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Dario Arruda, the CEO of XCaliber, Malta, is a hands-on leader driven by a passion to meet the challenges and to realise the goals. Under his leadership, the company has made great strides in the last one and a half years. In this exclusive interview, Dario Arruda opens up about the company’s growth and its vision for the future. He provides detailed and lucid answers to a wide range of questions about the changing phases of technology, the new projects his company is into, and future trends in the gaming industry. Meet the man behind one of the most talked-about companies in the gaming technology sector.
I would first like to ask you to begin with a few words about yourself. It’s always nice to hear top-class professionals say a few words about themselves for our audience.
Together with Cherry, I co-founded XCaliber in December 2016, having previously spent more than five years as Chief Technology Officer for Cherry Malta. Much of my background is in technology – I spent a number of years working on product and technical development for Allied Newspapers, Malta’s leading news and publishing company.
This experience translated effectively into the role of CTO with Cherry Malta, and I have not looked back since. I was delighted that Cherry accepted my proposal to create the B2B Technology business area, XCaliber, and am very proud of what we have achieved since the company was founded.
It has been just over a year since XCaliber was launched. How do you look back at the journey so far?
It is fair to say, this has been a 15 months packed with progress to tell you about. We signed a number of important third-party deals, notably including the first partner for Omarsys, our affiliate-marketing platform. FSport is one of the world’s leading fantasy sports platforms, and we were delighted to partner with them in increasing our foothold in the Swedish iGaming market.
The launch of our new Responsive Framework technology at the beginning of February marked a major milestone in our efforts to deliver innovative solutions that bring clarity and ease-of-use for both player and operator.
In financial terms, 2017 was a year in which we have built solid momentum, reporting revenue figures of MSEK 38.6, while we are also now ISO 27001 certified, reflecting how seriously we take, and the importance we place on maintaining full and robust levels of data security.
More than that, we have built a tightly knit team of experienced iGaming professionals, committed to our path of pushing the boundaries of business excellence. Put simply, I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey so far, and with plenty of new developments on the horizon, the future looks very bright.
XCaliber’s LinkedIn page talks about “child-like curiosity and an insatiable appetite for creating novelty. We are all curious to know how you actually manage to retain the “child-like curiosity and an insatiable appetite for creating novelty” even when developing software for the fiercely competitive betting industry?
What we look to get across in all our dealings with fellow providers and operators is our passion for delivering innovation. This is reflected in the groundbreaking nature of our recently unveiled Omarsys and Responsive Framework, and our nominations in the “Software Rising Star” and “Affiliate Software” at the 2017 EGR B2B Awards underline the value in our growth strategy.
We have an exceptionally motivated team, and the innovation-driven nature of our approach is something that delegates really responded to at the recent ICE Totally Gaming Conference in London.
XCaliber has won two awards at the prestigious Malta’s Best in Business Awards 2017: 1. Startup of the Year and 2. Best Online Web and Design. How do you reflect on the achievement?
We were humbled and delighted to receive those awards, as we are with any awards that recognise the effort and achievements of the hard-working team of experienced professionals that we have built at XCaliber.
It is great to see the speed of our growth acknowledged with the “Start-Up of the Year” award, and we are carving out a real reputation as one of iGaming’s foremost suppliers on a technological and design level.
From the outside, it looks like XCaliber is mainly into two broad activities: 1. Rebranding the existing products, as in the case of CherryCasino and Game Lounge, and 2. Developing your own innovative products.
Let us talk about the rebranding first. What are the main things that XCaliber usually brings into a successful existing brand?
Speed to market, a slick and sophisticated experience for the end user, performance and quality of our products and a proactive approach to entering new jurisdictions are all vital aspects that our technology promotes, and this is reflected in the growth experienced by Cherry brands including CherryCasino and Sunmaker. As one of the industry’s fastest-growing providers of premium systems and software, we pride ourselves on our ability to deliver best-in-breed solutions to all of our partners, and we are proud to do so as a core part of and provider to the Cherry Group.
Following from the previous question, you have your own innovative products as well – like Omarsys and Paypi. There are other products with the same or similar functionality. What makes your products special, or what makes them take the gaming world by storm – even if “a very quiet storm”, as your website says?
We are quietly bringing great advancements to the industry through products like Omarsys and Paypi. Taking our performance-marketing framework Omarsys as an example, it goes far beyond traditional tracking platforms. We recognise that adaptability is key to marketing efforts in the iGaming industry, and as such, we have fitted Omarsys with real-time reporting and analytics tools, allowing our partners to react swiftly and decisively to emerging trends. It is this desire to go above and beyond for our clients that elevates our offering above the competition.
The latest news from XCaliber is about a new solution, called Responsive Framework. Could you tell more about it to our readers?
Absolutely. XCaliber’s Responsive Framework, codenamed XCAF, is an industry-first solution that enhances the ability of our operating partners to deliver a truly Omnichannel experience through the intuitive and intelligent use of data. The solution promotes a seamless customer journey, via a one-page structure built into the operator’s existing back-end, making streamlined use of collected customer data to ensure that players are always being promoted with offers perfectly synced to their preferences.
Instant gratification and a discovery-based experience drive so much of modern multimedia entertainment as we know it, and the data-led approach that our Responsive Framework facilitates puts all of the required functionality in the palm of an operator’s hand.
How do you see the gaming industry and the software development for the industry evolving in 2018? Do you see a paradigm shift in the near future, especially with reference to artificial intelligence, robotics and all that?
I think there is certainly scope for evolution this year in light of the potential, that rapidly developing technology is bringing with it. Machine learning certainly has a role to play here, as part of the wider picture presented by iGaming providers that are making increasingly intelligent use of data in their solutions. I wouldn’t say this necessarily equates to a complete “paradigm shift”, but you can expect to see a lot of developments when it comes to making better use of customer data and preferences to deliver an experience tailored to the individual user.
While I will not give away what we have in the pipeline at XCaliber, I will say that you should definitely watch this space!
Source: European Gaming News
EGT Romania: new promotions for slot machines!
A challenge that EGT Romania has always accepted, both towards customers and other operators, most of them already becoming partners, is to always offer them the opportunity to grow their businesses by choosing the most performing, attractive, interactive, awarded and appreciated products from the gambling industry. So, periodically we make offers as attractive as possible to facilitate the decision to progress of each operator.
Starting with January 2020, EGT Romania offers operators the opportunity to purchase slot machines from both previous generations and the latest models, at extraordinary prices conditions.
VEGA VISION UP, VEGA VISION +UP, VEGA VISION +ST – in 12 or 24 installments without advance payment
The increasingly diverse demands of players develop the need for operators to integrate tailor-made products and services into their gaming halls. AWPs are some of them. Taking this into account, you can now take advantage of the following offer:
- You can purchase cabinets from the Vega Vision range with AWP mixes in 12 or 24 installments, without advance payment.
- You can also purchase Vega Vision cabinets in 12 or 24 installments, without advance payment, if you choose game mixes from the Collection Series range.
!!! In addition, we thought that you might want to convert AWP to Collection Series or vice versa at some point, so we created a minimum cost for you. Therefore, you will benefit of only 999 Euro + VAT per conversion (compared to 1950 Euro + VAT – the basic price).
P-24/24 UP, P-27/27 ST SLIM – 2 months free of charge!
These EGT slot machines, equipped also with AWP game mixes, awarded and appreciated year after year, are still in the top of the preferences of players and operators alike.
The active special offer consists in:
- Enjoy 2 months free of charge when renting P-24/24 Up and / or P-27/27 St Slim with AWP game mix
S32/55 – S-line range – 40 E discount
Presented for the first time in Romania in September 2019, within the EAE, the S32/55 terminal, from the S-line multiplayer range, impresses with the imposing appearance, with a dominant display of 4K resolution, 55 inches.
- You can rent S32/55, during this period, with 40 E discount.
For questions, complete information and additional details, we invite you to contact the EGT Romania sales team at the data available here.
Could UK Government Policy Threaten Online Betting Promos?
Most observers would agree that the UK political class is pursuing a dialogue on the very nature of the gambling industry. The headline issue is, of course, fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBT’s), which have been the focus of a huge campaign. This week the UK Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, announced that the maximum stake in these gaming machines will be cut dramatically starting in October 2019. The move has cross-party support, and even the gambling industry has been vocally supportive, knowing that it at least makes sense from a PR perspective to seem concerned about the issue.
However, FOBT’s are not the only issue being discussed about the industry in the UK, with some changes perhaps having a big impact on punters. Advertising has come under scrutiny recently, with an almost saturated feel to the volume of sports betting adverts played on television during events like Premier League games. Sky, the UK’s dominant figure in sports broadcasting, has agreed to ‘regulate itself’ and limit the number of betting adverts beginning at the start of the 2019 Premier League season.
The move by Sky, while seemingly commendable as they will lose out on a chunk of the estimated £460 million gambling companies spend on advertising in the UK, is also indicative of the fact that the landscape is changing. The Labour Party, in particular, has signalled that they will try to put curbs on many aspects of the industry should they win the next election. For example, Labour deputy leader, Tom Watson, has called for a ban on funding accounts with credit cards and any advertising during live sports events.
However, one area that will be keenly watched by casino players and bettors is that of promotions. Incentives like free bets, price boosts, reload bonuses and the rest are the “carrot” that usually acts as a tipping point to encourage a player to join a new site, but they are certainly not the only reason why people bet. If a Government decides that promotions force people to bet, rather than supplement a decision that has already been made, could they too be in the firing line as the UK authorities try to further regulate the industry?
Free bets offers popular with punters
One would argue that would come to the detriment of the customer, rather than the industry. Consider how a punter might want to bet with William Hill on Real Madrid at 12/1 to win the Champions League, or the Boston Celtics at 7/1 with Bet365 to win the NBA Championships; they could check a list of free bet no deposit 2018 offers and potentially make their bet for free. Is it fair to take away those incentives from the customer?
There is a fine line between the idea of a promotion and the “bet now!” command that is being looked at by the Advertising Standards Agency, but it’s hard to know where that line will be drawn in the future. Punters would be irate to learn that they can’t, for example, go to a bookie and find an incentive like a price boost on the current odds of 12/1 for Chelsea to win the Premier League.
In the end though, money usually settles these matters. While the UK Government has made moves on FOBTs, it was slow-acting because bookmaker shops were keen to point out that those betting terminals equate to jobs. 2017/18 was estimated to have raised £2.8 billion in gaming tax receipts for the UK Exchequer. The Government will be loath to jeopardise that income. The point is: if the bookies can make their case, those promos will be here to stay.
Pragmatic Play roars to life with 5 lions
New release sees ancient spirits guarding amazing riches
15 June 2018: Pragmatic Play, the multi-award-winning games provider, has announced the launch of 5 Lions, a 3×5 video slot steeped in myth and legend.
Chinese iconography lights up the reels of 5 Lions, with turtles, phoenixes and dragons appearing covered in glittering gemstones.
The mystical lions of the game’s title act as the wild symbols, granting the player a random multiplier of up to 40x and springing to life when they appear in any winning line.
Melissa Summerfield, Chief Commercial Officer at Pragmatic Play, said: “Our suite of high quality games continues to go from strength to strength, and 5 Lions is a great addition that we are proud to introduce to our partners and players.
“The game’s mystical air is complemented by an engaging and visually satisfying array of bonus content, and it certainly has the potential to keep players coming back.”
Three gilded yin-yang symbols unlock 5 Lions unique free spins feature, expanding the three central reels to four symbols in height and boosting the potential ways to win from 243 to 576.
Players then have the opportunity to choose between seven lions, offering a wide selection of different multiplier ranges. These options range from six free spins with a range of high multipliers (15x, 30x, or 40x) to 25 free spins with a range of lower multipliers (2x, 3x, or 5x).
Pragmatic Play’s portfolio contains more than 80 proven HTML5 video slots, including Wolf Gold, Chilli Heat and The Champions. These titles are now live with a growing list of leading casino brands, including Mr Green, Betsson and LeoVegas.
For more information on this release or to arrange an interview please contact Tom Lewis at Square in the Air on 020 3586 8257 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About Pragmatic Play
Pragmatic Play is one of the fastest growing providers of slots games in the online gaming industry. It has proven expertise in creating mobile and desktop content that engages modern players. Its expanding portfolio features more than 80 proven HTML5 titles, which support 26 languages and all major currencies, and are built on unique in-house designs.
The provider’s games are attuned to the needs of players and operators in regulated markets all over the world and are now a fixture on many of the leading casino brands.
For more information please visit http://pragmaticplay.com/
Source: European Gaming News
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