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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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Lottery.com Enters Into an Agreement with Ritzio International, as it Seeks to Enter Various European Markets

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Lottery.com Enters Into an Agreement with Ritzio International, as it Seeks to Enter Various European Markets
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Lottery. com, a leading platform that allows users to play the lottery online, has signed an engagement letter with Ritzio International (“Ritzio”) in relation to an expansion of Lottery. com’s business into European markets.

Ritzio is a leading gaming brand for outstanding customer service, profitable strategy, and leadership. Its gaming venues are primarily small and medium-sized properties located in urban areas throughout Europe. Their stable gaming network provides visitors with flexible access to a growing portfolio of gaming venues, entertainment services and strict standards of quality and safety.

Europe’s gambling market is estimated to be approximately €23 billion ($27.4 billion). The addressable market in the countries that Ritzio covers includes 96 million people.

“This partnership is an important inroad as we expand our overseas operations and offer our products to new markets,” said Lottery. com CEO Tony DiMatteo. “Ritzio’s established presence and experience in the gaming industry is phenomenal and aligns well with our growth strategy.”

The deal demonstrates Lottery.com’s recent efforts to increase its international expansion and presence, with Ritzio operating more than 150 gaming halls across its Germany, Romania, and Belarus divisions, exceeding 3,800 gaming terminals and €90 million ($107 million) of annual revenue. Ritzio brings more than 15 years experience in this market. More information about Ritzio can be found on their website https://ritzio.eu/

On February 22, 2021, the Company entered into a definitive agreement with Trident Acquisitions Corp. (Nasdaq: TDACU, TDAC, TDACW) to become a publicly traded company on The Nasdaq Stock Market.

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Voodoo Ranger Becomes Official Beer Partner of Dignitas

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Voodoo Ranger Becomes Official Beer Partner of Dignitas
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Voodoo Ranger has become the Official Beer Partner of the esports organisation Dignitas.

The partnership marks the first in esports for Voodoo Ranger and features community-centric social, digital, and future on-location activations with the goal of connecting Dignitas’ vibrant fanbase through the organisation’s content creators and athletes.

Through the partnership, Voodoo Ranger and Dignitas will collaborate on exciting new content to celebrate Dignitas’ passionate esports fans and community. In Voodoo Ranger Community Game Nights, streamed live on Twitch, Dignitas athletes and content creators will square-off in battles of bragging rights and brews. Dignitas will also hold a series of fan-focused Happy Hours and release original content, celebrating the special connection between gaming fans across the world and the future of the global esports community. Dignitas and Voodoo Ranger will continue to connect gaming fans and athletes at live, in-person events in the future; offering opportunities for tasting, sampling and celebrating.

“Our partnership with Dignitas is an amazing chance to support a team and community that loves beer and all things gaming and esports but includes the community support and initiatives that we as a brewery also hold extremely close to our hearts. Cheers!” Patrick Morgan, Voodoo Ranger Community Manager, said.

“Aligning with a brand that values bringing people together as highly as we do makes Voodoo Ranger a natural fit. Community is the lifeblood of esports and gaming, and we’re proud to partner with a brand dedicated to uplifting and celebrating the lives and moments we all share together,” John Spiher, Vice President of Partnerships at Dignitas, said.

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BLAST Premier extends broadcast reach for 2021 season with eight new media deals

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BLAST Premier extends broadcast reach for 2021 season with eight new media deals
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Media deals include linear TV channels SportsMax, Nordic Entertainment Group and BOLT+ after increased viewership in 2020

Esports tournament BLAST Premier has extended its international broadcast reach with eight new media rights deals for the rest of the 2021 season.

TV channels SportsMax, Nordic Entertainment Group and BOLT+, among other new deals, will take the world’s leading Counter-Strike tournament series to a number of new regions around the world, including: Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Iceland, Canada, Kosovo, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India and the Caribbean.

The new rights partnerships will extend the esports media network’s portfolio of media rights to over 35 partners, meaning BLAST Premier will be shown in 18 different languages and across 157 territories.

The announcement highlights a period of growth for BLAST’s TV and online distribution footprint after a year of increased viewership for esports. Newszoo’s 2020 report estimated a year-on-year increase in the total esports audience by 11.7% to just short of 500 million people, while revenue from media rights and sponsorships ($822.4m) was expected to account for three-quarters of the total market.

Last season, BLAST Premier enjoyed increased viewership and more than 83 million hours of content watched across all seven of its Counter-Strike tournaments while posting the most watched CS:GO online match of all time during the Global Final.

Alexander Lewin, VP of Distribution and Programming for BLAST, said: “We are thrilled to see so many new partners join the BLAST network of leading TV and online channels. These deals will offer even more fans the opportunity to tune in to watch BLAST Premier from around the world, which is now accessible in over 150 territories and 18 languages. We expect to continue our path of expansion during an exciting period of viewership growth at BLAST Premier and in esports.”

BLAST Premier is a global Counter-Strike tournament series that unites all major events, offers opportunities to all regions across the globe and crowns the world champions of CS:GO. Up to 32 teams will take part in the seven BLAST Premier events this year with a combined prize pool of $2,475,000 on the line.

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