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Exclusive Interview with Stefan Kovach, CCO at FunFair Technologies

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This week we are diving into blockchain technology and we are taking a look at how the “phenomenon” is change the online gambling landscape, even if some refuse to admit it. Stefan Kovach is currentlythe CCO of FunFair Technologies and he is a senior commercially minded marketer with over 20 years of experience in the travel, entertainment and gaming sectors, having worked for organisations ranging from Virgin Atlantic, Opodo, bwin and PokerStars. He has extensive experience in creating and nurturing brands, acquiring and retaining customers at scale as well as helping drive commercial and product strategies. Stefan’s previous roles enabled him to build and manage significant teams, manage marketing P&Ls running into the 10s of millions and responsibility for delivering high profile cross company projects. Here is our interview and we hope that you enjoy it!

There have been quite a few changes in the online gambling landscape in the last 12 months, partly thanks to the blockchain. What do you think are the key challenges operators are facing when opting to move from “traditional” operations to a blockchain platform?

Stefan: Although it is true that blockchain technology has been one of the most exciting advances within the online gambling landscape in the past year, there are, as yet, very few viable products actually available to the market. Whilst many other blockchain gambling businesses are very much still in the development phase, FunFair is at the forefront of this curve, already having a working and operational platform following a successful beta phase.

Traditional operators need to decide whether they see blockchain platforms as a threat, or alternatively, as a diverse revenue stream that taps into an existing and vast crypto-rich audience who are conducive to gambling by their very nature.

Luckily, traditional operators won’t need to choose one operating style above the other, blockchain gambling can act as a complimentary section of their existing business, allowing platforms to diversity their offering and audience without risk to their pre-existing business model. This is especially true when operators take advantage of the consultancy we offer when onboarding and educating customers.

We feel that, in the next 5 years or so, there will be a shift in online gambling, and with rumours that HTC is launching a blockchain phone later this year, this will surely change the mobile gambling industry as well. Do you feel that this is an area you will look at in the future?

Stefan: Mobile gaming is absolutely part of our plans and we will have a first class UX on mobile when we go fully live. Blockchain technology works in the same way across platforms, albeit sometimes different browsers are required.

Any established company, such as HTC, entering the blockchain space clearly demonstrates its relevance for all businesses in the future. We’ll always be looking to partner with those who are heading in the same direction as us as the learnings and combined investment can only speed up blockchain’s mainstream adoption.

We have reported on many blockchain gaming platform launches this year. Where does FunFair position itself in this innovative wave?

Stefan: We would firmly place ourselves as market leaders for a number of reasons. To start with, we are the only platform to offer a full ecosystem for operators, developers, affiliates and players who transact in our FUN token. We are also the only platform to offer production-level gaming quality which can challenge any tier one operator in traditional gamings. Current alternative blockchain titles are not only poor graphically and auditory, but run at unplayably slow speeds, not to mention the prohibitive transaction costs. We have bypassed these issues with our Fate Channels technology, which allows the gaming session to be taken off the blockchain, allowing it to run at the speeds and quality today’s gamers expect.

You have recently signed a deal with a market-leading poker rakeback affiliate, RaketheRake. Are affiliates making a good choice when opting to become operators?

Stefan: Affiliates have had to make do with diluted revenue share and often incorrect payments which are shared by operators at their will. Using the FunFair platform,they can become operators within days and take the entire revenue stream direct, while utilising their existing marketing expertise and captive player audience.

Affiliates can also continue to benefit from the FunFair platform as an affiliate, with real-time payments that are provably fair and paid in real-time on the blockchain, rather than having to trust casino operators as they do currently.

Do you think that regulators will eventually catch up and regulate the industry?

Stefan: Of course, any positive disruption will take time for regulators to size up and decide on a course of action, but the FunFair platform and blockchain technology itself ticks so many of the boxes they are looking for; from efficient KYC and provably fair RNG to the immediate release of funds, it really is a regulatory bullseye.

We are trying to lead the charge here and are in discussions with a number of relevant bodies. As you’d expect, some are more progressive than others, but we’re confident that as blockchain becomes adopted into the mainstream, they will regulate sensibly for all.

About FunFair

FunFair was born out of a powerful idea to harness the potential of the blockchain to initiate a revolution in online gaming.

FunFair founders Jez San, Oliver Hopton and Jeremy Longley saw the potential of the blockchain in early 2013. They wanted answers to difficult questions. Could anyone use the blockchain to run a casino? Why do players worry about trusting online casinos when the blockchain could create fair, transparent gaming? Why not use the blockchain to open up online gaming globally? These ambitious questions led to the development of a new technology that has the potential to profoundly change the gaming world.

We showed our first game in Paris in 2017. The response was so positive, we knew we were on to a winner. Jez San officially launched FunFair publicly in April 2017. The impact of this new technology immediately attracted the attention of major contributors and developers, eager to get involved. On 22 June 2017, our Phase 1 Token Presale raised $26 million, selling out in 4 hours.

Since then FunFair has delivered exciting games on our prototype demo platform, and we’re in the final stages of completing the new Ethereum technology platform which will showcase at DEVCON3 in November 2017. The next radical change in online gaming is being powered by FunFair; the first global gaming brand to unlock the true potential of the blockchain.

For more details, visit funfair.io

Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network

George Miller (Gyorgy Molnar) started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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William Hill lowers profit forecast

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William-Hill-lowers-profit-forecast-2018 William Hill lowers profit forecastReading Time: 1 minute

 

William Hill is all geared for remodelling its retail business in 2019, after it lowered its full-year 2018 adjusted operating by about 15 per cent lower compared to the previous year.

The company had reduced its profit forecast in November due to increasingly stringent regulations, particularly on lucrative fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), and warned of more losses in the United States.

It said its US business had broadly broken even in the year.

European gambling companies have been looking to expand across the Atlantic in light of regulatory curbs in Britain and as US states ease curbs on betting.

William Hill said 2018 adjusted operating profit from continuing operations would be 234 million pounds, slightly higher than company-supplied analyst estimates of 232.2 million pounds.

Profit was lower in its retail business due to tough high-street conditions and the offering would be remodelled in 2019 as Chief Executive Officer Philip Bowcock looks to make the firm a “digitally-led international business,” the company said.

The company had said in November that it would look at new products to offer alternatives to FOBTs.

“With rapid expansion underway in the U.S. … and the acquisition of Mr Green nearing completion, we look forward to making further progress this year,” Bowcock said in a statement.

William Hill has earmarked about 120–130 million pounds for 2019 to fund its US expansion.

 


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: William Hill lowers profit forecast

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FTSE4Good Index admits GVC Holdings

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FTSE4Good-Index-GVC-Holdings FTSE4Good Index admits GVC HoldingsReading Time: 2 minutes

 

GVC Holdings, the multinational sports-betting and gaming group based in Isle of Man, has been admitted to the FTSE4Good Index Series following the FTSE4Good’s annual review in December 2018.

The FTSE4Good Index Series is designed to measure the performance of companies demonstrating strong Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices. Transparent management and clearly-defined ESG criteria make FTSE4Good indexes suitable tools to be used by a wide variety of market participants when creating or assessing sustainable investment products.

GVC was admitted to the index after an independent scrutiny of its practices and public documents against a series of criteria including:

  • Governance (including risk management, corporate governance and anti-corruption)
  • Social practices (including human rights, labour standards and health & safety)
  • Environmental commitments (including energy usage and waste management)

Kenneth Alexander, GVC CEO commented:

“We are proud to join FTSE4Good and be recognised as a leader in corporate social responsibility, which is at the core everything we do as a business. Acting responsibly and maintaining strong governance is not a luxury but fundamental to our long-term success and a key driver of shareholder value.”

 

About GVC:
GVC Holdings PLC is one of the world’s largest sports betting and gaming groups, operating both online and in the retail sector. The Group owns a comprehensive portfolio of established brands; Sports Brands include bwin, Coral, Crystalbet, Eurobet, Ladbrokes and Sportingbet; Gaming Brands include CasinoClub, Foxy Bingo, Gala, Gioco Digitale, partypoker and PartyCasino. The Group owns proprietary technology across all of its core product verticals and in addition to its B2C operations provides services to a number of third-party customers on a B2B basis. GVC acquired Ladbrokes Coral Group plc on 28 March 2018 and is now the UK’s largest high street bookmaker, with over 3,500 betting shops. The Group, incorporated in the Isle of Man, is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index and has licences in more than 20 countries, across five continents.

For more information see the Group’s website: www.gvc-plc.com

 


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: FTSE4Good Index admits GVC Holdings

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Macau’s casino companies receive rating upgrade

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Macau’s-casinos-receive-rating-upgrade Macau’s casino companies receive rating upgradeReading Time: 1 minute

 

Brokerage Sanford C Bernstein has upgraded the ratings of Macau casinos Galaxy Entertainment Group and Sands China. This was done after a re-evaluation of the companies and also considering the capacity expansion in 2020.

According to Bernstein analysts, Vitaly Umansky, Eunice Lee and Kelsey Zhu, even as GGR is expected to decrease from 14 per cent (2018) to 3 per cent this year, there is a positive future for Galaxy and Sands in 2019. They clarified: “On a longer-term fundamental view, Galaxy now looks relatively inexpensive, especially factoring in Phase 3 and 4 developments of Galaxy Macau.” 

They added: “Galaxy continues to improve its Mass operations at Galaxy Macau and StarWorld while maintaining a leadership position in VIP. While the VIP segment is most at risk of considerable slowdown over the next 6 to 12 months, over the medium term, the key value driver is operating leverage improvement and improving business mix which will enhance margins.”

Furthermore, they explained that Galaxy “stands to have outsized growth over the long run” as it completes Galaxy Macau Phases 3 and 4.

“We continue to look favorably upon Sands China’s management team, product positioning and strategy focused on Mass market, a strong balance sheet and hefty dividends,” Bernstein analysts said about Sands China and added: “Redevelopment of Sands Cotai Central and upgrades at the Parisian will help boost its high margin Premium Mass business. The long-term (beginning in 2020) growth story from hotel suite capacity expansion and the Londoner redevelopment is evident. Sands China’s valuation look attractive for a stock that consistently trades at a premium to Macau gaming stocks and is now trading well below its historical average.”


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Macau’s casino companies receive rating upgrade

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