The ferocious pace at which the industry continues to advance and develop is not lost on anyone, however, it is nonetheless a challenge that is confronted and embraced by many individuals the world over.
Any one of a multitude of occurrences can bring a sudden change of tact, or similar such action, an array of which are currently evident across a number of European jurisdictions.
To shine a light over a handful of such events, CasinoBeats has been speaking to Phil Manzi, director of markets at Casumo, who elaborates on growth in locally regulated markets, the seemingly never ending wave of fresh igaming titles, and the casino operator’s outlook when it comes to sporting sponsorships.
It is with the latter where we start, and with such backlash being evident, not just in the UK but across an array of markets, Manzi begins by touching upon the company’s current plans when it comes to such partnerships.
“The trend we’re seeing in regulated markets is towards more and more sponsorship restrictions,” he begins. “In Spain, a market we launched earlier this year, we have already seen drastic changes in the sponsorship space.
“In the UK, there have been consultations on the subject. In response to these movements, we have already transitioned from being the main kit sponsor to an official partnership with Reading FC.
“We strongly believe in the value of associating our brand with sports, in general, but we’re also very conscious of the responsibility we have towards the more vulnerable and young segments that the wider sports audience reaches.
“That’s why we constantly work to align our marketing efforts, including sponsorship opportunities, with our values and efforts in responsible gambling, which also makes us highly critical and selective in choosing the right partners and communication channels for our brands.”
“There’s a fine balance between providing both quantity and quality to the players”
In August of this year Casumo extended its Reading FC collaboration, with the club subsequently stating that the group has “gone to extraordinary lengths to help the club promote inclusivity and equality within football” adding that it has also “gone above and beyond what we would expect from a sponsor”.
Moving forward Manzi touches upon a potential transition that could see Casumo Cares become the focal point of the company’s sporting sponsorship network.
“Most definitely. Casumo Cares and awareness messaging related to responsible gambling has been the centre of our sponsorship communications, including our partnership with Reading FC in the UK,” Manzi adds.
“We have leveraged all the touchpoints available to share this messaging with both players and the general public—from LEDs and posters throughout Madejski Stadium to the communications on our social media accounts.
“This is one way that we can contribute to increasing the awareness of problem gambling and the signs associated with it, so that the vulnerable are able to get the help and support they need before their gambling even becomes a problem.”
From here the conversation changes tack, with attention turned to igaming itself to initially examine a flood of new slot releases that appears to be getting ever larger.
Manzi acknowledges that the increasing speed and volume at which games are being brought to the market can impact the quality of new releases.
“Of course this can impact the quality of new releases. There’s a fine balance between providing both quantity and quality to the players,” he continues.
“We manage that balance by carefully curating which games we give prominence to—both in terms of placement and promotions. Our aim is to always deliver the best experience to players whenever they log in to one of our products.
“…we are always on the lookout for and investigating new opportunities”
“That means ensuring they can discover the latest, greatest releases, as well as easily find their favourite game, whether that’s number one on our list or the last.”
Before moving on to detail if the quality of games expected to be offered by operators can be truly maintained when faced with such a quantity of releases: “Quality is subjective. Some of the most basic and bland games have gained enormous traction and popularity in the world of gaming. Therefore, what we review and judge games on has become quite nuanced.
“We have to be selective, on behalf of our players, and anticipate what they would enjoy giving a try. Doing that amongst the growing noise of releases today is an ongoing challenge.”
With expansion always on the agenda, at the turn of the month Casumo, like many other operators, discontinued access for players in the Netherlands following regulatory policy changes.
To continue the discussion, Manzi elaborates on the group’s plans for entering the country, and touches upon how key he believes the territory will become for both Casumo and the industry in general.
“We know that regulation brings so many opportunities for operators and it’s no different for The Netherlands; hence why we saw many companies discontinue access for players in the market following the recent policy changes introduced by the Dutch regulator, Kansspelautoriteit.
“It’s a mature market for igaming and we hope to be able to bring our brands to the players next year. At this point, we are taking the necessary steps to apply and prepare for a full licence to be able to operate in 2022.”
To conclude, CB casts the net far and wide, with Manzi quizzed on a previously expressed Casumo ambition of further developing and growing its brands in locally regulated markets.
“This year, we are proud to have brought our Dunder and Kazoom Casino brands to the Swedish market,” he says of which markets are next being considered.
“In addition to entering newly regulated markets, there’s the parallel track of further developing our brand portfolio within markets where we already hold licences. This allows us the opportunity to reach an even wider audience with the unique value propositions of our distinct brand portfolio.
“As for other regulating markets, we are always on the lookout for and investigating new opportunities. Today, we are closely following, with interest, the evolutions taking place in Canada and Germany, for example.”