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.
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!”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, the award-winning supplier of software to the online gaming industry, has strengthened its credentials in sports betting with the integration of the SBTech sportsbook.
The integration will enable Bede Gaming’s operator partners to access one of the leading end-to-end sportsbook services, further strengthening Bede’s comprehensive digital platform proposition.
Rocket X-owned Bet UK is the first operator to go live with SBTech via the Bede platform and coincides with Bet UK’s shirt sponsorship deal with Swansea City AFC this season.
SB Tech becomes Bede’s second major sportsbook integration following a successful launch of Kambi sportsbook last year and to keep up with increasing demand for optionality from operators
The industry-leading Bede platform powers some of the market’s biggest brands, processing hundreds of millions of transactions per month.
Andrew Cochrane, CCO, SBTech said: “Growing our global reach through targeted integrations is central to our growth strategy and we are delighted to have taken our sportsbook live on the Bede platform.
“We have every confidence that our intuitive, expertly modelled sportsbook technology will drive both customer enjoyment and an enhanced bottom line for Bet UK in the first instance and for more Bede customers in the future.”
Ross Haselhurst, Commercial Director, Bede Gaming, added: “We are committed to providing a compelling product mix to our operators, and sports is no exception. Our ethos is to be supplier agnostic and being able to offer unlimited optionality is at the heart of what we do. I am therefore delighted to welcome SBTech onto our platform and what that gives us going forward. As Bede continue to grow and support some of the biggest and best in our industry it is important that we are able to meet the exacting needs of our operators and SBTech and Bede are perfectly aligned in that regard.
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.”