Since its inception in 2014, Sydney-based, start-up gaming studio, Royal Wins, has been hard at work pioneering hybrid skill gaming in the online casino sector. Their pride and joy, the Kash Karnival, is a freemium online gaming hub available on Facebook that boasts a hybrid betting experience for both skill and casino style gaming. Today, the company has announced that they are fully ready to deploy the Kash Karnival gaming hub across all Android and iOS devices, to build on the successes of their Facebook version.
To date, the Kash Karnival on Facebook has garnered over 150,000 players and Royal Wins is hoping to capitalize on this interest in skill gaming as they bring the app to the mobile space. With spending on mobile casino games up 55% from November 2013 to November 2014, the market today is worth $3 billion – almost exclusively from social casino games. On the Google Play Store, combined revenue for casino and card games was up 105% year-over-year. Royal Wins sees this trend as a shift in spending from web-based social casinos on Facebook towards more of a mobile marketplace as the ubiquity of mobile devices introduces more and more people to these types of games.
The popularity of skill gaming is evident in the Kash Karnival, as gamers move away from traditional and often times predictable casino games, towards more entertaining, exciting and casual skill games that allows gamers to bet and win on various elements of skill. One of the mos t unique features of the Kash Karnival is that users can convert their virtual winnings into real item prizes through the app’s “Kash Store”– redeeming anything from the lates t gadgets and electronics, to fashion accessories, homeware and sport items. This is something that no other social free-to-play casino is offering and the ability to redeem virtual currency for real item prizes is a strong attractor to social casino players, male and female.
Head of Product and Creative Director, Myles Blasonato, believes that a vision to change the way a new generation of gamers consume online casinos by giving players greater control over a wagering outcome, is the right approach to truly disrupt a relatively bloated, slow and unprogressive industry, and to expand the existing 49 million online casino players to now potentially capture 800 million social gamers worldwide.
“Today’s technology shows that there is more choice than ever in online casinos, but they are all fighting over the same “55 year old housewife” audience. We need to captivate a whole new breed of player,” says Blasonato, “Young social gamers who crave entertainment and want greater control in winning through their skill. We will meet this demand by “gamblifying” skill and “skillifying” chance games.”
Digital Marketer, Michael Moretti is confident that the Kash Karnival mobile retention rates will be significantly higher than Facebook. “Currently, our largest demographic is women and older gamers. These groups like to play, and they like to bet, while they’re on the go, in front of the TV, or on public transport. Our games are designed to be quick, casual, fun and immensely rewarding.” says Moretti. “Mobile devices give them that luxury, which makes it the perfect market for us to tap into so we can provide convenience as well as rewarding entertainment. As such, we expect to see our market reach extend to younger male and female gamers in pursuit of skill gambling games.”
In its current state, the Kash Karnival does not offer real money gambling. Bets are made with in-game currency, which is offered for free in limitation but can also be bought. However as aforementioned winnings can be exchanged to redeem real item prizes. According to Blasonato, the company’s main focus is to develop and maintain a strong mobile social casino offering – however, real money gaming is not off the table and could be something the company might consider in the future.
Royal Wins is confident in the Kash Karnival’s mobile potential to make an impression amongst gamers on the mobile market and within the social casino world. Their innovations and unique approach to skill gaming has not gone unnoticed, recently gaining attention from the world’s biggest bookmaker, William Hill, in the WHLabs Accelerator Program – seeking the most innovative and engaging start-ups with ideas that will create brilliant new experiences for their customers. The company was shortlisted to present to top executives at William Hill from hundreds of applicants and although they did not take out the top prize, they remain optimistic of a firm place for skill gaming in the evolution of online casino gaming.
CEO, Robert Fong, says, “You never know what goes on in the minds of the judging committee especially in these large unwieldy giants that can be slow and behind the innovation curve. Often times they might say they are interested in the latest and greatest – but in fact they may only be interested in cheap, low barrier acquisitions or too slow and uninventive to recognise the next big thing. What’s more interesting to see will be how skill gaming emerges and develops over the next 2-3 years. Then perhaps some number cruncher at William Hill might sit up and notice the trends.”
The Kash Karnival on Android and iOS devices is now available for download on the links provided below: