Ahead of the company’s appearance at SiGMA 2018 in Malta next week, EvenBet Gaming CEO Dmitry Starostenkov talks to CasinoBeats about the changing online poker landscape and the role cryptocurrencies have to play
What’s your track record in the poker and crypto domain?
DS: “Longstanding and proven. To be clear, our gaming software has been a poker platform for over a decade, while we integrated bitcoin (and started accepting payments) for the first time five years ago, so we are fully conversant and compliant when it comes to cryptocurrency.
“Crypto projects started to grow about two years ago, mainly with tokens, so it’s a new pattern and new wave in gaming, where you can use alternative coins to play games.
“But, unlike others, we are not here to establish our own coin. Instead, we’re trying to work with existing coins and integrate them into our platform, because clients already have a loyal user base that own their own coins or tokens. Our poker is going to be a traditional proposition for their players.”
How can you overcome the challenge of the poker market not quite being as strong as it was when the company was founded?
“Of course, during the mid-noughties, it seemed everyone was throwing a poker party. But that doesn’t mean the initial excitement around poker has evaporated. Far from it. Instead, it depends on what market you are talking about. Just take south-east Asia, where poker is still very big.
“It’s the same in South America. People in the US continue to love to play poker. Sure, it’s more of a challenge in the European market – and the reason for this is that the market is separated and operators struggle to gain revenue from liquidity.
“With cryptocurrency, however, we do not have the challenge of ring-fencing. A player in the UK, for example, can play against anyone.”
Why will you be attending and exhibiting at this year’s SiGMA show?
“EvenBet is naturally looking forward to SiGMA, where we’ll be showcasing our industry-leading poker portfolio.
“SiGMA grows in stature with each passing year, and not only offers suppliers a chance to show off their products to operators, but also provides a think-tank at which to discuss some of the unique opportunities and examinations that lie ahead for the industry.
“We can’t wait to shine the light on our pioneering technology, catch up with some old friends and meet some new faces.”
How has the show developed in the years that you have been attending?
“SiGMA has been a must-stop on the conference circuit for a while now, growing in size and influence over the years since EvenBet started attending. Its attendances mirror this burgeoning status. In fact, last year’s huge turn-out was such a pleasant surprise that some people even complained about a lack of space – as they say, be careful what you wish for. Either way, the leading delegates from all sectors of the business are always here and it’s an ideal opportunity to discuss the challenges we collectively face.
“So, with EvenBet continuing to expand its footprint, it’s the perfect chance to draw from that pool of informed opinion and industry expertise.
“EVENBET’S POKER PRODUCT HAS BEEN REINVIGORATING A ONCE-STATIC VERTICAL WITH A FRESH, EXCITING PORTFOLIO OF PRODUCTS“
“More specifically, considering EvenBet’s flagship poker solution, we can’t wait to attend SiGMA’s annual poker tournament, which traditionally provides an entertaining curtain-raiser to proceedings at Malta’s InterContinental Hotel. It’s a great way to network and unwind alongside friends and colleagues in conjunction with registration drinks.
“Having started from more humble (and more crowded) beginnings a few years ago, the poker tournament is now a classy, refined event in its own right. Above all, of course, it also offers delegates the chance to raise significant funds for charity.”
Have you got any special events or announcements planned during the show?
“We are really excited about our recent launch of NoLimitCoin. It’s the first ever no-rake online poker platform. The NoLimitCoin solution features game-changing functionality (e.g. zero reliance on install files) and operates no rake, so players can keep all their winnings commission-free. The site caters for players of all stake sizes, from small to high-stakes, and is endorsed by brand ambassador and two-time World Series of Poker champion, Johnny Chan.
“EvenBet’s signature poker product has been reinvigorating a once-static vertical with a fresh, exciting portfolio of products which is re-imagining the poker space across different territories and regulatory jurisdictions. Crypto currencies present a fast and flexible way to launch a profitable poker project across emerging markets, opening up online gaming to people without bank accounts.
“The crypto-crowd also represents a speculative market-savvy, target audience which is perfectly aligned for the appeal of online poker. Accordingly, EvenBet is updating the game for the next generation of poker players.”
What can we expect to see at the EvenBet stand at SiGMA?
“Our team of senior delegates will be on hand at stand ST200 to answer all your questions and explain the integration processes behind our wide range of products.
“I’ll be there too, so be sure to pull me over, even if it’s not at the stand, to have a quick chat or arrange a formal meeting time. We look forward to pulling back the curtain on our advances and latest offerings.”