Its time to meet out third London Baby Sponsor Evoplay! Chief Operating Officer Sergey Mischenko explains what his firm has in store for ICE Totally Gaming and London Baby!
SBC: What has your company and its services and operations learned from 2014?
Sergey: 2014 was not an easy year for us but we have successfully met all challenges and finished the year with record performance figures that satisfied the most optimistic expectations of our b2b partners. The main conclusion I would like to make when looking back at the past year is this: the online gambling market of the CIS is becoming more and more dominated by operators offering complex (package) solutions; whose portfolios feature all the components required to ensure effective operation of an online casino. If you work with such vendor or you are one of them, you can react efficiently and promptly to changes in the market and to customer demand, in any of their sectors; such as games, platforms, payment processing, marketing, and advertising. In addition, cooperation with such vendors provides the operator with one point of entry to satisfy all its needs and ensures the complexity of the services provided, in turn saving operational resources.
SBC: What new products will Evoplay company be delivering in 2015?
Sergey: In 2015 Evoplay will work to strengthen its leading position in the online gambling market of the CIS, as well as work hard to build up its market presence in Eastern Europe.
A considerable amount of resources will be allocated to integrate products with the same target audiences; such as online casinos, sports betting, poker and others. We will also attend to products and services designed for users of mobile devices. In 2015 Evoplay will continue to keep its fans happy by releasing new absorbing and thrilling games. Last year, we launched 5 exciting slots which soon became very popular.
SBC: What key topics and discussion do you feel will dominate industry in agenda in 2015?
Sergey: I believe that in 2015 the most relevant topics in the online casino industry will be connected, in one way or another, with cross-platform solutions, capable of providing the customer with the content he is interested in for any device he uses. Technologies used to attract potential users of products and services will also be of great importance. Evoplay pays significant attention to the latter. To attract target audiences to our products, and our partners’ alike, we use many ways of promotion: media buy, affiliates, SEO, and SMM. As a result, millions of dollars are spent every year in attracting potential customers. Increasing effectiveness of customer attraction by a mere 5-10% will bring considerable benefits.
SBC: Which new technology, service or consumer trend will have the biggest impact on the igaming industry in 2015?
Sergey: Thanks to modern development technologies, ample opportunities for integration of various products have been made available to operators and, as a consequence, to end users. As a result, the customer gets used to receiving all in one place – quality products and services, such as online casino, sports betting, poker and other products. Customers grow less and less dependent on dozens of accounts at various websites because now they can get the good quality products that they are used to – and all in one place. Nevertheless, the extent of integration still leaves much to be desired, and this makes vast room for effective operation. That is why I think that in 2015 the most influence on industry will be exerted by solutions with a high extent of integration of products and services allowing operators to expand their scope of target audience considerably and to spend funds invested into promotion of their products in a more effective way. Similarly, development of cryptocurrencies – particularly, that of Bitcoin – should not be omitted as the emergence of a wonderful alternative mode of payment. The considerable influence of Bitcoin on the game industry is proven by holding of the specialized conference, the first of its kind, on Bitcoin in igaming, which took place in London last year. Furthermore, ICE conferences will have Bitcoin devoted sessions where reportedly we will have the opportunity to see the regulatory future, address key compliance challenges, and clarify our top questions on how to implement bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the gaming business.
SBC: Why have you chosen to begin 2015 by sponsoring London Baby 2015?
Sergey: There haven’t been that many exciting events in the industry recently. Still there are exceptions! ‘London Baby!’ was the best networking event during the ICE conference last year, attracting both ICE attendees and other iGaming professionals. We are extremely excited to be a sponsor of ‘London Baby!’ this year. This event presents us with a great opportunity to highlight newly launched projects and last year achievements, see our partners from other countries in one place, and have fun at the same time.
SBC: Finally can you give SBC readers one industry prediction for 2015?
Sergey: Judging from the forecasts by H2 Gambling Capital, the igaming market will only experience a small growth in 2015 because of the new judicial initiatives tightening the market environment, for example, the new law in the UK. Even those companies who have taken care to secure their UK Gambling License will have to live with the new 15% ‘Point of Consumption tax’ and therefore, to look for new ways of increasing their revenues. The trend for high regulation of markets will be continued in 2015 as well. The all-European laws bind the EU member states to introduce local regulations for their gambling markets. This path has already been taken by Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, amongst other countries. In the earliest possible timeframe the issue of licensed gambling will become relevant for every EU member. That is where operators will face the problem of searching for innovative solutions and ways to make more money. In such a situation the complex solution by EvoPlay will help optimize their expenses in non-regulated markets and increase their income, as it allows cutting costs of promotion and project operation, and helps to ensure obtaining a high-class cross-platform product.
There is no point in denying the importance of having mobile versions of gambling projects. Nowadays, smartphones and tablets literally live in people’s pockets and that is why the mobile ensures 50% of the revenue for key operators. No big casino can do without a mobile version and a pay office; that is why operators should pay even more attention to the convenience of gambling, the range of games offered, and deposition of money at mobile casinos.
A Bitcoin casino may become a new trend in 2015. In today’s game industry the Bitcoin is the phenomenon for all market players to watch closely and keep their finger on the pulse. The online gaming business is so unique that it requires an equally unique mode of payment. A currency free from any government regulations, the money transferred almost instantly, a completely open accounting scheme with any user remaining anonymous while demonstrating absolute transparency of transactions – if it all did not exist, it should have been invented. The year 2015 is the time for even greater success and undertakings, and we are confident to achieve much more!
Sergey Mischenko Chief Operating Officer – Evoplay
London Baby! is being held on Tuesday 3 February at the swanky Cafe De Paris in Central London. The free networking evening is made possible thanks to the generosity of our sponsors. Sign up here to make sure you have a ticket.