As travel becomes more and more restrictive around the world, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to travel virtually and experience different slot landscapes across the globe.
In the latest edition of SlotBeats’ Around the World in 80 Slots, we journeyed to Switzerland and met up with Markus Antl, head of sales and key account management at Greentube, who delved into the current landscape of the slot sector.
Antl noted that players within Switzerland tend to orientate back to games and brands they trust. He explained: “Greentube entered the Swiss online market in 2019 but our parent company NOVOMATIC has a long experience of offering land-based slots in the country.
“We therefore had the advantage of understanding player preferences before we made our market entry and players had already built up a good rapport with our games. These games generally offer a higher volatility and therefore point towards a big high-stakes player base. The RTP is not really a factor, and 95 per cent seems to be the standard in Switzerland.
2017 saw the introduction of the Money Gaming Act which allowed the legal operation of Switzerland’s online casino site. Since then, according to Antl, the online slots portfolio in the Swiss market has shown a ‘strong growth’ since it fully opened in January 2019.
He added: “Famous and well-known content with a strong presence in the Swiss land-based casinos is now competing with more innovative and modern game content from the online sector. Furthermore, traditional classic fruit games seem to be in high demand.
“Looking into the future, it will be very interesting to see what impact the more modern, feature rich games will have on the top performing online slot content in Switzerland. As players get more familiar with that type of content, we expect it might increase in popularity.”
Yet, whilst the country may be on the UK’s greenlist for travel, we pressed Antl to explain just how difficult it is for overseas operators and developers to launch their titles in the regulated market.
Antl responded: “In my opinion, it is quite difficult for overseas operators and developers to be successful in the regulated Swiss market. This is partly because of the limited number of online casinos and the strict certification requirements, but also because of the demand and strong performance of famous and well-known land-based titles.
“This gives a few established suppliers a first mover advantage and makes it harder for overseas studios to take market share. Many games suppliers are still in the process of getting certified to be able to start offering game content to local Swiss casino operators, which are the only companies legally permitted to apply for an online licence in Switzerland.”
Over the last year, each country has seen endless lockdowns, Switzerland being no different, yet, we asked Antl just how impactful they’ve been on the land-based slot environment and if there’s been a similar uptick in players migrating over to online, which we’ve witnessed in other countries.
He noted: “The Swiss land-based gaming market has definitely suffered from the pandemic and its lockdowns. Casinos were closed from the middle of December until mid-April which means that we saw a shift in players moving to online casino sites.
“How much of a long-term impact this will have has to be analysed in the upcoming months. Nevertheless, I expect that at least a small group of players will continue to play on online casino websites rather than moving back to land-based venues.”
Looking into the distant future, a lot of things remain unclear in the world but Antl has a glimmer of positivity and emphasised the importance of balancing the distribution channels between land-based and online.
He concluded: “I am positive that the future will include both a land-based and online (web & mobile) player base.
“However, there will be a more balanced distribution of players between these two channels.
“The games portfolio will head towards a cross-channel offering of slot games, particularly titles from the established slot providers being offered online and casinos promoting games across different channels.”