iGaming 2022: A Rare Insight into the Future of Live Casino
Live Casino is widely considered to be one of the biggest sector success stories to come out of the Pandemic. Limitations placed on access to land-based casinos, unsurprisingly, catalyzed a huge shift to online solutions.
We caught up with Nare Grigoryan, Business Development Manager at leading Live Casino provider, On Air Entertainment. Nare shared her thoughts on the current growth of the sector, whether this activity increase is sustainable and where the real growth drivers are for the future expansion of the global Live Casino market.
Congratulations on making your debut in the UK market – why have you identified the UK as being such an important one for On Air Entertainment?
“Thank you, it’s a great achievement that we’re immensely happy about. The UK is a key market, and a significant step in our expansion journey. As a gold standard market, it’s part of a minimum requirement for customers looking to take OnAir on as an upcoming supplier in this space, one which we’re eager to deliver.
“We need to ensure we’re providing our customers not only the high-quality content we’re rapidly gaining a reputation for, but also the desired market availability. With the UK market locked in, we can now turn our attention to additional key regulated markets as we continue to grow our business.”
The UK is highly competitive for game developers – what makes your content stand out from other live dealer games available in the market?
“We have every confidence we’ll make a fantastic impression on the UK market. Despite still being a reasonably new supplier, we have a great wealth of industry experience across our core team, which means we’re not green to the needs of our market. We took our existing knowledge into the planning and development stage of our live casino products to help align the direction of the business with our understanding of players’ needs.
“In the early days, our customers expressed a need for choice as well as refreshing content. We made it our mission to listen to these desires and build our content accordingly. Our entry gives our customers the choice they’re seeking and a beautifully designed online casino experience in which they can fully immerse themselves.”
How have player preferences/expectations changed over the past few years when it comes to live casino? Are they demanding more?
“As mentioned, we looked in depth at the live casino space during planning; determining where player expectations were not being fulfilled and setting out a strategy on how we could meet those needs. As technology develops and the industry continues to grow, it’s natural that there would be a change in player expectations, and we’re committed to keeping on the forefront of that change.
“Players are expecting higher quality, faster streaming as well as more intuitive game UI. Aesthetics of the environment and UI have become a much more crucial element to the game’s success. Additionally, while the standard of game presenters remains high, there is also a need for better engagement and localisation. That’s why OnAir’s product offering combines excellence and experience with more innovative customer solutions – to appeal to a larger audience.
“We’ve always maintained that there’s no point in trying to reinvent the wheel, but certainly there’s plenty of scope to deliver a more entertainment-focused product in keeping with evolving customer needs. As we find more players in this space looking to online live casino for entertainment, we’re also predicting a shift in interest towards game show content going forward. We’ll be keeping a close eye on how this develops…”
What are the greatest challenges presented by the live casino vertical to both operators and developers? How are you overcoming these challenges?
“Live casino is a complicated beast, with many elements to consider. As such, its a thrilling space to be a part of as you know not all who enter the market will survive. Certainly, for OnAir as a developer, we can see that live casino is far greater than just the technology behind the product, there’s an entire team working tirelessly to make it all come together.
“We have no doubt that people are central to our success – from the combined experience of the management team to the highly skilled developers and immensely talented presenters – it takes excellence across all facets of the business to deliver the quality experience offered through our live Blackjack and soon-to-be-released Roulette.
“We believe this is why we’ve been able to hit our goals so effectively, releasing the platform on time, Blackjack on time, and now entering the UK market on time. This is no doubt why our customers trust us to deliver Roulette, along with our other games and key markets, in the same timely fashion.”
On the flip side, what opportunities does the live casino vertical present?
“Plenty! It’s an exciting space and an exciting time and we have high hopes for how the live casino vertical will develop. There’s ever-growing demand for the live casino experience, and clearly still a thirst out there for more innovative games, which excites us as we have plenty more in the pipeline.
“We expect to see massive growth in the industry, with additional markets opening up, and game development continuing apace. We expect to see more market consolidation, interest in the US market continuing to gain momentum, plus more new start-ups to challenge the industry. This will inevitability drive the innovation that will take the sector in exciting new directions.”
How will the live casino market continue to evolve in the near term? How significant will the vertical be in emerging markets such as the US and LatAm.
“To put it simply, all emerging markets present a growth opportunity for the vertical. What determines its success is how adept suppliers are at tailoring their offerings to suit the market. It’s essential, in order to develop these markets, that we – the industry at large – are delivering products and features that are suited to local requirements.”
What can we expect from On Air Entertainment over the next 12 months?
“Expect us to continue to deliver quality products and build on what is already a solid foundation. We will continue to invest in our people so that we can deliver on an exciting roadmap, which will see us enter more new markets and continue to create top quality entertainment content.
“When we look back at how far we’ve come in the past 12 months, we’re thrilled to consider where the next 12 will take us. With our Roulette product due for release next month, and plenty more to follow, let’s just say there’s a lot of excitement around the OnAir offices as we look to the months ahead.”
After catching up with Nare, it’s very evident that there is a promising future ahead for this igaming vertical. However, with increased demand comes increased expectation and now players are expecting a higher quality, faster streaming as well as a more intuitive game UI. Aesthetics of the environment and UI have become a much more crucial element to player engagement.
The market is an exciting place to operate in, with new opportunities opening up quicker than ever before. As the sector continues to transition into a more entertainment-focused industry, operators will be continually innovating and enhancing products to drive this narrative. Content providers like On Air Entertainment and their partners are a huge part of this industry-wide drive and we look forward to seeing what comes next.