Industry Q&A: The future of iGaming
Industry insiders discuss the importance and direction of digital gaming
November 8, 2018
Like technology, iGaming innovations are gaining speed, with new products being offered at casinos on a regular basis. Canadian Gaming Business recently asked senior executives from leading gaming companies about the growing role digital gaming has on their organization, and on the gaming industry as a whole. Here’s what they had to say.
Kathleen McLaughlin, Vice President of Product Management and Marketing, NOVOMATIC Americas
David Flinn, Regional Vice President, Canada, IGT
Matt Davey, Group Chief Executive, SG Digital
What are some of the biggest challenges facing the digital gaming industry and how is your organization positioning itself to best deal with these challenges?
Kathleen McLaughlin: Competition continues to increase. Casinos are looking for ways to gain a digital edge. Delivering great games is important, but it isn’t enough. The games and digital site must be supported by a well thought out promotional infrastructure and an evolving entertainment functionality. It must have complete collaboration and cooperation amongst all areas, both internally and externally, with clear, achievable outcomes. For NOVOMATIC and Greentube Entertainment Solutions, this means providing new, cool gamification features as well as other cutting-edge concepts and working with the organizational experts within each partner company to define success. Greentube is a pioneer in the development of state-of-the-art gaming. Working with them is opening up huge new opportunities for both of us.
The past few years have had rapid growth in the digital space. We think 2019 will be another outstanding year for Greentube. Players are so familiar with their mobile devices that playing games on them is a given. [This] allows content creators to push game development boundaries and create unique experiences that entertain players in a new way.
David Flinn: One of the biggest challenges facing the digital gaming industry is the often fragmented experience that players encounter across channels. In an ideal situation, players could enjoy their favourite games in a casino, on a mobile device or online, and have a seamless experience that accounts for game progress and earned rewards across all three platforms. Similarly, operators would benefit from this ‘total view of the player,’ and would be positioned to establish more robust and personalized loyalty programs based on this view.
To overcome this challenge, IGT is working closely with our customers to develop and implement solutions that can deliver a more cohesive experience. Our omni-channel Powerbucks product, where there is shared jackpot liquidity across platforms, is an ideal example of meaningful progress in this area.
Matt Davey: The biggest challenge is access to top talent to keep up with the demands of our evolving market. We’re keen on maintaining high levels of innovation across the business, sharing knowledge internally as well as recruiting those at the forefront of their field. While we have dedicated teams for different branches of our business—sports, casino, content, etc.—we‘re structured to ensure those teams are in constant communication as they learn new technology, development and processes to support our customers across the globe.
Keeping up with changing trends always presents a challenge in gaming, whether it’s digital or land-based. It’s critical to stay on top of rapidly changing technology and ever-evolving players. Our customers trust us to stay ahead of the curve.
Where do you see the greatest growth opportunities for digital gaming in 2018 and beyond?
KM: Players know what they want and our team is keenly aware and anticipates those needs to meet the constantly changing expectations. We are poised and have the resources to quickly adapt to change. The greatest growth potential is in agile, quick, intelligent adaptation to customer trends.
MD: This one comes twofold. First, you have the recent repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Betting Act (PASPA) in the United States, which opens up opportunity for our sportsbook.
Second, content and how it’s distributed/consumed will be a key growth factor both in 2018 and in the years to come. Content is a key component to any gaming business, and everyone has their own design and development processes. There’s constant innovation with focus on the presentation. How can we deliver the maximum amount of content to the widest range of players? For us, our Open Gaming System (OGS) positions us for massive growth in this area by allowing us to feature incredible content from our nine internal development studios and top-notch third-party providers. For operators, the OGS solution provides instant access to a huge, diverse game library that keeps players interested and adds new games on a regular basis.