Soft2bet, the casino and sportsbook platform, will be in celebratory mood when the industry gathers at the forthcoming iGB Live!/iGB Affiliate Amsterdam (28 September – 1 October). Not only is the brand the show’s biggest exhibitor and sponsor, but it will also be marking its’ 5th anniversary – a landmark that’s seen it grow exponentially, expanding from just a couple of employees to its’ current headcount of 700 industry professionals. The company’s PR Director, Hazma Afifi, provides his thoughts on what to look out for in Amsterdam.
What are you looking to achieve from your presence at iGB Live!/iGB Affiliate Amsterdam – what are your key objectives?
HA: “Attending iGB Live!/iGB Affiliate Amsterdam will allow us to network, build professional contacts, and strengthen the connections we already have. Moreover, we are very excited about the event as we know it holds its niche in finding interesting subjects and attracting key industry thought leaders. In addition, we are looking to share the knowledge and the company’s achievements with other professionals to positively affect the iGaming industry. We have chosen to take the stage at iGB Live!/iGB Affiliate Amsterdam to connect with more qualified industry decision-makers and have an immediate interaction with the customers. Of course, that would enable us to establish and deepen those relationships, as well as allow us to interact with other peers and establish exciting new partnerships.”
What do you think the major industry talking points/trends will be at show?
HA: “Over time, the iGaming industry has revealed many revolutions and these reforms go on and have evolved to introduce some technological advances as well. I believe the key topics will revolve around cryptocurrencies in the iGaming world, regulatory regimes, changing consumer habits, virtual reality casino games, and I’m confident there will be many more talking points – which is an important part of why people attend live events.”
It’s the company’s 5th birthday this month: how will you be celebrating the landmark and what have been the highlights of the last five years?
HA: “In celebration of Soft2Bet’s 5th anniversary, we threw a marvellous party for all of our employees that included international and local artists. In addition, we have prepared team-building activities to help bond with each other and also have a great time. The past five years were beneficial for establishing a number of unique brands and delivering a more enjoyable experience for customers. Over the last five years Soft2Bet has expanded and developed from having just a couple of employees to over 700 industry professionals, which I regard as being our biggest single accomplishment.”
What’s unique about the services that you offer?
HA: “Soft2Bet’s multi-brand line-up comprises ten unique casinos and sportsbook projects, with new brands, games, and functionality integrated monthly. We offer thousands of casino games from both industry-leading casino providers as well as smaller developers. Soft2Bet builds its casino platforms utilizing the most advanced and most reliable technologies. Moreover, we invest all the necessary resources to produce everything in-house and deliver ready-to-use completely licensed brands that target customers across a range of regulated markets. When it comes to our brands, the design and layout are crucial because they affect how our audience perceives the project. We pay a lot of attention to functionality, loading speed, and sharp graphics. In addition, Soft2Bet makes sure to add gamification elements to the brands to further engage users by allowing them to play games within games.”
What impact has Covid-19 and the restrictions imposed on populations throughout the world had on your business? Has Covid led to more people playing online?
HA: “Lockdown has impacted the iGaming world in many jurisdictions and we have seen a climb in the growth of visitors to our casino and sportsbook websites. The pandemic has caused a fundamental change in the way the conventional gambling industry used to work. Of course, this has influenced the gambling behaviour of players, so Soft2Bet takes special care when onboarding brand-new clients and makes sure to take steps to permanently strengthen and promote a safe gambling environment.”
To run a successful online casino business how important is it to find the right partner?
HA: “Choosing the right partner is extremely important. It strengthens our record of knowledge, proficiency, and resources available to create more solid products and reach a vaster audience. When we put all of these together, accompanying the 360-degree evaluation, the business can skyrocket. The right business partnership means reinforcing the overall ideology of the entire company.”
Betsson Group Affiliates to sponsor AffPapa iGaming Awards
Betsson Group Affiliates has made it to the list of the AffPapa iGaming Awards as a Silver Sponsor.
The partnership continues a close collaboration between AffPapa and the iGaming operator, after they renewed their year-long contract at the beginning of this year. The operator has closed several deals through AffPapa, and the workflow has been really seamless.
Shakyra Johnsson, Senior Affiliate Operations Manager at BGA, commented:
“Betsson Group Affiliates has been working closely with Affpapa since 2020 and we are very satisfied with the results of this partnership. As an operator and affiliate programme that is constantly striving for excellence, we are extremely proud to be sponsoring this year’s AffPapa iGaming Awards and wish all nominees the best of luck!”
The first-ever AffPapa iGaming Awards will soon mark its debut with the voting process starting on May 23rd. Numerous prominent brands have joined AffPapa in honoring the industry’s top performers and showcasing their brand to as many potential clients and partners as possible.
Yeva Avagyan, Head of Commercials at AffPapa, stated:
“We’re looking forward to continuing our close working relationship with the BGA team and building on what we’ve already established. Betsson Group Affiliates’ decision to work with us again reflects AffPapa’s continued efforts and the value it delivers to its partners. We’re pleased that our first Awards received such an excellent reaction, and that so many amazing brands, such as BGA, have joined us.”
The Awards will be followed by an exclusive event – iGaming Club – on July 5th in Amsterdam, with plenty of networking opportunities.
How important are partnerships in iGaming?
Many industries have been driven by rivalries as every company is striving for the best – but it’s not always the best long term solution. Partnerships are incredibly important and provide businesses with a way to evolve and expand their customer base.
It’s becoming increasingly common for companies within the iGaming industry to partner up for mutually beneficial agreements. Only recently, Push Gaming and Scientific Games signed a major deal to form a partnership. While on the one hand, these two companies are competitors fighting for the players’ attention but they saw the potential long-term success of the collaboration.
A good partnership can completely elevate a business to the next level which is why it’s so important within the iGaming industry. Despite being an industry that’s fiercely competitive, partnerships can be advantageous for all parties involved – if it’s done well.
Partnerships can improve the player’s experience
Within the past few years, there has been a multitude of partnerships among slot developers. Many independent game studios have gained much-needed exposure from partnerships with big names such as Yggdrasil, Relax Gaming and Microgaming due to their specialist platforms.
On the surface, these platforms seem to mainly boost the smaller studios, when in reality it’s a mutually beneficial relationship. Giving independent developers access to better tools and authoritative expertise improves the reputation of the bigger studio that is providing them with the support.
The established developers host smaller ones on their platforms often under the bigger name. Therefore, casinos that host the larger developers potentially get the smaller studio as well which vastly improves the player’s experience and overall opinion of the developer.
A key example would be Yggdrasil’s YGS Masters programme which is an invite-only platform that features studios such as Peter & Sons, Reflex Gaming and True Lab Games. The casinos that have previously partnered with Yggdrasil have the potential to host the games created through the YGS Masters programme, which improves the selection of games at the player’s disposal.
Ultimately, the most important factor is the player’s experience and enjoyment which is easily improved by partnerships like these.
Affiliates partnering with developers is mutually beneficial
Partnerships come in all shapes and sizes but they can be extremely valuable to all parties involved. It’s not just developers within the iGaming world collaborating together but also affiliates working alongside the developers as well.
One of the leading sources of independent online slot reviews, Slot Gods, have partnered with over ten different developers within the last six months. These partnerships have included the previously mentioned Push Gaming and Scientific Games along with other big names such as Relax Gaming and Playtech.
Fundamentally, partnerships like these allow developers to build excitement for upcoming slot releases or to give an insight into the ethos of their studio through interviews. Affiliate sites like Slot Gods are given exclusives through content, whilst the studios gain exposure for their products. It’s essentially a form of free marketing that is beneficial to everyone involved with no real cost.
Takeovers can be advantageous to the iGaming industry
Whilst good partnerships are useful and instrumental to success, takeovers can also be worthwhile within the iGaming industry. One of the biggest takeovers includes Evolution Gaming’s acquisition of NetEnt for 2 billion dollars in 2020.
This collaboration led to the creation of the popular Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt. Essentially, this combined the fan-favourite Gonzo’s Quest with the popular live casino game format from Evolution to make a product that’s unique and fresh for players.
Acquisitions like this have the potential to improve the general industry with innovations like Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt that combine online slots with the interactive live casino experience. Future innovations like this lead to positive repercussions for the rest of the iGaming industry.
Networking is always key
Both partnerships and takeovers can boost the industry but exchanging information through networking is important as well. At its core, networking is the process of sharing knowledge with people or organisations that are in the same field.
Of course, exclusive secrets or non-disclosure agreements (NDA) should not be shared but insights into important changes (such as laws) or software are worthwhile in improving the general industry. For example, distributing private information under an NDA is disrespectful and potentially damaging to all involved, but enlightening another affiliate with an upcoming law change is helpful for all in the long run.
Networking events like IGB Affiliate can even lead to partnerships or at least guide people within the iGaming industry in the right direction. Naturally, some may want to keep all the information to themselves, but it works out better in the industry long-term if people network to constantly share and improve upon ideas.
It’s clear to see that partnerships are a valuable asset in iGaming that should not be taken lightly. They are incredibly important in promoting products, exchanging knowledge and improving the player’s overall experience.
Even traditional media sites such as The Telegraph see the value in partnering within the iGaming world as they gain all their in-depth reviews, guides and tips about iGaming from affiliate BettingExpert.
The biggest question that remains is this: Will affiliates within iGaming ever work together to see the merit in partnerships? Experts within bingo could work with specialists in the live casino game sector to exchange valuable knowledge. No single person can become an expert on everything, so it’s helpful to get an adept person within this field to fill in the gaps.
Whether affiliates will work together in the future remains to be seen, but it could revolutionise the entirety of the iGaming industry.
Current Situation on US Gambling Law
According to the American Gaming Association, the United States gambling industry is worth some $240 billion. That’s more than double the value of the entire US film industry.
However, despite its size and popularity, it’s still illegal to bet on sports in almost all 50 states. Only three states — Nevada, Delaware, and Montana — are legalizing sports betting. New Jersey is allowing bets on single games through a court ruling.
In this article, we will look at what you can expect if you want to wager on your favorite sport in different states.
In terms of legal gambling in Ohio, the state has an extensive history with horse racing and casinos. There are currently five racetracks in the state which offer various betting options. The most popular form of wager is pari-mutuel betting, where you can bet on certain horses or the race. You can also place wagers on greyhound races at one of the tracks in Ohio.
The most popular form of casino gambling in Ohio is slot machines available at riverboat casinos across the state and at three racetracks that offer slot machines. Several Native American casinos operate within the state’s borders.
The state of Maryland is one of the most regulated states in the U.S. Therefore, it is no surprise that there are stringent laws regarding gambling. Maryland has some of the most restrictive laws regarding gambling in the country.
The state has a long history of gambling, and it is still considered one of the top gambling destinations in the entire country. Moreover, the state continues working hard to develop its casino industry. This is by creating new legislation on how casinos can operate and what types of games they can offer their customers.
Maryland has many types of laws that deal with all aspects of gambling. This includes licensing requirements, taxation rules, and other regulations. These affect every aspect of online gambling.
The state of Arizona is one of the few states that does not have any laws against gambling. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. The state does have laws against certain types of games, including bingo and raffles. Bingo is like any game in which cards are sold by chance. This is at a price greater than the cost of the card.
In other words, if you buy a $1 card and win $50, you can be arrested for running an illegal bingo game. Raffles are also illegal in Arizona if they are conducted by someone not registered with the state to do so.
The exception to this law is that if you are running a non-profit organization like a church or community group, you can conduct raffles without being registered with the state first.
The state of online gambling in the US continues to ramble on. However, different states are making significant strides to legalize it for US gambling sites. The current situation is that the gambling laws vary from state to state.
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