Greentube are preparing for success in Ontario
Greentube, the interactive division of NOVOMATIC, delivers casino entertainment to players around the world with a historically significant presence in Europe.
It already has a footprint in Canada, having launched in British Columbia and Manitoba in summer 2021 through a partnership with Scientific Games and the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) and expanded to Quebec via a deal with Loto-Quebec.
Now, Greentube CFO/CGO Michael Bauer explains how the company has its eyes fixed on further reach throughout the changing Canadian market.
With Ontario having just become newly regulated, what has Greentube’s approach been towards the emerging Canadian market?
“Before Ontario opened up, our approach was to solely deliver and supply slots to the regulated operators at the time, these being the BCLC and Loto-Québec. The knowledge we’ve gained from operating within Canada has given us a strong platform to work on going forward, putting us on good footing for when the Ontario market recently opened up to regulated iGaming.
“Right now, we’re in the process of getting our license as a supplier, as well as having our games certified so that we can join up with licensed operators as soon as possible when it’s time to go live.
Up until recently how did the fact that private operators had no legal presence in the country affect your planning? How did you gain that local knowledge?
Leading up to legalization in Ontario, we had games on the market in both British Columbia and Quebec and ultimately, we did not expect these two markets to be that different from Ontario. Additionally, we have been supplying social casino games to the market and on these were able to test which games the Canadians prefer.
What research have you done so far and what have you found?
We’ve looked at player preferences and we’re quite confident that Canadians are going to have the same needs and desires as those in the United States. We can back this prediction up by looking at the Canadian player base of our social casinos, and we can see what kind of games they gravitate towards.
There are certain established mechanics such as Hold & Spin that we think will resonate with local players. Of course, that’s not to say there’s not space for innovation, and we fully intend to push the boundaries with the products we launch in Ontario.
Greentube is now live in a number of U.S. states as well as Europe. Do you think Canadian players will have its own player demographic or be more similar to Europe or U.S.?
The Canadian market is more similar to the U.S. than it is Europe. If you look at the current land-based landscape, you’ll see that it’s dominated by a small handful of suppliers in the likes of IGT, Light & Wonder, and Aristocrat, which is practically the same as in the U.S.
Ontario isn’t really a new market to many suppliers, and we know that there have been plenty of brands out there that have tackled the province as a grey market. Because of this, we must assume that a lot of players have already been exposed to certain European games, and as a result, they have a strong affinity for playing them.
This means that Ontario will become a unique melting-pot of players that enjoy both U.S.- and European-style slot games. As a European brand ourselves, we can quite easily adapt our portfolio of games to meet the needs of Canadian players.
Some have said they expect Ontario to be the biggest North American gambling market. Do you imagine it will be of greater importance to Greentube than U.S. states?
If you look at Ontario from a population perspective then yes, it’s going to be a huge market. It really does have a lot of potential to be the biggest market in that sense. That said, I’m not entirely sure if it will remain the biggest market for a very long time, especially if California becomes regulated, as it would dwarf Ontario. There are almost 40 million people living in the state of California, which is more than double the population of Ontario.
Will you bring any localized content to Canada? And if so, will that be a decision at a later stage once you know how the market is performing?
We will supply games that are localized for a North American market, but that’s it right now. We do not have any pure Canadian titles that we plan on bringing to the market. But if we find there is an appetite for this, we’d be more than willing to develop localized content.