Proxy betting gives remote players a legitimate way to play across a wide range of SouthEast Asian markets, writes Shaun McCamley, managing partner at Euro Pacific Asia Consulting (EPA) – and today could hardly be easier to operate.
Proxy betting continues to boom throughout SE Asia’s grey markets, with this quirk of live streaming of table games thought to be pulling in a chunk of Macau’s missing VIP billions. Looking back to early 2016, industry analysts estimated that proxy betting’s contribution to overall Macau VIP betting volume had grown about 15 percent and was contributing as much as 10 percent of the enclave’s GGR. Proxy betting, in its simplest form, allows a person to wager real time on a table game from a remote location, using a proxy to place his/her bets at a live table game in a casino, streamed to the players device whilst communicating via telephone.
On 6 May, 2016, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), Macau’s gaming regulatory authority, announced that the use of telephones by those sitting at VIP gambling tables would be prohibited, effective 9 May, 2016. This came as disappointment to Macau casino operators, who with the downturn in VIP, enjoyed this incremental gaming revenue with its low operating costs. Some experts are suggesting that a sizeable portion of Macau’s lost turnover has found its way into the grey markets of Indochina and Southeast Asia – specifically Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines – as customers in remote locations seek the anonymity and relative ease of utilising so-called proxy players.
So why is proxy betting so popular, and why do players enjoy this style of play, particularly when they are not physically present to enjoy the thrill of the game? The number one reason is player anonymity. China’s continued high profile anti-corruption drive has meant that players are still reluctant to travel or be seen playing at casinos. Also, players for whom, for one reason or another, cannot leave their home country, either through inconvenience or visa restrictions, proxy betting allows them to overcome enjoy casino gambling in real time.
Not to be confused with online wagering, a key difference between proxy betting and RNG/Online and Live Dealer/Online is that the latter two versions may be a violation of a particular country’s laws. A person making a bet using an RNG/Online or Live Dealer/Online may be residing in a country that prohibits gambling. While gambling may be legal where the casino is located, a person placing a wager via a registered account may be violating his nation’s restrictions on gambling. In proxy betting, it is the proxy who is making the wager with the transaction taking place in the country where the casino is located – not where the spectator resides.
Another important element that defines both RNG/Online and Live Dealer/Online is that both of these options require a player to have a registered account through which to fund and place wagers through a table game graphic interface, proxy betting doesn’t.
Proxy betting is a form of wagering where a person designates a trusted individual as his/her proxy, or even the casino operator can supply the proxy. One of the leading proxy platform providers is a company called GameTrac and following their simple process, the players is first given login credentials by the casino. After logging in the player will land in the lobby where a number of tables that are set up for proxy betting show current score cards. After deciding which tables trend looks the best the player communicates to the proxy via a mobile phone which table they want to play and following further instructions, the proxy places bets at that table in the casino. GameTrac advise that in a typical proxy betting install, the casino provides live video feeds from a number of a table games and have provided the install diagram here:
Each game’s outcome is observed on the spectator’s video display, and winnings are paid to the proxy player. From a regulatory viewpoint, the wagering activity, the actual exchange of money and each game’s outcome takes place in the casino, and not in the country where the spectator is located. The spectator is simply observing the game, providing wagering instructions to his/her proxy via telephone, and watching each game’s outcome.
In today’s competitive market, astute casino operators know they need to look at all options that will give them an edge over their competition. The Live Dealer/Online option is expensive and very difficult to manage, so having a simple and effective service that allows players to bet via a proxy and view the game outcome on their computer, flat screen or mobile device makes a lot of sense.
Offering a proxy betting service is relatively straightforward to install, GameTrac advise that their clients can be up and running taking bets in less than a week. Offering phone betting opens up a casino operator’s latent revenue creation capabilities, and at the same time, keeps normal associated player incremental costs low. A proxy betting solution means the casino operator can always be in touch with the property’s player database, allowing the player, through a proxy, to wager in real time without having to leave the comfort of home, office or country. This is particularly appealing for players residing in countries where gambling is prohibited. If you’re operating in this part of the world, get on board and offer phone betting to your players.
For more detailed information associated with installing and implementing a proxy betting solution at your property contact the author of this article at [email protected]