Rome – “When we started marketing Virtuals, I started to hear that Italy is a saturated and mature market within which Virtual games will have a cannibalization effect on existing traditional games. I disagree, the Italian market is indeed a mature one, but at the same time, a dynamic market with investments in tenders, and renewals of licenses”. This is the opinion of Vermantia Group CEO, Filippos Antonopoulos, after the question: “Do you think that we have reached a point of saturation in the market whereby virtual games might prove to be too much?”, during the debate about i-gaming in Italy organized by Business International in Rome.
“Indeed – said Filippos Antonopoulos – we do see a declining interest in some products which can be classified as dying breeds, or only growing at inflation rates, practically sustaining their existence, however, this is happening within a very dynamic and competitive market, where everyone looks for the power of differentiation.
“Vermantia is a leading global Gaming content provider for lotteries and bookmakers worldwide. With a wide portfolio of Virtual Gaming and Sports content, based on our gaming content platform, our televised services are custom created to the requirements of our clients, by offering our high-end services within both the retail and online space. We specialize in the creation of tailored Virtual Games and Live Sports betting services which deliver the most advanced Gaming and latest Sports content available in the market according to specific market and client needs both in terms of the content as well as in terms of the schedule of events and service delivery. We are based in Athens, Greece, and have global satellite and IP deployments stretching from South America, all the way to Eastern Europe and China with heavy deployments in the European territory. Specifically for Italy, we are ready to start with the satellite broadcast of 4 virtual games channels and 3 online services pending the green light from Aams.
How do we differentiate? There has to be a catalyst that can allow for the expansion of the retail network, diversification and amortization of the investment for the licenses. Virtual Games and New Content can do this. So, is the solution just the provision of games? No, I believe that Virtual games have to be correctly commercialized, in terms of being branded accordingly, and positioned according to specific market trends and requirements, indicatively, in the UK as a Racing type game, in the US as Keno, in China as Lottery games, and in Europe as Betting. Then, we have the product mix which plays a critical part. Vermantia believes in a managed content platform, not only games provision.
A managed content platform allows us to cater for a fully custom Virtual games service, inclusive of live human voice over, customized look & feel and branding on the games, cross promotion with games from the operator’s existing product portfolio and a fully localized content mix. Through a managed content platform we have the potential of offering a product mix consisting of Live Sports and Virtual Games as a complement to betting.
Already in the pilot phase, Vermantia is one step away, and, any day from now, we are expecting the opening of the test area for Virtual Games. Soon, others will follow. We will need to give some time in order to see if our expectations concerning the size of the Italian market are valid, and we are very much looking forward to this. What is next? Our next step is to integrate the experience of Virtual Gaming with self-bet & smart phones which will subsequently lead to an expansion to corner point of sales. Until then, we focus on providing the correct content mix through localized and fully custom services to early adopters providing them with the Power of Differentiation.”