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Managing your risk landscape

PIMS-SCA News

Is VAR ruining Football?

Thu 27 Feb 2020 @ 12:51

Mark Kimber

Well if you listen to the average football pundit the vast majority of them are saying yes VAR is ruining the game. And one of their main objections appears to be the number of goals being chalked off since VAR came into operation at the beginning of the season.

I was asked this week to analyse a new game that a customer wanted to put out with a jackpot prize as part of their Euro 2020 campaign. As part of that analysis I was tasked with looking at the number of goals scored in the Premiership over the last 3 seasons. Interestingly if you believe the pundits you would have thought that the average number of goals scored per game must be well down on previous seasons – but it isn’t. At the time of writing the average goals per season were:

  • 2019/2020 – 2.764
  • 2018/2019 – 2.821
  • 2017/2018 – 2.679

So, as you can see the average number of goals scored is very, very similar to last season and has actually increased on the 2017/2018 season. That got me thinking maybe VAR is having a hidden impact that we aren’t noticing – maybe defenders are less liable to foul an opponent as they know they will be found out and this more cautious approach allows a striker more opportunities?

Who really knows but things don’t appear to be as bad as people are making out.

I think Gary Neville was right when he said on SKY he had no problem with the Offside law and the VAR methodology – I agree you are either onside or offside – it doesn’t matter if it’s your big toe, your big nose or your forehead you are still offside and you should get over it and move on. No one complains about goal line technology ruling out a goal by 2mm so why should it be any different for offside? Now hand ball is more tricky – but as a Burnley FC supporter and following the events of the weekend I think the arm finishes at the very top of the shoulder – maybe not everyone agrees but BFC supports are loving VAR right now!

Enjoy the rest of the season in the knowledge you are still getting the same number of goals per game as you ever did.

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There’s no longer any excuse to reseed progressive at a lower level after a big jackpot win. Here’s why.

Wed 8 Jan 2020 @ 13:33

PIMS-SCA today released the second in their series of short videos for the Gaming Industry. Each video addresses a different issue faced by Gaming Operators and offers a potential solution. The current series looks at the problems faced by operators in growing a progressive jackpot after a big win – and how a solution is at hand.

The second video picks up from the first, and the challenge that posed for Gaming operators, who, having paid out on a big Jackpot, appear to be forced to reseed that Jackpot at a much lower, minimal base level.

The video shows how operators can take another route, by taking advantage of a readily available solution to deliver much bigger jackpots for progressives. PIMS-SCA’s solution shows how Operators can reseed their Jackpots after a big win at levels above £5Million for a fraction of the expected cost.

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PIMS-SCA video illuminates gaming-industry solutions

Thu 28 Nov 2019 @ 16:04

PIMS-SCA today released the first in a series of short videos for the Gaming Industry. Each will address a different issue faced by Gaming Operators and offers a potential solution.

The first, teaser video, “Bigger Jackpots Now – Part One”, challenges the notion that a Gaming operator, having paid out on a Jackpot, needs to reseed that Jackpot at a much lower, minimal base level.

The video asks whether it’s a matter of resistance, laziness or complacency that prevents operators seeking out an underused yet readily available solution to bigger jackpots for progressives. PIMS-SCA have a solution that is hinted at in “Bigger Jackpots Now – Part One” and will be explained more fully in video 2.

Using real life examples from major gaming operators PIMS-SCA shows how others are able to manage this but also show the fragility of that model.

About PIMS-SCA

PIMS-SCA has been an established partner to the gaming industries for over 25 years. In that time they have helped deliver for some of the biggest names in the gaming, digital and lottery worlds. PIMS-SCA bring insurance expertise and secure technology together to package the right solution for clients looking to offer massive jackpot prizes.

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BravoLoto announce €500,000 jackpot winner

Mon 25 Nov 2019 @ 14:29

PIMS-SCA partner, Marketluck, have announced one lucky BravoLoto player has won the €500,000 jackpot in their Thursday 21st November draw, with the prize payout covered and paid by PIMS-SCA.

Bravoloto is a free to play, advertiser funded, lottery app downloaded by more than 8 million users. Developed by French company Marketluck, Bravoloto runs draws every day with a range of cash prizes.

Three times a week Bravoloto run a Mega Jackpot game, with a €500,000 prize on Tuesday and Thursday and a €1M prize each Sunday. All prizes for each Mega Jackpot draw are covered by PIMS-SCA who also supply the draw system.

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Unknown Unknowns that may cost you your entire iGaming business

Thu 25 Apr 2019 @ 9:19

In February 2002, Donald Rumsfeld, the then US Secretary of State for Defence, stated: ‘There are known knowns. There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don’t know.’ This caused much hilarity at the time as initially it appeared to be nonsense. However, a second more careful reading suggests it makes perfect sense in many arenas. Whether it’s politics and armed conflict, or dare I say, risk management and insurance of iGaming products, there are dangerous unknown unknowns lying in wait for the uninformed. Unknowns that could cost iGaming operators a great deal of money.

One thing that we know only too well is that we work in a sector that comes armed with huge speculative financial risks. Across all operational verticals, from trading on football to running a physical roulette table, ‘risk management’ is as much a part of our everyday vernacular as ‘betting’, ‘stakes’ or ‘odds’.

As player and customer demand has grown for games promising ever bigger, even life-changing jackpots, operators have had to search out new ways of covering the greater levels of exposure to risk. As an industry we have embraced to some extent insurance as a means of managing these larger risks. Still a thing we know we know, right?

We are fairly comfortable knowing that we have the flexibility to offer our valuable customers huge windfall prize funds. And we are confident that we can offer the reassurance that, unlike some areas of the sector, neither they nor ourselves will be ‘on the hook’ when it comes to paying out. We know that if we take out jackpot coverage we are safely covered, don’t we?

No we don’t. Because not all cover is created equal

We may never know the unknown unknowns, by definition that’s impossible but we still have a real duty of care to our employers, our shareholders, our customers and ourselves to seek out credible answers to what should be known unknowns. But the scary truth is most operators, many of whom are household names at least within our industry, just don’t. Understandably, they simply trust that because a jackpot coverage policy is there, that this is sufficient. But there are risk insurance providers out there who, without actually taking on any real risk themselves, are profiting from this trust amongst their iGaming operator clients.

Seeking out the Known Unknowns

The sad thing is that none of this needs be difficult. Two simple questions need to be asked of your risk management partner. First, who is covering me and are they FCA regulated? And second, where is the money that would be used to cover my liability coming from?

Who is covering me?

Let’s look at the first of these questions; lets take the case of an operator shopping for a facility to cover a prize for a new casino game. They want to boost the jackpot for the first two months with the game on site so that they can drive participation and take up. So far, so good. Insurance makes good business sense. We know that insurance is a pillar of the financial services industry and is tightly regulated. What many, especially challenger brands for whom insurance backed risk is an appealing option, don’t know is that this security does not necessarily apply to all ‘insurance products’ within the iGaming industry. The unscrupulous risk management company will simply not declare who is underwriting the risk and, if they don’t, there is always the possibility that no-one is; they may simply be taking the chance there won’t be a massive winner and so won’t have to pay out. If you choose to trade with a partner that sells jackpot coverage that is not insurance and is not underwritten by any of the known contingency insurance underwriting market, then the age old advice of Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware) has never been more pertinent.

So, whether we like it or not, the onus is on the buyer, the game operator to check who is underwriting the risk of the coverage they are buying. The best way to have some security and peace of mind is, as a matter of course, to check that the vendor is endorsed by a regulator such as the FCA.

Show me the money!

Let’s assume you are dealing with an insurance product that actually exists. Even then there are known unknowns to check out. It is just as important is to check whether the policy that makes up the core part of the ‘insurance product’ that you buy is yours and only yours. It sounds obvious but it isn’t. Many policies cover multiple risks and are unable to pay out on all of them.

Take this example, if you are offered coverage as part of a broader policy covering a substantial amount of risk (say £50 million) you may encounter problems if someone else who is on that policy has a pay-out. In a situation such as this, you may wish to question your risk management partner as to what would happen if certain, very possible, eventualities occurred. How about “If both operators on the policy were to have a pay-out who would have first call on the policy?”, “Would the policy cover multiple pay-outs to winners from different operators?”, and even “If another partner were to have a winner, would our policy even continue to exist?” Remember it’s perfectly possible in these circumstances that you would you have to pay for a new policy so that you can continue to offer the jackpot you have committed to. But would you be told? And who would be left with the ultimate liability? No game operator can afford to not know the answers to these known unknowns.

Your safety net for the unknown

The good news is that it isn’t all bad news. At this point you may even begin to question whether an insurance policy is your best course of action. The devil in the detail here is the words ‘insurance policy’’; put simply, the only way to avoid all of these pitfalls is to buy a regulated insurance policy that is dedicated solely to your business from a regulated insurance broker. This is a fantastic way to enable you to deliver exciting games and big jackpots to your customers across all your products whilst minimising your own risks. There’s absolutely no point having any policy that doesn’t allow you to sleep easily.

There has to be a catch somewhere, doesn’t there? No. A dedicated policy from a regulated source covering the known unknowns they’re designed to protect you from need not automatically mean a higher cost to you. But, should you choose an unregulated, alternative ‘insurance solution or product’ then you risk the unknown unknown of paying a much higher cost in the long run.

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Latest news…

Is VAR ruining Football?

There’s no longer any excuse to reseed progressive at a lower level after a big jackpot win. Here’s why.

PIMS-SCA video illuminates gaming-industry solutions

BravoLoto announce €500,000 jackpot winner

Unknown Unknowns that may cost you your entire iGaming business

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