Around the Globe: Ioannis Pantoleon

* Interview of Ioannis Pantoleon, Intralot Group Chief Operating Officer, at La Fleur’s Magazine

In Jules Verne’s 19th century classic, Around the World, in 80 Days, Phileas Fogg wagers he can circumnavigate the globe in just 80 days. That is aquaint notion in an era when the same journey today takes 80 short hours and a ton of frequent flier miles. Ioannis Pantoleon is INTRALOT’s modern-day Phileas Fogg. As INTRALOT’s COO, Pantoleon is at the company’s helm, piloting its vast and varied portfolio of offerings.

A Story of Global Success

In March, INTRALOT was selected by Premier Lotteries Ireland Limited (PLI) as its technology provider. “This was quite an important win for us,” stated Pantoleon. “This is a highly significant lottery in the international landscape. PLI is a continuation of the privatization trend for European lotteries. PLI selected INTRALOT because of our flexible and innovative technology. I am confident that our global experience and cutting-edge technology, together with the operational capabilities of PLI, will yield excellent results.”

Elsewhere, the company has also launched a unique mobile solution through INTRALOT Italia, the company’s Italian subsidiary. This new mobile and tablet solution enables mobile users to enjoy the excitement of pre-match and live sports betting, using the latest technology on mobile and tablet devices.

“INTRALOT enjoys success in many markets but for us core competencies are technology and operational excellency,” said Pantoleon. “Our specific focus is on digital and mobile solutions. Because INTRALOT operates lotteries, we understand players’ need and how best to deliver that to the market. I believe that players will, for the foreseeable future, maintain a strong alliance with the land-based lottery. The new technology enables exciting gaming at the POS. I see technology as integrating the different gaming channels. This will bring a more seamless experience to the player.”

INTRALOT first entered the Italian market in 2007. “The market opened for international competition and INTRALOT acquired 600 new licenses for sports betting shops. Since then we have put in many efforts in this highly competitive market,” stated Pantoleon.  “Seven years after, INTRALOT is one of the main operators in this market. We are the largest non-Italian firm in the sports betting market. INTRALOT products were highly successful even in the face of declines in handle over the last year. We have increased our market share.”

“Italy is an interesting jurisdiction because the framework allows the regulators and operators to work closely together,” he added. “That improves the adoption rate for new technology and games. This is why Italy is one of the most dynamic markets in the world.”

In Turkey, almost 30% of sales come from alternative channels—namely, mobile and internet. “Smartphones, in particular, are very popular,” notes Pantoleon. “That indicates that some product categories are better suited to interactive solutions.”

With interactive solutions, payment methods are a key consideration. “This can easily be handled by prepaid cards or, where allowed, credit card transactions,” said Pantoleon. “Obviously, some jurisdictions are more restrictive than others. Naturally, where payments are easier, participation rates are much higher.”

iGEM Monitoring System

INTRALOT also provides the latest cutting-edge solution for VLTs and casinos markets through its new iGEM Monitoring System. “It is the most advanced solution in this segment of gaming,” said Pantoleon. We have been successful in New Zealand and Australia (Victoria). The monitoring system also runs in Ohio, Romania and Peru. This is an increasingly important part of our gaming offering. The security features of iGEM have been certified by the major security institutions globally.”

Leading Responsibly

INTRALOT has a long history of corporate social responsibility. Being an efficient operator and a responsible gaming business is a balancing act well known to INTRALOT.

“In order to become a successful operator, you have to supply the necessary safeguards to the players,” contends Pantoleon. “This starts with flexible and efficient technology. INTRALOT’s advanced technology is designed to verify age, eliminate fraud and prevent over participation by the player base. The key is in offering games with great entertainment value, as opposed to predatory marketing.”

Part of INTRALOT’s CSR program is a long standing commitment to give back to the communities it serves. “These things go hand in hand,” declared Pantoleon. “When a company moves into a market, it gives value to the jurisdiction in many ways. Part of this is technology and job training. At INTRALOT, we feel an obligation to support the social welfare of the communities we serve. That might take the form of preserving cultural heritage, education or human development. It helps build acceptance and retain leadership.”

“This is the forefront of a new challenge as a sector and as a company,” concluded Pantoleon. “The market is changing rapidly. Internet gaming and mobile gaming will lead those changes. The privatization of lotteries, such as Ireland, is exciting and challenging. The industry is in a time of evolution in both direction and dimension. It is up to INTRALOT to stay ahead of those changes and provide leadership to help define the future.”

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