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A collaborative approach to casino management / Dima Reiderman, Chief Operating Officer

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A collaborative approach to casino management

27 November 2018

Aspire Global chief operating officer Dima Reiderman explains how the supplier curates and manages content on behalf of third party partners through its white label business.

It’s not a case of simply attempting to offer as many games as we possibly can
As a platform provider we are connected with multiple slots providers, some of them through direct integration, and others via game aggregator platforms. For instance, we have directly integrated with the likes of NetEnt, Play’n Go and Microgaming, while in terms of platforms we have integrated with companies including Quickfire, NYX (or SG Digital) and iSoftBet.

But it’s not a case of simply attempting to offer as many games as we possibly can. We understand that having a competitive offering, in terms of having a broad selection of games, is definitely important. We do this; after all, we have to remain competitive. But at the same time, we don’t believe it is simply a question of numbers. For example, an operator may claim to offer more than 3,000 games, and that this makes it the biggest online casino in the market. A supplier could say that it has over 9,000 games on its platform. These sorts of figures are impressive to put on a banner or a pitch document, but it’s just a number. Players don’t play a thousand games; most won’t even play a hundred.

We know it’s not just about quantity, so we look for new ways to differentiate our offering. For example, we offer a number of exclusive slots, which means that working with us, operators will be able to get something that they can’t find anywhere else.

Quality is important, which is why we don’t connect with every studio available, even when we work with game aggregation platforms. We may have access to games from more than 100 different studios through a platform, but that doesn’t mean that we are going to launch every game from each partner. We cherry pick the ones we want to launch and work to ensure they can be successful via our platform. Having a competitive offering is important, but having a quality offering is equally important.

There is not a single strategy for all brands
We see white label partnerships as collaborations with our partners. For example, as part of the service we provide, we don’t just launch titles on our network, but proactively manage the games. We reorder titles regularly, promote different games, run CRM campaigns and reposition titles as and when required. We’re quite unique in that sense; our partners are entrusting their brands to us, so we focus on making sure the games we provide are profitable.

This means there is not a single strategy for all brands. Partners occasionally pick out a game as particularly important – usually a jackpot game or a branded title – so we will develop a bespoke strategy for that brand. While the majority may have this particular title further down the menu of slots, for that client we’ll push it to the top of the list.

In general, content management is supported by a range of predictive analytics we’ve developed, meaning we can input a series of data parameters, such as royalty payments, market preferences and player habits, and this will give us a recommended output. To maximise profitability on the player level, Aspire Global’s analysis tools perform statistical scenario tests to determine strategies for the promotion of games within casinos. The statistical model consider game specific factors such as the percentage of pay-out, supplier royalty levels, stickiness with players and average player spend in the game to determine the impact on player lifetime value from different actions in relation to the game. Games that are performing well are promoted while games that are performing poorly are either moved in the user interface or replaced by a better performing game.

We see this as a major part of why our net gaming to deposits ratio is usually at higher end of the industry scale.

We manage white label sites at player level
The analytics can also be used to guide partners. For example, a client might want to run a special promotional campaign or launch in a new market, and be looking for titles that drive high conversion rates, or are particularly popular in a certain region. We can then provide them with a recommendation to help drive revenue from the campaign or launch.

The strategy can’t be the same for all brands – we don’t manage our white label sites on brand level. Instead, things are managed on a player level, based on behavioural characteristics. This way each player active on our network will be provided with a range of games that suit their style of play, so if a user prefers particularly volatile slots, we will promote these products to them across our network.

It’s also important to look at each brand’s target markets; player characteristics are different in each territory, so we are careful to ensure that players in each market receive culturally relevant product promotions.

It’s important to consider the business case for each game
We have a very strict approach towards which games we offer to players. We’re very sensitive to issues such as return to players or jackpots, for example. While we launch more than two games a day, every single product is thoroughly tested. We have our QA team run through the game, and then pass it to our analysis teams to assess risks such as bonus abuses, and ensuring maximum exposure for operators isn’t too high. If there are any concerns, we’ll make minor changes, such as tweaking maximum bets, so each and every product launched has been tweaked and tested. We don’t just fire out new games.

This is crucial, I think. We’re probably a mid-tier business now, with a network ranging from lower- to top-tier brands. We need to make sure we look after our clients’ best interests; we’re their partners, so our success is aligned with their success. This means we need to make difficult decisions. Say a supplier released and heavily promoted a new title, which soon went live on most major operators’ sites. If our examination of the game revealed that it came with a theoretical mass exposure of millions of Euros, we would be wary about putting it live. Smaller operators on our network could have their profits wiped out by a multi-million Euro payout – it’s just not good business sense to jeopardise partners in that way. This is why it’s important to consider the business case for each game, rather than trying to copy the rest of the market.