Exclusive interview with ESA Gaming’s Maria Luisa Malfasi
A year after introducing its EasySwipe product, ESA Gaming’s collection of mobile games optimized for cross-selling from casino to sportsbook now features six titles following the recent launch of its latest hit Joker Poker. ESA Gaming has also entered several new markets and struck partnerships with operator and aggregator partners around the globe. European Gaming caught up with Maria Luisa Malfasi, Business Development Manager at ESA Gaming to see what the future has in store for the supplier.
It has been a fantastic year for ESA Gaming which has seen you move from offering an aggregator platform and poker network to focus on cross-selling titles for mobile, tell us about the last 12 months.
Having offered an aggregator platform and poker network for some years we wanted to develop a new USP for the company and introduce something unique and different to what is currently available in the very saturated slots market. The result was our portfolio of EasySwipe games which is designed specifically to sit within sportsbooks to offer bettors a simple yet engaging casino experience without disrupting the sports betting experience. We now have six titles in our offering and it’s been a fantastic year for ESA Gaming.
Major sporting events in the summer, such as the Euros and the Olympics, definitely helped boost our portfolio as betting volumes significantly increase and naturally offers the possibility of cross-selling to casino.
The Euros was our first experience of having our EasySwipe games live during a major tournament and offered an opportunity for us to gather some good business intelligence which we will incorporate into our future product development. We already have one sport-themed title in our portfolio which has resonated well with bettors and we will add more in the near future to better appeal to sports fans.
Tell us a bit about how your EasySwipe portfolio has developed and performed in the last year.
As the name of our product suggests, customers easily swipe from one product to a next on their mobile device. This ensures the sports-betting experience per se is not disrupted but allows players to enjoy their favourite casino games or try something new whilst continuing to bet on sports. We have now introduced six fantastic titles that offer players a fast-paced, fun-filled gaming experience.
The first titles we introduced were blackjack and roulette that bring the real casino experience to the player, with intuitive game play and responsive design, perfect for mobile screens. Fruit Staxx, our enticing fruit-themed slot is designed for casual gameplay with an immersive user experience. GoalMine, is a fast, football-themed game which gives players a speedy game-play, with familiar graphics and steps. The title has been a huge hit with avid sports fans and is a natural fit in a sportsbook. The simple format and differing final rounds which create genuine progression and culminate in sporting action adds an extra layer of excitement to this title.
Recently we introduced EgyptMine, the second title in our Mine series. Inspired by computer classic Minesweeper, it sees players race across the sands avoiding evil creatures before entering a pyramid in search of treasure. Finally, our most recent hit was Joker Poker, another casino classic featuring a standard deck of 52 cards, plus a wild joker, where players are tasked with creating the best possible 5-card poker hand. Players can utilise an autoplay feature and there are chances to multiply winnings with an enticing Gamble Round offering red, black or suit betting, while there are chances to win up to 300x stake on every hand.
In terms of reach, is expansion in your future plans and if so, what new markets is ESA looking at?
We see plenty of opportunity to expand our reach and are exploring several opportunities. We are currently looking at getting our content certified or licensed in a raft of European markets such as Romania, Sweden, Denmark and Greece.
We are carefully analysing the potential of the market before making the decision on whether to enter or not and are focusing on territories where sports betting has a strong following.
In the last year we have entered Portugal and significantly expanded in Italy, signing several deals with leading local operators and aggregator platform providers. We also received our MGA licence which will allow us to distribute our games to an array of new partners.
We will of course also continue to develop our games portfolio and have recently hired a hugely experienced Head of Games to oversee this expansion and the creation of a portfolio of slots. We will Imminently introduce sport-themed games Basketball Mine, and Tennis Mine, with new more involved bonus rounds, as well as some innovative slots titles and our first crash-style game.