Following Scientific Games' acquisition of Lightning Box last week, the supplier's CEO Peter Causley speaks exclusively to Gambling Insider.
How long was this merger in the making and what are your immediate thoughts and feelings on the deal?
About 17 years! I think since we first partnered with NextGen back in 2015, flowing into NYX & then their subsequent sale to Scientific Games, we have always been closely aligned. This was just the most natural fit for our team; it feels right. All up the actual process took six months from start to close.
In which markets in particular do you think this deal will be most beneficial for Scientific Games?
North America in general, new US states in particular. Our land-based experience in the US, for the past 17 years, has us in tune with the American players. This seems to have shone through with our very strong showing in the US market to date, especially compared to our relatively small footprint. New states as they arise will have players naturally being attracted to what they know, that being the content they see in their local terrestrial casinos. We can offer that content and a similar style across most of our games.
How will the operation go ahead moving forward, will there be a shake-up or will the core team remain the same?
Will be a few shaken cocktails this week, but no “shake-up.” Back to business as usual next week. We have a core team of in-house designers that create great content; I can’t see any reason to mess with that.
Will be a few shaken cocktails this week, but no 'shake-up.' Back to business as usual next week
How do you see this deal fitting into the industry's wider landscape, given Evolution's acquisition of Big Time Gaming and Kindred's of Relax Gaming?
Currently in Europe for suppliers I think it’s a case of: Get Big, get bought or get swamped under a flood of content! While we were punching above our weight, the economics of the European market are scary for a smaller supplier. The North American market is some way off this point for suppliers, of course, but you couldn’t rule it out in five years' time. So to ensure the long-term security of Lightning Box and our team, this is the right call at the right time. So I guess I see this as was it going to be “the norm” for the supplier landscape for a while at least. Studios releasing 3-4 games per month seems untenable long-term and only leads to escalating costs and lower-quality content
What kind of opportunities does this merger unlock for you, perhaps in terms of scale, that were not available to you previously?
It lets us focus more on content design, by removing a lot of the heavy lifting in the support areas of the business like legal, finance, HR etc over to Scientific Games. Also being able to focus on one channel partner makes things easier. All these things will allow us to get more content out organically, before even adding ideas from the Scientific Games team into the mix.
What is the future for Lightning Box now it is part of the Scientific Games family?
I see that we are on the same path, we are just now in the express lane.