hat's your opinion about ICE 2013? Was the new venue convenient for you?
ICE 2013 proved to be another great success for Evolution. The move to ExCeL was convenient in that it allowed us to increase our stand size by 50% and feature a raft of both new and established solutions. This generated many ad-hoc enquiries and interesting new opportunities, which is what one expects at a major show such as ICE.
Very importantly, the larger stand mean this was a great opportunity to catch up with existing licensees in the relatively spacious and quiet meeting areas on our stand’s upper deck. That was a vital part of ICE for us, as so many of our existing licensees continue to expand and individualise their Evolution Live Casino offering. Added to that, we continued on-going discussions we are having with a number of prospective new customers, many of which are focused on upcoming opportunities in re-regulating markets such as Holland, Greece and Belgium.
What was visitor’s response to the products you presented?
We received very positive feedback on our iPad products – Live Roulette, Blackjack and Baccarat. ICE was technically their official launch. However, from the moment we shared the word on this development many months ago, demand has been fantastic. As a result, the iPad/iPad mini play option is already live and performing very well for many of our biggest licensees.
Indeed, interest in all of the products we presented was high. The number of new companies evolving and looking to offer Live Casino continues to increase, with many looking for a different angle and unique way to present themselves. In particular, our commitment to deliver a flawless gaming experience in regulated markets, across multiple devices, really hit home. Player acquisition via mobile has become a key factor, with some potential licensees citing up to 75% of their business being acquired via mobile.
There was also great interest in the native speaking tables, which we offer in two forms: generic, which are shared among licensees, and private dedicated tables, which are exclusive to a specific licensee brand. The high levels of localisation and customisation we offer have always offered us a strong point of difference in the Live Casino market. That specialism is in demand because it is proven to deliver a tangible return to licensees. And that’s why our 100th table is about to go live at our Riga studios – the growth in native speaking tables and dedicated tables has been phenomenal over the past year.
Visitors also saw for themselves that they are not limited to streaming from Riga. We have turnkey mini studio solutions for streaming from any licensed land-based casino in any regulated territory. To demonstrate this, we had a live feed on the stand direct from our live studio on the gaming floor at Casino Rincon de Pepe in Murcia, Spain. This in-venue solution, fully compliant with the new Spanish regulations, is open to any licensed operator in Spain. 888 is live already and we have additional licensees looking to go live later this year.
Where did most of your clients and visitors come from?
Mostly from Europe, which is to be expected given the London venue and Evolution’s client base, which is European focused. Mostly visitors were looking to expand their offering, especially in markets that are re-regulating or approaching re-regulation, such as Greece, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, and also the US. As ever, there were a few opportunities from Asia and Latin America that will be explored too.
What will be your shows calendar for the rest of the year?
ICE is the only show each year at which Evolution exhibits, but we are active at other shows. The team always has a strong presence at the EiG show, which will take place again in Barcelona in October. This provides another ideal opportunity to collectively catch up with existing licensees. It’s a good opportunity, too, to meet with other licensees of various sizes, from start-ups to established brands, all looking to take their first step with Live Casino.
The team will also monitor the US market and evaluate whether to attend or possibly take a small space at the Las Vegas show for the first time. Evolution is confident that its expertise and experience gained in the European market would translate well to the US. With our ability to stream live from a land-based venue we are the ideal partner for US operators looking to stream direct from their bricks and mortar venues – either as an intra-resort, intrastate or interstate solution.
What will be your next steps?
Evolution has a great deal planned for this year. Following our success in Italy and Denmark, and the recent ‘go live’ in the Spanish market with 888, we are looking to work with existing and new licensees in newly regulated markets such as Greece, Belgium and the Netherlands. We want to ensure that we continue to offer our licensees first-to-market advantage in these newly regulated territories.
We will also be expanding our iPad offering, as well as adding new games to our core product portfolio, plus new side bets to add to the excitement. We will continue also with our expansion into new delivery channels such as TV, building on the success we have already achieved with live content integration and iPad betting interfaces for Lottomatica and their daily Vegas Club Live Casino TV show in Italy.
The US will also be a top priority. We will continue to monitor developments and look to work closely with potential partners to maximise the opportunities in arguably the most challenging and exciting regulated marketplace yet.