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Olga Levshina of BGaming: “In the Latin American market, it is crucial to stand out”

August 16, 2023
11 min

BGaming is one of the iGaming industry’s most exciting game studios. We caught up with Olga Levshina, head of sales at BGaming, to learn more about the company’s development process and its plans for the future — especially its high hopes for Latin America.

Since the company’s inception, BGaming has been elevating the iGaming industry with its player-driven approach to game development — the studio carries out careful research and analysis of player demand to figure out exactly what will keep them coming back. BGaming was also the first in the industry to pioneer the concept of provably fair games, an innovation that enjoys increasing popularity in the age of blockchain and decentralization.

We asked Olga Levshina, head of sales at BGaming, about the company’s early days, how they research player demand, their embrace of modern innovations, and popular game titles around the world. We also took a deep dive into BGaming’s views on how the LatAm markets are developing, as well as the studio’s plans for its own future.

SLOTEGRATOR: Tell us more about your company — how did it start, and what are your main achievements so far?

OLGA LEVSHINA: BGaming started as a game development department assisting online casino operators with turnkey solutions. However, after thorough research and analysis of the iGaming industry, we recognized the high level of demand for quality games and their immense potential. This realization led to the establishment of BGaming as a separate company, comprising a skilled team with extensive experience in online gaming and a comprehensive understanding of market dynamics.

Since our inception, our focus has been on crafting innovative and captivating gaming experiences that will revolutionize online casino lobbies. Our iconic character, Elvis the Frog, has been the hero of three successful slots and inspired the creation of our unique TRUEWAYS mechanics.

Today, our portfolio consists of branded and exclusive games tailored for operators. Over the past two years, we have released more than 60 exclusive titles in collaboration with esteemed partners such as Stake, Blaze, Roobet, Playamo, and many others.

Our ultimate goal is to become the leading social and player-driven provider in the industry, not merely in words but in action. We heavily invest in fostering a vibrant player community and engaging gambling streamers to receive feedback on our games during the development process. Additionally, we proudly collaborate with the Scatters Club, the community of casino games players and gambling streamers, to support and sponsor online streaming competitions.

S: BGaming offers over 100 titles, including slots, lotteries, scratch cards, and roulette, as well as card, casual, and dice games. How do you analyze players’ preferences and decide what types of games to develop next?

OL: At BGaming, we prioritize maintaining a diverse portfolio and a balanced mix of games. With a presence in over 900 casinos worldwide, our goal is to provide them with a high-quality and diverse portfolio, offering players a wide range of mechanics and themes to choose from.

When planning game development, we consider players' preferences, particularly in regions that are strategically important to our company's growth. For example, as we actively expand in the Latin American market, we understand the importance of catering to the interests of players in that region. This leads us to introduce games, themes, and mechanics that resonate with the players, such as scratch games.

We also analyze market trends, studying successful and unsuccessful cases from our market partners. We closely observe which games perform exceptionally well in top casinos within specific regions. Organic top rankings serve as valuable insights for shaping our game roadmap.

Additionally, we conduct thorough analysis of our own games, examining player feedback, mechanics, themes, and features. If a game or character has already gained popularity among players, we leverage analytics data to introduce new experiences, such as releasing a version of the game with a megaways mechanic to amplify its appeal.

S: You develop provably fair games and support cryptocurrencies and virtual currencies. Can you comment on the future of these kinds of technologies in the iGaming industry?

OL: BGaming is a pioneer in supporting cryptocurrencies and was the first provider to introduce the provably fair technology into games. We continue to position ourselves as leaders in the crypto gambling space, which is a strategic goal for us. We consistently make it to the top lists of friendly crypto providers and our games are included in the Top Crypto Games Q1'23. We actively onboard new and promising cryptocurrencies into our portfolio. According to our report, the sum of wagers in crypto has shown positive growth in the past year. In Q1 2023, the share of bets in digital coins accounted for 30%, with a 19% volume growth compared to the previous quarter.

This data confirms that the crypto-related sector, including crypto casinos, will continue to thrive, indicating a growing demand for cryptocurrencies in gaming.

As for the provably fair technology, we believe it will also continue to evolve. The online casino audience, especially in the crypto casino segment, consists of a younger and tech-savvy demographic that values transparency in the gaming process. We are confident that this trend will continue to gain momentum.

S: You’re active in Europe, Asia, the CIS, Africa, and LatAm. Which of your games are the most popular in each of these regions? Which region is your main focus?

OL: Europe and the CIS countries are the closest and most familiar regions to us, where we have accumulated extensive expertise and a deep understanding of players' preferences. Many of our games, such as Bonanza Billion and Fruit Million, are top performers in all the regions where we operate. In Europe, these titles are complemented by Lady Wolf Moon, Elvis Frog in Vegas, and the brilliantly simple Wild Cash, featuring an exciting and generous bonus game.

When it comes to non-slot casual games, Plinko and Plinko XY have gained significant popularity in Europe. In the CIS region, Bonanza Billion, Fruit Million, and Aztec Magic Bonanza are firmly established in the top rankings. Interestingly, our recent release, Alien Fruits, also made it into the top charts in April 2023 in the CIS region.

In 2023, Bonanza Billion and Fruit Million continue to dominate in popularity in Latin American countries, followed by hits from 2022 such as Wild Cash and its older sibling, Wild Cash X9990, as well as our beloved slot, Big Atlantis Frenzy. The crash game Space XY also maintains its popularity in the region.

The top games in Africa in 2023 include Aztec Magic Bonanza, Bonanza Billion, Aztec Magic Deluxe, and Fruit Million. In the casual game category, Minesweeper, Plinko, and Rocket Dice are the top leaders.

We strive to achieve a balance in the themes and mechanics of our games, ensuring that our portfolio is in demand among operators worldwide. Our goal is to offer players from every region a variety of games that are suitable for their entertainment and immersion.

S: Talking about Latin America, what types of games are the most popular there, according to your statistics?

OL: In Latin America, the most popular games are slots with straightforward mechanics that closely resemble offline slot machines. They feature vibrant designs and immersive soundscapes that evoke strong emotions. Our titles like Bonanza Billion and Fruit Million are shining examples of popular games in the region. One of our exclusive collaborations, Blaze Bonanza, has gained tremendous popularity in Latin America as well. Additionally, crash games are also well-received due to their simple gameplay mechanics. We strive to cater to the preferences of players in Latin America by offering a diverse range of games that combine engaging gameplay, stunning visuals, and immersive experiences.

S: Analyzing the LatAm market deeper, can you tell us more about what players there like, what currencies are the most demanded, and what devices are most commonly used?

OL: The Latin American market is vast, and each country has its specific characteristics. As we are still in the early stages of expanding into this region, we are actively analyzing market indicators. However, the more partners we have in the region and the larger our player base grows, the more accurate our analytics and responses to these questions will be.

In terms of player preferences:

Game Types: Players in Latin America enjoy a diverse range of game types. Traditional casino games like slots, roulette, and blackjack remain popular, and Jogo do bicho is particularly popular among Brazilians. Online scratch games are also gaining momentum.

Localized Content: Latin American players appreciate localized content that caters to their cultural preferences and languages. Spanish and Portuguese are the predominant languages in the region, so providing content in these languages is essential.

Social Interaction: Latin American players value social interaction in their gaming experience. They enjoy connecting with friends and other players, participating in chat features, and engaging in multiplayer or live dealer games.

Regarding preferred currencies, players in Latin America often prefer using their local currencies when gambling online. The Mexican Peso (MXN), Brazilian Real (BRL), Argentine Peso (ARS), Colombian Peso (COP), and Chilean Peso (CLP) are among the most commonly used local currencies. However, the United States Dollar (USD) is also widely accepted and used in the region, especially for international operators targeting the Latin American market. It's interesting to note that, for example, in Brazil, Bitcoin is more popular than dollars. This is because processing payments through cards can take a long time, so many players prefer using cryptocurrencies.

When it comes to devices, mobile devices such as smartphones are the most popular for accessing online gambling platforms in Latin America. The region has witnessed a significant increase in mobile internet penetration, making mobile gaming the preferred choice among players.

S: Which marketing and promotion tools would you emphasize for this market?

OL: In the Latin American market, it is crucial to stand out, and that's precisely what our brand-exclusive and customized games allow us to do. Customized branded games are undoubtedly effective marketing tools in the Latin American market. Games that incorporate the operator's brand name, such as Blaze Bonanza or Blaze Million, generate more trust and have a positive impact on player retention.

Unfortunately, due to the prevailing mindset in this region, where residents primarily perceive gambling as a means to make money rather than simply for entertainment, it becomes necessary to cater to this misguided belief. It's disheartening to witness how residents in this region are more inclined towards gambling for financial gain rather than seeking enjoyment. The opportunity to win additional prizes through unexpected drops, for example, can become a deciding factor for players when choosing a slot game.

When it comes to marketing and promotion tools for the Latin American market, I would emphasize the effectiveness of highlighting promotional offers such as gifts, discounts, and special promotions. However, it is crucial to understand and respect the players' mindset and ensure ethical practices that promote games as a form of entertainment rather than a means of earning money.

S: What do you think about the LatAm region overall — how will it develop in the coming years? Do you see potential in LatAm? And why do you think so?

OL: I see immense potential in the LatAm region for the development of the online gambling industry. The region is experiencing an upward trend in internet penetration, which means a larger audience is gaining access to online platforms. Additionally, a growing middle class with disposable income provides an opportunity for increased participation in online gambling.

Regulatory advancements in many countries within the region are creating a more favorable environment for operators. This, combined with the booming mobile gaming industry, opens up new avenues for engaging players and expanding market reach.

Moreover, Latin American culture has a strong affinity for gambling, making it an attractive market for operators. By understanding the cultural nuances and tailoring our offerings to meet local preferences, we can provide an immersive and enjoyable gaming experience for players in the region.

Overall, with the right strategies, partnerships, and a commitment to compliance, the LatAm region is poised for substantial growth in the online gambling industry in the coming years. We are excited about the opportunities this presents and are dedicated to playing a key role in the region's development.

S: What are BGaming's plans for future development and new releases?

OL: We have already established partnerships with prominent online casino brands like Blaze, DoradoBet, Apuesta Total, and others, solidifying our position in the market. With our diverse game portfolio, we offer a wide range of options for online casino operators in the region.

One of our upcoming highlights is the launch of our brand-new online scratch games. These games have gained immense popularity among players in the region, and we are putting the finishing touches on their development. Expect their release in autumn, and stay tuned for an exciting gaming experience.

In addition to that, we are expanding our casual games offering. We are working on developing high-quality and captivating casual games, including popular ones sought after by crypto projects, such as Space XY, Plinko XY and Dice XY.

Furthermore, we are committed to our Brand Exclusive area, collaborating with local operators to produce tailored and unique content for the Brazilian market. Our collaboration with Blaze resulted in a customized game that perfectly suits their players' preferences.

We value the desire of regional online casinos to offer exclusive content, and we are dedicated to assisting operators in creating one-of-a-kind branded games that enhance player retention and engagement. By continuously innovating and adapting to the evolving market, we aim to drive the iGaming industry forward and provide unforgettable experiences for players in the LatAm region.

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