2023 marked a pivotal year in the history of Relax Gaming, or should that be RLX Gaming. A statement that is all the more impressive when you consider the sustained success that the igaming studio has enjoyed over a number of years.

The above represents a rebrand that accompanied a U.S. debut, with the Kindred Group-owned company aiming to build upon crucial headway made elsewhere to capitalize on the new opportunities that have been presented.

In conversation with SBC Americas, new CEO Martin Stålros elaborates on how RLX Gaming will drive U.S. success, potential targets of expansion, what titles from an impressive catalogue players can expect to see, and much more.

SBC Americas: We witnessed a slight alteration in Relax Gaming’s approach to the U.S. market, which is to be undertaken under a slightly different moniker. Just in case that has slightly slipped under the radar, could you first elaborate on why this has been done? And why was RLX Gaming selected to drive the company forward within the country?

Martin Stålros: First and foremost, becoming part of the U.S. landscape is an incredible milestone for everyone here at Relax. We have enjoyed years of sustained success and impressive growth in multiple European markets, therefore establishing a footprint in the states was the natural progression for us.

As many will be aware, the U.S. market has a long history of IP protection that’s ring-fenced to the market, which is what led us to debut in New Jersey under a new name. Considering the company profile was relatively unknown in the U.S. prior to our entry, rebranding to RLX Gaming at this junction made perfect sense. 

Our strong portfolio of games is what really differentiates us from our competition and makes us stand out. Considering our popularity in Europe, we are confident that operators will easily recognize exactly who we are and what we do, despite the name change.

SBCA: What challenges did this bring to the table for Relax Gaming? How were these overcome?

MS: We were faced with very few challenges when making our debut in New Jersey. A large part of this was thanks to our team having spent quite some time doing its due diligence and researching exactly what hurdles we’d need to overcome to make market entry a reality. As such, the entire process went smoothly, and we are delighted with the outcome.

Although fully aware that there are plenty of challenges that come with entering new markets in the region, we see this as an opportunity for future growth. We know exactly what we need to do to build on our strong reputation and ensure that RLX is at the forefront of everyone’s mind in the U.S.

SBCA: Does this impact the company anywhere other than the U.S.? And does this slight alteration bring any changes in your approach to making waves across new states upon entry?

MS: In short, no. This rebrand is specific to the U.S. and we remain Relax Gaming in all other territories around the world. Our approach also remains the same, focusing on delivering top quality content with games that get noticed. 

We are open, willing, and adaptable to the unique market requirements and player preferences, something that’s pivotal to doing well regardless of where you are in the world.  

SBCA: Can we expect any staples of the Relax Gaming catalog to be making their way into the U.S.? Will these be altered at all to fit the market? Either in name, design etc…

MS: Players and operators can expect that RLX will continue to add top titles to its curated U.S. offering, as well as successfully rolling out new ones. 

Naturally, any market entry that has clear requirements and needs must be catered for with a tailored approach, and the US is no different. Our aim is to bring our much-loved games to a brand-new audience, with all the necessary tweaks in place, but without impacting the overall player experience. 

SBCA: What are the future plans for RLX Gaming within the U.S.? How will you aim to rise above the competition? And do you envisage any future states opening up to igaming that would present a great opportunity for yourselves?

MS: As it stands, we are focusing on the markets that are currently open, these include New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Delaware. There will undoubtedly be more in the pipeline as the market continues to expand.

Like most, we firmly believe that the US has fantastic potential, and we have a long-term growth mindset in place to make the most of that. We are not unrealistic in our expectations, but we are highly optimistic that we can mirror the unparalleled success we’ve enjoyed in Europe over the last few years.