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Parimatch: The future’s bright for Ukraine

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In this photo: Maksym Liashko, Partner at Parimatch

 

As the betting industry in Ukraine prepares for major legislative progress in the first quarter of 2020, Maksym Liashko, Partner at Parimatch, one of the leading online betting brands in the CIS region, explores the proposed regulations, the country’s ‘progressive’ emphasis on virtual and eSports, and why the term gambling could be set to change in the coming decade…

Ukraine is set to enter a new age in 2020 as the country’s Cabinet of Ministers prepares to consider the latest gambling reform bill in mid-January following a request for revisions to the text in December.  Liashko, who is responsible for legal matters at Parimatch, is positive about the prospect of gaming regulation in the region stating he believes the law will be fully adopted within the coming two months.

The previous version of the draft law proposed a new license system for betting operators with limited numbers across casinos, bookmakers, and only 10 for online operators, covering both sports betting and online casinos. Commenting on possible amendments to this in the most recent version of the bill, Liashko said: “According to the MPs` discussions during the round tables, there will be no restrictions on the number of licenses for a particular type of activity, with the exception of lotteries since this type of activity is defined as state lotteries. Here the choice is made directly of the lottery operator. And the remaining sectors won’t be limited by the number of licenses. The draft law is expected to be re-voted on first reading in January.”

If the new bill is passed, any new licenses will be available for every sector excepting lotteries and slots which will be obtained through electronic auctions via a project established by the Cabinet of Ministers, which Liashko believes is fair in guaranteeing the best operators success in a new market.  “In the last agreed edition, which was submitted and presented in parliament by deputies (a certain agreed compromise document), a competitive procedure was established for operators of the state lottery, as well as electronic auctions for operators of slot machines,” he explained.  “For all the others, any restrictions on the number of licenses and auctions were cancelled. In general, we believe that the electronic auction is a fair method of distributing the limits of slot machines in the country. The final question is only in conditions. To win in such an auction, the price is important. Other supporting tools are the subject of an interest in how they will be evaluated. If it is only a price, then it will be a simple and transparent mechanism. The base for such auctions in Ukraine already exists.”

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As the country prepares to open its doors to the wider gambling industry, the intricacies of the local market are a key point of attention for Parimatch as a leading betting brand in the region. Focussing on how to ensure Ukraine’s regulatory systems are workable and future proof, Liashko commented:  “I believe it is necessary to use the experience that other jurisdictions have. It should be understood that Ukraine has its own legal traditions, and most importantly its own domestic issues and some negative traditions associated with state regulation and the state’s habits in Ukraine to be directed towards tight control rather than development.

“Based on this, the use of all those methods of control of GGR and other methods that are used in European countries may be premature for Ukraine. Rather, you need to give priority to fixed, very high payments for a license, to abandon the practice of paying tax from the GGR, and leave only income tax. The presence of a fixed payment will make it possible to avoid all possible disputes with regulatory authorities, which in Ukraine are quite a large number. When in other jurisdictions a question arises with accrued bonuses, canceled bets, etc., you look for compromises with the governing bodies. In Ukraine at the moment there is no expertise in this matter since there was no gaming industry as such.”

 

In terms of Parimatch’s position in this potential new landscape, the company is keen to establish a strong and sustainable status in the market focusing on security and customer safety.  “At Parimatch, we take into account and work a lot with BI in order to understand the interests of the client first of all. We individually tailor their preferences,” Liashko said.  “We find the following issues the most important to develop and introduce to our clients: full remote identification; automatic data analysis to prevent fraud; interactive interfaces for communication with the client; automation of decision-making and cyber defense.  We also hope that the new legislation in Ukraine will contribute to this, and not force us to fill out paper forms.”

“Technology will change everything,” he added. ‘Over the next decade, I think such key changes will occur several times. In this context, the legislation in Ukraine is quite progressive, since now the projects include the regulation of virtual sports, eSports betting, virtual events with unpredictable results. This already provides the basis for the technological development of fast content for the gaming industry. At the same time, Internet technologies and the volume of data transfer of devices are developing quite widely. This will allow the gaming industry to reach a whole new level of entertainment.”

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He concluded:  “When entertainment will prevail in all spheres of the gaming industry in principle. The word “gambling” itself may lose its relevance and becomes entertainment, as we have seen this trend in Europe over the past few years.”

 

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OKTO expands digital payment footprint in Romania through Integration with Cyber Team Solutions

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OKTO, the only payment provider offering omnichannel digital payments across both online and retail sectors, is excited to announce its collaboration with CyberTeam Solutions, a leading Romanian company specializing in integrated solutions for the gambling and casino industry. This partnership will expand digital payment solutions across CyberTeam connected venues, enabling instant deposits and withdrawals with OKTO’s cutting-edge payment services.

This strategic integration introduces in Romania OKTO.DIRECT, the ultimate retail payment gateway, offering consumers hassle-free deposits and withdrawals with multiple payment methods, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, Visa and Mastercard as well as Instant Bank Transfer. Alongside OKTO.DIRECT, the integration also incorporates OKTO.WALLET, the advanced e-wallet of OKTO available for both retail and online use, providing an unparalleled omnichannel experience for users.

Vlad Evghenie, Country Manager Romania at OKTO, shared his enthusiasm for the collaboration: “At OKTO, we’re all about delivering next-level payments. We’re glad for our collaboration with CyberTeam Solutions and we’re fully aligned, giving users and operators alike the omnichannel, smooth, instant experience they crave for pay-ins and outs. This partnership is about raising the bar for gaming experiences across the board, and payments as the last mile of the experience is the most crucial.”

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Echoing this sentiment, Cosmin Murzea, CEO of CyberTeam Solutions commented, “We’re excited to kick off this partnership with OKTO. By integrating their advanced payment technology with Cyber Platform, our player-centric gaming management system, we’re enhancing the gaming experience with seamless, advanced, and secure transactions that prioritize player experience, safety, and security.”

The post OKTO expands digital payment footprint in Romania through Integration with Cyber Team Solutions appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Eastern Europe

SBC Summit Tbilisi 2024: Uniting Key Stakeholders for Vital Regional Insights

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1,500 industry professionals will gather in Tbilisi, Georgia next week for the second edition of SBC Summit Tbilisi. Organised in partnership with Georgia-based company, Sports Media Holdings (SMH), and supported by presenting partners EGT Digital and Amusnet Georgia, the event promises delegates unmatched opportunities to discover the latest industry innovations, expand their industry network and enrich their educational horizons.

The event’s focus on pivotal Eastern Europe and Central Asia markets, including Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia, Bulgaria, and Romania, along with emerging markets like Uzbekistan will provide delegates with a comprehensive exploration of these vital regions, guided by insights from esteemed local experts.

Set to take place between the 25th – 26th of June at the Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metechi Palace, the specialised summit will unify key stakeholders from leading regional and global operators, suppliers, affiliates, game developers, media organisations as well as specialists in marketing, CRM, SEO, payments and more.

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Former Manchester City COO, and founder of EQ Esports & Gaming, Chris Bird, will kick off the event by delivering a keynote titled ‘Influencers, Content and Esports… You Bet! Unleashing the Power of Dynamic Strategies in the Esports Ecosystem.’ Bird will share effective strategies for leveraging influencers to drive the growth of esports and produce engaging content.

The conference agenda will serve as a pivotal educational platform for delegates seeking to expand their knowledge of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia regions. Attendees can expect to glean vital knowledge from over 60 distinguished experts across two dedicated conference tracks. Discussions will encompass topics ranging from navigating the region’s complex regulatory and compliance restrictions to the impact of Euro 2024 on sports betting.

Additionally, the conference will spotlight the burgeoning iGaming sector within the region. Delegates will gain key insights into the iGaming landscapes of markets such as Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Georgia, and Slovenia. The agenda also includes discussions on cross-market strategies for iGaming operators, emerging market opportunities, and iGaming socioeconomic impact on local communities.

The exhibition floor will feature 30 global and regional brands presenting the latest industry-defining technologies, innovative services, products, and new game releases. Notable brands featured on the show floor include Amusnet, Aviatrix, BetConstruct, Betlive, CreedRoomz, Crocobet, Digitain, EGT Digital, Setanta Sports, VBET, Winfinity and many more.

Concluding the first core day of the event will be an exclusive Poker Tournament, sponsored by Betlive and EvenBet Gaming. Set to be held at the ATI Rooftop Restaurant at the Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metechi Palace, the tournament offers delegates the perfect opportunity to sharpen their poker skills, network with industry peers, and enjoy complimentary drinks.

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In the evenings, attendees can look forward to building meaningful business relationships in scenic, lavish venues across several dedicated networking events. The first core day will conclude with the ‘Official Opening Party’ sponsored by Setanta Sports at Stamba Hotel. On the second day, an exclusive VIP dinner for C-level executives will be held at the Republic Restaurant, followed by the ‘Closing Party’ at the Republic Event Hall.

Rasmus Sojmark, CEO & Founder of SBC, said: “The inaugural SBC Summit Tbilisi was a tremendous success. This year’s event has built on that foundation to deliver even more. We’ve expanded networking opportunities, enriched educational experiences, and secured some incredible speakers.

“This year, we really focused on providing a comprehensive exploration of key regional markets, ensuring attendees are well-equipped to thrive in their business endeavours in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.”

The post SBC Summit Tbilisi 2024: Uniting Key Stakeholders for Vital Regional Insights appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Eastern Europe

EGT Digital in a “winning” partnership with Winner

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EGT Digital’s titles keep on expanding their presence in Romania. The popular winner.ro is the next betting site, where the top games from Clover Chance, Bell Link, High Cash and Single Progressive Jackpot are at the disposal of the local players.

Tsvetomira Drumeva, Head of Sales at EGT Digital, shared her impressions on the partnership: “We would like to thank Winner for adding our gaming content to their portfolio. I believe that we have launched a truly “win-win” partnership for the two parties, which will strengthen both our and their strong positions in the Romanian market.”

Panos Kritikakis, Head of Casino at Winner, said: “As a trustworthy and innovative operator established in the Romanian market, we are very happy with the performance of EGT Digital’s slots and looking forward to offering to our customers the upcoming titles from the Bulgarian provider”.

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The post EGT Digital in a “winning” partnership with Winner appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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