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…HELLO 2019!


Richard Thorp Business Development Director, FSB


What was great about 2018? I’d have to say signing off a productive year in style at the SBC Awards 2018 with a win for Best Sportsbook Supplier. It’s always a hotly-contested category for technical proficiency and provided a real fillip for our talented team at FSB who have been working diligently for the past few years to put us at this scale-up stage with the definitive sports betting and gaming platform whose efficiency and scalability are second to none. Naturally, that success was built on some steady growth over the past 12 months, as we’ve now broadened our global footprint across four continents, with Asia and Africa witnessing the most rapid expansion. It’s a genuinely


exiting time to be at the intersection between so much cutting-edge tech development and these ripening markets.


What were the main challenges facing the industry in 2018? Remaining fully complaint within the tightening grip of global regulation, particularly with respect to bonusing and offer- related issues, and truly engaging players in a world of digital distraction have, I suppose, represented mounting challenges for operators. Which is why FSB has always placed such a high premium on cost-effectively managing the entire betting value chain – from harnessing the most reliable live data feeds from the best suppliers, to trading and risk management, alongside the most responsive marketing support.


What are you excited about for 2019? As state-by-state legislation rolls out across the U.S, the ensuing prospects are as attractive as they


on the key variables that impact performance, activity and scoring in any sport, automated systems will take over. After all, perhaps the greatest mistake any business can make is to cling to a non- performing technology. Most operators already realise this. However, the reality will quickly become grittier for any remaining on outmoded legacy platforms. The AI dream is now an attainable reality, provided that you have a modern platform that can facilitate these advances.


are obvious. Which, of course, is not to say that North America is going to become some free-for- all. Far from it. Indeed, the state-by-state regulatory dials on a variety of matters, such as tax tiers, will either open wide the window of opportunity or slam it shut. More generally, though, I’m excited about the progress of AI driving further efficiencies in the trading room. As algorithms continue to get a trading handle


Jo Purvis Director of Marketing and Relationships, Blueprint Gaming


What was great about 2018? It was a hugely successful year for us with several new games brought to market and the expansion of our global footprint across regulated markets. We launched an exciting mix of slots to meet the demands of our ever- growing player base. The Megaways mechanic has been incorporated across many of our games and has proved very popular with operators and players alike. Our licensed slots portfolio continues to grow, The Goonies proving especially popular and


becoming our most successful game launch ever.


Our success in 2018


would have been nothing without the help of our operator partners, with who we continue to build great and lasting relationships.


What were the main challenges facing the industry in 2018?


The on-going regulatory changes were of course a challenge and will remain so for the foreseeable future. In particular, content deemed appealing to children came under


renewed scrutiny. It’s imperative that suppliers such as ourselves continue to work closely with our operator partners wherever


possible to ensure that everyone stays on top of changing frameworks across various jurisdictions.


What are you excited about for 2019? For us, it’s all about building on the momentum generated in 2018 by releasing a roadmap of exciting new games to the market and moving the Blueprint brand into new


Any personal New Year resolutions you’re happy to share? The same one as most years: never to miss a day of the Cheltenham Festival. And, ideally, to go through the card on one of those four days. Granted, one of those goals is easier to achieve, so I’ll gladly take just being there at Prestbury Park please. Its unique atmosphere in March is created by that rare combination of fantastic sport allied to the unswerving spirit of the crowds. I hope my CEO will forgive me if I trade in my relentless new-biz airmiles for a bus pass to the racecourse that week.


territories across the globe. ICE 2019 will once again be a key event for us, kicking off what promises to be a rousing year and where we will be revealing the latest addition to our impressive licensed slot portfolio. Inspired by another hilarious Hollywood blockbuster film from recent years, we’re sure it will be a sizzler!


JANUARY 2019 103


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