Historically, and required by regulation, games providers have had to install infrastructure in Gibraltar to service the operators based there. This can be both expensive and slow to market with the whole process including; license application, due diligence on hosting facilities, equipment purchasing lead times and finally installation time.
The industry has also changed, a number of years ago the big B2B software providers were dominant in the marketplace – all you had to do was look at the size of their stands at the numerous industry trade shows. Their infrastructure matched their stand sizes! We are now seeing a large number of disrupters entering the market who are typically younger, more energetic companies who’ve never had deployments in their own physical infrastructures. They are nimble to the changing gaming environment allowing them to bring many new exciting games to market.
These companies don’t want to invest large amounts of CAPEX in traditional hosting methods, they want to get into a market fast and react as needed by the business. In Gibraltar we are seeing a large number of this type of software provider, mainly casino style games suppliers, entering the market under the “sheltering agreement” providing games to the established operators based in Gibraltar. For these using cloud services or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is the model of choice, it offers them everything they are looking for;
Another advantage of no capital expenditure is the ability to take a risk in the marketplace. We hope that every new entrant is a success but for those who aren’t there is a relatively easy exit strategy. If they lose a contract they aren’t tied in to long contracts with their hosting partner which can typically be three years plus.
Due to the investment made in their infrastructure many of the established software providers are reluctant to move away from their existing co-locations or managed services installations. Interestingly though, M&A activity is bringing these businesses into contact with cloud deployments they inherited through acquisitions, creating change and understanding from the inside.
As a company we need to be aware of these changes in requirements from the new entrants, match the agility and vision of these game providers while at the same time providing an infrastructure that is easy to deploy, fast, stable and secure. You could compare our role to that of a football referee, you don’t see the best ones as they just get the job done with no fuss!