IN-DEPTH 17 July 2017
GAMING1 CEO Sylvain Boniver: "Any regulating territory is a target for us"
Sylvain Boniver speaks to Gambling Insider about GAMING1’s approach to platform provision and plans for expansion into new markets
By Tom Lewis
Please give us a summary of your history in gaming to this point. Why did you choose the gaming industry as where you wanted to position your career?
I entered the betting and gaming industry back in 2011 when I helped to co-found GAMING1, and have been CEO of the company ever since. It’s certainly an exciting sector to be involved with, and during my time in the industry GAMING1 has grown to become one of the leading platform providers.
I’m extremely passionate about the work that we do at GAMING1. We have developed great working relationships with customers, as rather than being a standard provider for them, we see ourselves as more of a partner.
GAMING1’s mission statement is “more than a provider, a partner”. How is this reflected in your approach to platform provision?
At GAMING1, we specialise in the convergence of land-based casino operators in regulated markets around the world who are ready to take their business to the next level by moving online. Moving your business to the internet for the first time can be a daunting prospect for some, particularly as the online world leaves very little room for error.
We have a highly flexible platform which allows us to customise options for our partners to suit the demands of the players in a certain market, as well as meeting regulatory requirements. We can integrate quickly and efficiently which gives our partners peace of mind.
By forming a partnership with land-based firms we believe a joint-venture company is the best approach where we can share the investment, risks and profits. These joint-venture deals are a win-win situation, as they require the full involvement of both parties and bring both companies closer together to achieve the same goal.
What are your targets for the remainder of the year?
The previous 12 months has been an eventful period for GAMING1. We helped to launch Portugal’s first ever licensed online casino through a joint-venture with land-based group Estoril Sol. We also partnered with Spain’s biggest land-based company, the Orenes Group, to launch its first online site.
The coming months will see us work hard with a number of new partners to help make the transition from the land-based market to the online space for the first time, following the launch of several new regulated markets including Colombia, Czech Republic and Switzerland.
GAMING1 places emphasis on building synergy between online and offline. Can you expand on the importance of this, and how you go about implementing this kind of optimisation?
For us, it’s important to make sure everything that is great about a land-based firm’s operations is replicated when launching a new online site. Players who are already familiar with the outstanding gaming experience they receive on the casino floor will want the same online. Customers who are unimpressed with your offering can quickly switch to a rival site, which isn’t always the case when your next land-based casino could be many kilometres away.
Technology plays a key role in making sure our offering is both flexible and scalable, while also providing a seamless integration to provide partners with peace of mind.
We offer very specific features such as instant deposit and withdrawal in premises, which provides a huge competitive advantage to the land-based operator versus the pure online player, shared loyalty program and CRM between online and offline.
Are there any particular geographic markets that you are currently targeting? How do you adapt to local markets and deal with regulatory requirements?
The Latin American market is very interesting for us at this moment in time, with many regions looking to legalise online gambling. Colombia is setting the benchmark by introducing a robust framework similar to those seen in the European market. Our platform and games are certified and we’re about to launch the first casino and sports betting website in Colombia in a couple of weeks in partnership with VICCA, a leading land-based casino group.
Elsewhere, there’s a lot of movement in Europe to regulate new territories such as The Netherlands where we have a partnership, and Switzerland where we’ve just launched a social casino in partnership with Gran Casino Baden in prevision of the future regulation.
As a pure regulated market player, any regulating territory is a target for us.
How does GAMING1 look to differentiate itself from the many other platform providers which currently operate in the market?
You’re quite right, there are a large number of platform providers in the industry right now. It’s great news for operators, who can pick and choose the best one which will work best for their business model. The platform providers which are flexible and can meet the demands of regulation in multiple jurisdictions will prosper.
At GAMING1, we believe our passion for partnering with land-based operators and helping them make the transition to the online space is what helps us stand out from the crowd. It’s in our DNA, we have the expertise to help those firms make the first steps into a new sector.