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Paul Petrie of Scottish sportsbook McBookie explains the process he went through before choosing Jenningsbet as a White Label partner.

hen we were looking to launch we looked at the

option of going it alone and starting our own website, but it soon became obvious it would make more finan- cial sense to go down the White Label route. Not only do you get a ready-made infrastructure, but you also get a huge amount of expe- rience from the provider, who themselves are running

an online business. I would always recommend this route to any new start up or land-based bookmaker looking to go online. Choos- ing your White Label partner is a big decision so it is important to get it right. Firstly, we were looking for someone ideally based on the Openbet platform - it is a big selling point. Most of the major brands use the platform, so it instantly gives you credibility. Since we launched the site has

been redeveloped again which makes it even better for a White Label customer because we can now decide which sports are promoted on the home page. This is important as each brand needs to create its own identity. It should be a major consideration when choos- ing a partner. If you are simply the same as your white label provider but with a different logo and colour it simply won’t work. This partly leads us to our

main criteria - the ability to offer our own prices on the site. We are the only book- maker that offers prices on all first goal-scorers in Scot- land whilst we also bet on all Highland and Non League football. This was critical as it gives the brand a superb USP. This should make sense for a White Label provider as well because it encourages more sign ups to McBookie which they obviously benefit from.

This is the most impor- tant consideration when choosing your White Label provider. As a company you need to feel that what you offer is different from your competitors and you need to be able to stand out from the crowd. If your White Label provider isn’t going to help you do that, then look elsewhere.

In the end we plumped for Jenningsbet as they were happy to give us the freedom we needed. A

The importance of the White W

bonus selling point was that Jennings had already been there and bought the t-shirt. They had been a White Label customer themselves in the past, so they understood what we wanted and how the relationship needed to be managed. We were con- stantly updated with how everything was progressing whilst the site was being developed and when we launched they were always on hand with updates on accounts opened and

Matt Jellicoe, director and founder of Offsidegaming, examines what the growing trend of new online licensing regimes means for the smaller operator.

Traversing Europe’s new regulations E

uropean licensing seems to be gathering steam, the French system is now operational and new legislation is definitely on the horizon from revised rules in the UK, and forthcoming legislation in Romania, Greece and Poland to name but a few. The options vary from 1m euro bonds and unworkable tax regimes to sensible tax structures and accessible legal frameworks that would allow companies small and large to stay in the market. So what does this mean for the plethora of small and medium sized operators that still account for considerable market share in the e-gaming market? I think the first given is that new legislation in all markets will be expensive and will definitely increase operating costs and few operators, even the very large, will apply for licences in all markets.

For a large operator legislation is relatively straightforward - is the market interesting enough to pay a premium to enter? But here are some ideas which are very

40 BettingBusinessInteractive • OCTOBER 2010 relevant to smaller operators.

Size, scale and geographical diversity are key. Small ‘skins’ focused on a single product and market are vulnerable to new legislation. Geographical diversity and cash reserves will allow even relatively small gaming companies to make decisions on where they can focus resources.

It is of course possible that the ‘skin’ or ‘white label business’ will flourish again under new licensing, and perhaps even the smallest operators will have opportunities to discreetly move their offshore customer bases on shore. If you control your own platform (this applies mainly to sports betting operators which tend to have evolved this way) you have many options. You have market flexibility, you have multiple products, and you have the ability to move between the guises of operator and supplier depending on market. The main thing here is the flexibility

provided by the platform you operate. However, if you are wedded to a single software platform, you are largely controlled by the strategy of that company. A number of large poker platforms have not progressed with a French licence - in effect this means the operators on that platform are closed out from that market by default. The other major area is the type of licensing that comes

in. Currently, almost every online operator in the world is some shade of ‘grey’ (ie unlicensed) in one market or other. If licensing is democratic and fair in every EU market most operators will apply and the ‘grey’ operators will be far in the minority. However, some markets in Eastern Europe are proposing monopolistic legislation that will keep their markets in the ‘grey’ and they will continue to be targeted by offshore companies. The actual shape of regulation will evolve very quickly. It is likely there will be a great deal of co-operation between jurisdictions. Application costs will go down as protocols

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