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Interview with SOFTSWISS COO Andrey Starovoitov about iGaming and Crypto

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SOFTSWISS offers comprehensive software solutions to online casinos and bookmaking websites. The company was the first to integrate crypto payments into its Online Casino Platform. SOFTSWISS COO Andrey Starovoitov agreed to answer some of our questions regarding the potential of cryptocurrencies in iGaming.

  • Hi Andrey, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions. SOFTSWISS is the first online gambling software company to start working with cryptocurrencies as early as 2013. What makes SOFTSWISS’ solution more advanced compared to others?

First and foremost, it would have to be our experience and expertise in dealing with cryptocurrencies, as well as understanding the potential opportunities crypto gambling presents for the operator. We made sure to incorporate crypto into all possible aspects of our product solutions. They are designed to manage cryptocurrencies with ease and enable the flexible integration of new coins for operating purposes.

Today SOFTSWISS offers not only a set of individual products but also an entire ecosystem to start crypto gambling operations from scratch. The product line includes important elements such as an Online Casino Platform, Game Aggregator, the Sportsbook Platform, the Jackpot Aggregator, a Jackpot as a Service solution, the Affilka affiliate platform. Another important advantage is the partnership with CoinsPaid, which offers a crypto payment processing gateway and a business crypto wallet.

All products are adapted to work with cryptocurrencies. For example, the Game Aggregator has already had 44 game studios customising their portfolio to use the most popular coins like Bitcoin, Etherium, Litecoin, Tron, Dogecoin, etc. The Online Casino Platform is the backbone of crypto operations and, in conjunction with crypto processing by CoinsPaid, allows operators to launch payments in any altcoins on the market.

Crypto betting, in general, is mainstream. Everyone was stunned by the recent news that world-famous Canadian rapper Drake bet over $1 million in Bitcoin on a Super Bowl LVI match. The SOFTSWISS Sportsbook is fully adapted for this purpose. Our experience working with the strongest crypto brands on the market allows SOFTSWISS to be at the top of the crypto gambling niche. Understanding trends in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology undoubtedly allows us to state that our products are currently leading the way in the B2B sector when it comes to crypto gambling solutions.

  • SOFTSWISS offers both White Label Solution and Crypto Casino Solution. What are the advantages of Crypto Solution and who would you advise to consider this option?

The Сrypto Solution is worth considering for all operators, as cryptocurrencies give access to a wider audience and more countries than the standard fiat currencies. The crypto audience is young and marketing to it is an investment into the future, an opportunity to enter something long-term. Crypto is here to stay.

But I would point out that it is the current market leaders, who should consider looking into crypto. We are at a turning point in the gambling industry. The gap between classic casinos and second-wave crypto gambling casinos such as Stake, Roobet, BC.GAME, Duelbits, Rollbit is now too evident. The young audience of the new casinos is very different from the classic online casino. 

We can highlight a strong demand for community building among players through forums, integrated casino chat rooms, increased interest in competitive elements, and a surge in new channels of engagement via streaming on Twitch and TikTok. And these are just a small part of these differences. It will be quite difficult to catch up with these new crypto casinos if market players miss out on the opportunities crypto offers, as new leaders in this niche emerge.

One of the significant benefits of using cryptocurrencies is the Conversion Rate and the Acceptance Rate (the rate that reflects the percentage of successful deposits). These rates are significantly higher when compared to fiat methods, as the average acceptance rate on the SOFTSWISS Online Casino Platform is close to 99%. Funds transfer speed is also better in comparison with some fiat methods. 

With Cryptoprocessing by CoinsPaid, we credit crypto to the player’s balance immediately, even if the transfer itself has not reached the CoinsPaid crypto wallet yet. Moreover, we minimise risks with various advanced tools. In addition, it is worth noting that the transaction cost in crypto is significantly cheaper than in fiat currencies.

All of these factors directly impact the player conversion rate and, consequently, the operator’s success.

  • Crypto projects often involve high risks. How do you help your crypto clients develop and avoid risks in the iGaming industry?

As I see it, the potential risks in the case of cryptocurrencies are negligible and barely different from those of a classic casino. Of course, some operators are wary due to their lack of experience in using cryptocurrencies, but SOFTSWISS is the right partner to help reduce the risks to a minimum by providing expertise and innovative product solutions. 

Among possible risks, the only thing that operators may be concerned about is the fear that cryptocurrencies are too volatile and their exchange rates can vary significantly. For example, this could lead to losses in settlements with gaming operators. The functionality of the SOFTSWISS Online Casino Platform will allow the game itself to be run on fiat, while the player balance will be fixed in crypto. This makes it possible to perform all settlements with game providers based on fiat currencies and minimise the potential risk of loss on exchange rate differences.

Secondly, this is more of a concern than a risk, I would call the traffic sources. Indeed, crypto traffic is still emerging and is in an active growth stage at the moment. It is different to the, if we can now call it that, ‘classic online casino audience’. There is definitely an opportunity for operators to convert existing fiat traffic into crypto through tech solutions like Utorg, Changelly, or Moonpay, which let you buy cryptocurrencies directly from a casino site. Streaming also works great for a crypto player acquisition, as streaming services often have a younger target audience.

  • What cryptocurrencies does the SOFTSWISS Crypto Casino Solution support? How are the supported cryptocurrencies  selected and can we expect new additions?

The SOFTSWISS Crypto Casino Solution enables operators to work with any coins, primarily due to the platform’s flexibility and the integration with Cryptoprocessing by CoinsPaid.

While CoinsPaid enables casinos to instantly convert payments from players into any of 20 fiat currencies. This way the player’s fiat balance is not subject to volatility and is fixed at the time of deposit.

The SOFTSWISS Online Casino Platform can convert the player’s crypto balance into fiat at the time of betting. Casino players can play any game with their crypto balance, even if it (the game) does not support crypto.

This approach is used by all market leaders in crypto gambling and has a number of undeniable advantages. It provides access to a larger number of gaming studios and producers for players who typically prefer to deposit and play in crypto.

The second advantage is that adding new coins is much faster and does not depend on the game provider. And finally, the risks in the case of crypto value volatility are reduced, as the payment to the game producers is based on fiat currencies.

The fast process of adding new coins is important. Already we are seeing a gaming community forming around specific coins, such as Tron, and the emergence of new high-growth cryptocurrencies, such as Shiba Inu, requires an immediate response from operators to market demands.

  • If we look at the Game Aggregator’s 2021 statistics, we can see that the share of crypto from all currencies has doubled: from 20% to about 40%. How do you explain this growth in popularity of crypto among players? Are there any advantages to using cryptocurrencies compared to regular money?

It is safe to say that we have seen the second wave of crypto gambling and the re-emergence of the concept of crypto gambling itself in 2021. The rapid rise in the value of Bitcoin led to the growth of crypto adopters globallyand, consequently, the crypto casino audience. But the key factor was the entry of so-called crypto dice operators like Stake, Roobet, BC.GAME, Duelbits, Rollbit into the iGaming market as we know it. Crypto dice operators had already established a community of crypto adepts. They primarily presented in-house developed games (for example, Stake Originals) based on provably fair technology that allows them to verify the fairness of winnings. The confluence of these circumstances has influenced a resurgence of interest in crypto gambling. 

On the player’s side, the use of cryptocurrencies offers a number of advantages, mainly speed and ease of use in the case of payouts. Anonymity is also a significant factor for a part of the audience.

  • Is there room for novelty in the iGaming industry? Can blockchain technology further revolutionise it or are the opportunities offered by cryptocurrencies mostly exhausted already?

In my view, blockchain technology will significantly impact the industry in the near future. There are clear indicators of it and it will be the audience’s demand for innovations that will improve the player experience, and it’s not just the use of cryptocurrencies in gambling. We are only just arriving at the formation of the crypto-gambling niche. Things like blockchain-based decentralised casino, NFT, and provably fair technology will be integrated into the market in the foreseeable future. By the way, SOFTSWISS is already considering the introduction of NFT technology in gambling.

  • Although cryptocurrencies are increasingly more popular and becoming mainstream, some people are still sceptical about their reliability. Do you see a long-lasting future for cryptocurrencies? Is crypto gambling just another passing trend, or is it here to stay?

I understand people’s scepticism about crypto. It is hard enough to understand how, in the modern world, something can have a huge value with essentially no connection to anything physical. Cryptocurrencies are a soap bubble to such people, but that’s not entirely true. We are seeing major changes in the global economy, where the value of an asset is influenced by the general public’s hype, interest, and trust. Bitcoin is certainly here to stay, and though the technology has aged, it has inherent value and has established trust among its community of users.

Obviously, cryptocurrencies are with us forever, and I don’t see any factors affecting the decline in interest. Naturally, some fluctuations in the value of Bitcoin, as the most popular and, I would say, the most basic cryptocurrency, could affect the interest of some as an investment tool. However, as the experience of previous fluctuations shows, the subsequent growth attracts more new adopters. Overall, we are witnessing iterative growth in both value and audience volume. 

The price and value of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies is driven by the demand for ease, speed and cost of a transaction.These factors provide the underlying value of cryptocurrencies in the world to its audience. It is hard to imagine whether it would be possible to transfer a large amount of fiat currency between different continents at the same speed and cost per transaction that cryptocurrencies provide. For this reason, despite the speculative peaks in Bitcoin’s value, we will see a steady trend of new audience growth in the future.

SOFTSWISS offers easy solutions to iGaming operators. The company’s products include several other services beyond its leading crypto integration solution, such as its Game Aggregator, bringing together more than 150 casino game vendors, or the Jackpot Aggregator, allowing iGaming brands to launch custom jackpot campaigns and promotions to enhance customer experience.

Find out more about SOFTSWISS!

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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Windmills is free to play exclusively on GX.games, months ahead of other platforms

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Getting your hands on high-end indie games for free is awesome. But what’s even sweeter is being able to play those games before everyone else. That’s why, GX.games – a platform full of indie games for you to play, is introducing its first exclusive game, Windmills, available now through to December, before being released on any other gaming platforms.

Lovingly crafted over almost two years by Greek developer Dimitris Locke, under the guise Poor Locke, Windmills, is a story-rich, combat-focused metroidvania, forged in the spirit of games like Dark Souls and Elden Ring. The pixel-art platformer also features mechanics and easter eggs that will no doubt appeal to fans of the popular ninja-themed action-adventure game, The Messenger.

Like all the free indie games on GX.games, Windmills has been beautifully crafted using GameMaker, the fastest and friendliest cross-platform game development technology. Alongside Opera GX, the world’s first gaming browser with over 17 million users, GameMaker and GX.games are part of an ecosystem dedicated to supporting creators and developers, while providing gamers with exclusive access to uniquely original and creative games.

“The games available on GX.games are cool indie games that you can dive into whenever you have a break or some spare time. This is why millions of GX.games users have already experienced top-end indie games like Chronicon, Seals of Bygone, Tunnel of Doom, Totemlands and Dyo for free, since we introduced monthly free games back in the summer. For October, we’re taking things to the next level and giving users exclusive access to Windmills, before its launch on other platforms next year” said Mattijs de Valk, VP Content Acquisition at Opera. “Offering Windmills exclusively, demonstrates the unique strength of the GX.games, GameMaker and Opera GX ecosystem, which has been forged to support creators throughout every step of the development process and connecting those games straight into our audience of over 17 million gamers on Opera GX” he added.

In addition to Windmills, GX.games has also added Chronicon (10/10 Steam) – an expansive, fantasy-based APRG that will appeal to fans of Diablo or Torchlight. In Chronicon, players must discover the magical device known as Chronicon, which allows them to travel into the souls and memories of fallen heroes and unlock epic adventures where loot and monsters await.

Every two-weeks, GX.games adds a new top-notch and fantastic indie game to the platform which has been created using GameMaker, which users can play for free as much as they like for up to three-months. Currently, users can get free access to popular tiles such as Seals of Bygone, Dyo, Tunnel of Doom and Textorist.

To experience these games for free,  users will need to open or download Opera GX – the gaming-centric version of the Opera browser. They can then access GX.games by navigating to the website or directly from the GX Corner in the browser. They can start playing games, including the premium indie titles instantly, without the need to create an account or to download any of them.

GX.games is also home to hundreds of awesome games which have been created and shared on the platform for free using GameMaker, the multi-million downloaded 2D game development engine that is part of the Opera Gaming family.

Opera GX was built with gamers in mind. The browser offers tons of visual customization options, sounds, ability to control your hardware’s RGB lighting and includes unique features like CPU, RAM, and Network limiters, to prevent lag so games run smoothly, while also introducing Discord and Twitch in the sidebar to ensure players don’t miss a beat.

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Online Gambling Market to Touch Revenue of $153.89 Billion by 2028 | UK Generates Over 16.41 Billion Revenue From Online Betting

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With the globalization of the internet, the gambling industry has seen a rapid growth in online gambling market. This growth is being driven by the increasing availability of internet access, the proliferation of mobile devices, and the rise of social media. Moreover, online gambling is convenient, accessible, and offers a wide variety of games and betting options. It is also relatively easy to start and there are no upper age restrictions.

Apart from this, there are many other reasons why online gambling market is expanding at such high rate. For one, it is very convenient. Players can gamble from the comfort of their own home, without having to travel to a land-based casino. Additionally, online gambling sites offer a much wider range of games and betting options than most brick-and-mortar casinos. All of these factors are contributing to the favorable growth of the global online gambling market.

With the growing popularity of online gambling, there is an increasing need for regulation. This is because online gambling can pose some risks, such as addiction and cybercrime. However, with the right regulations in place, these risks can be minimized.

So far, the UK has been at the forefront of regulating online gambling. The UK Gambling Commission has put in place a number of measures to protect consumers and ensure that they are treated fairly by operators. A recent report by the SkyQuest found that the number of people gambling online in the UK online gambling market has increased by 32% in the past 2 years. This trend is being driven by the growth of online casinos and sport betting which are becoming more and more sophisticated and offering a wider range of games and betting options.

Another reason why online gambling is growing in popularity is that it is becoming more accessible. In the past, only people who lived near casinos or had the means to travel to them could gamble. But now, with the internet, anyone can gamble online.

Key Findings of the Global Online Gambling Market

  • Global online gambling market to worth an estimated $153.89 billion by 2028.
  • Online gambling is legal in many countries, including the United Kingdom, US, Australia, India, Japan, and Canada.
  • UK and China are top countries in the global online gambling market
  • In the United States, however, online gambling is illegal in most states.
  • Most popular online gambling games include poker, casino games, and sports betting.
  • Online gambling is particularly popular among young adults, with 36–44-year-old the most likely to gamble online.
  • Men are more likely to gamble online than women, although the gender gap is narrowing.
  • Risks associated with online gambling include addiction, financial ruin, and crime.
  • There are approximately 2,000 online gambling sites in operation today

China, US, UK, Canada and Australia Generates Over 73% Market Revenue

With the popularity of online gambling, many countries have seen an increase in revenue from this industry. China, US, Japan, Canada and Australia are some of the top contributors to the online gambling market. According to SkyQuest’s recent studies, these five countries generate over 73% of the total revenue for the online gambling market. This is a significant amount when you consider that there are over 60 countries where online gambling is legal.

The reason why these five countries generate so much revenue is because they have a large number of people who gamble regularly. China has the largest population in the world, and its citizens are known to be big gamblers. The same is true for the citizens of US, Japan, Canada and Australia. Every year, US citizen spent over $35 billion on gambling and a significant portion of that amount goes to online betting. To be precise, the country spent around $2.6 billion on online gambling and the country is witnessing a growth in the revenue at a CAGR of over 16%.

On other hand, Canada is a well-established player in the global online gambling market. As per SkyQuest Study, Canadian spent over $4.4 billion on online gambling, especially online casino. This is significantly higher than the US. Our study suggests that over 70% of Canadians are engaged in some kind of online gambling activities.

The UK is the biggest online betting market in the world. In 2021, the country spent over $16.41 billion on online betting. This is because there are many different bookmakers and betting sites that cater to UK customers. There are many different types of online bets that UK customers can make. For example, they can bet on sports, horse racing, and even political events. The sky is the limit when it comes to online betting in the UK.

There are many reasons why the UK is such a big player in the online gambling market. For one, gambling is legal and regulated in the UK, so there are plenty of legal and safe options for players to choose from. Secondly, the UK has a large population of internet users, so there is a large pool of potential customers for online gambling operators. Finally, the UK has a long history of gambling, dating back to the early days of horse racing and cockfighting. This tradition of gambling has continued into the modern era, with the British public spending billions of pounds on lottery tickets, casino games, and sports betting each year.

Major Players in Global Online Gambling Market

  • Entain plc (GVC Holdings Plc.)
  • Kindred Group Plc. (Malta)
  • William Hill Plc. (UK)
  • StarsGroup.com (Canada)
  • Flutter Entertainment Plc. (Ireland)
  • Betsson AB (Sweden)
  • Bet365 Group (UK)
  • LeoVegas AB (Sweden)
  • 888 Holdings PLC (Gibraltar)
  • BetAmerica (US)
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Global Online Gambling Market Report 2022: Featuring William Hill, Flutter Entertainment, 888 Holdings, Bet365 & Others

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The “Global Online Gambling Market – Forecasts from 2022 to 2027” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets offering.

The global online gambling market was valued at US$65.316 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.11% over the forecast period to reach a total market size of US$128.154 billion in 2027.

The growing popularity of betting across different regions around the globe is significantly driving the global online gambling market. According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), around 2,800 sites were active online and offered games and activities, such as poker, lottery, and bingo, as of 2018.

The growing adoption of smartphones, coupled with rapid penetration of better internet connectivity across various regions/countries, is supporting easy access to various online gambling platforms. With companies offering freemium models to their customers, the number of people engaged in various types of online gambling is rising at a considerable rate which, in turn, is boosting the growth of the global online gambling market.

An increasing number of cost-effective mobile applications to play different online gambling games on smartphones is also contributing to the market growth of online gambling worldwide. The ease of sports betting using a portable connected device such as a smartphone, laptop, and tablet has increased the number of players in the online gambling industry.

Moreover, the proliferation of sports betting along with other online gambling ads is further attracting people to try online gambling, thus positively impacting the market growth during the forecast period. Online agencies, third-party ad servers, and networks and exchanges are used for advertising gambling websites of various companies. Online gambling service providers enter into agreements with individual customers or players to offer betting services for real money, attracting more and more gamers.

The online gambling industry has a vast range of regulatory frameworks in place, which attributes mainly to the market size, the number of participants, and the level of illegal gambling. Legislation for online gambling ranges from licensed markets that are fully open to commercial operators to explicitly prohibited and banned. Tax rates, online penetration, and other regulatory requirements vary widely across geographic regions. As legislation continues to evolve, the regulated markets have a severe impact of increasing costs and barriers to entry which includes consumer protection initiatives and rising gambling taxes. By far, the United Kingdom is the largest regulated online gambling market for many online operators. Other sizeable regulated markets include Sweden, Spain, Italy, and Australia.

However, many countries prohibit the online gambling industry, which is hampering the growth of the global online gambling market. Countries, where online gambling is illegal, include Singapore, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), North Korea, India, and Qatar. In Russia, online gambling is completely banned except for interactive gambling, which includes simulators of slot machines, card games, and casino games. Moreover, countries, where online gambling is allowed have restricted and stringent regulations, which further erodes the growth of this overall online gambling market.

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