.

Success has meant that the company is

expanding quickly, with expert staff being hired,

streaming of events including eSports offered

and a host of sponsorship deals with major

sports clubs and leagues.

This is a trend that is seen throughout the

online betting, igaming and eSports markets as

a whole. Increased revenues for companies, a

new generation of employees and, of course,

technologies growing at an unprecedented rate

all mean that this golden age is not stopping

any time soon.

0149


SiGMA | Mobile Payments

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

SEQR MOBILE PAYMENTS

LAUNCHES ITS FIRST

GAMING OPERATOR

VERA&JOHN IS THE FIRST GAMING OPERATOR TO OFFER SEQR (PRONOUNCED ‘SE-CURE’) - THE

MOBILE PAYMENT SOLUTION - TO ITS CUSTOMERS. INITIALLY, THE CUSTOMERS WILL BE ABLE TO

TOP UP THEIR GAMING ACCOUNT THROUGH THEIR MOBILE PHONE. IN THE NEARBY FUTURE,

CUSTOMERS WILL ALSO HAVE THE ABILITY TO WITHDRAW MONEY FROM THE GAMING ACCOUNT.

FURTHERMORE, IT WILL BE POSSIBLE TO ENROLL NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY USING A MOBILE PHONE.

THE ONLY THING THE CUSTOMER NEEDS TO DO IS TO ACCEPT AN OFFER BY CLICKING IT AND

ENTERING HIS/HER SEQR PIN CODE. BY DOING SO, THE CUSTOMER BOTH MAKES THE INITIAL

DEPOSIT AND PROVIDES ALL PERSONAL DETAILS NECESSARY TO BECOME A CUSTOMER. SiGMA SAT

DOWN WITH JOHAN KONINGSLEHNER, CEO AT VERA&JOHN AND PETER BOSTRÖM, DIRECTOR OF

GLOBAL SALES & MARKETS AT SEQR.

Why did you decide to extend your offering on Mobile

Payments?

“Smartphones have become a big part of our everyday

life and they offer infinite possibilities,” says Johan.

“We consume media, run bank errands, play games,

communicate, and engage in many other activities, so it is

only natural for Vera&John to engage the mobile channel

in a bigger way. The decision to cooperate with Seqr was

an easy one; they are allowing us to make the user journey

smoother and more efficient. A new, innovative mobile

payment option that serves more of our core markets is

strategically very interesting for us.”

“Tapping into existing Seqr wallet users, as well as the

opportunity to bridge print and regular display advertising

with our digital product is something we are looking forward

to seeing results from.”

How would the customer acquisition work?

“Once Seqr is implemented as one of the

payment methods, it is an excellent tool

to drive sales and to help understand

your gamers better”, Peter says and

continues:

“With Seqr you can turn any type

of printed media into a customer

acquisition and sales channel.

Place the add and Seqr QR

code in e.g. the Seqr app, the

operator’s app, on a gaming

website, advertisement or on

social media. A user can then

become a customer of gaming

operator, or top up the gaming

account, just by scanning the

QR code and entering their

PIN. All the necessary user

information is already in the

Seqr app and the initial deposit

is transferred during the same

process.”

“Gaming operators can convert marketing

and advertising efforts into a direct sales channel

just by using Seqr. We work closely together with our

partners to create joint campaigns and marketing efforts that

boost each other businesses.”

Why is Seqr entering the gaming industry?

“When Seqr was launched about four years ago, the strategy

was to target physical everyday-purchase outlets, such

as supermarkets, convenient stores, fast food outlets and

parking to attract every-day-usage and create a consumer

base when breaking into niche industries such as iGaming.

We succeeded and we are active in 16 markets today, so

here we are, with a varied consumer base and an offer to

the iGaming industry that solves some of the traditional

problems.”

What is the added value to operators and white platforms

in plugging Seqr?

“The added value is quite straightforward; cheaper

transactions as we are not using the traditional payment

card infrastructure, easy customer acquisition and easy and

effective transactions to and from the gaming account.”

“In addition, the KYC and security levels are very high. To

process transactions from the gaming account via the

user’s bank account requires a bank standard

KYC of the users. This is made once during

the customer’s SEQR registration process

and has the highest level of KYC.”

Tell us a bit more about how

Seqr’s plans are for growing its

business:

“In July we launched our NFC

contactless payment service

in Seqr. This means that Seqr

customers can pay using

traditional card terminals by

simply taping their mobile

phone to the card terminal.

Our NFC technology is based

on Host Card Emulation (HCE),

meaning we can conduct

payments without agreements or

integrations with merchants. Any

NFC enabled card terminal in the

world will be able to accept Seqr as

payment tool. By launching NFC, we

literally increase the number of payment

points to 30 million terminals around the

world. This drives our user base significantly

as the amount of payment locations increased

exponentially.”

“The company MEA Wallet provides the HCE technology in

our NFC solution. This summer, MEA Wallet was acquired

by Seamless, meaning that MEA Wallet now is incorporated

0150


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Mobile Payments | SiGMA

in the same company group as Seqr. We already have a

very big portfolio of services based on the payment tool. In

addition to this, with the acquisition of MEA Wallet we now

have the market’s most attractive offers, both on a B2B and

B2C level.”

Are people ready to pay with their smartphone and give up

the card?

“Consumers basically live with their smartphones 24/7.

The question is how you use this fact to generate sales.

The mobile payment industry itself is relatively new and

changing the consumer’s behavior is part of the concept. The

possibilities are extensive with a smart device as a payment

tool compared to a plastic card! Due to this, the payment

industry is experiencing radical changes. A number of large,

well-known companies have spent a tremendous amount of

efforts to enter the mobile payments market, so the potential

is without a question there. As always when something new

is introduced, it includes a change in consumer behavior and

that is pretty much where the mobile payment industry is at

right now.”

“To give an idea of the Seqr market, I can mention that

between 5% and 10% of the total Swedish population has

used the Seqr technology to initiate payments. Considering

the novelty of the mobile payments technology, this is an

exceptional result within a very short time span.”

Could these all be potential players the operators could

reach out to?

“Yes, of course! We have a wide range of channels that we

can use to reach out to our users in order to inform them

about campaigns and offers. We are also confident that

the operators will see the advantages of the value-added

services that Seqr offers and that they will have an interest

and a motivation to promote Seqr as a payment tool to their

users.”

Many operators think they have their payment system

covered, with multiple ways. How is Seqr different?

“Seqr is much more than a payment method. All payment

processes follow the same logic; scan a QR code, enter the

PIN: done! However, that is just an enabler for a range of

value-adding services that solves real problems for online

and physical merchants. We can cover basically any payment

situation where a user today would use cash or cards. The

payment platform works for all types of funding, but the

dominating solution is through the direct debit network.

Unique for Seqr is the ability to route transactions outside of

the credit card rails to keep costs down.”

“This makes it possible for us to offer the gaming industry

the lowest transaction costs on the market. We feel that

these low-cost transaction costs combined with a simplified

customer acquisition process, instant top up, withdrawal from

customers’ gaming accounts and the highest level of KYC is

a very strong offer to the iGaming companies.”

You have proven that QR codes are far from obsolete.

Tell us how this app is slowly, but steadily revolutionizing

payment in online gaming.

“Yes, the QR code has somewhat of a bad reputation,

because it hasn’t provided any real value to the user. The QR

reader is integrated into the Seqr app and is a hundred times

faster than people expect before trying it out. It is also the

enabler to make transactions and create sales channels in a

way that has never been done before. Just imagine that you

can purchase something from a billboard while waiting for

the bus by just scanning and pinning. No need to fill out any

information, it is already there and the product gets shipped

to your door. You can sell anywhere! For the iGaming world,

the QR code enables an acquisition directly from any printed

media.”

“From the payments perspective, the main difference is

that Seqr offers lower transaction costs, due to the way we

route the transactions. This is possible since we use our own

transaction switch that has been in the market since 2001

and processes 3.9 billion transactions annually via more than

600,000 active outlets.”

“Nevertheless, the big advantages are from a service

perspective, where Seqr offers services that allow our

customers to create new sales channels. For example,

users can make purchases from various kinds of transaction

points—cash registers, NFC terminals, printed media,

e-commerce sites, vending machines and much more. Seqr

simply offers very fast, cheap and simple transactions and

onboarding processes for the gaming operator’s customers.”

0151


SiGMA | Property ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

GOLD LION HOLDING

YES, YOU CAN DEFINITELY BET ON US WITH ALL YOUR PROPERTY NEEDS! AS A CENTRALISED

PROPERTY SOLUTION PLAYER IN THE MALTESE MARKET, OUR PRIDE OF LIONS AND LIONESSES

OFFER ALL PROPERTY RELATED SERVICES UNDER ONE ROOF, AT OUR LION’S CAVE.

With a robust, growing economy, Malta is a hot bed for

several industries and igaming is no different! Attractive

incentives, taxes, and issuance of online gambling licenses

made Malta an iGaming capital.

With a customer-centric approach, we strive to hit the bull’s

eye with our projects and exceed clients’ expectations. Be

it a commercial property you need or a complete facelift for

your office, our Real Estate unit will find you the real deal!

Our Construction division and Property Development can

transform your working space into your working sanctuary.

Yes, we do believe in calculated risks but we do not take

a gamble with our high quality of service. We believe in

creating a professional, inspiring environment where your

employees are motivated to create the best gaming solutions

possible.

We may be the new lions on the block and like to shake

things up a bit! With state of the art offices and a modern,

hip approach to business, let’s promote the spirit of healthy

collaboration! Instead of always playing games of chances,

we can come together and increase our winnings with

higher stakes. Hence, not only are we a fun, safe bet; yet a

rewarding one too. Give one of our property advisors a call

to find your next dream property now!

We are located in the heart of Sliema, on Bisazza Street, drop

by for a coffee or a friendly chat and we can discuss how to

collaborate or visit our website at www.glmalta.com as it is

updated daily.

0152


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Office Design | SiGMA

DESIGNING THE IDEAL

I-GAMING 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 I-GAMING OFFICES.

“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 multinationalities

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.

In 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

0153


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Profile | SiGMA

CATENA MEDIA:

A TRUE SUCCESS STORY

PICTURE A BASEMENT TUCKED UNDER YOUR MATE’S PARENTS’ PLACE. THERE’S A COSY BUT WELL-

WORN COUCH DRAGGED IN FROM UPSTAIRS AFTER REPEATED PROTESTS, A COUPLE OF LAPTOPS,

AND A BALL PIT FOR THOSE MOMENTS YOU NEED TO LET OFF SOME STEAM.

After a few late-night sessions, you and your longtime

friend, both 20-somethings, have come up with

a big idea for making some money while having fun

doing it. So, here you are. You’ve both taken that big

idea and started working away in a makeshift office

within a dingy basement.

Fast forward just five years, and you’ve become

the co-founders of one of Europe’s fastest-growing

online lead generation companies in the iGaming

industry, earning quarterly revenue of close to €10

million and employing over 160 staff across three

European offices.

That’s the Catena Media success story.

0155


SiGMA | Profile

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

“It all started

with poker back

in the days.”

“I’ve got a great idea!”

How many of us have said at some point in our lives: “I’ve got

a great idea…”?

It seems like so many of us have had such seemingly brilliant

ideas that could make us bundles of cash, hugely successful,

or even change the world. If only we could actually do

something with that idea, and take it further than being just

part of some late-night banter with friends.

Childhood friends Erik Bergman and Emil Thidell did just that

back in 2007.

“It all started with poker back in the days,” explains Erik,

Catena Media co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer.

“I was playing a lot and realised that rakeback was the key

to being a winning poker player in the long-run. I started out

providing rakeback offers to other players I knew. Back then,

I was mainly dealing with CarlosPoker, and they had a sister

brand called MariaBingo. My affiliate manager told me that

bingo was the future, so we gave it a try. Those were the first

sites we built that later became an affiliate company.”

The pair started off with a web consultancy agency set up

in Emil’s parents’ basement, focussing their efforts on lead

generation for online bingo operators. But they both had big

ambitions and knew the buck wouldn’t stop there.

It was Erik and Emil’s friendship and determination that would

ultimately be the catalyst behind building what is now Catena

Media.

The dynamic between them is palpable. They’ve been a

team since childhood, born on the same day in the same

hospital to parents that already knew each other. Growing

up, they came to develop skills that would make each of

them pivotal to Catena Media’s success in their own unique

way.

“I was the business-oriented person who arranged the deals

with all the partners and worked on all kinds of ideas to

develop our sites,” Erik explains.

“I loved the SEO part of the business and spent most of my

time thinking about how this could be enhanced in different

ways. These passions combined with a strong stubbornness

and some insane ambitions took us a long way,” he laughs.

Emil, on the other hand, who built his first calculator at age

10, was the technical brains of the business.

“Emil is a computer genius and took care of everything from

a tech perspective. Whatever crazy idea I might have had, he

made sure it could come true,” Erik continues.

“We brought completely different skillsets to the table and

that’s what made us a great team. Nothing of what Catena

Media is today would have been possible if it wasn’t for Emil.

I knew absolutely nothing on the tech side of things.”

After two years of operating an online lead generation

business as a part-time hobby from a basement, in October

2010, Erik and Emil decided to move their business out of

that basement and to the iGaming hub of Malta. It was time

to turn their part-time hobby into a full-time business.

“It’s one thing to do

something as a hobby, but

it’s something completely

different to run a full-time

business.”

This means business

After their move to Malta, Erik and Emil continued focusing

their online lead generation business on online bingo

operators. They even started experimenting with a mixed

bag of other unrelated markets like mortgages, fashion,

travel, and business cards.

But in 2012, their focus became clearer. Catena Media was

founded, and the company moved to Gibraltar and shifted

their efforts to online casinos.

“It was a big step for us,” Erik recalls.

“It’s one thing to do something as a hobby, but it’s something

completely different to run a full-time business. The stakes

are a lot higher, and so are your clients’ expectations of you.”

0156


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Profile | SiGMA

It was during this time that European investment company

Optimizer Invest bought a 50 per cent stake in Catena

Media. This partnership brought with it more defined

organisational processes and structures, essentially

transforming Catena Media from being a start-up operation

to a fully-fledged organisation.

“For us, this was the point when our idea went from being

a hobby a couple of mates dabbled in in their spare time to

being the idea behind an organisation that was firmly on the

map,” says Erik.

By the start of 2013, Catena Media was rapidly expanding. It

had entered the Norwegian and Finnish markets in addition

to its existing Swedish market. Because of the wider scope of

its operations, later that year, Erik and his company relocated

back to Malta.

In 2014, Catena Media enjoyed even greater success, with

company revenues continuing to increase sharply and

consistently.

By October 2014, the company completed its first largescale

affiliate acquisition with the purchase of Finix Invest.

This acquisition attracted a great deal of attention from the

iGaming industry and key players in the business started

taking serious notice.

Then, in 2015, the company’s mergers and acquisitions

agenda became a clear focus, with the completion of eight

further large-scale affiliate acquisitions. These acquisitions

saw the company further expand into the UK, Dutch and

Belgian markets.

With a much broader asset portfolio and a rapidly expanding

company, it was time for the Board of Directors to appoint

a company CEO to take the reins. And, in May 2015, Robert

Andersson – former CEO of Swedish digital agency River –

was appointed as the company’s CEO.

“My decision to join Catena Media was very simple,” Robert

recalls.

“The company already had a great base of talented,

dedicated people and it was still clear to me that it had a lot

of potential and a great future ahead.”

The company has just issued a €50 million bond loan on the

Nordic bond market, with a plan to secure even more highquality

acquisitions and expand to even more markets.

“I’m really proud of what we’ve built,” Robert enthuses.

“Since I started with Catena just a year and a half ago, we’ve

gone from 30 to 160 awesome employees, while creating a

strong company culture. We’ve bought 14 companies, had a

very successful IPO, and just closed a €50 million bond. I’m

proud that we’ve managed to build a company that can grow

so fast and go through such rapid changes while still having

a lot of fun doing it.”

Robert is adamant about his vision for Catena Media now

and into the future.

“Our goal is clear,” he affirms.

“Catena Media aims to become the world’s number one

provider of high-value iGaming leads, and we’re only just

getting started.”

One sure way to get there, he adds, is to keep expanding the

company’s already strong and diverse workforce.

“Our success as a company wouldn’t have been possible if it

weren’t for our amazing people,” says Robert.

“Each person that makes up part of Catena brings their own

unique perspective, personality, ideas, knowledge and skills

to the table.

“But while we’re all unique, we all have the same underlying

values – we’re passionate, curious and professional in

everything we do. These are the values that have brought us

this far, and that will take us to the next chapter of the Catena

story.”

Catena Media is currently recruiting for a number of roles

across a variety of departments, including content, SEO,

sales, product and development. If you’re interested in

becoming part of the Catena Media success story, you can

find out more about current opportunities and apply now via

their website.

In February 2016, Catena Media was publicly listed on

Swedish stock exchange Nasdaq Stockholm First North

Premier.

“It was such a proud moment for us,” Robert recalls with a

smile.

“It cemented our position as a key player in the industry now

and into the future.”

In its latest interim report for Q2 2016, Catena Media’s

quarterly revenue was reported at €9.58 million – an

increase of 217 percent compared with the same quarter the

previous year. Gross profit was also reported at €4.87 million

– an increase of 117 percent compared with the same quarter

the previous year.

Currently, the company has over 160 employees spread

across offices in Malta, Serbia and the UK.

Where to next?

So what next for a company that’s experienced such

exponential growth in such a short space of time?

“Why stop here and now?”

“Why stop here and now?” says Robert with an ambitious

grin.

And it certainly looks like Catena Media is far from stopping.

0157


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Infographics | SiGMA

WHY SIGMA17 ?

WHY MALTA?

160

in 2016

from 55 in 2014

TRIPLE THE EXHIBITORS AND SPONSORS

DOUBLE THE ATTENDEES

3,300

in 2016

from 1,804 in 2014

DELEGATE TYPE

38%

32%

OPERATOR

AFFLILATE

23%

SOLUTION

PROVIDER

4%

MEDIA

3%

REGULATOR

DELEGATES FROM

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0159


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Interview | SiGMA

CASUAL GAMES:

A SERIOUS

BUSINESS

SiGMA MET WITH KASPER KAU, FOUNDER AND CEO OF SPIGO, TO FIND OUT

MORE ABOUT THE BRAND AND THE INSATIABLE DEMAND FOR CASUAL GAMES.

0161


SiGMA | Interview

ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

“It’s been a big investment,

but now we have over ten

partners offering our games

throughout Europe, and

hopefully we’ll be investing

in firms outside Europe too

very soon.”

Always a pleasure catching up with you Kasper, one of the

very first to trust SiGMA with a booth back in 2014. Tell us

a bit more about Spigo. How did it all start?

Spigo started in Denmark in August 2006, and we initially

launched a community site where players could sign up

and play casual games for free and if they decided to, they

could subscribe to a monthly subscription and pay to access

more features and games on the site. The idea was very

much inspired by an American site called Pogo.com. I’m not

entirely sure if they are still operating, but that’s where the

original idea for Spigo came from.

How did you get into creating games?

Funnily enough, I was never overly into computer games

myself, but when I was in high school I bought a graph

calculator and figured out how to install games on it. So

while my math’s teacher thought I was working out complex

equations using my graphical calculator, I was actually

playing games on it! That’s where my interest in games

development started. After high school, I had gone to

university with the intention to study Civil Engineering, but

my father had encouraged me to start Computer Science

because he saw the massive potential of it.

Up until that point, I had been using my Amiga 500 for

playing games and writing essays. Initially, university was a

big disappointment to me - high school had a healthy mix

of guys and girls whereas my Computer Science course

at university was all guys and the atmosphere wasn’t very

exciting. After my first year, I was close to quitting, planning

to move from Computer Science to Architecture. Thankfully,

the person in the faculty who needed to approve my

changeover was abroad at the time, so I quickly discarded

the idea and stuck it out. After that year, I actually started to

enjoy the course and began to understand the language of

programming games.

The first game I ever made was my own version of Tetris,

built on HTML, which was available online and became

extremely popular. After the success of my Tetris game, TDC,

the largest Danish telecoms company, approached me to

develop a set of games which included a game they needed

for a Christmas advertising campaign. I was a student, and

this huge company was paying me to develop games for

them - it was an incredible experience! I even managed to

pay off my student loan just from selling these two games. I

realised there and then that developing games was definitely

the way to go, as people were prepared to pay good money

for well-developed games.

How do you come up with new ideas for new games?

Early on I realised that developing games similar to the

gameplay of well-established games was far easier than

being too creative and developing games that no one knows

how to play. Players decide whether they want to play a

game or not in a matter of seconds, so there has to be an

element of familiarity to it in order for it to be successful.

Obviously, you can’t blatantly copy a game, but delivering

0162


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Interview | SiGMA

games that have a similar

game play to another wellknown

game has helped us

become a massive success.

So we are very much inspired

by existing games but we try

and think how we can add

more value or enhance them

to create something better

than what’s already available.

Otherwise, you’d simply be

developing a game that’s

already out there.

There are no set rules for

coming up with games

though. I’d just say that

ironically, being too creative

in this industry could be a

setback. You need to make it

easy for people to be able to

relate to each game.

Funnily enough the first

three slots we created for

our community sites were

created in our current CTO’s

kitchen at his apartment

in Denmark, so creativity

can strike at anytime and

anywhere! The secret is

knowing what to keep, what

will work, and what you

should scrap.

What has been the most

challenging time in Spigo’s

history and how did you

overcome it?

Our biggest challenge was

converting the company from

a subscription based access,

to games service: where we

asked players to pay for a

subscription to access our

games then selling our games on app stores and making

them available to play on mobile devices. Around 2010, we

decided to go after the app stores and released some games

with some success - our Yatzy game was featured by Apple.

In fact, they contacted us asking for AdWords and banners to

use on their store. And let’s face it - receiving an email from

Apple out of the blue is definitely not an email you want to

ignore!

Our next issue was trying to determine how we could grow

through selling our games through the app stores, as it

is extremely difficult to compete. With some companies

absolutely smashing it, establishing yourself is challenging,

so we took the decision to move into iGaming. It just seemed

like the right move to me. Luckily for us, at that point in

time, the biggest operator in Denmark was interested in

our games and approached us. It was hard reinventing

ourselves, but to this day, we still have some of our original

subscribers who helped us with the transition to the iGaming

arena. We also had to rebuild all our software from the

ground up to suit the industry.

It’s been a big investment, but now we have 10 or 11 partners

offering our games throughout Europe, and hopefully, we’ll

be investing in firms outside Europe too very soon.

How is Spigo different from other game developers?

We have a second generation platform that was built for

regulated markets where many different types of games

can be hosted - not just slot machines but single player,

multiplayer, massive multi player, and games to win real

money in a secure environment.

The iGaming industry is still very conservative, with

thousands of slot machines available online everywhere,

but what sets us apart from the rest is, the fact that we can

create any game that could even be known locally within a

matter of weeks and launch it successfully with the support

of our back office.

Surprisingly, there are very few in the iGaming industry that

are actually doing something different. In the past, more of

the same was a sure-fire way to be successful, but I think

those days are over.

What are you working on now? What’s in the pipeline?

We are getting a lot of attention from players and brands that

are at the very forefront of the iGaming industry that wants

to offer the next big thing. In the past, anyone could just get

a license and present a package of slots (just as everyone

else) and be a success.

The only reason such firms lasted a few years ago, was

because of the rapid growth in the iGaming industry and

people who took a shot just rode the wave while it lasted.

But I believe times have changed and the industry has

evolved since then. Nowadays, operators are looking for

innovative ideas that echo their own vision and here at Spigo

we want to be right up there helping them to achieve their

goals.

We are currently working on a new framework for developing

slot machines based on HTML5 that runs super smooth.

We are proud to develop games that aren’t full of cheap

effects as we believe that sometimes, less is more. We let

our product speak for itself. Our first slots based on this

framework will be coming out before Christmas, so all our

partners will be able to get hold of those then.

Where do you think the iGaming industry is going?

I think we will see both Europe and the US getting more

regulated state by state, with the whole world becoming

regulated over time. However, regulations will differ since

gaming and gambling are also very cultural. Gambling is

as old as time itself, and regulations will be determined by

local cultures. This is why at Spigo we need to keep offering

products that comply with local regulations. The more

regulated the world becomes, the better it is for us.

A bit more about you; how do you manage time? Do you

dedicate a substantial part of it playing yourself for market

research?

I deal with it very well, to be perfectly honest. I think I work

well under pressure. I’ve always led a busy life, so stress has

never got the better of me.

I used to wake up late and sleep very late, but now I sleep

until I wake up. If I don’t have any meetings I won’t set an

alarm, I’ll wake up when my body’s ready to. However, I’m

always in the office before 10am.

While I don’t play a lot of games myself, I cannot get enough

of Supercells Class Royale. I get a lot of inspiration from the

app store.

“We are getting a lot of attention

from players and brands that

are at the very forefront of the

iGaming industry that want to

offer the next big thing.”

0163


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Talent | SiGMA

FEEDING MALTA’S

INSATIABLE APPETITE

FOR iGAMING TALENT

BY ANTHONY HENNESSY

DEMAND 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!

0165


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Who’s Who | SiGMA

WHO’S WHO IN THE

MALTA GAMING INDUSTRY

Alistair Sparrow

Senior Affiliate Manager

21 Casino is a high-end, luxurious themed online casino. A

younger player in the igaming industry, but ran by enthusiastic

and experienced igaming professionals. 21 Casino offers

players a simple, high-quality gaming experience. For affiliates,

we offer high default commission rates, different campaign

types and high-quality promotional materials.

www.21casino.com

Ingo Ernst

VP Sales

AcuityTec is an all-in-one fraud prevention solution and proven

acceptance rate booster for all e-Commerce businesses

accepting credit card and other payment transactions.

Our unique BIN intelligence researches do increase merchant

transaction acceptance rates, while determining exposure to

fraud and risks.

www.acuitytec.com

Ofir Gerzon

Affiliate Director

Since its inception in ’97, over 25M players have experienced

888’s exciting action, making it the largest e-gaming portal.

The 888 Group headquarters are situated in Gibraltar and is

operated by Cassava Enterprises (Gibraltar) Limited under

a license granted by the Govt of Gibraltar. In Sept ’05, 888

Holdings made a successful initial public offering of its shares,

which were traded on the London Stock Exchange.

www.888.com

Claire Camilleri Gauci

Director

Aid Compliance provides tailor-made compliance support

and consultancy services to the financial services and

gaming sectors both at pre and post licensing stage. After

having worked with various leading institutions, the team at

Aid Compliance have broad and hands-on experience as

compliance officers, anti-money laundering officers, internal

auditors and risk officers.

www.aidcompliance.com

Denitza Dimitrova

Senior Consultant

ACT Consultus is based in Malta and specialises in the online

gaming industry, online payment processing and the related

services thereto. ACT Consultus offers senior international

gaming consultancy to all sectors of the gaming industry.

The company’s gaming practice encompasses all aspects of

gaming law, including licensing, corporate, legal and financial

compliance. ACT Consultus professional services also extend

to the provision of services in the field of online payments and

the acquisition of financial institutions and electronic money

licences in Malta, as well as consultancy to online payment

processors. www.actconsultus.com

Andy Jones

CEO

Integration of ​award-winning content powers the turnkey ​and

bespoke solutions for AliQuantum Gaming’s mobile, kiosk

and web software platform. From licensing to launch, our

experienced staff provide support and guidance every step

of the way. For a Good Deal in iGaming, turn to AliQuantum

Gaming!

www.aliquantum-gaming.com

0167


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Roy Pedersen

CEO/Chief Editor

All In Translations is the official translations provider for

SiGMA and the No. 1 choice supplier for several of the biggest

affiliates, platform providers, operators and developers in the

gaming arena, including Betfair, Betsson, NYX, Playtech and

many more. Their gaming specialised translation and content

writing services are available in 70+ languages with quick

delivery and great value.

www.allintranslations.com

Angie Sciberras

Design Architect

Angie the Architect is a Design Architect and Spatial Planner

who specialises in i-gaming offices, and residential Design.

After having worked for key local and foreign architectural

firms, she decided to go solo in early 2015. Today she is

well-known in her sector, and appreciated for the number

of successful projects linked to i-gaming which she has

completed over the past years.

www.facebook.com/angiethearchitect

Pierre Lindh

Managing Director

Ambassadör Events Ltd has become Malta’s leading event

management company, specializing in event management

solutions catered towards the Igaming industry. Over the past

three years, we have developed internationally renowned

brands such as ‘Events by Martin’ and ‘Showers’, delivering

hotly anticipated events on all year around as well as

delivering unbeatable B2B event management solutions and

VIP concierge services. Our prestigious clientele include many

of the established iGaming and finance companies based here

in Malta and abroad. www.ambassador-events.com

Eero Villikka

Affiliate Director

Anna Casino is run by the Maltese company Anna Casino

Gaming Ltd. and is operating under an MGA license. The

casino caters to primarily the softer gaming audience and is

presented with a soft color scheme and a clear female touch.

The brand focuses on elements such as trust, security and high

value offers for regular customers. Net Entertainment, Play

N Go, Microgaming and Spigo products make up the game

environment. Anna Partners, the affiliate brand of Anna Casino,

offers high value deals to affiliates with a focus on growth

through customized promotions based on the specific target

audience of the affiliate. www.annacasino.com

Dinos Stranomitis

Director

Altenar offers a complete fully managed Gaming Solution. Our

speciality is Sports Betting. Altenar product offering features

of BetInAction Sportsbook software with premium content,

24x7 trading, risk management and business support. You can

choose from wide range of Casinos. BetInAction Sportsbook

solution is also offered as a flexible B2B module.

www.altenar.com

Ian Pellicano

Managing Director

ApcoPay is a fully-integrated payments solution, an all-in-one

platform that provides clients with all they need to cater for

multi-channel and multi-currency payment options through

a single interface. The solution is designed to cater for high

transaction volumes, scalability and continuous improvement.

We are specialists in payment solutions with over 12 years’

industry experience driven by a passionate team of experts.

With headquarters in Malta, Apco encompasses a blend of

over 26 acquiring partners and over 150 payment options to

800 merchants in over 25 countries across the globe.

www.apcopay.eu

Geert Polmans

Affiliate Manager

Amsterdams Casino is a veteran in the igaming industry,

with a steadily expanding team. A strong brand with special

monthly player promotions that offer unique engagement.

We are offering our affiliates complete transparency, open

communication and creative customized marketing materials

with flexible solutions and campaigns to cater to your traffic.

www.amsterdamscasino.com

Tsachi Maimon

CEO

Aspire Global is a top platform provider established in 2005,

operating under Malta, Denmark, UK and Italian licenses ,

offering a total “all-in-one” solution that provides a branded

and fully managed gaming service for online gaming operators.

This includes, among others: gaming platform, market leading

CRM, multilingual support & VIP centers, payment, risk &

compliance departments.

www.aspireglobal.com

0169


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Catherine Calleja

Managing Director

AXA PPP healthcare exercises a flexible approach to company

health cover. A core of health insurance benefits and a range

of options are available, allowing you to adjust your cover

to match your requirements. This means that we can design

a solution to suit your needs, and help to provide the most

suitable cover for members at every level of your organisation.

In addition to standard benefit tables which cover treatment

of acute medical conditions, we are also able to quote for

additional benefits relating to preventive care treatment and of

course, uniquely in Malta, for dental insurance.

www.atlas.com.mt

Damon Booth

CEO

BetBanter is a new social betting app where players login via

Facebook and bet against their friends. Allowing casual betters

to place wagers against their buddies in a fun and social way.

Utilising social media as a key tool it aims to be the biggest

alternative to operator sports books in the U.K market and will

be available to download on iOS and Android.

www.betbanter.com

Kristoff Zammit Ciantar

Managing Director

Aqubix is a specialist IT consultancy and solution provider

with a unique remit: that of enabling our customers’

profitability by leveraging technological innovation into

real-world commercial applications, to maximise operational

productivity, generate revenue stream growth and improve

customer retention and acquisition channels.

www.aqubix.com

Kristina Hambardzumyan

Regional Director

BetConstruct is an award-winning developer and provider of

online and land-based betting and gaming solutions.

BetConstruct’s innovative and proven offerings include an

extensive range of market-leading vertical products including

Sportsbook, Sports Data Solutions, Agent System, Retail

Betting Shop Solutions, RNG Casino Suite & Live Dealer

Casino.

www.betconstruct.com

Jon Grafton

Creative Manager

Azure Malta provides Vacation Ownership opportunities,

making dream vacations a reality. Azure tailors luxury club

memberships to today’s demanding market and has fast

become a worldwide leader in the Vacation Ownership

industry. Providing exclusive membership opportunities at the

prestigious Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Golden Sands, Malta

and with a member base of over 5,000 families at this resort

alone, Azure offers flexible usage options and luxury vacation

experiences in some of the most sought after destinations in

the world.

www.azure.com.mt

Aiste Garneviciene

COO

While most of the companies are offering traditional software

platforms with classic casino games in the offering, Betgames.

tv is thinking outside the box, trying to develop a unique

niche in an industry that could stand an infusion of fresh

ideas. We have introduced a revolutionary approach to live

casino gaming and are confident that our live games offer

our partners the highest quality, the most authentic and

entertaining live gaming experience and the widest choice

of unique content. We are constantly working on adding new

cutting-edge games unlike any other on the market today.

www.betgames.tv

Mark Attard

Chief Executive Officer

BDO Malta, is a Member Firm of BDO International, one of

the world’s largest professional services firms. BDO provides

accounting, auditing, tax and legal, and consultancy services

on a globally integrated basis with over 1,400 offices in more

than 154 countries.

www.bdo.com.mt

Christofer Holmgren

Head of Affiliates

Bethard Group is a rapidly growing igaming company with

several premium casino and sportsbook brands. Over 120

employees are all working to give our customers the very best

experience there is. Our own top of the art platform gives us the

flexibility to do just so.

Come by and say hi at our stand or at our brand new office

building, “The Bethard Building”, just 2 min walk from the Sigma

conference. And don’t forget Winners Dare More!

www.bethardgroupaffiliates.com

0171


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Michael März

Managing Director Betting

Having started his career in the online gaming industry in

1996, after almost 20 years in different roles with various B2C

operators Michael joined Sportradar as Managing Director

Betting where, amongst other areas, he is responsible for

Sportradar’s in-play betting products.

www.betradar.com

Darren Moore

Director

Betting Gods is a leading provider of sports betting tips,

connecting and educating amateur bettors with the help of fulltime

professional gamblers.

Covering Horse Racing, Golf, Football, Tennis and Greyhounds

the site offers something for everyone who enjoys making

money from their betting activities.

www.bettinggods.com

Ulrik Bengtsson

CEO

Betsson is a unique venture of its own. Its story has become

history in the Maltese iGaming sector. It is known as being the

largest local employer in the sector and has an overwhelming

story of success. Betsson has been welcomed in Malta and

has become ‘Maltese’ throughout the years. The set up is done

by skilled and professional individuals that contribute to its

success. For Betsson, Malta is simply a great place to work and

live in for skilled internet professionals.

www.betsson.com

Fiona Hickey

Director

Bettingjobs.com is the premier global iGaming Recruitment

Consultancy. Now in our 14th year, our success comes from

our passion and comprehensive understanding of our clients

and their needs. Working with the largest, most influential

companies in the industry through to start-ups, our approach

is tailored to each recruitment project, delivering a professional

& effective solution for our client’s recruitment needs.

www.bettingjobs.com

Allister Bajada

Head of Affiliates

Affiliate Lounge and its brands Betsson, Betsafe, Casino

Euro and Cherry Casino are all part of the public listed

holding company Swedish Betsson AB. Betsson AB invests

in companies who provide quality gaming services over the

Internet. The demand for transparency and auditing practices

employed in public listed companies guarantees that your

commission is always fair and 100% right. With a dedicated

staff and a comprehensive back-end system, affiliates have

support and guidance at hand. Affiliate Lounge strives to be

the best partner regardless of the size of your company.

www.affiliatelounge.com

Richard Hogg

Director

The BiG Foundation is a UK registered grant making charity

which aims to improve and enhance the quality of life of

injured, sick, or terminally ill individuals globally, with a focus

on the healing power of sport. The charity aspires to improve

the physical, social, emotional and psychological wellbeing

of these individuals, as well as their immediate families

and carers, with the provision of specialist care, support

networks, sports resources or equipment, assisting access

to, participation in and engagement with sports and physical

activities.

www.thebigfoundation.org.uk

Kay Vella

Head of Recruitment

Betting Connections is a leading provider of International

IGaming Recruitment Solutions! With more than 30 highly

skilled recruitment and career consultants, we provide the

best and most personalised service in the industry. Utilising

our unique ‘30 Step Recruitment Process’, which focuses on

quality of communication, delivery of results and consistency

of service, you can rest assured that all your recruitment needs

will be met in a thorough, professional and timely manner. Your

recruitment solution is our goal!

www.bettingconnections.com

Angelo Dalli

CEO

Bit8 is a gaming platform company that offers an innovative

intelligent gaming backend and game content catering

for current and future needs of modern gaming operators,

both online and land-based. Available in both standalone

and hosted versions, and complimented with a variety of

professional services, our solutions provide a source of

competitive advantage. Operators can customise additional

modules to achieve the precise system that satisfies business

needs, across multiple game providers, products and verticals

and multiple channels.

www.bit8.com

0173


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Marius Filip

Head of Affiliates

We are part of the Bonnier Group, one of the largest publishing

and entertainment companies in Sweden since 1804.

Evoke Gaming Ltd is based in Malta, and is a regulated

online gaming company, we have been offering a thrilling

and enjoyable online gaming experience to millions through

brands that include Redbet.com, Heypoker.com, Whitebet.

com, Bertil.com, Vinnarum.com and Mamamiabingo.com. The

business remains true to its founding mission, to offer a fun and

responsible gaming experience.

www.bonniergaming.com

Louise North

Business Development Manager

Callcredit Information Group is expert in managing

consumer data for businesses across every sector, from

financial services, retail and utilities to the public sector,

telecoms, insurance and much more. The Group is focused

on developing innovative products and services to help

businesses make smarter, more informed decisions throughout

the customer lifecycle.

www.callcreditmarketing.com

Jonathan Caruana

CTO

Bonus Vikings is an affiliate platform providing top rated CPA

and revenue share offers in casino, poker, bingo, sportsbook

as well as Forex and binary.

The parent company is Viking PC Health Ltd which operates

from Malta, offering antivirus software.

www.bonusvikings.com

Magnus Alebo

CEO

Casino Heroes, formerly known as Casino Saga, was the first

casino brand from Hero Gaming. It was launched in June 2014

and immediately took off to become the fastest growing online

casino world wide. By playing traditional casino games of

their choice (currently from Evolution, Quickspin, Play N’ Go,

Microgaming, Yggdrasil, Betsoft and Netent), the customers

progress in the Casino Heroes adventure by fighting bosses

and reaching new regions.

www.casinoheroes.com

Daan Mulder

Creative Director

Branders is everything design. We are branding, concepts

and graphic design. A highly experienced international team

that takes every brand to the next level. Design that goes

beyond visuals and communicates your business philosophy.

Specialized in iGaming and service providers.

www.branders.rocks

Christos Charistas

General Manager

Casino Malta by Olympic Casino provides the most exciting

casino experience in Malta. With a mix of Las Vegas type

entertainment and the best customer service, they’ve created

a unique ambience of elegance and top quality. The 3000

square meter casino features 285 slots, 2 electronic roulette

tables and 29 casino and poker tables as well as a wide

sports betting and bar area. In addition, there is an EZ-Pay

payment ticket system installed throughout the casino. The

slot machines installed in the casino are the newest and most

modern in the country, guaranteeing the highest world class

level of entertainment and gaming. www.casinomalta.com.mt

Alessandro Fried

CEO

BtoBet is a pioneer in new technologies for iGaming operators

and the betting industry by using technological intelligence as

its main base for its products. Its unique, customizable, secure

and flexible iGaming platform and Sportsbook software deliver

unprecedented capabilities to drive Sportsbook and iGaming

business.

www.btobet.com

Kristian Svensson

General Manager

CasinoRoom.com is run by Ellmount Gaming and licensed by

Malta Gaming Authority and the UK Gaming Commission. An

established brand offering its customers an innovative product

on all devices. Operating out of offices in Sweden, Curacao,

Costa Rica and Malta. One of the fastest growing online casino

operators world wide in 2015.

www.casinoroom.com

0175


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Who’s Who | SiGMA

David Wainwright

Director

Right from your home, smartphone, or tablet. CasinoTV is an

online gaming experience featuring live games that stream

directly from the acclaimed Casino at Portomaso, Malta.

CasinoTV isn’t just an online gaming company—we’re a real

live casino in the online gaming business.

When you’re at our tables, you’ll enjoy the same high

standards, excellent service and peace of mind as you would

while playing in any one of the Tumus Group’s world famous

brick and mortar casinos.

www.casinotv.com

Tord Topsholm

Managing Director Catella Bank

Catella Bank is a full-service bank, offering a complete range of

payment, corporate banking and wealth management services

supporting customers succeeding in e-commerce.

We take pride in working closely with our customers and

develop tailored solutions to meet customer needs. With 25

years within the payments industry, we are well acquainted

with the business models and country-specific features of a

vast range of e-commerce industries worldwide.

Catella Bank is registered in Luxembourg and part of the

Catella Group, listed on listed on First North Premier on

Nasdaq Stockholm. www.catella.com

Meny Monka

Director of Marketing & BizDev

Casinocruise.com is a complete multi-vendor online casino

gaming platform, offering over 1000 high-quality games from

the world’s top suppliers and software developers,

including Netent, Microgaming Evolution and more.

Recently, they launched Spinit.com – their high-end in-house

advanced mobile casino.

www.casinocruise.com / www.spinit.com

Robert Andersson

CEO

Catena Media is one of Europe’s fastest-growing online lead

generation companies. We provide high-quality leads to our

online casino and sportsbook clients by building marketleading

and engaging websites that attract the right traffic. We

then drive this valuable traffic to our clients in the form of new

depositing customers.

www.catenamedia.com

Matthew Camilleri

Managing Director

Castille is the Specialist Recruitment Agency for Tech and

Finance Jobs in Malta. Years of experience have given Castille

the possibility to work with leading local and international

businesses in Malta.

We work hard to gain a unique insight into our professional

network and provide our client businesses with recommended

talent. This is based on our expert knowledge in our specialist

disciplines and on our insight of the businesses and industries

we service.

www.castilleresources.com

Nadia Pace

CEO

At Centrecom we are a multi-lingual International Business

Process Outsourcing (BPO) company offering back and front

office services through our Contact Centre based in Luqa,

Malta.

Our contact centre is manned by native English speakers,

as well as a multi-national team speaking more than seven

languages – so that we can definitely speak your customers’

language.

www.centrecom.eu

Christian Ferreri

Affiliate Manager

Casumo is an award-winning online casino based in Malta. By

combining social and real money gaming, Casumo has built

the world’s first casino adventure, where the player not only

collects winnings, but also points and trophies for every round

played. Through design, technology & innovation Casumo aims

to disrupt a young but in many ways immature industry. Since

the launch in 2012, Casumo is still one of the fastest growing

online casino operators in Europe.

www.casumo.com

Katy Stafford

Affiliate Director

As one of Europe’s most established gaming brands, at Cherry

Affiliates you will see your earnings blossom! Cherry Affiliates

is a forward thinking, flexible and professional program offering

up to 50% commission with no negative carryover when

promoting our award-wining brands: CherryCasino, EuroSlots,

EuroLotto, SpilleAutomater, SveaCasino and SuomiAutomaatti.

www.cherryaffiliates.com

0177


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Angela Tabone

Director

Citadel Insurance operates with a forward-thinking strategy

built on its established reputation as a provider of high-quality

and value-for-money insurance products and services for both

individual and business customers.

The company offers an extensive and flexible range of

products comprising of motor, home, marine, travel, business,

professional indemnity and life insurance including retirement

and savings plans, besides other tailor-made products

designed around customer’s requirement.

www.citadelplc.com

Dobri Ugrenov

Affiliate Manager

Powered by Condor Gaming, Condor Affiliates is the premier

affiliate program of four unique casino and sportsbook brands:

24Bettle, b-Bets, Casino Sieger and Rembrandt Casino.

Condor Affiliates specialises in innovation and collaboration;

providing a fresh experience for players and transparency for

partners. We’re working together to continue our success.

www.condor-affiliates.com

Yarka Svalek

Marketing Director

Imagine a world where you can act as your own performance

network. Where you have the perfect tool to precisely

segment your inbound traffic, target it to the chosen offers,

continuously monitor its performance & quickly identify the

best converting combinations. This world is clickBakers. Unlike

your conventional affiliate trackers, clickBakers is not merely

limited to tracking but gives you a benefit of game-changing

Segmentation & Optimization. Stop by our booth S8 to chat

how proper inbound traffic segmentation & segment-driven

optimization can significantly increase your traffic performance.

www.clickbakers.com

Maria Florides

Affiliate Programme Manager

Crazy Rewards was launched on 2010, since then our good

reputation has spread amongst the gaming industry.

Our goal is to offer our partners the best acquisition tools.

The way we accomplish our goals is by offering generous

revenues, a top level support and great products including

live casino, slots, mobile, jackpots, scratch-cards, Keno and

bingo games. Plus, our brands are strongly focused on

Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and UK.

www.globalgaming.com

Edward Ihre

Founder & Executive Chairman

Codeta is a gambling site for players who seek a genuine

casino experience within table games online. Live Casino

technology brings us the best of both worlds. A real dealer,

real cards, real wheels processed by modern software with

the ability to play from wherever and whenever. This is

the closest you will ever get to the real casino experience,

wherever you may be.

www.codeta.com

Geert van Maarsseveen

Senior Sales Director - Commercial Channels

Credorax introduces an entirely new breed of acquiring

— Smart Acquiring — to PSPs, ISOs and online retailers

specifically focused on the e-commerce and m-commerce

arenas. Credorax’s Smart Acquiring solutions are based on

its proprietary single, unified and automated global-domestic

payment platform for efficient, cost-optimised acquiring

complemented by value-added business tools and dedicated

customer care. Credorax is the first, truly global digital

Merchant Acquiring Bank, with secured licenses across three

continents, covering over 30 jurisdictions worldwide.

www.credorax.com

Charlie Williams

Head of Business Development

AXON Gaming provides full integration of your internal

systems, allowing you to compile and view data from one

central location, in real-time. This, coupled with a powerful

rules engine, empowers business users to easily create their

own automations based on any player behavior imaginable.

Ultimately, AXON Gaming enables iGaming companies

to optimize their operation in real-time, which leads to an

immediate increase in revenue.

www.computimesoftware.com

Anton Cristina

Executive Director

CSL is a Systems Integrator with its own Data Centre Facilities,

which are Tier 3 rated, Carrier Neutral and a very aggressive

level of service for DDOS mitigation, with a total capacity of

2000 square meters of rack space plus a team of 24 technical

resources skilled and experienced in delivering Cloud Services,

Colocation, Managed Services up to OS level, plus BC&RS to

our customers. We migrated many gaming customers to our

data centre over the past 4 years and they will tell you that we

can do it faster, better and cheaper.

www.csl.com.mt

0179


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Cristina Balaceanu

Operation Executive Manager

Digital Color Production has been operating worldwide since

2002. We believe in advising clients’ on unique materials and

help them to develop innovative solutions. Our aim is to be

the preferred digital printing service for corporate companies,

dealers, home users, both locally and internationally.

cristina@dcp-print.com

Michael Golembo

Sales Director

EGaming Online may be the only affiliate program you will ever

need. All brands feature effective, workable promotions, solid

player support, and conversion. The company guarantees that

whether you are looking to promote one brand or all of them,

EGO will work with you every step of the way. Their dedicated

team of experienced affiliate managers provide 24/7 support in

many languages. EGO offers buttons and text links in a variety

of colors and sizes, along with free banners in a number of

sizes, including custom made.

www.egamingonline.com

Iwo Bulski

CEO

Since 2003, E-Play is associated with the best quality of

reliable source on gambling from e-casinos to legal studies.

Information portal www.e-play.pl, printed magazine about

gambling E-Play as well as numerous sites about the latest

news, exclusive interviews, expert studies and reviews on all

aspects of the gaming industry. In 2016 we launched the E-Play

Online mobile app, in which we exhibit offers selected from

gambling companies we cooperate with. The E-Play brand has

been cooperating with leading industry organisations making

us able to provide first-hand information and the best quality.

www.e-play.eu

Todor Zahariev

Managing Director

EGT Interactive games are renowned throughout the industry

for their intuitive gameplay that will captivate the current

players and dazzle new players, encouraging them to return

every day for more exciting iGaming entertainment.

We are known for the iconic video slots and we also proudly

offer classic casino favorites such as Roulette, Video Poker,

Table Games and Keno.

http://egt-bg.com/en/interactive/online

Colin Jones

Director & CFO

EFT Global is a Financial Institution that is licensed to execute

payment transactions by the Malta Financial Services Authority

(MFSA). EFT Global provides a large range of payment

processing services including VISA, MASTERCARD and Wire

Solution for Merchants who integrate directly to payment

gateway of EFT Global.

www.eftglobal.com

Kristina Nevuche

Accounts

EmexGO are a licensed e-money institution based in the UK

and Malta. Their unique in-house technological solutions

coupled with Swift membership and the ability to issue IBAN’s,

ensures EmexGO are ideally placed in the market, offering

full trade services and third party payments. Using EmexGO’s

cross-border e-commerce expertise, the latest data analytics

and fraud management tools, merchants are able to reach

out and access new markets around the world with total

confidence.

www.emexpay.com

Anja Wunderlich

Director

eGamingLab is innovation! The independent INFINITY gaming

platform is based on leading-edge technology and flexibility.

We build 100% customised, online and land-based, high-quality

products for the iGaming industry. We provide hosted turnkey

and White Label solutions or API for anyone who wants to stay

ahead of the game.

www.egaminglab.com

Norbert Varga

Head of Affiliates

EnergyBet was launched in 2016, as a sports betting offshoot

of the already successful EnergyCasino. Offering one of the

industry’s most comprehensive sportsbooks, EnergyBet carries

everything from football to eGaming. Licensed in the UK, and

operated by Probe Investments Limited which is registered

in the European member state of Malta, EnergyBet boasts

professional multi-lingual customer support and is quickly

establishing itself as a challenger brand.

www.energycasinopartners.com

0181


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Jan Urbanec

VP Sales

Endorphina is a software provider that offers a wide range of

Flash-based slot games for online casinos. Games provided

by Endorphina are remarkable for the stability of the system,

circumspect logic of the client side and versatile API which

allows several types of integration, a full report with statistics

sent to the Client’s back office, etc. Choosing Endorphina

means choosing a trustworthy provider of PROFITABLE

ONLINE casino software. www.endorphina.com

Bernard Mallia

CEO

Equinox Academy is an NCFHE-licensed further education

institution specialising in the delivery of high quality training

programmes. It capitalises on the hands-on expertise of

Equinox Advisory and conducts team building activities, skills

gaps & training needs analyses, HR & innovation audits and

bespoke training. Equinox Academy also provides gamingspecific

education in AML, data analytics, project management

and odds compilation.

www.equinoxadvisory.com/equinox-academy/

Benjamin Grech

COO

Sara Grech founded her own Real estate company in 1985,

following the experience she had with the first brokers on the

island. The success of the company was rapidly noticeable

as they became an established household name; by the

year1999 Sara Grech Ltd. had offices located throughout Malta

and Gozo. With the growth of the business Sara founded the

magazine called, ‘Living it Up’. In 2013 a new company image

was launched Engel & Völkers Sara Grech, a co-brand with an

international renowned brand based in Hamburg. In the very

same year Sara Grech also founded the NGO called Services

Guide Dogs Malta Foundation. www.engelvoelkers.com

Elaine Gardiner

Senior Affiliate Manager

EuroSlots offers one of the widest variety of the leading games

available online. The company’s motto is: “If the games are

not good enough for our customers we simply do not publish

them.”

www.euroslots.com

Norayr Yesayan

Senior Business Development Officer

EP Fantasy is a team of devoted sports addicts and software

developers building fantasy sports applications that can be

smoothly integrated with online gaming/gambling platforms.

We deliver high-end quality IT services and contribute

to Explicit Profit for gaming/gambling businesses while

integrating Fantasy Sports, either stand-alone or within an

existent software.

www.epfantasy.com

Ebbe Groes

CEO

EveryMatrix is an independent company offering awardwinning

software solutions to operators of all sizes, including

OddsMatrix, a fully managed sportsbook providing more than

23,000 live events monthly; GamMatrix, a complete gaming

and payment processing platform; CasinoEngine, the largest

aggregator on the market with more than 3,000 games from

top casino vendors, and PartnerMatrix, a complete stand-alone

affiliate marketing and agent management system. EveryMatrix

was founded in 2008 and won numerous industry awards

since.

www.everymatrix.com

Alex Capurro

CEO & Founder

With over 15 years experience, EPG is the next generation one

stop payment platform. We offer an online gateway with an

ever growing list of over 210 different online payment methods

and acquirers worldwide. EPG can offer any online merchant

everything they need in order to process transactions online

via one simple yet heavily secure API integration and a unique

back office where non IT staff can maintain and configure

payment accounts, create payment routing rules by drawing a

flow chart on the screen using our custom built rules engine or

prevent fraud.

www.easypaymentgateway.com

Patrick J O’ Brien

Director of Communications

EXANTE Limited was founded in March 2011 with its

headquarters located in Malta. EXANTE is a next generation

award winning brokerage company that aims to give its clients

access to a broad range of financial instruments and markets.

Our aim is to design, produce and support cutting-edge

infrastructure for greater financial market accessibility and

pricing transparency.We believe in liberal financial markets. Our

vision is to become a benchmark for transparency and market

accessibility in the financial intermediary sector.

www.exante.eu

0183


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Joern Klister

CEO & Founder

Extramile Services offers you an all-round customer service

via phone, email, live chat or social networks, including also a

structured quality and complaint management.

If you are a start-up, want to improve your service quality or

want good availability with a low price, the experienced team

of Extramile Services is your partner.

www.extramile-services.com

John Farrugia Randon

Manager

The Forestals Group has been established for the past 80

years and is renowned for its high-end brands such as HP,

Lenovo, Cisco, Sony, Miele, Smeg and many others. Forestals

First Class is a department within the group that consolidates

all products and services offered by the group of Companies.

This department specialises in offering a one stop shop for

office fit-outs and also on cutting edge technology required in

demanding industries.

www.forestalsgroup.com

Adrian Sciberras

CEO

Fairwinds Management Limited is a company formation

and administration specialist offering a wide range of

corporate, legal and financial services. Our customer oriented

methodology helps us achieve the objectives of our clients

within a cost-effective structure in order to maximise their

profits within legitimate and transparent business structures.

Whether you would like to start up a company to operate your

business or would like to avail of our back office administration

services, Fairwinds Management will offer you a level of

service which will exceed your expectations.

www.fairwindsmanagement.net

​Adrian Gatt

Business Development Manager

With solutions that focus on reliability and seamless integration,

Fortytwo partners with brands and enterprises in order to

provide quality mobile messaging. Since 2001, our specialised

team has developed a suite of messaging solutions at the best

possible value.Over the years, the Fortytwo brand has evolved

to reflect the company’s growth from a small team in Sweden to

a trusted provider of global communication solutions,

now based in Malta. As your partner of choice for delivering

messages worldwide, we work tirelessly to ensure that we

exceed your expectations and that our solutions bridge the gap

between you and your customers. www.fortytwo.com

Sergio Montebello

Managing Director

Fibonacci Marketing is a results-driven marketing agency

specialising in SEO, content creation, social media marketing,

email marketing and online reputation management. Since

inception, Fibonacci Marketing has grown to help companies

in Europe, Asia and the USA to implement effective digital

marketing campaigns.

www.fibonacci-marketing.com

Darren De Domenico

Chief Operations Officer

Established in 1969, Frank Salt Real Estate is Malta’s most

recognisable and trusted Real Estate Company. With 17

branches spread all across the island and having the most

extensive selection of properties for sale and to let, we offer a

one-stop-shop solution for all your property needs.

www.franksalt.com.mt

Antoine Bartolo

CEO

Forbesfone is a global mobile operator, partner of Forbes LLC,

offering a global connection to the millions of smart travellers

who want a hassle free mobile service, with simple pricing

and value-added business services. Our aim is to cut down on

mobile costs without compromising on quality while offering a

flexible, global service to suit every traveller.

www.forbesfone.com

Mikael Gummerus

CEO

Frosmo enables companies to modify any aspect of

their online business, regardless of complexity. With our

technological approach, you can develop your website faster

than ever before. At Frosmo, our mission is to transform online

experiences and take the web to a whole new level, benefiting

both businesses and consumers.

www.frosmo.com

0185


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Dean Nicholls

Founder & CEO

Gambling careers is Europe’s number 1 job board run by

experienced online gaming professionals with a vast amount

of experience within international headhunting and talent

acquisition, who recognize the need for change and innovation

within the ever changing online gaming space. Gambling

Careers is the only platform of its kind and already the

leading Job Board within the European iGaming Market place.

Partnering with Suppliers such as Net Entertainment, Yggdrasil,

Quickspin, NYX and operators such as Cherry Gaming, Unibet,

Paddy Power Betfair, Hero Gaming, Casumo, to mention but a

few. www.gamblingcareers.com

Keith Hathaway

Founding Partner

Geeky Gambler and Bonus Bible are the marquee websites

for the affiliate specialists who create industry leading themed

affiliate websites and social media platforms. A heavy Casino

and Sports Betting focus but all online gambling verticals are

covered, as well as a high-quality tipping service.

www.geekygambler.com

Boštjan Torkar

Director of Business Development

GameART is an independent online casino software provider

and developer, providing innovative games and cuttingedge

solutions dedicated to online and landbased gaming

operators. The company was founded in 2013 by a group of

serial entrepreneurs who have had successful experience in

the online and industry in the past 20 years and evolved into

a premium B2B provider and developer with offices in Malta,

Slovenia, Serbia and UK. GameART’s core business is the

development of high-quality slot games and gaming contents

not only for online operators as well as VLT and casino industry

in the regulated markets. www.gameart.net

James Illingworth

Director of Client Services

Gaming Laboratories International (GLI®) delivers land-based,

lottery and iGaming testing, assessment and professional

services to more than 475 jurisdictions worldwide. The

company holds U.S. and international accreditations for

compliance with ISO/IEC 17025, 17020, and 17065 standards

for technical competence in the gaming, wagering and lottery

industries.

www.gaminglabs.com

Ivan Filletti

Head of Operations & Business Development

GamingMalta is an independent non-profit foundation set up

by the Government of Malta and the Maltese Gaming Authority

(MGA). Tasked with the remit of promoting Malta as a Centre

of excellence in the remote gaming sector globally, it is also

responsible for liaising with the local relevant authorities to

improve Malta’s attractiveness as a jurisdiction and enhance

the ecosystem surrounding the gaming industry.

www.gamingmalta.org

Daniel Grabher

CEO

Global Bet is the largest independent manufacturer and

supplier of server-based gaming technology. Our core

business is providing the best possible virtual sports products

to the industry. Unlike any of our competitors, Global Bet is

exclusively dedicated and committed to providing the broadest

combined portfolio of virtual sports games on the market.

www.globalbet.com

Mitsuya Fujimoto

CEO

Ganapati Plc is a group of innovative game studios, media

platforms, production companies with offices in England and

Japan. We have a series of successful social networking apps

which are available in Japan and, in addition to this, we are

currently developing a series of unique slot games which

will be released globally within a year. With our own game

developers and animation studios in Japan, we are able to

combine well-known fighting games, anime series and puzzles

with superb Japanese technology intelligence, entertainment

to create games which we believe will be completely unique in

the online slots market. www.ganapatiplc.com

Matyas Sziraczki

CEO

Gold Lion Holding is a customer-oriented, centralised property

solution company. We have merged all property services under

one roof with our 3 divisions: Real Estate Agency, Property

Development and Construction. Property Management –

Holiday as a 4th division will be launching shortly as well.

www.glmalta.com

0187


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Martin Wachter

CEO and Founder

Golden Race provides winning Virtual Betting Solutions

for Shops, Terminals, Online and Mobile, and via satellite -

worldwide. Live-rendered 3D Virtual Football, the revolutionary

Real Fighting, pre-recorded real video races, classics, and

new gaming concepts! Golden Race tailors their products to

clients, countries and habits, with the most in-depth in-game

customization options available. They include their entire

unbeatable and proven suite of winning games for free, and

their acquisition cost and support are simply extraordinary.

www.goldenrace.com

Daniel Yuen

President

Gunggo has been a Global Advertising Leader in the iGaming

space since 2006. With expertise on both the Demand and

Supply side of the industry, we have been the catalyst of

success for thousands of iGaming campaigns, for some of the

top operators in this market.

www.gunggo.com

Christopher Dalli

Senior Associate

Gonzi and Associates, Advocates is an established Maltese law

firm with vast experience in the areas of gaming and gambling,

taxation, corporate and financial services. We have assisted

various gaming operators and software providers with the

acquisition of licenses both in Malta and in foreign jurisdictions

such as the UK and Romania. Our gaming team is also involved

in the day to day commercial practices of our clients, providing

assistance in negotiations and conclusions of agreements, and

advising on ongoing regulatory compliance with the rules of the

relevant Authority.

www.gonzi.com.mt

Robin Reed

Managing Director

Hailed as one of the most successful online casino launches in

history, Guts.com has seen rapid growth since going online in

2013. Focusing on key factors such as 24/7 customer service,

fast withdrawals, a wide selection of games and recruiting

some of the business’ top professionals, Guts continues to

be one of the fastest growing online gaming providers in the

business.

www.guts.com

Roger Katz

Head of Affiliates

The GoWild Affiliates program, representing two of the finest

Casino brands out there – GoWildCasino.com & WildJackpots.

com has been proudly enabling its partners to monetize

their traffic for the last 8 years. The custom reward plans, no

negative carry-over and very fast payments make us the best

fit for you. With an extensive catalogue of over 500 game titles

and dedicated conversion and retention teams, your success is

guaranteed.

www.gowildaffiliates.com

Yancy Naughton

CEO

HasTraffic.com is the traffic monetization side of the platform.

If you are interested in capitalizing on the increased margins

available by offering Zero Click redirects to advertisers, but do

not want to build your own bidding platform then HasTraffic.

com can help. Offer your internet traffic directly to the end

consumers of the traffic, avoiding the high margins demanded

by the likes of Google, Yahoo, Bing and the Second Tier

Networks.

www.hastraffic.com

Trevor De Giorgio

MD Malta

As a worldwide pioneer, GREENTUBE GMBH is the leading

developer of online gaming solutions specialised in Casino

gaming. Through longtime experience, excellent Novomatic

and in-house technology, as well as distinctive intuition for

gaming trends, Greentube offers unrivaled gaming quality.

Constantly complying with international regulation, we

only offer our products in well-regulated markets with clear

regulatory frameworks.

www.greentube.com

Caroline Klytseroff

Head of Affiliates

Hero Gaming is a Malta based company which provides a

playful casino and also a brand new gamified sports book.

Casino Heroes is a new way of playing casino using story

telling, a beautiful map and boss-fights. Recently the second

version of the site was launched with new boss fights, different

adventures and a Rubies concept. With the launch of their

second brand, Betser, Hero Gaming is reinventing Sports

betting, with a unique concept called Balls and Brains and a

league system!

www.herogaming.com

0189


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Laurent Reysbosch

CEO

HiPay offers iGaming websites, digital content publishers and

e-tailers the most relevant payment methods to grow their

business. Their solutions benefit from two European banking

licences: payment institution and e-money issuer. Hipay’s

core activities rely on three main pillars: a unique expertise, a

technological innovation and a constant search for optimization.

Banking transactions are not an end in themselves. Optimizing

and increasing our merchants’ business volume requires to

better know their client data, to fight against fraud and to offer

the most relevant solutions to improve their success rate.

www.hipay.com

Tommi Maijala

CEO

To date our company is composed of 100 ambitious individuals

working in Malta and Estonia. The iGame team consists of a

wide range of nationalities and offers its services in several

languages. We cooperate with industry leaders such as

Microgaming, Net Entertainment and Relax Gaming and serve

to date around 1 million customers all over the world.

www.igame.com

David Wainwright

CEO & Founder

Established in 2006 HollywoodTV is a live dealer/tv studio

based in Malta that delivers live Casino games to the highest

quality. The company delivers film-like experiences up to 4k for

mobile, digital TV, desktop and tablet. The companies brands

include Bikini Beach, Cleopatras Lounge and Treasure Island

featuring live roulette, live baccarat and Wheel of Fortune.

The companies supply the games to operators via direct

integration or via leading agregators. Seeing is believing -

please arrange for a private demonstration of our formats.

www.gamerweb.com

Jaime Debono

Director

The iGaming Academy is the leading training provider to the

Gaming industry with over 6000 employees concurrently

online and 100 classroom attendees each month. Our client list

includes companies such as Betsson, Betclic Everest Group,

Stanleybet, Lottoland, Betit Group, LeoVegas, Skybet UK,

Evolution Gaming, ComeOn, Evoke Gaming, Mr. Green and

Pala (US) who have taken up our training services not only to

satisfy regulators but also enhance internal staff knowledge

and awareness.

www.igacademy.com

Anna Jonson

Affiliate Manager

HonestPartners is the dynamic affiliate program of InstaCasino.

com. InstaCasino is live since late 2015 and among the

targeted markets, you find Scandinavia, all german speaking

countries, UK, Australia and Canada. A premium platform

and great CRM strategies are InstaCasino’s recipe of high

conversion rates and loyal players.

www.honestpartners.com

Ben Clemes

Managing Director

Who are we? We are entrepreneurs, innovators, iGaming

enthusiasts with extensive industry experience. We have

created and developed iGC using experts in each area to bring

together a lean iGamingPlatform which we are proud to call

iGaming Cloud.

www.iGamingCloud.com

Wayne Said

Business Development Executive

SG Solutions Limited has pioneered Apple products and

services in Malta and has successfully represented the brand

locally for over 30 years. iCentre is the only Apple Authorised

Service Provider in Malta. As Authorised Service Providers

we specialize in MAC product repairs, data transfer and

recovery, upgrades and support as well as MAC system and

software deployment in homogeneous and mixed platform

environments.

www.icentre.com.mt

Roderick Briffa

Business Development Executive

i-GSN is a dynamic Network of Companies focusing mainly on

i-Gaming Turnkey solutions, offering a vast range of products

and services. Apart from accepting ad-hoc Development

projects, i-GSN can offer a fully customizable and very user

friendly Back office, Sportsbook and Poker platform. Through

our direct collaboration with several providers from the

industry, we can offer several RNG Games, Live dealer studios

& casinos, all integrated into one back-office using a seamless

wallet. We have a large variety of payment providers integrated

to us and you may choose the best option for your Operation’s

needs. www.i-gsn.com

0191


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Julian Kunimine

Head Affiliate Manager

Ikibu features the most complete casino journey in the world.

Dubbed as the most innovative casino launch of 2016, Ikibu.

com has positioned itself as one of the most promising

brands in the online casino industry. Its visual imagery, fast

withdrawals, unprecedented loyalty scheme and wide game

selection have made Ikibu a solid contender for the best new

casino of the year.

www.ikibu.com

Luigi Spina

CEO

Join Games Malta Ltd is a new Software Casino Provider

founded in 2014 by a partnership between 2 professional

business manager who have ample experience in the

gaming industry and who share the same vision of creating an

innovative Slot Concept.

The choice of the name “Join” symbolizes the union between

different ideas of the team who together work to reach the

same goal; that of becoming a renowned Casino Slot Provider

for our creativity.

www.joingames.net

Pierre Mallia

Managing Director

iMovo works with customers to face business challenges from

all sorts of directions – whether it’s increased regulation in the

financial services industry, an increased need for governance

in the public sector or the need to improve customer services

in the face of increased competition. iMovo helps organisations

to take advantage of new business opportunities by

strategically using technology and innovation.

www.imovo.com.mt

Arnaud Serour

VP Sales

Karamba brings the most innovative slot and casino gaming

website into the largest affiliates program. We’re 100%

committed to bringing players to the best, fairest, and most

trustworthy online gaming site, and this is evident through the

dedicated service we have always provided. Karamba offers

the leading slot & casino brand, on multiple jurisdictions, which

features an impressive portfolio of more than 200 slots, scratch

cards, instant wins, casino games and live casino. Join our

unique affiliate program.

www.karambapartners.com

Ciara Kaneen

Key Account Manager

Isle of Man Post Office can help you drive customer acquisition

and retention with an integrated approach, using the power

of direct mail. Their mission is to meet your every need with a

holistic range of secure services that bring you peace of mind.

Their secure data management services make sure you and

your customers are protected to optimise your investment.

They hold international standards for security and quality. ISO/

IEC 27001:2013 and ISO 9001. Discover more about what they

can do for your business with their first class services.

www.iompost.com

Etienne Gatt

IT & iGaming Recruitment Manager

Nearing a decade since it was established, KONNEKT Search &

Selection has become Malta’s leading professional recruitment

agency. KONNEKT handles more than 1,200 projects per year

and has worked with more than 700 clients, ranging from

SMEs to multinational organisations. A dedicated in-house

team specialises in providing recruitment solutions for the

Information Technology and iGaming industries. We use a

wide variety of tools available, and collaborate with the right

local and international networks, to source the highest quality

candidates for every role.

www.konnekt.com

Michael Probert

Business Development Director

iSoftBet is an online and mobile casino games supplier,

providing games to some of the world’s largest and successful

e-Gaming operators. Our games suite includes a wide range

of original video slots, stunning branded content from worldrenowned

TV & film studios and a unique collection of third

party games. With our vast experience and enthralling portfolio,

we’re proud to be at the vanguard of game innovation.

www.isoftbet.com

Don Bush

VP Marketing

Boost Sales, Beat Fraud with Kount Complete. Kount helps

online businesses simplify fraud detection and dramatically

improve bottom line profitability. Our all-in-one, SaaS platform

is designed for companies operating in all kinds of card-notpresent

environments, including mobile. Merchants using

Kount accepts more orders from more people in more places

than ever before. Kount Complete is easy to implement and

easy to use. Kount’s proprietary and patented technology

reviews billions of transactional data points every year and

provides maximum protection for all size businesses.

www.kount.com

0193


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Russell Mifsud

Senior Manager

KPMG in Malta is one of the leading providers of audit, tax and

advisory services. Our vision is to be the clear choice for our

clients, our people and our community. We are committed to

working shoulder-to-shoulder with our clients by adopting a

client-centric approach that integrates innovative approaches

and deep expertise to deliver real results. Following the

acquisition of Crimsonwing plc, by a joint venture between

the UK, Malta and Dutch practices, KPMG is today the largest

professional services provider in Malta.

www.kpmg.com.mt

Elad Tsafany

Head of Business Devolpment

LuckyStreak takes the live casino experience to new heights

by merging innovation, style and gamification into an engaging

and rewarding live casino experience. We increase player

value by integrating personalization features and reward

hooks into the live gambling experience that create habit

loops, which translate into more engagement and player

stickiness. Built on the latest technology LuckyStreak’s live

casino platform runs on a high grade, scalable and flexible

infrastructure to deliver the optimal user experience for mobile

and desktop. www.luckystreaklive.com

Alan Alden

Director

Kyte Consultants help clients identify their risk areas & support

them in implementing practical & cost effective solutions. Our

objective is to assist companies heavily reliant on information

& communications technologies to achieve their business

objectives in a secure manner. Kyte Consultants are resellers

of Featurespace Fraud Management Solutions for Gaming,

Financial Services and the Insurance Sectors.

www.kyteconsultants.com

Joseph Cuschieri

Executive Chairman

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is the single, independent,

regulatory body responsible for the governance of all gaming

activities in Malta, both online and land-based.

www.mga.org.mt

James Grech

Managing Director

We are a team of specialists passionate about our work and

with a common ambition to share learning experiences with

people in the business community as well as with civil servants

and civil society.

This makes us the only professional training organisation in

Malta that can offer cutting edge training programmes across a

broad spectrum of topics.

www.leadtraining.com.mt

Vasileios Kasiotakis

CEO

Maltco Lotteries Limited was set up in 2004 shareholding

by INTRALOT S.A. and high profile Maltese individuals. The

company operates the National Lottery and other additional

games: Super 5 lottery, Lotto, Grand Lottery, Scratchers (instant

lottery), U*BET - Fixed Odds Betting and Horseracing, Quick

Keno, Bingo75 and Fast Bingo through an extensive retail

network.

www.maltco.com

Johan Styren

CEO

LeoVegas - Awarded iGB Affiliate Program of the Year 2016

LeoVegas is the innovation leader in gaming entertainment.

The new LeoVegas Sport is the most intuitive, engaging and

fastest way to bet on sports. LeoVegas’ multi-award winning

casino currently offers the world’s strongest suite of casino

games with 700+ games on desktop, mobile and tablet. This

in combination with top-notch live casino entertainment in HD

quality 24/7. Join LeoVegas’ award-wining Affiliate Program of

the Year 2016: www.leovegasaffiliates.com

Michael Rasmussen

Head of Acquisition

With more than 10 years of industry experience Michael

Rasmussen was handed the task of setting up the official

affiliate program at Marathonbet.

Prior to working at the international bookmaker, Michael

previously worked with other industry leaders such as

Bet365, Unibet and Ladbrokes, before creating one of the

biggest Danish football websites in the form of Footy.dk.

www.panbet.com

0195


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Giorgos Papadopoulos

Head of Acquisition

Marsbet is one of the leading online gaming company that

operates worldwide. We insist on open, honest and fair

relationships with each other, our customers and business

partners. We believe this is the only way to do our business

and make gambling enjoyable.

Our mission is to create innovative, technologically advanced

gaming concepts of top quality that pervade as many different

environments as possible, bringing numerous physical and

cognitive benefits to their users while they are having fun.

www.marsbet.com

Peter Hunt

Head of Sales & Marketing

Money+Card, pronounced as “Money Plus Card”, offer new

era branchless financial services as a Payment Institution.

The Payment Institution is based in the dynamic country of

Malta and seated in the capital city of Valletta. The Malta

Financial Services Authority (MFSA) regulates the Payment

Institution. Since July 2016, Money+Card became a MasterCard

Principal Member. The addition of the MasterCard relationship

completes the circle of transacting payments providing

payment cards for account clients. Indeed, it defines the brand,

“Money+Card”

www.moneypluscard.com

Andreas Lilja

Operations Manager

Matching Visions is one of the fastest growing affiliate

networks in the industry and is offering its affiliates a long

string of high-value CPA and REV share deals with some of the

best performing operators in the industry. Matching Visions

also offers affiliates simplicity and security. Simplicity in the

sense that affiliates will be able to promote a wide variety of

gaming operators and receive only one summarised payment

per month, directly from Matching Visions. Security in the

sense that Matching Visions, through its large volume, has a

large influence with operators, ensuring that affiliates get the

best treatment and value available. www.matchingvisions.com

Patryk Klimer

Head Of Affiliates

Mr Green, voted ‘Online Casino of the Year’ for 3 years running

and ‘Mobile Operator of the Year 2016’. We’re proud to say that

the gentleman Casino is the fastest growing Casino online. A

fair but fun approach to Casino entertainment is proving hugely

popular with players and with growing markets alike. Hosting

multiple game providers and unique promotions, you too can

get your slice of the Mr Green pie today thanks to Mr Affiliate,

the official affiliate program for Mr Green.com and your No. 1

partner for success.

www.mrgreen.com

Karl Dukes

Sales & Marketing Director

Mediahut is the leading supplier of specialist direct mail

(physical mail) to the gaming industry. From initial acquisition

and throughout the player lifecycle, we can print and

personalise anything that drops through a letterbox.

www.mediahut.co.uk

Enrico Bradamante

Head of European Market Operations

NetEnt is a leading digital entertainment company, providing

premium gaming solutions to the world’s most successful

online casino operators. Since its inception in 1996, NetEnt has

been a true pioneer in driving the market with thrilling games

powered by their cutting-edge platform. With innovation at its

core, NetEnt is committed to helping customers stay ahead

of the competition. NetEnt AB is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm

(NET-B), employs 750 people and has offices in Stockholm,

Malta, Kiev, Gothenburg, New Jersey, Krakow and Gibraltar.

www.netent.com

Malcolm Briffa

Director of Business Services

Melita owns and operates Malta’s largest data centre. The

purpose-built facility is fully perimeter-fenced and built to Tier 3

specifications. With more than 20 years’ experience as Malta’s

leading telecommunications provider, melita peers directly with

Tier 1 carriers Level 3 Communications and TeliaSonera.

www.melita.com

Igor Samardziski

CEO

Nexus Gaming Intelligence is a software company that

specializes in the design and development of premium modular

iGaming solutions. Notoriously pioneering and inventive, our

systems are considered to routinely set the industry standard

for modular back office casino solutions in terms of player

management, functionality and cost efficiency. We also provide

whitelabel solutions, payment options, dynamic segmentation

modules, incomparable game management, managed

acquisition as well as hands-on consultancy, fully customizable

to suit your particular requirements.

www.nexuslink.com

0197


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Xenophon Giannis

Vice President, Sales

Nexusguard is the global leader in DDoS mitigation, protecting

clients against a multitude of threats to ensure uninterrupted

internet service. Nexusguard provides highly customized

solutions for customers of all sizes, and also enables turnkey

anti-DDoS solutions for service providers. Headquartered

in San Francisco, Nexusguard’s network of security experts

extends globally.

www.nexusguard.com

Emmanuel De Giovanni

Director

Office Space Solutions in Malta Made Easy. Top notch

assistance when scouting for an office space in Malta.

Providing a complete list of offices available on the local

market and leading the market through experience. This team

will definitely get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Contact us now to find an office solution that fits your size and

budget.

www.officeinmalta.com

Niklas Hellberg

Managing Director

Nickes.Com Sports & Concert Trips is a tour operator offering

travel packages to sporting events. Since 1997, we have

arranged packages to all major football leagues/tournaments

around the world, Formula 1, Tennis and much more.

Packages included event tickets and accommodation. Plus

flights, local transports, events before/after the game if

required.

www.nickes.com

Veiko Krünberg

Managing Director

OlyBet is freshly established online operations of the Olympic

Casino brand. OlyBet’s Casino Suit includes Playtech, NetEnt,

Microgaming, WMS, Novomatic, Evolution and other games,

whereas poker enthusiasts are served over MPN network. New

players are welcomed with competitive bonus and retained

by bespoke loyalty program which runs in parallel with our

landbased establishments - Olympic Casinos.

Olympic Entertainment Group operates more than 100 casinos

in Europe and employs over 3000 people in 8 countries.

www.olybet.com www.olympic-casino.com

Julian Borg-Barthet

Business Development Manager

As a market leading compliance testing and auditing laboratory

in the fields of gaming and IT security NMi is committed to

maintaining accreditations in all regulated jurisdictions. With

over 40 years of experience in the gaming industry NMi

offer an established infrastructure in regulated jurisdictions

worldwide with labs in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands,

Italy and Canada.

www.nmi-gaming.com

Valéry Bollier

CEO

OulalaGames launched in August 2013 the most innovative

Daily Fantasy football game, called Oulala (www.oulala.com).

Built with Big Data, Oulala is the first and only skill game of the

sector. Oulala is now available for our B2B partners (plug and

play white label solution or API for the iGaming sector).

www.oulala.com

Emmanuel Bonnici

Director

Bookmakers offer thousands of pre-match and on worldwide

events. The collection and updating of such data requires

countless resources and substantial financial investment. Odds

and More simplifies your daily work. Our betting solution allows

bookmakers to externalise labour intensive tasks by providing

all that is needed for creating, managing and closing a vast.

Odds and More can be tailored for all types of businesses.

By choosing us as your data provider you have guaranteed

your business with continuous updates to keep your gaming

business in the technological and market-lead!

www.oddsandmore.com

Udo Mueller

CEO

paysafecard, a global market leader in online prepaid

payment methods, is available in 43 countries at over 500,000

sales outlets and can be used in thousands of online shops

worldwide.

By using a 16-digit paysafecard PIN, customers can pay simply

and safely; neither a bank account nor a credit card is needed.

There are many great reasons to become a sales partner!

www.paysafecard.com/business

0199


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Anthony Hennessy

Managing Consultant

Pentasia is an award-winning, world leader in iGaming

Recruitment. It has been providing clients in Malta with

permanent, contact and search services for over 15 years.

Through the collective reach of its team of specialist recruiters

in Malta and 5 other countries, Pentasia connects clients to the

best in local and overseas talent.

www.pentasia.com/malta

Yossi Barzely

Head of Sales & Business Development

Pragmatic Play is one of the fastest growing online casino

game providers worldwide, offering operators a unique

and innovative in-house library, with an unparalleled player

experience that is second-to-none.

Our portfolio of 150 slots and table games is designed to

create a thrilling gaming experience, driven by passion,

excitement and skills.

www.pragmaticplay.com

Johan Törnqvist

Group CEO

Play’n GO is the leading developer of smart systems and

games for mobile devices, terminals and websites. In addition

to premium quality slots and table games, Play’n GO ensures

its clients are equipped with superior back-office administration

for reporting and unique marketing tools. Their Gaming

Account Toolkit (GAT) is an independent e-gaming platform

delivered with a comprehensive back office application. It now

hosts over 100 games in more than 40 languages, including

several bespoke games designed for some of the world’s

leading casino brands.

www.playngo.com

Sami Kurvinen

Brand Manager

Premier Live Casino is a brand new casino that opened its

doors in June 2016. We aim at offering our players a Live

Casino experience from the comfort of your home combined

with the best and latest slots games online. With a modern

design and very user-friendly site, we see that there is still a lot

of possibility to grow in this competitive market.

www.premierlivecasino.com

Magdalena Jakobsson

Head of Affiliates

PlainPartners is a premium affiliate program established in

2011. Originally focused solely on promoting Vera&John.

com, the program now also encompasses the premium

brands InterCasino.com, jackpotjoy.se and FinlandiaCasino.

com. Prompt payments, generous commission structures and

serving first-class products all count towards PlainPartners’

ongoing success. Markets successfully served include Nordics,

the Netherlands, UK, Germany, Brazil and Japan.

www.plainpartners.com

Danny Trieger

Affiliate Program Manager

Comprising top gaming brands, Prime Partners has the

experience and know-how to be the most profitable affiliate

program you’ll ever use. Become a Prime Partner and let

us impress you! We have a dedicated team of international

marketing, analysis and affiliate experts ready to work with

you. Plus, to make things extra easy, we take care of your

marketing, advertising, accounting and analysis infrastructure.

www.primepartners.com

Jason Prasad

Head of Affiliates

Pokerstars Partners is the affiliate program that supports

Amaya Inc. brands, including the world’s largest poker

site, PokerStars. Amaya brands have recently launched 2

new verticals; Betstars which currently host 28 Sports in 12

languages and online casino through PokerStars Casino, which

offers slots, table games, video poker and live dealer games,

both proprietary and from industry third-party suppliers.

PokerStars Partners is managed by a group of seasoned

affiliate specialists who bring value and growth to any type of

affiliate. www.pokerstarspartners.com

Vasilis Zertalis

Director

Prospectacy Limited comprises a group of companies with a

team of expert professionals serving clientele with international

business, corporate and legal consultancy services. Our distinct

areas of expertise are iGaming, Business Consultancy, IP ad

Domain Protection. Prospectacy offers a High Street firm level

of service and performance without the associated bureaucracy

and price tag.

www.prospectacy.com

0201


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Peter Bugeja

General Manager

PTL delivers tangible and measurable business value through

the implementation of IT Business Solutions. PTL Services and

Business Solutions cut across many sectors with specialisation

in Banking, Retail, Hospitality and Health including

Infrastructure and Managed Services. With main offices in

Malta, PTL has also delivered solutions in North Africa and the

Middle East through its channel partners.

www.ptl.com.mt

Silvio Schembri

Chairman

The Responsible Gaming Foundation supports good

governance, awareness initiatives and enactment of

regulations in order to protect vulnerable people in the gaming

sector. The purpose of the Foundation is to collect funds for

the promotion of responsible gaming through preventative

and support measures. Hon. Silvio Schembri is currently the

chairman of the Foundation.

www.rgf.org.mt

Ahmet Celebi

Affiliate Director

QueenVegas Casino was established in 2011 in Malta. Apart

from Malta, the casino holds licenses from Denmark, Germany

and UK. QueenVegas simple but user-friendly platform is

available in 20 languages and offers 9 different currencies. The

casino offers free spins with no wagering requirements and

boasts the same day cashouts available 7 days a week.

www.caspo.one

Dr. Hans Wolfram Kessler

CEO

RGOAL LTD. developed a new approach to self-exclusions.

Having identified gambling addiction as one of the

fundamental challenges for the industry, RGOAL created the

first independent, Pan-European, a multi-operator database for

voluntary self-exclusions, which is open to multiple gambling

products.

www.rgoal.org

Enrico Piccinini

Senior Engineer

Quinel is an ISO 17020/25 independent testing lab, providing

certification services for gaming. The company is located in Ta’

Xbiex and operates in regulated markets in the EU, Asia and

America.

www.quinel.com.mt

Gavin Mills

Global Sales Director

Safenames is a leading global domain name registration

company that specialises in corporate domain portfolio

management and online trademark infringement protection

services.

Our comprehensive suite of customisable web based products

and services, along with our expert sales and customer support

teams, empower your legal, operations and/or marketing

departments to efficiently manage and protect your domain

names, trademarks and online brand identity.

www.safenames.net

Michael Holm

Affiliate Director

The poker software on Redbet.com is powered by Ongame

Network Limited. Ongame Network Limited has been Licensed

by the Government of Gibraltar and regulated by the Gibraltar

Gambling Commissioner. Third party gaming operators

approved by Ongame Network may operate under this license.

Redbet Gaming Ltd and thereby Redbet.com is an approved

platform subscriber for poker. The live casino software provider

Evolution Gaming is certified by the Alderney Gambling Control

Commission. Betsoft Gaming Ltd are subject to the Alderney

Gambling Control Commission and are hence not under the

supervision of MGA. www.redbet.com

Richard Carter

CEO

Established in 2007, SBTech is a leading provider of interactive

sports betting solutions and services and have become a

global market leader within the online gaming industry in

both regulated and traditional markets. The complete offering

includes an innovative, dynamic and customizable suite of

turnkey and fully managed solutions specifically designed for

top gaming operators, existing bookmakers and land-based

networks.

www.sbtech.com

0203


ISSUE 5 FALL / WINTER 2016

Who’s Who | SiGMA

Peter Boström

Director Global Sales & Markets

SEQR offers the gaming industry a simplified customer

acquisition process combined with instant top up and

withdrawal from customers’ gaming accounts, the highest

level of KYC and the lowest transaction fees on the market.

Launched in 2012, SEQR handles all kinds of payments from

retail to e-commerce while creating new sales channels. SEQR

is active in 12 markets and powered by Seamless Payments

(Nasdaq OMX).

www.seqr.com

Kasper Kau

CEO

Through innovation and ingenuity, Spigo lead the way in

developing both customised, branded slots and casual games

for the casino industry. Our unique products allow operators

to stay ahead of the pack and capitalise on the ever growing

casual gaming sector, creating a cross over where casual

meets casino.

Easy to integrate and HTML5 based, our portfolio includes

casual games as well as bespoke slots games, where we

work with clients to create a game tailored to localisation or

branding needs. www.spigo.com

Michael Golembo

Sales Director

SkillOnNet provides the best value entertainment of the

highest quality for casino players and the most state of the art

flexible, customisable and user-friendly online gaming platform

for their B2B Clients and Partners.

With a decade of front-line online gaming experience

SkillOnNet has a fully customisable turn-key solution for your

online gaming needs. Powering over 21 successful Online

casinos come and find out how their ‘Winning Formula’

software solution can work for you!

www.skillonnet.com

Dr. Andreas Blaue

Head of Legal Department and Director Entertainment

Sport1 is the only free TV and pay TV based 24/7 Sports

channel in the german speaking market reaching more than 24

Mio viewers per month and nearly 8 Mio digital unique users

with the platform sport1.de/sport1 mobile. Sport1 is offering

attractive sports content through various channels LIVE, talks,

previews and reports, having the main rights of the UEFA

Europa League and several rights of the Bundesliga. It is the

first mover in advertising Poker, Betting, Casino and Lotto and

therefore Sport1 is the perfect entry into the german gambling

market.

www.sport1media.de

Alex Tomic

Co-Founder

SlotsMillion, owned by ALEA, is the world’s first real-money

virtual reality casino.

SlotsMillion VR is fully functional, Oculus-ready, futuristic

and features existing games from developers like NextGen,

Microgaming and NetEnt.

Nominated for several innovation awards, SlotsMillion VR

ramps up players’ engagement levels and creates exciting new

social aspects.

www.slotsmillion.com

Felix Sandberg

Head of Affiliates

Staybet has been rapidly growing since launch in 2015,

Staybet offers a wide selection of casino games togheter

With sportsbook and live casino, Focusing on giving our

players the absolute best gaming experience. We offer a

transparent cooperation with our affiliates with taylor made

deals of up to 50% revenue share.