Category: Bede Latest

Last 24 months sees ‘Best Place to Work’ business grow from 80 to 220 employees and secure biggest commercial deal to-date with one of the world’s largest lottery groups

Bede Gaming, the award-winning supplier of software to the online gaming industry, is celebrating seven years of stellar growth and success since emerging in 2012.

Launched by three co-founders in Newcastle, the business has stayed true to its roots, hiring the North East region’s top technology talent and planning to welcome its 250th employee by the end of this year. From its modest beginnings Bede Gaming’s success has skyrocketed, particularly in the last two years, with the business securing major contracts including its biggest commercial agreement to date with the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation (OLG). As a result, its personnel has climbed sharply by more than 60% from 80 in 2017 to 220 in 2019, and it won two Best Place to Work awards in 2019, at the International Gaming Awards and Women in Gaming & Diversity Awards in January and May this year, respectively.

The company is today recognised as the first-choice supplier of world-class omni-channel platform and software solutions to the global online gambling and lottery industries.

In just seven years Bede has launched and signed major platform partnership deals with some of the industry’s most innovative, forward-thinking gaming and lottery operators including the Rank Group in the UK, Enracha in Spain, major online brand LeoVegas, South Africa’s Sun International and OLG, one of the world’s largest lotteries, to name just a few.

Its technical expertise is significant with the Bede platform regarded as one of the most advanced in the gaming and lottery industries. Innovations including cutting-edge campaign management tools with real-time analytics, supporting bonusing across multiple gaming content verticals and alerting users if their accounts have been compromised which are leading the way in both driving its partner’s revenues and their security measures ensuring Bede is the safest place to play.

Since its launch, Bede has become well-known for its rapid customer integrations, bringing partners to new markets effectively, and offering the most comprehensive range of superior casino and sportsbook content.

Today it offers its platform partners a vast selection of more than 3,000 games from over 100 of the world’s best providers. Bede offers best-performing titles from the industry’s game provider powerhouses including IGT, Scientific Games, Novomatic, NetEnt, Evolution, Microgaming, Red Tiger and Playtech. Bede clients also have access to two of the most innovative sportsbook solutions with the option of SBTech or Kambi.

Last year was a record year for Bede with the number of integrations undertaken up 30% compared to 2017, monthly players across its platform up by more than 15% to 232k despite regulatory headwinds in markets such as the UK, and stakes rising to a massive £3.7 billion.

Its achievements during its seven years have been driven by its talented team. This expertise runs across all departments from commercial and finance to security and software development – many of whom have been with the business since inception – as well as driving forces such as former Product Director and new EVP of Bede Canada Sarah Hitchcock, who played an integral role in the OLG selection process, and Alex Butcher, former Bede CTO and now Managing Director since June last year.

Alex Butcher, Managing Director, Bede Gaming, said: “We have achieved a huge amount in such a short space of time and all in the right way, developing a strong and inclusive culture packed full of supremely talented individuals, many of whom have been with us since we started this journey.

“We have a huge amount to be proud of and a huge amount to celebrate and I’m very grateful to every member of the team, past and present, that has worked so hard to get us to the point where we are now. Our clients continue to enjoy digital growth and we look forward to helping many others in the future.”

Bede Gaming, the award-winning supplier of software to the online gaming industry, has had its commitment to diversity and wellbeing recognised with six nominations at this year’s Women in Gaming Diversity Awards 2019.

Bede is a finalist in the ‘Best Place to Work’ and ‘Employee Wellbeing’ categories, underlining its commitment to delivering a truly open and supportive environment for its employees.

Four members of the Bede Gaming team were also nominated in individual categories:

  • Leader of the Year – Sarah Hitchcock, Product Director
  • Young Leader of the Year – Eileen Wood, People Specialist
  • Innovator of the Year – Holly Roberts, Head of Delivery
  • Star of the Future – Chelsea Dryden, QA Automation Engineer

Having been named in Gaming Intelligence’s annual Hot 50, a list of the industry’s most influential executives, Sarah Hitchcock also played an integral role in Bede’s selection as the new digital partner of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation in 2018.  Bede’s biggest commercial deal to date.

The nominations come hot on the heels of Bede’s victory in the “Great Place to Work – Supplier” category at the International Gaming Awards 2019.

Alex Butcher, Managing Director, Bede Gaming, said: “We’ve worked hard to establish Bede as an inclusive employer, and have managed to attract some of the most talented experts in the industry. Putting people at the heart of what we do is fundamental to the ethos of the company. Our goal has always been to create a balance of challenge and support for our staff, whilst ensuring Bede is a fun place to work.

“It is fantastic that so many members of our team have been recognised with well-deserved nominations at this year’s Women in Gaming Diversity Awards, and we wish them the best of luck on the night.”

Bede Chairman, Joe Saumarez Smith, talks to SBC News ahead of Betting on Football about legalising sports betting in India.

With India on the brink of legalising sports betting, and a number of other countries around the world also mulling the idea, this year’s Betting on Football will be hosting a track focused upon the Global Markets that are considering liberalisation as well as looking at those that have legalised recently.

One of the panel discussions on the track that will take place is ‘India – On the cusp of regulation?’ where some of the expert speakers will be discussing the challenges that India may face, and the changing attitudes of legislators.

Among the panellists is Joe Saumerez Smith, Chairman at Bede Gaming, who spoke to SBC about how he believes that the liberalisation of the Indian market will largely be driven by Cricket, but the growing football and tennis markets may play a role in engaging with newer audiences.

SBC: Are attitudes changing in India with regards to sports betting legalisation?

Joe Saumarez Smith: Among the more enlightened politicians and sports administrators in India there is tacit acceptance that legalising and taxing sports betting is the only way forward. There is such a huge level of illegal sports betting within India and as we are seeing in Sri Lanka, match fixing and spot fixing is far more likely to happen in a market where gambling is not regulated.

However there aren’t many votes to be had in licensing sports betting and that is where the problem lies…

Read the rest of the article here:

https://www.sbcnews.co.uk/features/interviews/2019/03/06/joe-saumerez-smith-bede-gaming-legalising-and-taxing-sports-betting-is-the-only-way-forward-for-india/?mc_cid=e4e6160abf&mc_eid=7d124ef599

The Sum of Our Parts

It’s no secret that 2018 was one of the best years yet for Bede and there’s no way it could’ve happened without the wonderful people who make up our workforce.

So we thought we’d take the opportunity to look back at 2018 and give you a snapshot into our makeup and what the everyday world of staff at Bede looks like.

A Sneaky Peek into Bede 2018

We Give Up Our Time

As a general rule, Beders like to give back. Whether it be mentoring students, championing tech or teaching skills, our people give up a lot of their time to things that are important to them. So as a company we like to make sure our staff are given the right environment to be themselves and enjoy what they do, whether that’s working hard or playing hard.

Last year, as well as hosting three hackathons, two awesome parties and numerous socials, we also made sure we supported an array of local charities and causes close to our hearts. We help young athletes work towards their dreams of being world champions through Sport Newcastle and over the course of the year we raised over £3000 from our tuck shop sales, and our seasonal initiatives such as St Paddy’s Day, Easter, Back 2 School and Christmas fun saw us add a whopping £2500 to that total.

None of this could have happened without our staff giving up their time and knowledge so a big thank you to all at Bede for eating cakes, quizzing and supporting these fantastic causes.

We Love To Eat

It seems without our snacks we might not be where we are today… over the course of the year, over both offices we’ve been fuelled by:

  • 6,700 bananas
  • 3,500 apples
  • 5,600 pints of milk
  • 30,000 tea bags
  • 175 kg of coffee beans

We Love Our Stash

  • 700 Bede Stickers
  • 600 Rubber Ducks
  • 125 Backpacks
  • 183 Water bottles
  • 453 T-shirts

We Love Bede

  • 50% of 81 hires from direct applications
  • 3 offices and 11 nationalities
  • 70 different technologies.
  • 95% recommendation rating on Glassdoor

And if you’re not based in one of our offices then you certainly won’t miss out. To make sure remote workers know that out of sight certainly doesn’t mean out of mind, they receive a monthly care package – filled with seasonal treats, swag and beer!

Not ones to rest on our laurels, we have a lot things planned in 2019 for all Beders to enjoy so keep your eyes peeled – new year, new opportunities!

So, 2019, what else is in store?

Bede Lotto

We’re refurbing our peer-to-peer recognition reward scheme! This year we’re introducing the Bede Lotto. Same principle to our previous reward practices but new drawing system. Each month, employees are nominated by their peers for going above and beyond, and entered into our lottery, giving them the chance to win some huge prizes. The rewards for excellent work and extreme efforts range from top of the range headphones to holiday vouchers to Bede socks (yes, they exist!)

Benefits

New year, new you? As well as top quality hardware devices for work, we also have some great health and wellbeing benefits at Bede, for all to take advantage of.

There are a fantastic range of socials to look forward to, from the theatre, to escape rooms to Halloween fright paths and even Bongo’s Bingo. We’ll also be keeping you fuelled with snacks throughout the working day and even throw in a free lunch every now and again!

Our flexible working policy ensures we are supporting you to perform at your best, whether you’re working from home or a desert island! And with our expanding list of international clients and offices, there are opportunities to travel to Bulgaria, Canada, Spain, South Africa and beyond!

Health & Wellbeing

Our focus on health & wellbeing remains paramount at Bede, and we’re continuously cultivating an open and supportive environment. In the last year, we’ve put a real focus on gambling awareness, not just for our industry, but also for the welfare of our staff – our workforce is made up by a majority of 18-35 year olds (74%), the highest risk group for problem gambling so it’s important to us to ensure all staff can work safely and know the signs, as well as who to talk to, should they need to.

Problem gambling and mental health are intrinsically linked so we also continue to develop a really open, supportive and understanding culture regarding Mental Health. Providing training for all our staff to better equip them on recognising signs of problems, and creating a health and wellbeing committee to cultivate collaboration on initiatives. It’s become a key part of our culture at Bede, not just an HR initiative, all managers take part in mental health training and actively normalise it throughout their teams. It’s a collaborative effort from all of us.

All our staff are provided with private healthcare, which can be extended to family members. We also offer discounted gym memberships and in-house sports teams (which get highly competitive!)

The BU Programme

You’ll be hearing a lot more about our new initiative, the BU Programme, over the next few months. This exciting concept encapsulates all of our opportunities for young people and career switchers. Launched on 24th January, the BU programme offers bespoke and diverse opportunities for those with the drive and determination to succeed at any stage of their career – keep your eyes peeled!

Industry Awards

To top it off, we’re thrilled to have won the ‘Best Place to Work Award’ at the International Gaming Awards in February. This is a fantastic achievement for us as both as an employer and as staff members, who all take responsibility for making Bede a great place to work.

We hope you’ll join us this year as we continue to work towards an even better 2019! Keep in touch.

With ICE over and the year turning into a gallop we take the opportunity to look back at 2018. Staying true to our values, we’re opening up Bede and sharing our findings – from the highs and lows, to the lessons learned and changes made – and what it all means for Bede in 2019.

Partnerships, Progression and Production

The three Ps for Bede in 2018 meant we were focused on collaboration and innovation. A shift in leadership saw our former CTO take the helm, with co-founders Michael Brady and Dan Smyth moving to strategic board positions.  Alex Butcher immediately set about ensuring our technology and security not only remained centre stage but were intrinsic to our success. Under the Butcher era, introspectives and kaizen are being built into staff psyche as we strive towards our mission of becoming the Safest Place to Play.

If innovation is what drives us, it is collaboration that makes things happen. You would be hard pushed to find a project or pitch that hasn’t had input from every department across the business. Some may have had bigger roles to play than others but every contribution is as significant. It is this togetherness that truly makes Bede great – treating everyone as a partner whether that be supplier, client or colleague.

So, how has this focus translated in 2018? What did we achieve and what did we learn?

Commercial highlights this year include:

  • 3 new clients
  • 2 tier one clients, including 1 major world lottery
  • 11 content integrations completed in as many months
  • 1 billion monthly gambling transactions watermark surpassed

And it’s not just the external success we’re celebrating, internally we had significant achievements as well:

  • 80 new hires (50% direct applications)
  • 11 different nationalities!
  • 95% recommendation rate on Glassdoor

Kaizen: Continuous Improvement

The fail fast mantra has long been entrenched in the tech industry.  Striving for openness throughout all our dealings, Bede continue to look for new methods of working and better ways of solving problems. Through the BFFs* we set up last year for direct client feedback and encouraging daily feedback from our colleagues we are opening two-way communication channels, which enable us to update our procedures and processes across the board.

Internally this has led to us facing some home truths, conducting team restructuring and process improvement. It can be hard but it is always worth it.

Start up to scale up to small medium business in a relatively short space of time is always a difficult time for leaders and workers alike. Processes need to be formalised and visibility is more challenging but the hardest part is channelling that startup mentality, which harnesses motivation, innovation and drive into a well oiled machine. Mentality in Bede is strong but the teams have not always been optimised.

Team Fabric: Operations Overhaul

Historically, our operations staff have been part of our Service Delivery team, this meant their time was split between performing BAU platform work, Tier 3 support and project work. While this has previously worked well for us, as we scaled it was identified as a potential roadblock in the long term.

So we took the initiative to create a new department, we call Fabric, which takes responsibility for a wide range of areas of operational excellence, with much focus on installing learnings from the wider industry, particularly around Site Reliability Engineering and DevOps.

If 2017 was the year of scaling and restructuring our development teams then 2018 was the equivalent for Operations.

We now have a defined site reliability roadmap and 3 dedicated teams to execute on it.

Over the course of 2018, Fabric has grown and developed a wide range of processes, knowledge bases and articles to help our Feature Teams autonomously deliver work into production. Fabric also delivered a large amount of strategic project work that will ensure Bede, and our customers, continue to grow into 2019 and beyond in the most efficient manner possible.

Addressing The System

It can be easy in a tech company to fall into the trap of solving the perception of problems but not understanding what the actual problem is, so we did some introspective work.

The outcome was the realisation that where the restructuring of the delivery team brokedown knowledge silos and enabled laser focused resource, it also lacked a system framework.

There was no clearly defined process of how work gets into Bede, how it is prioritised and how it is delivered as an end product.

So in 2018 we set about organising it.  Enter The Bede Machine.

The Bede Machine is the collective noun for the 7 stages of delivery. It allows for planning, managing and monitoring from concept to support and has transformed the production line. Communications and visibility is the key. Work now aligns with strategy and business priorities through the complete process and key stakeholders fully understand expectations, responsibilities, progress and performance at each stage. Seems obvious but these things need to be executed correctly. The machine works.

SLAs, SLIs, SLOs: From An Agreement To An Objective

Every company, no matter what industry, is familiar with SLAs – the contracted minimum service expected, signed and agreed at the time of a deal meaning each party understands what is required. What some are not aware of are SLIs (Service Level Indicators) and SLOs (Service Level Objectives). SLAs are frequently mistaken for SLOs but as previously stated, SLAs are a minimum service level.

On our journey to produce a Platform as a Service, it is important that the service we provide also undergoes an improvement process and that as well as striving for excellence in our products, we also apply the same to our services.

So this year we are bringing SLOs and their SLIs to the forefront. This is a process we will be honing in 2019 and beyond. It will be a key part of business analysis and performance marking.

Be sure to ask about it when you see us next!

Looking to 2019

As we continue our mission to become the safest place to play, there will be further developments to responsible gambling tools and the security of our platform, clients, players and staff.

A big part of our 2019 will be delivering on the Ontario Lottery & Gaming project, which we don’t expect to take more than 50% of our capacity. More quality content partners will be added to the platform, with particular attention to sportsbooks and more talent added to our workforce across our offices, including Canada. We are also looking forward to expanding in Spain, Latam and within the US and Lottery sectors and, of course, working with our current clients to take their digital offerings to new heights as they continue to grow with us.

In 2018 we optimised our engineering teams for velocity, in 2019 we will focus on sustainability with an emphasis on monitoring, performance and security testing, defining SLOs, and striving for excellence across the board and many more adventures!

Why not join us on our epic journey?

You can catch us at most of the big events and awards of the year including,

  • ICE
  • G2E
  • NASPL
  • La Fleurs
  • SIGMA

To name a few – be sure to book a meeting!

Wishing you all a prosperous and educational 2019.

*Bede Feedback Forums – do contact us for more information on those or anything else you have read in this blog today: hello@bedegaming.com

Gaming Intelligence kicked off their 2019 ICE campaign with their annual awards and Hot 50 list announcement and one of our very own was featured. Product Director, Sarah Hitchcock was singled out as one of the top gambling execs in the industry. See below for GI’s write up on the woman behind our products. 

2018 was a transformative year for Bede Gaming, which landed its biggest commercial deal to date with Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.

Bede has always backed itself on its tech, safe in the knowledge its platform is in good hands with product director, Sarah Hitchcock at the helm.

Hitchcock has been instrumental in defining Bede’s product roadmap during her six years at the company – and has been rewarded with Bede’s emergence as a major player in platform provision.

First seen: https://www.gamingintelligence.com/people/51015-the-gaming-intelligence-hot-50-of-2019

Provider named the winner in “Great Place to Work” category

Bede Gaming, the leading supplier of software to the online gaming industry, has won the “Great Place to Work” award at the International Gaming Awards 2019.

The provider’s commitment to delivering an open and collaborative culture, coupled with an unparalleled range of packages and benefits for its employees was recognised by the judging panel.

Bede Gaming continues to develop initiatives to inspire its employees and future staff at all levels of the company. With the main focus being on mental health and career development. The provider recently launched its BU Programme initiative, which will see training and employment programs come to life for school-leavers, students and career-switchers alike.

Alex Butcher, Managing Director, Bede Gaming, said: “We are delighted to have been recognised with this award – it is a real testament to the hard work and excellent culture that everyone at Bede Gaming works hard to maintain.

“We empower people to do their best work at Bede, unlocking their potential with access to cutting edge technology and promoting a healthy work/life balance through healthcare provision, gym memberships and regular hackathons.”

The award continues a stellar period of success for Bede Gaming, having been selected by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation in September 2018 to provide the lottery’s new enterprise-wide digital platform.

Bede Gaming client, The Rank Group, has reported encouraging digital growth in its interim results for the six months ending 31 December 2018.

Despite significant headwinds in the UK, the group reported a 2.4% rise in like-for-like revenue during the period, alongside a 15.8% increase in digital revenue.

Bede Gaming provides its leading platform technology to Rank Group’s digital business, driving digital performance through its expansive range of content, advanced marketing and responsible gambling tools.

Alex Butcher, Managing Director, Bede Gaming, said: “We are pleased to see Rank Group’s excellent progress and congratulate them on the strength of their digital results as we move into 2019.

“While the retail side of the industry is facing more challenges, it is positive to see the uplift in digital. The majority of our clients are seeing this sizeable shift in growth since migrating to our platform and it’s great for us to see our clients benefiting from combining the power of our technology with their customer knowledge.”

Colin Cole-Johnson, Director of Digital and Cross-Channel Services at Rank Group, said: “Our H2 digital trading results have been encouraging, and we are delighted to see good progress being made on this side of the business.

“We have enjoyed a strong relationship with Bede Gaming since they became our digital platform partner in 2016 and look forward to capitalising on our progress as the year continues.”

Transformative platform software supplier completes major integration every month

Bede Gaming has had its most successful year since the business was founded in 2012, signing three new clients and completing a major integration on average for every month of 2018.

Fresh from announcing its biggest commercial contract to date, having been selected by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation to transform its digital platform offering, the award-winning software supplier has completed 10 integrations in 10 months in 2018, a 30% increase on 2017. This includes several major content integrations, as well as now offering two premier sportsbook with Kambi and SBTech.

Bede has completed each integration in an average of just four weeks, living up to its reputation of managing and completing some of the fastest and most efficient software integration processes in the gaming industry.

The supplier is also promising more integrations to come in the remaining weeks of the year and will continue to build on the application of its successful strategy into 2019 and beyond.

Content and sportsbook providers added this year include some of the most established and fastest growing brands in the industry, such as SBTech, Yggdrasil, Pragmatic Play, Play’n Go and Habanero.

These suppliers have been added to Bede’s extensive library of premium quality content and sportsbook services that operators can immediately access via its cutting-edge platform services. They join a host of some of the biggest names in the industry including Novomatic, IGT, Evolution, NetEnt, Gamevy and Microgaming that are already available on Bede’s platform.

Once a supplier is integrated its products are instantly available to all Bede’s network of platform customers. No other supplier offers such a wide range of leading content providing Bede’s operator partners with the easiest access to the most choice on the market.

2018 has also seen Bede enhance and expand its range of configurable, automated platform marketing and responsible gaming tools; through the launch of Bede PLAY, its new content aggregation platform technology; and significantly extended its licensee portfolio across a range of regulated markets and verticals.

Ross Haselhurst, Commercial Director, Bede Gaming, said: “2018 has been our best year yet with three major commercial deals and 10 content supplier integrations in as many months to complement our comprehensive range of over 100 of the biggest supplier partners with more than 3,000 games. Our roadmap shows just how serious we are about content with a focus on quality over quantity.”

He added, “We also now offer two major sportsbooks in Kambi and SBTech as well as expanding our portfolio into Virtual Sports following our deal with Kiron Interactive earlier this year.

And with our relationship with OLG expanding we will be adding more lottery games to our portfolio in the coming months too. 2019 looks set to be bigger even than 2018, watch this space!”

Provider enhances industry-leading platform offering with Play’n GO’s full range of content

Bede Gaming, the award-winning supplier of software to the online gaming industry, has integrated Play’n GO’s entire content portfolio of best performing games to its leading platform offering. Play’n GO titles, including Street Magic and Planet Fortune, are available to all Bede’s operator partners, including tier one brands Rank Group and LeoVegas.

Ross Haselhurst, Commercial Director, Bede Gaming, said: “We are very pleased to have taken on board Play’n GO’s diverse range of high-quality content, adding to our fantastic portfolio we can offer our operators. Particularly as we look towards new markets the quality and speed of our content provision is key and having a rich integration with Play’n GO is a ‘no brainer’.

“Play’n GO becomes our tenth integration this year and, whilst others are struggling to keep up, our strategy is paying off and we’re certainly not done yet. This year we have solidified Bede’s place in the market but we’re not willing to be complacent, we have plenty to keep us busy. I’m absolutely thrilled at having Play’n GO on our platform as we continue to seek out the best and brightest providers in the market.”

Magnus Olsson, Head of Sales and Account Management at Play’n GO, said: “Bede has cemented their reputation as one of the most highly-regarded platform providers in the industry, and we are delighted to be rolling out our catalogue of leading games across its platform, making them instantly available to all of the brands they serve. We are certain our games will prove a hit with all Bede’s partners.”

The agreement with Play’n GO continues a period of strong commercial growth for Bede, having been selected by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation in September this year to provide the lottery’s new enterprise-wide digital platform. OLG is one of the largest organisations of its kind in the world and the agreement marked Bede’s biggest commercial agreement to date. Bede continues to integrate content partners at an incredible pace having consistently averaged at least one provider per month, marking a 30% increase on previous years.