Ramping up the entertainment factor amid an intense media spotlight has been praised as a crucial component to success during 2020 by Uri Poliavich, co-founder and CBDO at Soft2Bet.

Amid the numerous inescapable lessons being learned during an unprecedented and unexpectedly tough year, the casino and sportsbook platform provider ended the period with a significant triumph in December’s SBC Awards.

This year the firm’s Wazamba brand became adorned with the Innovation in Casino & Gaming Entertainment gong, building upon continued success since first debuting two years ago.

“Since launching back in 2018, the award-winning casino Wazamba has gone from strength to strength. Gamification was the basis on which it was built, and having added an array of innovative features in the period since, it’s fantastic to see the team’s fine work rewarded with a prestigious SBC award,” Poliavich said of the award. 

“From our industry’s perspective, one effect of the coronavirus pandemic has been an intensification of media scrutiny. Many news stories continue to present gambling in a negative light, and with rules getting stricter in markets across the globe, it’s clear that regulators have noticed. 

“In an era of credit card bans and maximum stake limits, ramping up the entertainment factor through elements such as gamification is therefore the best way to stand out. With a richly gamified brand such as Wazamba, that’s exactly what we’ve delivered.”

Triumphing amid such intense competition is certainly no mean feat, and Poliavich moved on to address what he believes stood the brand out from the competition in the eyes of the judges, as well as how the firm ensures that they stay ahead: “One advantage of using our own proprietary platform is flexibility. We pay close attention to our clients’ needs and can implement changes rapidly, adding the latest features to an existing product,” he says. 

“…the crucial importance of diversification must be among the biggest lessons our industry has learnt”

“Wazamba’s quick deposit tool is a prime example. Adapting to one of igaming’s newest trends, the feature allows customers to make deposits instantly, without having to minimise the game window and go to the checkout, creating a gaming experience which is smooth and uninterrupted. 

“Our advanced loyalty program allowing players to collect masks is another case in point. It leads our industry’s move towards gamification by offering a more distinctive and detailed user journey than almost anything else on the market. Add in a cutting-edge range of localised payment methods, and it’s clear why Wazamba was so successful at this year’s SBC Awards.”

The difficulties experienced by so many throughout 2020 have been well documented for some months, and show little sign of abating as we move towards the new year.

Despite the year almost being in the rearview, however, Poliavich elaborated on the lessons that have been learned throughout an incredibly tough operational climate: “Like so many companies, 2020 taught us a lot. Firstly, the crucial importance of diversification must be among the biggest lessons our industry has learnt.

“A varied portfolio is critical: our thrilling suite of casino brands and virtuals, for example, stood ready to fill the gap in entertainment left by the pause on live sporting fixtures earlier this year. 

“And with new markets opening all the time, having the right team of experts on the ground is a necessary step to ensuring your product range is ready-to-go once a territory goes live. To that end, detailed regional knowledge and local licences are also key. 

“With national economies across the globe in need of a boost, the trend towards regulation and legalisation is likely to continue. 2021 will therefore be a busy year for legal and business development departments in particular, but we can’t wait to get started.”

To conclude, Poliavich continues on this theme of taking glances around the world, and addressing what ambitions Wazamba hopes to achieve during the next 12 months as the brand builds upon the successes already enjoyed: “Geographical expansion, new product launches and the integration of innovative features are all on our agenda for the next 12 months. 

“We feel very confident that Wazamba will retain its place as one of the industry’s most disruptive brands, but do not intend to rest on our laurels. 

“As we maintain our portfolio’s industry-leading position in the gamification space, we’ll keep the success coming through 2021 – and hope to win awards in even more categories.”