Replicating the social element of land-based table games can often prove tricky, but according to Galaxy Gaming CEO and President Todd Cravens, the decision to move content production in-house has helped elevate the firm’s online offering.
Speaking at SBC Summit North America, Cravens discussed the recent launch of Galaxy Gaming Digital, the need for customization in both the online and offline space, and the company’s plans for the next few months.
SBC: Congratulations on the launch of Galaxy Gaming Digital! For those that don’t know, what will this entail?
Todd Cravens: Galaxy Gaming Digital, the digital division of our business, now generates about 40% of our overall revenues. When we originally acquired PGP in 2020, they had the online distribution rights to a suite of proprietary casino content, including Galaxy Gaming.
Since launching Galaxy Gaming Digital, we’ve taken much more of an active role in our licensing deals where our team looks at the gameplay, the math, and the look and feel of the content. With that, we developed a different skill set where we can be a bit more involved.
We’ll continue to license games, but we’re also developing some of our games in-house as well. One of the reasons we do that is that everybody wants 21+3 or Perfect Pairs because that’s an easy slam dunk – you know that everyone is going to play that game. However, we also have new games that we really like that we believe will appeal to some of our licensees. So, we want to develop those in-house. Beyond that, we want to expand our content reach that bit more. So instead of just having content for igaming, we’re looking at ilottery, we’re looking at social, so digital channels just become a much bigger focus for us as a company.
SBC: Why was now the right time to launch Galaxy Gaming Digital?
TC: I think right now is the right time because we were at a point where, as I said earlier, the skill set is now there for us. If we said a year and a half ago that we were going to start developing our own games, we would have looked around the room at each other asking ‘do you know how to do this? How do we do that?’
We’re on about 1,200 casinos right now and so much of that is really in one segment – blackjack side bets, which is great and we love it, but we want to get broader. For us to do that, we thought a lot of that had to be done in-house. And the other part about it is that people we work with on the igaming side aren’t necessarily the same people we work with in the ilottery space. So for those reasons, we felt like now was the perfect time to launch Galaxy Gaming Digital.
SBC: With this launch, you have decided to bring content creation in-house. What are the main benefits of doing this?
TC: First and foremost, I would say speed. We know the content inside and out – we’re not relying on someone else to understand it.
Around 70% of our business is in the live dealer space and before I pick up the phone and call someone to say ‘hey, I got this great new game for live dealer’, most of the time they’re looking for proof that this game is available in the live casino space already. These suppliers want to see that those titles are something that players are going to play. So that’s where we have to make the investment.
Development-wise, we get it out to market faster and we prove the success of the content. We make bets on games that wouldn’t necessarily get picked up by other people – we’re putting our money where our mouth is!
SBC: What aspects of your land-based success will you take over to aid your digital approach?
TC: I would say that a lot of people will come up with new and different content for the online space. Where we’re a little bit different is that for both our land-based and online offering, we do a tremendous amount of customization.
As an example, in the Mayfair district of London, we have Prime Three Card Poker in a number of the clubs there. None of those clubs have the same offering – everyone was looking for something to be a little bit different. A lot of these clubs share the same customers so they want a unique experience.
Even at this event, we have been having meetings with customers about different player trends and behaviors, altering the return to player percentage. At Galaxy Gaming, we will sit down and go over things on a customer-by-customer basis. That’s where we think that we add a tremendous amount of value.
SBC: What would you say are the key challenges when it comes to replicating the excitement of land-based games into the online space?
TC: The social element. At brick-and-mortar venues, people sit around a table and talk during the game. It’s like when you walk on the floor in a Las Vegas casino and you see a bunch of people around a table and they’re high-fiving, chatting, and having a good time. That’s the beauty of table games. But how do you capture that social element on a mobile device, when it’s just me sitting on my sofa on a Friday evening staring at a screen? We look at things such as a shared jackpot or adding more social elements.
I do think it’s also one of the reasons why live dealer games have been successful. If you find a good live dealer and you get into the chat room, you can chat back and forth with them – that’s interesting to do. I would love to see over the next 12, 24, and 36 months how we can make more of that type of experience you get from table games into the live casino space.
SBC: And finally, what can we expect from Galaxy Gaming for the remainder of this year?
TC: On the online side, we’ll probably have another eight to nine digital titles that will be released this year. We have a number of titles coming out on the land-based side and some new technologies too. We’re continuing to license content to our customers.
We just signed a deal with White Hat Gaming last week. They have a product where they’ve taken a number of our Blackjack side bets on one game, I think five or six side bets all around, so that’s launching in the US over the next couple of weeks. We have that and then we have some of our internal stuff that I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun. It’s definitely going to be a busy few months ahead!