Amidst the slots and sports betting products, live casino has solidified itself as an essential vertical when it comes to operating an online casino platform.
Thanks to game show adaptations and slot hybrids, operators continue to witness, acquire and offer new innovations to help tap further into live casino’s expanding audience.
Representatives from online suppliers, land-based suppliers and operators gathered during the second day of SBC Summit Barcelona, to discuss the current state of the live casino sector on a panel titled ‘High stakes! – Live casino and the serious players’.
To kick start the panel, moderator Dan Phillips, from SBC Advisory, pointed out that although live casino player activity data “is pretty much led by commodity products like roulette” – which he referred to as “cash cows” – the sector is starting to see a shift in player persuasions.
“THERE’S ROOM TO GROW IN OLDER-STYLE GAMES”Todd Cravens, President and CEO at Galaxy Gaming
He posed the question: “We’re seeing more and more interchangeable entertainment products, in game shows and slot-type products. Just to kick us off, what do we think the main drivers are for live casino products?”
“I think it comes down to serving two different kinds of players, ” responded Todd Cravens, President and CEO at Galaxy Gaming. “You have your existing, more hardcore casino players, who like blackjack and roulette, but certainly now you’re trying to bring new players in that maybe don’t understand, or have a different value set in regards to how they want to play.”
“I still think personally there’s room to grow in the older-style games as well, with progressives, omnichannel progressives and things like that, but I think we’re basically trying to find new players.”
Moving on to reasons behind a shift in desire from specific sets of players, Graciella Anthony, Entain’s Head of Live Casino, played down the idea that newer, more social and engaging products like game shows are not causing a divide in live casino products, but are simply enhancing the sector.
“I think it’s important to remember that by introducing game shows we have expanded our product. It’s just an additional product offering something different,” she said.
Anthony also detailed how these more innovative products are helping to bridge a gap between typical slot players and live casino alternatives.
She added: “With game shows, we see them as a kind of gateway into live casino. We see more recreational players playing these types of games and we see a lot of slot players coming to experience these kinds of games.”
Providing a supplier’s perspective on the topic was Albert Pesca, VP of Commercial at ARRISE powering Pragmatic Play, who claimed that each time he has reached out to a company with new live casino products, operators are constantly asking “what else do you have?”, suggesting a high demand in modern live casino innovations.
As the conversation moved on, Phillips questioned where the next innovation within live casino will come from as the industry continues to adopt new technologies such as AI, machine learning and the metaverse.
Anthony looked at the question in terms of player engagement, suggesting that the next big advancements in live casino content could come from tailoring products to audiences more interested in instant gratification through shorter play times.
“WITH GAME SHOWS, IT’S JUST ABOUT WHO’S GOT THE BEST PRODUCT AT THAT TIME”Graciella Anthony, Head of Live Casino at Entain
She said: “The gap I see at the moment is that you’ve got customers who just want digital snacking, where they’re in for seven seconds, and we don’t have products in the live space where players can come in waiting for the bus and they just want to be able to dip in and out.”
“I think it’d be something nice for the live space, and I’d be interested to see how suppliers get over this. For the short attention span that the next generation has, what kind of product would be popping up?”
However, Sargis Poghosyan, VP of Casino at CreedRoomz, suggested that the “next steps will be VR and AR”, explaining that “live casino will be something mixed with reality” and that “all these [developments] will lead to new game styles.”
Phillips was also intrigued by trends in players’ affiliations with certain live casino products, asking whether the panellists had noticed any and asked: “Do you have a lot of people moving around through the different live casino products, or do people stick to their favourites?”
Suggesting a noticeable difference in player attitudes towards the different segments of live casino gaming, Anthony elaborated: “When it comes down to your traditional games, I think players are comfortable with a product that they like. But, I think with game shows, it’s just about who’s got the best product at that time.”