Strong expertise gained in the land-based gaming sector is to stand Greentube in good stead ahead of the country’s online ecosystem opening up later in the year, says Reg Das, managing director of Greentube Netherlands.
Dutch gambling’s long awaited new regulated online gambling marketplace is due to official kick-start on October 1, six months after the opening of a licensing window which produced a plethora of applications.
After being on the wish-list for numerous industry incumbents for quite some time, Das touches upon reasons for entering the region, the necessity to act fast, and the importance of the Netherlands in Greentube’s overall global ambitions.
CasinoBeats: Firstly, what are the reasons behind Greentube entering the Dutch market?
Reg Das: Greentube is in an excellent position to enter the Dutch market for several reasons. Greentube’s parent company Novomatic is the leading supplier of slot machines in the Dutch land-based market, so local players are already familiar with their content from playing their games on machines in bars, gaming arcades and casinos. We also offer online versions of these well-known and proven titles so our content immediately resonates with the online audience.
In addition, Novomatic Netherlands acquired three leading game development companies of Dutch fruit machines around 2014 – Eurocoin Gaming, JVH Gaming Products and Elam. These creative teams have been, and still are, a dominant force in the Dutch market with history dating back more than 50 years. Many of the most popular Dutch fruit machines originate from one of these three iconic Dutch companies and Greentube will bring online versions of their games to local Dutch players.
CB: How important is it to act quickly when entering a new territory such as this?
RD: Considering a market already exists in the Netherlands, although it is unregulated at the moment, several of the largest operators that have been active in the region will need to undergo a ‘cooling off period’ when the regulated market opens on October 1 and will not be able to get a licence until that period has ended.
“Locally relevant games are very important in the Dutch market”
This offers a chance for new regulated operators to move in and gain market share. These new operators, as well as Dutch land-based incumbents, must apply for a licence before April 15 to be allowed to enter the market on October 1.
Now that the regulations and policy rules of the country’s regulator, Kansspelautoriteit, are clear and the licence application window is open, these new operators are shopping for content. We have already had many prospective licensees enquire about our titles because they need to get their systems, including games, tested and certified. This means we also have to move quickly, to make sure that we can provide our games to these operators when the market opens.
CB: How important is it to provide localised content to Dutch players and how does this idea tie in with your acquisition of Eurocoin Interactive?
RD: Locally relevant games are very important in the Dutch market, even more so than in other markets and so-called “classic slots” are hugely popular. These classic slots are online versions of proven fruit machines and it is estimated that this segment makes up 30 per cent of the overall slots turnover.
Additionally, a large proportion of land-based games are custom-made for the Dutch market, due to very specific machine regulations and player preferences. With players already being familiar to this type of content, it is natural that they want to play the same localised games online as well.
Greentube acquired Eurocoin Interactive from Novomatic Netherlands earlier this year as their digital portfolio was seen as a better strategic fit to Greentube than the land-based focus of Novomatic Netherlands. Eurocoin Interactive has been developing online versions of the most popular Dutch fruit machines including renowned local best-sellers such as Random Runner and Simply Wild.
Their portfolio of classic slots, together with Novomatic’s content which also has a loyal audience in the land-based market, allows Greentube to offer Dutch players familiar games that are tailored to their preferences.
“The Netherlands is widely viewed as a market of great potential”
CB: What would you say is specific about the Dutch player?
RD: As in all markets, there are several types of players, each with their own habits and preferences. One group of players prefers international content and the best international slots, but another significant group of Dutch players appreciate local games, many of which have their origins in the land-based market.
Through its acquisition of Eurocoin Interactive, Greentube gained access to a wealth of knowledge about Dutch land-based games and the preferences of players in this segment. Most of Eurocoin Interactive’s game designers and developers started their careers creating games for the land-based market and several have more than 25 years of experience developing content for Dutch players which puts us in a perfect position to create games that we know players will love and come back to.
CB: What importance does the Netherlands have within Greentube’s growth strategy?
RD: The Netherlands is widely viewed as a market of great potential for the online gaming industry. Our strong expertise in the land-based sector in the country means that we possess a great understanding of the particular conditions of the Dutch market, which gives us an advantage as we aim to deliver engaging and entertaining casino and classic slot titles to operators and their players.
While it represents an important market for Greentube, the Netherlands is one of several new jurisdictions that form a core element within our growth strategy. Looking at the roadmap for the rest of this year, we are continuing to expand across Europe, where Germany is also on the horizon. Our recent entry into Canada with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation can also be seen as an initial move within a forthcoming wider expansion into North America including the United States.