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Live dealer growth boosts Limelight revenue

The rapid expansion in live dealer products in Cambodia is fueling demand for increased internet capacity and greater security against cyber attacks from operators in the country, according to Limelight Networks.

The Nasdaq-listed company, which provides high-speed content and video delivery services via their global private CDN network, as well as providing network protection, has seen an increase of about 45 percent to 50 percent in traffic from the country since December 2016.

To meet customer delivery requirements in Cambodia and worldwide, Limelight has increased network capacity and expanded its global Points of Presence (PoP). Along with these investments, the company has set record-breaking levels to-date for overall traffic, peak bandwidth and petabytes delivered. Over the last year, efficiency has consistently improved through the use of new server technology, consolidating server locations, and software innovation.

This has translated into revenue growth of about 25 percent.

“Live dealer operations have to make sure there are no issues of latency,” regional director for SE Asia, Jaheer Abbas, said at the recent ASEAN Gaming Summit in Manila, “We are able to provide the network capacity and speed that it would be impossible for most operators to provide. Without economies of scale it would be costly to build these things out.”

Cambodia’s border casinos have traditionally been reliant on foot traffic from neighbouring countries, such as Vietnam and Thailand where gambling is banned. However, over the past few years, live dealer operations have boomed, enabling the operators to reach a far wider audience.

The business in Cambodia is currently split about 75 percent towards providing extra network capacity, with 25 percent focused on security services to protect clients and companies.

However, Abbas said the security sector is by far the fastest growing. Security issues, such as hacking into live streams, is triggering strong demand for protection products.

Asia-wide, DDOS attacks continue to be a major problem. DDOS attacks have been growing at a rate of about 200 percent annually, with around 30 to 40 percent occurring in Asia. The number of attacks is also accelerating at the fastest pace in Asia, with online gambling companies regularly targeted.

A DDOS attack involves flooding a website with excessive traffic to crash the system or compromise its performance.

Companies have long been concerned about the disruption to their operations, though Abbas said there has been a perceptible shift over the past few months in the focus of concern. Many companies are particularly interested in protecting their brand image from DDOS and other forms of cyber attack.

“The brand and building a brand has become much more important given the rising competition amongst companies in the Asian region,” he said.

In Asia, the Philippines continues to provide the main focus for Limelight’s operations, with Cambodia in rapidly growing second second place. The majority of the region’s online gambling is based in the Philippines, which is the only one in the region to regulate the sector.

However, changes under the administration of new President Rodrigo Duterte have created uncertainty in the market. Late last year, the land-based regulator, Philippine Gaming and Amusement Corp, began offering its own online licenses, in apparent competition with existing licensors First Cagayan and the smaller Aurora Pacific Economic Zone’s Pacific Seaboard Leisure and Entertainment.

The licenses are proving a lucrative additional income source for Pagcor, which plans on significantly expanding issuance after a test period with an initial 35 licenses. Chair Andrea Domingo said at the conference that the regulator has received applications for 78 licenses.

“I think Pagcor and POGO licenses will be here to stay,” Abbas said, adding that the sector is too important in terms of revenue generation to the government to kill off.

Asia Gaming Brief is a news and intelligence service providing up to date market information for worldwide executives on relevant gaming issues in Asia.

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