ICE & London Baby

Bringing the buzz at ICE: US, Big Data, Blockchain and Crypto

With just a few days to go until the start of ICE London (6-8 February), the sponsors of London Baby have embraced the growing ‘buzz’ around the world’s biggest gaming exhibition.

Once again, SBC has joined forces with iGaming Business to host #londonbaby2018, the largest networking party on the first night of the exhibition (6 February), held at the stunning Café de Paris.

While blockchain technology and the opening of the US gambling market are expected to garner significant attention at ICE and networking parties across the week, OPTIMA CEO Jacob Lopez highlighted machine learning as another key topic of interest.

This was after each of the sponsors of London Baby was asked to predict what the industry ‘buzzword’ or ‘buzzwords’ would be for this year’s event.

Alex Inglot, Director of Communications for Sportradar, said: “This year, a lot of attendees and many debates will focus around what may or may not happen in the US this year with regards to sports betting.

“The Supreme Court’s decision could have seismic implications for the industry and it will impact sports leagues, regulators, state authorities, existing US casinos and operators, international operators, suppliers and of course the US public.

“It is almost impossible to predict what the final verdict will be, but many at ICE will already be scenario planning and looking to get a read from others visiting the ExCeL this February.”

Valentyn Kyrylenko, VP of Business Development for BetInvest, said: “Personalized engagement and implementation of data-driven customer value management will be a trending topic at ICE 2018. At BetInvest, we realised that no matter how good the algorithms are, computers still require the instructions for whatever they do.

“The leaders in igaming, and especially sports betting, will not be the companies with the most innovative technology (however controversial it may sound to the reader) but those companies, which through the years of operation, managed to collect large volumes of data.

“As my colleague and good friend Nik Rudenko (CMO of FavBet) likes to say, ‘Traffic is the King’. But my place, which is at the intersection of trying to find the best new opportunities and making sure they pass the smell test taught me, is that the biggest opportunities lie in the hands of those companies who become data centric in their customer approach.

“The companies which hold data and can make their machines analyse data and determine what to do, based on the content of the data and its scope without specific instruction, will become as unreachable to the competitors as eBay to the new WordPress start-up.

“The companies holding big data can still generate correct customer behavior even with the uncertain regions of data due to its cumulative nature. In my view, the future ‘Amazons’ of sports betting will be a different breed of companies. Such companies are still sitting in the duck blind unaware that one move can change the status quo.”

Thomas Nielsen, Head of Game Licensing at Magnet Gaming, said: “Blockchain is a buzzword with backbone, and having exploded onto the scene so quickly, it has already asserted its game-changing advantages to such an extent that longevity is undeniable.

“As with all buzzwords, interest within the public domain will inevitably wain but within business and especially in our industry, blockchain is gathering momentum all the time.

“It is providing transparency, accountability and decentralisation in a way that many are calling revolutionary and, unlike many buzzwords that have come and gone, blockchain has the potential to really anchor itself.

“It can do so much more than just record monetary transactions – we have witnessed the inceptions of corporate alliances, start-ups and initiatives all off the back of blockchain, and it evidently has the ability to transform the way many industries operate.”

Adriaan Brink, Founder and CEO of BetterBetting, said: “Crypto. The world of digital currency is causing disruption across many industries, including betting. It has been impossible to ignore to hype around Bitcoin and Ethereum and the rise of new cryptocurrencies.

“The idea of a creating a safe and robust decentralised peer-to peer system optimised by use of blockchain technology is revolutionary. BetterBetting is offering just that, providing an innovative, decentralised sports betting system, facilitated through use of the BETR token.

“Removing friction, while providing transparency and fairness for a bet between two parties who have no relationship with one another, will change the way betting works for everyone.”

Evgeniy Kiriushin, Head of Business Development for 1xBet, said: “1xBet always goes in step with the rapidly changing world. We consider the buzzwords for the former, and the next year, are ‘higher, faster, and stronger’.

“We are living in a dynamic and high-tech world; information is ubiquitous, and you can place a bet, make a payment or transfer money just using a phone and wi-fi.

“For our partners, it is really important that statistics are updated as often as possible – using our own partnership, program partners can see updated of statistic each hour.”

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