Amid the flood of operators and suppliers chasing the American igaming gold rush, Design
Works Gaming is panning for riches elsewhere. As the Europeans target individual
US states, DWG is looking at country-wide expansion in real money gaming on the other
side of the Atlantic, starting with the UK. The supplier has a long track record in land-based and social sectors back home, and it has turned to industry stalwart Andy Harris to help them hit the mother lode in RMG.
CasinoBeats spoke to the newly-appointed CEO of UK operations about the new role, and
why the move into a third vertical was a natural progression for DWG, stating: “We have
produced a large number of successful titles for the big land-based manufacturers like IGT,
Novomatic, Aristocrat, and Konami, and have almost three years experience operating our
own social casinos. We believe the content we’ve created, and knowledge we’ve gained in
doing so, can be incredibly relevant for the real money space too.
“A lot of our titles are well-known among RMG operators, but as they were produced under
the name of large land-based suppliers it is not widely appreciated that we created them.
We’ve built a ton of great games that have performed exceptionally well, in strongly-related
channels. This has given us the confidence to move into RMG, and eliminates the risk of
working with a new supplier for many operators.”
“The UK is only one of the markets where we want to focus. It’s the starting point really”
Adding: “It’s a really logical step for us. We’ve got a huge volume and variety of content in
our portfolio that is doing very well for us in land-based and social. It is an untapped
resource for us and potential operator partners in real-money.
“To adapt that content for real-money is not that challenging technically. There’s a lot of stuff around the licensing of course, but after we clear that hurdle things should be relatively straight-forward. It’s really about making the assets that we’ve already got in place work harder for us.”
So confident is the Arizona-based organisation that it has set its sights beyond the UK, with
the long-established market set to act as a springboard into wider European regions. But it first stresses the need to walk before trying to run: “The UK is only one of the markets where we want to focus. It’s the starting point really, but there are many other jurisdictions that appeal. The UK is the best fit for us right now because it’s where a lot of our content is most relevant. We are very familiar with the market, the contacts, the operators, and it’s the biggest one in Europe, so it’s a pretty logical starting point for us.
“If we can gain a foothold in the UK, our plan for market entry into other territories will be
demand-led, essentially. We know that customers who enjoy our content in the UK will
want us to roll it out in the likes of Spain, Denmark, and Italy, so we can then go through
licensing and certification. I think that is the sensible strategy to follow rather than try to do too much too soon.”
“Operators are desperate to build deeper relationships with their players”
Coming complete with an impressive set of credentials across the land-based and social
sectors, “where millions of people have validated the content,” DWG emphasises a belief in
being the “best slots supplier you’ve never heard of.”
One huge differentiator that the company is striving to make great use of is that of
engagement and promotion tools, which form an integral part of the player experience in
DWG’s social casinos.
Many are as yet unknown in RMG, despite being equally compatible: “Operators are desperate to build deeper relationships with their players so that they can build loyalty. I think the other key differentiator for us in that space is that our tools don’t have to be inherent to our games, we will offer the operator the ability to just offer that tool on their website.
“If you look at suppliers who have done this before, all of the tools that they offer must be
offered via their specific games, and we’re trying to make it much more customisable. As a
result, they will be more like a separate product suite that operators can use to spread their tools across numerous product verticals. It’s not just restricted to people playing casino games, you could also use it for sports betting or bingo customers. We want to deliver a really strong CRM tool for our operator partners.”
“We’re in a position to be able to potentially offer exclusivity to operators who
would never have been given that opportunity.”
One final piece to the puzzle in its UK RMG assault is the licensing of titles on an exclusive
basis. Harris explained: “I think from a casino perspective, there’s been this huge increase in volume of product in the market, but most of it is available at pretty much any operator that you go to.
“Because we’ve got this large suite of content that is already proven in other verticals, we’re in a position to be able to potentially offer exclusivity to operators who would never have been given that opportunity. This will allow them to start differentiating through product as well as the other things that they’ve been battling over, such as marketing.”
“We think that’s an interesting proposition, especially for some of those operators who you
might have categorised as tier two. In days gone by these guys wouldn’t have had the
chance to access exclusive content because suppliers didn’t think the opportunity was big
enough. Now they can,” Harris concluded.