One of the greatest challenges iGaming operators and Suppliers (data/media) face is to ensure that players receive the best possible user experience (UX). Imagine an online casino player interacting with the platform and just as the host is about to spin the roulette wheel, the game disconnects. In the case of a sports book platform, there is nothing worse than trying to bet on a live game and suddenly the video freezes.
According to Grandview Research, the online casino market will grow from $54B in 2019 with a CAGR of 11.5% in the period 2020 – 2027. As per a previous article published in our Blog, we highlighted that “the developments in technology and online security have made online gambling one of the fastest growing industries, with Europe becoming the biggest gambling hub in the world”.
Read the full article: https://netshop-isp.com.cy/blog/how-to-choose-an-online-casino-software-provider-in-2021
What are the Industry’s Challenges?
The major challenges for an Online Casino or a Sportsbook platform are:
- How to stream uninterrupted content to players located around the world
- Exchange data between the player (end user), the operator (online casino / betting website) and the Supplier (data feeder, live dealer studio, etc)
- Handle financial transactions in real-time
The common factor which is tightly related to all the above challenges is latency. Latency, in simple words, is the time it takes for data to “travel” from one point on a network to another. For example, a live dealer studio in Armenia streams video for an Online casino company with a Server hosted in Malta and players interacting from Europe or anywhere in the world. The data, video in this case, will travel from Armenia -> Malta -> rest of the world.
Addressing Challenges and achieving ultra Low Latency
Any live streaming platform, whether that is an online casino or a betting platform, requires to adopt high-end technologies in order to support multiple integrated systems and ensure a high-speed transfer of data from/to the end-users (players).
WebRTC is a high-end technology which accommodates fast multimedia transfer from source to destination, and is fully compatible with all types of mobile devices.
In addition to the software technologies an iGaming operator and supplier must utilize, great attention must be given to the Infrastructure side of things in order to achieve ultra low latency and deliver the best user experience to the casino or betting players.
In terms of Network infrastructure for ultra low latency we have identified the following 3 key points that your technology partner, i.e. hosting provider, must offer:
1. Dedicated Network Speed & Flexible Bandwidth
The interaction of each player with the casino or betting software is handled by an application/front-end web server. No matter how fast the media content is delivered by the supplier to you, the players uninterrupted activity is dependent on your servers’ network speed and bandwidth.
Dedicated network speed guarantees that your server is entitled to a specific speed for downloading and uploading data. Whilst this option may be more expensive than of a shared network speed, it is essential in order to accommodate fast transmission of large media types, i.e. video streaming, to your players.
Flexible Bandwidth plays also a key role in improving your Users’ experience. Simply put, you don’t want to be capped once your servers have reached the allocated amount of monthly traffic. It is common in the igaming sector, that a server will utilize low bandwidth during weekdays, and large spikes on weekends. Therefore, it is important that your hosting provider can offer uncapped or unmetered bandwidth to your hosted infrastructure.
2. Global CDN
Adopting a CDN (Content Delivery Network) for your igaming platform is essential.
As per a previous article we published, “CDN basically store a replicated, or cached, version of website content in multiple points of presence (PoPs) all around the world, so that users can access it from the PoP that is located within the closest proximity to them”.
Read more about What is a Content Delivery Network: https://netshop-isp.com.cy/blog/what-is-a-content-delivery-network
3. Servers & Infrastructure Geo-location
When we talk about servers in iGaming sector, regulatory compliance may be affecting your choice of where to host your infrastructure. For example, an online casino business granted with an MGA license in Malta and operates a live dealer studio in Armenia. As per the current regulatory framework, by the time of writing this article, the MGA licensee is allowed to host the infrastructure in any European Datacenter, as long as a replication database is hosted in Malta.
The best scenario proposed, given the above case study, is the following:
- Primary infrastructure
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands (high-speed internet at low cost)
Network Speed: 10 Gbps with metered Bandwidth
Server Roles: Application / Web Servers / Database
DDoS protection Included/Free
- Replication infrastructure
Location: Malta (regulatory compliant)
Network Speed: 50 Mbps
Server Roles: Database Replication / Backup
It is clear now that the latency aspect of an online business is king. High latency will kill your traffic, eventually, as users, nowadays, cannot afford high waiting time for a website to load or a financial transaction to be processed. On the other hands, low latency will strengthen the user’s experience on your platform and will positively impact your website’s SEO ranking.
If you are considering start an online gambling business, or if you wish to grow traffic and revenue for your existing gambling website, speak to one of our igaming experts today to arrange a meeting in-person or online.