The 4th edition of the Prague Gaming Summit will take place on 6 March 2020 and welcomes leading operators, service providers and gambling industry experts from all across Europe.
On the 6th of March at the Prague Gaming Summit, you have the opportunity to dive into several subjects, among which also the “Convergence Of Markets In Online Sports Betting”.
As mentioned in earlier press releases, Prague Gaming Summit 2020 will bring a brand new format of speeches and more trending themes as it did in the early years.
Among the leading experts that will share their latest information, you have the opportunity to hear more about the sports betting industry, its market development and much more from Bogdan Coman – ROMBET who will also be moderating the panel.
Bogdan Coman is the Executive Director of ROMBET and has a rich activity in the gambling industry, which he joined once graduation from the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, Bogdan Coman contributes to the good work of the Rombet Association through the experience of planning and organizing activities in the field of gambling.
He built national projects, led complex teams, and was responsible for meeting performance indicators in the companies he worked for or collaborated with.
Do not miss this unique opportunity to learn and networking with the leaders of the industry.
Here is a testimonial that has been left by Vladimir Petrov FPQP, one of the attending delegates of the 2019 edition of Prague Gaming Summit:
“Prague Gaming Summit 2019 was the great challenge which showed the new regulations in Eastern Europe. Thank you Zoltan for the great organization’s and thank you for the conference which covered the new opportunities and the new ways to the operators.”
Vladimir Petrov FPQP
Global Research Analyst and International Development at Efbet Casinos & Sports
The largest exhibition of the gaming industry in Bulgaria marks its 15 year
The largest trade exhibition of the gaming industry for Central and Eastern Europe – BEGE, which takes place in Sofia, marks its 15th anniversary this year. The event will be held on November 27th and 28th at the Inter Expo Center, Sofia, and dozens of companies from Europe, the USA, and Asia have already announced their participation.
The day before the start of the exhibition, the traditional BEGE Awards will be handed out. The glamorous ceremony will take place on 26 November 2024 in a sophisticated setting with the participation of representatives from across the sector. The awards are presented to individuals and companies with significant contributions to the gaming and entertainment industry.
During the exhibition, the Eastern European conference of the gaming industry – EEGS will be held, again at the Inter Expo Center. It is a preferred platform for experts who have the opportunity to learn about regulatory changes, technological developments and the latest trends in the sector.
In 2023, dozens of exhibitors from three continents presented their latest products. “We are glad that hundreds of professionals and experts visited BEGE and our expectations for this year are to welcome even more people. For 15 years, the event has become one of the most influential exhibitions in Europe for the sector, gathering experts, professionals and companies from all over the world, covering all verticals of the online and offline segments of the industry,” explained Natalia Baevska, Project Manager of the exhibition.
BEGE provides an opportunity to make business contacts, present the latest products from the industry, which successfully applies the latest technological innovations, including artificial intelligence.
Sponsors Spotlight: Winning the iGaming Technology Race – GR8 Tech Shares Winning Formula at the Prague Gaming & TECH Summit
Ahead of the highly-anticipated Prague Gaming & TECH Summit, organizer HIPTHER is thrilled to introduce and put the spotlight on the companies and people that help make the magic happen: our conference sponsors! These innovative, accomplished professionals and teams make magic happen everyday, and they will be joining us at the Prague Gaming & TECH Summit 2024 taking place on 26-27 March, to share insights, network and collaborate with you! Get to know them, connect, and meet them in Prague!
In this Sponsors Spotlight Interview, the #hipthers meet Artur Ashyrov, Chief Technology Officer at GR8 Tech, Main Stage Sponsor of the upcoming Prague Gaming & TECH Summit. Artur will be speaking at the Summit, offering an insightful exploration into the world of cutting-edge technology development.
EG: Hello Artur, thank you for taking the time for this interview. We are delighted to get to know you and introduce you to our readers! Speaking of introductions, let’s kick things off by hearing more about you and your role as a CTO at GR8 Tech.
AA: Thank you for having me! I’m thrilled to share insights into my journey and the impactful work we do at GR8 Tech. As the CTO, I focus on achieving revenue-driven company goals and developing our engineering team.
My overall journey in tech started in 2006, and since then, I’ve navigated through various sectors, from outsourcing projects to spearheading platform development in industries such as booking systems, CRM, media, iGaming, and more. I love solving complex challenges, driving meaningful tech advancement, and improving large, unwieldy projects to deliver great results, even if it goes along with challenging the status quo in technology, company culture, and mindsets.
At GR8 Tech, I’m also deeply involved in the GR8 Tech Academy, mentoring the next generation of tech professionals. This project, aimed at people entering IT and ensuring they have not just theory but hands-on experience, is very close to my heart. Many of the Academy’s graduates join our team and work to push the boundaries of what’s possible, using technology as a catalyst for growth and transformation.
EG: GR8 Tech’s “About” section on LinkedIn begins with the intro “GR8 Tech is an international iGaming solutions provider”. Breaking this description down, what are the solutions and products that GR8 Tech offers to clients?
AA: We create a full kit of iGaming products necessary to launch and run a long-term successful, profitable iGaming operation. The front and center of our product lineup is, of course, the high-performance GR8 Sportsbook platform, designed to handle high loads with ease and bring tangible financial results to the operators through unique margin management capabilities. The Sportsbook is complemented by many other products, from the Casino platform to the CRM system, payment gateway, iFrame, etc.
EG: So, GR8 Tech boasts a 360° suite for the iGaming industry, including a payment gateway and CRM system, as well as over 15 successful cases worldwide in its first year alone! What is the secret behind that vast and fast success? Something tells us it’s all about Tech – how do you make it “GR8”?
AA: Having a great background in technology, we are able to develop products that scale seamlessly but also evolve alongside our clients’ growing needs. Understanding that every business eventually requires increased processing capacity and flexibility, we preemptively integrate SDKs and APIs, and ensure data-sharing capabilities within our products, connecting and integrating it all into a unified, well-functioning ecosystem. It sets us apart from many competitors – and is rooted in our commitment to a data-driven approach, which creates additional value for our clients.
EG: In this first year of GR8ness in the industry, from your first steps till now, what are the most important milestones the company has conquered and its most significant updates?
AA: We are a young company but an experienced team with the long-standing, well-known tech behind the name. So, the biggest challenges for us were associated with finding our own B2B voice and our unique value proposition and presenting it to the market loud and clear. That’s exactly what we did last year, and I think the recognition our products received with nominations in several respectable industry awards, including the SBC Awards and SiGMA Awards, are our most significant milestones, showcasing the growing recognition of GR8 Tech in the industry. This year, we have already opened the business season exhibiting at ICE London, winning several new clients for GR8 Tech, and shortlisting in SiGMA Eurasia and SiGMA Africa. Quite a start – I’m excited for what comes next!
EG: GR8’s chosen brand language and communications are built around the concept of racing; in the race for innovation in the modern Tech scene – especially in iGaming – which emerging technologies are truly useful, and what’s overhyped?
AA: We are always looking at all emerging technologies, but we are very careful about implementing them for the sake of being “innovative.” We don’t enter the same race for innovation just to put a proud “AI-powered” sticker somewhere on our website for implementing Chat-GPT prompts in our products.
But we look at all trending technologies and implement them when they bring real value to customers. For example, AI has been in our systems for 4-5 years. Now, we are looking at LLM to enhance customer support and other functions.
It is also always interesting to find some useful applications for blockchain, but in our industry, it is really an overhyped technology because it is being pulled everywhere, just like Chat GPT. The metaverse is also very overhyped, and I don’t think this technology will change user habits dramatically because the convenience of AR/VR devices is still far behind the value of the experience. It will be interesting to see what kind of impetus the new Apple Vision Pro will give to this – it seems to me that this is the first step towards making these devices more convenient and mainstream.
EG: At the Prague Gaming & TECH Summit, you will be speaking about “Engineering Excellence”. Can you give our readers and the Summit’s participants an idea of what exactly constitutes Engineering Excellence in today’s Tech, and the key points you will be analyzing at the Conference?
AA: To understand engineering excellence, you should first think about what the industry is like nowadays. With technologies like Chat GPT, tech specialists can now super quickly do tasks for which before they were paid thousands – for their knowledge, expertise, and amazing coding. So these new technologies raise an interesting question: What is engineering excellence in the world where a machine can do a lot of ‘monkey jobs’ for you?
It turns out, today, technological excellence is not so much about technology but about the ability to think ahead, to design, to not overcomplicate things where they can be avoided, and so on. The latter is especially important, as it is a pressing issue in the industry, as everyone just loves to invent some problems and then create even more problems when trying to solve them.
Another interesting aspect is what engineering excellence is from the client’s point of view. I think that engineering excellence can be measured in how little you pay attention to your tech – everything just works, and that’s it. Not thinking about the number of cores in your processor or the capacity of RAM is the best indication that everything is just how it should be. But to make it so, developers should think rather broadly, investing in great technology and creating stable, scalable infrastructure that’s capable of providing this level of customer experience.
EG: Thank you for this very interesting and insightful interview, Artur! We look forward to seeing you in person at the Prague Gaming & TECH Summit, and hearing all about Engineering Excellence and the development process in your exclusive one-on-one session.
Join us in Prague to connect with Artur and the GR8 Tech Team:
Viktoria Soltesz: the Online Payments Pro Teaching Us How Money Moves
Viktoria Soltesz is a Payment Consultant, BusinessWoman of the Year 2023, and now an Author, with her book “Moving Money – How Banks Think”, being published on all Amazon stores since early January 2024.
Viktoria is the founder and CEO of PSP Angels Group – an independent payment consulting firm with a vast understanding of the payment market, and an extended network of banks and financial providers, offering personalized payment consulting services, helping clients operate their business globally.
In her book, “Moving Money – How Banks Think”, she walks the reader through the history of transactions and financial systems, offers a detailed explanation of basic banking principles, and delves deep into payment solutions, requirements, risk policies, and compliance limitations associated with online payments.
Viktoria, congratulations on the publication of your book, and thank you for joining us to share more information about it with our readers! In the Foreword of the book, you introduce yourself, detailing your professional background and your fascinating journey into the world of online payments. Can you please give us a short introduction here as well?
My adventure began in England, where I worked for a well-known accounting software company, witnessing firsthand the globalization of financial practices. My move to Cyprus coincided with the adoption of the Euro, offering me unique insights into the island’s financial dynamics. In Cyprus, I started working in accounting and finance, offering tax planning and managing complex global transactions. When I faced various payment and banking compliance challenges, I determined to understand the payment industry and founded PSP Angels, an independent payment consultancy. My goal with the book is to simplify the payment and banking industry, educate businesses about the importance of compliance, and foster understanding between clients and payment service providers.
Blending personal anecdotes, real time stories and my professional experiences, I describe the challenges businesses face in navigating the evolving landscape of online payments. The book aspires to contribute to making online payments more efficient, secure, and understandable, while encouraging open discussions within the industry.
In the book, you speak of “Financial Literacy” and “Payments Literacy”, and how this fundamental knowledge is not taught in schools. Can you give us a brief summary of the key points that businesses should be aware of and take into consideration when setting up their financial operations? What are the basics of “Financial Literacy” and “Payments Literacy”?
Finance is the language of business and understanding the basics of accounting, taxes, and financial expressions is a must for every business. Financial Literacy is the knowledge to manage money effectively, and plan for future financial goals. Knowing the financial terms and concepts helps businesses to make informed decisions regarding savings, investments, and debt. On the other hand, Payments Literacy is often neglected and misunderstood. The concept of “how money moves” globally is not taught in schools, however today all businesses need to understand how to navigate various payment methods, systems, and processes. Payments Literacy encompasses a range of topics related to financial transactions, including online payments, electronic transfers, and traditional banking methods. It is essential for businesses to understand cybersecurity, the various compliance and regulatory environments, plan banking and payments ahead and source and select the relevant providers for these transactions. All international companies need to be aware of diverse payment methods to align with local customer preferences. Payments Literacy is complementing Financial Literacy and they are both vital for effective business operations.
As you describe your journey into payments and how the problems you encountered lead to understanding, you share instances of complicated structures, early financial compliance attempts and rigid bank processes around the mid ‘00s to 2010s. How has the landscape evolved by now? Would you say that compliance has found its footing, have the banking and payments processes become more clear and friendly to businesses and consumers alike?
I believe that challenges in payment and banking have become more complex and will continue to evolve. With the increasing shift of businesses to online platforms and their expansion into international markets, complexities in payment and banking processes are on the rise for everyone involved. Maintaining transparency, ensuring compliance, and managing the risks associated with uncertain territories and service providers has become a challenging task. The emergence of new technologies, such as crypto payments, and the variety of currency and asset management options add an extra layer of complexity to these challenges. Not to mention the various cybersecurity and data protection requirements, too. Businesses today not only need to be experts in the traditional financial structures but also have to adapt to the dynamic landscape of digital payments, banking, and payment methods. Successfully addressing these multifaceted challenges requires heightened awareness, strategic planning, and a commitment to staying informed about evolving technologies and about the ever-changing regulatory landscapes.
How has Fintech played a pivotal role in shaping the evolution of the payment market, and what key contributions or innovations has it introduced over the course of its history?
Fintech became a powerful force reshaping the traditional banking and payment market. Innovations in such a conventional industry was much needed and have significantly improve the efficiency and accessibility of financial transactions. One noteworthy contribution is the introduction of mobile payments, enabling individuals and businesses to seamlessly conduct transactions through their smartphones. This shift to mobile-centric solutions not only simplifies the payment process but also promotes financial inclusivity, reaching individuals who may not have had access to traditional banking services. This has opened up new markets for global trade.
Fintech also brought us the digital wallets and peer-to-peer payment platforms, facilitating fast and secure fund transfers. These innovations have transformed consumer expectations, placing emphasis on speed, convenience, and heightened security in financial transactions. Fintech has driven progress in data analytics, enabling more sophisticated risk assessment and fraud prevention measures. The integration of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) has played a pivotal role in fostering collaboration between financial institutions and Fintech entities. This interconnected ecosystem has resulted in the creation of diverse financial solutions, ranging from automated budgeting tools to advanced investment platforms.
Speaking of Fintech, in practical terms, how are Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies currently being utilized in everyday applications within the payments system, and what impact are they having on traditional payment methods?
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies, although holding significant promise, currently face challenges in practical application within everyday payment systems. Unfortunately, these technologies have become vulnerable to misuse and scams due to the absence of regulation, undermining their positive potential. Despite their increasing adoption, the tarnished reputation blocks widespread acceptance. In every country, authorities worry that unmonitored transactions may facilitate tax evasion or criminal activities. Although efforts are underway to implement regulations and bring order to the landscape, the current situation remains complex, still providing opportunities for creative individuals to exploit gray areas. The potential benefits of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, such as enhanced security and transparency, are unfortunately still overshadowed by instances of misuse. Achieving widespread adoption necessitates not only technological advancements but also a coordinated effort to address regulatory ambiguities. It is crucial to educate users about the legitimate and responsible use of these innovations. Until a balanced and well-regulated approach is established, the transformative potential of blockchain and cryptocurrencies may be hindered by their association with illicit activities. This underscores the critical need for a comprehensive and carefully regulated integration into mainstream payment systems.
Readers will have the opportunity to meet you and get their book copies signed at the Prague Gaming & TECH Summit, on 26-27 March 2024; you will be participating as an expert speaker in two panels: “Navigating the Future: Integrating iGaming, AI, Fintech, and Advertising with Compliance and Data Privacy”, and “Capital Navigation: Expert Strategies for Securing Investment”. Can you give us a sneak-peek of the key points you will be discussing?
In the upcoming discussion, I’ll be sharing practical tips to help the audience navigate common challenges with banking and payment pproviders and their products, digital assets, and other payment methods, mainly present for the iGaming sector. My focus is on providing valuable insights into more cost-effective and secure banking and payment providers. Unfortunately, the iGaming sector is still facing serious payment and banking challenges, and complexities of global fund transfers. I’ll offer advice on executing these transactions in a safer and more economical manner. The aim is to deliver substantial content value to the audience by offering real-life tips and conducting workshops that empower individuals to navigate the intricacies of financial transactions with confidence.
In ‘Moving Money – How Banks Think, you mention that your goal is to introduce a new approach in both payment planning and execution. What are the key insights that businesspeople and everyday individuals can gain from your book, and in what areas can they seek your professional consultation?
In the book, I’ve distilled years of experience into a practical method outlined in the Strategy section, serving as a step-by-step guide to minimize risk and optimize costs for any online business. My consultancy work aims to bridge knowledge gaps by providing a detailed explanation of basic banking principles and fundamental economic concepts. I assist businesses by offering insights on staying updated about emerging payment and banking trends. My work helps clarifying various aspects and benefits of online payment solutions, positioning for innovation, seizing growth opportunities, exploring global payment methods and their impact on customer satisfaction, acquisition, and retention. I also provide guidance on understanding various regulations and compliance for navigating legal landscapes, ensuring data security and protecting consumer rights. My 20+ years payment and financial experience helps businesses creating effective payment plans for their complex online payment and banking flows. This comprehensive approach is designed to empower businesses with the necessary knowledge and strategic insights to successfully navigate the intricate world of payments.
Thank you for your time and this riveting interview, Viktoria! We look forward to seeing you at the Prague Gaming & TECH Summit this March, learn more about the exciting updates in the ever-evolving world of payments, and get our books signed!
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