The online casino sphere’s ever-changing scenery challenges both established and newcomer operators to differentiate through outstanding player experience, content variety and functionalities. In this competitive market, improving the casino experience while maintaining flexibility and agility has become imperative for any operators’ success.
Being easier said than done, many operators still struggle in their attempt to offer players’ personalized experiences, mainly due to their platforms’ technical or operational limitations to quickly react to market changes, responsible gaming requirements or players demand.
The modern API development helps the enterprises to rapidly connect with third-party partners or applications, and rapidly iterate new features and leverage technology.
Stian Hornsletten, CEO of CasinoEngine and co-founder of EveryMatrix, discusses the key drivers behind their API driven architecture of CasinoEngine.
“Developing API-driven products was a bet EveryMatrix made years ago when we decided to split up our core applications in an effort to shift away from the “boxed” platform ecosystem to specialized and platform independent products. For our casino unit, CasinoEngine, this translates today in a better (and faster) management of the vendor integrations, and better management overall of various product features, from lobby or reporting to wallets and players.
Improving efficiency and providing value-added services around casino aggregation, while offering endless possibilities in term of player experience, it is now possible thanks to an API Driven and modular platform architecture. This enables us to cater for a wider set of clients than before.” says Stian Hornsletten, CEO of CasinoEngine and co-founder of EveryMatrix.
With over 30 new casino clients launched in the past 18 months, including very large operations like the Norwegian state monopoly Norsk Tipping or Tipico to newer and highly successful operators like Wunderino, CasinoEngine is processing one billion in-game rounds per month, seeing over 230% YoY GGR growth.
CasinoEngine also targets UX enhancements and caters for personalised and localised casino experiences, with the goal of providing the context and technology for operators to unlock their own creativity.
CasinoEngine APIs provides the necessary tools and empowers operators to take full control over their front-end experience and build it from scratch, and Hornsletten says this is exactly what their most successful partners are doing.
While providing business intelligence and decision-making information, the APIs renders a wealth of data to further benefit the players and improves the operators’ overall UX.
A good example is the Live Tables API (aggregated across several casino vendors) that allows players to view real-time, in-game statistics, table availability, game features on live tables for extending gameplay and stickiness.
Through others APIs, operators are enabled to see particular operational details. For example, Hornsletten details the Game Rounds API and its benefits: “To see the outcome of game rounds now, you would have to go into the backend of RNGs. We feed this into one API where instead of going into many different 3rd party back-offices, you can either use CasinoEngine’s or your own. We’re really streamlining the back-office experience.”
To further improve the UX, CasinoEngine’s UI communication framework allows operators to have full control over the gameplay window on both desktop and mobile displays. This allows for real-time notifications in the gameplay windows, whether they are responsible-gaming related (reaching time and money limit or mandatory breaks) or maintenance windows. Furthermore, there is the ability to control additional buttons on top of the gameplay window, for instance, quick deposit and cashier functions, gameplay information, carry out gamification features, etc.
“Technically we understood how important it is to stay competitive in casino offering and to fine-tune desktop and mobile propositions to reach and communicate more and more with players as this in return increases revenues.” concluded Stian.
There is a growing market-specific content demand in the online casino industry and time is always of the essence.
“Our mission is to also simplify operators’ access to additional markets while supplying the finest casino content available. With more than 16 new game vendors added in the last 6 months alone, we are offering over 8,000 games across 140 vendors and sub-vendors to date.”
Being an API based solution, CasinoEngine enables operators or other industry platform suppliers to easily integrate and get access to its portfolio and acts as an integration layer between the operator/supplier and casino vendor, on top of the aggregation.
“We strive to launch as quickly as possible new content providers so we can maintain a constant stream of new games. Just recently, we did a content push in the UK thanks to our content agreements with top gaming providers such as Red Tiger, Eyecon, Gamevy, Leander, Relax Gaming, Yggdrasil and ReelNRG.”
Hornsletten says: “One development we’ll be making in 2019 is to improve our game performance scoring. We want to be able to compare games like-for-like to understand their net value to the operator. This can be done quickly if you have a decent number of players. When you’ve got 70-90 games being released per month, there’s a constant battle for the front position.”
He explains that there are a number of ways to calculate this – player session lengths, costs, NGR of games and the churn. This scoring can in turn affect the position of a game in the lobby.
“In the future, our aim is to drive this with AI, so you can automatically re-design lobbies based on players, markets and demographics. Of course, it also depends on any placement deals you have with vendors.” Solutions such as this can serve to significantly improve the player experience and lifetime value, and with that make the operators more efficient and more fruitful.
Stian Hornsletten is CasinoEngine CEO and EveryMatrix co-founder and has over 19 years’ experience in the internet gaming industry. He holds an engineering degree in computer science and a degree in socioeconomics. He was an early entrant into betting exchanges and online poker, and his skills in product innovation are propelling EveryMatrix’s casino product forward.
The original version of this interview has been published by EGR Global on January 30, 2019 under the title How APIs are driving UX enhancements and improving operations for online casino operators.
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