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Interviews

Golden Opportunity: 2020 brings ambitious release roadmap for Golden Rock

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Shane Regan, Head of Commercial, Golden Rock Studios

 

Following his career move from industry giants IGT, Microgaming and Pragmatic to becoming Head of Commercial for the innovative slot and table game start-up Golden Rock Studios, Shane Regan is well versed in what success looks like. As Golden Rock prepares to unleash its groundbreaking RouletteX2 table game as part of an impressive 2020 release roster, Regan reveals what makes this start-up stand out in a crowded marketplace…

In your role, how do you instil a culture of innovation in terms of practical steps in line with the Golden Rock brand ethos?

Being one of the first people to join Golden Rock Studios, I have had the pleasure of helping shape the brand ethos and culture within the business. We are always striving to be a fun yet progressive place to work and this is already evident in the general feedback we receive and the close partnerships we have been able to build up before we went live with our first game. One of the key factors in ensuring we are innovative in the way we work and not just innovative in the product area is that we hire experienced and creative people who are able to bring across a wealth of various skills and ideas to help us keep to our ideals as a business.

How would you describe the differences between working at major brands and moving to a new start-up studio?

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Firstly I must say that each of the previous companies I have worked for are all very different but all have a similar goal and that is to keep growing the business and finding the right formulas to keep delivering innovative content, some do it better than others, but all companies recognise that is what it takes to maintain a strong presence in this ever growing industry. So having spent the last eight years working in these varied environments this has definitely helped me to understand what ideas and processes would work best in a start-up company like Golden Rock Studios.

Is there more opportunity for creative freedom and is this part of why you transitioned to Golden Rock?

There is a lot more creative freedom available in my role within Golden Rock Studios. I have joined a company with no preconceptions of what success looks like, there are no legacy processes or systems holding us back and I have been given creative licence to develop the companies commercial strategy for the short and long term. This actually goes for each new member of the team, as people join the business and new roles are created, we are all encouraged to put our stamp on the role and use our experiences to help shape the processes and expectations for the business.

You’re launching RouletteX2, can you tell us a bit more about this and how it will impact your overall strategy for the year ahead?

If you are going to compete with Table Games you have to innovate and bring something new to the table. RouletteX2 is the first of six exciting new table games which we aim to have out by the end of 2020. The strategy for table games is to make sure we work closely with all the key operators to ensure that we build and supply content which meets the needs of the business and also gives something new to players.

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RouletteX2 is a well-polished version of the European Roulette game but with innovative features such as Fast Chips allowing players to place multiple chips on a the same time with a single swipe action. We also have a very a powerful reward mechanic like no other, with a unique dice feature potentially gifting players with double winnings for free on every spin, whilst retaining the standard odds expected without taking anything away from the player – our motto for this game is “If you can win double your payout with RouletteX2, why would you ever play any other Roulette game again?!”

As someone with experience across the industry, where do you see the big wins taking place in gaming, both in terms of technology and geography?

I don’t see future technologies such as VR or AI having any kind of major impact on the industry in the foreseeable future if I am going to be honest. Whenever I see these innovative products or ideas, they just look like that are being done for the sake of appearing to be innovative and forward thinking, however in my opinion the target customer base for our gaming products do not need this change. I believe customers want speed and efficiency more than innovative change in what they already love. Better loading times, better stability in gameplay, better efficiency and KYC with casino withdrawals and registrations etc. Although I should mention that I do also believe that the companies who invest properly into their tech stack and ensure they have solid and agile promotional tools will always prevail when it comes to driving growth within their areas.

With regards to the geography winners, big opportunities lie in North and South America as they open up more markets, as well as Japan, India and Africa being touted by many as having big potential for growth. But with regulated markets tightening up requirements and also with tax being a key factor in where a lot of people operate, the landscape is always changing.

What can you tell us about the year ahead?

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For Golden Rock Studios, 2020 has already started off with us being very busy and active on the commercial side of our business. Star Gods, our second game and the first of an ambitious roadmap planned for 2020, went live. Initially it was launched as an early exclusive to the GVC Group brands and they showed great support and faith in us by giving the game a big promotional push before the game was released to the whole Microgaming network in January. We actually have 16 Slots and six Table games all currently in various stages of development, as well as an innovative product feature which will be available in all our Slots games from the second half of this year. So taking all this into account and the fact that we are now growing in terms of customers and products, 2020 is going to be a huge year for Golden Rock Studios!

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Interviews

Altenar’s global expansion: Sam Hill outlines plans for growth in LatAm, Europe, and Beyond

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Can you elaborate on Altenar’s specific goals for global expansion? What regions are Altenar focusing on for growth?

We’re not interested in limiting ourselves, so we are actively exploring several global expansion opportunities. Our highly customisable product can be tailored to any region, and we have the content library to support a global audience. Leveraging our existing customer base and success in Latin America, a market where we are already well-established, makes perfect sense. Specifically, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, and Peru are regions where we have seen strong results and hold further growth potential.

There’s no reason why we can’t expand further across Europe too, where we already have a foothold, and Asia, a largely untapped market for us. Can we do more to establish a stronger presence in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region? Absolutely! Growing the business globally is a key focus.

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You have nearly 15 years of experience in the industry, including roles at Betgenius, BetVictor, and IMG. How will your experience be leveraged to help Altenar achieve its global ambitions?

My sales experience and track record in the content and data space were likely factors in my hiring. My network is fairly extensive and a useful asset that can be leveraged to Altenar’s advantage. In my previous roles at IMG ARENA and Genius, I managed a significant portion of the global sales team, including overseeing territories that are key target areas for Altenar.

Altenar stands out as a leader in this area, excelling in both proprietary content delivery and seamless third-party data integration. Our partnerships with over 20 third-party sportsbook suppliers allow us to deliver the broadest and highest-quality content portfolio – a critical advantage for any operator in a competitive market.

 

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Can you provide some examples of how Altenar might tailor its approach to different regions?

The foundation of success in different markets is always providing the right products. While UI/UX and front-end features offer customisation options, bespoke solutions are also available. Operators can request or configure custom settings in the backend, including margins, bet limits, customer profiling and across our extensive proprietary bonus engine.

UI and UX are key elements. For multi-territory operators, we offer flexibility in content presentation. They can choose the sports, competitions, markets, banners, bonuses, and bet boosts they want to display. Our deep bonus tool capabilities allow for territory-specific customisation, and operators can enable or disable frontend features based on their needs.

However, differentiation goes beyond just the user experience. Our experienced and dedicated account management team provides exceptional support. We strive to execute any individual operator’s trading strategy, whether they prefer a hands-off approach or a more involved one. We provide the operational support needed for either scenario.

Finally, we can cater to specific market demands. In Brazil, for example, we offer a deeper selection of domestic sports content. This allows operators to differentiate themselves and provide what customers want, ultimately leading to better customer acquisition and retention.

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Growing Altenar’s revenue and securing high-profile global partnerships is a key aspect of your role. Can you elaborate on the types of partnerships Altenar is looking to establish, and what qualities define a ‘high-value customer’ for Altenar?

I have great confidence in Altenar’s product offerings. We have a well-established reputation for excellence, but we need to continue raising brand awareness and communicating the value we deliver. My goal is to increase awareness of Altenar’s capabilities among high-profile brands.

We are targeting different partnerships. Casino operators are leaving revenue on the table when it comes to sportsbook, that we are perfectly placed to help them recognise. Another major focus is speaking to established operators in various territories. Can Altenar take their brand to new markets, where they can leverage their potential for growth? Even North American operators today will naturally be looking south at LatAm. We can then leverage their brand recognition in new markets. It is a broad remit but ultimately we will leverage the quality of the Altenar product and the strength of the relationships we have to capitalise on our growth potential.

The post Altenar’s global expansion: Sam Hill outlines plans for growth in LatAm, Europe, and Beyond appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Interviews

“Our Product is Young, Flexible, and Dynamic” – Anhelina Stasiuk on the Future of the SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

European Gaming met with Anhelina Stasiuk after her appointment as Head of Business Line at the SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator to learn about her plans for the product. In this interview, Anhelina shares her vision for expanding the client base, enhancing player engagement, and maintaining top-notch service and technological innovation.

 

Congratulations on your recent appointment as Head of Business Line at SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator! Can you share your immediate priorities with us in this new role?

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Thank you for your congratulations.

I am pleased to have this opportunity because the SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator, being one of the newest products in the SOFTSWISS ecosystem, presents vast opportunities for development. Its technological advancements and timeless appeal make it a top-notch engagement tool in high demand among our clients.

Our meticulous approach focuses on technology to ensure we deliver high-quality solutions. As the new Head of Business Line at SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator, my priority is to expand our client base by tapping into the clients of the SOFTSWISS Game Aggregator. I believe this tool is a ‘must-have’ for them. They can seamlessly launch the SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator and join the Network Jackpot, offering their players a thrilling experience and the chance for significant wins.

Expanding our Network Jackpots is another priority in our strategy. Our research shows that network jackpots increase player engagement and enhance performance metrics for participating casinos. The shared pool mechanic is particularly attractive to players, offering more substantial rewards than individual branded jackpots.

 

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Can you explain how the SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator differentiates itself from other jackpot solutions in the market from your point of view?

We continuously study our competitors, and our Network Jackpot consistently delivers excellent results, giving us a significant market advantage.

A key strength is our collaboration with game providers. For example, we have launched network jackpots with providers like Evolution and currently have a campaign running with Apparat Gaming. These collaborative jackpots highlight their portfolios and open new initiatives for SOFTSWISS Game Aggregator’s clients. The Jackpot Aggregator’s unique mechanics and the Game Aggregator’s user-friendly settings make these launches seamless and fast.

Additionally, we allow other platforms to organise their own jackpot networks. We can integrate with third-party platforms, enabling them to launch and manage their networks effortlessly.

Our Jackpot Aggregator is versatile and compatible with sportsbooks, which is rare in the market. Betting jackpots are especially exciting during major sports events. For example, we launched jackpots for several SOFTSWISS Sportsbook’s clients during the European Football Championship. With flexible settings, brands can create different jackpots to meet the heightened interest in sports betting.

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Moreover, we can run joint campaigns for both casino and sports betting, which is another unique feature. This versatility allows our clients to maximise engagement across different types of gaming activities.

 

How do you envision the SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator evolving, and what impact do you expect these changes to have on SOFTSWISS’s market position?

The SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator is a universal and modern tool that can be implemented not only in casino games but also across the entire iGaming system. All SOFTSWISS products integrate seamlessly, and the Jackpot Aggregator is no exception. It enables unified campaigns combining casino games and sportsbooks, enriching the user experience and allowing casinos to customise launches quickly and easily.

 

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Customer satisfaction is crucial for any product’s success. What strategies will you implement to ensure that the Jackpot Aggregator continues to meet and exceed your clients’ expectations?

A partner recently emphasised that while a product may be perfect, service is equally crucial. They emphasised that they would always choose the option with excellent service. At SOFTSWISS, we are committed to excelling in both areas – ensuring our product is stable and our service outstanding.

Our technical team is dedicated to maintaining top performance, ensuring the product can handle any load, regardless of the client’s size, supporting existing functionality, and developing new features. We pride ourselves on our technology.

Equally, we prioritise excellent communication and a solid client-oriented approach in our hiring process, supporting our managers’ qualifications through ongoing training.

Our account managers focus on providing quick responses. We have established minimum response time standards to ensure clients receive timely assistance, even on weekends. We understand that time is money, and our clients trust that their requests will always be processed promptly, with the necessary support and advice for effective operations.

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What are the main challenges for you in this new position?

The challenge is to demonstrate that I can achieve everything I have planned. I have a proven track record of success and am eager to lead us forward in this new role. With the team, we will explore new opportunities and continue to develop the product.

We are prepared to enter new markets and work with clients to consider new markets at their request. Our young, flexible, and dynamic product makes it well-suited for expansion and adaptation.

The post “Our Product is Young, Flexible, and Dynamic” – Anhelina Stasiuk on the Future of the SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Interviews

Amplifying horse racing: An inside look at how Altenar is diversifying its platform in partnership with SIS

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Industry heavyweights SIS and Altenar are both well-respected suppliers in the industry, known for delivering memorable sports betting experiences. After penning a new deal to boost its horse racing offering, Antonis Karakousis, Director of Operations at Altenar, is joined by Andy Kelly, Head of Commercial Partnerships at SIS to discuss the huge benefits in play.

 

How did the partnership come about?

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Andy Kelly: One of the biggest goals for SIS this year is continued geographic expansion. Having signed a host of international deals, we are looking to enhance our reach, a key strategy to support this ambition is to partner with leading platform providers that have big networks worldwide. Altenar has an impressive client base and being able to collaborate will only serve to benefit both brands. Our extensive product range appeals to operators in search of added value, with 24/7 betting content to drive new operator revenue streams across racing, competitive gaming (esports), and live number draws.

We have hit the ground running with Altenar, with our teams demonstrating a willingness to cooperate and implement strategies in providing products to operators efficiently, with no disruption to existing offerings.

Antonis Karakousis: The collaboration with SIS is a significant milestone for us.. The decision to add a racing provider to our in-house sportsbook stemmed from our commitment to offering a diverse and engaging sports betting experience to the users. Recognising the popularity and global appeal of racing products, we sought a reputable partner who could deliver high-quality content and a seamless integration process.

 

What excites you the most about the partnership?

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Karakousis: The breadth of SIS’ offering, including its extensive portfolio of horse racing services, real-time data, and streaming solutions, aligns seamlessly with our commitment to providing diverse and engaging content to users. We look forward to the positive impact this partnership will have on our platform and the satisfaction it will bring to our operators.

Kelly: Our partnership with Altenar provides us with the opportunity to offer the full SIS product range to a host of new operators across the world through a single integration. The deal means we can get more eyes on our products. We are launching with over 74,000 racing events every year, with our range of live fixed odds numbers draws to follow, with Competitive Gaming events-based sports simulation product completing the product offering. It’s about providing Altenar with a range of premium, highly engaging content that creates fresh revenue opportunities around the clock, through exciting short-form events.

It has been great to see both sides sharing insights to ensure smooth and seamless processes in delivering content to a wide range of operators.

 

How has the integration worked so far?

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Kelly: The integration process has all been smooth so far, aided by the experienced and very capable technical teams on both sides. Together we will be able to offer bettors more round-the-clock opportunities across the product range, initially starting with our live racing content. Having worked with platform providers in the past, we are confident that we can continue to get our products to market through Altenar quickly and seamlessly.

Karakousis: Working closely with the SIS team, our technical experts have engaged in a concerted effort to ensure a smooth incorporation of their products into the Altenar sportsbook. We are pleased to share that the integration has exceeded our expectations on several fronts.

 

Are there any more products in the pipeline?

Karakousis: Our collaboration with SIS goes beyond the launch of the horse racing product. We have exciting plans in the pipeline, with both greyhound racing and lottery games set to be introduced in the near future. There is no doubt that SIS’ product base is one of the most respected  in the industry and has elevated our offering to a wider audience. Additionally, as 2024 progresses, we expect the horse racing product to expand further, bolstering odds on some of the world’s premier race meetings.

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Kelly: We are constantly looking at enhancing our existing product range to serve the evolving needs of operators. This has previously been demonstrated by our expanded range of live fixed odds numbers draws, with high-frequency Fast 15’s designed to keep bettors engaged with a new draw every three minutes.

We will also continue to grow our live racing content offering across the world. We have the rights to some of the biggest and most prestigious international races in the world including all contests at Saudi Cup and the Dubai World Cup, to name a couple. Having rolled out fixed-odds betting in Colorado with bet365 recently, we are hopeful that other US states will follow suit.

There is also the possibility of adding a wider array of sports simulations to our SIS Competitive Gaming offering to ensure localised appeal.

 

How do you foresee 2024 going in terms of this partnership?

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Kelly: We believe the rest of the year will bring mutual success and growth for both SIS and Altenar. We are already seeing the positive impact of our partnership, with collaborations across multiple departments, working together cohesively to meet the challenges of the market together by delivering a product range that engages bettors and provides additional revenues for operators globally. With our combined efforts this is certainly achievable.

Karakousis: As we look ahead to the rest of the year, we are highly optimistic about the trajectory of our partnership with SIS and the impact it will have on the Altenar sportsbook. The collaboration has already laid a strong foundation with the successful launch of the horse racing product, and we anticipate several key developments and milestones in the coming year.

The post Amplifying horse racing: An inside look at how Altenar is diversifying its platform in partnership with SIS appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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