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.”
Tech Talent is an annual event hosted by Sunderland Software City, to attract some of the NE’s undiscovered tech talent. Last Thursday, 25th May, we exhibited at Newcastle’s Crowne Plaza to talk with local talent and to ensure they know who we are and what we’re about.
The North East is a pretty great region for tech, so we were rubbing shoulders with the likes of Tombola, Scott Logic, Leighton and Opencast. It was great to see what other companies have on offer, chat about their efforts in the region and share knowledge in the tech community.
We spoke to a real mix of potential candidates, from students through to industry professionals and those who wanted a complete career change. Our goody bags and drone footage certainly drew in the masses and we spoke with some really promising talent who will hopefully be applying for some of our current vacancies. It was also inspiring to see what other companies in the region are doing to attract and retain talent, boost employee engagement and how we’re all working to get the North East firmly on the map as leaders in tech.
What did we learn?
Education around tech subjects is increasing rapidly within the region, and there are lots of exciting ways we can grasp and help to cultivate this. The prospect of degree apprenticeships is really exciting, especially as tech is becoming a lot more specific within companies – it’s a such a good way to grow talent within our company and nurture a fantastic workforce. Our Summer Placement Initiative is a great example of supporting development and growth within a thriving business.
We also learned that we’ve got it pretty good here at Bede, many of the exhibitors and candidates were inspired by our work environment, ethics and culture …we may have even had a few converts from some employer competitors!
Here we go, another document / note / word on the most talked about piece of legislation for decades I hear you say.
Well, sort of yes and no.
Yes, this is another note on GDPR and yes there has been a lot of commentary and sales pitches about it, a lot of emails, details and prompts to keep in contact but, and crucially there is a but, it’s actually a very good thing.
GDPR is a massive overhaul of European data protection legislation and will have an impact on everyone. Whether you’re a business and having to have a greater understanding of exactly what happens with the data you’re responsible for or a consumer who’ll be given the greatest level of data transparency we’ve ever seen.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the biggest shake-up of both UK and EU data privacy legislation for 20 years. It creates a single set of rules designed to better protect personal information for people across the EU. All organisations must review how they manage all personal data, such as customer addresses and staff details, to ensure they meet GDPR requirements.
It comes into force tomorrow, 25th May 2018 and everyone must be ready.
GDPR is forcing businesses to be more open with their customers and is increasing business accountability. It puts shared responsibility on both the data controller and the data processor, meaning both are now liable.
There is a two tier fine system for a breach of GDPR regulations. The first is up to 2% of global annual turnover or €10 million. The second is up to 4% of global annual turnover or €20 million, whichever is higher.
If you’re still not sure, have a look here at the hundreds of third parties Paypal share data (your data) with. GDPR is driving this transparency.
So what is Bede doing to ensure compliance?
Well, true to Bede form, we are going above and beyond the requirements to ensure the highest quality data protection and security.
In May last year we certified to ISO 27001:2013 and this has given us the framework to build on in support of our GDPR work. We have also have expanded our Information Security, Compliance and Legal functions to ensure we have dedicated people in roles which are entirely responsible for these particular areas.
We have been undertaking a number of key tasks, such as reviewing the key suppliers we use, e.g. Microsoft Azure, to make sure they are fit for the purposes of GDPR and to make sure the services we offer customers are of the highest quality. Microsoft Azure as as committed to security and privacy requirements as we are and it’s this commitment to which we hold all our suppliers.
GDPR brings into force several new rights for data subjects, such as the Right to Be Forgotten. When it comes to clients’ customer data it is our clients, as the controller to our processor, who will make the decision on acceptance of this type of request. However, once a decision has been made we have the processes in place to erase personal data. An operation that is immediate and irreversible.
In short, Bede puts privacy and security at the heart of our thinking in order to assure operators that our technology, and particularly our role as data processor are equipped with the most stringent measures to ensure compliance at the highest level. We are ready, are you?.
If you have any questions or would like further information on how we are Supporting Operator GDPR Compliance’ we have created a document of the same name which has been shared with our existing customers, please get in touch using firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
In February this year, Bede launched its first internship programme to complement its already thriving apprenticeship scheme. Having been inundated with applications, we welcomed 2 students from Newcastle and Northumbria University and mentored them through real life tech experiences.
The internship lasted for 6 weeks and fitted in with the students’ studies, covering 8 hours a week. The girls were supported by members of the team and given exposure to our great tech and how it’s used in the business. Alongside a learning programme and a mini hack project to work on, gave them a real glimpse into what it is like to apply your degree to the working world.
A fantastic experience for both parties, where we received first hand insight into student needs and how we can better accommodate graduates joining our company and the girls could understand the way a company works and have a taste of professional life after uni.
We are also really pleased to announce that one of our interns won a placement at a well known Newcastle company whilst with us. Giving us further belief that inspiring students at this stage is exactly what is needed for the region and the industry.
Off the back of this success, plans are now afoot to launch a paid summer placement role to continue to support our thriving university students. Watch this space!
Rank’s migration to Bede over 2 years ago has been a well documented affair. Watched closely by the industry, it is no secret that it has been a hugely successful partnership with significant digital revenue gains enjoyed by the operator, across its brands. And while we are very proud of these achievements, there is a lot more to Bede than just one of our favourite clients!
Now that ICE is over and the year is getting into full swing, we took the opportunity to reflect on last year and what we’ve done to ready our business for a bumper 2018.
With two EGR Power 50 clients, buzzing interest and a huge USP in the modernity of the Bede platform, our absolute main and paramount focus is on our tech. It is the developing, building and securing of new ways and solutions for our clients to create outstanding experiences for their players that drives us. We want to support them in smashing their digital targets and ambitions.
So what have we done?
What is our motivation for 2018?
How are we going about achieving our mission of becoming the first choice gaming platform in regulated markets?
Last year, we concentrated on 4 areas with the aim of streamlining processes and improving environments for the business and our customers, so all stakeholders would benefit from better operational efficiency and smoother workflows. We also took into consideration what we thought would be the hot topics for 2018 and focused on developing a platform ready for the future.
Those four areas are Scalability, Delivery, Partnership and Compliance.
Continuing to find ambitious digital solutions for our high profile clients and becoming Sun International Group’s preferred technology partner, makes it impossible to sit still, particularly where our technical team is concerned.
Tech companies can face unnecessary roadblocks by accidentally creating silos of knowledge by having specific teams for specific jobs. All that does is ring fence information rather than empower solutions.
In light of this, Bede made the decision to restructure staff into Feature Teams to create cross product knowledge and encourage a “hive” mind. This means no disruption in the face of sickness, holidays, movement and actively encourages innovation and flexibility across the board, providing an army of adaptable engineers.
Understanding that management of change is just as important to ensure process efficiency and stickiness, we introduced a Timebox methodology. Timebox takes an holistic view of a project and employs an agile approach as opposed to a linear schedule, thus identifying the most important part of the project at the beginning – is it the deadline? Is it a feature? What part is non-negotiable and is it possible to deliver all requirements, on time and on budget? If not, what can be pushed from the sprint, to make sure it happens?
These important activities, to be identified at the beginning of a project by our rapidly growing solutions team and upheld throughout its lifestyle, are vital to managing expectations and delivering projects on time and on scope.
It’s the 21st Century way of making sure tech processes flow, making it a perfect fit for Bede values and providing our operators with a swift and accurate route to Go-Live.
So it’s all very well restructuring teams and introducing processes to manage transition but how effective is it? What impact has it had on project delivery?
Well, as it turns out, quite a lot. Not only as a business – billing and timesheets have nowhere to hide – but it also means that clients see more projects and more features delivered.
We delivered 41 projects in 2017, with those missing the deadline averaging being over by just 1 sprint (2 weeks). Over 3000 games now run on our platform and we delivered 6 supplier integrations in 2017 – that is an average of 8 weeks set up time, the fastest in the industry.
We spent a whopping 44% of our time on self-investment and developing our own platform, the results of which, all our customers are free to use and enjoy. This is a really important statistic, it means that as well as performing bespoke projects at the request of our clients, we are fully committed to ensuring our platform is the best it can be for our operators, for marketing, operations and compliance.
Highlights of features and projects that can now be used cross-clients:
Player Summary in PAM (Player Account Management)
Games Management System
Fairness to Customer
Single Customer Journeys
One of the fantastic initiatives to come out of 2017 was our Bede Feedback Forums, given the maddeningly catchy moniker BFFs. The BFFs are conducted quarterly by our product team, who visit every customer office to carry out platform workshops.
These forums are so valuable to both parties as we receive real feedback on our products and develop a genuine knowledge of our customers’ needs and requirements. It means our clients gain instant confirmation that their requests have been heard and receive first hand demonstrations of new features and how to use them in conjunction with their marketing strategies.
The workshops also generate common themes, as well as customer specific requirements, which are fed into the product roadmap, giving operators direct access and influence to developing a platform that is essential to their digital offering.
Putting partnerships at the heart of Bede is a vital part of our strategy. Our customers are active members of Bede, not passive recipients of a product; we’re all working together for a shared roadmap.
2018 is the year of responsible gaming and we’re bringing together industry leading operators to drive excellence in platform level compliance. We’re taking it above and beyond minimum regulatory requirements to provide our customers with the most robust and fair gaming platform in the market.
We’ve already made several changes to features, which go further than is needed to keep operators ahead of the curve and we are introducing more improvements to the roadmap for 2018.
Get excited for requirements to come
In depth view of player summary and applying more security and scrutiny to accounts for enhanced player protection are all on the agenda.
GAMstop, UKGC RTS, GDPR and CMA requirements will all be part of the platform as standard facilitating processes for operators to maximise experiences for players in a safe and secure way.
Sarah Hitchcock, Product Director at Bede, comments, “In 2017 we prioritised shifting the way we work to focus on strategic demand and preparing ourselves to scale in various ways. We now have three high performing, world class products to take to market in omni, PLAY and platform and are committed to becoming the first choice platform in every way.
“I’m excited for 2018, as we look to lead the way in compliance and regulation, going above and beyond what is required. We’re not sitting still, we’re building up to set the new standard in game playing platform. 2017 was a big year for Bede but 2018 will be bigger and better. it’s a great time to be a part of it.”
Bede Gaming has signed a partnership agreement with Pragmatic Play, which will see the content provider’s entire offering integrated into Bede PLAY.
Pragmatic Play’s portfolio of more than 80 HTML5 games, including Chilli Heat, Gold Rush, Vegas Nights, Caishen’s Gold and Jurassic Giants will be available to all Bede operators.
The addition of Pragmatic Play’s portfolio is the latest step in Bede Gaming’s expansion of best-in-class content available via PLAY, having already signed several partnership deals with top content suppliers in the last few months.
Michael Brady, CEO of Bede Gaming, said: “We are always looking to expand our offering to clients with the latest and most exciting titles, and integrating Pragmatic Play’s games was an obvious decision as we continue to combine premium content with our leading marketing tools.
“We look forward to enjoying a long and productive relationship with a provider whose games are already performing very well.”
Yossi Barzely, Chief Business Development Officer at Pragmatic Play, said: “We have a strong commitment to growing our footprint in regulated markets, and are delighted to do so in partnership with a provider as respected as Bede.
“I am sure our diverse and expertly-modelled range of games will prove popular with their clients all over the world.”
Bede’s platform offers a completely flexible gaming solution and robust security measures, and is fast establishing itself as the first-choice option for innovative operators globally.
Bede Gaming, an award-winning supplier of software to the online gaming industry, has announced that it has signed a deal to offer Playson’s gaming content on PLAY, its industry leading content aggregator and marketing tool.
Playson provides more than 40 omni-channel HTML5 titles, this deal will see them become available to all Bede’s operator partners once they’ve integrated with PLAY, including their most popular titles such as, Fireworks Master, Clover Tales and Viking Gods: Thor & Loki.
Michael Brady, CEO of Bede Gaming, said: “Playson games are known for their high-quality graphics and superb game play, they will be a fantastic addition to PLAY.
“Our aim with PLAY is to be the leading content aggregator with a broad range of titles, across all verticals that do not sacrifice on quality.
“Playson games are strong performers and we look forward to seeing them available to our clients.”
Adam Daniel, MD at Playson, said: “Playson is committed to producing high quality games worldwide, and this agreement with Bede will see our games reach new audiences.
“By adding our content to Bede PLAY, Playson games will reach a wide range of respected and innovative operators without the need for individual integrations.
“We look forward to continuing to build a long and mutually beneficial partnership with Bede.”
Bede’s platforms offer completely flexible gaming solutions with robust security measures, and is fast establishing itself as the first-choice option for innovative operators globally. Bede Gaming employs the latest in modern technology to provide a secure, high-quality gaming platform.