eGaming Review January 2014 | Page 11

QUOTE OF THE MONTH “You’ve got to look at what works for your own customer base – for others more aggressive cross-selling may be more appropriate.” Denise Coates, chief executive bet365, read our cover feature on page 26 RAMESH SRINIVASAN JOHN CONNELLY Chief executive Srinivasan took over at Bally Technologies in December 2012 when he was named president and CEO after having spent two years in the roles of president and COO. He joined the firm in 2005 as executive VP of systems and was instrumental in the recent $1.3bn acquisition of SHFL Entertainment. Senior vice-president of business development and interactive Having spent nearly 10 years at the US casino supplier, Connelly took up the position of senior VP of business development and interactive in November 2013. Prior to this role Connelly has held various positions at the firm. THE NEW STANDARD FOR CONVERGENCE ANDREW READER ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, VELO PARTNERS The winners of this year’s eGR Rising Star award, Casumo, believe convergence is the trend of the future and they aren’t the only ones. Whether it be Gaming Realms’ Bingo Godz (also shortlisted), Ever Adventure or CasinoRoom, there are many examples of softer, gamified, real-money user experiences that are starting to be disruptive and showing strong KPI traction on the start-up scene. Looking to the established suppliers, Microgaming’s Poker Network, for example, launched individual achievements in November 2013 with 27 real-money achievements to collect. They have been hugely popular with the players (over 200,00 collected already) and the next set are already being prepared for roll-out. On the bricks-and-mortar front, our involvement in the Hippodrome Casino on Leicester Square and establishment of an online brand has proven there are opportunities to successfully extend a brand experience into an online environment which players value. Generating new sign-ups in the casino, using shared NEIL DAVIDSON Senior vice-president, CFO and treasurer Davidson originally joined Bally as vice-president of corporate accounting in 2006 before being promoted to chief accounting officer and finally chief financial officer in August 2010. Before joining Bally he was VP at gaming and systems company Multimedia Games. loyalty points and in-casino promotions, we have only just started to explore all the promising new ways of expanding that business. Convergence is not new. We’ve been talking about it at least since gaming suppliers and operators became interested in acquiring social casino assets in the first half of 2012. But, the term remains highly in vogue, still featuring prominently on conference panel session agendas and increasingly found between the words ‘the next big’ and ‘play’ in business plans we are seeing at Velo Partners. Most people would agree in the online context that it refers to the adoption of various social and gamified features such as: achievements, missions, shared jackpots, team challenges or gated content by more traditional gaming operators. These features are generally considered to have been popularised by the free-to-play entertainment operators using freemium monetisation models and historically not been employed by traditional realmoney operators. If you spoke to KATIE LEVER Senior vice-president and general counsel Despite seeing a number of her colleagues at SHFL Entertainment including chief executive Gavin Isaacs leave post-acquisition, Lever retains her role and moves over to Bally. At SHFL she was general council and executive VP and held a similar role at Global Cash Access prior to that. bricks-and-mortar casino operators, they would tell you convergence is about extending the brand and experience in-casino into a complimentary online offering. In both contexts, 2013 was a year that saw great strides forward in testing and establishing the convergence thesis. One thing we can all be sure of, in 2013 convergence happened. The interesting thing to my mind about the concept of convergence is at what point does convergence stop and a new standard or niche become established? For me, this is a question that will largely be addressed over the next 12 months. MONTH RICHARD HADDRILL Chairman of the Board Former Bally Technologies CEO Haddrill is due to celebrate his one-year anniversary as chairman of the board this month after spending eight years in his previous role. Haddrill served on the board of directors from 2003 and joined the firm as CEO in October 2004. 9