Entering a market for the first time is an exciting prospect for any company. It brings with it opportunities for growth, new audiences and, ultimately, fresh sources of revenue.
So when Ontario opened up its doors to a regulated sports betting and igaming industry, it’s no surprise that many European companies jumped at the chance to enter this nascent market. Swintt was one such company.
In a chat at the recent Canadian Gaming Summit, Swintt CEO David Mann began the discussion with CasinoBeats by focusing on, you guessed it, the Ontario market.
For Swintt, this newly-regulated jurisdiction is one glimmering with promise and opportunity for global expansion. More significantly, the Ontario market also marks the company’s first foray into the North American space.
Mann began: “We’re going through the licensing process for our Ontario licence at the moment, and we expect to have this in the next couple of months. One of the reasons that we’re interested in Ontario is because it marks our first step into the regulated North American markets.
“Of course, we do have ambitions to enter the US at some point, but we’re starting with Canada. We’re very confident that this is going to be a very exciting market for us.
“A lot of our operator partners are already live in Ontario, so we’re looking forward to being able to launch our games in this province and see our games go live. We’ve got a variety of content from across our portfolio – plenty that we at Swintt have developed as well as games from third parties. That’ll mean that Canadian players will benefit from a wide array of content.”
As Mann explained, you can’t just enter the North American market with a basket of European-focused content and expect to be successful. A founding principle of Swintt has been to tailor content to individual audiences – a lesson that will be carried through into its Ontario expansion.
“Since formation, one of our strategies has been to try and offer relevant content for relevant markets,” Mann added. “I think the greatest success example that we’ve had with this was with a German land-based company where we distribute their land-based style games.
“We distribute their games not only in Germany but also across the Netherlands and other Eastern European countries where we have seen players show a preference for this type of content.
“The biggest learning to take is to really try to tailor the right content to the right market. In Ontario, we will use this approach – we will look at the games that we have which we believe may appeal to Canadian players, and will also try to source additional games that we think Ontario bettors will enjoy.”
Swintt plans to bring much more bespoke content to audiences via its SwinttStudios – a content aggregation platform that enables smaller studio partners to roll out its content to wider audiences, market new games using the firm’s promotional tools and enter into new markets.
From an operator perspective, the CEO continued, using the SwinttStudios platform ultimately provides players with a wider variety of content, and therefore an elevated gameplay experience.
He said: “We know that there is a lot of content already available. But we’re trying to cut through the noise and tell our partners ‘look, we have this studio that is producing these games that are relevant for you’.
“We don’t want to provide our partners with games that don’t fit with their audience, there’s no time to do that. We’re not trying to put a square peg in a round hole to try and get the right content that works for operators.”
From a studio perspective, the benefits differ somewhat – most notably, partners will benefit from Swintt’s distribution network as well as access to the platform provider’s marketing tools.
Mann continued: “We offer coverage across our operator network as well as entry into new markets via our state-of-the-art platform. So we really want to try and make it easy for studios to connect with operators through Swintt.
“SwinttStudios is offering much more of a boutique approach to content distribution by providing access to games from smaller studios who maybe bring something different to the table. We’re trying to find these small, exciting companies that are developing something different and bring that to our audience.
“By coming on to our platform, we obviously then support these studios with our promotional tools and, as I mentioned earlier, provide them with quick access into new markets too.”
Offering this market access is something that Swintt believes will help remove some of the administrative burdens associated with being a ‘smaller studio’.
Mann told CasinoBeats that a large portion of any studio’s time, and budget, is spent sifting through the different regulatory requirements that must be met when looking to expand into new markets. However, SwinttStudios aims to alleviate this headache.
He said: “I think if you’re a small studio, one of the things that’s going to cause you the most time and resources and money is entering new markets and compliance with those new regulations.
“You have to go through quite a lot of compliance processes before being able to receive your licence and certification. But at Swintt, we cover that for our partners.
“SwinttStudios means that small studios can get quick access into massive exciting markets like Ontario and the UK. We want to be able to enable them to get that quick rollout of content, come through us, receive their licence and then enter the new market quickly.
“A lot of our operators are multi-jurisdictional. So working with some of our large-scale operator partners, you can quickly get your content online across multiple different markets at once. That is one of our key selling points.”
Talk soon turned to other markets that may be on Swintt’s global expansion plan for 2023. Whilst Ontario is going to be a significant focus for the next few months, Mann suggested that this isn’t going to be the only big market entry on the cards.
He concluded: “We’re also looking at the Romanian and Greek market in 2023. We’re hoping to enter Switzerland, Bulgaria and Ontario of course. We’ve got quite a few different markets that we’ll launch our content in, so it’s going to be an exciting few months.
“We acquired a Swedish licence so we can keep our presence there alive, but we’re always eager to hear about other markets that we can enter.”