Given your background and core competencies. How important has the data you’ve seen been in setting your strategic direction? What have you learnt from the numbers?
Data and trends in the live casinos have certainly had an impact on the strategy I have developed.
Every decision we make is driven by the data. We always ask ourselves, ‘does this make it easier for our Commercial Directors (Jason Marcelino) and people in sales jobs when it comes to selling DLC in a highly competitive marketplace.?
Currently, it’s about building up the business with the trust of our partners. We have over 100 years of on and offline experience in just four people within the team. We know the player data from our previous roles and what is and isn’t essential to players, and we’re using that to help shape every aspect of DLC.
I’m a superfan of Evolution and consider them the gold standard in the industry. When you leave a great company like Entain, a footsie 100 company with a nice pension and excellent benefits, you have to think, “can I make this new venture work?” How can we compete with Evolution, Playtech, Pragmatic Play, On Air Entertainment, Stakelogic and the rest? – can we be sure to make it work?
I have to be realistic.
Are we going to build the next Crazy Time or Monopoly? – no, we’re not. Are we going to make a multiplier roulette that is better than everyone else has? – no, we are not.
But yes, of course, we will have a multiplier roulette (showcasing at ICE 2023), and yes, we will have a game show, and again this will also be available for viewing at ICE 2023.
I’ve noted that since game shows have come in, the marketers have driven players to the new game shows. As a result, there has been a decline in regular roulette by a few % points. But the game that paid the most significant price is Blackjack.
We’ve seen the low-stakes table eroded by all suppliers. Covid has exasperated this with the implementation of social distancing measures, so operators closed their low-stakes tables and kept the high-stakes tables. As a result, the big suppliers saw profit increase from the card tables, but many players could not play and were pushed to scalable Blackjacks or other games they were not necessarily looking for when they logged on to play.
So we have made the strategic decision until the end of 2023 to be a supplier with nothing but low stakes Blackjack tables within our BJ lobby area. This has eliminated the need to have stake filter buttons, so our BJ lobby auto sorts constantly a player never has to scroll.
Our Blackjack will have new features, and we deliberately did not develop Bet Behind. It’s a horrible player experience, and we don’t need it as we are committing to our supply of 7-seat tables to exceed demand.
One of the boldest strategic decisions was to say we won’t provide a scalable Blackjack game. It’s a personal view, but I don’t like these games. They run slowly, cards go out of sight of the players, and they are digital RNG and Live hybrids. My historical data tells me that if seats are available at low-stakes regular 7-seat tables, this is where the players would choose if they were able.
We will also showcase a new BJ product at the ICE in Feb 2023, which should provide a great talking point and be the first for this player experience.