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Celebrating six months of outstanding success: Interview with CEO Ivan Kravchuk

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Slot studio Evoplay has gone from strength to strength over the past six months with some fantastic new titles as well as celebrating its debut across MGA markets.

Ready for the World Cup and an exciting few months ahead for the company, we sat down with Evoplay CEO Ivan Kravchuk to talk through their CEE team’s perseverance, as well as overcoming the challenges that have made the studio such a standout brand today.  

Evoplay has performed fantastically so far this year expanding into multiple new markets – despite the challenges faced in Eastern Europe and Ukraine for your team, how have your team persevered?

The beginning of the war wasn’t an easy time for us and our team, but we managed to overcome the difficulties and continue our story as an outstanding provider of some really fantastic games. In order to do that, we really needed to summon a lot of resources in order to quickly adapt our operations to quickly and ensure the safety of our employees.

Our people are what we value the most, and that is why our first measures were focused on relocating employees to a safe place. As part of our contingency plans, we relocated 15% of our staff to our main office in Cyprus, and opened a new office in a safer area part of the country – in Lviv, the west of Ukraine. Accommodation, transfer, and any other support were our main priorities as we wanted to provide our people with a helping hand at this difficult time.

I am very proud to work with such compassionate and courageous people as from the first days of the war, they have participated in many volunteering activities, and I believe we as a country will return from this stronger than ever.

 

Following on from an outstanding year of success in 2021, which saw you awarded with SBC Leader of the Year as well as the launch of Star Guardians, how has Evoplay built on its momentum during the first six months of this year?

Star Guardians was presented to the iGaming industry at the end of 2021, so the first half of 2022 was also focused around entertaining players around the world with the release, with the futuristic title snagging two awards at this year’s CasinoBeats Game Developer Awards. As a revolutionary product, it’s received sos much positive attention not only from players and casino providers but also from our team. I should also mention Star Guardian’s artbook and comic book – which were both released this year – have become an unprecedented offering in the industry, and a fan favourite

Of course, Evoplay never wants to rest on its success, we have an ‘eternal engine’ which keeps pushing us to create something new, investing in innovations that other developers are afraid of. During the half-year period, we launched 12 products, supercharging our titles with Bonus Buy, Jackpot, and other gamified features that challenge the traditional concept of gaming. To illustrate this, our April release Goblin Run is an industry-first crash game that turns gameplay on its head to offer something fresh. We totally deviated from the classic crash-style game scenario, creating a fully-fledged storyline with a protagonist, antagonist, an opportunity to change skins, all played out with a very the impressive range of settings for a 3D game.

2022 has also been marked by entering into new partnerships with outstanding representatives of the iGaming business, while we also received a letter of recognition from the MGA and Italian certification for our 62 titles.

 

Looking to gaming trends – what’s in demand from players right now? What kind of gaming experiences are players looking for now that we’re truly post-pandemic?

More traditional demographics still choose retro-styled slots, while new generations are thirsty for unconventional products and immersive gameplay. At the same time, even retro games fans can find a fresh gaming experience and innovation with retro slots – if they offer something new. That is why we take a new look at classic slots and reconceptualise them with additional features such as multiplayer modes, Bonus Buy, jackpots, etc.

I’m very proud of our team and I believe Evoplay’s uniqueness lies in its ability to deliver excellent, high-quality products for both categories. One of our most commercially successful games is Fruit Super Nova which delivers an old-school ambiance, while Star Guardians offers futuristic take, and both of these are spectacular examples of our diverse product offering. That, I believe is what is key to catering to player demand right now – it’s all about multiple themes that can engage and excite.

 

With the World Cup on the horizon, we no doubt expect Instant Games to again perform strongly with sports fans looking for additional entertainment. How is Evoplay looking to capitalise on this, given your heritage for Instant Games?

We are well-prepared for the World Cup as we already have an exciting package of titles dedicated to football on our teamsheet, all with a host of exciting features available that we’ve created to wow fans! Currently, we’re working on a new sports-themed title, which is set to win the audience of bettors and instant games fans who have always been our focus of interest. Not to give too much away, suffice to say, it will be a game delivering a multiplayer experience and a completely new level of betting excitement. We see it as the next all-time hit in the vertical of sports-themed games and we’re looking forward to seeing what sports fans make of it.

 

Last but not least, one for our readers – with Star Guardians still proving to be a one-of-a-kind hit with players – what’s up next for Evoplay’s next flagship game?

Our current flagship game, Star Guardians, is still among ours and ours players’ favourites, so we keep giving it attention, fleshing out its promotional activities and enhancing the gameplay in real-time with user feedback. It’s a launch that has meant to us, and we’re here to keep evolving the game to entertain players even more.

On to the next big news, I’m sure plenty will be delighted to hear that our team has already started developing a conceptual idea for our next flagship game, and we can’t wait to see the result, so stay tuned! We also have several ambitious games in the pipeline, aimed at targeting a real variety of players. One of our primary goals is to extend our audience reach with sports bettors and Esports fans, as we know exactly what kind of exciting fast-action gameplay they’re looking for, being players ourselves. Our job is now to create that for the gaming world!

 

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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