With plenty of talk ongoing about Relax Gaming’s exciting plans for the US, we thought it would be the perfect time to get a few minutes in with Relax Gaming’s CEO, Simon Hammon.
In his latest exclusive interview with Gaming Americas, we were delighted to talk about the brand’s exciting plans for what will no doubt one day be one of the world’s biggest iGaming markets – as well as when we should expect Relax’s first debut. Read on to find out more!
Word on the street is that Relax Gaming has ambitious plans for the US market this year! Can you tell us more to give our readers some exclusive insight?
Truthfully, Relax has ambitious plans not only for the US but the world over. We’re planning our entry into America in the coming months and have lots of new ideas for the market. Following our recent advent across Ontario and LatAm soil, we feel ready to take on the US while expanding our foothold across all these new territories. Audiences can expect to see our top-performing games, varied content from our partner studios and games tailored specifically to the market based on in-depth demographic research.
Talk us through the potential for the US – how big an iGaming market do you believe it can be?
The shift from traditional, physical casinos to online was sped up amongst American players during the pandemic, and it’s safe to say that this will continue at pace well into 2023. I believe the US market has the potential to surpass many current landmark territories and take its place as a key jurisdiction for all serious game providers in the industry.
With Relax’s extensive European legacy – what differences do you see when it comes to US player preferences and are you planning on tailoring any upcoming releases to better suit the market?
From our research, we can see numerous differences between EU-based and US-based players, mainly with respect to themes and playing styles. That said, America is a vast and dynamic market that has numerous pockets of unique demographics within it, many of which possess contrasting qualities. On a general level, however, we can say that Americans are widely into land-based slots, which trickles into their approach to digital games. This is evident in their enjoyment of classic themes and lower bet sizes with patterns that result in prolonged play.
Looking at the heritage of slots in the US – one can argue that it’s all about the likes of Las Vegas, Atlantic City and machine-based slots – is that something your team will be taking inspiration from?
Our inspiration is drawn from within the industry as well as externally; from pop culture, film, art and even new fields of technology. Machine-based slots offer a theme of their own that can appear in our titles to some degree, as we like the challenge of giving classics our own spin.
Onto jackpots – Relax is certainly well known for Dream Drop! Are you planning on rolling out Dream Drop in the US?
While the Dream Drop Jackpots mechanic is performing exceptionally well in Europe and we’re confident that it would prove popular in the American market as well, our initial rollout plans solely involve our slots portfolio for the time being. As things gradually develop across the US, we’ll be in a better position to introduce new products and mechanics.
Last but not least, can you share any initial states that you expect to go live in first?
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan are high on our list for initial execution while all other regulated markets in the content will form part of our long-term growth strategy. Each state has it’s own enticing qualities and we’re excited to see our titles break through the market across the continent.