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Growth of the online segment: waiting and reality

Gambling chips

The forced self-isolation of people around the world caused by the Coronavirus pandemic from the first days of quarantine has triggered a lot of discussion in the community about the likely growth of online gambling vertical. However, the extent to which the fears have been justified, whether this indicator is resilient, and the implications for market participants.

Man is think

Many critics of the online gambling industry, soon after the quarantine measures were introduced, began to focus on the likely vertical growth in self-isolation and the risks associated with problem gambling. The latter has even led to stricter rules for gambling operators in some jurisdictions.

The main argument was that when people were locked up in a difficult economic situation, they could begin to perceive gambling as a way to earn money, not as a form of leisure. And even if the organic attitude to gambling as an entertainment persists, there is a temptation to abuse gambling in the absence of the usual forms of pastime.

The opinion of the authorities regarding the urgent need to introduce special restrictions in Sweden was not shared not only by the market representatives, but also by the agency that controls the industry.

Restrictions of the industry in different countries ranged from the introduction of spending limits to a complete ban on gambling operators, as for example, in Latvia. For more details, please see a separate material. But were there any real reasons for concern? And did the boom that everyone was so afraid of really happen?

Current situation

If to consider indicators of branch from different corners of the world, the picture will turn out rather motley. Some countries have indeed stated growth, but its scale was quite modest. Therefore it is expedient to consider this aspect in each separate country or on examples of the largest representatives of the world gembling-market.

The most impressive results

British giant – Paddy Power Betfair – reported revenue growth by 15% compared to the same period last year. The company FanDuel – a member of the American market – has stated almost record growth. Revenue of the latter has increased threefold. The company notes that the growth was not caused by the pandemic, but by internal processes in the company, in particular, the merger with another brand and increased market participation. At the same time, the company noted that the growth was due to the revival in the vertical of online poker, not slots or other board games.

In the case of a particular brand, it is appropriate to talk about overcompensating for the losses of sports betting.

Global situation

Money in casino - Risk

However, global indicators are much less iridescent than those outlined above. For example, according to the latest relevant data of analysts from H2 Gambling Capital, the coronavirus pandemic will reduce industry revenues by 19.4%.

If we take the gambling industry as a whole, then taking into account the gap formed by the ground segment, GGR may increase by 1% and reach $62.96 billion. However, the collapse of the market for sports betting is really offset by growth in the segment of online casinos.

Denmark

The data provided by the Danish gambling regulator shows that the online gambling industry has not improved, and even slightly reduced its performance. For the study was analyzed the period from early March to early May. It is indicative that despite the fact that immediately after the introduction of quarantine measures, growth was indeed observed, its average size was only 2% with a peak of 3% improvement.

Of course, in view of the above, there is no talk about the possibility to compensate for losses in the ground segment. Read more about the market situation here.

France

La Francaise des Jeux (FDJ), the country’s largest operator, reported revenue cuts of 0.9% in the first quarter of this year. It is telling that the company representatives claim that the growth observed in the first two months was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. Starting from May 16, it was noted that the volume of rates was reduced by 60%, while losses in the lottery segment amounted to 40%.

Expert opinions

Lottery

Fintan Costello, Executive Director of Bonus Finder’s affiliate marketing department, said that the number of requests – “online casinos” – has increased in the United States. He also adds that this picture is likely to be seen in most countries with developed industries.

But Richard Skelhorn, founder of BGO and Atemi, says that the growth of 8%, which was stated in his company, can hardly be called a boom. The operator’s representative also makes an amendment that his company has not been affected by sports betting.

Kais Nielander, head of sustainability at the former Swedish gaming monopoly Svenska Spel, believes that the growth recorded at the company is organic and has nothing to do with the pandemic and self-isolation.

He also noted that the gap associated with the downtime of sports betting is not being filled by other verticals, such as online casinos. With regard to the change in the gaming habits of users, the expert also expressed himself rather cautiously, saying that some of the clients are really former bettors, but completely new clients are also joining the games.

At the same time, a representative of Swedish gaming regulator Camilla Rosenberg stressed that when comparing the March figures last year and this year we can see signs of growth in online casinos. However, she notes that these signs can be called early, so it is premature to draw any unequivocal conclusions.

Who’s in the game?

Other playeble items

Another interesting discussion topic is that at the expense of which players scale business. For example, Rosenberg believes that the growth is not provided by bettors, and visitors to land-based gambling establishments. Her assumption is based on the fact that the owners of online casinos for years trying to interact with bettors, but only a very low percentage of the latter joined the casino gambling.

More logical from this point of view is the acceleration of the trend in the transition of players from the ground segment to online gambling.

A slightly different view was expressed in our separate material on the change of user habits during quarantine.

Forecasts

Big Cubes In the dark

If one imagines that the rules of social distance, Zoom meetings, and widespread hand-washing would become a thing of the past, would dubious industry achievements remain?

Nielander notes that the time following the pandemic could be a crisis or even economic disaster. Therefore, it is likely that people will not go back to normal life, but will sharply reduce spending on leisure time. With this in mind, it is highly unlikely that gambling operators will be able to come out of the crisis with improved performance.

However, he focused on another trend, which is also widely known from previous crisis situations – the growth of the vertical with low rates and high profits. In other words, the era after COVID-19 may become a lottery star hour.

But Costello believes that the level of gamblers’ involvement in gambling may decline and fall below the pre-crisis period. The latter will be caused by the need to compete with forms of leisure, which were unavailable due to quarantine.

Ironically, different experts have agreed on the situation in one – most likely, the most stable indicator will be the measures introduced as restrictions in various markets.

We would like to remind you that Lithuanian gambling operators decided not to advertise their products during the pandemic.

 

Job virtualization: definition and use in the gemblings

Big Cubes In the dark

The crisis conditions that everyone faced due to the coronavirus pandemic forced many companies not only to reconsider their approach to remote work, but also to familiarize themselves with the process of virtualization of workstations. Below in this article we will look not only at what exactly the process of virtualization is, but also at the approaches to its organization and the benefits for companies, including the gambling sector.

If you approach the question very roughly, desktop virtualization can be defined as the process of moving a computer, desktop, OS and installed software into a virtual space. The essence of the process is to disconnect the employee’s workplace from a particular piece of equipment. At the end of the process implementation allows not only to save on infrastructure, but also to increase its availability, as well as to manage IT resources under a simplified program.

Dictionary and definitions

Due to the topic of desktop virtualization, special terminology is often used, the understanding of which is necessary for more efficient application.

The term ‘thin clients’ is most often used in this context. Essentially, it refers to devices that allow users to remotely access the computing power resting on the server. In this case the work is carried out as if they are inside a system unit which is used at the workplace.

Note that this term applies to a particular class of devices, as well as to PCs with basic characteristics, smartphones or tablets. The essence of the work of such devices is to broadcast an image for the user and then send the specified commands to the server. From the outside, everything looks as if the employee is busy behind a stationary workstation. At the same time, computing resources can be located at considerable distances, and the user observes only the image of what is happening on the screen of the remote server.

VDI and RDS, or how to organize workstation virtualization

VDI and RDS

VDI and RDS

 

Note that both abbreviations mentioned in the subheading are different ways of virtualizing. Looking ahead, we should also note that the two methods are quite similar to each other, but they solve different tasks for business and corporate network. There are also companies that combine both approaches so that the latter complement each other.

RDS

RDS is the original acronym that sounds like Remote Desktop Services. The latter is one of Microsoft’s components. According to this concept, employees of one company work on one virtual machine running on a server operating system. The strengths of this approach to virtualization are: no performance drops during software restarts, and solving problems with access to data on the corporate LAN.

Because RDS redirects data over a specific protocol, there may be limitations in the use of some tools. The more connections are made, the less productive the system will become. Another negative aspect of working with RDS is the difficulty in configuring the technology. And here the positive point is that at work with RDS the companies can save on acquisition of software licenses.

VDI

The abbreviation VDI comes from Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. Essentially, it’s a virtual infrastructure where each user is busy on his or her own virtual machine, which is run through a remote server. In this way, all of the company’s employees are isolated, so more virtual copies of the OS are required. This technology, also because of this aspect, places more stress on the server.
At the same time, for companies whose main priority is to control access to confidential data, the solution may become indispensable. With this technology it is as if there is a disconnection between users and information.

In general, the technology for the corporate computer network is not only more reliable in operation, but also allows for a wider range of software and simplifies the configuration of infrastructure.

Virtualization: meaning for business

Virtualization

Virtualization

The benefits of desktop virtualization become apparent after months of use. However, the return on investment can take two to four years. The latter will depend on how large the business is managed by the company. However, the strongest argument for VDI and RDS will be a 40% savings in IT infrastructure ownership.

The virtualization process is first and foremost beneficial to the organization. Implementation of the technology allows organizing the work of employees using several operating systems. Thus, each employee of the organization or the whole department has the opportunity to get an individual set of software. As it was mentioned earlier, the use of technology allows to significantly increase the level of security.

Requirements to workplaces become more unified with a minimum of physical resources

In addition, by implementing a solution to virtualize the workplace, organizations can save on human resources. This refers to the work of IT engineers who are involved in setting up employee workstations.

Benefits of Virtualization

Benefits of Virtualization

Benefits of Virtualization

While the payback period for desktop virtualization is quite long, there are a number of undeniable advantages to using technology. Below are the most significant of these

  • Reducing IT infrastructure costs. We mean savings on capital costs, including the purchase of equipment. As a rule, every five years companies buy a new batch of equipment, in addition, it still needs repair and modernization. Thin clients, on the contrary, do not become so quickly outdated and cost less.
  • Restoration in the shortest possible time. Since a virtual machine recovers quickly, long downtime is simply not possible.
  • More opportunities for staff. For example, there are solutions that allow you to run a virtual VDI desktop without an Internet connection.
  • Expanding the possibilities for data protection. Because employees are isolated, confidential information leaks are reduced to zero. In addition, virtual machines can be provided with additional protection.
  • High level of information security. Whereas previously information was stored on employees’ PCs, it now resides in a more secure location – cloud and office servers. The possibility of information theft or leakage is also minimized in this way.

Virtualization of workstations and gembling companies

Job virtualization is often referred to as one of the trends of this year. Indeed, more and more companies are using the latest technology every year. The gambling business is no exception. Everything described above regarding the benefits of virtualization will be fair when gambling operators use the technology.

In addition, operators may be more interested in the benefits of virtualization in terms of data protection and high level of information security.