Entain, formerly known as GVC, is one of the world’s largest sports betting and gaming entertainment groups, operating online gaming sites worldwide, along with thousands of retail stores in the United Kingdom and Italy. Its family of over two dozen brands includes bwin, Ladbrokes, Coral, partypoker, and BETMGM. Each day, Entain’s proprietary gaming software, which is developed and maintained fully in-house, handles over 2 million sports bets, 100 million casino spins, and 21 million poker hands.
As an online gaming provider with a global customer base, Entain operates in a highly regulated and competitive market and must meet very demanding user expectations and deliver a secure experience to their customers. Its sites and apps must be available 24/7 and have ultra-low latency. Entain must also secure its web assets from cybercriminals seeking to take over customer accounts, scrape content for use on their own competing sites, or steal highly valuable digital intellectual property.
Entain had been using a competing performance and security suite, but the company found this vendor’s solutions to be very expensive, as well as extremely complex and difficult to maintain on their own, with limited automation capabilities. The company sought a simpler, more cost-effective, API-driven solution suite that would enable Entain to automate as many tasks as possible, so that their developers could concentrate on internal projects instead of getting bogged down in maintenance.
Entain chose to implement Cloudflare’s performance and security solutions, including the Cloudflare CDN, Load Balancing, and Rate Limiting. Later, Entain implemented Argo Smart Routing, which automatically detects network congestion and routes web traffic over the fastest links available, as well as Cloudflare Spectrum, a reverse proxy product that improves application speed, security, and reliability by extending Cloudflare performance and security tools to all TCP/UDP applications.
Using Cloudflare CDN, Load Balancing, and Argo Smart Routing, Entain can deliver a first-class user experience to all of its customers worldwide even as the company rapidly expands its products and customer base.
“When a customer watches a live sports game and wants to bet on certain outcomes on our sports sites and apps, they expect to get all data in nearly real-time to their devices,” explains Christoph Haas, Director of Entain Sports Technology. “Cloudflare helps us with the technology to meet our demands as speed in sports is everything!”
After deploying Argo, Entain saw performance improvements across all of its web properties, including a dramatic improvement in Brazil, where customers are located further away from Entain’s servers than in other parts of the world.
“Argo Smart Routing reduced page load times by 53% in Brazil, solving high latency in that region,” says Patrick Kast, Engineering Manager Leanops.
“Cloudflare’s worldwide reach ensures that we can deliver top-notch performance to our global customer base,” Haas adds.
Cloudflare Load Balancing enables Entain to run all their applications active across multiple data centers which ensures full redundancy, which is needed to run an I-Gaming Business 24/7.
“Cloudflare provides us with real load balancing functionality, and like the rest of Cloudflare’s performance tools, it’s much easier to use and manage then our previous solution,” says Kast.
“Cloudflare has a more attractive commercial model than our previous vendor, with advanced traffic analytics and more out-of-the-box features,” Haas adds. “Cloudflare’s solutions are extremely powerful, but they’re also very easy to use and gives us the flexibility with their APIs to automate a lot of tasks. We wanted a performance solution that would let us manage everything on our own, and Cloudflare delivered.”
The Cloudflare WAF and Rate Limiting stop cybercriminals from scraping content, such as betting odds, from Entain’s websites; launching credential-stuffing attacks against customer accounts to steal digital assets, such as customers’ registration bonuses; and compromising security and performance.
“Cloudflare’s security suite supports Entain’s proactive cyber security approach by blocking millions of threats each month and providing us with security analytics containing actionable threat intelligence,” Haas says. “We serve 300+ million requests each day through our APIs, and all of these APIs are behind Cloudflare.”
Cloudflare’s API-first tools enable Entain to automate processes without requiring vendor support, which ensures resilient systems and saves Entain money by minimizing administrative overhead and reducing on-call burden.
“Securing our sites is a 24/7 job,” Haas says. “With Cloudflare as a partner, we can sleep at night. We don’t have to worry about a website being taken down during busy times."
Cloudflare Spectrum is another important tool in Entain’s cybersecurity arsenal to ensure the security and performance of the company’s TCP/ UDP based-games.
“Cloudflare Spectrum ensures that Entain’s poker networks and other newer game offerings, which require TCP/UDP connections, are protected, as well as fast and reliable,” Haas says.
The flexibility of the Cloudflare security suite helps Entain prioritize compliance as the company penetrates new markets, and it supports Entain’s mergers and acquisitions strategy. “The gaming industry is arguably even more regulated than banking. In every country we enter, we have to comply with national, regional, and local regulations,” Haas explains. “Cloudflare gives us the agility we need to rapidly deploy in new markets while ensuring compliance with all applicable regulations. It’s great to have one partner whose solutions we can use in each and every country where we do business.”
Cloudflare Argo Smart Routing improves page load speeds by 53%, ensuring that in-game elements respond immediately to customer inputs.
The Cloudflare WAF and Rate Limiting block millions of threats each month from reaching Entain’s websites.
Cloudflare Spectrum keeps Entain’s poker networks and other TCP/UDP-based games completely secure, fast, and reliable.
Cloudflare Load Balancing provides redundancy so that Entain’s sites and apps stay up even if there’s a problem in one of their data centers.
Cloudflare CDN helps Entain to deliver content to their customers across the globe much faster, as website speed is key for such a business.
“Cloudflare’s security suite supports Entain’s proactive cyber security approach by blocking millions of threats each month and providing us with security analytics containing actionable threat intelligence.”
Director of Entain Sports Technology
“Cloudflare gives us the agility we need to rapidly deploy in new markets while ensuring compliance with all applicable regulations. It’s great to have one partner whose solutions we can use in each and every country where we do business.”
Director of Entain Sports Technology