When Gaming Realms went live with DraftKings in Connecticut, it represented another big step forward in the games developer’s North American expansion plans. CasinoBeats caught up with the company’s Senior Account Executive Davide Colosimo to find out more about its strategy for the US and Canada, and why its Slingo games have proved a hit with local audiences.
CasinoBeats: Gaming Realms is now live with Slingo games in numerous US states and also in Canada. How have American audiences received your content so far?
Davide Colosimo: Slingo is a game and brand that’s been long established in social, online, and brick-and-mortar casinos, and also through lottery scratch-off tickets in retail shops throughout the United States and Canada. For real money online gaming, Gaming Realms initially launched its portfolio in New Jersey seven years ago and has since gone live in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Connecticut in the US, as well as Ontario and Quebec in Canada.
Because of its long history in North America, many players are familiar with Slingo as a concept, which has been hugely beneficial as we establish the brand in regulated igaming markets in North America.
Our portfolio has been high-performing, and players are excited to be able to play the many versions of Slingo that we have for real money online gaming like Lucky Larry’s Lobstermania Slingo, Slingo Deal or No Deal, and Slingo Deadliest Catch to name just a few.
Additionally, integrating familiar brands such as Deal or No Deal into our titles has allowed us to gain mass market appeal within the US and attract audiences via recognisable aesthetics and themes. We’ve also found that we retain these players week after week at an exceptionally high rate, which is a sign that the games are resonating extremely well with local audiences.
CasinoBeats: What is the key focus for Gaming Realms in North America when it comes to attracting local audiences?
DC: We frequently engage with both players and operators to gather feedback on what we can do better, what features and themes they would like to see more of, and what other trends are occurring in the gaming industry not limited to just the online gaming space. The regulated markets are still maturing, and player preferences can rapidly change, so we need to always have a finger on the pulse to react accordingly.
We want to ensure that our content is fit for purpose and that we always bring relevant and entertaining games to players. A great example of this is how our popular title Slingo Shark Week, released in partnership with Everi, was partly a result of numerous operators asking for a Slingo game that features several bonus rounds. Gaming Realms has also developed a number of hyper-localised titles which have been very well received, including New York Jets Slingo, Detroit Red Wings Slingo and Detroit Tigers Slingo, which were exclusively launched with BetMGM and aim to attract local sports fans in different markets.
As we work to further grow our reach in the region, marketing plays a large role in raising brand awareness around new content, new operator launches, and company or game achievements throughout the year on various social and media channels.
CasinoBeats: With igaming being a more mature market in Europe, how can European companies use their knowledge and expertise to benefit American operators and engage players?
DC: Many of the games that players are now choosing to play online in North America have previously been released and tested throughout Europe for quite some time. We have had the opportunity to experiment with new game concepts and themes, market them properly throughout the player lifecycle, and then leverage the data obtained for future game designs – that’s only going to be helpful for US operators with respect to player engagement and offerings.
The players will also benefit, having a larger variety of games to experience alongside their already established favourites, and receiving relevant marketing messages and offers.
CasinoBeats: Having established yourselves in several US states already, what is next for Gaming Realms when it comes to expansion in North America?
DC: We’re closely monitoring the legal landscape for opportunities to enter new markets, as more states consider legalising online gaming. In Canada, we went live in Ontario and Quebec last year, and we’re aiming to be live in other provinces before the close of 2023.
We have a number of new operator partnerships in the pipeline and look forward to further expanding our footprint in the region and introducing our content to new audiences.
CasinoBeats: What can we expect from Gaming Realms in the coming months from a product point of view?
DC: Get your popcorn ready because we’re always innovating and forming strategic partnerships to deliver something new and exciting for Slingo players.
We’re starting off the year hot with Slingo Cleopatra, in partnership with IGT. Players will see lots of familiar themes and features from the legendary Cleopatra slot built into our Slingo game mechanic.
In time for the Lunar New Year, we are also launching Slingo Golden Envelope that will include some new collectible features that unlock bonus rounds. Lastly, Slingo takes to the high seas in Slingo Pirates Treasure at the back end of Q1.
We’re also looking to deliver new concepts and features within our games this year, such as free rounds and free spins, and we will expand on our recently-launched collectible feature. We’re also excited to be offering more best-in-class slots via our distribution partnership with 4ThePlayer. This is just the beginning of a year-long release calendar comprising only the highest quality games to come in 2023.