“It’s no secret that Relax has had a fantastic 2020,” noted Simon Hammon, CPO of Relax Gaming, claiming the pandemic, while not being a driver for its growth, certainly hasn’t done the company a ‘disservice’.

Speaking to CasinoBeats’ managing director, Stewart Darkin at its first Slots Festival of 2021, Hammon stated that, aside from his company’s own success, the overall online casino business has experienced a ‘good year’.

“Undoubtedly it’s been a good year for the online casino business with the downturn in sports has driven the casino revenues up as has the marketing focus and the attention from a lot of operators so its upside in that sense,” Hammon claimed.

“I don’t think the pandemic is such a driver in that but it hasn’t done us any disservice.”

“In other respects though, it’s been tough because a lot of key markets, places like Sweden, have brought in restrictions, caps and such things like that which has obviously halted that growth, even stifled that growth in some areas. 

“Then you have the logistics of you’ve now got a workforce that’s working from home and how to manage that. There’s operator pressure to grow and to deliver on those targets they have to supplement the revenue you need to make sure you’re delivering.” 

“I don’t think the pandemic is such a driver in that but it hasn’t done us any disservice, it’s also helped our growth and grow the partner ambitions that we brought on. But it has had its challenges and it has been difficult. 

“We had to make sure that our studios and our creative people, who often thrive when working as a team are now working in isolated environments but we’ve adapted really well. I’d hazard a guess that as a company, we’ve been more productive than actually being in an office environment.”

Hammon went onto express that within this new reality it can be seen, on a business level, to be a positive.

He said: “You need to work really closely to keep that motivation and that value you, as a company, have with your staff. It’s working well, I hate to say.  We’ve been supporting it and people are comfortable.

“Casino has been positive. It’s certainly brought in certain markets where it’s been tricky, it’s definitely grown the demand and hunger, both from an operators side and new suppliers who want to make business.”   

“Some of our own game successes and our partner growth.”

On Relax’s 2020 performance, Hammon claimed he would not call it a ‘breakthrough year’, stating it was a year the company became more ‘noticed and established’. 

He added: “Some of our own game successes and our partner growth. I think this was the year that Relax was becoming a much needed supplier product and service to the operator based.” 

When pressed by Darkin on what Relax puts its success down to, Hammon responded by stressing it did not happen ‘overnight’. 

“We kicked off casino in 2014 and that was largely as a platform service to one or two suppliers. I think that was the sum knowledge of Relax until at least mid-2018,” he said. 

“This 2020 flagship year is built on the previous two, it’s been laying the foundations, growing the partnership base, growing our B2C distribution base, our reputation from our marketing and branding perspective and our solidification of our own studios.”