What are your expectations about ICE?
We have high expectations for ICE 2013. Evolution has been very successful in securing a major share of the Live Casino market, especially in the European market. ICE is the ideal opportunity for us to catch up with existing clients as well as new prospects. Also, with continuing regulatory change across European online gaming markets ICE allows us to showcase our offering to these markets. As always, we will be looking to help operators achieve first-to-market advantage and early market share in new or changing jurisdictions, just as we have done in Italy, Denmark and Spain.
2012 was a fantastic year for Evolution and all of us here are determined to extend this success in 2013. ICE will serve as an important springboard for continued growth.
How do you think the new venue will influence in the development of the show?
The move to ExCeL has allowed the floor plan to be extended to cater for an ever- developing market, in which Live Casino is itself a fast-growing sector.
For Evolution the move has allowed us to increase the size of our stand (S3-210) by 50%. That extra space is important for us, because our range of products has grown considerably over the past year. It also gives us more space for our team to meet with operators.
In general, I think the move will help the show to grow. ExCeL is a fantastic modern facility in an exciting and still developing part of London.
What products will you present? What are their main features?
We will be showcasing our new mobile gaming for iPad solutions. We will have the just-launched trio of Mobile Live Roulette, Live Blackjack and Live Baccarat for iPad. All of these solutions allow our core live table games to be enjoyed by players on the iPad or iPad mini.
At the same time we’ll be showing how our iPad platform can be used as the viewers’ betting interface for interactive live gaming TV shows. Lottomatica are already using this Evolution product in Italy for their Live Casino TV show. The show, recorded live in Italy, integrates live games streamed from Lottomatica’s dedicated tables at our Riga studios
We also have Mini Live Roulette, which gives mini-window access to our Live Roulette games. This is proving to be a great customer acquisition tool for licensees as they can dot the mini windows around their websites – in the sportsbook or bingo pages for example.
Players can click directly on Mini Live Roulette window and start playing – there’s no need for them to go through the Live Casino lobby and select their table. It’s a lot of fun for players as they can have different types of games and bets running simultaneously.
Then there’s Live Casino Hold’em, a fast-paced live game that will appeal to poker fans. That’s another new product that will be premiered at ICE. As you can see, we’ve got a great many new products and licensee opportunities coming through.
On a more general note we will be showing operators how, with Evolution dedicated tables and environments, they can offer the most localised solutions to their market. Many licensees are taking this route because it means their tables can be tailored to their very exact requirements – whether they want to re-create the look and feel of their land-based venue or create something completely new and unique.
With localised solutions operators can also have native speaking dealers, as well as the option of dedicated teams (dressed in licensee-branded uniforms if required) running live add-on promotions as part of the live gaming experience.
Returning to iPad, it’s also worth mentioning that our iPad solutions have been developed very much with intra-resort mobile gaming in mind. They will enable visitors to a land-based casino resort to play live games on their iPads – the same game that are taking place on the casino’s gaming floor. In this way the gaming floor can be extended to bars, by the pool, hotel rooms, and other areas away from the main gaming floor. There’s a great deal of interest in intra-resort because of developments in the US. A big date is coming up in the first week of February regarding the New Jersey legislation and, naturally, we are monitoring developments very closely.
What are your main markets in EMEA? How is the company positioned in each of these markets?
Our clients include many leading UK brands, such as William Hill, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, Sportingbet and Grosvenor Casino, so obviously the UK market is an important market for us. At the same time, working for licensees such as 888, Betsson Group, bwin.party, Unibet, BetVictor and BetClic, we have coverage across much of Europe. That includes a dominant presence in the Italian market through licensees such as Lottomatica, Gioco Digitale and Microgame.
We are also active in the Spanish market with a Live Roulette room at Casino Rincon de Pepe in Murcia, which complies with new legislation in Spain. Any licensed operator in Spain can use the live game stream from this land-based casino, and as a consequence we have a growing list of such operators looking to come on board in 2013.
In all of our markets we are positioned as the world leader in video-streamed Live Dealer gaming, with increasing emphasis on delivering flawless solutions via multiple devices. This positioning flows naturally from our track record of innovation and because we are the solution of choice for so many top-tier operators.
How was 2012 for the most important markets of EMEA? What are the perspectives for 2013?
As I mentioned earlier, 2012 was a great year for Evolution – our products performed strongly in all markets. Our Live Roulette for iPad was released at the end of 2012 and is already rewarding licensees, who have been keen to add iPad play to their Live Casino offering. Our other core live games are now also rolling out on iPad, so we project continued growth in this area.
The outlook for 2013 is good. We have planned for, and are already discussing, numerous opportunities in new markets. Our modus operandi is to be in position to move very quickly just as soon as legislation is finalised.
In 2013 we will continue to add to our portfolio of products to deliver a flawless gaming experience in regulated markets, across multiple devices. There will be a few surprises along the way, which I cannot reveal yet, but we’ll keep you posted.
I believe we will also see Live Casino become a more integral part of land-based operations. We are receiving lots of enquiries from land-based casinos about creating live studios as a feature on the main gaming floor. There are many benefits in doing this. It allows land-based players to extend play online, wherever they happen to be. At the same time it provides the opportunity to attract a younger demographic into the land-based venue with incentives that are part of a single loyalty and rewards system.
Another trend is greater focus on VIP players. This is becoming increasingly important as licensees look to replicate in the online environment the same VIP experience these players are accustomed to in a land-based venue. The line between online and offline is becoming increasingly blurred with Live Casino, and it’s now possible to offer seamless offline and online services to players. Evolution Live Casino makes this possible because the solution is as real as it gets.
What goals will you pursue this year, especially in Europe?
We want to build on our reputation of being first to market in newly regulated European markets. We will also be looking to build our brand and expand into new markets further afield.
Interestingly, Q1 of 2013 will see us hit a major milestone. We are preparing to launch our 100th table in our studio in Riga, with the team there continually expanding. This growth results in our licensees having even more opportunity to add variety to their online services and to strengthen their brands through localisation and dedicated branded tables.
We will pursue continued growth through innovation, but with a very clear end-goal: to maximise revenues and market share for our licensees by enabling them to deliver the best choice and quality in live dealer games to their players.