Category: In the news

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.

This week is an important week in the iGaming calendar.  It is Responsible Gambling week, during which the whole industry makes a huge push to promote responsible gambling practices and to remind players that when the fun stops, stop.

As a software supplier to the sector, other than to ensure we provide RG tools for our operators and keep them compliant, technically we don’t need to do as much as the operators themselves for their customers, right? Absolutely wrong.

At Bede, we are acutely aware of the huge responsibility, influence and control we have over protecting gamblers and are absolutely committed to working with our clients to find better ways of keeping our customer’s customers safe.

The Vision

This year, we announced our new vision to become the “Safest Place to Play”. This was a strategic and passionate decision that has been embraced by all Bede staff. We know that we are not fully there yet but are fully committed to the cause. We set ourselves extremely high standards and understand that despite having some of the strongest RG tools in the market, there is still a lot more that can be done and that we can do both internally and externally to promote, invent and support better responsible gambling practices.

RG Week is, in its essence, about reaching out to players and making them aware of the risks but in house, at Bede, we also recognise the need to look after our staff and engage them with RG as much as possible.

The Journey to RG Week

It has taken a few years to come to this realisation. Since our inception six and half years ago, our main focus for staff has always been to look after our people and to give them a great environment within which to work. Generally this has been healthy snacks, free lunches, the latest coffee machine and Friday beers – but as the company has grown and we’ve matured, it became very apparent that it wasn’t just about the freebies and little extras. We also have a duty of care to our staff in terms of both mental and physical health.

Our staff is in the highest risk category for problem gamblers. Not only because of their demographic (males aged 18 – 35, which make up 74% of our workforce) but also because they work in the industry and with so much exposure to gambling practices it can normalise the gambling experience, making it harder to spot problem behaviour.  Statistically, someone in our team will have a gambling problem (3-5 gamblers out of every 100 will struggle with some sort of problem gambling or risky behaviour; we employ over 170 people). Staff may not realise that they too are vulnerable. So this year, Bede is getting into action, kick starting our own internal campaign and dealing with it head on.

Responsible Gambling Week at Bede

In line with Bede’s vision of becoming ‘The Safest Place to Play’, we want to engage everyone from QA to finance with active thinking on how we can build the best tools to help players stay safe online. And we aren’t only passionate about the players, we are also passionate about the well being of our staff, so we’re  starting the conversation about how to make Bede the safest place to work.

Across the week, our dedicated RG team will be posting all sorts of messages about responsible gambling; educating and raising awareness amongst our staff to not only be mindful of their risk but to also put RG front of mind when creating our amazing business too. We are running a couple of internal competitions to increase engagement, will be making a few announcements and have a brilliant young man coming in to talk about his first hand experience with problem gambling.

These are the beginning steps on this very important journey for Bede, with many more to come. In the same way we transform our clients’ online offerings, we are looking to transform the way the industry is perceived, to put the player first and to ensure that gambling is fun and safe for everyone. Watch this space.

We’re here to help. Let’s talk about Responsible Gambling.

Original case study of NED appointment for Bede by UNW Accountancy firm.

Over the past seven years, Bede Gaming has established itself as one of the first-choice gambling platform options for innovative operators across the globe. As part of its development, the firm sought guidance in areas of corporate governance and, with the support of UNW Strategic Talent, appointed Andrew Marsh as Non-Executive Director in January 2017. The fresh perspective has allowed Bede to continue its successful journey, taking its business to the next level both domestically and overseas.

Bede Gaming is an award-winning software company that offers completely flexible gaming solutions with robust security measures, allowing users to bet online using a single sign-on centralised account. With over 3 million registered players and 200,000 monthly users, the firm now supplies its software to over 30 online casino, bingo and lottery websites in regulated markets.

Established in 2011 by Michael Brady, Dan Smyth and Joseph Saumarez Smith, Bede was born out of the trio’s desire to create a gambling platform that improved the customer facing experience.

Over the next five years, the company emerged from its initial growth phase with a seven-figure revenue stream. Whilst the boardroom contained a wealth of knowledge on the technical and production aspects of the business, it was seeking a fresh perspective on business strategy and expertise.

In late 2016, the decision was made to appoint a Non-Executive Director (NED) and Bede approached UNW Strategic Talent, a niche service that works closely with clients to source and recruit board-level and senior finance candidates to drive and sustain business growth.

UNW’s Peter Neal, working closely with Bede’s Dan Smyth, introduced the firm to Andrew Marsh. The match proved to be a good one and Andrew joined Bede in January 2017.

Andrew’s role is centred around Bede’s governance but, as he explains, has expanded to enable more open and transparent discussions focused on long term strategy: “My role at Bede has enabled the founders and board members to better understand their duties, including scrutiny and decision making. I have been conscious not to overburden the entrepreneurial and creative spirit that got Bede to where it is today but to focus the discussion on items that really matter.

“This shift has allowed the company to substantially increase revenue streams whilst still having the capability to implement its growth agenda and open new international markets.”

Andrew, who is also Group Chair for Executive Peer Group organisation Vistage International, boasts a wealth of experience of creating sustainable growth for businesses in a wide variety of sectors, including technology and IT.

Whilst seemingly an ideal fit on paper, Andrew emphasises that the Strategic Talent team at UNW went beyond this to ensure the appointment was right for both parties: “Peter spent a great deal of time getting to know me not only as a NED, but as a person too. It was a well thought through connection, and the team at UNW really made sure that I was right for the role and wouldn’t impact the culture.

Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation (OLG) Selects Bede Gaming as its new digital platform supplier

OLG, one of the world’s largest lotteries, selected the digital platform specialists following a fair, open, and transparent procurement process, with a view to transforming the corporation’s digital offering, bringing new products and player experiences to adult Ontarians. The agreement marks Bede’s entry into both the North American and Lottery markets and serves as a testament to the strength of the platform. Bede expects OLG’s new platform to be in place in early 2020.

Bede’s Responsible Gambling (RG) technology will provide the lottery operator with world-leading options to help manage RG in real-time and give players the ability to set fine-grained limits, self-exclusions, and other supports tailored to their needs. These RG tools will comply with requirements of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and uphold OLG’s track record as a world-class responsible operator.

OLG is the third operator to select Bede this year following the signing in early 2018 of Sun International and LeoVegas, who acquired Bede-powered Rocket X.

Michael Brady, Co-Founder, Bede Gaming, said, “I’m absolutely delighted to welcome OLG to Bede and am extremely proud of the team effort involved in bringing this agreement to fruition. It is a huge recognition of the strength of our offering and firm proof of our status as a leading gaming platform in the industry. This is a landmark contract win for Bede and I am sure will be the start of a long and successful relationship with one of the most respected names in the worldwide lottery sector. We are looking forward to supporting OLG in achieving digital excellence.”

Greg McKenzie, OLG’s Chief Operating Officer, added, “We are investing in digital technology and product solutions to improve the customer experience and ensure we are responsive to changing customer expectations. The platform Bede will provide will be a central point of integration for OLG’s products and channels. We are looking forward to developing our relationship with Bede as OLG continues its digital transformation.”

Press announcement can be listened to here: https://www.investis-live.com/bede-gaming/5b9247a07fa26e1000b08f73/bgde (edited to a bite-sizeable 5 minutes).

Bede Gaming is delighted to announce Alex Butcher as its new Managing Director. Alex brings a wealth of executive experience and a proven track record of scaling software businesses.

Alex assumes control of the leadership team at Bede and is charged with the development and growth of the business and its people. At the heart of Alex’s strategy is cultivating an open culture and using Bede’s values to drive innovation.

The change at the top of Bede has come about as co-founders Michael Brady and Dan Smyth take on more strategic roles at board level following the sale of Intellectual Property & Software Ltd and Rocket X (formerly known as Rocket 9).

Brady, former CEO of Bede, said, “We’re absolutely delighted that Alex has accepted this position. His laser-like focus and experience in the industry make him the ideal person for the role. We are confident that he will lead Bede into its next stage of growth with clarity and integrity. We are looking forward to working closely with him to ensure Bede’s global transformation.”

Alex is also a founder of Bede and previously the company’s CTO. He brings a new aspect to the role of MD, prioritising software security as paramount to Bede’s future success. He is also a strong advocate of responsible gaming and aims to ensure these principals run through all aspects of Bede’s technology, values and culture.

Alex added: “Bede’s initial growth phase, where we built the team into a 160 strong workforce and conducted the largest migration in the history of the industry, has provided a firm foundation for growth. Our products and team are tried and tested, forging great potential for expansion into new markets. My primary concern will be to ensure we preserve the fantastic culture that lies at the heart of what makes Bede unique.”

South African Casino Group Goes Live For World Cup Glory

Bede Gaming, an award-winning supplier of software to the online gaming industry is pleased to announce that The Sun International Group has last week re-launched its Sunbet site (www.sunbet.co.za) on the Bede Platform. Signed at the end of 2017, Sun and Bede have been working tirelessly together to support the group’s new digital strategy with Bede as its exclusive platform partner.

The partnership sees Sun International capitalise on Bede’s industry leading tools to bring their Kambi sportsbook offering to life. Using the platform specialists’ multiple open APIs, Sun International have been able to create a truly bespoke offering to their customers, which perfectly matches the high standards of the retail experience their players have come to expect.

The new territory launch is timed to coincide with the FIFA World Cup, which starts tomorrow, to provide Sun International with a digital platform from which to create new opportunities surrounding this global event and momentum beyond it.

Ross Haselhurst, Commercial Director, Bede Gaming said, “We’re delighted to be working with Sun International to support their digital ambitions in South Africa and the relaunch of Sunbet on our platform is a really exciting offer. At Bede we recognise the importance of being a dependable technology partner and we’re proud to have that underlined by a global resort like Sun. This is the start of many great things to come and we look forward to continuing working together to maximise what can really be achieved online.”

Martin Sack, Group Manager for Online Business Development, Sun International, commented, “This partnership is exactly what we were looking for – collaborative, inspiring and solution-focused, where we work together to find the best solution for our objectives. We’re excited to be part of the Bede family and are looking forward to growing our business to its maximum potential, using the innovative technology stack that Bede provides.”

Joe Saumarez Smith, chairman of Bede Gaming, was a guest and roundtable chair at EGaming Review’s Power 50 conference in Marbella, Spain. He reviews the two day conference.

The Power 50 is one of my favourite online gaming conferences and not just because it is held in sunny Spain. The relatively small number of attendees and the fact most are the major decision makers within their companies is a big plus. It also means that in discussions people are more willing to share their experiences and admit what is going badly for them, as well as what is going superbly.

Unsurprisingly, the two main themes of this year’s Power 50 were what is happening to online gaming regulation and the potential opening up of the US market.

Regulation and in particular the need to ensure that Responsible Gambling measures are put in place by all operators was a particular theme across almost every panel and roundtable. The recent UK Gambling Commission fines were widely discussed and there was a general surprise that no operator had yet lost their licence. Over a couple of drinks later in the evening I heard that there is a £10 million plus fine for a household name in the offing, which will certainly cause some big problems for the overall industry.

The imminent announcements around PASPA – which at the time of the conference had not been announced but of course is now the main topic of all conversations – was something that was widely discussed. While most operators were excited about the prospect – especially those who already had businesses operating in New Jersey or Nevada – there was also a feeling that if PASPA was repealed that it wouldn’t be as simple to make money in the US as many commentators would be expecting. Some of the more experienced (or should I say cynical or realistic?) operators were concerned about the potential high levels of protectionism against European operators coming into the market but their greatest concern was the likely level of taxation. Most states seem to be expecting an enormous payday from sports betting and have very little idea about what the correct level of tax should be to allow for a competitive product. Talk was of multi million dollar licence fees, $20 million security bonds and tax rates similar to land-based casinos (mid 30% and upwards) which would make sports betting economically unviable. Add in the sports leagues’ desires for an integrity fee and it starts to get hard to see how anyone is either going to have a decent product or make any money.

I chaired two sessions of roundtable discussions about how the online gambling industry could improve its public image. Surprisingly they were two very different sessions. The first group agreed that the industry has a massive problem with society’s general perception of online gambling (and gambling altogether) while the second was more bullish, saying that the industry was going through a bad patch but that society needs to accept that gambling is a legal activity that pays high taxes and that it is better that it exists in full view rather than as a black market. There was a bit more of nuance to the arguments than that but the opinions did strike me as being quite different, depending on the individuals in the room. It would be pushing it to say that we agreed on a way to radically improve the industry’s public image but there was a feeling that in the UK in particular there is not a single person to whom the media can come to who represents the industry in a credible way. That person could acknowledge that gambling is a ‘sin’ industry but that it is better that it is taxed and highly regulated and that for a large percentage of customers gambling is a fun pastime which does not negatively impact them. However for the small number of people who have problem gambling then the industry should be showing that we support addiction programmes and that we do everything we can to stop them from developing those problems further and to stop gambling. How the industry finds and funds that person was not something we tackled in the hour long sessions but there did seem to be an acknowledgement that it would help a lot to have that person in place to represent the industry.

As ever, the Power 50 was brilliantly organised and I regret that I was not able to represent Bede Gaming better in the Annual Online Gambling Hill Climb Cycling Challenge over a 11km course, where I could only manage second place, 12 seconds behind David Shapton of Akur Capital.

Bede Gaming, an award-winning supplier of software to the online gaming industry, continues to prove its commercial credentials by adding Rocket X to its growing list of prestigious clients.

Following the acquisition of intellectual and Property Software (IPS) Ltd in January in January 2018, LeoVegas Mobile Gaming Group (STO:LEO), chose to keep its sites, including top brands 21.co.uk, Slotboss, Bet UK and UK Casino on the Bede Platform. The multi-year agreement between the platform specialists and the leading Swedish gametech company, sees the operator join the likes of The Rank Group (LSE:RNK) and Sun International (JSE: SUI) on Bede’s award winning gaming platform.

Rocket X, will take full advantage of Bede’s suite of industry-leading marketing tools and premium content from first class gaming suppliers, such as Yggdrasil, NETENT, Evolution and IGT.

Ross Haselhurst, Commercial Director of Bede Gaming, said: “LeoVegas is an innovative, mobile-focused operator at the cutting edge of the online sector. They now have the market’s most effective customer acquisition models through Rocket X and a culture that aligns well with Bede and we are thrilled to be supplying them with our unparalleled platform services.

“I would personally like to thank the whole team from both sides who worked tirelessly to bring this partnership to fruition, and offer our congratulations to IPS founders, Joe Saumarez-Smith, Dan Smyth and Michael Brady.

The growth on our platform has been phenomenal, and we are confident that, under the LeoVegas umbrella, Rocket X will build on this success in the UK and beyond as they continue to enhance their outstanding online casino offering.”   

Mark Good, CEO of Rocket X, said: “We are committed to building the industry’s most intuitive and comprehensive online gaming experience, and have started 2018 strongly with a series of important agreements.

“The flexibility and solidity of Bede’s platform is an important factor for our growth and we are delighted to be working closely with such a highly regarded provider. We are looking forward to the strengthening and successful relationship between all three companies.”

Platform specialists, Bede Gaming, offers completely flexible gaming solutions with robust security measures, and is fast establishing itself as the first-choice option for innovative operators globally.

Founded in 2012, Bede employs the latest in modern technology to provide operators with high performing software used to create world class gaming experiences.

Bede Gaming, an award-winning supplier of software to the online gaming industry, has agreed a deal with Gamevy that will see their unique instant win content made available via the PLAY platform, Bede’s world class content and marketing offering. Gamevy’s select collection of high-quality games will be available to Bede’s operator partners via Bede PLAY. These will include popular titles such as Red Card and Epic Gems.

Michael Brady, CEO of Bede Gaming, said: “We’ve long been fans of the innovative titles produced by Gamevy, so we are thrilled to be making them available to all our clients through Bede PLAY.

“The games are a proven success across multiple markets. We continually update PLAY with the latest titles demanded by our customers and with instant win games growing in popularity of late, it is great that we can say that Gamevy are now a partner of ours.”

Helen Walton, Chief Commercial Officer at Gamevy, said: “We are always looking for new ways to bring our content to operators in regulated markets, and Bede PLAY is a fantastic channel for this purpose.

“The team at Bede has been a pleasure to work with. We are excited to see our content available to Bede’s operator partners soon.”