Three key considerations for choosing the right platform provider in 2021

28th April 2021 | By Elena Carruthers

Operators know that selecting the right platform is essential for future success, but choosing the right one can feel like a gamble. However, the use of real-time data, along with an understanding of control and depth of partnership will help operators to make a wise choice...

Martin Collins is business development director at igaming technology and platform provider Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) and has over 20 years of experience in digital markets with expertise in driving strategic growth and innovation. 

While gaming operators are associated with taking a punt, the consequences of choosing the wrong platform are a risk not worth taking. 

Thorough research and setting clear goals from the outset are therefore pivotal in mitigating these risks and allowing operators to get the most out of their partnerships while freeing them up to focus on going the extra mile for their players.

This is the view of Martin Collins, business development director at Gaming Innovation Group (GiG), the iGaming technology and platform provider that has helped numerous partners to success since it was founded in 2012.

According to Collins, at Gaming Innovation Group (GiG), igaming start-ups or retail brands looking to make that switch online this year should make data, control and the depth of the partnership on offer their three key considerations when deciding upon a new technology partner. 

The depth of the partnership that is required is pivotal, ranging from a Fully Managed Service to Part Managed Service, and Software as a Service (SaaS). For operators, this means asking themselves the important questions regarding their main areas for improvement. An in-depth and honest assessment of existing processes as well as future goals is also key in establishing the right partnership moving forward.

These services are tailored towards different operator needs, whether they are an established brand or new to the industry. A Part Managed Service allows increased exposure in particular areas, allowing operators to select their specific priorities.  Fully Managed, on the other hand, offers end-to-end services and ultimately manages the brand across all verticals and channels.

Collins says the latter option may be the best one for a land-based operator or a media business with no previous experience of the igaming sector, entering into a journey of ‘digital transformation’.

“The platform provider’s services team have to understand and work daily with their technology so they can deliver the setup and ongoing delivery quickly and efficiently, ensuring you get the most from your marketing spend from the initial ‘go-live’.”

“They should deliver a phased approach where you will be able to understand the main KPIs of your site’s performance and what steps are being taken in terms of optimisation across the entire offering.” 

He continues: “Armed with this visibility and understanding, you can begin to step away from this reliance on the Platform’s Services and start to take more control of your efficiently running operation.”

A data-driven approach

In terms of control, operators should ensure that any potential platform provider has a solution to activate decisions in real-time based on the data, Collins says.

“Not only will this speed up decision making, but it will also drive down inefficiencies and cost in matters such as the automation of documentation verification.”

Real-time data is the tool operators need to get themselves online, helping to drive efficiencies and create a seamless process. It will allow any retail operator to level the playing field with their online operations against the ‘digitally native’ competition in the market. 

“It should be at the forefront of you delivering within the regulated framework. This could be the ability to configure bespoke, real-time reporting for the regulator or working with a SAFE Vault in order to be compliant from a data perspective.” 

The need for real-time data goes beyond enhancing efficiency and is also a valuable tool in the detection of problem gambling. 

AI modelling identifies consumers’ patterns of behaviour and swiftly identifies trends alluding to problem gambling. This proactive approach keeps the consumer at its core and ensures safe gambling.

GiG’s platform utilises real-time data to provide a uniquely tailored omnichannel experience. Operators can use this data to develop a user interface that provides an excellent customer journey while in turn, obtaining the relevant data for continually driving the strategy forward.

With the platform’s high degree of flexibility, data can be manipulated in a way that adheres to individual operator needs, helping to meet objectives around UX and in gaining a serious competitive edge.

Regulation and compliance

A strong working relationship with a platform provider is essential for those operators looking to thrive in what are challenging times for the industry. 

Collins identifies regulation and compliance as the biggest headaches for operators, with increasingly complex and demanding requirements across many jurisdictions. Unfortunately, the demand for iGaming compliance skills vastly outstrips supply – there are hundreds of vacancies related to this area currently advertised in Malta alone – particularly with fewer white label options now offered. 

Collins says: “It is vital that the platform’s success with your partnership is ingrained in you achieving your goals and they will go the extra mile, across all areas, but predominantly from a compliance perspective, to deliver a solution that is ‘minimally compliant’, legal and optimised, harnessing your brand equity and expertise to drive positive revenue growth. 

“For example, at GiG we will work with partners across each requirement to deliver ‘technically’, whilst helping them understand what they need to deliver from a KYC perspective. We view this entire scenario as a partnership and our industry expertise, along with their local market knowledge, helps us find a positive space where we are both comfortable that we are delivering within the guidelines of the regulations.” 

B2C experience

Linking up with a platform that has some experience of the challenges of operating in a competitive marketplace can also be advantageous.

GiG, which has helped numerous partners to success since it was founded in 2012, sold off its B2C division to Betsson last year, but retained some existing teams in its Managed Services Unit, such as BTL Marketing, CRM, Operations and Payment Solutions. 

Collins said these functions were maintained as part of a strategy aimed at assisting potential clients with impressive ‘brand equity’ but without the operational expertise to launch and grow a casino or sportsbook online from scratch.

“Not only does this ensure you are meeting your regulatory requirements from ‘go-live’ but also that the ‘customer experience’ is immediately one of your brand’s USPs,” Collins added. 

“This operational excellence begins to bring value as soon as the contract is signed, working internally and externally, to deliver an offering that is unique and being continually optimised.”