Continent 8’s Managing Director (EMEA) David Black features in the July/August edition of Gambling Insider in a roundtable titled ‘How have jurisdictions handled record growth during the pandemic?’. Alongside David’s thoughts are comments from Susan O’Leary (CEO – Alderney eGambling), Tony Ure (Head of eGaming – Digital Isle of Man and Andrew Lyman (Commissioner and Executive Director – Government of Gibraltar).
Here is David’s contribution:
How has the pandemic affected different jurisdictions across the globe?
The global pandemic has affected us all to one extent or another. The loss of life and economic harm this virus has created will remain with families and society for time to come. How we collectively respond will be key to the speed of recovery. For Continent 8 Technologies we have had different experiences of the pandemic depending on the jurisdiction in which we live and work. While jurisdictions have taken their own approach to managing the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact, I think it is safe to say that it has been a challenging time for businesses and individuals no matter where they are located.
There has been a seismic shift to online – driven by mandated remote working, retail services being shut down, and so on – and that has brought complexities and complications. Sadly, what we have seen is a significant increase in cyber security events perpetrated by bad actors. This has been reflected in Continent 8’s experience through the volume and sophistication of cyber attacks such as DDoS and Ransomware since the onset of the pandemic.
In terms of facts and figures, the average cost of a data breach reached $3.86 million as of 2020, the average time to identify a breach in 2020 was 207 days and the average cost of a ransomware attack on businesses is $133,000.
Therefore, to further combat the ever-increasing sophistication of these attacks, Continent 8 launched an advanced threat prevention and monitoring solution offering 24/7 response of perimeter and endpoint attacks. This new cybersecurity solution comprises of Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR), Managed Detection and Response (MDR), Security Information & Event Management (SIEM) and this is all backed by a 24×7 Security Monitoring Security Operations Centre (SOC).
How have different jurisdictions adapted to cope with record-breaking demand over the past 12 months in the online gaming sector?
I would say jurisdictions have done a great job at helping providers rollout the necessary infrastructure to support the shift to online that we have seen. This is certainly the case in the US where we have launched in over ten states over the past 12 months, directly responding to regulation. At Continent 8 we have a first-to-market strategy in the US to enable our customers to capitalise on this fast-growing and rewarding market. This expansion was in part achieved through taking a robust approach to vendor selection and management; this is easier said than done giving differing regulations and guidelines regarding work policies.
But with the land-based gambling sector pretty much shut for much of last year, it presented an opportunity for US states to focus attention to online, fast-tracking regulation in some states.
How did you revise your infrastructure to adapt to the changing landscape?
The requirements placed on us to continue to deliver our “business as usual” activity in a pandemic environment was of course demanding. With much of the Continent 8 team working from home we had to find new ways of working that would still ensure we were able to deliver the unrivalled service our customers have come to expect.
We used the period to expediate the roll-out of additional products and services. This includes our Gibraltar Public Cloud platform, securing AWS Select Consulting Partner status and enhancing our Secure product suite. We have also expanded rapidly, despite work from home orders being in place in key jurisdictions such as the UK, Malta, Gibraltar, the US and Latin America. For example, in the US, we went live in over ten states, and we were also able to deploy our Colombia Cloud solution despite Gabriel Szlaifsztein, our General Manager of LatAm based in Argentina, being in lockdown.
Looking forward, what are jurisdictions doing to attract licensees?
They are doing what they have always done and that is to provide a regulatory and licensing structure that ensures organisations are working to the highest possible standards when it comes to safe gaming, AML and fraud, while also giving businesses the freedom they need to innovate and grow. Malta, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man have been doing this for a long time now which is why they continue to attract operators and suppliers.
As such, these jurisdictions have emerged as iGaming hubs; the culture, the people, the collective industry experience makes them attractive to organisations in the sector. This is also why providers such as Continent 8 continue to invest in these core jurisdictions as we believe they will continue to attract licensees for many years to come. This includes our work with start-ups, running initiatives locally to support the start-up community, such as our sponsorship of the Start-up Grind chapter in the Isle of Man.
Has the pandemic led to a change of emphasis in these jurisdictions?
Responsible gaming has always been a central aspect of the industry and never more so than now. Many operators are investing more and more to ensure appropriate technologies are employed to assist ongoing efforts in this area. We have seen responsible gambling and safe gaming take more emphasis over the past 12 months driven, I would have thought, by concerns around the increased risk for the potential of problem play when you have people locked down in their homes. It could be argued the industry was always heading in this direction regardless; you just have to look to Germany and the recent changes in the UK to see that regulators are taking steps to further mitigate the risk of problem play. Balancing the crucial matters of player protection, regulation and shareholder value will no doubt continue to be a central theme on board agendas.
What are you doing to attract licensees in various jurisdictions?
We have built our product and service offering so that it works seamlessly across key European – and, indeed, global – gaming hubs and jurisdictions. We offer complementary, bespoke models that allow our partners to have a presence in more than one jurisdiction. For example, a partner might want to have their primary location in Malta with disaster recovery on the Isle of Man; with our solutions they can do this easily thanks to a global network with over 70 connected locations.
We also continue to invest in our products and services. For example, in Gibraltar we have launched a proven Public Cloud platform in response to locally required hybrid solutions and the demand for innovation in infrastructure by Gibraltar businesses. This Gibraltar technology platform interconnects with our carrier grade global network and security services.
Read the full feature here
Continent 8 Technologies is an award-winning multi-jurisdictional global network solutions provider that connects, manages, and secures online gaming companies most valuable information. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Gambling Insider