earing in mind that only two US states currently allow real-money online casino games, what more can you do in that market?
We see great continued opportunity for growth in New Jersey as the market is still developing. NetEnt has been driving the online casino market forward for over 20 years, and we know very well what the online casino player expects and how we must innovate to achieve the very best player experience. We provide our partners with a level of content uniqueness that helps them to differentiate their market operations. Throughout the years, we have also gathered a significant amount of business intelligence that we use proactively with our partners, which creates additional growth and business value within our partnerships. We, of course, look forward to see new states regulating online gaming very soon.
“We have strong and fruitful partnerships in place with all our partners in New Jersey”
How's your partnership with PokerStars in New Jersey working so far? What can we expect to see from this alliance over the next months?
We have strong and fruitful partnerships in place with all our partners in New Jersey, and are very pleased with the progress so far. We are now live with a selection of desktop and mobile games over the Pokerstars network in New Jersey and the partnership is going very well.
What are the chances that more providers will move into the American market?
As the online gaming segment matures, and additional states push forward with regulation, we will see an increased appetite from various providers to enter the market. However, as market entry barriers are high in the region, there will be a natural filtering out of companies that do not have the organizational bandwidth, operational maturity and financial strength to fully comply with regulatory requirements. NetEnt have been operating within regulatory environments for a long time, which have given us first-hand knowledge and experience as we address and evaluate new market entry opportunities.
“Virtual reality will definitely become more widely discussed”
Industry experts believe that the future of gaming lies in disruptive technologies such as virtual reality. What are you doing to stay ahead of the curve?
NetEnt’s developers and designers work at the forefront of technology and innovation every day, which enables us to be creative, and think ahead when addressing our customers’ real needs. At ICE we showcased our virtual reality proof of concept, where users could go inside a Jack and the Beanstalk game world. It was fantastic to see great interest and the positive response from our partners and other industry stakeholders.
From an experience perspective, virtual reality lets players be fully engaged, as they are part of the actual gameplay environment. Allowing players to visually experience the game from within a 360 degree view really pushes the boundaries of player experience.
For the gaming industry, virtual reality is still in very early days, but as we and our partners better understand the market drivers, cost of ownership and device accessibility , virtual reality will definitely become more widely discussed.
Have you heard about the possible legalization of gambling (casinos, bingos, online gaming) in Brazil? Would this be a good business opportunity for you, considering Brazil's high population?
NetEnt closely monitors all market developments across the globe. As for the ongoing regulatory discussions in Brazil, this is known to us and we follow the progress very closely. Considering that Brazil has a population of over 200 million people, mobile penetration is very high and land-based gaming is already a mature form of entertainment, I believe that the underlying market growth for online gaming is very interesting.
Timing for any market entry remains to be seen, but we continue to closely follow market developments together with our prospective partners. The entire Americas region is a very exciting place to be right now, with several online gaming reforms on the table for decision.