EvenBet Gaming CEO Dmitry Starostenkov shares with Gamblers Post his vision of developing poker platform and compares poker with DFS.
- What new products are you going to present in 2018?
For this year we primarily plan a series of improvements. We will work on the modification of solutions launched earlier.
The main product, which we will work on this year, is Daily Fantasy Sports. We bet exactly on this platform because it is very promising and has already started to justify the expectations.
So, the platform has already shortlisted in the Best DFS Product nomination of SBC Awards 2017 and in Best Bookmaker Product nomination of Login Casino Betting Awards, established by the online Russian gambling media Login Casino.
Moreover, recently the platform was nominated in Best Fantasy Sports Supplier nomination of EGR B2B Awards 2018.
Now we are preparing the final launch of DFS. We want to finish the planned functionality and interface: time of events settings, distribution of prizes, freerolls, administration tools, optimization for mobile devices. The backbone of the system is ready, now it is necessary to finish elements that’s we will “hang” above, different pleasant additions.
As for poker, here we have a new idea that is to launch Poker Club Solution. It is a mobile application, realized in such a popular now online-offline format.
How does it work? In fact, this game is for money, but with manual balance management. A real poker club with real players installing a mobile application where they play for chips. At the same time the administrator can replenish the balance of the players and control the tables and system, but payments to the winning players are not proceeded in the app.
The advantages here are the same as in our usual poker: free lifetime updates, support and other bonuses.
This solution is in the active stage of preparation, we will present it at G2E Asia (Global Gaming Expo Asia), the World gaming exhibition and conference in China, where the poker clubs are booming.
Besides, now we are reworking a poker mobile application for iOS and Android, with many different functions.
And, of course, we want to continue updating HTML5-solutions. The whole game world is now striving for omnichannel, it’s worth to have a moment.
We have a lot of work ahead.
- What is more popular in the market – poker platforms or platforms for daily fantasy sports?
Despite the growing popularity of fantasy sports, online poker is still the leader. The reasons for this are obvious: the poker appeared much earlier, it is more developed. More people know how to play poker. It is simple, but it’s true. Fantasy sports in many markets is still a novelty. And everything new, as you know, needs time to get accustomed and make a conquest of users.
Therefore, the poker won’t yield the palm in the nearest future.
However, fantasy sports is also gaining pace, especially in developed markets. It is already actively played in the US, a country, where statistical sports like American football and baseball are popular in principal. It has existed in the format of fantasy tournaments for a very long time, with a huge database for every player. But the main point that people there really love it. Fans of baseball and American football are the main target audience for Daily Fantasy in the US, it explains the popularity of fantasy sport in this country very accurate.
Europe is the second country, where fantasy sport is popular.
But if we talk about Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Africa, where, by the way, sports betting is popular, Daily Fantasy is just starting to appear there. These markets will develop, but it is difficult to predict how fast. Nevertheless, these trends cannot be ignored. The earlier the operator penetrates a new promising market, the more benefits he can obtain.
- Poker is an intellectual game. What qualities and functions should a modern poker platform have?
The main purpose of any poker application is to give players a positive user experience, to entice, to provoke and to retain interest.
For this, the app should comply a number of parameters corresponding to modern realities:
A very important characteristic for any poker application, no matter whether it’s web or mobile. If the application is uncomfortable to manage, the users just leave and that’s it.
All people are naturally lazy. And this is normal. No one will spend much time in the jungle of your usability.
And convenience is quite comprehensive concept and extends everything, from settings to the game process itself. Everything should be convenient and clear: management, all sorts of templates, the generation of reports, and tracking of finance and so on and so forth.
This is critical for any modern platform. The closer and easier for the administrator it is to get to the game data, the better.
We check these with the help of testing. QA specialists and customers give us a good feedback. Using it we conclude how convenient or inconvenient the application or some particular function is. In this way we check not only the games themselves, but also the backend and the admin panel.
At least some minimal possibilities for customization in gaming applications should be implemented, at least design settings.
We live in a world where everything changes very quickly, plus this world is very diverse. And if you cannot change something in the application quickly and easily, with accordance to any cultural or other characteristic of the customer, you will be out in the cold.
We offer a wide range of customization options for poker, which relate to both the design and appearance of the application, and its “insides”, directly a set of games and their features. So, for example, at the request of the client, we can add statistics module, notification window, waiting list, additional payment functions and things like that.
One more requirement that the modern world presents to us.
The application should function successfully on all platforms, desktop, web and mobile. Especially on the web and mobile: people have become more mobile, they are playing less using a desktop computer, and prefer to run the game from smartphones or other devices.
So, according to H2 Gambling Capital (http://www.igamingbusiness.com/news/igaming-dashboard-february-2018), the leading consulting company of the gambling industry, in 2017 the mobile gaming market grew by 14.9 billion euros, this is 36.6%. And this is far from the limit. The share of the mobile in online gambling will continue to grow at a at rapid-fire pace. H2 Gambling Capital predicts that this year it will increase by 17.4 billion euros and 39.1% respectively. And by 2022 the mobile market will grow by 27.9 billion euro that is 49.5%, almost in double. The conclusions are obvious.
Actually, the things that help you to attract and keep users. Everyone needs interest, excitement, adrenaline. And, of course, communication, involvement. The application without will be doomed to failure.
The entertainment and involvement in our poker we provide with the help of a whole range of different techniques and tools:
- Live chat. Players can exchange replicas in a chat, communicate with each other, discuss the events, share emotions.
- A wide choice of tournaments – Heads Up, Spins, Sit&Go (at the same table), Spin&Go (with three players), MTT, freerolls and others.
Players, by the way, can create their own tournaments and events.
- “Real time mode”. An element that creates a sense of the reality. A very enticing tool that many players appreciates.
- Appearance is also an important element for any application that plays a huge role in attracting and retaining users. We also work carefully on the design of poker applications, constantly introducing small changes and improvements.
All this is only a minimum set of requirements, in fact there are much more, these are only the most basic ones. But by following them, you can already honorably represent yourself in the global gaming market and not to get lost on the background of others.
- What are your plans for 2018?
Besides the development itself, we also plan several trips. To expand ties and strengthen our position in the market.
So, on the agenda there are following events.
In May, we will go to Asia for G2E Asia (Global Gaming Expo Asia) for the first time. It is the World gaming exhibition and conference, which takes place in Macau. There we will present our Poker Club Solution. We want to see how people will perceive our version for poker clubs, which are very popular in China. We will try to penetrate to the Chinese market and to deepen the work with Asia.
In summer as visitors we will go to iGB Live in Amsterdam. We won’t be exhibited there, just look at the others and negotiate with to potential customers and partners.
As always, in September we go to Betting on Sports in London, and in November – to SIGMA (Summit of iGaming) in Malta.
Of course, in this plan may be changes and additions, we are glad any interesting events opening new potentials and opportunities to us.Follow us on