Currently, The second half of 2021 is planned for the opening of the Dutch iGaming market. In this blog, we dive into the infrastructural requirements and the success factors that iGaming operators will have to address when entering the Dutch market. One thing is clear: a comprehensive data centre strategy is a key success factor. We present four criteria that an iGaming operator should look for when selecting a data centre service provider that enables the growth of the operator’s business.
IT for iGaming in Europe resembles that of the mature telecommunications, financial, and media industries in many ways. They share the same business-critical needs for:
- Compliance with regulations in different regions and jurisdictions
- Real-time transactions and intelligence (KYC - Know Your Customer)
- End-to-end, straight-through processing
- High volatility in scaling
- High-performance, low-latency connectivity
- Real-time bidding for marketing & advertising
- Suppliers that can support the multi-region iGaming requirements
Furthermore, iGaming operators also have specific needs, related to their industry and their market. iGaming operators are typically the linking pin of a ‘Community of Interest’ of partners that provide key elements of the end-to-end iGaming experience.
The services of the specialist partners in the typical iGaming ecosystem include online software for gambling, casino games, identity management, security services, anti-fraud / money laundering KYC software, data vault, payment services, content services, video streaming, hosting services, firewall services, middleware, CRM, marketing & advertising services and many more.
The bigger operators with international presence and experience already have in-house capabilities and resources in place for developing and managing their platform. They will leverage hand-picked services in the iGaming ecosystem. Yet, they will also need connectivity and multi-cloud access in close proximity to their users and partners. Also, they need to have a data vault in a secured location in the Netherlands. Read our blog ‘The winner takes all. iGaming in the Netherlands’ for more background of the data vault and the Control DataBase.
For new entrants and for incumbent operators of the Dutch market - like offline casinos - that want to extend their existing offerings with iGaming in the Netherlands, the entire ecosystem will be relevant as they are more likely to outsource as much as possible, to free up internal resources and focus on their business. This applies to smaller operators as well.
The whole iGaming ecosystem best lives within a single (distributed and dedicated) iGaming data centre environment. Because then management, connectivity, security, and cloud-access can easily be streamlined and optimized.
What should an iGaming operator look for in selecting a business enabling data centre service provider? Here are the four main criteria.
Criterium #1: Support of business growth & new market entry
Solution: Geographical presence and scalability. When entering a new market, success in terms of market share and the number of players initially is uncertain. But when successful, the operator is likely to expand. The best data centre provider is the one that has the global reach that matches the needs of operators and their partners for local support in the Netherlands and many other locations and countries.
Criterium #2: Optimizing costs, performance & security when using the public cloud
Solution: Optimized hybrid cloud, layer 2 connection to the public cloud providers (avoiding the internet). The capability of managing hybrid and multi-cloud environments is crucial for addressing the challenges of complexity, costs, and vulnerabilities. It should be considered that data egress fees are one of the public cloud's biggest hidden costs, much higher than via a layer 2 connection. iGaming operators will need a private connection enabling them to optimize network performance and security. Using one platform to access multiple cloud providers also eliminates the need for several network connections. Transparency of costs and migration lead times (no overbooking) help iGaming operators to enhance their business case.
Criterium #3: Compliance and ability to provide optimal and safe user experience
Solution: Security and transparency. The data centre provider of choice is certified by many important standards such as ISO270001, PCI DSS, SOC2 type 2. The data centre must support compliance with the requirements of the Netherlands Gambling Authority (KSA) and needs to be highly secured and trusted locations where operators can place their IT infrastructure including the Control DataBase (CDB) to meet compliance requirements and to avoid downtime on their platform.
Criterium #4: Optimizing traffic routes/ reducing connectivity costs
Solution: Low latency access to users/players in the market through local network operators and international/backbone carriers. To guarantee a fast and seamless experience for the Dutch iGaming players, the data centre must be located in their proximity and be able to offer connectivity and network control and access in the Netherlands to 200+ local - such as KPN, Ziggo, T-mobile, Vodafone - and international connectivity providers - such as euNetworks, Telia, Colt - to reach players and to connect multiple locations and regions. The iGaming platforms of international operators are generally distributed. The operator will be looking to interconnect its locations through international/backbone carriers, using 1 to 100Gb connections.
It may be clear that the data centre defines the degree of the operator’s success when entering the Dutch market. A comprehensive data centre strategy is needed that addresses the four iGaming specific criteria. A provider that already has a track record in servicing iGaming operators and also demanding customers in telecommunications, financial and media industries should be the partner of choice.
Read all about the legal and infrastructural requirements in the free ‘Entering the Dutch iGaming market’ whitepaper (16 pages)