eGaming Review January 2014 - Page 77

X X X X X X X X XU N I BX X XXX ET S P O N S O R E D E D IIT O R IIA L SPONSORED ED TOR AL SLOTS SOFTWARE FOCUS Poker is back! Thinking Aristocrat- to the fact that quite a few of the recreational players lose a lot of money on poker, we feel that it is not sustainable to continue with poker as it is on a network, but hope to be able to turn this around and make sure that the recreational players have a more enjoyable experience. We’ve come to the conclusion that it’s currently actually hurting business more than it’s benefiting it, so we’re willing to make a bold move and go standalone. Hopefully we can reverse the trend of poker growth. outside the box Unibet’s head of gaming Daniel Eskola talks to eGaming Review about Unibet’s new standalone software product Sam Nickless of Aristocrat s the next how one of the explains step in developing its customer experience, Unibet has to to a standalone poker leadersin decided land-based is developed of the2014. move software product early The slot world is and Maria its exclusively for the Unibet taking brands by Estonian-based supplier Relax Gaming. Unibet has been range premium games to a closely involved in key functionality and design to cater for its new poker strategy. of new channels, including eGaming Review catches up with Daniel Eskola to find out more. the online market. A eGaming Review (eGR): What advantages will the new standalone software product bring to Unibet? Daniel Eskola (DE): The biggest advantage that we have with our standalone product is that we’re finally able to properly follow through on a recreational poker strategy. We’ve had similar strategies in the past focusing on recreational players, but being part of a network has been an issue as our players were facing the players from other operators. By using a standalone software product we are in control of our own destiny both when it comes to the strategy and the product roadmap of where we want to take poker as a whole. eGR: Why is having standalone software more sustainable than being part of a poker network? DE: What we’ve seen in the last few years is that both our recreational poker players as well as the casino and sports betting players are getting a worse and worse customer experience when they play online poker. Professional poker players with tracking software target recreational players, leading to the latter player base losing their money too fast. We have been having negative growth in poker for the last few years while all the other products are growing; poker is currently 4% of the Unibet business. Due VICTOR CHANDLER Sam Nickless is the Managing Daniel Eskola is a 33-year-old Director of Emerging Businesses industry veteran with eight years of & Strategy, responsible for experience from both the B2B side Aristocrat’s lotteries, online and (Entraction) and the B2C side (Unibet