Microsoft Game Dev Customer Story
Kaizen Gaming embraces AI to redefine the player experience
Founded in 2012 in Greece and with more than 1000 employees globally, Kaizen Gaming is the leading GameTech company in Greece and one of the fastest-growing GameTech companies in Europe, currently operating in 6 countries under the brands Stoiximan and Betano. In this industry, a smooth gaming experience is a key differentiator for establishing player loyalty and Kaizen Gaming’s goal, with an emphasis on technology and people, is for continuous improvement. To strengthen its platform, Kaizen Gaming decided to introduce Artificial Intelligence capabilities via Microsoft Azure. This enabled real-time analysis of gaming and transactional activities, resulting in increased personalization, a frictionless player experience & improved gaming operations.
Kaizen Gaming operates under the Stoiximan brand in Greece and Cyprus, and under the Betano brand in Germany, Romania, Portugal and Brazil. With a deeply player-centric approach, the company offers a broad online gaming portfolio spanning sportsbooks, live betting and online casinos. “In our industry, a customer can have an account on many different platforms, and pricing can’t be our differentiator as people can bet as much as they like on any of them. But the platform they’ll keep coming back to will be the one that’s the most convenient to use and provides the best gaming experience. We aim to be that platform,” says Aris Dimarakis, CTO, Kaizen Gaming.
A new level of player experience
Kaizen Gaming knew from the beginning that it needed to adopt relevant cloud solutions in order to build the best platform for its customers. “We didn’t want to work with machine learning or AI just because it's trendy, but because we wanted to analyze data to understand our users’ needs and fulfill them with our platform,” explains Constantinos Liapis, Head of Applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) at Kaizen Gaming.
“Using Azure Data Lake was very straightforward,” notes Liapis. “It also gave a huge boost to our productivity and effectiveness. In a week, our data scientists were able to access all the data they needed seamlessly. Before, we were limited to six days of historical data, which is pointless for AI. But suddenly, we were able to test and to experiment with several iterations in a single day, and get actual results.“
Databricks provided a further boost to the Kaizen team’s operations. “Before, we had to spend around ten days to build a six-month dataset for a specific use case. With Databricks, we could create the same dataset in a matter of hours,” says Liapis. “Plus, through the scaling provided by Azure, we could run on-demand big clusters to run complex experiments multiple times a day. As a result, we were able to better finetune our training pipelines. That meant better models, faster.”
Among Kaizen’s major projects was refining its sportsbook personalization levels. “By offering sports events that are more tailored to players’ preferences, we’ve seen a 14-percent increase in revenue,” enthuses Liapis.
Kaizen Gaming has also automated most of its fund withdrawal requests with Azure Machine Learning. “It used to take up 30 to 60 minutes to review and approve a fund withdrawal request from a user. Now that the process has been automated, it takes less than a minute,” says Liapis.
Today, Kaizen Gaming works hand in hand with Microsoft to ensure it makes the most out of its technology investments. “Microsoft’s team has always been there to assist us at any point of the planning and development of new solutions with advice and valuable training, even before we started using AI,” mentions Dimarakis. “We believe that AI and Big Data solutions will bring great value to our customers. The future is there, and as a customer-centric company, we are determined to continue, and even increase our investment in these technologies,” he concludes.
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