Could you describe your iGaming platform offering?
Pragmatic Solutions is a mobile-focused iGaming platform for the regulated markets. We currently receive over €500m in GGR through the platform and are expanding quickly. Our platform is API-driven and built in a modular way so that we can quickly and easily integrate new and emerging suppliers and technologies. We currently offer Sports, Casino, Live Dealer, Bingo, Virtuals, Lottery and Trading.
Trends: Are the requirements of operators changing with regard to platforms?
Operators have always had three mandatory requirements: reliability, scalability and functionality.
Firstly, platforms need to be able to exist in a world where concurrent bets can be handled with the minimum risk of downtime, which can be extremely costly both in terms of revenue and loss of players.
Secondly, platforms need to scale when the operators’ business does, with many operators being left in a position where they are scaling too quickly for their technology. This is an unfavourable situation for both parties and a costly one to repair.
Thirdly, platforms need to have the core functionality to integrate new suppliers and new technology – two core functions that have caused a lot of difficulties for operators in the past.
In 2019, these requirements are still absolutely necessary when looking for a core platform, however there needs to be vastly more on offer. The market is significantly more competitive today, with traditional bingo operators offering verticals such as Sports and Live Dealer, and the large UK sportsbooks needing to offer customers the type of marketing campaigns that we see from casino-focused Scandinavian operators. These operators also want to offer the latest content from the best suppliers in the market, and require a platform that can manage all of this, without substantial business costs.
Many operators have tried to build their own proprietary platforms, with varying degrees of success. Some groups, like GVC, made the choice to integrate all of their new acquisitions onto one platform solution, allowing for greater business synergies. In order to accomplish this, they needed an extremely robust core technology platform.
How have you adjusted your products in reaction to these changes?
Pragmatic Solutions was founded by the same team who built the Party Gaming platform – now GVC’S core platform. Given that we had a keen understanding of the iGaming platform market right from our launch, we made the decision to build a platform with all of the abovementioned key metrics above in mind. The result is a reliable and scalable platform with all the functionality needed to integrate new technologies and suppliers quickly and cost-effectively. To date we have over 25 casino suppliers at Pragmatic, and counting, including the likes of Pragmatic Play, NYX, Yggdrasil and Evolution, and can quickly integrate new suppliers on operator request.
We are constantly developing our technology to integrate with the ever-changing advances in mobile functionality – a move that we believe is key to staying competitive in the marketplace. What’s more, our bonus tool systems are cutting-edge, again with the ability to integrate and add more functionality on request.
What is the value of an efficient, comprehensive back office within a platform?
Operators want to spend as little time as possible in a back office system – this is why simplicity is vital. Simplicity doesn’t mean that the back office can’t handle multiple commands at once; instead it means that operators can quickly set up campaigns without spending hours configuring a messy system.
As previously mentioned, we also allow our operators to choose the tools they want, and how they want their system configured. This allows them optimum control, and gives them the opportunity to work with a system they like. In this way, we partner with them right from the start to deliver a product uniquely designed to meet their specific needs.
How important is it that platforms can handle big data?
Big data is imperative across all technology sectors, and iGaming is no different. Platforms need to be able to handle simultaneous data points with thousands of player sessions taking place concurrently every minute. There can be no delay or lag when it comes to player entertainment – if the platform is slow and unreliable, players will become impatient and very quickly move to a competitor.
We’ve spoken to many operators who’ve learned this the hard way, but often this type of issue doesn’t present itself until it’s too late. In some cases where operators are growing at too fast a rate, they may not understand that there is a platform lag issue in time. The choice of platform is one of the first major decisions that an operator needs to make in order to guarantee that growth is sustainable over the long term.
We’ve helped many clients with this same issue already, as they look to move from a system that overpromised and under-delivered. Due to the speed at which we operate, we can integrate and take a site live very quickly, allowing operators to take back control with minimum delays. A reliable and stable long-term option doesn’t need to take forever – it’s possible to move to an alternative quickly and easily.
Is it still possible for smaller-scale platform providers to compete against the industry’s major players?
Of course, as long as the platform technology is built correctly. Historically, the major players whose platforms were built many years ago today have issues when it comes to market adaptability. As mentioned, platforms need to be able to adapt to operators’ needs which are driven by what players want. In my experience, players are not very patient and will change operators very quickly if what they’re looking for isn’t delivered.
Smaller platforms can offer a solution that is both adaptable and scalable – we won’t put our clients in a never-ending queue waiting for their needs to be met. This makes us a more than satisfactory option for clients that need to be able to react quickly – something that older legacy platforms aren’t always able to deliver.
What are your short- and long-term plans for development?
We are constantly developing our product as webase our roadmap on the client’s own way forward – meaning that if they ever need something with the utmost urgency, we’ll always be able to meet their deadline in time. In this way we’re very flexible – we listen to our clients’ requirements, and design the product to suit their particular needs.