SiGMA has always had an eye to the emerging technologies of the world, and specifically how they can help the gambling industry. Naturally then, SiGMA Deep Tech, part of the SiGMA-ICE Asia and SiGMA Deep Tech Summit, plays a huge part in discussing how technology is evolving, and how that affects every segment of the gambling world, and day 1 spent plenty of time exploring these topics.
Can Live Gaming Save Casinos in a Digital Era?
Before the Deep Tech portion of the day kicked off, moderator Oliver De Bono, COO of Condor Gaming, was joined by Albert Climent, Founder of Oneblock Technologies, Evan Spytma, CEO of eBet, and Dmitriy Paliants, CMO of TVBET. They looked at how land based casinos are realizing that live casino offerings might be beneficial for them.
Climent noted that casinos are starting to look at adopting live casino offerings, instead of seeing them as a threat, due to the pandemic. “It’s a natural transition for them,” he said.
Spytma agreed, and noted how casinos are slyly getting into online offerings by letting people play from their rooms with mobile apps, and staying in touch with them when they go home. But they aren’t ready to fully embrace the vertical, and still aren’t confident that they understand the online space.
Paliants noted that TVBET is seeing customers in Asia increasing their demand for Live Casinos, and have received several requests to build customized studios for each market.
Check out the full discussion below:
Payment & Gaming: Crypto use
Jessica Walker later took up moderating duties to discuss the increased adoption of digital currencies with Max Krupyshev, CEO of Cryptoprocessing.com, and Tony Tong, Co-Chairman and Co-founder of the Hong Kong Blockchain Association.
Krupyshev noted immediately how important the digital currency and gambling industries are to each other. As much as 25% of all transactions in digital currency are currently going to iGaming, he pointed out.
Making digital currencies fast, cheap, and easy to use is important then, as land based gambling sits in doubt. Tong noted that 90% of Macau’s business is gone due to COVID-19, and since the region doesn’t allow online gaming, operators have expanded to jurisdictions like the Philippines that do allow the activity. They’ll find it easier to keep their customers if they can use cross border payments like a digital currency.
The pair also talked quite a bit about what a Chinese backed stable currency could do for the market, and how regulators may need operators help to understand why digital currencies can be so important to the industry. Check out the full discussion below:
Data in iGaming: Managing Data Effectively
Much of the Deep Tech focus was moderated by Igor Samadziski, Founder of Nexus Gaming Intelligence. He was first joined by Lior Cohen, Software Architect, Karl Davies Barrett, WW Cloud Solutions Architect at Microsoft Azue, and Chris Armes, CIO at Gaming Innovation Group (GiG), to talk about how to manage data most effectively.
Armes not that, at GiG, the priority has been to build a true, event driven, real-time data warehouse, with the first example coming in a partnership with Megalotto. The Extract, Transform Load (ETL) model just doesn’t work anymore, and it’s unreliable, so the industry has to move on, he said.
Cohen agreed, and discussed more about how databases are increasingly being built. “Aggregations are all the rage here, because we can’t really read a flat, huge table full of data.”
Davies Barrett didn’t want the audience to think there’s a one size fits all solution for data. “There’s a bunch of decisions you have to make, and it’s never a single gray area of a single solution fits all.” He also picked up the soundbite of the talk, saying: “Data that’s queried together should live together.”
Samardziski also asked if verticals should be treated differently in how their architectures are built and resources are managed, when operators need to move from cloud solutions to something in house, and strategies for the distribution of server farms. Check it all out here:
Real-Time Data: life cycle engagement and customer management challenges
Samardziski was then joined by Gege Gatt, CEO of EBO, David Sachs, CEO of Tomobox and Johan Zammit, Founder and CEO of Smart Studios to further explore real-time data processing.
Gatt first addressed the customer journey. “I think gone are the days when we could think of the customer journey as being purely linear and single channel.” He said. “I think we have multi point journeys in omni-channel environments, and I think it’s critical for us vendors to map to this particular customer journey the specific business pain points which we see in the industry, and how a technology can specifically serve against those pain points.”
Sachs spoke to come of the code needed to make this happen, and the difficulty of working with unstructured data. “We look at two elements of data: cognitive, which is conversational, chats, emails is what you think, and numeric, what you do,” he began. “These are two different, unstructured data that we’re trying to merge and get insights out of, so that is very, very challenging
Zammit noted though that the tech industry is living up to the challenge. “Gaming companies are a mix of marketing and technology, and obviously knowing your customer is a super important thing,” he said. “Through time, we are moving from, before actually we have no data then we started storing lots of data, now we’re moving into applying AI to data, and moving into real-time. Now storing data and getting insights every day is already a challenge, and taking this to real-time is further challenge, but it is actually doable.”
If you’re an operator that wants to better understand how real-time data can best be handled for your company, check out the full conversation below:
Quantum & Neuromorphic Computing
Steve Chao, Founder & CEO of Turing Industries, then joined Samardziski after giving his own presentation on Quantum Computing. With that level of technology nearly arrived, Samardziski feared that rich, private individuals might soon have access to break down the standard cryptography that many payment providers use.
“We should really know that the current quantum computer is at 53 qubits,” Chao first noted. “Now to break a standard encryption technologies, such as RSA, you’d probably need over 10,000 qubits to crack the RSA… So I think this is far out in terms of quantum computing being able to crack the cybersecurity, so I personally I wouldn’t worry too much about it.”
Samardziski also picked Chao’s brain on the topics of neuromorphyic chips, a technology which is seeing some progress, but Chao explained, still needs some breakthroughs to work.
The entire discussion is very revealing, and gives a look at technology that isn’t ready yet, but could be revolutionary when it is. Check it out:
Data & Cybersecurity
Lastly, Jason Farrugia, CTO of the Malta Gaming Authority spoke with Gaurav Mallawat, Solutions Engineering Team Lead Aseam of Cloudfare on cybersecurity for the gambling industry.
Farrugia noted that with so much foot traffic for land based casinos becoming virtual traffic for online casinos, they’ve now become targets. “They are not simply ecommerce websites, they have more components than standard business,” he said. “They have extensive databases containing customer data, they have multitude of gaming software, they have live gaming feeds, mobile, virtual reality, AI chat bots, payment gateways, signup forms. All potential opportunities for hackers and online fraudsters, so online casino operators need to ensure that each and every operation of their site is secure and protected, not just the login stage or the backstage.”
Mallawat confirmed that this worry was justified, noting there’s been an increase in cyberattacks during the pandemic, and noted that the rise of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, it’s easier than ever to launch DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. The question is, how do you protect from these kind of attacks?” He asked. “Data is very, very important in order to mitigate such attacks.”
He elaborated that by analyzing the data that can be gleamed from incoming traffic using machine learning, Cloudfare can help mitigate the types of traffic that get through, and prevent attacks.
The pair also talked about how big data also raises concerns about information privacy, insecure infrastructures, and other regulatory challenges that a company like CloudFare has to meet. The entire discussion reveals the two sides of how companies can be kept secure while staying compliant, and is worth watching.