“Let’s forget about boundaries and limitations, and let’s create something truly unique;” words that adorn the site of slots studio Mancala Gaming, and which it asserts resonates with everything the group does and creates. 

A relatively new entrant into the ecosystem after being founded in 2019, the igaming provider currently boasts a portfolio of approximately 70 online gaming titles. 

As it eyes an increased global share of the online casino pie, Nikita Gorškov, CEO of Mancala Gaming, sat down with CasinoBeats to dissect progress thus far, targeting a specific demographic, and increased restrictions.

CasinoBeats: As a company, you are a relatively new entrant to the space, how have you found the first two years of operations? What enduring lessons have been learned, particularly during the last 12 months?

Nikita Gorškov: As with any start-up, the first year is extremely crucial to the longevity of the operation. I can honestly say that it has been hectic and fast. Mancala gaming has an amazing team of specialists and industry professionals, so the last year has been a breeze. 

One of the key lessons that we have learned is the importance of process structurization. As with any company, whether it’s a fortune 500 organisation or a start-up, ensuring that all departments and development cycles are run efficiently and effectively is key.

CB: We are seeing a steady incline in the development of skill based games within the industry, why do you believe this is so?

NG: This trend is a demonstration of how the industry is evolving and how player preferences are shifting to a more dynamic slots gameplay. Players are looking for products that immerse them into the game and unfortunately, you cannot do that with a single spin button no matter how beautiful your animations and background are.

“…as long as the main purpose of these laws is to ensure fair play then we will be in good hands”

CB: You seem to have a specific demographic in mind for your own titles, why have you identified a younger generation? 

NG: Warren Buffet once said that you cannot position your product to everyone, if you have a niche and at least are somewhat intelligent you will be successful. We identified our market niche as the millennial generation.

The reason is that we understand them because we are them. We know what players from this generation are looking for in games. We know how this generation thinks and what it wants from gambling.

CB: What importance do loyalty and bonusing tools play? Which do you deem the most effective?

NG: Everything in our business starts with the player. To ensure engagement the provider and the operator have to work together to ensure that the loyalty program works hand in hand with the bonusing tools that the provider has. It is not about what is more or less effective, but rather that the effect is the combination of both items. 

CB: The UKGC has unveiled a number of new measures to be applied to online slot games, what impact will this have and do you believe similar such rules could become implemented further afield?

NG: All measures presented in any jurisdiction have to protect the player and ensure fair play. UKGC has presented some reasonable new measures such as slowing down the spins animation and forcing providers to clearly display wins and losses. 

I’m absolutely in agreement with this particular part of the regulation. However; when the regulator starts enforcing how the game has to look and sound – that is when these laws move away from the core principle of protecting the player and satisfying a group of beneficiaries. 

With this said every jurisdiction will be continuously adapting to the market, new laws will be written, old laws will be removed. And as long as the main purpose of these laws is to ensure fair play then we will be in good hands.