Gaming And Hospitality icon

Build a Market-Ready iGaming Strategy

Avoid leaving your online casino strategy to chance.

Unlock a Free Sample
  • Due to legislative volatility of online gaming, it is difficult for brick-and-mortar casinos to create a well-planned iGaming strategy.
  • COVID-19 has accelerated the change in consumer behaviors and preferences with a high inclination toward digital.
  • Competitors are on the exact same footing when it comes to iGaming, making it difficult to determine how to differentiate oneself.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

Formulating a successful iGaming roadmap depends highly on the organization’s ability to de-risk both iGaming value chains and the technical architecture while balancing the integration of an omnichannel loyalty experience.

Impact and Result

  • Capitalize on iGaming value chains to develop an exhaustive list of user scenarios, which can lend themselves to greenfield engineering.
  • Build an iGaming technical architecture based on the organization’s unique set of needs, capabilities, and strategic position within the market.
  • Create a unified roadmap that considers initiatives and requirements involving all steps in Info-Tech’s iGaming evolution to prepare the organization for long-term success in the iGaming environment.

Build a Market-Ready iGaming Strategy Research & Tools

1. Build A Market-Ready iGaming Strategy Deck – A step-by-step blueprint that walks you through major decision points to develop an iGaming roadmap that balances risk and return.

Develop an iGaming strategy that can balance risk and return by leveraging iGaming value chains and the technical architecture to identify what technologies to embrace, processes to automate, and requirements to include in an RFP.

2. iGaming Strategy Workbook – An excel workbook that supports each step of the blueprint to help you accomplish your goals.

Key activities include the documentation of user scenarios, journey mapping, requirements prioritization, initiative documentation, and lastly, the creation of an iGaming roadmap using a Gantt chart visual.

Unlock a Free Sample

Workshop: Build a Market-Ready iGaming Strategy

Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Define the iGaming Value

The Purpose

  • Gain an understanding of your iGaming context and ecosystem and identify your list of internal and external user scenarios.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Ability to develop an exhaustive list of user scenarios that consider all crucial areas of the business by leveraging iGaming value chains.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Define the iGaming context

  • iGaming context defined
1.2

Understand your iGaming ecosystem

  • Documented iGaming ecosystem factors 
1.3

Determine internal and external user scenarios

  • User scenario inventory

Module 2: Construct a Configurable Technical Architecture

The Purpose

  • Gain an understanding of the necessary technological systems for your strategy and weigh iGaming platform decision criteria.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Define your iGaming technical architecture.
  • Identify the right iGaming platform sourcing model for your organization.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Review and select an iGaming platform sourcing model

  • iGaming platform sourcing model

Module 3: Formulate iGaming Journey Map Requirements

The Purpose

  • Design journey maps to empathize with your players and identify opportunities to streamline or enhance existing and new experiences.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Identify a unified view of customer experience.
  • Identify gaps in value delivery.
  • Improve customer journey.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Identify stakeholder personas 

  • Internal and external stakeholder personas
3.2

Stakeholder journey mapping

  • Journey map requirements
3.3

Prioritization of requirements

  • Prioritized requirements

Module 4: Build a Unified iGaming Roadmap

The Purpose

  • Build a player-centric iGaming roadmap.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Keep your team on the same page with key projects, objectives, and timelines.

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Bundle requirements into initiatives

  • Initiatives categorized by people, process, and technology
4.2

Build your roadmap

  • iGaming strategy roadmap visual

Build a Market-Ready iGaming Strategy

Avoid leaving your online casino strategy to chance.

EXECUTIVE BRIEF

Analyst Perspective

Unlock organizational value through iGaming



The addition of iGaming helps operators digitally transform their business into a platform provider, which has become an important model to remain relevant in an industry with high digital disruption.

However, a successful iGaming strategy relies heavily on balancing risk and return. The former is an ideal, yet feasible world; bringing in an omnichannel loyalty experience where operators can increase engagement for new and existing players. The latter is the reality of an operator’s environment; the practicality of increasing return will be based on your organization’s success in identifying and combating iGaming business and technical risks.

In this report, we leverage Info-Tech’s Digital Business Strategy to balance risk and return by analyzing iGaming value chains and the technical architecture to identify what technologies to embrace, processes to automate, and requirements to include in an RFP.

Larry Fretz
Vice President, Gaming & Hospitality (GHRC)
Info-Tech Research Group

Monica Pagtalunan
Research Specialist, Gaming & Hospitality (GHRC)
Info-Tech Research Group

Executive Summary

Your Challenge

Common Obstacles

Info-Tech’s Approach

You don’t have a well-planned iGaming strategy due to the legislative volatility of online gaming.

Regulations differ from brick-and-mortar casinos and require a different approach.

Your clients are going digital. COVID-19 has accelerated the change in consumer behaviors and preferences with a high inclination toward digital.

You want to differentiate from your competitors. Players view iGaming offerings as similar, making it difficult to determine how to differentiate oneself.

Limited experience in launching iGaming. The presence of iGaming constitutes a small footprint in North America, making its implementation a new and uncertain journey for many casino operators.

Knowing how to mitigate risks. An ad hoc approach will produce risk and devalue iGaming processes, which can negatively impact relations with those that have high expectations of the iGaming platform, including players and regulators.

Capitalize on iGaming value chains to develop an exhaustive list of user scenarios, which can lend themselves to greenfield engineering.

Build an iGaming technical architecture based on the organization’s unique set of needs, capabilities, and strategic position within the market.

Create a unified roadmap that considers initiatives and requirements involving all steps in Info-Tech’s iGaming evolution to prepare the organization for long-term success in the iGaming environment.

Info-Tech Overarching Insight

Formulating a successful iGaming roadmap depends highly on the organization’s ability to de-risk both iGaming value chains and the technical architecture, while balancing the integration of an omnichannel loyalty experience.

Defining iGaming

iGaming can be defined in two ways

  1. iGaming as any form of online betting. On one end, iGaming is referred to as any type of online betting as part of a holistic internet gaming portfolio, including sports betting and free-to-play social casino.
  2. iGaming as internet casino game betting. On the other end, iGaming is referred to as betting that wagers on the future outcome of an internet casino game, similar to brick-and-mortar casinos.
  • In the Build A Market-Ready iGaming Strategy blueprint, Info-Tech refers to iGaming as the latter. This report synonymously refers to iGaming in the following ways:
    • Internet Gambling
    • Pay-to-Play (P2P)
    • Real-Money Wagering
    • Online Casino
    • iCasino

The iGaming Regulatory Landscape

NORTH AMERICA

UNITED STATES

A slowly growing footprint. The sports betting footprint has grown but the iGaming regulatory scene has unfortunately been stagnant in the US.

iGaming is currently approved in six states: Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

CANADA

Gaining iGaming speed. With Ontario’s approved iGaming laws in 2022, the rest of Canada looks to the province as a model.

iGaming is currently approved in Ontario, British Columbia, and Manitoba. Saskatchewan will be live in 2022.

EUROPE

APAC

North America’s role model. The vast majority of Western Europe already regulates real-money online gambling with their operators and technology providers being considered more experienced.

  • In 2022, it was confirmed that 19 countries in Western Europe have online gambling licensed and 234 online gambling licenses issued.
  • Expected online GGR growth is 19% by the end of 2022 to $99.5 billion USD

An untapped market. Residents in APAC are limited to play-for-fun, offshore casinos, or grey markets due to heavy government sanctions on online gambling.

High-value countries for land-based gambling like Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand are stalled in digital iGaming growth.

Analysis of iGaming Models – North America

Connecticut

Delaware

Michigan

New Jersey

Pennsylvania

West Virginia

Ontario

Launch Date

October 2021

November 2013

January 2021

November 2013

July 2019

July 2020

April 2022

Model

Offers iGaming through land-based casinos affiliated with the state’s two tribal nations: Mohegan (Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment) and Mashantucket Pequot (Foxwoods Casino).

The three racinos in the state can operate iGaming under the authority of Delaware Lottery.

Regulators authorized land-based casinos and 12 recognized tribal operators to offer iGaming. By the end of 2021, 14 online casinos were operational.

Online gaming operators must partner with a land-based casino as a condition. By the end of 2021, a total of 30 online casinos were operational.

Land-based operators are authorized to offer iGaming through an affiliated online casino platform. In 2021, a total of 18 online casinos were operational.

Online gaming operators must partner with the state’s casinos. By the end of 2021, a total of five online casinos were operational.

The market is open to private gaming operators who have executed operating agreements with IGO and AGCO. As of April 2022, 13 iGaming operators have registered.

Permitted Games

Online slots and table games. Live dealer debuted in July 2022.

Online slots, table games, and interstate poker. Although legal, no operator has launched live dealer.

Online slots, table games, and interstate poker. Live dealer was authorized in July 2021.

Online slots, table games, live dealer, and interstate poker.

Online slots and table games. Live dealer debuted in October 2020.

Online slots and table games. Live dealer debuted in June 2022.

Online slots, table games, and live dealer.

Platform Selection

Selected by operator

i.e., Mohegan – FanDuel

Foxwoods – DraftKings

Must operate as a joint venture with Scientific Games and 888 Holdings

Selected by operator

i.e., Four Winds – Pala Interactive

Soaring Eagle – GAN

Selected by operator

i.e., Ocean Resort Casino – GAN

Tropicana Casino – Light & Wonder

Selected by operator

i.e., Wind Creek Casino – Pala Interactive

Parx Casino – Playtech

Selected by operator i.e., BetRivers – In-house

Caesars – Light & Wonder

Selected by operator

i.e., Fallsview Casino – Pala Interactive

Fitzdares – FSB

Taxation Model

18%

56% for online slots

20% for table games

Ranges from 20% on revenue less than $4 million, to 28% on revenue exceeding $12 million

15% gaming tax

2.5% community investment obligation

54% for online slots

16% for table games

15%

20%

2021 Financial Results

$47.6 million

$10.6 million

$1.1 billion

$1.37 billion

$1.1 billion

$60.9 million

2022-23 Projection – Combined iGaming and Sports Betting $26 million net income

Analysis of iGaming Models – Europe

Netherlands

Switzerland

Italy

Sweden

United Kingdom

Germany

Launch Date

October 2021

July 2019

2006

January 2019

2005

July 2021

Model

The market opened with ten operators being issued iGaming licenses. To be eligible for this license, the licensee must have refrained from offering online games of chance to Dutch consumers for two years.

Online gaming operators must partner with a land-based casino as a legal condition. As of March 2021, eight online casinos had launched.

An operator licensed anywhere in the European Economic Area, with a minimum gaming turnover of € 1.5 million in the last two years are authorized to apply and operate an online casino.

To operate in Sweden, an application for a Swedish Online Gaming License must be submitted.

To operate in the UK, operators must apply for a UK gambling operator license. Established and new operators must consider new responsible gaming rules that are going into effect in September 2022.

Online casino operators may apply for a license that is valid for up to five years.

Permitted Games

Online slots and table games, and live dealer.

Online slots, table games, and live dealer.

Online slots, table games, and live dealer.

Online slots, table games, and live dealer

Online slots, table games, and live dealer.

Online slots and poker. Table games and live dealer are not covered under law.

Platform Selection

Selected by operator

i.e., Holland Casino NV

Nederlandse Loterij

Selected by operator

i.e., Casino Lugano – Playtech

Selected by operator

i.e., Microgame – In-house

Selected by operator i.e., Tipwin Ltd. Gaming Innovation Group

Selected by operator

i.e., Fitzdares – FSB

Selected by operator

i.e., Kling Automaten GmbH – Pragmatic Solutions

Taxation Model

29%

Ranges between 20-80%

25%

18%

21%

19%

2021 Financial Results

DKK 2.42 billion

CHF 234 million

€3.46 billion

SEK 16 billion

£4.0 billion GGY

2021-2022 Projection –

€6.4 billion

The sports betting explosion welcomes the opportunity for iGaming approval

Of the 23 states that have legalized mobile sports betting in the US, 87% were legislatively approved after 2019 (Info-Tech, 2022).

  • Sports betting has expanded drastically in North America. In Canada, the federal ban on sports betting was lifted in 2021, with the launch of sports betting in Ontario in 2022. With sports betting gaining traction and expanding drastically in North America, this fuels the innate assumption that iGaming is next.
  • Sports betting expansion will fuel iGaming recognition. As regulators begin to see how profitable (and responsible) the online and mobile sports betting space can be, it can encourage the legalization of iGaming. Operators must be at the table with regulators to educate and encourage.
  • iGaming is a more profitable addition to a casino operator’s portfolio. Similar in the sense that both iGaming and sports betting are online forms of gambling that incentivize new player segments and digitize the casino’s operations, regulators and operators must understand that iGaming is a more profitable product than sports betting.

iGaming is a more lucrative product….

$3.71 billion

Earned among six iGaming states in the US.

…than sports betting.

$4.33 billion

Earned among 18 mobile sports betting states in the US.

AGA, 2022

Signals of Change

Although iGaming has largely been an underappreciated product offering, there have been signals of change (consumer, competitive, technological, or otherwise) that have indicated a divergence from the status quo and a significant focus toward this online revenue stream.

Vendors have made serious developments in the space

The consumption of gaming content has evolved

Operators have spun out digital brands

  • Aristocrat – It was announced May 2022 that Aristocrat would launch a real-money gaming (RMG) solution before year's end with two existing US customers already prepared to implement the system in 2022 once released.
  • Light & Wonder – Previously known as Scientific Games, the gaming and iGaming products were rebranded as Light & Wonder in March 2022. Scientific Games has become a stand-alone company specifically for lottery as Light & Wonder carves its own path to focus on brick-and-mortar and online gambling systems and content.
  • Advanced Visuals – 4K resolution has become the new standard for devices. Consumers are shifting toward devices and game content that boast this ultra high-definition resolution.
  • Advanced Wireless – 5G is high-speed cellular technology that would allow players to download, process data and play at a faster rate. Wi-Fi 6 is the latest generation of wireless networking technology that can support more users at a faster speed while serving a larger area. Consumers taking advantage of 5G, and Wi-Fi 6 allows casino operators to get creative with iGaming capabilities and content.
  • BetMGM – Founded in 2018, BetMGM is a partnership between MGM Resorts and Entain Holdings, acting as the exclusive online casino and sports betting division of MGM. Most recently, BetMGM entered the Ontario market with a license to operate iGaming and sports betting in the province.
  • Mohegan Digital – In 2021, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment launched Mohegan Digital, a division that will lead the charge for all online gaming solutions. This came after the legalization of sports betting and online gaming in the same year. Mohegan has now made an appearance in Ontario's open market.

iGaming: Unleashing your operation’s potential

  1. Have a strategy in any economic downturn.
  2. COVID-19 has been the prime example of the casino industry's inefficient reactive-over-proactive tendencies. A proactive strategy will prepare for any potentially disastrous economic scenario, such as a recession or pandemic.

  3. Build a top-class omnichannel operation.
  4. Operators can converge their markets – brick and mortar and the online space – so players can witness a truly frictionless experience through all channels. The seamlessness that consumers experience in other industries should be considered and propelled into the casino industry.

  5. Meet digital consumer expectations.
  6. It’s not “business as usual” anymore. We are in the "new normal" and this era involves far more digital technology. Although casinos are seeing pre-pandemic revenue numbers, it doesn't mean you shouldn't make any changes to current operations. Start considering the digital consumer lifestyle where the ability to provide a product online is no longer a preference, it's an expectation.

  7. Heighten the experience economy.
  8. Operators that implement iGaming have provided an additional experiential product for consumers to become accustomed to without the need for a physical location or the need to spend on materialistic goods.

Transform your operations by becoming a platform provider

Penn National Gaming Example – Pivot from an asset-heavy to a platform-scale model

The image contains a screenshot of the Penn National Gaming Example, that demonstrates pivoting to a platform-scale model.

Asset Heavy to Asset Light

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) have become a mechanism for casinos to unload assets and focus solely on operations.

Digital Acquisition & Spin Outs

With iGaming and sports betting viewed as major expansion opportunities, operators look to acquire digital assets and/or build digital units as tools to focus and succeed in the online market.

Omnichannel Convergence

The combination of being asset light and digitally present has allowed operators to become platform providers by blending operations between digital platforms and land-based casinos while leveraging a flexible, structured, and scalable brand-focused foundation.

iGaming enables a Casino-as-a-Platform strategy

Enable a platform model by bringing together two overarching platform strategies: Player Journey Ecosystem and Digital Experience Platform(s)

The image contains a screenshot of a diagram that demonstrates the Brick & Mortar Casino. The Brick & Mortar Casino incorporates: iGaming Platform, Sports Betting Platform, Social Casino Platform, Loyalty Platform, Mobile Platform.

The player journey ecosystem is supported by the digital experience platforms which are various lines of business and revenue streams used to build an experience economy. Each digital experience platform is used to curate content, deliver seamless interactions, and orchestrate value across the ecosystems. A combination of these digital experience platforms is the glue that ties the player journey ecosystem together from online to on-property.

The Future of iGaming

Once your strategy has been implemented, consider iGaming’s trends and its place on the experience roadmap in the coming years

Online Crypto Casino

Rolling the dice on digital assets

Online crypto and NFT casinos have disrupted this space through decentralized markets for some time. Cryptocurrency and NFTs provide the opportunity to enable the play-to-earn model, a modern approach that can be leveraged to incentivize play. However, its volatility and place in a regulated market has operators questioning when adoption can occur.

Metaverse iGaming Experience

Appealing to younger demographics

The pandemic heightened the millennial-to-Gen-Z cultural transition, and the industry is exploring what investments will need to be made in the world of virtual reality. A more realistic initiative than crypto adoption, operators will still have their work cut out for them with the need to create a metaverse from scratch. The challenge will be establishing KYC, AML, and RG regulations in a virtual world.

Visit Info-Tech’s Future of Casino-as-a-Platform Trends Report

Info-Tech Insight

Walk before you run. The future of iGaming is promising; however, operators shouldn’t get too ahead of themselves by becoming concerned over the speed of implementation for new and emerging technologies. As a greenfield project, your organization will need to focus on needs before wants.

Follow Info-Tech’s Recommended iGaming Evolution Ladder

1.Implement “Play to Fun”2. Transition to “Pay to Play” for Current Player Base

3. Expand “Pay to Play” for New Players

4. Extend iGaming to Other Legalized Open Markets5.Engage in “Interstate Compacts”

iGaming Legalized Within State

  • In anticipation of the legalization of iGaming within your state, implement a play-for-fun model now to grow your online brand.
  • Through effective cross-marketing and integration, this play-for-fun model may generate additional revenues for your land-based casino.
  • A F2P-to-P2P transition won’t be simple, but you will already have implemented the platform and technology and integrated with third-party games.
  • Pilot real-money gaming with your existing members (B&M and free-play customers) as an extension to the casino services already offered. These players are already known to you.
  • Once you’re confident in the know-your-customer (KYC) capabilities of the established solution, extend the reach to new customers.
  • Once your organization matures in the iGaming space, use your online casino experience within the state to participate in open markets in other geographic locations.
  • Allows online players from different states to sit at the same virtual tables.
  • A well-thought-out solution will allow for expansion as states enter interstate compacts and increase the liquidity of their player pool.

Omnichannel loyalty is iGaming’s key differentiator

Inducements and content bring attention to an online casino but omnichannel loyalty retains the players and builds a branded experience.

Converging online and on-property

  • Build a frictionless experience. To fully capitalize on land-based and online wagering value, casino operators need to bridge the two and create an all-encompassing experience for players.
  • Choose omnichannel over multichannel. In an omnichannel strategy, players can play games, receive promotions, accrue and redeem, and transact on the casino floor and online seamlessly with a connected experience.

Transforming relationships with players

  • iGaming is part of a larger loyalty strategy. A sole iGaming focus on transaction-based loyalty will fail to address the emotional side that provides engagement and a strong player experience.
  • Avoid a traditional loyalty program to build iGaming success. Your digital loyalty approach should be designed to be relationship-driven with the objective of providing behavioral and attitudinal loyalty.

Five Major Omnichannel Challenges

  1. Ineffective content strategy
  2. Improper utilization of user data
  3. Isolated analytics measurement
  4. No action on new findings
  5. Ineffective marketing strategy

Five Major Loyalty Challenges

  1. Focus on transactional marketing
  2. Lacks cross-channel redemption
  3. Ignores technological loyalty progress
  4. Limited analysis of guest behaviors
  5. Absent centralized loyalty program across lines of businesses

Market-ready does not mean rush-to-launch

Regardless of whether your organization decided to adopt early or late, any casino that takes the time to plan for an iGaming strategy will increase benefits and decrease risks.

Pros

Cons

Early Adoption

  • Develop brand recognition and confidence
  • Initial or provisional boost to revenue
  • Initial or provisional reach of a wide set of new customers
  • Significantly more difficult to navigate the regulatory environment
  • The need to please players while also dealing with any unforeseen circumstances
  • Minimal resources or guidance

Delayed Adoption

  • Avoid being lost in all the marketing schemes and advertisement noise
  • Ability to see what iGaming strategy works
  • Ability to analyze the market and competitors
  • Regulations may be more straightforward to navigate
  • Must compete with iGaming operations that have already established brand awareness and a player database
  • May miss out on acquiring some new players

“If we’re launching off-cycle, we don’t have to compete in terms of the cacophony of voices and media spend out there.”

Jon Kaplowitz, Head of Penn Interactive

SBC Leaders, March 2022.

An ad hoc approach to iGaming strategy will miss key risks and considerations

  • iGaming is not a turnkey operation. The addition of an iGaming product requires time and effort for project development, vendor selection, and implementation. Your iGaming strategy will impact the way you operate and whether further (major and unnecessary) adjustments are needed to resolve initial strategic mistakes.
  • Revenue is a given, trust is rewarded. Although iGaming is viewed as a “cash cow,” your strategy will impact how your stakeholders will view the organization for years to come. An operator must consider regulatory requirements or risk fines and distrust from both legislators and players.
  • When risks are glossed over, the brand image is impacted. Consider the following real-life cases of fines:
    • BetMGM Canada has been served Notice of Monetary Penalties totaling $48,000 for their alleged failure to comply with advertising and inducement standards.
    • PointsBet Canada has been served Notice of Monetary Penalties totaling $30,000 for their alleged failure to comply with advertising and inducement standards.
    • Casumo, a Maltese operator, has been fined $8.2 million for AML and social responsibility failings that include allowing a player to lose $1.1 million without a responsible gambling interaction.
    • Intouch Games, a UK iGaming tech provider, has been fined $3.4 million for social responsibility failings.

The Financial Dimension of iGaming

Benefits highly outweigh the cost but utilize the development of a well-prepared iGaming strategy to establish ways to reduce risks on both a revenue and cost side, resulting in increased profitability.

The Revenue of iGaming

  • New source of revenue
  • Increased land-based casino revenue
  • New player acquisition and engagement opportunity
  • Improved brand engagement
  • Improved player database loyalty

The Cost of iGaming

  • Infrastructure
  • iGaming licensing
  • Maintenance and support
  • Regulatory compliance difficulty with heightened KYC and AML obligations
  • Customer acquisition through marketing and advertisement
  • Promotions & Incentives
  • Taxation
  • Liability
The image contains a screenshot of the thoughtmodel Build a Market-Ready iGaming Strategy.

Info-Tech’s approach to iGaming strategy

A balanced path to de-risk and thrive in online gaming operations

1. Define the iGaming value in your operations 2. Construct a configurable technical architecture
The image contains a screenshot of the example for step 1.

Understand how your organization will create value with iGaming by leveraging value chains to identify user scenarios for digital enablement and transformation.

The image contains a screenshot of the example for step 2.

Leverage Info-Tech’s iGaming technical architecture to proactively analyze various systems and avoid common operator challenges when implementing and operating iGaming technology.

3. Formulate iGaming journey map requirements 4. Build a unified iGaming roadmap
The image contains a screenshot of the example for step 3.

Design journey maps for your user scenarios to empathize with your stakeholders and identify requirements to streamline or enhance this new experience.

The image contains a screenshot of the example for step 4.

Create a balanced roadmap that improves digital maturity and prepares your iGaming initiative for long-term success in a digital economy.

The relationship between iGaming value chains and the technical architecture

Value Chains

Technical Architecture

The image is a screenshot of an example of value chains.The image contains a screenshot of an example of technical architecture.
  • The user scenarios you build out through the value chain processes will require the implementation and support of iGaming technical systems.
  • Because your operations will likely move through the iGaming evolution ladder, the objective is to consider future-forward vendors and technical requirements that can transition with you.
  • Furthermore, the vendor decisions and requirements you document for the technical architecture must provide configurability and modularity, otherwise, your operations will face technical challenges and be forced to make unnecessary adjustments in the end.

Insight Summary

Overarching insight

Formulating a successful iGaming roadmap depends highly on the organization’s ability to de-risk both iGaming value chains and the technical architecture while balancing the integration of an omnichannel loyalty experience.

Phase 1 insight

Internal processes need to adjust for digital since the value of a transaction, player experience, and speed of play that happens at an iGaming level is an entirely different methodology than brick-and-mortar.

Phase 2 insight

As your organization goes through transitions in the iGaming evolution, ensure the vendors that are chosen and the requirements and initiatives road mapped can easily transition with you or else face difficult and costly technical adjustments.

Phase 3 insight

Most of your iGaming requirements should consist of meeting regulatory compliance, which allows you to successfully deep-dive on initial iGaming needs rather than projecting inessential future wants.

Phase 4 insight

Don’t skip out on visualizing your iGaming strategy. A visual roadmap will demonstrate confidence in your iGaming vision and your means to get from a conceptualized idea to a successful reality.

Blueprint Deliverables

Journey Mapping Workbook

Populate the journey maps to evaluate a user experience over its end-to-end journey.

The image contains a screenshot of the Journey Mapping Workbook.

Requirements Gathering

Document and prioritize your iGaming requirements.

The image contains a screenshot of the Requirements Gathering.

Roadmap/ Gantt Chart

Populate your Gantt chart to visually represent your key initiative plan.

The image contains a screenshot of the Roadmap/ Gantt Chart.

Key Deliverable:

iGaming Strategy Workbook

An excel document that supports each step of this blueprint to help you accomplish your goals:

The image contains a screenshot of the iGaming Strategy Workbook.

iGaming Strategy Benefits

Guest Benefits

IT Benefits

Business Benefits

  • Increased engagement through the provision of an additional channel for players to gamble.
  • Ability to meet and exceed digital consumer expectations, meeting consumers where they are already: online.
  • Provided a frictionless experience; a familiar concept to all consumers in other industries.
  • A digital iGaming strategy ensures that IT is seen as a valuable partner in the eyes of the business.
  • Your organization will invest in new or modernized software and hardware for a successful and low latency online casino strategy.
  • IT's role in the organization will become more innovative in this increasingly digital environment.
  • Increased revenue, acquisition, and retention through the addition of a high-value and high-return product to the casino's gaming portfolio.
  • Improved reputation by ensuring regulatory and player trust through an actionable approach to high-risk scenarios.
  • The opportunity to add processes and automate and transform current processes to increase efficiency and productivity.
  • Ability to innovate through an omnichannel strategy that will provide players an enhanced experience.

Measure the value of the iGaming strategy

Given that Build A Market-Ready iGaming Strategy is intended to assist operators in balancing risk and return, the metrics that support its success should be tied to this concept.

Objective

Performance Measure

Current

Forecasted Target

Increase Return

Increased land-based revenue through omnichannel

$2.5 million

$3.6 million

Improve Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

$5,000

$6,800

Increase in loyalty memberships

1.1 million

1.3 million

Increase in player net promotor score

23%+

42%+

Decrease Risk

Increased security controls

90

140

Reduce number of high-risk problem gambling players

100

25

Reduce fraud rates

15%

12%

Increased positive perception of operator gambling being safe and secure

58%

51%

Reduce payment processing lag

1-3 business days

Immediate

Decrease registration abandonment rate

70% (Industry)

45%

Overarching Tribal Gaming Considerations

Don’t forget about the reality of your environment

  1. Varying data governance perspectives.
  2. Control and sovereignty over player data will dictate the approach tribes take to iGaming. Some tribes will want to maintain sovereign interest in the player databases and are less likely to partner with a vendor that requires them to relinquish control.

  3. Increased target for cyberattacks.
  4. Tribal casinos have become an increasing target for cyber attack, with hackers eyeing player data. According to the National Indian Gaming Commission, the prevalence of cyberattacks in 2021 jumped by 1,000% from 2019 (World Casino News, 2019) which has consequently, increased the price of cyber insurance for tribal casinos.

Info-Tech offers various levels of support to best suit your needs

DIY Toolkit

Guided Implementation

Workshop

Consulting

“Our team has already made this critical project a priority, and we have the time and capability, but some guidance along the way would be helpful.”“Our team knows that we need to fix a process, but we need assistance to determine where to focus. Some check-ins along the way would help keep us on track.”“We need to hit the ground running and get this project kicked off immediately. Our team has the ability to take this over once we get a framework and strategy in place.”“Our team does not have the time or the knowledge to take this project on. We need assistance through the entirety of this project.”

Diagnostics and consistent frameworks used throughout all four options.

Guided Implementation

What does a typical GI on this topic look like?

Phase 0Phase 1Phase 2Phase 3Phase 4

Call #1: Discuss business context and customize your iGaming value chains.

Call #2: Assess iGaming context and ecosystem.

Call #3: Determine internal and external scenarios.

Call #3: Discuss your iGaming technical architecture.

Call #4: Determine your iGaming platform sourcing model.

Call #5: Identify stakeholder personas and scenarios.

Call #6: Complete journey mapping exercise.

Call #7: Discuss initiative generation and inputs into roadmap.

Call #8: Summarize results and plan next steps.

A Guided Implementation (GI) is a series of calls with an Info-Tech analyst to help implement our best practices in your organization.

A typical GI is between 8 to 12 calls over the course of 2 to 4 months.

Workshop Overview

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Define the iGaming value in your operations

Construct a configurable technical architecture

Formulate iGaming journey map requirements

Build a unified iGaming roadmap

Activities

  1. Validate iGaming context.
  2. Assess iGaming ecosystem.
  3. Configure and analyze value chains to determine internal and external scenarios.
  1. Discuss your iGaming technical architecture.
  2. Determine your iGaming platform sourcing model.
  1. Identify stakeholder personas and scenarios.
  2. Complete journey mapping exercise.
  1. Discuss initiative generation and inputs into roadmap.
  2. Summarize results and plan next steps.

Outcomes

  1. iGaming context
  2. iGaming ecosystem
  3. User scenarios
  1. Defined iGaming technical architecture
  2. Selected iGaming platform sourcing model
  1. Journey map
  2. Journey-based requirements
  1. Bundled requirements into initiatives
  2. iGaming roadmap

Phase 1

Define the iGaming value in your operations

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

1.1 Understand the iGaming business

1.2 Value chain analysis

2.1 Define the technical architecture

2.2 Weigh iGaming platform decision factors

3.1 Journey map user scenarios

3.2 Prioritize requirements

4.1 Bundle requirements into initiatives

4.2 Visualize the iGaming strategy

This phase will walk you through the following activities:

  • Define the iGaming context
  • Understand your iGaming ecosystem
  • Determine internal and external user scenarios

This phase involves the following participants:

A cross-functional cohort across levels in the organization.

Step 1.1

Understand the iGaming business

Activities

  • Define the iGaming context
  • Understand your iGaming ecosystem

This step will walk you through the following activities:

In this section you will understand the context of your iGaming strategy.

This step involves the following participants:

A cross-functional cohort across levels in the organization.

Outcomes of this step

  • iGaming Context

Understand the iGaming Context

  • Your organization has decided to implement iGaming because it accomplishes an overarching business objective or goal.
  • A pre-requisite to iGaming strategic planning should be to elicit the business context, ensuring that your iGaming output aligns with the business context outputs.

Business Inputs

Document(s)/ Method

iGaming Alignment Outputs

Key stakeholders

Strategy document

  • Business stakeholders that are actively involved in, affected by, or have influence over the outcome of the iGaming initiative.

Vision and mission of the organization

Website Strategy document

  • The iGaming initiative’s vision and mission must mirror the organization’s vision and mission, enabling what the organization wants to achieve and how it strives to accomplish those goals.

Business goals and key targets

CEO interview

  • The iGaming initiative’s goals and key targets must support the organization’s goals and key targets, which can be analyzed through quantitative benchmarks.

Your strategic position within the market will dictate the path forward

  • The chosen strategic position will set the course for the project with the ability to appropriately shortlist the personas to pursue and the user scenarios and requirements to develop.
  • Your organization will select a strategic position based on the business goals and vision and mission statements of the organization as analyzed in the previous slide.

Defensive Strategy

Offensive Strategy

  • A small brick and mortar that is looking to retain their player base and increase revenue on property
  • Likelier to place heavy emphasis on the integration with their loyalty program to satisfy the needs of their brick-and-mortar player base and encourage return business
  • Likely to choose games that are popular on the casino floor and will seek to offer the same brand experience online as exists in the current casino
  • A mid- to large-size brick and mortar that is looking to attract a brand-new player base and source of revenue
  • More likely to place heavy emphasis on a best-of-breed experience and innovative features that will attract new online customers (who may never visit on-property) and less value on integration with the casino
  • If successful, more likely to consider tailoring the brand of the casino to align with the image developed online

1.1.1 Define the iGaming Context

1-3 hours

  1. Gather the iGaming strategy creation team and review your business context documents. This includes business strategy documents, CEO interview notes, and other sources for uncovering the business strategy.
  2. Brainstorm the following overarching considerations with the team:
    • Who are the key iGaming stakeholders that will be accountable and responsible for the iGaming initiative development and implementation?
    • Define an iGaming mission and vision statement that aligns with the vision and mission statement of the business.
    • What business goals and key targets will the iGaming initiative accomplish?
    • Does your organization see a defensive or offensive approach to iGaming?
  3. Document your findings.
InputOutput
  • Business strategy documents
  • Executive stakeholder interviews
  • iGaming context defined
MaterialsParticipants
  • Collaboration/brainstorming tool (whiteboard, flip chart, digital equivalent)
  • Executive team

Assess the iGaming ecosystem to drive the strategy

  • Systematically explore the internal and external ecosystem related to iGaming. This scan will provide the organization with a “big picture” of the environment it will be operating in.
  • Make better informed decisions. The research conducted and data collected as part of this scan will help drive the organization’s online gaming strategy.
  • Rely on a combination of internal and external factors. Assessing your iGaming ecosystem should ensure you have an up-to-date understanding of the regulatory environment, iGaming competitive market, preferences of target customers, and a grasp on internal skills and inventory.

iGaming Ecosystem

  • Regulations
  • Competitive Market
  • Players
  • Players

Components of a comprehensive ecosystem scan

Factor

Area of Focus

Considerations

Market

Incumbents and disruptors

  • Product/service and key features
  • Key differentiators
  • Market positioning
  • Target market/customer

Regulations

Government

  • Current regulatory environment
  • Pending bills
  • Likelihood of changing regulations

National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC)

  • Minimum Internal Control Standards (MICS) restrictions

Payment Processing

  • National banking relationship with the industry
  • Payment method standards (ACH, credit, debit, gift card redemption, e-check deposits, crypto, etc.)
  • Anti-money laundering risks

Players

Current demographic

  • Demographic profiles of current player base
  • Current player base’s view on online gaming

Target demographic

  • Organization’s target customers and their preferred games and devices
  • Customers’ perspective on iGaming

Know Your Customer (KYC)

  • KYC procedures: player identification, age verification, location authentication
  • Items to cross-check (location, identity, residence, financial institution, credit card)

Internal Capabilities

Skills

  • What are the skills of the current workforce in all affected departments i.e., Marketing, IT, Operations

IT Inventory

  • What system does the brick-and-mortar system use?
  • What integrations exist between systems?

1.1.2 Understand your iGaming ecosystem

2-3 hours

  1. Identify and document "big picture" considerations that will drive your iGaming strategy, categorized by:
    1. Market
      • Incumbents and disruptors
    2. Regulations
      • Government legislation
      • Gaming board/National Indian Gaming Commission
      • Payment processing
    3. Players
      • Current demographic
      • Target demographic
      • Know Your Customer (KYC)
    4. Internal Capabilities
      • Skills
      • IT inventory
InputOutput

Market, regulatory, player and internal capability assessment

Documented iGaming ecosystem factors

MaterialsParticipants

Collaboration/brainstorming tool (whiteboard, flip chart, digital equivalent)

Executive team

Consider your iGaming offerings

Driven by your iGaming context and ecosystem, your operations will be able to offer one, some, or all types of online casino games.

Slot Games

Table Games

Live Dealer Games

“Online slots are coming out every week and gather a massive public following.”

– Zack Jones,

Forbes

“Online classic games like roulette and blackjack maintain a steady base of players.”

– Zack Jones,

Forbes

“There’s an immersive, interactive experience. It’s so much more engaging when there’s a human being on the other end of it.”

– Darcy Krogh,

Playgon President and CEO

  • Slot games involve a reel or wheel and a betting of the odds.
  • iGaming developers design many variations of slot games as slots are the most played among all casino games, generating high revenue margins.
  • Slot games have become popular because they are easy to play and require no education.
  • Table games involve cards, dice, casino chips, or other equipment that is used to play for real-money.
  • Popular internet games include Blackjack, Twenty-One, Poker, Craps, and Roulette.
  • There has been a significant increase in table game usage versus slots in the online casino market.
  • Creating a hybrid environment where a human live dealer deals and streams the game in real-time from a table game and players make betting decisions from their digital screen.
  • This form of gambling is considered a step toward the VR, AR, and metaverse trend that the industry is seeing.
Financial Post, 2022.
Forbes, 2021.

Step 1.2

Value Chain Analysis

Activities

  • Determine internal and external user scenarios through iGaming value chain analysis

This step will walk you through the following activities:

Identify an exhaustive list of user scenarios by analyzing iGaming value chains

This step involves the following participants:

A cross-functional cohort across levels in the organization.

Outcomes of this step

  • Exhaustive list of user scenarios

Determine what value iGaming creates for the organization

Value streams and value chains connect business goals to the organization’s value realization activities. They enable an organization to create and capture value in the marketplace by engaging in a set of interconnected activities. An iGaming initiative creates value by attracting, entertaining/servicing, and retaining guests (Value Stream) through the following iGaming management and operation processes and activities (Value Chains):

The image contains a screenshot of a diagram to demonstrate the value the organization creates.

Value Streams

A value stream refers to the specific set of activities an industry player undertakes to create and capture value for and from the end consumer.

Value Chains

A value chain is a ”string” of processes within a company that interrelate and work together to meet market demand. Examining the value chain of a company will reveal how it achieves competitive advantage.

Each value chain has a stakeholder associated with it. This is the primary stakeholder that seeks to gain value from that value chain

Visit GHRC’s Integrated Casino Reference Architecture

Analyzing iGaming Value Chain Components

iGaming Risk, Audit & Compliance:

Responsible for ensuring compliance of regulatory legislation, standards, and contractual obligations. Includes the development of policies and procedures necessary for iGaming operations.

Player Segmentation:

Collecting data on players (such as transactional and behavioral activities, and preferences) to segment and build profiles, and to activate the player experience.

Content Management:

Pre-built, skinned, or customized gaming content. Leverages data and analysis to determine what games are best for the operation and how they’re presented on the player interface.

Player Communication:

Consists of the direct communication tools and strategies that the operator provides to the player with the objective of gaining retention.

Affiliate Marketing & Advertisement:

Consists of various acquisition schemes and tactics to build brand and content awareness. This includes the management of affiliate relationships.

The image contains a screenshot of the iGaming Management and iGaming Operations value chain components.

Player Self- Management:

Involves the player’s experience managing their account, including registration and account preference updates.

Promotions & Incentives:

Consists of player engagement tools to enhance the player experience, including various bonus types, tournaments, and achievements.

Player Support:

Types of support channels and each channel's level of support for player questions, inquiries, and issues. Typical support channels include email and phone number.

Transaction Processing:

Ability to deposit, withdraw and have visibility of funds. Also involves the accrual, redemption and visibility of loyalty points.

On-Property Experience Integration:

Refers to the convergence of the online and on-property environment and the tactics and tools to offer a fully integrated experience.

Compile an exhaustive inventory of user scenarios by leveraging iGaming value chains

  • User scenarios define a sequence of interactions between a product and the parties that interact with it, providing the best way to deduce requirements and initiatives.
  • Analyze each iGaming process one-by-one. By doing so, operators can:
    • Determine why a stakeholder would use the product or the tasks they need to accomplish with it (since each user scenario forms a purpose or goal).
    • Investigate existing and predictive pain points and risks to each process with the user scenario opportunities as resolutions.
  • Each value chain has a stakeholder associated with it. This is the primary stakeholder that seeks to gain value from that value chain. Utilize the generic stakeholder to determine whether the user scenario is internal or external.

Sample user scenarios stemmed from value chain analysis

The image contains a screenshot of the sample user scenarios stemmed from value chain analysis.

Info-Tech Insight

Internal processes need to adjust for digital since the value of a transaction, speed of play, and the player experience that happens at an iGaming level has a completely different methodology than brick-and-mortar does.

Consider omnichannel loyalty scenarios to increase return

Games

  • Consider what games will only be available for each respective channel and what games can be made available on both channels.

Promotions

  • Use both channels to communicate news and information for each other such as new content, events, etc.
  • If a player is gambling in one channel, offer a promotion or incentive for the other channel.

Loyalty Program

  • Centralize membership profiles with one unified loyalty program across locations and lines of businesses.
  • If a player is gambling in one channel, offer a reward or promotion for the other channel.

Digital Wallet

  • A unified digital wallet allows players to deposit and withdraw funds through both on-property and online channels.

The image contains a screenshot of a diagram of the Omnichannel convergence.

Info-Tech Insight

Omnichannel loyalty scenarios can enhance your organization’s participation in the experience economy by providing the opportunity for online players to access land-based entertainment amenities.

Consider common risks to the iGaming value chains to protect your brand

Lack of Automation

  • Most operators deal with manual processes and inefficiencies for what are often considered mundane and time-consuming tasks.
  • Consider automating KYC, AML, payments, problem gambling, and campaign management processes to enable a player-focused iGaming strategy.

High-Regulatory Restrictions

  • iGaming is a highly-regulated industry. Your organization must understand what this means for your user scenarios and any limitations it may cause.
  • Failing to consider the high-regulatory restrictions of your user scenarios may lead to fines and loss of trust.

Market Saturation

  • Especially in geographic locations with large numbers of competitors, market saturation can be a real cause for concern with operators experiencing expensive traffic acquisition costs. How does your organization rise up against all the marketing noise?
  • Your organization will need to consider schemes and tools to be able to successfully market your brand and product.

Player Lifecycle

  • Consumers expect fast and easy digital experiences, iGaming included. If the player impression of iGaming is unfavorable, glitchy, or boring, you’ve lost a retention opportunity.
  • Consider how your players will journey through the experience, avoiding lengthy and tedious onboarding flows and irrelevant content.

Value Chain Risks

  • Lack of Automation
  • Market Saturation
  • Player Lifecycle
  • High Regulatory Restrictions

Info-Tech Insight

Conceptualizing risk scenarios is crucial. If neglected, these challenges can negatively impact regulator and player views of the brand.

1.2.1 Determine internal and external user scenarios

3-4 hours

  1. Set up the appropriate number of workshops or sessions to cover the inventory of user scenarios.
  2. One at a time, analyze each process of the iGaming value chains to create an exhaustive list of user scenarios.
    1. Evaluate each process for omnichannel loyalty opportunities related to content, promotions, loyalty program, and digital wallet
    2. Further, evaluate the value chain processes based on the level of pain or exposure to risk experienced by a stakeholder to accomplish that task:
      • Market saturation
      • High regulatory restrictions
      • Lack of automation
      • Player experience
InputOutput
  • Value chain analysis
  • User scenario inventory
MaterialsParticipants
  • iGaming Strategy Workbook
  • Executive team

Download the iGaming Strategy Workbook

Phase 2

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

1.1 Understand the iGaming business

1.2 Value chain analysis

2.1 Define the technical architecture

2.2 Weigh iGaming platform decision factors

3.1 Journey map user scenarios

3.2 Prioritize requirements

4.1 Bundle requirements into initiatives

4.2 Visualize the iGaming strategy

This phase will walk you through the following activities:

  • Defining the technical architecture
  • Determine the sourcing model for your iGaming platform

This phase involves the following participants:

A cross-functional cohort across levels in the organization.

Step 2.1

Define the technical architecture

Activities

  • Analyze the iGaming technical architecture

This step will walk you through the following activities:

In this section you will gain an understanding of the necessary technological systems for your strategy.

This step involves the following participants:

A cross-functional cohort across levels in the organization.

Outcomes of this step

  • Defined iGaming technical architecture

Understand the technologies necessary for an iGaming strategy

Info-Tech’s iGaming technical architecture

A top-down approach shows the interdependent relationship between layers – one layer of functionality uses services provided by the layers below and, in turn, provides services to the layers above.

The image contains a screenshot of Info-Tech's iGaming technical architecture.

Defining iGaming Platform

What is it?

  • The online gaming platform is a portal that allows casinos to offer free play or wager-based gaming, and typically includes native content, reporting functionality, and verification functionality for geo-location and age that can be enabled in a wager-based environment.

Member Context

When choosing the best iGaming platform provider, consider:

  • iGaming Content. Likely, your organization will partner with multiple iGaming content providers, but you can simplify your content strategy by analyzing what iGaming content your iGaming platform includes or vendors they partner with.
  • Flexibility. Ensure that you choose an iGaming software provider that will be future-proof as your operations scale and requirements start to change as you learn more about your market. To accommodate this, the platform should be:
    • Configurable. Custom code requirements should be seen as highly negative for a platform.
    • Modular. The vendor must provide an open ecosystem for creating API-driven solutions based on operator needs rather than technology limitations.
  • Build synergy. Your platform should be designed with unification of the back office in mind. No matter if you are live in one state or many, your platform should be able to provide one singular customer view while still maintaining compliance.

According to a SOFTSWISS survey

Crucial functional reasons for choosing an iGaming partner:

  • Wide range of games
  • Flexibility in discussing terms of service
  • Quick response and resolution of issues

Reasons for terminated business relationship between vendor and operator

  • Poor quality or lengthy request resolution
  • Lack of involvement in resolving issues
  • Lack of technical functionality
Newswire, May 26, 2022.

Defining iGaming Content

What is it?

  • Online gaming content vendors provide a selection of game content for the iGaming platform. Content can include slots, table games, bingo, lottery, and poker.

Member Context

The supply side of iGaming content is admittedly overcrowded. Licensing models are based on royalty fees. Therefore, when making the decision to partner with content providers, an operator needs to look at:

  • Product Portfolio & Roadmap. Ensure there is diverse, highly personalized, and unique content with frequent releases.
  • Talent & Resources. How many games have they released? How large is their developer team?
  • Studio Component. Ability to create exclusive content for a customized approach. Titles should be adapted to address operator pain points, offering local or themed versions of games, special bonus tools, and so on.
  • Math Models. Ensure that the vendor is always looking to improve underlying math models.
  • Demographic Considerations. Creation of exclusive content based on both older and younger generations of players. The vendor should have an understanding that younger demographics look for new challenges and entertainment options, which is not found in traditional reel-based content. An example of this is the adoption of skill-based games online.
  • Omnichannel Convergence. Derive from traditional casinos, migrating content to digital platforms for the purpose of game familiarity.

Consider operators’ challenges with content vendors

  • 65% of customers have very frequent winning chains in online slots
  • 29% experience technical content problems
  • 44% are unhappy with suggested commercial terms of cooperation
Casexe, 2017.

Defining Payment Processing

What is it?

  • This layer sends money between the customer and the merchant. Money can move to/from the customer’s bank account, credit card, or an alternative payment method (i.e. digital wallet, prepaid card, or voucher).

Member Context

  • Operators face multiple separate integrations as consumers’ online payment preferences become increasingly diverse while also demanding a seamless omnichannel payment experience. To tackle this issue:
    • Partner with a payment provider that has developed APIs, allowing operators to offer a comprehensive range of payment methods through a single integration.
    • Build an optimized user experience by implementing digital wallets for a single-source player solution.
  • It is not acceptable for players to wait hours for a payout request. Ensure your selected payment processing vendor includes instant payouts as a feature where staged payouts are initiated automatically in real-time.
  • Operators are facing challenges with card acceptance rates issued by financial institutions. In a newly regulated market, ensure you provide players with alternative methods of payment. For example, in Ontario, two of the five banks do not accept credit card payments. The alternative solution to this is offering a bank-account-based payment option to overcome these low card acceptance rates.
  • Payment security becomes a concern because of high-volume processing and the risk of chargebacks and fraud. Ensure your payment vendor provides the ability to leverage AI learning from historical events to manage fraud. Additionally, take advantage of tokenizing sensitive information to minimize exposing data while removing the need to re-enter payment details for retained players.

Players want easy deposits

  • 46% of bettors say the ability to easily make a deposit is their top priority
  • 52% of bettors have had issues with declined payments when signing up for iGaming apps
  • 33% cite a lengthy deposit process as the biggest pain point

Operators are dissatisfied with payment system integrations

  • 72% regional restricted acceptance of payments
  • 55% payment delays and financial gambling operations
  • 34% online payment systems offer excessively high banking fees which are considered unreasonable
  • 19% report payment software failures or delays
Casexe, 2017.

Defining Monitoring

What is it?

  • In areas with regulated online gaming, monitoring (external and internal) may be used to ensure that the iGaming product complies with the regulatory environment.

Member Context

Either through the iGaming platform or a third-party provider, an operator must constantly monitor their iGaming ecosystem to ensure the product complies with the regulatory environment by:

  • Keeping track of iGaming laws and regulations. Ensure you’re aware of potential regulatory changes with some vendors being able to provide automated notifications of these changes.
  • Enabling automation to support compliance. Automating internal compliance processes can reduce manual and mundane tasks, increase data and reporting accuracy, and learn from historical events.
  • Providing key AML and anti-fraud features such as real-time account monitoring, verification capabilities, transaction and deposit monitoring, and blacklisting.
  • Geofencing. Use GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi, and cellular data to determine whether a device enters or leaves a certain boundary to detect location scams and verify player identity.

Operators report fraud issues

  • 85% have dealt with bonus hunters
  • 75% have coped with multi-accounting
  • 31% have experienced financial fraud
Casexe, 2017.

Defining Player Interface

What is it?

  • iGaming platform vendors provide operators with app and website creation capabilities.
  • There are several devices (mobile, tablet, computer) players can use when interacting with the iGaming system. It is important that you identify your target customer and the ways they may interact with the system.

Member Context

For an online casino to succeed, operators must rely on an intuitive interface experience for their players. Ensure your iGaming platform provides the following player interface features:

  • Simple navigation throughout the entire player journey. Consider registration, login, deposit, betting process, withdrawal, etc.
  • Multi-device approach. The vendor must be able to provide a smooth user interface for preferred devices with linkage to brick and mortar channels.
  • Speed. Players should not experience downtime or delay in the experience.
  • Customization. The operator should be able to fully configure the user interface with the players’ preferences and expectations in mind.

70% of visitors to iGaming websites abandon before they convert

– Salecycle
Salescycle, 2021.

Defining Security

What is it?

  • Security is pervasive through all layers of the iGaming reference architecture.

Member Context

  • Cybersecurity is a risk that plagues the digital environment. If the iGaming platform security is managed poorly, it will undermine your stakeholders’ confidence in the trustworthiness and transparency of your iGaming operations.
  • Ensure your iGaming vendor(s) is SOC2 compliant through third-party certification. It will ensure that the system(s) is secure and trustworthy to handle sensitive player data.
  • An iGaming platform initiative will demand digital trust. You, as an operator, control digital identity which includes who your players are and issues credentials used for KYC purposes (payment, location, digital identifier, and unique customer data) across the digital wallet, player enrollment, and registration process and will therefore, require tools to improve player confidence and trust mechanisms to ensure compliance while reducing excessive transactional friction.
  • Leverage Info-Tech’s Build an Information Security Strategy blueprint to critically examine the potential security risks that could arise with your iGaming product.

SuperCasino – January 2020

Attackers stole users’ sensitive details, including names and telephone numbers.

SBTech & DraftKings – March 2020

Operation of iGaming and sports betting services was interrupted as a result of a ransomware attack.

Clubillion – March 2020

200 million records per day were exposed

MGM Resorts – May 2022

142 million guest records have been publicly shared on Telegram

Visit Info-Tech’s Build an Information Security Strategy blueprint

AML & KYC Case Study

INDUSTRY: Gaming & Hospitality

SOURCE: SEON

EZY Gaming overcomes fraud challenges

EZY Gaming, an online casino founded in 2017 in the Netherlands, began to scale and migrated from a licensed iGaming platform to an in-house built platform, choosing to manage their own risks including multi-accounting, ID fraud, bonus abuse, and advantage gameplay. However, this proved to be more challenging than expected, so they implemented SEON’s Sense Platform, a fraud detection solution.

The monitoring system offers email, phone and IP analysis modules, and takes advantage of machine learning to understand fraud patterns and rule suggestions.

Results

EZY Gaming chose SEON because of “their ability to screen each transaction and customer, the level of detail provided in each review, automation options, intuitiveness of the system, and costs.” The implementation of SEON gives EZY Gaming the confidence needed to manage fraud in a high-risk, regulatory-restrictive industry.

Consider the following key solution players for your technical architecture

The image contains a screenshot of the following key companies under 4 headings. Monitoring: KINECTIFY, SEON, EVERI, FinScan, alessa, GeoComply, Location SMART. iGaming Content: Wild Streak Gaming. Galaxy Gaming, Derivco, Softbet, Microgaming, Netent, Red Tiger, Rela Gaming. Payment Process: Shift 4, Paysafe. Everi, i2c, Corefly, global payments, Trustly. iGaminf Platform & Player Interface: Oryx Gaming, Light & Wonder, Betconstruct, GAN, GIG, PALA, iGaming Group, Aspire Global, IGT, playtech.

iGaming Evolution Technical Considerations

As your organization goes through transitions in the iGaming evolution, ensure the vendors that are chosen and the requirements and initiatives road mapped can easily transition with you or else face difficult and costly adjustments.

1.Implement “Play to Fun”2. Transition to “Pay to Play” for Current Player Base

3. Expand “Pay to Play” for New Players

4. Extend iGaming to Other Legalized Open Markets5.Engage in “Interstate Compacts”

iGaming Legalized Within State

  • Infrastructure Costs. For example, additional data centers may be required to accommodate the influx of connections and data associated with the growing volume of player transactions.
  • Marketing Tactics. Your marketing tools, schemes and tactics may change as you extend business to new customer demographics.
  • Taxation. Models change based on product and geographic location.
  • Fees & Applications. Consider application fees, license fees, annual fees, and the cost of complying with regulations.
  • iGaming Systems. As your organization matures up the evolutionary ladder, so will your technology. Consider geo-location, age requirements, loyalty program integration, etc.
  • Liability. Additional resources may be required to stay on top of changing legislation to ensure products and offerings are compliant with regulations.

Step 2.2

Weigh iGaming platform decision factors

Activities

  • Determine the sourcing model for your iGaming platform

This step will walk you through the following activities:

In this section you will weigh iGaming platform decision criteria for the crucial core component of your strategy.

This step involves the following participants:

A cross-functional cohort across levels in the organization.

Outcomes of this step

  • Defined iGaming technical architecture

The most crucial architectural component of iGaming is the selection of your iGaming platform and vendor

  • A typical iGaming platform contract is five years and licensing is based on a RevShare percentage model. With this long and pricey contract on the table, your organization could:
    • Get caught between technology changes.
    • Be unhappy with the vendor because it does not provide the organization with the best value.
    • Forget requirements, forcing contract renegotiations or maverick spending.
    • Miss performance targets, compensating a vendor for a large percentage of sales that may not be worth the cost.
  • Ensure your organization takes part in a thorough selection process. This blueprint involves a proper requirements gathering process. Be sure to consider iGaming vendor soft requirements:
    • Is the vendor financially stable?
    • Does the vendor have the necessary skills and resources to execute on your requirements?
    • What is the vendor’s reputation among other clients?
    • What is the vendor’s experience within the iGaming market?
    • What is the vendor’s experience entering multiple regulatory markets?

Your strategic position within the market will drive your solution motivation

  • It may be difficult to find a solution that offers best-of-breed content, strong integration with current systems, and in-depth monitoring features.
  • Since your iGaming platform is the core system of the project, it will be your organization’s decision if, when, and by how much you want to expand monitoring features and gaming content.
  • Your strategic position’s target personas, whether they are for existing players or for player acquisition, dictate the level of excellence you need to achieve for content, integration, and monitoring.

Defensive Strategy: Integration Focused

Offensive Strategy: Content & Monitoring Focused

  • Player retention is the goal in a defensive position.
  • Your target segments want seamless, uniform experiences between brick and mortar and the online platform. Strong internal integration and singularity in systems underpins this capability.
  • Integrating content, platforms, and back-end systems will be less complex if a singular vendor that touts strong pre-built integrations is selected.
  • New player acquisition is the goal in an offensive position.
  • Best-of-breed systems are put in place:
    • Provide players with high-quality content that will compel them to stay engaged on the site. The objective is to refresh and introduce new top-tier content routinely to target persona segments with short engagement lifecycles.
    • Enact high-depth monitoring components to ensure the protection of new players. In an offensive position, your organization will likely take advantage of open markets in other geographic locations and will require the integration of a monitoring system that can scale unfamiliar territories.

Evaluate the different sourcing models of an iGaming platform

Partnership (B2C)

License (B2B)

Buy

Build

Order of MaturityThe image contains an arrow. At its base it is labelled simple, and the point of the arrow is labelled fully customized.
Info-Tech Insight
  • A vendor that offers combined B2B and B2C features tends to have fewer customers and will partner with a single casino in a specific region.
  • An operator would choose between a turnkey platform or white label platform:
    • Turnkey: Operator-controlled platform to enable independent business strategy.
    • White Label: Provided with a generic product with fixed services and content, leaving the operator to focus on marketing.
  • Operators acquire small iGaming technology companies because they want to control the product development roadmap without having to start from scratch.
  • An operator considering a “build” model must be IT mature, have considerable knowledge and footprint in the iGaming industry, and have the necessary resources to establish a platform.
Benefits
  • Benefits those with no previous experience of the iGaming sector.
  • Takes care of marketing, especially if the current marketing department lacks efficient internal processes and digital culture.
  • Infrastructure support is outsourced.
  • Responsibility for issues doesn’t totally lie with the organization.
  • Limits impact on internal headcount required to support iGaming.
  • Upfront costs can be minimized.
  • No need for initial development team.
  • Immediate access to online gaming traffic.
  • Vendor products can provide a range of functionality (including marketing capabilities).
  • Often vendor solutions are scalable and can grow with the organization.
  • Partner stability is not a factor since everything is dealt with in-house.
  • Easier to develop a highly customized and unique brand and offering.
Drawbacks
  • Organization has very limited control of product/functionality/features.
  • Must share a high percentage of revenue with vendors. Managed Service vendors focus more on customer acquisition and less on customer retention.
  • Organization doesn’t have full control of product/functionality/features.
  • Must share a percentage of revenue with vendors.
  • Expensive investment.
  • Knowledge transfer required.
  • A qualified support team must be formed.
  • Staff building is expensive.
  • Fully accountable if any issues arise.
  • Need for frequent updates can take valuable developer resources away from other projects (increasing total cost of ownership).

License Model Case Study

INDUSTRY: Gaming & Hospitality

SOURCE: ORYX Gaming

With the Dutch iGaming market considered a difficult regulatory space, Betnation.nl needed to partner with a reputable iGaming platform provider, especially as an operator entering the gambling industry for the first time.

Betnation.nl selected ORYX’s complete solution including its Player Account Management solution and content library, with their Managing Director, Robert Schouten, stating their rationale behind the choice: “The reputation for class and professionalism the company upholds was a real selling point for us and gives us confidence as we launch our brand onto the market.”

Betnation.nl selects ORYX Gaming’s iGaming platform

Results

A license scenario with the right vendor can bring many advantages for an online casino like Betnation.nl:

  • An experienced vendor in many regulatory markets can provide speed-to-market and compliance assurance.
  • Ability to use their B2B services to tailor the product rather than purchasing a white label solution where replacing parts become unfeasible.
  • Benefits those with limited software development resources.

Buy Model Case Study

INDUSTRY: Gaming & Hospitality

SOURCE: iGaming Business

Boyd Gaming acquires Pala Interactive

In March 2022, Boyd Gaming struck a deal to acquire Pala Interactive, a Toronto-based iGaming software, for $170 million. This deal includes Pala Interactive’s portfolio of technology including a player management system, as well as its casino, poker, integrated sports, and social casino systems.

Still committed to their sports betting partnership with FanDuel, this Pala Interactive acquisition will affect FanDuel’s provision of Boyd’s iGaming B2B and B2C services that currently exists.

Results

The deal is expected to close in 2023. However, a buy scenario brings many advantages for Boyd Gaming:

  • Provides the operator full control over the technology’s product development roadmap.
  • Ability to provide an omnichannel approach by using the technology to pursue a personalized player experience.
  • Avoids costly iGaming partnerships.

Build Model Case Study

INDUSTRY: Gaming & Hospitality

SOURCE: Seeking Alpha

RSI builds an in-house iGaming platform

Rush Street Interactive (RSI) has built a solid online presence, operating in four states for their online casino and twelve states for their sports books. As a mature online gambling operator with a large footprint, it made sense for RSI to build their own proprietary platform. RSI prides itself on the following highlighted features:

  • Quick Deposits & Withdrawals. Built an in-house payment platform, RushPay, to deliver real-time approvals on >80% of player withdrawal requests.
  • Gamified Promotional Platform. Developed promotional tools to drive player engagement including real-time algorithmic bonusing engines, scratch cards, wheel spins, bad beat bonuses, bingo, and bonus store awards. Recently, they’ve created a multi-player slot tournament platform.
  • Player Self-Management. Players can activate bonus money when they desire and track progress toward bonus completion and bonus store points.

Results

A build scenario brings many advantages for RSI, with the company emphasizing the speed-to-market advantage:

  • Be first-to-market in a newly legalized area to acquire players at a lower cost.
  • Establish speed-to-market with development focus on a differentiated user experience.
  • Eliminate the need for a RevShare model with a platform partner or licenser.

Best-Fit Approach Depends on Several Considerations

Leverage these criterion to rationalize the sourcing model for your iGaming solution:

iGaming Footprint

Cost Model

Resource & Capacity

The more presence an organization has in the iGaming industry, the more mature and experienced they are to increase platform complexity.

Consider the total cost (investment and ongoing costs) for each potential sourcing model.

In-house resources and capacity such as skills and access to IT teams.

Functionality

Data Governance

Scalability

The breadth and depth of capabilities needed depending on how complex the organization wishes the iGaming solution to be.

The extent to which the deployment model will allow the organization to govern their own data based on data and sovereignty requirements.

The extent to which the deployment model will allow the organization to scale up as demand changes.

Regulatory Model

Regulators will either give your operations the freedom to select your platform sourcing model or constrain you to build partnerships with specific vendors.

Info-Tech Insight

There are cases of B2C operators trying to build their own technology and ending up with a blunder. Consider your organization’s IT and business maturity in the space before considering the high-risk in-house option.

2.2.1 Review and select an iGaming platform sourcing model

1-2 hours

  1. Review the set of iGaming platform sourcing models on the previous few slides.
  2. For each sourcing model, there are benefits and risks to be considered. Make an informed selection by understanding the risks that your operations might be taking on by adopting that particular model.
  3. Consider your organization’s leniency or tolerance of specific characteristics:
    1. iGaming footprint
    2. Functionality
    3. Cost model
    4. Data governance
    5. Resource & capacity
    6. Scalability
    7. Regulatory model
  4. If, at any point in the selection process, the group is unsure about which operating model will be the right fit, refer to your iGaming context and ecosystem established in Activities 1.1.1 and 1.1.2 to guide you in the selection.
InputOutput
  • Tolerability/leniency of various characteristics
  • iGaming context
  • iGaming ecosystem
  • iGaming platform sourcing model
MaterialsParticipants
  • iGaming Strategy Workbook
  • Executive team

iGaming is a cloud-first industry

Cloud enables speed-to-market.

  • iGaming is a fast-paced business with the constant need to develop and release new games and promotions, and a cloud model removes the risk of lengthy infrastructure procurement and latency.
  • Cloud lets you rapidly expand in out-of-state open markets. With every state or location with their own data residency requirements, cloud infrastructure ensures a seamless and constant experience.

On-premise and hybrid are still options.

  • There are iGaming operators held back by regulatory requirements. Going with an on-premise or hybrid infrastructure comes down to regulators and how ready they are to embrace cloud-culture.
  • Some tribal casinos require data on-premise. It is more common for tribal casino operators to have an on-premise infrastructure because of data governance.

Benefits of Cloud for iGaming

  1. Build a more scalable product
  2. Zero-maintenance
  3. Commercial flexibility
  4. Less up-front investments (From Capex to Opex)
  5. Built with automation and security in mind

Your checklist to prepare for the initial phase of identification with your iGaming platform vendor

Demonstrate your organization’s confidence in your vision and the means to get there

Initial phase of identification checklist to have ready for your iGaming platform vendor:

    ☐ Have you identified the target market(s) you want to enter?

    ☐ Do you hold all required (B2C) licenses?

    ☐ Do you have a pro forma P&L statement?

    ☐ Do you have a marketing plan and monthly/yearly budget?

    ☐ Do you have an acquisition plan for players? i.e., affiliates, social media, TV, billboards, etc.

    ☐ Do you have previous experience in iGaming/sports betting/land-based gaming/media?

    ☐ Do you have experience or a strategy for required iGaming operational services i.e., KYC for players, transaction monitoring and processing, customer support/call center, player-retention activities, etc.

Phase 3

Formulate iGaming journey map requirements

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

1.1 Understand the iGaming business

1.2 Value chain analysis

2.1 Define the technical architecture

2.2 Weigh iGaming platform decision factors

3.1 Journey map user scenarios

3.2 Prioritize requirements

4.1 Bundle requirements into initiatives

4.2 Visualize the iGaming strategy

This phase will walk you through the following activities:

  • Identify stakeholder personas for journey scenarios
  • Stakeholder journey mapping
  • Prioritization of iGaming requirements

This phase involves the following participants:

A cross-functional cohort across levels in the organization.

Step 3.1

Journey map user scenarios

Activities

  • Identify stakeholder personas for journey scenarios
  • Stakeholder journey mapping

This step will walk you through the following activities:

In this section you will journey map your exhaustive list of user scenarios from Phase 1.

This step involves the following participants:

A cross-functional cohort across levels in the organization.

Outcomes of this step

  • iGaming requirements

User scenarios will be journey mapped to determine iGaming requirements

From user scenario to journey scenario

Understand how a stakeholder moves through a process. A journey-mapped approach helps understand how stakeholders interact with the organization in the form of technical touchpoints, channels, and supporting characters.

In Phase 1, we identified an exhaustive list of scenarios through value chain analysis. The next step is to create journey maps for this list to identify pain points and requirements.

In Phase 2, we identified the technologies necessary for iGaming and their key considerations to increase return and decrease risk. Leverage these technologies as technical touchpoints when completing the journey map to determine requirements for these systems along the way.

Identify stakeholder persona

Who are you planning for?

  • A stakeholder persona is a fictitious profile to represent a guest, guest segment, or an internal end-user. Creating this persona helps us understand who our guests really are and why they are using our service or product.
  • Understand who you’re mapping for. In each value chain, we identified a stakeholder who gains value from those processes.
  • Use internal resources to create personas. One of the best ways to flesh out your stakeholder persona is to engage with the stakeholders directly or to gather the input of those who may engage with them within the organization.
  • Leverage your strategic position within your market. Doing so will determine which external stakeholder personas to target.

Info-Tech Insight

Run a survey to understand your end users and develop a stronger picture of who they are and what they are seeking to gain from your organization.

Example Internal iGaming Stakeholder Personas

Consider roles in impacted areas of the business

Risk, Audit & Compliance

  • Analyze vendor performance and ensure SLAs are met.
  • Monitor responsible gaming procedures, annual audits, AML compliance, and third-party geo-location suspicious activity.

Marketing

  • Build a backlog of appealing iGaming promotional mechanics and product features.
  • Support the creation of promotions briefings.
  • Create and segment campaigns with A.B or multivariant testing.

Content Management

  • Develop and maintain a game release roadmap.
  • Create, test, and verify game functionality.

Data Analytics

  • Create a multi-state player development strategy by leveraging data.
  • Participate in market analysis for operational and promotional strategies.

Sample Data – Caesars Digital Job Descriptions

Example Player Personas

Name: Steve

Age: 32

What do they need to do? Play online poker, preferring to be physically alone while engaging with others in a virtual world.

Pains: Frustrated by ongoing issues with payment processing.

Gains: Motivated by gamification features, and often appears on the leaderboards for the unregulated sites he appears on.

Name: Bob

Age: 42

What do they need to do? Occasionally wants to visit the casino and resort where he can gamble, and his family can spend time at the pool.

Pains: Inability to continue his blackjack streak outside the four walls of the casino.

Gains: Ability to continue this excitement to the website where his winnings on the floor can be ported over to the online space.

Name: Mary

Age: 60

What do they need to do? An active member of the casino’s player club that wants to play slots on her new tablet.

Pains: The casino’s player club is not integrated with the iGaming product.

Gains: Wants to accrue loyalty points and be able to redeem these toward meals at the brick-and-mortar casino.

Name: Kelly

Age: 25

What do they need to do? Planning a trip to the casino with friends and wants to learn to play craps before the trip.

Pains: Intimidated to learn on the casino floor in a real-money wagering scenario with intermediate players.

Gains: She would like to engage in freemium play to familiarize herself with the game and gain confidence in a no-risk environment.

3.1.1 Identify stakeholder personas

2-3 hours

  1. Start by identifying who your stakeholder is for each journey scenario. Give your stakeholder a demographic profile – capture a typical stakeholder for this user scenario.
    1. Internal personas selected will depend on department accountability for that value chain process.
    2. External personas selected will depend on the strategic position within the market: offensive or defensive.
  2. Identify what the gains and pains are in this value chain process and what the stakeholder is seeking to accomplish.
InputOutput
  • List of user scenarios
  • Internal and external stakeholder personas
MaterialsParticipants
  • Stakeholder Persona Canvas (slide 76)
  • Collaboration/brainstorming tool (whiteboard, flip chart, digital equivalent)
  • Executives
  • Stakeholders (if possible)
  • Individuals who work directly with stakeholders

Journey mapping will define your iGaming needs in the form of requirements

  • The business and IT should work together to journey map and document the full set of requirements to support the iGaming project.
  • Get a big picture view of organizational needs while still getting the level of detail required to make informed decisions about technology.
  • Collecting a preliminary list of functional and non-functional requirements at this stage reduces the risk of purchasing inappropriate technology.

Functional Requirements

  • Broken down business requirements that outline exactly what needs to be done and delivered and would be understood by business analysts, project managers, developers, and testers.
  • Examples:
    • Must synchronize user account and loyalty data with Aristocrat Oasis’ Casino Management System.
    • Must handle basic errors (i.e. for mandatory fields or hard errors).

Non-Functional Requirements

  • Specific criteria that can be used to judge the operation of a system. It defines how a system is supposed to be, relating to the environmental conditions under which the solution must remain effective.
  • Examples:
    • The system service shall have an availability of 99%.
    • The games must be accessible from all desktop, mobile, and tablet devices.

Building stakeholder journey maps

The journey-based approach will help the organization understand how a guest or internal end-user moves through a process and interacts with the organization in the form of touchpoints, channels, and supporting characters.

Journey Activity

The journey activity comprises the steps or sequence of tasks the stakeholder takes to accomplish their goal.

Technical Touchpoints

A technical touchpoint refers to the system(s) that the stakeholder uses to interact with iGaming, leveraging the technical architecture in Phase 2.

Key Moments & Pain Points

Key moments and pain points refers to the emotional status of a stakeholder at each stage of the customer journey.

Requirements

Functional and non-functional requirements of the associated technical touchpoint that should address a stakeholder pain.

3.1.2 Stakeholder journey mapping

  1. Gather the working group and using the journey mapping workbook, begin to map out the journey scenario statements already identified.
    1. Start with the journey activity and map out the steps involved to accomplish the goal of the stakeholder.
    2. Identify the technical touchpoints involved in the value chain.
    3. Identify pain points, key moments, and requirements in parallel with one another.
    4. Leverage requirements categories to help with this brainstorming activity.
InputOutput
  • Stakeholder personas
  • Journey mapping scenarios
  • Technical architecture
  • Documented journey maps
  • iGaming requirements
MaterialsParticipants
  • iGaming Strategy Workbook
  • Executives
  • Individuals in the organization that have direct interaction with stakeholders

Download the iGaming Strategy Workbook

Step 3.2

Prioritize journey map requirements

Activities

  • Prioritization of iGaming requirements.

This step will walk you through the following activities:

In this section you will prioritize your iGaming requirements for a more actionable and realistic approach to iGaming strategy.

This step involves the following participants:

A cross-functional cohort across levels in the organization.

Outcomes of this step

  • Prioritized iGaming requirements

Prioritization of requirements

Requirements prioritization is the process of managing relative importance and urgency

As there may be many requirements arising from the journey maps, we need to prioritize to identify which ones we can tackle first – or at all. Leverage the MoSCoW Model of Prioritization to effectively order requirements:

  • Must Have: Requirements must be implemented for the solution to be considered successful.
  • Should Have: Requirements are high priority that should be included in the solution if possible.
  • Could Have: Requirements are desirable but not necessary and could be included if resources are available.
  • Won’t Have: Requirements won’t be in the next release but will be considered for future releases.
The image contains a screenshot of the MoSCow Prioritization Model.
Info-Tech Illustration: MoSCoW Prioritization Model

Base your iGaming prioritization on the right set of criteria

Effective Prioritization Criteria

Criteria

Description

Regulatory & Legal Compliance

  • These requirements will be considered mandatory.

Policy Compliance

  • Unless an internal policy can be altered or an exception can be made, these requirements will be considered mandatory.

Business Value Significance

  • Give a higher priority to high-value requirements.

Business Risk

  • Any requirement with the potential to jeopardize the entire project should be given a high priority and implemented early.

Likelihood of Success

  • Especially in proof-of-concept projects, it’s recommended that requirements have good odds.

Implementation Complexity

  • Give a higher priority to low implementation difficult requirements.

Alignment With Strategy

  • Give a higher priority to requirements that enable the iGaming (and business) context.

3.2.1 Prioritization of requirements

1-2 hours

  1. As a group, review each requirement and decide if the requirement is:
    1. Must Have
    2. Should Have
    3. Could Have
    4. Won’t Have
  2. Base your iGaming prioritization on effective prioritization criteria:
    1. Regulatory & Legal Compliance
    2. Policy Compliance
    3. Business Value Significance
    4. Business Risk
    5. Likelihood of Success
    6. Implementation Complexity
    7. Alignment With Strategy
    8. Urgency
InputOutput
  • Requirements list
  • Prioritization criteria
  • Prioritized requirements
MaterialsParticipants
  • iGaming Strategy Workbook
  • Executives
  • Stakeholders (if possible)

Phase 4

Build a unified iGaming roadmap

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

1.1 Understand the iGaming business

1.2 Value chain analysis

2.1 Define the technical architecture

2.2 Weigh iGaming platform decision factors

3.1 Journey map user scenarios

3.2 Prioritize requirements

4.1 Bundle requirements into initiatives

4.2 Visualize the iGaming strategy

This phase will walk you through the following activities:

  • Identify initiatives to address requirements
  • Build your roadmap

This phase involves the following participants:

A cross-functional cohort across levels in the organization.

Step 4.1

Bundle requirements into initiatives

Activities

  • Identify initiatives to address requirements

This step will walk you through the following activities:

In this section you will logically bundle your requirements list into various project-based initiatives.

This step involves the following participants:

A cross-functional cohort across levels in the organization.

Outcomes of this step

  • People, process, and technology initiative profiles

Logically bundle requirements into project-based initiatives

Once requirements are bundled, brainstorm initiatives using the framework below. Describe each initiative as a plan or action to take to solve the problem.

Requirements

The image contains a screenshot of a triple venn diagram to demonstrate the initiatives: People, Process, Technology.

People: What initiatives are required to manage people, data, and other organizational factors that are impacted by this opportunity?

Process: What processes must be created, changed, or removed based on the data?

Technology: What systems are required to support this opportunity?

Sample Data – Identify initiatives that can address multiple requirements simultaneously

REQUIREMENTS

The system should document and track complete player account and account balances, financial transactions, game transactions, session, and sessions data.

TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE

Acquire and implement a turnkey iGaming platform

The system should offer a full suite of native casino games including content from the following types of games: single-player blackjack, video poker, roulette, craps, slots, slots with bonus games, jackpot progressives, multi-player blackjack, and poker.

The system should include a deposit engine that supports various payments/deposits/withdrawals: credit cards, debit, PayPal, ACH, electronic wallets, online banking, and cash at cage.

The system will support a variety of bonus types: automatic, manually credited, claimable, deposit/no deposit, registration, VIP/loyalty bonuses, cashback, and pre-wager and after-wager.

4.1.1 Bundle requirements into initiatives

2-3 hours

  1. Gather requirements identified in the journey mapping exercise and identify initiatives that can address multiple requirements simultaneously.
  2. Answer the following questions to identify initiatives for the prioritized requirements:
    • People: What initiatives are required to manage people, data, and other organizational factors that are impacted by this opportunity?
    • Process: What processes must be created, changed, or removed based on the data?
    • Technology: What systems are required to support this opportunity?
  3. Document findings in the iGaming Strategy Workbook.
InputOutput
  • Prioritized requirements
  • Initiatives categorized by people, process, and technology
MaterialsParticipants
  • iGaming Strategy Workbook
  • Executives

Download the iGaming Strategy Workbook

Create initiative profiles for each high-priority initiative on your strategy

Add the initiative name and its value statement.

Although it will be difficult to get an accurate estimate for time and dollars required for initiatives while building the strategy, a ballpark within +/- 100% of the actual will help to begin to budget and scope the roadmap.

Brainstorm risks and dependencies for this initiative. These could be external or internal risks or dependencies on other initiatives or resources.

The image contains a screenshot of an example of creating initative profiles for high priortity initiative on your strategy.

Outline the benefits achieved by completing this initiative. Think about the specific capabilities or strategic goals they will help support.

Add the key initiative category it belongs to.

Brainstorm who would be the main stakeholders involved in the initiative.

Step 4.2

Visualize the iGaming strategy

Activities

  • Build your roadmap
  • Communicate your findings and outcomes

This step will walk you through the following activities:

In this section you will visually represent your iGaming strategy for presentation.

This step involves the following participants:

A cross-functional cohort across levels in the organization.

Outcomes of this step

  • iGaming Gantt chart
  • iGaming strategy presentation deck

Build a roadmap to visualize your key initiative plan

Visual representations of data are more compelling than text alone.

Develop a high-level document that travels with the initiative from inception through executive inquiry, project management, and finally execution.

An initiative needs to be discrete. It should have the ability to be conceptualized and discussed as an independent item.

Each initiative must have three characteristics:

Specific outcome: Describe an explicit change in the people, processes, or technology of the enterprise.

Target end date: When the described outcome will be in effect.

Owner: Who on the IT team is responsible for executing on the initiative.

The image contains a screenshot of an example roadmap as mentioned in the text above.

4.2.1 Build your roadmap

2-3 hours

  1. For the Gantt chart:
    • Input the Roadmap Start Year date.
    • Change the months and year in the Gantt chart to reflect the same roadmap start year.
    • Populate the planned start and planned end date for the pre-populated list of high-priority initiatives in each category (people, process, and technology).
  2. Document findings in the iGaming Strategy Workbook.
InputOutput
  • Initiatives
  • Initiative start and end dates
  • Initiative category
  • iGaming strategy roadmap visual
MaterialsParticipants
  • iGaming Strategy Workbook
  • Executives

Download the iGaming Strategy Workbook

Additional Support

If you would like additional support, have our analysts guide you through other phases as part of an Info-Tech Workshop.

The image contains a picture of Monica Pagtalunan.

Contact your account representative for more information.
workshops@infotech.com 1-888-670-8889

To accelerate this project, engage your IT team in an Info-Tech workshop with an Info-Tech analyst team.

Info-Tech analysts will join you and your team at your location or welcome you to Info-Tech’s historic Toronto office to participate in an innovative onsite workshop.

The following are sample activities that will be conducted by Info-Tech analysts with your team:

The image contains a screenshot of the sample user scenarios stemmed from value chain analysis.The image contains a screenshot of the prioritization of requirements activity.

Determine Internal and External Scenarios

Prioritization of Requirements

Analyze iGaming value chains to determine reasons why a stakeholder would use the product and investigate existing and predictive pain points and risks.

As there may be many requirements arising from the journey maps, we need to prioritize to identify which ones we should tackle first – or at all.

Research Contributors and Experts

Eric Bowers

VP of Architecture & Innovation

Boyd Gaming

Rich Roberts

President

Mohegan Digital

Jared Mayberry

SVP of Customer Experience

Aristocrat Technologies

Thomas Castleberry

Vice President of CSX Strategic Initiatives

Aristocrat Technologies

Mark Rosa

Chief Information Officer

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment

Anonymous

Executive

Boyd Gaming

Matej Filipančič

Head of Turnkey Solutions

Oryx Gaming

Related Info-Tech Research

Kick-Start an Esports Initiative at Your Casino

  • While revenue from traditional forms of gambling is lower among Millennials, esports is a fast-growing phenomenon that directly overlaps with the target Millennial demographic. Interest in esports and video gaming can be a bridge to traditional forms of gambling.

Develop an Optimal Sports Betting Approach

  • This blueprint provides insight into the characteristics of an operator’s ideal sportsbook business model as well as the vendors that operate within the sports betting space. Operators will be given the tools to select a business model, identify potential solution providers, and send out RFPs.

The Future of Casino-as-a-Platform

  • A value-driven approach to digital transformation that allows you to identify what aspects of the business to transform, what technologies to embrace, what processes to automate, and what new business models to create.

Define Your Digital Business Strategy

  • This blueprint guides you through a value-driven approach to digital transformation that allows you to identify what aspects of the business to transform, what technologies to embrace, what processes to automate, and what new business models to create. This approach to digital transformation unifies digital possibilities with your customer experiences.

Bibliography

“A Beginner’s Guide to Behavioral Marketing for iGaming.” SaleCycle, December 2021.
“Beyond Rewards: Raising the Bar on Customer Loyalty.” Harvard Business Review, 2019.
“Boyd Gaming to Acquire Pala Interactive.” Business Wire, March 2022.
“Bragg’s ORYX Gaming Selected as Platform Provider for Betnation.nl.” Oryx Gaming, April 2022.
“Bring iGaming to new Markets with AWS.” AWS, n.d
“How Compliance & Regulations Are Shaping the iGaming Industry.” Exacta Solutions, December 2021.
“How to choose the best iGaming software provider for you.” Delasport, June 2021.
“How to increase your online casino’s audience – a guide from Slotegrator.” iGB, June 2022.
“iGaming Payments Study: Ease of Deposits and Withdrawals Drivers Players’ Use of Platforms.” Business Wire, June 2022.
“iGaming platform development: Staying ahead of regulation.” Ciklum, Webinar, April 27 2021.
“Rethinking operations.” iGaming Business, September 2021.
“Rush Street Interactive: A First Take.” Seeking Alpha, May 2022.
“Taking your land-based casino brand online.” iGBLive, August 2021.
“The importance and benefits of iGaming partnerships.” iGB, April 2022.

Bibliography

“The mobile-first content delivered by Playgon Games is proven to be a big hit in the global iGaming market.” Financial Post, June 2022.
“Top 5 factors to think about when choosing the best iGaming platform provider.” Digitain, February 2021.
“Top five benefits of an omnichannel solution.” Gaming Innovation Group, July 2021.
“Tribal Operators – What you need to consider when looking to go online.” Gaming Innovation Group, March 2022.
“What are the key criteria of a successful iGaming brand? SOFTSWISS Unveils Client Survey Results.” PR Newswire, May 2022.
Buff, Matt. “3 iGaming CMO challenges and how to overcome them through personalization.” Frosmo, February 2021.
Carruthers, Elena. “Three key considerations for choosing the right platform provider in 2021.” iGaming Business, April 2021.
Cohen, Halsey. “The Key Technology Issues When Starting an Online Casino.” Houstonian Online, April 2022.
Gentle, Stuart. “Why iGaming Developers Continue to Create Online Slot Variations.” Onrec, June 2022.
Jones, Zack. “Rise of the iGaming Industry: Is the United Stated ready to accept online casinos?” Forbes, April 2021.
Khaidukova, Yana. “Problems online casino operators face and mistakes they make.” Slotegrator, September 2021.
Murphy, Chris. “Focus and Scalability are key to success in addressing US iGaming Challenges.” SBC Leaders, September 2021.
Murphy, Chris. “The Inevitable Rise of US iGaming.” SBC Leaders, September 2021.

Bibliography

Nightingale, Tom. “Immersive omni-channel gaming means focusing on customer experience.” Canadian Gaming Summit Magazine, Summer 2022.
Pollard, Jake. “iGaming Focus: Industry warning – reputation really does matter.” CDC Gaming Reports, November 2021.
Porter, Conor. “Can Sportsbooks Afford to be ‘Late to the Party’?” SBC Leaders, March 2022.
Rossini, Anthony. “Risk vs Reward: Real Money Gambling Application Architecture.” Cockroach Labs, November 2021.
Thompson, Daniel. “Study Reveals Ontario’s Huge iGaming Potential.” Casino Reports, November 2021.
Tundik, Zoltan. “IT infrastructure challenges in the online gambling industry.” European Gaming, September 2021.
Tundik, Zoltan. “Turning visitors into loyal players in the iGaming business.” European Gaming, April 2022.

Avoid leaving your online casino strategy to chance.

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 4-phase advisory process. You'll receive 9 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation #1 - Define the iGaming value in your operations
  • Call #1 - Discuss business context and customize your iGaming value chains.
  • Call #2 - Assess iGaming context and ecosystem.
  • Call #3 - Determine internal and external scenarios.

Guided Implementation #2 - Construct a configurable technical architecture
  • Call #1 - Discuss your iGaming technical architecture.
  • Call #2 - Determine your iGaming platform sourcing model.

Guided Implementation #3 - Formulate iGaming journey map requirements
  • Call #1 - Identify stakeholder personas and scenarios.
  • Call #2 - Complete journey mapping exercise.

Guided Implementation #4 - Build a unified iGaming roadmap
  • Call #1 - Discuss initiative generation and inputs into roadmap.
  • Call #2 - Summarize results and plan next steps.

Author

Monica Pagtalunan

Contributors

  • Eric Bowers, VP of Architecture & Innovation, Boyd Gaming
  • Jared Mayberry, SVP of Customer Experience, Aristocrat Technologies
  • Mark Rosa, Chief Information Officer, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment
  • Matej Filipančič, Head of Turnkey Solutions, Oryx Gaming
  • Rich Roberts, President, Mohegan Digital
  • Thomas Castleberry, VP of CSX Strategic Initiatives, Aristocrat Technologies
  • 2 Anonymous Contributors
Visit our IT Cost Optimization Center
Over 100 analysts waiting to take your call right now: 1-519-432-3550 x2019