First seen in iGaming Times: https://www.igamingtimes.com/2018/01/08/bede-gaming-south-africa-sun/
Ross Haselhurst, commercial director at UK-based Bede Gaming explains the why and wherefores of expanding into South Africa with casino giant Sun International.
iGAMING TIMES: Much of the sports betting industry has turned its attention to opportunities in Africa this year. Why has Bede felt now is the right time?
ROSS HASELHURST: Most of the growth across Africa has been in the sports vertical with casino thus far lagging behind. Bede has focused on securing an extremely well-placed partner in Sun International, which should smooth our entry into the market. We had been in discussions with Sun International on a number of opportunities since late 2015, so we’ve had our eye on Africa for some time. I suppose you could say we’re ahead of the curve on that one, and the opportunities are no less compelling going into 2018 and beyond.
iGT: Why have you chosen Sun International as your partner in the move?
RH: We really couldn’t have asked for a better partner, they just tick all the boxes for Bede in that respect. They dominate the African market, especially in South Africa where the opportunity in sports is considerable, and we are optimistic that other product verticals will regulate in the coming years. Sun have the perfect footprint across the continent and Bede have the ideal product set to support their ambitions. Furthermore, Sun’s position in Latin America creates huge potential and opens opportunity further afield too.
iGT: What makes the South African market distinctive, in terms of the challenges and opportunities it presents to sports betting operators?
RH: As with entering any market for the first time, the regulatory landscape always provides its challenges, but Bede are well positioned and well-practiced in meeting regulatory requirements in many jurisdictions. Looking specifically in South Africa, one of the most notable challenges is around the requisite certification processes for the regulator at each release cycle, where Bede have set the bar on our short release cycles. However, for the South African market we have had to make provisions for a much slower release pace, so as to allow for certification to run its course. It’s not too often that we’re asked to slow down delivering new features, but we’ve been able to accommodate the requirement while still delivering into our other markets at the same high release cadence our customers have come to expect.
iGT: How does Bede’s technology suit or solve these particulars?
RH: First and foremost, we are truly an open and modular platform, we’re absolutely supplier agnostic. Not being tied to a particular provider for compliance or a particular service or feature, such as payments, or wedded to a particular CRM, gives our customers an incredible amount of flexibility to differentiate in their chosen market. We also offer, a plethora of existing integrations, as we have, for example, with Kambi Sportsbook, which also gives our customers a more ‘out-of-the-box’ experience should they need one. The key ultimately is choice. Our architecture sets us and our customers up well for the scenarios mentioned, and with real-time data at our core, we’re able to meet and often exceed the needs of even the most demanding regulation.
iGT: People often say that South Africa’s more developed infrastructure makes it a good place to test the waters before moving into other African markets. How true is this for you?
RH: Our platform sits entirely in the cloud and is built upon Microsoft’s Azure, so straight away we remove any headaches that come with traditional on-premise deployments and having to source new infrastructure and such. Being able to rely on Microsoft’s global data centre presence means this is seldom a concern for us.
Looking forward we see Latin America as a huge opportunity for us, Colombia especially, but we are also keeping an eye on North America.
Bede has agreed a partnership with fraud prevention and authentication specialists iovation.
The agreement will give Bede the ability to offer its clients access to iovation services to ensure the highest possible levels of security via a proven suite of device based services.
Michael Brady, CEO of Bede Gaming, said: “Bede has used iovation’s market-leading services for some time, and it provides an important component of our fraud prevention and security strategy. It was a logical step to enter a formal partnership to extend this provision to our own clients.”
Duane Burcham, Senior Sales & Business Development at iovation, said: “The gaming industry is subject to some of the most sophisticated fraud techniques in the world, so it is vital that operators stay one step ahead by utilising the very latest tools to ensure a safe and secure environment for their players.
“We have been impressed with Bede’s commitment to security and look forward to working closely together to ensure the industry’s high security requirements are consistently met.”
Earlier this year, Bede became ISO27001 certified, in recognition of its continued offering of the most secure platform provision available to operators in regulated markets globally.
Bede Gaming, digital platform specialists to the online gaming industry, has agreed a landmark deal with Sun International which will see Bede enter the South African market for the first time.
Under the terms of the agreement, Bede will become the group’s preferred online gaming technology partner and will license its flexible platform to Sun International to provide sports betting to customers exclusively in South Africa.
Sun International will leverage the Bede platform to support its digital growth ambitions in the market, including its leading Sunbet brand.
Bede continues to establish itself as the number one choice for operators looking to grow quickly in the digital arena. Its flexible platform is supplier agnostic and has proven its ability to integrate quickly, giving operators an extensive choice of suppliers.
Anthony Leeming, CE, of Sun International, remarked “To leverage in the digital environment we require a flexible platform that will allow us to deliver the world-class experience which our customers expect.
“For this reason, it was an easy decision to partner with Bede, which has enjoyed significant success in other markets.
“The team has been a pleasure to work with and we are excited to continue our partnership.”
Michael Brady, CEO of Bede Gaming, said: “To enter the South African market with such a respected name as Sun International really underlines our commitment to grow Bede’s footprint in global regulated markets.
“We have been selected by Sun International because we offer a flexible platform and lightning fast integrations that have proven successful in multiple jurisdictions.
“Operators are demanding greater speed and flexibility, which is something we are able to deliver.
“We look forward to building a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Sun International, and will continue to build upon our market-leading offer.”
Head of Partnerships, Mark Rehorst-Smith, gives his take on this year’s SiGMA.
SiGMA, “Summit of iGaming Malta”, now in its third year, was bigger this year than ever before, with the show being a focal point for the flourishing iGaming business out there. It was great for Bede to attend and catch up with a number of our existing suppliers, along with exploring some new opportunities both B2B and B2C.
The variety of products available on the content side was encouraging, with a mix of both innovation on existing verticals and also the evolution of streaming content. It’s proving to be a good place to see developments in gaming content and to keep in touch with suppliers at the forefront of the industry.
This conference is definitely one, where we’ll be looking to put in a regular appearance. 2018 will see us pushing Bede PLAY – our content aggregator platform, which offers operators industry-leading marketing tools with which to achieve their digital ambitions, rapidly – and as we continually grow the quality of our content, both in terms of suppliers and innovation, it’s important that we’re making the right partnerships and SiGMA is a fantastic platform to do that.
So we’ll see you in Malta next year for sure, but in the meantime, feel free to contact us to talk content, products and partnerships. We’ll definitely be able to help.
Swedish app developer, SpiffX, announced today that they have signed a distribution agreement with Bede Gaming to release their content through Bede PLAY. Once integrated, Spiffx will be able to reach all Bede’s customers with one connection.
Lennart Gilberg – Acting CEO and Director of Spiffx AB said: “The partnership with Bede Gaming gives Spiffx the ideal distribution platform for the Take5 games with prominent Tier 1 industry operators. By integrating with Bede, we can integrate quickly and efficiently to multiple operators via the one connection. We are very happy to be working with the Bede team and to have our content on a respected, market leading platform.”
Michael Brady – CEO of Bede Gaming said “We are always looking for new and innovative content to add to our platform. The Take5 in-play games are fun, dynamic and a great acquisition, retention and cross-sell tool for operators who have a sportsbook license. The Spiffx team are constantly launching alternative content, which we can offer to our customers.”
SpiffX operates a trading platform with an option market and a darkpool for trading in sport odds through the web site www.spiffx.com. Furthermore, SpiffX develops and provides consumer products with leverage. The operation is conducted and operated by SpiffX Malta Ltd under gaming license LGA/CL3/851/2012 issued by the Malta Gaming Authority on the 26th of April 2013. SpiffX AB is listed and publicly traded on First North in Stockholm, Sweden and G&W Fondkommission is its certified advisor.
This press release is a translation of a release made earlier today by SpiffX in Swedish. The release contains insider information that SpiffX AB is obliged to make public according to EU’s market abuse regulation. The information was given by the contact person for public release on the 29nd of August 2017 at 10:15 CET.
For further information please see www.spiffx.se
Last night (7/11/2017), the Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track Listees were honoured at an awards dinner in London. Bede was placed at 76 on the league table of Britain’s fastest growing tech companies.
Bede was recognised for its impressive growth and successes since its inception in 2012. The award is a nod towards its cutting edge platform for operators in the online gambling industry. Currently powering some of the biggest brands globally, Bede processes tens of millions of transactions per month.
The evening celebrated some of the most outstanding, and exciting, privately-owned businesses in the technology, media and telecoms (TMT) sector. The total turnover of the 100 companies featured in the league table this year was £2.9bn. A figure that has increased from £414m in 2001, showing the growing success of the tech sector.
Gary Head, MD, Alternative Distribution at Hiscox Insurance, said in his introduction to the attendees, “The companies making up this year’s league table are testimony to the great depth of entrepreneurial experience in the TMT industry. Such a breadth of skills and experience matters more than ever, as the widespread adoption of internet-based technology means almost all businesses are tech companies now. Congratulations to all the companies featured this year.”
Michael Brady, CEO of Bede Gaming, added, “It was great to meet with such titans of the British technology industry and a proud day for Bede Gaming to be in such company. The breadth of knowledge in the room was inspiring and my thanks go out to The Sunday Times and Hiscox for this recognition.
Bede Gaming continues to grow an innovative technology business to service the International Gaming market whilst staying close to its roots in the North East of England.”
For those in the gambling industry who only want to work in regulated markets, Germany has been a frustrating country. There have been several regulatory false dawns and I shudder to think how much lawyers and consultants have made out of the shenanigans around the various on/off licensing sagas. Meanwhile operators like Star Games and Bwin have been making a fortune from German customers.
On the legal front it only gets messier. While it looked like the 16 Länder had finally agreed a workable interstate treaty on sports betting, which would have come into force on 1 January 2018, Schleswig-Holstein blocked it on the basis it does not incorporate legislation for casino and poker. They instead said they would prefer to reintroduce the legislation that saw them licence 23 online casino and 25 sportsbooks in 2012.
Meanwhile, the German tax authorities have written to all the big operators, reminding them to make sure they are paying VAT at 19% on their gross gaming revenues since 1 January 2015. According to my market sources, almost everyone has complied, which means that the vast majority of the German online gambling market is now effectively paying tax on their not entirely legal revenues. When the tax authorities of Frankfurt am Main III (online sports betting) and Berlin Neukölln (online casino) bank those payments, is that a tacit admission that the federal government is effectively giving permission for European operators to take money from German customers?
At the same time financial markets’ appetites for light grey revenues seems to be growing, with revenues from countries like Germany and Sweden only moderately discounted to fully regulated markets and even profits from places like Japan and Norway attracting decent multiples.
Speaking to chief executives of some big operators and software companies who have until now stayed out of Germany, it appears that their patience may finally be cracking. Earlier this month (Oct 3) Scientific Games took Germany off its banned list, although that perhaps was more a reflection of the fact that once they acquire NYX OpenBet it will have some fairly substantial revenues from what must now be Europe’s second largest online market. I am expecting several other big companies to open up Germany as an acceptable market over the next 12 months.
What are the consequences of this? For Germany’s tax authorities it should mean a decent payday. Likewise for their media companies, who also seem to be a lot happier about the risks of taking advertising from gambling companies.
But what will the politicians and legal authorities make of it? It feels like the gaming operators are hoping that Germany goes the same way as Sweden where, slowly but surely, a very light grey market becomes taxed and regulated. But this is by no means a certainty. A large number of the states are extremely conservative in their outlook and are particularly opposed to any increase in access to slots and table games. Sports is less of a problem, not least because thanks to the likes of Tipico, there are betting shops on most high streets and footballers, like Oliver Kahn, advertise sports betting on national television. Casino and poker are definitely not certainties to make it through the licensing process.
For the next couple of years, it doesn’t look likely there will be huge changes from the current situation. But as more operators enter the market, the push for a fully taxed and regulated market – by both operators who want to fully legitimise their revenues and by politicians who don’t like companies operating outside the law – can only become greater.
Written by Joe Saumarez-Smith, Chairman Bede Gaming, for EGR Intel. The original can be found on their site at http://egr.global/intel/opinion/playing-the-long-game-in-germany/.
This article is printed with permission from EGR.
The Rank Group plc reported digital growth of 19% for the 16 weeks to 15 October 2017 at their Annual General meeting today.
Digital revenues at Grosvenor Casinos was up 34% and Mecca Bingo’s online operations were up 11%.
Rank moved their entire digital operation to Bede in March 2016 and has seen strong growth since that point.
Michael Brady, chief executive of Bede Gaming, said: “We are delighted that Bede’s biggest client is seeing such excellent digital growth and we look forward to supporting them in the years to come, both online and in their retail offering.”
Both Rank chief executive Henry Birch and his digital team have publicly stated that Rank’s digital growth has been strongly enhanced by Bede’s platform. Adam Joseph, director of digital operations for Rank, has said: “The perceived risk of moving to newer technology was unfounded. Bede allows us the flexibility, speed and control we need to amplify our digital plans and we look forward to continuing our work with them to see how much they, and we, can grow in the future.”
Ivor Jones, leisure analyst at Peel Hunt, wrote in a note to clients this morning: “The digital speedboat continues to grow and have an increasing impact on the growth of the liner it is pulling along. The best is yet to come, with single wallet completing the digital transformation project and giving management the tools to monetise the substantial player base of the offline
Business. We reiterate our Add recommendation.”
Developer’s full suite of games seamlessly integrated onto Bede PLAY
Bede has significantly expanded its content portfolio after entering a partnership with The Games Company.
Under the agreement, the developer’s full suite of HTML5 desktop, mobile and tablet games have been integrated onto Bede’s content aggregator platform, PLAY.
The Games Company is an independent UK company, which has a wholly owned development team based in Portugal and offers third-party content through its own platform.
Premium titles such as Mariachi Mayhem, Cash Cowboy and Two Tribes are now available to all Bede’s clients, including Tier 1 operator The Rank Group.
Michael Brady, CEO of Bede Gaming, commented: “Adding premium content to our offering is a key part of our ambition to become the first-choice gaming platform in regulated markets. Partnering with The Games Company is a major step towards achieving that goal.
“We’ve been hugely impressed with the high standard of games they offer, and with their games performing well, they make an attractive proposition for our customers.”
Hans Winkelmann, MD of The Games Company, said: “Bede Gaming is known for its high-performing gaming platform, and we’re thrilled to be working alongside them.
“The integration process has been very straightforward, thanks to the platform’s flexibility and scalability. The speed of it means we are quickly accessible and the openness of Bede PLAY means our content is now available to any of their clients’ brands without need for separate integrations.”