GiG Prepares to Make a Big Splash at ICE 2022 Event
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A lot has changed in the gambling industry and the world since the last ICE London igaming event. This, however, is especially true for the igaming platform provider Gaming Innovation Group (GiG). Chief amongst the company’s changes is its decision to pivot entirely to a B2B operation.
So far, the change seems to suit GiG, with revenue climbing by 28% year-on-year for 2021. Other changes for the company include its acquisition of Spornco, a top-tier sportsbook solution. This is a move that will grow the company’s business into more markets worldwide, offering a new platform.
Head of Sales for GiG, Ricky Ruddock, said in an interview with igamingbusiness.com that “We continue to focus on delivering our strategy in 2022,” adding “, geographical locations do not limit our strategy. We’ll look at opportunities that come up regardless of location and assess them individually.”
A big push for many igaming businesses this year and a focus of the ICE event in London will be how conventional brick and mortar businesses are looking to diversify to online platforms. With Covid and other factors making online gaming a safer option, many companies are looking to make sure they have a solid online presence.
“We’re looking at the opportunities that are interested in, or have made the commitment to, either taking a land-based brand online or simply launching a completely separate online brand,” Ruddock explains. “The goal is to act as the connective tissue between the two channels, to ensure a successful launch”.
“I think we’re in a unique position to offer them the complete end-to-end turnkey solution”, he continues. “Everything from the technology they need to make the breakthrough, to helping with their acquisition, conversion and retention, even the business operations through our managed services solutions.”
Ricky is saying here that for GiG, this transitional market represents a huge opportunity for their company as they can help other operations move online or launch separate branches of their business to cater to this online audience. And ICE is the perfect place to court these opportunities.
Key to this is GiG’s managed services business, something Ruddock views as a key selling point. “If your partner is just a technology provider, you don’t have that managed service support,” he points out. “When there is a need for operators to understand their obligation around player safety and regulatory compliance, for example, who do you turn to?
“What if you’re having problems from a marketing perspective, such as increasing ARPU or reducing churn? Who can you brainstorm with? I’m not saying they necessarily have to engage with us as contractors, but we have that internal knowledge where we can step in and help.”
Ruddock can see GiG acting as a pivotal go-between to open up the online market for some suppliers and help them enter more international markets. GiG has experience in many sectors, including Serbia, Germany, and Croatia.
“Tier one operators have a real appetite for growth and new revenue,” he explains. “That comes from new markets typically, but they may not have the ability or the resource to enter with their current proprietary solution or third-party platform provider.
“So we want to talk to them and help them get into these new markets. By the end of 2022, we’ll be able to offer rapid access to a set of defined markets across the group, with more to be defined and added during 2023, a considerably larger reach than we had before the Sportnco acquisition.”
“This year, our market share has almost doubled, with 14 regulated markets and more than five in the pipeline. With Sportnco, we have a further 11, with five in the pipeline. With both of these together, I don’t think there’ll be many other businesses out there that can give customers access to that many jurisdictions.”
As GiG could be a driving force behind established industry names’ new market entry, Ruddock believes it could play a similar role for the sector’s up-and-coming brands. He explains that as these brands transition from a startup mindset into a growth phase, executives’ concerns inevitably turn to costs.
“They need to look at where they can optimise costs, and we have various productivity solutions that can really help with that,” he says. He picks out IT solutions as an example, noting that adding a degree of automation can be a major source of efficiency for an operator scaling up.
“This is where GiG can increase efficiency by up to 25%. They can invest this surplus in marketing and growth.
“I think sometimes people think we’re not a startup or small business-friendly, but we definitely are,” Ruddock adds. “We’re definitely open to working with smaller businesses and helping take their business to the next level.”
However, giving new players the tools and access to these new markets is only one part of the puzzle. GiG also wants to make sure customer bases for these new businesses can grow sustainably, and player welfare is at the forefront of new online solutions.
“We need to make a conscious effort on keeping players safe,” Ruddock says. “We’d rather see an industry where players are spending small and often and generating money over a longer period of time.”
This includes automated player safety tools built into GiG’s core platform that analyse player patterns and other data to prevent players from dangerous risks.
“We can be proactive on this through AI models, where we can predict with a high level of accuracy, which players are at risk of self-excluding,” he continues. “We can see when these irregularities have happened and when to take action. By being proactive and really looking after our partners will have a more sustainable business over the long term.”
The business is making its ICE debut as a focused and growing B2B provider, and with Sportnco to be integrated, it’s got a sizeable new element to showcase.
“We want to demonstrate the features and functionality of our platform, and how we differentiate ourselves from others, and we will want to show how the sportsbook can compete and compare with others,” Ruddock says.
The value it offers goes beyond products, he adds. “I think [the industry] needs to look beyond just seeing us as a technology provider and how much the solutions cost. I think that’s something that’s massively underrated”.
“From a leadership perspective, we have such strong experience and depth of knowledge, whether that’s from offline or digital. “What we want people to understand is they can trust us because that knowledge filters down to the business or the stakeholders that manage those teams. They really know what they’re talking about.”
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