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Exclusive interview with GAMING1: “Our online operations in Belgium have grown beyond all expectations”

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Exclusive interview with GAMING1: “Our online operations in Belgium have grown beyond all expectations”
Exclusive interview with GAMING1: “Our online operations in Belgium have grown beyond all expectations”Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Belgian omni-channel expert GAMING1 has proven itself as a worthy partner during the pandemic, especially when it comes to transitioning operators’ offline operations to online. We sat down with Sylvain Boniver, COO and co-founder to talk through GAMING1’s market outlook for Europe over the coming months – this one’s not to be missed!

GAMING1’s services were certainly in demand during 2020 as land-based operators sought to establish their presence online – can you give us a quick snapshot of what that’s looked like? 

The outbreak of Covid-19 has accelerated the transition online for most businesses, and that includes the gambling industry. For us, helping partners navigate the unprecedented circumstances caused by the pandemic was priority number one.

Lockdown restrictions forced land-based casinos to shut up shop, and even in countries where they’ve reopened, visitor numbers remain a long way off their pre-pandemic levels. The longer outlets wait to go digital, the greater the loss of their market share – it really is that simple.

Fortunately, our model is designed to help facilitate that shift, allowing players to continue using their favourite brand in an online format. We help retail and land-based partners digitise their operations – a service which, for many, is urgently necessitated by the current situation, and we’re here to deliver.

How has the last year changed the European landscape? Comparing to the way the market looked last January, how much would say has shifted in terms of growth and expectations?

The widespread closure of land-based establishments has underlined the imperative for operators to expand their digital activities. Our partners have enjoyed tremendous success when it comes to re-directing offline customers online, thereby curbing the financial impact of the pandemic.

Self-evidently, operators without an online outlet are struggling to succeed right now. Those who have a synergised land-based and digital offering, on the other hand, are much better equipped to weather the storm that is sweeping the global economy. For those in the former category, our company is ready and waiting to help deliver an omnichannel experience to their players.

Where has growth been particularly strong for GAMING1 on the continent? Where should our readers be looking at for potential expansion?

Our online operations in Belgium have grown beyond expectations. Of course, that can partially be attributed to the Covid-induced shift of all land-based activities to the online sphere. But it also reflects the sky-high quality of our digital products, and the operational efficiency of which we are so proud.

In addition, our status as a Portuguese market-leader remains undisputed, with valued local partners Estoril continuing to grow at an impressive rate. Our Iberian reach has also expanded in Spain, with 777.ES going from strength to strength by outperforming the competition – a pattern which we are confident will continue in the year to come.

Your home markets are very much across Belgium and France – do you see the current French approach to online gaming changing anytime soon?

There’s a world of difference between the two markets. Looking at regulation, in Belgium you must own a land-based casino to open a betting shop, and there is a €500 weekly deposit limit in place. Neither of those rules apply in the French market – and yet, France is still the more restrictive of the two.

French laws prohibit the existence of any private sector in the entire gambling industry, except for land-based casinos. Little wonder, then, that the country’s black market is the most significant in Europe. Regulation would not provide an overnight solution, such is the scale of the exposure of unregulated sites. It would, however, be a giant leap in the right direction – not just for France’s gambling industry, but for its players and economy too.

Looking to the year ahead, a lot’s been talked about in terms of engagement and retention, as well as acquisition of land-based players to the online world – what should operators be spending their money on to make that happen?

As a land-based operator, having the right partner by your side is paramount. That’s how to deliver a world-class digital product to players, and marketing your offering in the most effective way possible is paramount.

Beyond the cross-selling acquisition and retention tools that we’ve implemented, my strongest recommendation is to develop a 360o strategy that maximises the synergy between your different channels. Ensuring that staff genuinely buy into your vision is also critical – without them on board, even the best-planned projects won’t get very far.

Last but not least, can you give us a few insights for staying ahead this year? What’s going to be the GAMING1 approach for ensuring your partners can succeed?

We strengthened our senior management team over the course of 2020 with an impressive string of industry heavyweights. Our peerless 50-50 business model, in which we win or lose alongside our partners, continues to reap the rewards, and we’ve got an ambitious set of expansion plans in place. I’m very proud by our hard-earned reputation for excellence, and we’re all very excited for the decade ahead. This is especially the case for the growth of our existing operations in Europe and Colombia, as well as developing markets such as France and Holland. Safe to say, we’re in for another busy year!

George Miller (Gyorgy Molnar) started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Ancient mysteries await in 3 Oaks Gaming’s 3 Egypt Chests: Hold and Win

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Distributor’s newest release exhibits powerful Progress symbols

3 Oaks Gaming, an established distributor of iGaming content, has gone live with 3 Egypt Chests: Hold and Win, an action-packed adventure showcasing a trio of colourful Progress symbols alongside unique Boosters, paving the way to dig for hidden treasures.

Across 10 paylines, the slot’s biggest prizes lay within the fabled 3 Pots mechanic, with the Progress symbols the key to unlocking the riches on offer in this title.

Once the Hold and Win bonus round is activated, a red, blue or green Progress symbol uncovers one of the three modifiers – Multi Feature, Extra Feature and Double Feature.

Filling the Treasure Chest Meter with red Progress symbols begins the Multi Feature, where random multipliers boost the Bonus symbols, turbocharging the way for enhanced wins, while Blue Progress symbols grant access to the Extra Feature, increasing respins and prolonging the gametime.

The Double Bonus game transports users to an additional board, doubling the prize amount including two Grand Jackpots, worth 10,000x a player’s bet.

Additionally, when a Progress symbol appears alongside a Boost symbol, it collects all visible monetary values, bolstering a player’s winning prize pool.

Yuriy Muratov, Chief Commercial Officer at 3 Oaks Gaming, said: “3 Egypt Chests: Hold and Win is a pulsating journey into ancient Egypt where pharaohs roam and guard the ancient treasure.

“The return of our 3 Pots Mechanic will undoubtedly prove popular once again with users as the trio of captivating Boosters elevates the gameplay and the overall player experience.”

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Stakelogic Live Signs Partnership with betFIRST in Belgium

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Popular Betsson Group brand becomes the latest Belgium operator to host Stakelogic Live’s full suite of games

betFIRST, a leading online casino and sport betting brand in Belgium owned by the Betsson Group, has put pen to paper on a deal with in-demand live casino content provider Stakelogic Live.

Stakelogic Live already has a strong presence in the Belgium market, working with several leading operators. It will now add the hugely popular betfirstcasino.be website to its roster of partners, with the site gaining complete access to its live casino content.

As a result of this deal, players at betFIRST will now have a huge selection of exciting live casino games at their fingertips. Stakelogic Live has established itself as a must-have live casino provider, serving up a unique brand of thrilling live casino action broadcast live from state-of-the-art studios in The Netherlands and Malta.

Stakelogic Live’s catalogue of games includes immersive takes on popular classics such as American Blackjack, Speed Baccarat, and Auto Roulette, as well as a plethora of game-show-style titles, all of which can now be enjoyed in betFIRST s live casino lobby.

There is also the opportunity for players at betfirst.be to experience the exciting Super Wheel prize feature. This innovative prize, when triggered, gives players the chance to spin a giant money wheel, with instant-win prizes and a selection of action-packed up for grabs. 

Neil Tanti, Senior Sales Manager at Stakelogic, said:” betFIRST is an operator with a tremendous reputation and is an excellent partner to work alongside as we continue to cement our position as the leading live-casino content provider in the Belgium market.

As a studio, we go to great lengths to ensure our products are head and shoulders above the competition, priding ourselves on the highly engaging and immersive experiences we are able to offer players. Partnering with us enables betFIRST to stand out in what is a very competitive market. “

Julien Roux, CPO at betFIRST, said: At betFIRST, “We pride ourselves on knowing exactly what our customers want and providing them with it. This is why we have chosen to work with a leading provider like Stakelogic Live.

Live casino is an extremely important vertical for us, and by partnering with Stakelogic Live, we can now add one of the best providers in the business to our lobby, ensuring the best possible experience for our fans. “

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Playson goes on an Arabian adventure with 3 Magic Lamps: Hold and Win

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Hold and Win round enhanced by special lamp modifiers in mystical game

Playson, the fast-growing digital entertainment supplier, is uncovering spellbinding prizes with 3 Magic Lamps: Hold and Win, a slot stacked with unique features including a trio of powerful Bonus rounds.

Set within a world of Arabian luxury and grandeur, this title is elevated by the appearance of three distinctive features that are unlocked by the presence of green, red and blue coins within either the main game or Free Spins round.

The green coin awards the Double Feature, with a prize of up to x50, thanks to a selection of multipliers, whilst the Mystery Feature is granted when red coins are visible, rewarding players with a win of up to x150. If a blue version lands, this uncovers the Collect Feature, gathering the values of all the symbols on show and adding them to the total win.

During the Hold and Win feature, the appearance of Major, Mini or Minor coins the corresponding jackpots of x15, x50 or x150. The Grand Jackpot worth x5,000 is awarded should all 15 cells be filled with symbols.

3 Magic Lamps: Hold and Win’s Free Spins mode is triggered when three Scatter icons grant eight turns, with that number doubled if a trio of Scatters reappear during the round. A Wild symbol can double a win if it appears on a specific payline.

This latest release, with highly-detailed graphics, an upbeat soundtrack and alluring characters follows the success of Playson’s two 3 Pots Riches releases, which have proven the studio’s power to take a well-loved mechanic and add exciting new twists.

Tamas Kusztos, CCO at Playson, said:3 Magic Lamps: Hold and Win is a captivating addition to our portfolio, giving players the chance to meet the Genie and hope he propels them to extravagant riches.

“The creative enhancements to the Bonus round truly boost the overall player experience and we believe that this slot will be a huge success for us, offering differentiation to the market.”

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