Proxy betting: a casino’s friend in times of crisis

proxy betting shaun McCamley
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As the land-based gaming industry feels the flow on effects from Covid-19, having a trusted and user-friendly live streaming platform for your players to wager through would certainly be a welcome addition. According to Shaun McCamley, managing partner at Euro Asia Pacific Consultancy – this is precisely where proxy betting comes into its own.

 

As we know from past experiences, in times of turmoil and uncertainty, particularly if you are forced to stay home, players look for the opportunity to place a bet. We are already seeing online gaming sites reporting upwards of a 10 percent increase in online play. Proxy betting not only allows your players the opportunity to bet in real time from the safety of their home or office, it also allows them to interact with their favourite property and staff, surely this has to be a win-win solution all round. 

Proxy betting has been incredibly popular and generated huge revenues throughout SE Asia’s grey markets for a number of years. The platform can deliver upwards of 65 percent to a properties bottom line. Importantly players trust proxy and have fun playing particularly with the platform delivering a quirk of live streaming table games. Unfortunately though  in terms of growth potential, the proxy betting model is often mistakenly lumped into the same technical basket as online casino gaming – which it definitely isn’t.

To understand why proxy should not be placed into the online casino basket we first need to look at what proxy betting actually is. In its simplest form Proxy betting is a live streaming service that allows a person to wager in real time on a nominated table game from a remote location. Bets are physically placed via a person (proxy) who is sitting at the table who receives wagering instructions from the player via a phone. The proxy could be a casino marketing employee whose role is that of a proxy ambassador, a friend of the player or a person provided by the junket agent.

The key difference between a proxy betting platform and an RNG or Live Dealer product is that offering either may be a violation of a particular country’s laws.  A person making a bet using an RNG or Live Dealer site 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 an online site may be violating their nation’s restrictions on gambling.  In proxy betting however, 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 factor that defines RNG and Live Dealer is that both platforms require a player to have a registered account through which to fund and then to place wagers via a table game graphic interface whereas proxy betting doesn’t.

Looking back to early 2016, before proxy was banned in Macau, industry analysts estimated that proxy betting’s contribution to overall VIP betting volume there had grown about 15 percent delivering as much as 10 percent of the enclaves GGR.  You surely would therefore have to ask the question given the huge challenges operators are facing today, that consideration to regulate and permit proxy betting should be reviewed again by the DICJ and other regional jurisdictions. It really isn’t complicated in fact it is actually very easy to operate and manage proxy with appropriate KYC and AML procedures in place. 

In an effort to be more transparent and to put KYC, AML and other controls in place, casino operators must move away from the current practise of allowing unknown third party providers to offer their own proxy betting platforms to their players. Properties who work with their own approved proxy betting provider will bring order and control and at the same time keep regulators happy. 

As an example, GameTrac.com is a proxy betting platform owned and managed by key licensed industry experts who understand the need for transparency and the implementation of proper KYC and AML procedures. Following the GameTrac process, players cannot log on and play until KYC, AML and other controls set by the casino have been met. 

Once player funds have been cleared only then is the player given login credentials which are set by the casino. After logging in the player will land in the lobby where a number of tables set up for proxy betting on the casino floor show current score cards. After deciding which tables’ trend looks the best the player communicates to the casino management via a mobile phone which table they want to play. A house proxy is then dispatched to that table, introduces themselves to the player and following further instructions, the proxy places bets as instructed.  

Each game’s outcome is observed on the player’s video display, and winnings are paid to the proxy and so on it goes until the player confirms he wishes to finish playing. At that point the chips are run down, counted and the final amount confirmed by the 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 challenging times all options for generating revenue lines need to be explored. Not offering a proxy betting solution can mean the difference between bottom line loss or profit. 

For more detailed information associated with installing and implementing a proxy betting solution email [email protected]


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