The start of a golden age for iGamingBy William - 24 February 2020
Everi recently announced that Golden Nugget’s online casino is fully integrated with Everi’s Remote Game Server, providing Golden Nugget with direct access to the company’s land-based titles for its iGaming platform. G3 speaks to Thomas Winter, SVP and GM, Online Gaming at Golden Nugget and David Lucchese, Executive Vice President, Digital and Interactive Business Leader at Everi, to find out more about the agreement.
Golden Nugget Casino is now fully integrated with Everi’s Remote Game Server. Could you tell us more about the partnership?
Thomas: The partnership with Everi enables us to deliver world class gaming content to our online player community via their remote game server (RGS). We exclusively launched with Everi’s popular land-based three-reel mechanical title Triple Threat and six other titles for online real-money play in New Jersey.
We continue to add new themes to our platform on a weekly basis. Put simply, we are excited to have the opportunity to deliver some of the industry’s most compelling and popular land-based three-mechanical and video titles to our online players.
Why partner with Everi’s interactive division? What attracted you to the Everi offer?
Thomas: Everi’s land-based stepper titles and entertaining video slot games represent a unique content profile that we know will resonate well with our online players. Current Everi titles on our platform such as Black Diamond have been performing extremely well. The integration with Everi’s remote game server (RGS) provides us access to even more of their high-quality gaming content with the unique feature that enables our players to play games in landscape or portrait mode.
We appreciate Everi partnering alongside us to effectively market and position these new titles to our online community as well as collaborate with us on giveaways. Everi also brings to the table a level of technical expertise to customise gaming content and tailor math that we know our players will appreciate.
Everi’s titles perform well in land- based casinos. What is the size of your online player base? Are you trying to onboard existing land-based players or are you targeting a new audience?
Thomas: GoldenNuggetCasino.com has been a top grossing online operator in New Jersey the past two years, which is reflective of our large and consistently growing online player base and extensive library of games. Although Golden Nugget land-based players only account for a low double digit share of our online players, from day one we have positioned ourselves as the go-to online destination for authentic casino players, which aligns with our partnership with Everi. The ability for us to deliver Everi’s popular three-reel mechanical titles to players who have played them on the floor is definitely helping us deliver on our brand’s promise.
Do players spend more in land-based casinos or do they spend the same amount online but just in different places? How do you manage the balance between attracting online and land- based players?
Thomas: Our studies show that land-based players spend 50 per cent more per visit than online players, but online players spend more globally because they play more often (6x per month vs 2.7x). The interesting thing is that land-based players who start playing online don’t reduce their land-based visitation and the same can be said of online players who start playing at a brick and mortar casino.
Players who play with us land-based and online increase their play with the brand between 30-50 per cent. We don’t segment our target audience between land-based and online players per se. We aim at offering an online experience that is as close as possible to the authentic land-based experience, which naturally helps acquiring the land-based players who also play online.
How competitive is the environment in New Jersey at the moment? Does this give you an advantage?
Thomas: The New Jersey online market is increasingly competitive, with 23 brands now competing for players share of wallet, which is 50 per cent more than a year ago. What’s positive though is that sports betting brands are bringing a completely new set of online gamblers, mostly younger males, who sign up to bet on sports then start playing casino games.
This accounted for 70 per cent of the online gaming revenue growth in 2019 and explains why the market grew 60 per cent year-on-year.
We believe we have the best online and mobile casino product in the state and will reap some benefits of this influx of new casino players.
We are also strategic about who we partner with, what gaming content we offer, and our return on investment focused approach to marketing to players. All of this coupled with the tremendous amount of brand equity that exists with Golden Nugget because of its storied history places us in a position to continue to grow our online business.
How segmented is the slots audience in terms of the types of games they are playing? How does the partnership with Everi further your market ambitions?
Thomas: Video slots dominate the online space in New Jersey, but we believe the addition of Everi’s high-performing online stepper games will enable us to serve another important segment of the market, specifically those players who are loyal to classic land-based three-mechanical reel themes. We can now offer these players a deep, high quality library of stepper titles, which we believe will help us continue to grow our player base.
The agreement has seen Everi’s library of titles go live on GoldenNugget Casino.com. How significant a milestone is this in the development of Everi’s interactive division?
David: As we shared in the press release, the agreement positions us to continue to accelerate the growth of our interactive business by delivering world class gaming content directly to licensed online real-money gaming operators in New Jersey.
We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with one of the most successful online operators in the U.S. and deliver to the GoldenNuggetCasino.com player community our deep library of compelling titles that continue to perform well in land-based casinos.
Could you tell us more about Everi’s Remote Game Server?
David: We launched our remote game server (RGS) at G2E 2018, which is currently live in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Colombia, supporting a library of more than 30 titles with the expectation to grow at a sizeable clip on annual basis. Our RGS was built using state-of-the- art system architecture enabling Everi
to develop and distribute compelling player-preferred content directly to operators.
Our content includes award-winning three-reel mechanical games and attractive video slots, all built to deliver the exact same look, game features, and math as their land-based counterparts with the added player feature to play games in landscape or portrait mode. The platform also offers robust data analytics, real-time reporting, and can support custom- built games for operators.
How does Everi’s stepper titles and video slots fit into Golden Nugget’s online player profile?
David: Everi offers a unique content profile to Golden Nugget’s online community, specifically when it comes to our high- performing land-based stepper titles.
A large community of loyal players exist who are drawn to the classic three-mechanical games and really enjoy playing them. We believe a sizeable portion of this same community want to play these same titles online but can’t find them.
Everi is aiming to close this gap by offering distinct content to what we believe to be an underserved market in the online space. Our online stepper titles consist of the same specific preferences that these players love about their land- based counterparts – simple game play, familiar mechanics, and clear pay tables.
It’s also worth noting several of our three-reel mechanical and video titles have been available on GoldenNuggetCasino.com for some time prior to the agreement announced in November, including our player popular stepper title Black Diamond, that have been performing well. In fact, Everi now accounts for 12 of the 34 stepper titles (or 35 percent) currently available on the operator’s site.
What is the difference between stepper titles in an online environment and video slots?
David: For Everi, all of our online stepper and video titles are designed to deliver the exact same look, game features, and math as their land-based counterparts. Online stepper games are a great way to introduce slot play to a brand-new player who has never played either on a casino floor or online. For first time players, online video titles can be intimidating and perceived as complicated with lots of bonus features. We believe stepper games are simple to learn and a good way for players to understand the gamble when playing these titles.
The integration has seen your gaming content delivered directly to licensed online real-money gaming operators in New Jersey. Could you tell us more about how you are translating your content from social gaming into real money?
David: No real differences exist between what players experience from our online social to real-money to our land-based gaming content. We preserve the same look, game features, and math for all our games across all three channels, which includes the ability for online players to play games in landscape or portrait mode. Our approach to delivering high- performing games across these channels enables Everi to further promote content to a broader audience on both sides of the house – land-based and online.
Is there a demographic cross-over between players on the casino floor with real money and online social gamers or are they two separate audiences?
David: Based on what we have observed, online play can increase land-based play and vice versa. Operators are effectively providing their land-based players the opportunity to extend play beyond the casino floor at their leisure and regardless of platform. At the same time, online play may encourage players who have never played at a casino to step out of their comfort zone and visit their local casino for that exciting sensory experience of playing slots on a gaming cabinet.