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How Gaming Industry Is Dealing with COVID-19 Pandemic

Niji Narayan

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How Gaming Industry Is Dealing with COVID-19 Pandemic
Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

“There is nothing in the world that is not in this.”

Mahabharata, the Indian mythological epic

Well, the Hindu epic was certainly not referring to Corona. (In fact, it was referring to itself.)

If there is anything that merits such a claim at the moment, it has to be the COVID-19 virus. There is nothing indeed in the world right now that is not in the Corona-induced-fear-triggered crisis.

Its human toll is immeasurable and still growing. Businesses have been crippled. The betting and gambling industry is not immune to its effects either.

All the sports leagues in the world have been ground to a halt, suspending the entire spectrum of betting activities. Even the Olympics has been postponed. Many land-based casinos have been closed. Even those functioning are offering only limited access.

Multi-pronged Crisis

The economic impact on the gaming industry is going to be severe. Bill Miller, American Gaming Association President and CEO, has already called for government support. He listed the many sections of the gambling vertical that will be affected by the economic consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak in a statement:

“An estimated 616,000 casino gaming employees are prevented from working because of the important health and safety decisions made by state governments… The impact on our employees, their families, and communities is staggering, and the implications extend far beyond the casino floor. Leading technology companies that supply the industry, and the nearly 350,000 small business employees that rely on gaming for their livelihood, are also feeling the devastating blow of this unprecedented public health crisis.”

He predicted a grim economic situation if the government remains inactive in the near future:

“The federal government must act swiftly and comprehensively to get America’s hospitality employees, and the small businesses that support them, back to work…. In total, these mass closures will rob the U.S. economy of $43.5 billion in economic activity if American casinos remain closed for the next eight weeks.”

While he was talking about the US scenario, the situation is not much different in European and Asian countries. None of the industry experts would disagree with him on his following assessment of the industry:

“Gaming is an economic engine, employing millions of local residents, generating community investment through vital tax revenue, and supporting small businesses in communities…”

Bloom Amidst Gloom

It is not all one-way traffic of bad news either.

The e-sports sector has seemingly received a boost, with locked-down people flocking to e-sports and betting based on these games in the absence of traditional betting avenues.

Some of the gaming companies have found a sudden surge in traffic. Peter Ivanov, the head of trading at Bulgaria-based UltraPlay, says the customer interest towards its e-sports offerings is growing per day.

He says optimistically:

“We experienced a 30% increased turnover only in the first 5 days after the traditional sports shutdown. This is growing on a day-to-day basis as more people get involved. We expect this to get in 100’s% once all eSports leagues restart playing online.”

Ian Hills, general manager of Blexr, a Malta-based digital marketing and media company catering to the gaming sector, also reports similar trends:

“With the cancellation of much of the world’s sporting calendar we’ve naturally felt the effects in our sports revenues but results in our core competency of casino are holding fast, with our flagship brand recording several all-time highs over the last few weeks.”

How Industry People Are Coping

As there is a renewed buzz around e-gaming, online casinos and other internet-based activities, there cannot be a total shut down of the gaming industry.

Almost all companies have migrated to a work-from-home mode. Blexr’s Hills sums up how his company responded to the pandemic:

“We acted quickly and decisively in the face of growing anxiety about COVID-19, which is why we are entering our second week of being an entirely remote organisation. We wanted to adhere to government advice over social distancing and also we felt our collective responsibility to lessen the impact of the disease.”

Diana Rotaru, co-founder of Vegas Slots, says the best approach is to look for alternate products and support everyone around, especially the employees. She suggests:

“Regarding COVID-19, I understand that we are facing new and uncertain times. However I think people need to remain rational and try to think of the next steps and the best solution for their businesses , employees and the ones around us. It is also very important for companies to remain supportive and understanding with their employees and the people around them.”

It helped that online processes and operations can lend themselves to such quick and flexible transformation from office to home. In fact, the work-from-home option has been in vogue in several companies. Hills adds:

“Blexr has offered unlimited remote working as a flexible option for employees for over a year so we’ve got lots of battle-hardened experience at virtual meetings, VPN connections and maintaining the human interaction necessary for teams to work together.”

How Technology Companies Reacted

The technology service providers, though largely invisible to the public eye, are the rock around which the gaming industry is built. How are they doing?

Igor Markovic, a director board member at NSoft, a technology provider to betting industry based in Bosnia and Herzegovina, says his company has announced an unprecedented rescue package to the partners:

“In order to mitigate this demanding period, we have come up with a rescue package that will help our partners at this very moment and consequently, after all this is over, increase their business operation results. NSoft is ready to provide full support to its partners offering its virtual and draw-based games portfolio completely free of charge from 1 April to 1 June. Having no setup fees, no minimum monthly fees and no monthly revenue share invoices for two months will certainly help our partners to overcome these difficult months.”

Rarely do you find such remarkably generous gestures in the betting and gambling industry, where words like cut-throat and competition are more frequently used than the words like chivalry.

Be sure of that: Corona – another C-word – is bringing in some previously unheard-of positive changes too.

What’s in Store in Future?

The situation at present is such that the future can only be bright. There is no other way. But how bright it is going to be? And for whom it will shine the brightest?

There is a widely held view that e-sports and online casinos will thrive. Rotaru clearly subscribes to that view. She says:

“While live betting and live dealers are affected, there are alternative products that are unaffected by the existing situation, mainly e-sports like Call of Duty, DOTA and online Casinos games like table games and slots.”

Tim Grice, the Chief Executive Officer of Connective3, a UK-based digital marketing agency in the gaming sector, acknowledges the increased traffic towards the igaming platforms:

“We have seen an increased amount of traffic and conversions across igaming (casino/poker/bingo) as well as certain financial products and services … but there is no doubt some serious pain across multiple sectors.”

However, he expects the business to bounce back across all sectors and predicts a growth wave once the crisis is over.

“The best piece of advice I can give is to … have enough in the bank to see your business through 6 months of no revenue … and the funds to invest when the world wakes up. We’re anticipating a huge wave of growth when normality returns and as a business, we want to be in position to take full advantage.”

While COVID-19 is still wrecking its havoc, industry leaders are already planning ahead. They are clearly betting on the crisis to end – sooner rather than later.

Perhaps the real battle of epic, Mahabharata proportions will start in the gaming industry when the Corona outbreak is subsumed. Now is the time to prepare for the battle –mostly from home though.

Industry News

Casino.se Exclusive Interview: Play’ n GO predicts the future

George Miller

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Casino.se Exclusive Interview: Play’ n GO predicts the future
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

More innovation and customised content are needed to succeed

Casino.se sat down with Play’n GO Head of Sales Magnus Olsson to discuss his predictions for the 2020 casino industry.

2019 was a success story for Play’n GO, highlighting the popular Tome of Madness slot game as one of their many big hits. Still Olsson also drew attention to the company’s music-based titles like Testament which have been extremely well received.

And while the software provider continues to grow its portfolio of popular games with innovative adventure-themed titles like Shield of Athena, Play’n GO have set their sights on ensuring their unique brand of exciting games will be found in all regulated markets.

Olsson is convinced that the formula for success is to focus on a better gaming experience at all time and he suggests casinos to concentrate their efforts on doing the same. Olsson pointed to operators who have been able to use “some sort of AI (artificial intelligence) on the front end” to show “different games to different audiences and tailoring their offering towards various demographics.”

There’s a lot to look forward to, yet more that can be done, when it comes to creating new games.  From gamification to 3D, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, Olsson called on the industry to help push the development needed to bring the technology to wider audiences saying, “we would love to show what we can do!”

Click here to read the full interview and learn more about the future of online gambling according to Play’n Go.

 

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Industry News

Triple Cherry video slots live now at BigBola and BetMotion casinos

George Miller

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Triple Cherry video slots live now at BigBola and BetMotion casinos
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Triple Cherry, the Spanish game developer company, is pleased to announce the launch of its video slots at BigBola and BetMotion online casinos.

Both casinos will offer its players the most complete selection of games with the highest levels of quality, all these with a wide diversity of themes so the player will have a variety to choose from.

Triple Cherry’s amazing titles include Saint Fermin, Elsa’s Bierhaus, Red Queen in Wonderland, Mega Chef, Mystic Buffalo, God’s Odyssey Carnaval do Rio… and many more that you can see at www.3cherry.com

These two relevant casinos: BigBola (www.onlinebigbola.mx), in Mexico and BetMotion (www.betmotion.com), in Brazil are two great market opportunities for Triple Cherry, which wants to expand its presence in the Latin American market.

Juan Antonio Galindo, CEO of Triple Cherry , said: “ We are very happy that these two great casinos liked our product. We really believe that its customers will have a pleasant game experience with our online slots ”.

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Industry News

Online Casino and Sportsbook BETZEST™ goes live with leading payment provider Interac

George Miller

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Online Casino and Sportsbook BETZEST™ goes live with leading payment provider Interac
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Online Casino and Sportsbook  Betzest™ announced a new partnership with leading payment provider Interac offering instant, safe transactions for online iGaming industry In Canada.

Interac is already available on Betzest cashier for both deposits and the withdrawal of winnings, offering real-time payments for Canadian players.

Online sports betting and Casino Betzest continues increasing its operations since its launch in July 2018. Betzest is quickly becoming one of world’s leading online gambling company offering best sports betting and casino games.

Marius Filip, Founder/CMO at Betzest, said:  We are very excited to conclude another new partnership with leading payment method Interac™. We are always looking to improve the Betzest™ product for our players and this innovative & secure payment provider will play a vital part in helping Betzest™ to facilitate transactions in Canadian market. A big thank you to our Betzest team for this great achievement and to Interac Team for their constant support during the process. We’ve had a tremendously pro-active start to 2020 with a remarkable collection of world-class payment and casino providers on the way. I’m certain the best is yet to come.”

 

About Betzest

Betzest is your leading premier Online Sportsbook and Casino operator run by a team of experienced i-gaming experts.

Due to its unique product and marketing proposition, Betzest is rapidly establishing itself as one of the most trustworthy and reliable gaming company.

Betzest is offering unrivalled sports betting and casino games experience now under reputable MGA license. The company operations continue to expand in variety of markets and online gambling verticals such as Live Betting, Live Casino, E-sports and Virtual SportsBetzest boasts its robust and multi-functional online sports betting & Casino operating on SportingTech platform. Today Betzest has more than 65 employees across four offices all committed to delivering amazing player experiences on each of their verticals, partnering with top gaming providers.

 

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