SiGMA 2016 day 1 recap

SiGMA 2016 day 1 recap

Today marked the opening of SiGMA’s two day expo and conference at the Intercontinental Hotel in Malta.  Without a doubt the organizers have managed to step up the event from last year, with more people flying in from outside Malta, noticeably more foot traffic and bigger booths.

Innovation in b2b slot offerings could be found on display across the expo floor and we took some time to chat with Spike Games CEO Robert Anderson, the company that built one of SiGMA exhibitor Ganapati’s Japanese-themed slots.  Anderson himself has twenty five years of experience in building slots and said now that mobile devices are bigger, slot offerings on mobile phones can be just as immersive as what you would find on a casino floor.

Anderson walked us through Spike Games’ latest creation, Shamrock Shuffle, a mobile slot offering with a bit of a twist.  Shamrock Shuffle combines a five reel slot game with cascading “Candy Cash” style wins to bring a new format he calls “Candy Slots”.  Players win prizes if they’re able to get three or more matching symbols in line anywhere on the screen.  Wins trigger symbols cascading from above and players can enjoy other unique features such as free shuffles, mega spins, reel roulette and a cheeky “shamus the worm”.

Anderson emphasized the importance of offering operators something a bit different than the norm when it comes to slots – one way to do this is by studying what’s working in the marketplace and finding ways to integrate those game mechanics into a slot game.  In the case of Shamrock Shuffle, clearly studying Candy Crush had an influence, for example.

Exhibitor BtoBet has an augmented reality (AR) feature on display at their SiGMA 2016 booth, an attractive female character they call “Simone” who can be summoned by scanning a bar code.

BtoBet CEO Alessandro Fried, also a speaker at SiGMA, told operators must switch their mindset from “taking” to “giving and receiving” so they are able to collect valuable data from customers and therefore offer a better product.  When using AR and showing customers special bonuses or pointing customers in the direction of a betting shop with good odds, operators have the opportunity to ask for valuable data such as current location.  This type of data will enable operators to take advantage of a “recommendation engine”, similar to what Netflix and Amazon already offer their customers.

We also stopped by Casumo’s booth to talk with Head of Affiliates Christian Ferreri, a program that strives to show affiliates their appreciation at events like SiGMA.  Ferreri told about his brand’s vast expansion in the UK market over the past year and said how affiliates have played a huge part in this success.  As a special thank you, Casumo treated VIP affiliates to a pre-SiGMA event at a breath-taking mansion overlooking the sea and for a dinner at the Malta aquarium.

Tal Ron, a lawyer specializing in iGaming law, is a speaker at SiGMA 2016 and raved about how much the event has progressed since its inception three years ago.  He praised the organizers for stepping up their delivery this year and said how busy the expo floor felt and how packed the sessions have been.  Ron’s feedback along with general feedback we picked up along the way today has been nothing but positive, we’re looking forward to seeing what we have in store for SiGMA day two.