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ICE London: Evolving conversations around industry threats

By Netacea / 20th Feb 2020

A Look Back at ICE London

Hosting more than 35,000 attendees and 600 stands from the industry’s top service providers, it was clear that this was the perfect place to become fully immersed in the trends and hot topics with some of the leading professionals in the gaming and gambling industry.

Team Netacea was able to get stuck into conversations about the evolution of the automated bot threat in gaming, with particular focus on the impact of their increased sophistication and the application of business logic within cyber-attacks. How are organizations tackling the bot challenge, is there any industry consensus on the best form of defence?

Where are the bot management knowledge gaps in gaming?

The Forrester New WaveTM: Bot Management 2020, predicts that “bot management will become the predominant application defence”. This prediction is influenced by the prevalence of automated bot traffic and also by the shifting threat landscape in industries such as gaming and gambling.

Amongst the most discussed topics at ICE, was the rise of arb betting; a challenge we know to derive directly from the ease with which sophisticated bot attacks can be carried out. Arb betting is estimated to cost the gambling industry £12m per annum, and despite organizations putting preventative solutions in place, many still lack visibility on bot traffic associated with this practice.

What’s the arb-betting threat?

Arb betting compiles extracted data from competing sportsbook sites, scraping odds to manipulate them to an advantage and set up a win-win bet. During many of our conversations at ICE, it was clear that there were deep-rooted frustrations regarding the yet to be criminalized practice.

Attackers can use scrapers, switching between various IP addresses to hide their activity, enabling bots can make hundreds of requests per second in their quest for information while maxing out website capacity. This strain on infrastructure creates an additional to the average £12m lost through the practice itself, as many companies are forced to shell out for added maintenance and resources. And we haven’t even touched on the reputational damage caused when legitimate customers are forced to head elsewhere as a result of repeated downtime.

Arb betting is just one of many bot threats to the gaming and gambling industry that highlights the need for comprehensive bot detection and mitigation technology, to supplement traditional WAF and CDN offerings.

Simple steps to better bot management

A top 10 global sportsbook recognized the presence of bots in their web-facing traffic and sought a resolution that could identify and combat the threats posed on their profits, site capacity/infrastructure and customer security.

Following the integration of bot detection and mitigation technology that provides visibility of all website, mobile and API traffic, the business observed drastic changes, including:

  • An 85% reduction in automated bets placed by bots
  • Improved traffic manageability and predictability
  • An annual saving of £3m and a full return of initial investment within 5 months


When returning to ICE London next year, it will make for an interesting comparison to see how the year to follow will shape discussions around bot management. Also to see if the new wave of automated threats outlined as ‘predominant’ in the Forrester report will influence cybersec decisions and future innovation of gaming companies operating in the online space.

Talk to Netacea about our smarter approach to bot management today.