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Interview with SOFTSWISS COO Andrey Starovoitov about iGaming and Crypto



Reading Time: 7 minutes


SOFTSWISS offers comprehensive software solutions to online casinos and bookmaking websites. The company was the first to integrate crypto payments into its Online Casino Platform. SOFTSWISS COO Andrey Starovoitov agreed to answer some of our questions regarding the potential of cryptocurrencies in iGaming.

  • Hi Andrey, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions. SOFTSWISS is the first online gambling software company to start working with cryptocurrencies as early as 2013. What makes SOFTSWISS’ solution more advanced compared to others?

First and foremost, it would have to be our experience and expertise in dealing with cryptocurrencies, as well as understanding the potential opportunities crypto gambling presents for the operator. We made sure to incorporate crypto into all possible aspects of our product solutions. They are designed to manage cryptocurrencies with ease and enable the flexible integration of new coins for operating purposes.

Today SOFTSWISS offers not only a set of individual products but also an entire ecosystem to start crypto gambling operations from scratch. The product line includes important elements such as an Online Casino Platform, Game Aggregator, the Sportsbook Platform, the Jackpot Aggregator, a Jackpot as a Service solution, the Affilka affiliate platform. Another important advantage is the partnership with CoinsPaid, which offers a crypto payment processing gateway and a business crypto wallet.

All products are adapted to work with cryptocurrencies. For example, the Game Aggregator has already had 44 game studios customising their portfolio to use the most popular coins like Bitcoin, Etherium, Litecoin, Tron, Dogecoin, etc. The Online Casino Platform is the backbone of crypto operations and, in conjunction with crypto processing by CoinsPaid, allows operators to launch payments in any altcoins on the market.

Crypto betting, in general, is mainstream. Everyone was stunned by the recent news that world-famous Canadian rapper Drake bet over $1 million in Bitcoin on a Super Bowl LVI match. The SOFTSWISS Sportsbook is fully adapted for this purpose. Our experience working with the strongest crypto brands on the market allows SOFTSWISS to be at the top of the crypto gambling niche. Understanding trends in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology undoubtedly allows us to state that our products are currently leading the way in the B2B sector when it comes to crypto gambling solutions.

  • SOFTSWISS offers both White Label Solution and Crypto Casino Solution. What are the advantages of Crypto Solution and who would you advise to consider this option?

The Сrypto Solution is worth considering for all operators, as cryptocurrencies give access to a wider audience and more countries than the standard fiat currencies. The crypto audience is young and marketing to it is an investment into the future, an opportunity to enter something long-term. Crypto is here to stay.

But I would point out that it is the current market leaders, who should consider looking into crypto. We are at a turning point in the gambling industry. The gap between classic casinos and second-wave crypto gambling casinos such as Stake, Roobet, BC.GAME, Duelbits, Rollbit is now too evident. The young audience of the new casinos is very different from the classic online casino. 

We can highlight a strong demand for community building among players through forums, integrated casino chat rooms, increased interest in competitive elements, and a surge in new channels of engagement via streaming on Twitch and TikTok. And these are just a small part of these differences. It will be quite difficult to catch up with these new crypto casinos if market players miss out on the opportunities crypto offers, as new leaders in this niche emerge.

One of the significant benefits of using cryptocurrencies is the Conversion Rate and the Acceptance Rate (the rate that reflects the percentage of successful deposits). These rates are significantly higher when compared to fiat methods, as the average acceptance rate on the SOFTSWISS Online Casino Platform is close to 99%. Funds transfer speed is also better in comparison with some fiat methods. 

With Cryptoprocessing by CoinsPaid, we credit crypto to the player’s balance immediately, even if the transfer itself has not reached the CoinsPaid crypto wallet yet. Moreover, we minimise risks with various advanced tools. In addition, it is worth noting that the transaction cost in crypto is significantly cheaper than in fiat currencies.

All of these factors directly impact the player conversion rate and, consequently, the operator’s success.

  • Crypto projects often involve high risks. How do you help your crypto clients develop and avoid risks in the iGaming industry?

As I see it, the potential risks in the case of cryptocurrencies are negligible and barely different from those of a classic casino. Of course, some operators are wary due to their lack of experience in using cryptocurrencies, but SOFTSWISS is the right partner to help reduce the risks to a minimum by providing expertise and innovative product solutions. 

Among possible risks, the only thing that operators may be concerned about is the fear that cryptocurrencies are too volatile and their exchange rates can vary significantly. For example, this could lead to losses in settlements with gaming operators. The functionality of the SOFTSWISS Online Casino Platform will allow the game itself to be run on fiat, while the player balance will be fixed in crypto. This makes it possible to perform all settlements with game providers based on fiat currencies and minimise the potential risk of loss on exchange rate differences.

Secondly, this is more of a concern than a risk, I would call the traffic sources. Indeed, crypto traffic is still emerging and is in an active growth stage at the moment. It is different to the, if we can now call it that, ‘classic online casino audience’. There is definitely an opportunity for operators to convert existing fiat traffic into crypto through tech solutions like Utorg, Changelly, or Moonpay, which let you buy cryptocurrencies directly from a casino site. Streaming also works great for a crypto player acquisition, as streaming services often have a younger target audience.

  • What cryptocurrencies does the SOFTSWISS Crypto Casino Solution support? How are the supported cryptocurrencies  selected and can we expect new additions?

The SOFTSWISS Crypto Casino Solution enables operators to work with any coins, primarily due to the platform’s flexibility and the integration with Cryptoprocessing by CoinsPaid.

While CoinsPaid enables casinos to instantly convert payments from players into any of 20 fiat currencies. This way the player’s fiat balance is not subject to volatility and is fixed at the time of deposit.

The SOFTSWISS Online Casino Platform can convert the player’s crypto balance into fiat at the time of betting. Casino players can play any game with their crypto balance, even if it (the game) does not support crypto.

This approach is used by all market leaders in crypto gambling and has a number of undeniable advantages. It provides access to a larger number of gaming studios and producers for players who typically prefer to deposit and play in crypto.

The second advantage is that adding new coins is much faster and does not depend on the game provider. And finally, the risks in the case of crypto value volatility are reduced, as the payment to the game producers is based on fiat currencies.

The fast process of adding new coins is important. Already we are seeing a gaming community forming around specific coins, such as Tron, and the emergence of new high-growth cryptocurrencies, such as Shiba Inu, requires an immediate response from operators to market demands.

  • If we look at the Game Aggregator’s 2021 statistics, we can see that the share of crypto from all currencies has doubled: from 20% to about 40%. How do you explain this growth in popularity of crypto among players? Are there any advantages to using cryptocurrencies compared to regular money?

It is safe to say that we have seen the second wave of crypto gambling and the re-emergence of the concept of crypto gambling itself in 2021. The rapid rise in the value of Bitcoin led to the growth of crypto adopters globallyand, consequently, the crypto casino audience. But the key factor was the entry of so-called crypto dice operators like Stake, Roobet, BC.GAME, Duelbits, Rollbit into the iGaming market as we know it. Crypto dice operators had already established a community of crypto adepts. They primarily presented in-house developed games (for example, Stake Originals) based on provably fair technology that allows them to verify the fairness of winnings. The confluence of these circumstances has influenced a resurgence of interest in crypto gambling. 

On the player’s side, the use of cryptocurrencies offers a number of advantages, mainly speed and ease of use in the case of payouts. Anonymity is also a significant factor for a part of the audience.

  • Is there room for novelty in the iGaming industry? Can blockchain technology further revolutionise it or are the opportunities offered by cryptocurrencies mostly exhausted already?

In my view, blockchain technology will significantly impact the industry in the near future. There are clear indicators of it and it will be the audience’s demand for innovations that will improve the player experience, and it’s not just the use of cryptocurrencies in gambling. We are only just arriving at the formation of the crypto-gambling niche. Things like blockchain-based decentralised casino, NFT, and provably fair technology will be integrated into the market in the foreseeable future. By the way, SOFTSWISS is already considering the introduction of NFT technology in gambling.

  • Although cryptocurrencies are increasingly more popular and becoming mainstream, some people are still sceptical about their reliability. Do you see a long-lasting future for cryptocurrencies? Is crypto gambling just another passing trend, or is it here to stay?

I understand people’s scepticism about crypto. It is hard enough to understand how, in the modern world, something can have a huge value with essentially no connection to anything physical. Cryptocurrencies are a soap bubble to such people, but that’s not entirely true. We are seeing major changes in the global economy, where the value of an asset is influenced by the general public’s hype, interest, and trust. Bitcoin is certainly here to stay, and though the technology has aged, it has inherent value and has established trust among its community of users.

Obviously, cryptocurrencies are with us forever, and I don’t see any factors affecting the decline in interest. Naturally, some fluctuations in the value of Bitcoin, as the most popular and, I would say, the most basic cryptocurrency, could affect the interest of some as an investment tool. However, as the experience of previous fluctuations shows, the subsequent growth attracts more new adopters. Overall, we are witnessing iterative growth in both value and audience volume. 

The price and value of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies is driven by the demand for ease, speed and cost of a transaction.These factors provide the underlying value of cryptocurrencies in the world to its audience. It is hard to imagine whether it would be possible to transfer a large amount of fiat currency between different continents at the same speed and cost per transaction that cryptocurrencies provide. For this reason, despite the speculative peaks in Bitcoin’s value, we will see a steady trend of new audience growth in the future.

SOFTSWISS offers easy solutions to iGaming operators. The company’s products include several other services beyond its leading crypto integration solution, such as its Game Aggregator, bringing together more than 150 casino game vendors, or the Jackpot Aggregator, allowing iGaming brands to launch custom jackpot campaigns and promotions to enhance customer experience.

Find out more about SOFTSWISS!


A unique World Cup – on and off the pitch!



A unique World Cup – on and off the pitch!
Reading Time: 4 minutes


The World Cup is held every four years and this edition of the most famous football tournament on the planet is unique given the venue and the fact it sits right in the middle of the domestic season.

With that in mind, how does this affect user engagement and betting patterns over the course of this prestigious competition? We spoke to BETEGY CEO, Alex Kornilov who gives his insights into how successful engagement with players could be.


With football already Europe’s most popular sport, what new ways of user engagement have you put together for the World Cup?

This football season brought many ways to explore user engagement into the industry. The World Cup in Qatar is the real test to show the best approaches to customers’ experience. At BETEGY, we knew that online betting would thrive during the tournament, and we have managed to deliver creative visuals with live data from all the matches, which can be used in various formats and presented on different platforms.


The World Cup is being hosted right in the middle of the domestic football season across Europe. Does this make the World Cup more or less popular from a betting perspective?

The World Cup has always been one of the most significant events in the betting industry –  and I see no reason for this iteration to be less popular than before. In addition, the tournament duration has been decreased to 28 days, meaning more matches squeezed into a shorter space of time. This is definitely going to help keep the audience’s excitement and engagement at their highest.

The only competitor for the attention of sports punters will be the upcoming holiday hustle when people will be getting all set for the festive season. However, I don’t see that as a big risk. With football fans watching the biggest football event of the year from the comfort of their own homes, it’s an excellent opportunity to attract a new audience to the betting market.


A Middle Eastern country is hosting the World Cup for the first time. How is this unique environment playing to BETEGY’s strengths, given the majority of fans are watching from home?

With more fans watching football from home, keeping them entertained with the most high-quality offering and products is very important. Players in the industry will compete for the fans’ attention and will do their best to build a scalable relationship with them beyond the World Cup. Live scores, statistics, and betting prices in various markets must be delivered to the users’ screens with no delay and with the best look and feel. This is one of the aspects BETEGY is the best at – and we have thoroughly prepared to help our clients solve the pain points related to it.


With Europe not due to host another World Cup until 2030 at the earliest, is it a positive for technology and engagement that the tournament is being held in nations where football popularity is on the rise? 

The next World Cup will take place in 16 different cities across North America. This tournament is probably the most important in the context of how “soccer” has been promoted in the United States recently. On one side, the USSF and the MLS clubs have been working a lot to promote soccer locally by bringing top-class players into the league. On the other hand, the US has rarely stuck to the traditional European perception of sport and football in particular. Sport in the US serves its goal – to entertain the audience. Strategists at NBA or NFL would do almost anything to keep fans engaged and ensure all the remote viewers are enjoying the show.

Also, this new, next-gen audience is highly discerning  – which pushes the market to deliver innovative solutions and ideas to engage, excite and entertain. For sports tech and entertainment companies, it’s a huge opportunity and a challenge at the same time to find a key to the hearts and minds of potential new football fans. Some best practices for the US market are already known, so bringing football to new horizons is a certain path to making this game even more beautiful.


How can companies capture this new wave of interest?

US sports fans are already used to high standards of the content delivered to them. Everyone who wants to surf this wave of delight should definitely focus on innovation and quality. I’ve noticed that people love to know what’s happening on the pitch and, at the same time, are always willing to guess what’s going to happen next. The rise of technology helps to understand the game better, it gives birth to new betting markets, but it also helps companies enhance the users’ involvement in the game.

With the US online betting market opening, many players from the industry are seeking an opportunity to test their best offering on new audiences. Since soccer is undoubtedly on the rise, a chance to attract American bettors became a significant pull factor for most industry members – and we’re very excited with what we’re doing at BETEGY.


It has been 20 years since a non-European country won the World Cup. Do you think a European nation will win this prestigious tournament this year given the first round of results?

The first round has shown that football has advanced at all levels, especially geographically. For example, some national teams from Asia have had tremendous results against supposedly much stronger rivals from South America and Europe. And it’s not only about the result – those teams’ performance and style of play are a delight to watch. At this stage, almost any underdog has the chance to proceed to the knockout stages and refute the odds.

In my opinion, some Latin American national teams have a high chance of winning the World Cup. Still, they’ll need to deliver their best performance against the highly-experienced European contenders. It will be fascinating to watch it all happening. And may the best team win!


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Exclusive Q&A w/ Paul Buianov, Founder and CEO at BetCare



Exclusive Q&A w/ Paul Buianov, Founder and CEO at BetCare
Reading Time: 3 minutes


Why is customer service so important for online casino operators? How does it allow them to stand out from their rivals? 

Customer service is one of the most powerful player acquisition tools available to online casino and sportsbook operators. It allows brands to quickly build trust with players, and to answer any questions they may have before signing up, depositing and playing. This makes it a very important part of the onboarding process. Customer support is very much the front line for operators and the first point of contact the player will have with the brand. It’s also vital to retention, with good customer service providing players with answers to any questions they may have, resolving technical issues and strengthening responsible gambling processes and procedures. This means that customer service can be a significant differentiator, making players feel better looked after and more appreciated than at rival brands. The personal touch should never be underestimated, as this is often what keeps players coming back for more.


What are the key challenges that operators face when it comes to customer support? Does this differ from market to market? If so, how? 

The greatest challenge with customer support in any market is ensuring that player questions are answered and that requests are satisfied. This might sound easy, but it’s not. Customer support must be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Agents must have a deep understanding of the online casino/sportsbook and how it works, while also being able to communicate with players with patience and empathy, and in a language they understand. This is especially challenging for operators active in multiple markets around the world – like the rest of their proposition, customer support must be localised.


How can these challenges be overcome? 

To overcome these challenges, operators must build out a sophisticated customer support function with a highly trained team that can provide round-the-clock support in the market where their brands are active. What’s more, they must not be afraid to communicate with players – ultimately, communication is what makes customers feel valued and important to the brand. Internally, customer support must have a clear understanding of the business and the casino/sportsbook and have a direct line of communication with other departments and teams. This is the only way issues can be effectively escalated and resolved. As you can tell, customer support is a vast, all-encompassing part of the business and that’s why many operators look to outsource this part of the business to specialist third parties.


What does gold standard customer support look like? How can it be achieved?

In addition to the above, gold-standard customer support must be available to support players across all touchpoints and moments in their journey with the casino or sportsbook. This covers from the first time they land on the site through onboarding, depositing, playing, withdrawing and loyalty. That’s why it is so important for agents to be highly trained and also work hand in hand with other departments in order to be able to deliver the support players need with any aspect of the brand or their play.


Is customer service important from a responsible gambling perspective? How? 

Yes, it is vital. Effective responsible gambling comes down to communication with players and customer support agents are best placed to do this. By asking the right questions, they can understand player behaviours and help to determine if they are displaying signs of problem play. Those with the right training can also make interventions and direct players to the support they need. But customer service can also be preventive, making players aware of the risks of gambling addiction and helping them use the tools available to keep in control of their play. Ultimately, prevention is the best approach as it stops players going on to generate gambling problems, and customer support is a very effective preventative tool.


Why should operators look to outsource customer support rather than build an in-house team?

Building out a customer service function is a significant undertaking, especially for smaller operators that tend to have to prioritise other areas of the business. Customer support specialists such as BetCare can take control of the entire function and localise it for each of the markets the operator targets. We have the experience and the expertise to know what it takes to deliver five-star support, and the team in place to provide it. We also offer a range of additional services and solutions, such as reactivation, attracting players including mass-mailing and SMS campaigns along with KYC, risk payments and analysis of players’ behavioural patterns.

We pay special attention to VIP players, not only by providing exceptional service in a range of languages but also by varying our communication channels. We initiate communication with VIPs and, even more importantly, via the platforms they want to use.


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Exclusive interview with Vladimir Malakchi: Evoplay kicks-off in Ireland!



Exclusive interview with Vladimir Malakchi: Evoplay kicks-off in Ireland!
Reading Time: 3 minutes


Capping off an outstanding year for Evoplay with multiple industry awards and deals with major providers, including Relax Gaming, Bragg Gaming Group and Fortuna, we sat down with Evoplay’s CCO, Vladimir Malakchi to talk through his plans for their Irish debut.


The burgeoning Irish market is one of the fastest-growing markets in the iGaming landscape, but what promise does it hold for Evoplay?

I would say that the Irish market’s steady expansion stems from a crucial factor – a strong demand for iGaming. The latest research illustrates that Irish gamblers constitute one of the largest iGaming audiences across Europe. To be specific, around ​​59% of Ireland’s population regularly gambles online, rendering it a particularly attractive jurisdiction for providers that are looking to expand into up-and-coming markets.

Our recently established partnership with Novibet has allowed us to unlock the Irish market and reach iGaming enthusiasts across the country with our highly sought-after titles, including 52 gamification-packed video slots and 10 instant games, featuring bestsellers such as our World Cup-inspired Penalty Shoot-out.


How are you looking to cater to Irish players’ preferences, and how does that impact your game development strategy? 

Online casino is in good company amongst some of the most popular types of entertainment in Ireland, and our rich portfolio is more than suitable to provide its players with the experiences they desire. The people in Ireland are sociable, outgoing, entertaining, and enjoy participating in healthy competition thanks to the nation’s rich heritage in sports.

Evoplay’s games are well-known for their innovative and gamified elements, which are core tenets of the development process surrounding each product. For this reason, we can rest assured that the variety of content we provide caters to all demographics of Irish players, with titles stacked full of social features such as leaderboards, live chats, progress systems, and tournaments.

The inclusion of these features ensures maximum excitement for players, thanks to their support of social interaction and healthy competition between players, with the experiences further enhanced by strong betting features, customisation, and well-designed peripherals.


Is there a particular demographic of Irish player that your products have seen success with?

As our development strategy is to create products that capture the imaginations of a broad audience, our games are popular with a real variety of demographics, from conservative players all the way to the next generation. Those coming from a background of traditional casino games will find a lot of joy in our impressive selection of our retro slots, such as the Fruit Super Nova series, while next-gen players seeking something fresh and unique can dive into our collection of modern experiences, featuring innovative yet easy-to-understand titles stacked full of social elements.

With almost half of the Irish population being interested in football, supporting football clubs and consuming a spread of sports content, our renowned football-themed instant game – Penalty Shoot-out – has every chance to become the next big hit in the market during the World Cup and beyond.


How have your Irish-themed slots been received by players in the region?

We already have Irish-themed titles in our portfolio, and that’s not only in regard to slots but instant games too, which have become the perfect accompaniment to Saint Patrick’s Day and a portion of our more traditional content.

Ireland as a country has a very rich culture and supplies us with so many exciting opportunities to develop themes and plots to create leading experiences. I am sure that the distinctive charm and the local peculiarities of Irish culture will inspire us to develop more titles that feature elements of Irish heritage in the months ahead.


Having recently taken your sought-after games portfolio live with Novibet, do you have any other operator deals on the horizon?

Ireland is a high-potential market with an online casino vertical generating more than €200 million year on year. Establishing an agreement with an operator as respected as Novibet is the first step in reaching Irish customers and making a statement about what we do at Evoplay. We definitely see more partnerships within the jurisdiction on the horizon and welcome opportunities to further establish a solid footing in the region.


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