2004: a significant year for Malta’s gaming sector

2004 saw two major shifts in Malta’s gaming landscape. First, the Government privatised the lottery, with Maltco Lotteries taking over Lotto games across the island. Then, Maltco Lotteries began deploying infrastructure to connect POS terminals across over 200 Lotto booths across the island – creating the largest retail network in Malta.

But how do you maintain a network of this scale, while also maintaining your place on the cutting edge of technological innovation?

The challenge – maintaining a large retail network, and a competitive lead

When Maltco first took over Malta’s lottery in 2004, it knew it wanted to introduce an online infrastructure connecting Lotto agents across the island.

With hundreds of Lotto booths, Maltco’s network would need to reach across the entire island and operate at scale. As Maltco’s games are extremely popular in Malta , the company needed to ensure any infrastructure which is deployed would keep them agile and ready to satisfy increasingly demanding customers.

To meet these needs over the long term, Maltco Lotteries needed an IT and connectivity partner that could reach the entire island, while delivering proactive consultancy and the highest quality of service.

The solution – consultancy and connectivity from Malta’s leading communications service provider

When Maltco Lotteries first acquired its license to run the lottery in 2004, it began working with Datastream, a service provider that would later merge with Maltanet and rebrand as GO.

“As the provider with the widest spread across Malta, GO Business was best positioned to offer what we needed.”
– Mark Busuttil, IS Director, Maltco Lotteries

With GO Business as its ISP, and GO Business’ Enterprise Services team delivering consultancy and managed services, Maltco found the networking innovation, scale, and reliability it needed. “Our customers expect a high quality of service, and we needed a provider that could help us deliver that,” says Mark Busuttil, IS Director at Maltco Lotteries. “As the provider with the widest spread across Malta, GO Business was best positioned to offer what we needed.”

Initially, Maltco worked with GO Business to deploy connectivity between PoS terminals at its retail agent sites. It also relied on the Enterprise Services team to provide interconnectivity between Maltco’s different sites. GO manages all connectivity between Maltco’s main office in Malta, its redundancy sites, as well as to its parent company’s offices in Greece and other foreign 3rd party providers. Through the provided managed services GO also supplies and supports network and security devices and services.

While the Enterprise Services team provides Maltco with infrastructure and managed services, the ISP side of GO Business provides internet and telephony packages to Maltco’s offices. GO Business also supports Maltco agent sites with connectivity packages that include telephony, internet and IPTV services.

GO Business has stood alongside Maltco, supporting and advising over the years as it, continued to develop its games and services. For instance, when Maltco wanted to start streaming live races to offer Horse Racing betting games in 2007, the Enterprise Services team was there every step of the way, advising, supporting and assisting as required. It helped Maltco prepare its network for the higher bandwidth requirements of video streaming to ensure a consistent user experience.

While GO Business has been on hand to re-actively solve Maltco’s infrastructure challenges, the Enterprise Services team has also proactively recommended, and subsequently implemented new technologies to ensure that Maltco remains cutting edge.

In preparation for the second concession of the National Lottery license in 2012/2013, the company had moved from its older ATM transfer technology to newer Ethernet alternatives as bandwidth demands increased. The technical team at GO Business didn’t just deliver the Ethernet infrastructure. It also rigorously tested new components to deliver a futureproof Ethernet network that would be ready to meet Maltco’s needs well into the future. Similarly, when Maltco’s Managed Service devices are close to reach the end of the products’ life cycle, the Enterprise Services team proactively researches the best alternatives and proactively presents new upgrade recommendations.

The results – forward-thinking solutions and true peace of mind

By partnering with GO Business and its Enterprise Services team, Maltco has been able to get new infrastructure, connectivity, support, and consultancy at the scale it needs, all from a single vendor. With a one-stop shop for its connectivity and network solutions, Maltco has benefited from a partner that understands all corners of its business.

“We’ve worked with GO Business for 16 years now, and that’s because they’ve consistently shown they understand our business – and what we need as we evolve,” explains Busuttil. “And the longer we work together, the more we understand how to overcome the challenges we face. At this point, I don’t think there’s any obstacle we can’t overcome.”

For Martin Hili, Operations Manager at Maltco Lotteries, it’s not just the quality of support that sets GO Business apart – it’s the speed at which they can respond to any issues. “Our staff, agents and players always expect the highest quality of service,” says Hili. “That’s exactly what GO delivers. Our GO account manager is always helpful, and the escalation process for technical issues is smooth and responsive.”

“Our staff, agents and players always expect the highest quality of service. That’s exactly what GO delivers.”
– Martin Hili, Operations Manager, Maltco Lotteries

On rare occasions, where a problem cannot be fixed immediately, GO Business’ scale allows it to offer interim measures that deliver peace of mind – and service continuity – to Maltco and its agents. “If a PoS terminal at one of our agent sites can’t connect, that’s obviously a big problem,” explains Hili. “GO has been great about offering us redundancy here. They can provide mobile wireless connectivity to ensure sites are operational until the issue with physical connectivity is solved. That’s been really important for our business continuity.”

As Maltco has copious interesting projects in the pipeline , GO Business and the Enterprise Services team will continue to support the National Lottery provider as their trusted partners. “GO Business has always taken a partnership approach with us,” explains Busuttil. “And I know we can count on them as we move forward. They’re already testing next-generation infrastructure components to see what will help us stay ahead of our competitors. I look forward to seeing what the future holds as our partnership with GO is strengthened further.”

Learn more about managed services from GO Business

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