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DS Virtual Gaming: Busting the myths

By - 27 July 2020

G3 interviews Araksi Sargsyan, Head of Business Development at DS Virtual Gaming, on the regulatory difficulties faced by virtual games provider’s, balancing its offering between retail and online, and the future for the vertical.

Could you provide an overview of DS Virtual Gaming’s products and services?

Since 2003, DS Virtual Gaming has dedicated itself to the creation of games that are different, fresh, exciting, and attractive in the world of virtual sports. We create innovations that will in time become classic thanks to our passion for what we do, hard work and attention to detail. We support our customers with everything from software to hardware, no matter their operating jurisdiction, and are on hand for any questions concerning iGaming.

We began with RacingDogs, which remains one of the most popular virtual products in the industry. Our recent games, featuring karts and roulette, look so natural that one could be forgiven for not knowing they are virtuals. Our passionate minds are full of ideas and are always open to customer requests.

What differentiates DS Virtual Gaming’s offering from other suppliers in the market?

At DS Virtual Gaming we work with real prerecorded events instead of animations to provide players with the most vivid emotions possible, creating the effect of being present at real races or at a real casino. Before making any decision we always put ourselves in the players shoes and consider what we would prefer to see. The answer is always the same – the reality as it is.

The first thing that catches the eye of operators is the quality of our videos because they understand the importance of a first impression for their players. Finally, we have our unique odds with the highest payout rates, interesting bonuses, and exciting jackpots to keep players engaged.

How have your virtuals performed during the sports hiatus?

Over the past few months, online operations have experienced unprecedented demand. Many platform providers have begun actively integrating virtual games and offering them to operators. Operators themselves are paying more and more attention to alternative verticals. Regulators of some very large markets have revised their attitude towards our product and allowed their use.

Whilst the Coronavirus pandemic has made some adjustments to the industry, we always look to the future and work tirelessly so that every year interest in virtuals grows exponentially. As for the lack of sporting events, I would not believe that virtual games, slots, esports or P2P games attracted all the attention directed towards sports betting. Interest in nonsports products has always existed, whether online or in betting shops, and the demand for such verticals is likely to grow.

Have virtual games sufficiently proven themselves to be given a more prominent position on the sportsbook going forwards?

For some reason, many put virtual games as opposed to sporting events. There is a feeling that there is a kind of confrontation between the two verticals. I, in turn, do not believe that products in our industry are replaceable.

Each game has its own players. Our common task with suppliers of different products is to entertain the player, make everyday life more fun and interesting, bringing new innovative solutions to strive for visual and technical ideals.

I think the pandemic has not been a factor that has strengthened the position of virtual games in the industry. The key factor is the people who work daily to improve their products which does not go unnoticed by players. If we compare our vertical three years ago with the current one, the difference is enormous. Virtual games are still at the foot of the peak they must climb, and we are eager to climb this peak as soon as possible.

As retail outlets open once more across the globe, where does DS Virtual Gaming prioritise its resources?

As providers, we must be aware that for us the future begins yesterday so we have worked on new solutions for betting shops, even with the complete cessation of this segment. During the pandemic, we managed to come to an agreement to launch our games with several leading operators and with the resumption of retail operations players will be able to enjoy new games. We do not hide our huge interest in markets such as Nigeria, Kenya, Romania, Georgia, Colombia along with Peru, and, fortunately, this interest is mutual.

Do you think betting shops will quickly bounce back, if at all? How has the lockdown altered the retail landscape?

Betting shops as such are a cultural phenomenon in the world of the gaming industry. In order to answer the question about the possibility of retail return, we need to understand why they exist and what role they play in operation. Firstly, a bet shop is a place where players go to spend time in a circle of like-minded people, discuss the latest news, and communicate. Some companies use a huge number of betting shops as an indicator of the success of their company.

The presence of shops becomes a marketing ploy. There are operators who do not have online operations or are very weak at it, but their ground-based operations are strong. Betting shops will return for sure whilst all precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus should be taken.

What are the main differences between providing virtual games and concepts for retail compared to online?

Essentially, this is about making the games accessible to players. To have your games online you need to find the best options to make the design simple and all-in-one, not to make players scroll up and down to make a bet or watch a video. We need to take into consideration that more than 70 per cent of players use their mobile devices to access games, so all betting options should be within distance of the thumb.

Retail is a completely different segment where everything is connected to the devices that operators wish to use in their betting shops. As the providers of the software we can also provide the hardware, such as POS retail devices, mobile retail devices, TV boxes and even printers.

Where are the untapped virtual markets? What is the next big opportunity for virtual providers?

Unfortunately, some markets remain untapped due to regulatory difficulties. We have successfully learned to cope with the technical tasks that we have faced such as slow internet speeds and a lack of tools for accepting bets, but regulation is an area that requires special attention. There are huge markets where virtual sports are prohibited due to a lack of information about the vertical, or a ban on gaming activity due to the absence of law or regulation in general.

However, we are witnessing an increasing desire to regulate markets, which will have a positive effect on operators who wish to have legal operations and on providers who will quietly offer their services. I think that virtual game providers should help ensure that their products are understood correctly and accepted by both players and regulators.

The Internet is full of false information such as virtual games having no statistics and that all the results are completely random. Providers should have a goal to eliminate these myths and tell the truth about our vertical. Without this, further development of the games is futile.

What is DS Virtual Gaming’s roadmap expected to look like over the next twelve months? Is the next year one of consolidation or expansion?

I do not see a single reason why consolidation and expansion cannot proceed simultaneously. We have world-famous games that enjoy great success, but we are working on those that will breathe new life into the overall development of virtual games. I am confident that we have vast opportunities to create new trends in the industry.

Our strategy for the next 12 months is to create new products that will become as popular as classic greyhound racing, improve existing games, familiarise operators with new features and provide the exciting content that players deserve.

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