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NEWS 27 June 2017

Company Focus: NetEnt delivers a truly rewarding live casino experience

By Gambling Insider

Befitting one of the industry’s most creative and positively disruptive suppliers, NetEnt’s latest offering adds a new dimension to the live casino experience.

The leading developer of digital gaming solutions for online casino operators has launched NetEnt Engage™, an ever-expanding suite of high-quality promotional features designed to boost and maximize levels of player engagement.

Through the introduction of NetEnt Live Rewards, the first deliverable from NetEnt Engage™, it will now be possible to offer instant rewards, with real-time, in-game notifications within live gaming. It is a next-generation stimulation tool that takes marketing and promotional efforts to a new level – and improves the overall live casino player experience – by enabling a constant flow of new and varied acquisition- and retention-focussed promotions.

The proprietary Live Rewards offering is a transformative development for the live casino sector, bringing a long-awaited solution that delivers truly innovative and attractive – not to mention personalised – promotions.

Live Rewards instantly delivers bonuses, cash or free spins to players. This is a significantly-improved, premium experience compared with the industry standard, where activation and redemption can take up to 72 hours.

The development adds to the company’s industry-leading live offering, which includes NetEnt Live Mobile .

Thanks to its, unique Chroma technology, NetEnt’s Live Mobile Casino allows for a seamless integration of live-streamed HD images with lucid graphics, as well as synchronised audio and statistics that enhances the player experience. Companies will no doubt be empowered by the option to display their brands in a unique casino environment, and all this, together with professional dealers, promises to set a new benchmark for mobile gaming.

Reinventing the Live Mobile Casino experience for customers at home or on the go, NetEnt’s offering is crisp and sleek. It includes a host of special features too, such as differentiated promotions, landscape and portrait mode, customisable 3D backgrounds; . NetEnt’s commitment to giving its customers a real-time, interactive gaming experience – as close ‘to the real thing’ as possible. They’re even offering over 100 hours of player interviews for customers.

Moreover, NetEnt’s simple but elegant interface will allow both the new players and high-profile casino players with higher demands to get the most out of the mobile casino experience, with 7,500 plus hours of live-streaming a month. Players will be able to take part in NetEnt Live Roulette, NetEnt Live Blackjack and NetEnt Live Common Draw Blackjack; and indeed, each game has some tantalising new features. In NetEnt Live Blackjack, for example, table statistics are put forward together with an on-screen history of the dealer’s last 10 hands to be viewed in real-time.

In addition, another first for the industry, NetEnt’s Live Common Draw Blackjack table for desktop allows hundreds of players to join in and play in multiple currencies and in 25 different languages, at any time. The potential of this means it can cater for an unlimited amount of players at each table, leaving no player disappointed. Its unique design also brings with it a wealth of tailored branding opportunities for companies and operators looking to stand out. Furthermore, the company have said that flexibility and differentiation are some of its top priorities.

NetEnt’s Live Mobile casino brings the exciting world of live casino gaming straight to your fingertips, with a host of new and thrilling features.
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IN-DEPTH 16 August 2019
Roundtable: David vs Goliath – Can startups really disrupt the industry?

(AL) Alexander Levchenko – CEO, Evoplay Entertainment

Alexander Levchenko is CEO of innovative game development studio Evoplay Entertainment. He has overseen the rapid expansion of the company since it was founded in early 2017 with the vision of revolutionising the player experience.

(RL) Ruben Loeches – CMO, R Franco

Rubén Loeches is CMO at R. Franco Group, Spain’s most established multinational gaming supplier and solutions provider. With over 10 years working in the gambling, betting and online gaming industries, he is skilled in operations management and marketing strategy.

(JB) Julian Buhagiar – Co-Founder, RB Capital:

Julian Buhagiar is an investor, CEO & board director to multiple ventures in gaming, fintech & media markets. He has lead investments, M & As and exits to date in excess of $370m.

(DM) Dominic Mansour – CEO, Bragg Gaming Group:

Dominic Mansour has an extensive background of nearly 20 years in the gaming and lottery industry. He has a deep understanding of the lottery secto,r having been CEO at the UK-based Health Lottery, as well as building bingos.com from scratch, which he sold to NetPlay TV plc.

What does it take for a startup to make waves in gaming?

DM: On the one hand, it’s a bit like brand marketing; you build an identity, a reputation and a strategy. When you know what you stand for, you then do your best to get heard. That doesn’t necessarily require a TV commercial but ensuring whatever you do stands out from the crowd. Then you have to get out there and talk to people about it. 

AL: Being better than the competition is no longer enough; if you’re small, new and want to make a difference – you have to turn the industry on its head. Those looking to make waves need to come up with a new concept or a ground-breaking solution. Take Elon Musk, he didn’t found Tesla to improve the existing electric cars on the market, he founded it to create the industry’s first mass-market electric sports car. It’s the same for online gaming; if you want to make waves as a startup, you have to bring something revolutionary to the table.

JB: Unique IP is key, particularly in emerging (non-EU) markets. As does the ability to release products on time, with minimal downtime and/or turnaround time when issues inevitably occur. A good salesforce capable of rapidly striking partnerships with the right players is vital, as is not getting bogged down too early on in legal, operational and admin red tape.

How easy it for startups to bring their ideas to life? How do they attract capital?

AL: It depends on the people and ideas behind the startup. Of course – the wave of ‘unicorns’ is not what it used to be. Some time ago the hype was a lot greater in terms of investing in startups, but that’s changed now. Investors now want more detail – and even more importantly, to evaluate whether the startup has the capacity (as well as the vision) to solve the problem it set out to address. That’s not to say investors are no longer interested in startups – they certainly are – but now more than ever, it’s important for startups to understand their audience as well as dreaming big.

JB: To get to market quickly, you need a great but small, team. If slots or sportsbook, the mathematical engine and UX/UI are crucial. Having a lean, agile dev team that can rapidly turn wire framing and mathematical logic into product is essential. Paying more for the right team is sometimes necessary, especially when good resources are scarce (here’s looking at you, Malta and Gibraltar).

Building capital is a different beast altogether. You won’t be able to secure any funding until you have a working proof of concept and, even then, capital is likely to be drip fed. Be prepared to get a family and friends round early on to deliver a ‘kick-ass’ demo, then start looking at early-stage VCs that specialise in growth-stage assets.

How do you react when you see startups coming in with their plan for disruption?

RL: We welcome the innovation and fresh thinking startups bring. This is particularly the case in Latin America, with a market still in its infancy. One area we’d especially like to see startups making waves is in the slot development sector. Latin America is a young market that needs local innovation suited to its unique conditions – especially in regard to mobile gaming.

Operators eyeing the market have Europe‐focused core products, which creates a struggle to work to the requirements of players and regulators. To succeed there, it has become more important than ever to work with those with a knowhow of the local area to adapt products and games to besuitable from the off; we welcome the chance for local talent to develop and grow.

Do you think it’s easier for established companies to innovate and establish new ideas? 

AL: From a financial perspective, yes. It is without a doubt easier for incumbent companies to establish a pipeline of innovation via their R & D departments, as well as having the tools to hand for data gathering and analysis.

But it stops there. Startups hold court in every other way. Not only are they flexible, they can easily switch from one idea to another, change strategy instantly as the market demands and easily move team members around. Established companies know this – and this is why we’re seeing an emerging trend for established companies to acquire small, innovative online gaming start-ups. They have the right resources and unique ideas, as well as the ability to bring a fresh approach to businesses’ thinking.

RL: For me, it’s always going to be established companies. Only with the resources, industry experience and know‐how can a company apply technology and services that truly make a difference. Of course there are exceptions. But when it comes to providing a platform that can be approved by regulators across multiple markets – as well as suiting an operators’ multiple jurisdictions – it is simply impossible for a couple of young bright minds with a few million behind them to get this done.

DM: I actually think it’s harder for established companies. It’s key to differentiate between having a good idea and executing one. That’s where the big corporates struggle most. They’re full of amazing people with all sorts of great ideas but getting them through systems and processes is nearly impossible.

Is it essential to patent-protect innovative products?

AL: It’s a very interesting subject. If we take IT for example – patents can actually become a block to the evolutionary process within the industry. Of course, getting a patent future proofs yourself from the competition copying your concept but, having said that, if you’re looking to protect yourself from someone more creative, smarter and agile, you’ve probably lost the battle already!

In our industry everything is moving faster and research takes less time than the development itself. No matter how good you are at copy pasting, you can’t copy Google or Netflix. The most important thing is not the tech itself but rather its ‘use-case’ – or in other words, does it solve what it’s meant to solve? Competition is healthy and the key to innovation. If you spend your whole time looking behind you, you’ll never be able move forwards.

JB: Tricky question, and one that depends on what and where you launch this IP. It can be difficult to patent mathematical engines and logic, mostly because they’re re-treading prior art. Branding, artwork and UX is more important and can easily be copied, but the territories you launch will determine how protectable your IP will be once patented. US/EU/Japan is easy but expensive to protect in. But China/South East Asia is a nightmare to cover adequately. Specialised patent lawyers with experience in software, and ideally gaming, can help you better.

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