Speaker profile – Tom Light – The impact/results of In-Play betting on Euro 2016 and the importance of being present in emerging markets

We are proud to announce that Tom Light will be among the speakers of the “Hot Topics of the Online Gambling Industry in Europe” panel at the CEEGC 2016 which will take place in Budapest on the 20th of September 2016.

A seminar type conference which is designed to encourage a Pan-European dialogue and create an in-depth report of the Central, Eastern and Northern European markets, with an additional Balkans gambling market overview allowing operators and suppliers to monetize the value of their reputations.

Tom John Light was born and presently resides in Tel Aviv, Israel. Tom has lived and traveled worldwide and is highly knowledgeable and experienced working in various global regions.

Tom has been working in the gaming industry for many years with a focus on casino operations and sports betting. Currently Tom acts as Vice President of Business Development at SBTech. He is renowned for his role as Vice President of Business Development at FashionTV. Additionally Tom has successfully served as CEO for several online gaming companies such as 7Red Casino and 1King Casino.

Tom is recognized for his high involvement with the creation of the Online How-To Guide ‘eHow’ and has been featured/published in various interviews and articles.

In a recent interview in our EEGReport Magazine, Tom focused on the rise of online betting in the Eastern European markets. Below you will find a fragment of the interview which you can read in full here.

EEGaming(Zoltan Tundik): The Sportsbetting sector in Romania has entered a new era, the era where online bookmakers are having promotions and wagering option battle and it’s not just well known large international operators in this battle, the local land based operators are moving towards the online market as well. How do you feel this will influence the industry in the Eastern European region? I have a feeling that this new operators are hunting the best betting solution providers to help them create this shift?

Tom Light: I agree, the large international brands are not as strong as they are in the mature regulated markets. The large brands, which have worked in the .com environment within these markets, will receive some brand recognition whereas the ones who were sticking only to a regulated strategy will be unknown there.

The big local operators are no longer a monopoly. Similar to what is happening in Romania, Czech, etc., the innovative small to medium size brands can enter these markets at an earlier stage in order to get a substantial piece of the market-share.

A good example is NetBet. NetBet, a medium sized operator in the UK, was never as big as Bet365, William Hill, 888 or Unibet. NetBet had entered the Romanian market early with a great product and offering. Now, a year later, they are the biggest sportsbook in the Romanian market.

EEGaming(Zoltan Tundik):What are the key challenges these land-based (retail) sports betting companies are facing when moving to the online sector?

Tom Light: The main challenge is the mindset. Usually these operators have a ‘traditional bookmaker’ approach and would not understand the online behavior of in-play; neglecting relevant features that are essential to an online sportsbook:
• Cash-out
• Fast Markets
• Bonuses and Promotions
• Speed of Withdrawal
• Settlement Time / Immediate Settlements.
• Customer Profiling VS. Traditional Anonymous Betting
• Cross Selling to Casino
• And more…

The second problem is that they will underestimate the power of their brand –at this point they will face the big online operators positioned as a weak online startup. We have seen this with the well-known land based operator, R. Franco. Although R. Franco is well established, they initially decided to open their online brand as a startup named ‘WanaBet’, which still does not get substantial market-share in the market.

An example where the above scenario did not happen and the brand was properly used was seen with William Hill. William Hill Online came with the ‘Brand is King’ approach and the results speak for themselves. Prior to the sale of William Hill Online, Teddy once told me, “In the online gaming hierarchy, brand is the most important factor.”

A good example where it didn’t happen and the brand was used properly was William Hill, in that example the William Hill Online guys came with a “Brand is King” approach and the results speak for themselves. Teddy once told me, prior to the sale of William Hill Online, “In the online gaming hierarchy, brand is the most important”

EEGaming(Zoltan Tundik): Countries like Bulgaria and Romania with new, modern laws already made steps towards the technical reality of this convergence. The interesting thing is that in every market where traces of convergence are allowed local, legal (often land based) companies have a relatively high market share, these local operators tend to comply with the rules and regulations, pay their tax locally. Do you feel that more and more regulators will realize the advantages of these switches and encourage the convergence?

Tom Light: In most cases you would see the traditional monopoly applying pressure, on the government, against regulations that will allow international operators to obtain a license in the market.

As mentioned, since these are financial strong entities and their contribution is big, their demands are usually met. Due to the EU Law and fairness of competition, where a European entity would like to operate in an EU country but is blocked by the monopolies and not allowed a status, we see more and more European countries regulated. That being said countries with existing monopolies which are not under the EU law, such as Israel, will not have such regulations in the coming horizons.

Read more….

Be sure to save the date and secure your ticket to the CEEGC 2016 Budapest, which will be held on the 20th of September 2016 at the Hilton Westend City Budapest Hotel in order to hear the fresh and recent information Tom Light is going to discuss in his topic called “The impact/results of In-Play betting on Euro 2016 and the importance of being present in emerging markets”. The topic is embed in the “Hot Topics of the Online Gambling Industry in Europe” panel which is going to start at 14:45(Hungary local time) and brings together top names of the industry, such as Alexandre Tomic, Mark McGuinnes and Paul Davis.

The conference provides an efficient way of meeting new and prospect clients in the special networking session and sit down lunch.

Special reports and exclusive updates will be given by the top 20 speakers of the industry and the event is limited to 150 delegates to maximize the engagement among the peers.

The tickets can be purchased at an Early Bird rate of €200 by the end of July.

Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us on +40 735 559 234 or by mail on organizers@ceegc.eu.


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