Innovation has been a major focal point for the online gambling industry throughout 2014. We’ve added panels dedicated to innovation at iGaming conferences, we’ve got several Start-up Launch Pad competitions per year, Clarion has created space for innovative products and companies within their expo floors and CalvinAyre.com highlighted all sorts of iGaming start-ups in our “Innovation in iGaming Profiles” series.
As a dedicated Start-up Launch Pad spectator and one of the main CalvinAyre.com Innovation Series contributors, I’ve been exposed to a number of the innovations that have come to fruition in 2014. The innovations I’ve studied range from modest start-ups to companies with a good chunk of secured investment to established companies who have introduced a disruptive product.
Now that 2014 is coming to a close, it’s a good time to recognize some of the great innovations of the year and encourage all iGaming companies to keep up the good work for 2015. I would like to clarify that while I am familiar with a lot of exciting new products in our space, there are certainly some I have missed and I encourage such innovators to bring their accomplishments to our attention.
Top 8 iGaming Innovations for 2014
What I love about this innovation is that it targets Latin America, a market housing so much potential for the online gambling industry. One of the biggest challenges with reaching the Latin American gamblers involves banking, a common issue for all developing countries. LaJuega solves this hurdle by enabling unbanked customers in Columbia to use their cash and gamble online.
7- Asylum Labs
Adding the “social” to gaming or “gamification” has been a big topic this year and we’ve seen a number of social gaming start-ups in UK and the US. Asylum Labs is a “mobile first” developer that has “redefined the social in social gaming” with their Wild Party Bingo game. Their software truly is something special and the concept behind Wild Party Bingo takes the game to a whole new level by introducing teams, providing ways to congratulate team mates and introducing strategy into the mix.
6- Casino Saga
Continuing on with the theme of gamification, Casino Saga’s team identified the elements in social games that make them sticky and blended these elements in their proprietary casino software. This unique casino site focuses on story telling and game design, sending users on a “journey” throughout the “Saga Islands” and providing them with all sorts of “missions” along the way. As a Casino Saga player you can also like and follow other players, one of the many features making the game more social.
5- FSB Tech
FSB Tech offers a managed sports betting solution that reduces overhead for operators by eliminating the need to invest in data feeds, traders, technical support and other elements associated with running a sportsbook. The technology features sophisticated CRM tools enabling operators to override prices and margins and offer custom-made promotions. In short, the FSB Tech software enables casino operators to add on a sports betting offer without a huge drain on their resources.
Colossus Bets founder and CEO Bernard Marantelli has taken the concept of football pool betting and taken it one step further. His B2B and B2C company offers a massive jackpot to the tune of £10,000,000 if a single player is able to accurately predict the correct score of seven football matches. Colossus Bets’ latest innovation is the “Fractional Cash-in”, enabling players to sell all or a portion of their live ticket during a multi-leg game, removing the “all or nothing” nature of traditional multi-leg betting.
A lot of the innovation we see in iGaming comes from the smaller and more nimble start up companies, but Bodog88 introduced a disruptive product this year that could be a game changer for them. Zone 21 is a blackjack live dealer game that allows for customers to play blackjack in real time, whenever they want and fast. Zone 21 is the only live dealer blackjack game online that does not have limits on the number of players that can play at a time, in other words, no denials on getting a seat if the berth is full.
Fresh8 is a unique digital advertising company aimed at sports betting operators. Their sophisticated technology looks at the content of the page its on, the user’s relationship to the sports betting operator (if they are a registered customer or a new customer) and dynamically creates a format related to what the user is reading on the page. Fresh8’s technology is a lot “smarter” than static ads and can serve as both an acquisition and retention tool for operators.
The Founder of Bit8, Angelo Dalli, is one of the true innovators in the online gambling industry. Dalli’s rich background in artificial intelligence comes through on the Bit8 gaming platform via the advanced bonusing system he created. Bit8’s platform is highly scalable, it automates processes that usually involve manual labor and allows for operators using the system to increase revenue while reducing costs.