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Fiona Simmons July 21, 2022 6 min read
Greentube’s Michael Bauer: We Have Learned the Virtue of Patience in Conquering the US Market
Greentube has been able to actively expand its footprint in regulated European and North American markets. In doing so, the company has reported an increased appetite for its products among players, inspiring Greentube to move even more quickly with the delivery of unique, innovative, and well-researched content.
Although expediency is helpful, the true way to achieve success is by being patient and working as market trends unfold. Navigating US markets can be challenging, but when done right, it reaps significant benefits for those parties that do it well. In our conversation with Greentube CFO and CGO Michael Bauer, we discuss the company’s successful forays in the United States, the Latin American market and beyond.
There has been a lot going on with Greentube. A month ago, you launched with PokerStars and recently you added BetMGM as one of your newest partners in New Jersey. Has player response justified your ambitious expansion strategy?
We continue to grow both in Europe and in North America where we are about to enter Ontario, as well as expanding across regulated US states. The response so far has been great, and we are reaching record figures as a company which has been fantastic to see.
Players across all jurisdictions where we are now live have embraced our content, showing a real appetite for the wide array of mechanics, features and themes that we are offering and working so hard on constantly evolving. We are taking big steps forward and having a lot of success so it’s an exciting time at Greentube.
You entered the US market in 2021. How long have you come as a supplier and developer of unique content and what are the lessons learned from the US market in that time?
One of the biggest lessons learned so far is definitely to be patient, we thought we would be faster in rolling out our content, going live with our operator partners, and entering new markets in the region. In reality, it’s more burdensome than in Europe to enter a new market in the US because of all the licensing involved and working with the regulators can be time-consuming. There are also additional tech aspects that we need to clarify in the US and it all takes some time.
We have already made progress in understanding the specific preferences and quirks of the US audience and we are developing new content with that in mind. This is something we always have at the forefront at Greentube as we see localization as a big part of our key strategy when entering a new market.
What is the unique Greentube touch that makes players seek out your games in all of their permutations, genres and gameplay options?
As previously mentioned, what makes us really stand out is that we try to find the local player preferences and develop slots that fit this narrative. Normally, we are quite successful in this approach because players around the world like completely different slots and we need to cater to this. We have seen in our own portfolio that one game can be a top performer in one country and at the bottom of the list in another.
On top of this local touch, we also want to offer players a chance to win big, so a lot of our games are quite volatile. This combination is what really makes the Greentube content distinctive and special.
With US iGaming being so young, do you feel you need to pace yourself when developing new games or are you confident that demand is only going to go up from here now?
I think we currently have the right pace for the market and have decided that launching 10 slots a month and flooding the space is not the right strategy. We want to focus on quality content to bring better value to both operators and players. We are confident that our current approach and our scheduled content roadmap is the right one.
You have also been working actively in Latin America and Europe. How has your experience in one helped your expansion in the other? Are there mutual lessons to be learned, or it all comes down to understanding the unique gaming ecosystem of each market?
Latin America is quite different from Europe and the US, especially in certain markets like Brazil and Mexico. In these markets, it’s not just the players’ preferences to slots that differ but also to verticals in general with video bingo being extremely popular for example.
We are lucky that we can utilize NOVOMATIC’s long history as a land-based provider in these markets to get a better understanding of what content has the best local appeal. Having experience in other markets for sure helps us expand into new emerging ones and provides us with the expertise and know-how that is needed to become a leading global supplier.
Can you make one prediction for 2022 and Greentube’s place in it?
If I was to make one prediction it would be around regulation as even though the year has brought some opportunities as new markets open up, it also brings with it challenges for us as a business. We have seen the introduction of marketing bans, product restrictions, and regulation becoming stricter in several jurisdictions, especially in Europe.
As a supplier that only provides our content in regulated markets, we are concerned that these constraints on the end product we can offer players will drive them to the black market where they are not protected. I don’t think all legislators and regulators fully understand this threat, but it needs to be taken seriously and we should work together as an industry to ensure that we find a perfect middle ground.
From a Greentube perspective though, 2022 is set to be another record year as we grow in both emerging markets such as North America and key regions in Europe, which is something we are extremely pleased with and is a testament to everyone’s hard work and dedication.