ESA Gaming , a developer of mobile games that provide cross-selling opportunities for bookmakers, recently announced its entering the Portuguese market after a deal with a local operator Casino Portugal .
SBC sat down with Maria Louise Malphasi (pictured below) , Business Development Manager at ESA Gaming to talk about the potential of the Portuguese market and the company's future development plans.
SBC: You recently announced that you are entering the Portuguese market following a deal with Casino Portugal. What prompted you to enter Portugal and what potential do you see in the market?
MLM: The first online license was granted in the country in 2016 and the market has shown steady growth since then. We have been following developments in Portugal for a while and have noticed strong performance and a growing number of operators entering the market. Currently, there are fifteen licensees operating in the country, and with the increase in the number of active users, this makes this market attractive for us for investment. The latest data from the country's regulator showed that sports betting revenues increased 90% in Q4 2020 with a sharp increase in 58% gaming revenues over the same period, making us even more confident that we made the right move by entering this market. currently.
SBC: Your EasySwipe portfolio is integrated with bookmakers so players can play in the casino while betting. The decreasing turnover tax in Portugal for bookmakers has led to the fact that this segment has become sparsely populated and is practically not affected by the largest bookmakers in Europe. How will this affect the ESA's approach to the marketplace?
MLM: We think it is a good practice, no matter what market you enter, to partner with well-known local brands, which is what we achieved through our deal with Casino Portugal. We hope that our influence on the market can be decisive for the growth of their business and, possibly, to some extent demonstrate the potential of the territory to other brands that have not yet expanded. The fact that many international operators have not yet entered Portugal does not bother us, but instead gives us the opportunity to partner with local operators who know the market best and with local players who will help us develop the right products for an audience with the very beginning.
SBC: Do you plan to work with operators to develop localized content for the Portuguese market?
MLM: Yes. The Portuguese market and the unique requirements for game certification means we have already begun to look into this. We are looking for ways to bring our most popular games and widest range of games to the Portuguese market in the coming months. This includes our Mine series starting with Goal Mine and more titles will be added throughout the year. Localization is important and by working closely with our operator partners, we will be able to present more relevant content or customize our existing games to target Portuguese players specifically. As with any new market entry, we will learn as we go and rise to the challenge.
SBC: How can EasySwipe ™ names compete with the growing supply of gamification tools?
MLM: We know our games have high potential. conversions at a lower cost, as well as creating a unique vertical that is not explored by most operators, so we are confident in their value as a source of income for any gaming brand. Having said that, we don't necessarily see it as direct competition. Our EasySwipe games and gamification or promotion tools are not mutually exclusive.
While these tools are becoming increasingly popular and important for operators to increase engagement and retention rates, the 19% users of our content on a monthly basis are unique to these games, creating new revenue streams and entirely new player demographics, thus removing operator concerns. about cannibalization.
Our swipe games have been found to be around 19% of sports players, and also helps to extend players' screen time to 6% and increase sports betting turnover by about 2.8%. Another advantage of the games is the cheaper acquisition cost as they reduce the required bonus offers by 40% compared to other casino games. ...
SBC: What's next for ESA Gaming? How important is entering new markets for ESA's strategy and what other countries are on the horizon?
MLM: Very important! We are currently targeting Greece, Spain and Sweden. We have an ambitious growth plan to bring ESA Gaming to the forefront of innovative gaming brands, and of course, expanding into new territories is critical to this expansion. We will of course continue to explore opportunities in the Portuguese market and we are currently in talks with a number of operators.