Chief Product Officer Justin Cosnett discusses the strides Continent 8 Technologies has made in the US market and how his company is helping gambling operators to best protect against potential cyber attacks.

CB: The US market is growing rapidly, with more states due to open up to regulated gambling in the next few months. Are there any particular markets that you believe hold great potential for Continent 8?

JC: Continent 8 Technologies has already made great strides in the US market and today we are live in 25 states and counting. We’ve taken a first-to-market approach across North America, allowing our customers to enter regulated states and provinces from day one. 

Our US market expansion will continue throughout the year with launches in Nevada, Minnesota and Georgia in the pipeline. We are also building secondary or disaster recovery solutions in a large number of states, most recently in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas and Louisiana. 

We expect to see changes to regulations in several other states, so there’s plenty of potential opportunity for further growth for Continent 8 and our customers in the region. 

CB: How will Continent 8 use its regulatory know-how and experience to support companies looking to expand their footprint across the US? 

JC: We’ve spent the past 25 years supporting customers in regulated markets, including in the US. The fact that we power 80 per cent of the 2022 EGR Power US ranking operators is a testament to the quality of our solutions and services, but also our ability to guide customers through the regulatory challenges they face. 

Because of our first-to-market approach, and close working relationship with state regulators, our customers can hit the ground running from day one of the market opening, confident that their infrastructure is fully compliant.

This is crucial given the state-by-state nature of the US, with each market having slightly different requirements for operators to meet. This makes having a blueprint for infrastructure almost impossible, elevating the importance of working with a provider that is approved in all regulated states. 

CB: Continent 8 recently made its debut in Ohio where you made your iGaming Cloud available to licensed operators across the state. For those that might not know, what is the iGaming Cloud?

JC: Our regulated iGaming Cloud offers a scalable and resilient infrastructure platform that allows customers to host virtual servers, compute, containers, storage and network-edge devices without the need for physical hardware.

Customers can scale usage up and down in line with demand, while also benefiting from our powerful DDoS protection. When it comes to market entry, Cloud solutions provide the quickest and simplest route into a new state. 

CB: How is the iGaming Public Cloud removing the leg work when it comes to hardware procurement and compliance?  

JC: With our iGaming Public Cloud, operators and suppliers don’t need to worry about hardware procurement and management at all. Continent 8 manages up to and including the hypervisor but with customers having complete control of their virtual data centre and virtual machines. 

Usage is scalable and with a commercial model that suits the customer’s needs, it is the most cost-effective way of deploying infrastructure in any regulated US state. 

CB: What are your plans for rolling out the Public Cloud to additional states? Are there any markets that are particularly high on your agenda?

JC: It is available to licensed operators in key regulated states including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, West Virginia and most recently Ohio. We will expand to additional states in the coming months.

CB: From your experience, what are the biggest challenges that operators and suppliers face when it comes to cyber security? And how do you overcome these?

JC: The gambling industry is one of the most attacked, so it’s vital for operators and suppliers to take a proactive approach to protect their systems, networks, infrastructure and data. There is no doubt the industry will continue to be under attack over the coming 12 months, so operators and suppliers must act now to ensure they have the necessary policies and protections in place. 

Those that don’t leave themselves incredibly vulnerable and should an attack get through, will have to contend not only with the financial loss that results but also the reputational damage of having customers’ personal and financial data compromised. This is damage that can be very hard to repair indeed.

To prevent this from happening, a multi-layered approach is an absolute must, and this means rolling out DDoS and WAAP protection as well as MDR/EDR and SIEM/SOC solutions. 

CB: 2023 marks 25 years of Continent 8, congratulations! What can we expect from Continent 8 in its 25th year? 

JC: Thanks! It’s been quite the journey and Continent 8 achieving this significant milestone is a proud moment for the entire team. When you compare where we started to where the business is at today, it’s clear that Continent 8 has come a very long way indeed. Not only has the business changed, but so too has the industry and the challenges and opportunities it presents. 

Our aim has always been to help our partners overcome these challenges and seize the opportunities on the table, and we do a very good job of both. This year, we will continue to do the same while also expanding our network – we are set to pass 100 locations – and the range of products and services we offer, to best serve our customer base. 

This includes our growing powerful Gaming Exchange, a private internet and exchange that can only be used by Continent 8 customers, allowing them to connect directly with one another. It offers a VPN across our backbone network in conjunction with third-party circuits to let customers exchange traffic at the lowest latency and highest performance, while being secure and private. Launched last year, this is a game-changer for our customers.

CB: And if you were to look into a crystal ball, where do you see Continent 8 in the next few years? 

JC: We will further establish ourselves as the go-to infrastructure provider of choice for operators active in regulated markets around the world. We will continue to deploy our ambitious expansion plans in North America and Latin America, while also strengthening our position in Europe and Asia.