For BetConstruct’s online casino team, the hard work never stops. Whether they’re penning licensing deals with major fashion brands, developing their own crypto or releasing live casino games in never-before-seen formats, the mission is clear: to create the industry’s definitive, one-stop-shop casino suite. This month, Edgar Mkrtchyan, Group Product Manager at BetConstruct, took some time out in a rare break from launches to talk to us about the role brands play in online slot development, the secret ingredient that makes live dealers so appealing, and why blockchain-based currencies are going nowhere anytime soon.
iGaming Times: Live casino has been a major focus of your casino gaming offer for the past few years. What is it about this vertical that makes it so special in your eyes, and how have you differentiated yourself from the competition?
Edgar Mkrtchyan: Live casino is one of the most popular products across casino players from all over the world and this tendency is going to grow even stronger. The secret lies in the social nature of live casino. The presence of real dealers and dynamic interaction with them, HD live streaming, live chat, captivating backstage themes and multi-camera view allow players to experience and enjoy the glorious environment of land-based casinos directly in the palm of their hands through any mobile device without even leaving their homes. That is what makes it so special. To ensure an amazing experience for players we provide the power of choice to all our partners and their customers. Our portfolio includes both extremely popular traditional games and region-specific options like Bet-on Teen Patti and Dragon Tiger, and we also give operators the chance to activate multiple side bet options and receive more wagers with higher margins.
iGT: Where does branding and licensing fit into your casino strategy? Can a slot become hugely successful without a recognisable franchise behind it?
Edgar Mkrtchyan: Branded games are a powerful acquisition tool for online casinos. Brand recognition creates trust and loyalty and can appeal to those players that have little or no interest in gambling. Collaborating with FashionTV Gaming Group, we created a new way for the international channel to engage its audience. We brought Fashion TV themes of luxury lifestyle and fashion trends into iGaming by creating slots and opening a new live casino hall. Their global audience now has a unique and interactive point of contact with their favourite brand. Even though a powerful brand behind a game title provides a huge push to make the game popular, I’m also convinced from both our partners and our own experience that even a slot without a franchise behind it can also become hugely successful, but only if it’s powered with innovative, gratifying and engaging gameplay features, gamification elements and cutting-edge graphics.
iGT: Technological innovation is moving at an incredible pace in the industry right now. How has BetConstruct been making use of the latest groundbreaking tools in its suite of casino products?
Edgar Mkrtchyan: As one of the early adopters of VR in the industry, we launched a virtual reality casino hall years ago and thought: why not put a live dealer in that environment? If the live dealer casino brought the excitement of playing in a brick and mortar casino into our homes, the VR live dealer brings it one step closer. We built the live dealer environment by implementing virtual reality technology, keeping all the best parts of the traditional live dealer and making it as interactive as possible. We also believe that cryptocurrencies, along with blockchain technologies, are going to have a huge impact on the iGaming industry in the course of the next decade. The benefits of blockchain – transparency, trust and decentralization – are too good to ignore, and sooner or later, the industry will have to embrace these tendencies. Currently, we are taking the necessary steps to offer decentralized gaming and be ahead of the curve, so when the time comes, we will be in the driving seat.
iGT: Let’s move on to poker. Creating a real sense of community and trust for players can be a challenge for online operators. How does BetConstruct’s poker room tackle this issue?
Edgar Mkrtchyan: We see poker as a brilliant opportunity for operators to unearth new players and revenues, but for this to happen, we know we need to put integrity first. To make sure players – whether newcomers or veterans – feel 100 percent confident playing on our network, we have a 24/7 monitoring service, which is supported by pro ex-poker players who understand all the intricacies of the gaming process like no one else, and automated detection and reporting tools.
iGT: What areas of casino will you be focusing on most over the coming months? Are there any new launches in the pipeline?
Edgar Mkrtchyan: As always, we will be focusing on delivering maximum fun and maximum diversity to players. If the players are happy, and if they come back to our operator’s casino, then both our partners and us are winners. We will also be exploring other areas where new technologies can be implemented – just like we did with our voice-activated gaming assistant Hoory. With each year that passes, mobile gaming secures a more considerable chunk of the market. Players are increasingly moving towards on-the-go gaming and BetConstruct is adjusting to this demand by improving the UI/UX of its mobile casino product, bringing a more welcoming lobby, gamification features and promotional activities into focus for higher levels of engagement than ever before.