Matt Charlesworth, Managing Director of Digitain’s Live Casino vertical, offers up a glimpse of the firm’s forthcoming proprietary live casino offering while sharing his views on what makes the sector such a vibrant environment.
CasinoBeats: Can you give us a quick summary of how Digitain is performing right now? Have you enjoyed a positive start to 2022?
Matt Charlesworth: As a business, 2022 has started brightly and we have seen the exceptional sales momentum we experienced in 2021 continue into this year as we continue to grow our partner network.
CB: What’s your take on the current state of play in the live dealer/live casino industry?
MC: I first entered the online space in the late 2000s but was not fully exposed to live casino until 2013 at bet365. I very quickly realised, and somewhat with a bias I admit, that live casino was without doubt the most exciting product.
That said, it is also the most complex by far with multiple moving parts and complex decisions required, for example if dedicated tables are needed or not.
Dedicated tables, means dedicated employees within the casino divisions, to focus solely on live, decisions on branding, uniforms, the design of the dedicated environment, choice of game presenters, ratio of male to female GPs, promotions, cross sell and retention, the list is endless.
I’ve noticed that as more operators adopt a multi-supplier approach, they are seeking the same flexibility from the live casino suppliers as they receive from slots suppliers.
A lot of people ask me what percentage of revenue the live casino should represent when compared to the total casino revenue. My view is that whatever market is being spoken about, if live is not pushing hard towards 25+ per cent then it is under performing.
I have to talk about game shows too. They now represent close to 20 per cent of the total live revenues, a tremendous performance in the timescale.
Evolution has launched some amazing blockbusters that we are familiar with, such as Monopoly & Crazy Time and they have changed the industry landscape. Other suppliers have had to follow Evolution’s lead, developing their own variants.
With game shows, small stakes can return very big pay-outs for recreational players, and this has made the job of new player acquisition a lot easier. However, it’s been a while since any supplier has launched a real blockbuster, but I suspect the next one is just over the horizon.
CB: Having only recently joined Digitain, and being described as something of a casino industry veteran, how have you settled in and what has impressed you about the company so far?
MC: I have been impressed with Digitain since I first met with them around three years ago in Yerevan. The founder took me to his new office location that at the time was a 12-story high concrete structure, with no glass, no air-con and no lift.
Fast forward and every floor is occupied with Digitain colleagues working hard on the various products we offer. I have said it before and will take the opportunity to say it again, it is the best igaming building in the world and needs to be seen to be believed.
The vision and passion of the founder drives all employees to deliver to their maximum potential and, from a live casino perspective, the commitment to have a world class product is unwavering and non-negotiable.
CB: Talking about the launch of Digitain’s own live dealer product, how is progress with the impending debut and can you describe how it will look, work and feel?
MC: We have been recruiting hard and training hard. Our headcount is now over 100 and I am delighted at the very high standards achieved. We will soft launch on April 8 with TOTO.am.
The Digitain live casino player will enjoy the best ever visualisation of game history. As a consumer I know this is something that improves the overall customer experience as well as reducing the need to contact customer services.
I can share that we launch with our two core games of Roulette and Blackjack. Next to launch will be Baccarat, followed by a version of multiplier roulette then a wheel game.
CB: Looking specifically at acquisition, reactivation and retention in the live casino vertical, what is Digitain currently doing to ensure it stays top of its game in these key areas?
MC: Given my experience with some of the big suppliers, I understand what is required to be successful in this space. Whether it be reward games or golden chips or whatever, we already have plans to successfully compete in this area.
CB: What would be your message to customers to get them to come to this year’s ICE and see what Digitain has to offer?
MC: As a previous visitor to ICE, rather than an exhibitor, I have visited the Digitain stand and was always impressed, not only with the products on offer, but also the welcome you get as an individual on the stand even without a scheduled meeting.
Take the opportunity to visit and see the depth and quality of the Digitain products being showcased and when you visit us at stand S2-350, make sure to come and say hello to the four of us looking after the live casino – we’ll be delighted to see you.