2021 was a challenging year for the gaming business for so many reasons, with a lack of industry events creating a particularly painful dilemma for stakeholders. CasinoBeats spoke with Ondrej Lapides, CEO of Tom Horn Gaming, to find out how the company adapted to those challenges while simultaneously preparing for when normal business resumes.
According to Ondrej Lapides, CEO of Tom Horn Gaming, it’s been a case of “business as usual” for the leading game developer, despite the tumultuous events of the past 22 months and the absence of the industry’s biggest events.
“The lack of big events such as ICE Totally Gaming made us consider alternative solutions to reunite with our clients,” he explained. “These face-to face discussions provided priceless insights into what they care about and are looking to accomplish so that we could better prioritise what matters to our customer base.
“We have established a more personal approach to our partners, which we believe will lead to strengthening our business relationships and further growth. We’ve reinforced our people-centred culture and empowered our 100 per cent remote working team with new policies and procedures which highlight freedom and trust in our team members.”
He added: “We rethought our strategies in all areas, optimised our business procedures to align them with fast-paced changes, while allowing them to enhance our operational efficiency and accelerate our business growth.”
Looking back to last October, the company made its entry into the Romanian market with leading operator MaxBet. We asked Lapides to expand on that development and gauge the response from Romanian players to Tom Horn Gaming’s products.
“We had our eyes on Romania right from the offset of it being regulated,” he responded. “The country has a rich history of land-based gaming and we were positive that online gambling will be equally popular among the local player community, whilst providing a lot of growth opportunities for igaming businesses.”
“We made our entry into the market with MaxBet, one of the leading brands in the country, and a selection of our top performing slot titles, which have ever since proved to be in high demand among the operator’s players.”
The CEO continued: “In 2022 we’ll be furthering our games offering for Romania and expanding our reach with long standing brands as well as newer entrants to satisfy a huge appetite for high-quality gaming content.”
Tom Horn Gaming has also made inroads to Latvia with 11.lv, further cementing its position in the Baltic region where the company has enjoyed tremendous success.
Lapides explained: “The Baltic market plays an important role in our business strategy. We were the first online provider to penetrate the market with TopSport in Lithuania in 2016 and ever since we have seen our games perform extremely well.
“We know the market inside out and have a solid understanding of what games players crave. Our close collaboration with local operator partners allows us to bring additional value and uniqueness to our product offering, thus making us always one step ahead of the competition.”
According to Lapides, expanding into the Latvian market was a natural evolution of the firm’s presence in the Baltics. He stated: “Like any other jurisdiction, the Latvian gambling market has its own peculiarities and hurdles providers have to face and deal with to successfully launch their products.
“A complicated technical regulatory landscape is one of the stumbling blocks which might discourage a good few businesses from tapping into this market, as the standards in place make it tedious to enter and release games, especially when you work with multiple operators.”
With 2021 receding into the distance, Lapides was keen to focus on 2022, boldly predicting that it will be another productive and successful year for team Tom Horn Gaming with a number of exciting new developments in the pipeline.
“Together with our operator partners we will continue to gain further ground in markets where we are firmly set via a close cooperation to facilitate product diversification and develop unique content that caters to players in specific markets,” he said.
“We’ve been working hard on a number of new integrations and 2022 will see our content spreading further across the leading names in the igaming industry, with new regulated markets added to our roster.”
On the product innovation front, he added: “We always carefully observe the key trends in game development, whilst keeping an eye on the changing preferences of players and the needs of our operator partners in domestic markets to supply products that are truly unique, acquire new players, and boost retention of existing customers.
“Our 2022 product road map reflects these objectives and is bursting with engaging new titles, which will build on tried-and-tested game concepts as well as introduce new mechanics and features to keep our players entertained and bring our customer success efforts to the next level.”
Wrapping up, Lapides concluded: “Having added more depth to our product and technical teams, we will be able to deliver more titles during the next 12 months, whilst improving our technical capabilities and making our entries into more regulated markets.