November 24, 2021
GBC-Time.com interview with Andrzej Hyla: Challenges of casino software providers
Andrzej Hyla, Chief Commercial Officer at Wazdan Ltd., has shared his experience in the casino game development sector.
From the casino software provider’s point of view, how difficult is it to comply with regulations of different jurisdictions?
I would say that the biggest hustle in the iGaming business right now is all the certifications and all the regulations, which are changing all the time. Currently, many countries are regulating the gambling sphere, and it adds new problems. Besides, it’s very time-consuming because you need to prepare your content for every market separately. And also, of course, it requires a lot of investment. From the perspective of a game provider, that’s now the biggest challenge.
How do you localize casino games for different countries?
First of all, we try to find an operator who’s already working in the market we’re interested in. We try to speak with them first because no one knows players in the market better than the operator working there. We try to get as much information about the player as possible: his preferences, which kind of games, mathematics, and in-game bonuses are popular in the market. And then, we select games from our portfolio that fit the best to this market. Then we, of course, do the translation of the game and we prepare it according to all regulator’s requirements.
What are the latest trends in slot games development and casino games development in general?
What is very popular right now is the bonus, called “Hold the Jackpot.” Games with this feature are extremely popular now, they are gaining the best results. But I think we have so many game providers in the market that it’s hard to select just one trend.
What is your opinion on blockchain-based casino games?
If there is a need for these games, if there are players who like to play these games and maybe trust them a little bit more, then, of course, that is something that should be delivered to the market.
There is such a trend, and trust is the most important thing here. Many players still think that reputable licensed casinos use some tricks to allow or don’t allow them to win. So, I believe that blockchain-based games provide players an opportunity to check by themselves that everything is really random. And there is definitely a need for such games, there’s nothing to discuss. And players will treat these games with more trust than classic casino games.
Could you advise software providers on how to establish efficient communication with the operators, so they could deliver the best possible product to the players?
In my opinion, it is very hard to give one solution, which will work for everyone and everywhere. I would advise having a different approach for every operator. It is good to have account managers and teams, which are in direct contact with operators, trying to check what is the operator’s way of doing the casino business. And then try to offer ops solutions, ideas, and products, which fit their way of doing the business. It is so different now in many regions, in many countries; even in the same countries between the different operators. The casino companies have different ideas on how to run their business. So, it is very hard to find one idea, which will work for everyone.
Could you describe a perfect slot game? Are there any specific features of an ideal slot?
If was able to give a description of it, I would be a millionaire myself. It depends on so many factors. It’s similar to a holy grail – everyone’s looking for this one perfect game. Few years ago, in the iGaming market, we had games like Starburst or Book of Dead, etc., that were very popular for a long time. Now, I don’t know any game that’d be so popular at every casino. We see that there is now there is a big supply of games from game studios. And I believe that a lifecycle of a single game is much shorter than it was three-two years ago. So, unfortunately, I’m unable to give you a recipe for a perfect game.
How do you believe the casino industry will transform in, say, the next five years?
For sure, there will be more regulated markets. The direction in which the industry will go really depends on the regulators. Because, for example, in Germany, authorities have introduced a tax based on turnover, and it immediately required casinos and game studios to lower RTP by 5-7% from the standard level. If you would ask me if that is a good way from a player’s perspective, of course, it is not because lowering RTP by 5% is a huge difference for the customers. It has absolutely nothing in common with responsible gaming. We hear how much do different game studios and regulators care about responsible play, but if they go this way, it is absolutely against all these rules.
So, I believe the regulators will be moving the markets in different directions, I have absolutely no idea what will be the next steps from the biggest markets. If we see such a move in a small country, most likely no one will notice. But when we see it in major markets, like Germany, the impact on the whole market is very big. We will see how it will go and if it will last for a long time because it is very hard for licensed German ops to compete with offshore casinos. There is a big challenge for the German regulator to give the legal operators equal chances, they have to figure out somehow how to eliminate offshore casinos. Because otherwise regulated casinos abiding by all the laws set by the regulator have no chances.
Should the game providers participate in the conversation with the gambling regulators, or should they channel their needs through the operators?
In the ideal world, there will be a representative from the regulator speaking with operators and game providers together to figure out the idea of what is good for everyone. And it is possible to do so. But in reality, the regulators just make the decisions and introduce them to the market. It would be very good to discuss such things. I think, UKGC is close to doing it, as they are asking for feedback from different stakeholders in the market. It allows the market to go regulated, protect the player, prevent money laundering, and still keep the business growing.
Interview originally published on GBC-Time.com