Guest Blog: How operators can benefit from running their own independent platform, by Finnplay CEO Martin Prantner

Guest Blog: How operators can benefit from running their own independent platform, by Finnplay CEO Martin Prantner

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 Totally Gaming

The igaming industry, like so many other industry sectors, has expanded quickly with commoditisation of the sector becoming apparent to industry and non-industry observers, Prantner writes.

In managing this growth phase, operators have gravitated to established gaming platforms to power there mobile and online brands, perhaps at the expense of innovation through selecting an independent platform vendor that the industry is now looking for.

It’s not hard to understand why this is the case. Most gaming businesses face ever-changing regulations, compliance, increased scrutiny from governments on consumer protection and social corporate responsibly almost on a daily basis.

While economies in most countries are still recovering, the tax burden on operators has increased, with regulators looking to gaming as source of increased tax revenue. Then if you factor in complex operational and organisational challenges and an increasingly competitive and extremely fickle consumer landscape, it often comes at the expense of technology, product innovation and platform independence.

As an independent platform provider who delivers complete customised gaming solutions to the sector, we firmly believe that innovation through technology independence has perhaps slowed over the past few years and shouldn’t carry the standard rhetoric you hear of “we don’t have enough resources to invest in innovation or a new platform”.

Technology and innovation are the lifeblood that has resulted in the fast growth of this industry and they are crucial for the continued development and its future success.

Gambling consumers are becoming more sophisticated, more discerning and demanding to whom they spend their gaming money with.

Indeed in the eyes of the gambling public, gaming brands pretty much appear to have the same ‘skin’ and front-end product features and thus only really compete on promotional aspects of the digital marketing mix by offering the largest sign-up bonuses. This can’t be sustainable in the long term for operators and their platform providers if on a revenue share or earn-out.

Innovation and owning your own independent gaming platform shouldn’t come with the mindset of that it equals a massive capital investment and that it is a riskier business model. Nor should it be the case that we often here that ‘we need to select a vendor with a track record in the space’ or that you may have an inferior product with which to compete.

It should come with the mindset of innovation, the ability to differentiate your brand and reacting to market needs quickly. From a commercial standpoint, the business owners retain more of the revenue flow which can be further retrenched into research and product development or much needed dividends to the entrepreneurs that provide the working capital investment and are very much part of the whole gaming ecosystem.

Most independent platform providers have built scalable, modular open source approved technology ecosystems which allow the brand owner to select the best-of-breed games available in the marketplace.

In practical terms this could mean the brand has access to the best 3D slot games available in the industry, which means the operators, can freely choose on a day-to-day basis which games can be offered on their website.

This removes another perceived barrier that if an existing operator switches platform providers, that they immediately lose access to the best mainstream games or products. It means alternative products like cryptocurrency Bitcoins can be integrated into the platform, thus allowing much needed competitive advantage.

Independence via the platform is crucial for innovation and competitive advantage, of which operators of any size can make a modest investment and switch to be in more control of their business destiny.

About the author:

Martin Prantner is CEO of Finland-based Finnplay Technologies, an independent platform provider who delivers complete customised gaming solutions. He holds an MBA from Cranfield and is an igaming industry veteran with 15 years of experience.

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