Innovation is very much a hot topic, with organisations eager to stress what role they play in the development of the next big thing, and plenty eager to discuss many associated issues.
But where are the new ideas coming from? What form will they take? And what is to be made of so many casino lobbies being largely occupied by titles of yesteryear? As well as the issue of igaming copycats?
Ahead of this month’s CasinoBeats Summit Lars Kollind, business development director at Playson, who is to discuss ‘The Search for Innovation in Gaming,’ gave a brief insight.
“We’ve found that being an agile company we can accommodate change at short notice”
CasinoBeats: It has been a busy period of late for Playson, what is your strategy when it comes to expansion?
Lars Kollind: This year has seen us actively grow our global presence and one major reason for the success we’ve achieved over this period has been our agility.
The cornerstone of Playson’s business is of course slots, but running parallel to our skilled creative team developing exciting new titles is the constant push by the company to cultivate partnerships and secure licences for different regulated markets.
It’s this combination of a well-respected games portfolio, and our reputation as a solid commercial partner, that has helped us make such inroads into various new territories.
CB: A concerted effort seems to have been placed upon Eastern Europe, why is this? What opportunities does the region present?
LK: Eastern Europe is currently a big focus for us, and we have made significant strategic movements to expand across numerous regions in recent months. Eastern Europe is a constantly evolving market with huge potential, but as with any emerging market it carries its own unique set of regulatory and operational hurdles.
Many see these issues as problematic, but we’ve found that being an agile company we can accommodate change at short notice. We’ve recently enhanced our position in territories such as Lithuania, Latvia and Romania with partnership deals as well as obtaining a class II Romanian license from the ONJN.
Though we’re not solely focused on Eastern Europe. We are always looking further afield having strengthened our position in the Italian market with E-Play 24, and recently obtaining our full licence in Sweden.
“Society as a whole is demanding that entertainment be increasingly tailored”
These partnerships and new licences are not only fantastic opportunities to release our games to as many players as possible, but with each new market we enter we acquire a greater knowledge of regulations and territories.
Turning what some may consider a hindrance into an opportunity to evolve has equipped us with a preparedness that makes moving into more complex and diverse markets more fluid.
CB: Where is future innovation coming from within the vertical?
LK: I see the future innovations in the industry centred around developing a more personalised gaming experience. Society as a whole is demanding that entertainment be increasingly tailored.
For example, I could see the sector introducing a more bespoke experience in a similar way to how Netflix or Spotify operate. A player’s preferred device would learn their gaming preferences and automatically direct them to their favourite games while recommending similar options they may be interested in based on playing patterns.
In a world that is getting increasingly busy, people want to save time whenever they can, and technology that helps streamline their experiences will always be welcomed by consumers.
“Healthy competition between companies helps constantly push market boundaries”
CB: How much importance should be placed upon innovation with so many online slot titles essentially copycats, and casino lobbies dominated by titles from years ago?
LK: Innovation is obviously important to keep any market from stagnating, and healthy competition between companies helps constantly push market boundaries creating better products, ultimately benefiting the consumer.
However, many operators are understandably risk averse to replacing tried and tested games with a high recognition factor among players.
When it comes to a market which is in constant flux, such as online casino, I feel it is more a case of evolution than revolution. There is a necessity to innovate but not at the expense of jettisoning ideas which have a proven success rate among players.
CB: You are set to participate in this year’s CasinoBeats Summit, what appealed about the event? And what do you hope to takeaway?
LK: This is the first major show sponsorship for Playson, so we are understandably thrilled to be attending the CasinoBeats Summit. Personally, I’m really looking forward to speaking on ‘The Search for Innovation’ panel alongside a varied selection of influential, visionary speakers.
As a company, we have grown so much in the last two years and the event is a perfect forum to showcase the Playson brand. We’re hoping to engage with current and potential future business partners to let them know where Playson is and where we’re heading.
The conference takes place at Olympia London on September 17-20, alongside Betting on Sports – learn more and buy tickets for the CasinoBeats Summit here.
To find out more about sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities at the Summit, please contact [email protected]