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Fiona Simmons March 22, 2023 6 min read
Gaming Realms’ CEO Mark Segal: “Beyond Slingo and Beyond Europe, Gaming Realms Is Set to Lead the Way”
Mark Segal steps into his newest gaming industry adventure yet as chief executive officer at Gaming Realms
Segal is a well-rounded industry veteran who has spent most of his career at Gaming Realms. He started as Chief Financial Officer in May 2013 and stayed in the role until his promotion to Chief Executive Officer in February 2023. Gaming Realms has been expanding rapidly, partnering with operators all over Europe and beyond, including 888, Casino Gran Madrid, 711.nl, Betsson and others. Today, we have a sit-down with Segal who will walk us through his plans for the company and what he has in store next, with North American markets being a big focus.
Q: Congrats on the new role! You take over the helm at a time of strong growth for Gaming Realms, what can we expect in 2023 and beyond to retain that trajectory?
Thank you. I should probably start from last year’s momentous growth, as 2022 saw us significantly expand across new regions, release a host of new games and build upon the Gaming Realms brand. This year, we will continue to develop these core components of our growth strategy.
We entered 2023 with a diverse pipeline of commercial agreements that will see the delivery of our content across numerous new and existing regulated markets. Among other things, we will partner with leading operators in Ontario, a region where we have had a strong start since it regulated last year. Continuing the momentum across North America, we will expand our footprint with additional agreements in Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Jersey. Our presence in Europe will also be bolstered in 2023 as we further our reach in countries such as Italy, Spain and Denmark, and make our debut in Portugal and Greece later in the year.
Additionally, Gaming Realms has recently forged agreements with popular brands such as Tetris and Space Invaders. These will follow other popular IP launches like Slingo Cleopatra, a collaboration with one of the biggest slot brands across both the land-based and online sectors with, IGT’s classic receiving a Slingo interpretation.
Q: Are there any areas that will be a priority for you as you take over as CEO?
My focus and aim for the company is to become a leading supplier in the iGaming industry. We have an emphasis on making Slingo a premium must-have product that has become vertical in its own right. We aim to deliver first-class titles supported by account management data that we use to make our games more engaging for the benefit of our operator partners and players.
The US and North America have become top priorities, now representing our leading market, and we’re still experiencing a lot of growth there. As talk of new states opening in the near future increases, we will very much focus on expanding into those states and mirroring the success we have found in already regulated parts of the US.
Q: You have been with Gaming Realms for almost 10 years, how do you reflect on the company’s journey so far and what have been the highlights?
I am one of the founding members of Gaming Realms and we’ve had a really interesting journey in the last decade. Originally, we set out with the aim of bringing bingo onto mobile devices and in time, that developed into the Slingo offering. Slingo finds itself as the perfect cross-sell product somewhere in between the bingo and slots verticals whilst also delivering the mobile focus we initially wanted to achieve.
For me, the highlight is where we currently are. Slingo as a category is well-recognised, and we have a great reputation in the industry while our titles are consistently enjoyed by global players. The position we hold now is fantastic and it’s something that everybody in the company has immense pride in being a part of, as Slingo continues to develop.
Q: Slingo is now a well-established brand in the industry, what is key to the brand’s success?
One of the key components of Slingo’s success is its heritage in the gaming market, as it was developed around 30 years ago. It has been free to play, it had its own portal many years ago, and it was licensed by Zynga in 2012. Additionally, Slingo is present in the land-based market with IGT, and branded on physical lottery tickets in over 40 US states, demonstrating the power and familiarity of the brand.
Because of this strong heritage, the mechanic has developed a loyal fanbase who are always keen to try the new innovations and iterations that we deliver to the core gameplay with each new release. This mechanical format and focus provide more interaction when compared to a standard slot or bingo as it offers an immersive experience for the player. It has worked fantastically with well-established brands and IPs such as Centurion or Deal or No Deal offering familiarity, that can transcend the iGaming industry.
Slingo has also become a gaming category in its own right. Looking at our international operator partner platforms, players will find that Slingo has its own tab alongside other verticals like Slots and Live Casino.
Q: Gaming Realms has released a string of popular releases utilising recognisable IPs, is this an area you want to continue to develop?
We’ve had multiple announcements already this year of our use of recognisable IPs. We just launched Slingo Cleopatra, created using one of IGT’s biggest hits – Cleopatra. We have also recently licensed Space Invaders and Tetris, with Slingo versions being rolled-out later this year. These are both extremely successful video games with worldwide fanbases that we will leverage.
Additionally, we have seen great success with Rainbow Riches in the UK and Lucky Larry’s Lobstermania, which are typically land-based brands. Operators appreciate these licensed games as much as our players enjoy engaging with them because they can utilise these familiar games, brands and titles to aid in the acquisition of new audiences to their sites.
We will also continue to make new innovative Slingo titles of our own that don’t use pre-established brands and these will blend well to create a dynamic portfolio of titles.
I am very excited about what the team will deliver over the next 12 months with a packed games roadmap and an array of commercial deals that will mark significant progress as we continue our journey to become a leading supplier to the industry.
Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.
Insider March 22, 2023