rooks Pierce, Inspired Entertainment's President and Chief Operating Officer, had an interview with Yogonet in which he unveiled some of the latest company's news, including products that will be deployed for the first time at ICE London. He also shared the company's agenda, as well as expansion plans for 2019.
What products are you planning to showcase at this year's edition of the trade show?
We’ll be showcasing the products that make Inspired “Essential Entertainment” at ICE. Besides our proven Virtual Sports products, such as Rush Football and Virtual Horse Racing, and new products such as 1st Down and Grand National, we’ll also be introducing a groundbreaking Virtual Basketball product with the latest in motion capture technology. While Europe has enthusiastically embraced virtual sports, at ICE we want to talk with other regulated gaming markets about virtual sports’ revenue impact, its ease of integration, its low costs of deployment, the flexibility it offers through customised and multiple platform options, and its appeal to all types of players: lottery, slots, sports betting, online, and mobile. We will also be introducing a new server-based gaming cabinet, Valor. Valor will provide new player experiences in existing markets, and will take Inspired into new markets with North American dedicated content. We will also be sharing a wider portfolio of top-performing Interactive content, with more than 60 slots, table and virtual on-demand games. And we’ll be showcasing our Plug N Play solution, a complete end-to-end online sportsbook product that allows operators to access Inspired’s award-winning scheduled virtual games with minimal integration effort and rapid speed-to-market.
Last month, Inspired launched The Virtual Grand National with Paddy Power Betfair. Did the experience meet your expectations?
The retail launch of the Virtual Grand National has exceeded our expectations. The product is proving very popular with the PaddyPower Betfair customer base in the UK/Ireland, and is driving incremental revenues above and beyond the more standard virtual horse racing product. We are in deployment phase with a number of other of our customers in both retail and interactive channels in time for the 2019 Grand National in April 2019.
Which jurisdictions do you feel currently offer the most potential for gaming growth?
Inspired is a leading brand in VLTs, virtual sports and online segments in the UK; has the highest net win in VLTs and is the exclusive provider of virtual sports in Greece; and is a leading retail brand in VLTs and virtual sports in Italy. We feel strongly that our product offering works in all regulated jurisdictions around the globe, and ICE is a great place to reach the worldwide operator audience.
For Inspired, North America offers the greatest opportunities for growth. With the recent Supreme Court ruling favoring sports betting, we’ve seen a surge in interest in our virtual sports content from the US. Our virtual sports content is seen as complementary to and seamless with real-world sports betting where it is legal. Virtual sports products have proven to drive incremental revenues for customers globally and attract new players, as the digital format mimics the type of entertainment that millennials already consume. Empirically, operators who have added virtual sports to an existing sportsbook have experienced a 15-20% increase in revenue.
On which specific areas will you be focusing this year to increase your market share?
A lot of Inspired’s success in attracting new players has come from its commitment to providing a diverse mix of essential gaming experiences. That diversity is our strength, as we deliver content tailored to each market, and for every kind of player. Research and development, and particularly player research, have been critically important, and that’s where we’ll continue to focus in 2019 as we open new markets. We expect significant growth in all three of our business units — VLTs, Interactive, and Virtual Sports — in 2019, and our research and development will drive that growth.