Live casino is just one of the many elements of the industry that has become affected during recent weeks and months, as increased creativity and heightened responsible gambling became just two of the key facets of many operations.

Becoming just one of a number of discussions to be had at next week’s CasinoBeats Malta Digital in a panel titled ‘Live Casino: At a Crossroads,’ CasinoBeats has caught up with one of the participants, Christos Mavridis, live casino manager at Stoiximan and Betano.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly affected everything, within and beyond our sector. And it definitely is one of the biggest challenges that the online gaming industry faces, including live casino,” he says of the current health pandemic. 

“Note that live casino has a strong live element, combining in a way a physical casino and a digital experience, therefore operators had to move fast in order to adapt the product and continue offering the best experience to their audience. 

“In that sense, the pandemic has given live casino operators and suppliers alike the opportunity to become more creative in their approaches to reaching audiences. COVID-19 forced live casino to develop new innovative games that were not considered in the pre pandemic times. Moreover, as most Asian studios were affected following government restrictions, suppliers have been securing additional table capacity at different locations in Europe. 

“And of course, this crisis has also been a milestone and a challenge for responsible gaming in the industry. Since we were expecting increased player activity, responsible gaming became a priority, especially among the big and established operators.”

“…to cross sell from RNG to live was and will be a challenge”

With the panel session possibly heading in one of a number of directions, Mavridis teased one possibility by addressing what challenges are faced in cross-selling players from other verticals to live casino: “There is a strong relationship between SB and live casino, therefore the lack of sports events was surely to affect cross selling to live casino. 

“On the other hand however, new players from land based casinos were acquired by online gaming, and a part of them was obviously attracted to live casino, taking also into account the similarities and familiarity with the physical casino.

“Regardless of the COVID peculiarities, to cross sell from RNG to live was and will be a challenge, as we are attracting different player profiles. However, implementing jackpots and starting mixing up the mechanics of the traditional live games is a way to move forward.”

However, with its roots firmly set in the land-based sector, could, or should, live casino be taking advantage of new technologies at a quicker rate?

“Absolutely yes, I believe that we should be moving faster,” he continues. “The live casino sector needs new innovative games, and this is recognised by suppliers who do in fact develop new game shows and classic roulette and blackjack games with the addition of multipliers, for example.

“And we do have our own winning story to share here: our live casino offering was recently empowered by the Cash Back Blackjack, co-developed with one of our suppliers, using the cash out feature from SB, innovative and exciting blackjack variant to live casino players. Initial results are very positive, confirming that a good idea can bring the so needed continuous product innovation, the good disruption that our members need to keep enjoying their gaming experience.”

It is great to see that SBC stepped forward and closed the gap”

CasinoBeats Malta Digital takes place on 30 June – 2 July 2020 and will use an advanced technological platform to replicate all the key benefits of a physical trade show. Delegates can look forward to a 120-speaker conference, multiple networking opportunities and, importantly, a virtual exhibition hall. 

Mavridis will be joined by Jeremy Taylor, managing director of Genting Online, Sam Brown, CCO of Hero Gaming and Stefania Mincu head of casino at Ellmount Interactive, with James Bennett, director at Square in the Air, on moderating duties, on Wednesday 1 July at 14:20 – 15:00 (UK).

With traditional conferences not possible at the moment, Mavridis concluded by commenting on how important online offerings such as CasinoBeats Malta Digital in the current climate, as well as hopes during the three days: “Networking and sharing best practices is the optimum way of moving forward, especially in such a fast evolving sector such as online gaming. It is great to see that SBC stepped forward and closed the gap by making sure that the discussion continues in an advanced virtual environment. 

“We all agree that nothing can replace the actual physical interaction, but we should also keep in mind that shifting to digital may have its benefits. With travelling costs and time restrictions out of the way, a lot more industry professionals can join and enhance their knowledge, network, business horizons.

Adding: Sharing knowledge and experience is what will push the industry to the next level. Technical solutions, creative ideas, out of the box approaches to live casino and beyond is what I would very much like to experience. Also, virtually revisiting my professional acquaintances and adding some new ones is a priority in my CasinoBeats agenda.”

Find full details of CasinoBeats Malta Digital, including information about how to register and the discounts available on company group passes, at the event’s official website

To find out more about the remaining exhibition and sponsorship opportunities, please contact [email protected].