All eyes are on Sweden’s re-regulated iGaming market since the updated gambling laws came into effect on January 1st of this year. With licenses flying out the door, obtaining a fruitful piece of the Swedish market pie requires a good deal of differentiation as the competition continues to build. Smaller operators in particular have to get real creative in order to compete with the big Swedish-facing brands and remain compliant with the updated laws.
Dreamz Casino is a smaller operator currently focused on the regulated Swedish iGaming market, founded by Simon Furustig (CEO) and Leon Storm (CTO). The brand’s primary focus is regulated markets such as Sweden and the UK, with the potential of “making a true difference in the gaming industry,” according to Oliver Fagerdahl, Customer Engagement Director for Dreamz.
The Dreamz team prides itself in following a long term technical road map while at the same time keeping on top of the unique business it’s operating today. To learn more about the innovation behind Dreamz, the bespoke software that powers its CRM and player management platform and overcoming challenges with Swedish re-regulation, I sat down with Fagerdahl who has been passionate about the Dreamz vision since the Founders approached him with the idea.
Becky Liggero: Thank you so much for joining me today, Oliver. As we all know, there are literally thousands of online casinos out there today and plenty of options for the popular Swedish market. How does the Dreamz brand differentiate itself from the rest?
Oliver Fagerdahl: With a heavily scaled down and minimalistic platform we aim to offer a more sleek experience where the casino games aren’t competing with shouty banners and loud promos all over.
Our ambition is to excel on the basics and then expand towards the creatives, that is how we differentiate. As an example, Dreamz customers can today pick and choose over 1300 casino games, which is significantly over industry average, but probably not worth much unless you know exactly what you are looking for, right?
Therefore we’ve put a lot of effort into making it easy to navigate around this massive number of games so that anyone can find content that’s relevant for them and we will continue to work on this. Ultimately the games are the core of any casino experience and we feel that game browsing, and exploration of new content in general, is an area which many have been neglected.
BL: Absolutely, I’m a big fan of going back to basics. The Dreamz team has also built a bespoke, omni-channel CRM and player management platform known as “Dorothy.” Can you elaborate on how Dorothy is utilized for improving the player experience in real-time and how it makes life easier for your team?
OF: All e-commerce businesses today understand the value of big data, segmentation and real-time actions. But a limited number of companies can truly use these areas together effectively and make all the moving parts work together.
Most iGaming operators choose to outsource this technology to CRM software companies like Optimove or Salesforce, that to my knowledge are excellent at what they do by the way, they are thereby creating a heavy dependency & limiting the creativeness of their operations.
The biggest struggle I faced at previous companies was that we had these amazing tools with millions of data points and great functionalities, but they just couldn’t handle the most basic customer needs, neither was it easy to get new features developed. I think that’s a fundamental problem when tools are designed and built by external developers or parties, rather than the people managing the business and customers it’s supposed to boost.
We decided to build our own software, from scratch, based on the frustration we’ve felt around having to manually execute and coordinate the bulk of all customer managing communication with rather large and complex team collaborations. The majority of this work can, and should, of course be automated. And it can be done. It’s just really, really painful and time demanding to do so. But once you get it to work it’s simply awesome!
BL: Ahh, yes—I’m also a big fan of proprietary software for the reasons you state above. From the point of view of a smaller operator, what are some of the challenges you’re facing with the Swedish market post-regulation? How do you plan to overcome these challenges?
OF: Take a seemingly straight forward thing, like mandatory deposit limits for example.
This creates one more layer of complexity on top of everything else that you already manage on a day to day basis. How do we go about targeting to a customer who’s approaching their limit with a campaign? How does it affect the on-boarding funnel and overall life cycle? All additional complexity is adding constraints and new challenges to already existing strategies.
We believe that with the right technology we can automate processes, even whole departments, which historically have employed tons of people once the operator starts to grow. Departments whom themselves are adding a complexity to your operation and risks for human errors.
Instead of desperately trying to fill new vacancies, we take the longer road and automate instead.
Aiming to do as much as you can by means of automation indirectly makes all future legislation and taxes an opportunity for us, even though it’s a longer and rougher path to take.
Furthermore, what can be saved from hiring people with very repetitive jobs, can instead be distributed back to the players, marketing and product development whilst still maintaining an acceptable margin.
BL: It seems like you’re able to tackle most of your challenges in the market with Dorothy, congrats on a job well done. Before signing off, without giving away too many of your secrets, what piece of advice do you have for iGaming industry professionals who wish to launch their own brand in today’s saturated market?
OF: Well, I should probably be a bit careful with advice as we’re just starting to pick up speed. But sure. Think long-term. And make sure to start planning for your own technology as soon as you possibly can. It’s your ticket to freedom, and you will need it sooner or later.
BL: Outstanding Oliver, thanks again for your time today and best of luck with Dreamz and expanding into more regulated iGaming markets!