Crises Come and Go, but Gambling Isn’t Going Anywhere
The iGaming industry has been growing rapidly over the last few years, thanks in part to companies who help operators launch and expand their businesses in a fast and efficient manner.
Slotegrator offers a wide range of products and solutions for online casinos and sportsbooks to assist both experienced operators and beginners with starting or expanding their iGaming business. To learn more about us, GamblersPick conducted an interview with our Sales Manager, Ivan Kalashniuk, who introduced the company and discussed the current crisis.
First, he shed some light on our products and services, like our online casino platform solutions, API protocol for game integration, and complete sportsbook solution. Then, the conversation turned to the topic of the moment, the ongoing crisis, and how the online gambling industry - and Slotegrator in particular - is adapting to the disruption.
GamblersPick: Hello Ivan, and thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Before we get into any specifics, can you tell us a few basic things about your company? Where do you operate from and what kind of services do you offer in general?
Ivan Kalachniuk: Hey! It’s always nice to have an opportunity to share a little bit about us and our role in the iGaming ecosystem. We provide B2B software for online casinos. In addition to integrating gaming content from over 50 game developers, we offer white label and turnkey solutions for online casinos and sportsbooks, casino platform development, payment solution integration, assistance with obtaining gambling licenses, and unique game development - basically, the complete package for operators looking to start or expand an online casino business.
Our headquarters is in Prague, but as an international company, we offer our products and services to operators around the world. Our main markets are the Eastern european region and Europe, and we also have a presence in Africa and Latin America.
GP: Your online casino platform is one of your main products. What kind of product is it and what can operators expect if they decide to use it? What major software providers and payment methods are included? How long does it take to launch an online casino on this platform?
IK: Our premium-quality platform supports the seamless integration of all the software our clients need for their online casino project. The selection of game and payment providers is tailored to the client’s preferences and needs, as well as the requirements of the target market.
Our platform also gets up and running fast - the launch process depends on the client’s technical requirements, but the average setup time is just 2 months. Some projects can be launched in as little as a month, though if the project involves the development of a unique product the time frame could be up to 12 months.
But while our platform is one of the best out there, I’d say it’s only our second most popular product. The first, of course, is APIgrator - a single protocol that integrates more than 5000 games from the industry’s leading gaming software providers. We cooperate with over 50 leading casino game developers, and the list grows on a monthly basis.The payment gateways we work with support almost any cryptocurrency and fiat currency.
Of course, if a client requires a specific game or payment provider, we’re always happy to add one to our ever-expanding list. And we always stay in touch after the project takes off - through our dedicated account management, we’re always taking clients’ feedback into consideration and using it to improve our products and stay ahead of our competitors.
GP: The sports betting solution you offer has also been quite popular. Why is your sports betting platform better than those that some competitors offer? What are its key features and some of the reasons operators should choose this product?
IK: Our fully-customizable sports betting software can meet anyone’s needs with its real-time sports and esports data API covering a huge number of events and markets. The platform itself is flexible and scalable, and both the frontend and backend allow high-level customization opportunities due to their range of available features and configurations.
GP: Moving on to the current situation, how has Slotegrator handled the crisis? Have you been working remotely in recent weeks and how is this impacting workflow? Would you say that it is feasible for iGaming companies to work in this way or has the work process been severely impacted?
IK: The crisis has definitely impacted the whole world for the worse. However, the iGaming industry is getting off a little easier, as we all quickly got used to doing things online, including working remotely. Personally, I haven’t noticed any difference in workflow - we’re still keeping to our usual rhythm - and I think it’s a feasible way to operate.
One big difference, though, is the disappearance of expos and conferences, which are a great way to keep up with your existing clients and meet some new ones. The virtual events that have been cropping up are an OK substitute, but we’re looking forward to getting back to the real thing before too long. Hopefully the situation improves sooner rather than later and everyone can get back to his or her normal life.
GP: One would expect all online activities to grow at a time when people are not going out too much, but sports have also been cancelled for the most part. How is this impacting the sports betting aspect of the industry? Are people still betting online and if yes, what kinds of bets are being made? Are virtual sports and esports on the rise?
IK: We’ll start with an obvious fact: for people stuck at home, online betting and gambling is a good way to have some fun during quarantine, and operators are adapting to accommodate them. Without live sports to bet on, some sportsbooks are offering odds on weather, politics, and even the results of the crisis. But unusual bets aside, some evergreen digital alternatives have really come into bloom. Virtual sports and esports are exploding, and online slots and other casino games are getting a big boost. It’s no surprise that we’re seeing offline operators jumping online to try and attract new players and keep old ones.
While it’s still a better time to be online than off, it’s not all smooth sailing. Plenty of major online brands do generate a lot of their revenue from live sports betting, and there are some estimates predicting a decrease of up to 60% in total online gambling revenues, so it’s a difficult time for everyone.
GP: How are the online casino activities looking? Has there been a bigger demand for new slot games and live casino games than in the past? Do you think people are playing casino games online more these days and are software providers managing to meet the demand?
IK: Crises may come and go, but gambling isn’t going anywhere. In the past, it might have seemed like there were fewer passionate gamblers than today, but the reality was probably that there weren’t enough online casinos where people could have their needs legitimately met. Now, though, there is a seemingly limitless number of platforms offering games from premium-quality developers with truly unique designs, music, and atmospheres, which is what really matters. Really, the demand never changes, it just looks for friendly territory.
At the moment, both standalone online casinos and betting brands with a casino section have been making the same requests for new providers. It’s a different story for brands without casinos, who need to add entirely new content, provided doing so doesn’t run counter to the terms of their license.
There has definitely been an increase in demand for live dealer games, as land-based casino players who are unused to RNG games inevitably turn to a familiar experience to replace their favorite pastimes. It’s been such a big trend that I’d even go so far as to say that operators who don’t offer live casinos are missing out on a critical source of revenue. And while the current crisis is demanding everyone’s attention, it’s still important to think about the long-term - don’t forget the cross-selling capacity that live casinos have, and the chance that players who join a casino during the crisis might stay after it’s over.
In good times and bad, there is an eternal demand for premium-quality game content. It’s never a bad idea for online operators to provide some engaging new experiences for their players, as there’s always a competitor pushing them to offer a better product.
And of course, we’re always here to help.
GP: Thank you again for taking the time to talk to our readers at this difficult time. We hope to have a chance to talk to you more in the future and we wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors.